SG convenes video conference with UN and regional organizations on humanitarian concerns in Libya, DPKO USG briefs Council on Cote d’Ivoire violence and more from UN Direct

Libya: Today, the SG convened a video and telephone conference call with regional organizations and UN agencies to discuss the humanitarian situation in Libya and on its borders. The SG and the DSG spoke with senior officials from organizations such as the League of Arab States, the IOM, the EU, OCHA, WHO, WFP, UNDP, UNICEF, DPKO, DPA, and UNHCR. This call resulted in an agreement that it is a high priority to assist people to move away from the border areas and help people return to their countries of origin, and that food, water, sanitation and shelter is needed for those on both sides of the Tunisian and Egyptian borders. The SG stated that he plans to name a special envoy soon and has emphasized that political change must be locally owned and locally led. Valerie Amos, USG for Humanitarian Affairs, has committed $5 million from the CERF to Libya, especially to scale up relief efforts at the Tunisia-Libya border. So far, 147,000 have escaped fighting there. UNICEF has reported that 160 tons of supplies are expected to reach the country shortly and is concerned that women and children have been severely affected. WFP is sending more than 1,000 metric tons of wheat.  USG Amos will brief the press on the humanitarian situation tomorrow at noon.

HRC on Libya: In regards to the postponement of the HRC’s consideration of the Working Group Report of the Libyan UPR, Ambassador Eileen Donahoe fully backed the Council’s decision as the U.S. hopes that the Council “completes adoption of the report at such a time when the voices of the Libyan people, and not just the voice of the Qadhafi regime, can be reflected in its final outcome.” Ambassador Donahoe reiterated the U.S.’ commitment to holding the Qadhafi government accountable, providing humanitarian assistance, and supporting the Libyan people.

Côte d’Ivoire: Alain Le Roy, USG for Peacekeeping, briefed the Council this morning on renewed fighting and other mounting tensions in Côte d’Ivoire, including increased cases of harassment of peacekeepers. UNOCI says that 50 people have died during the past week due to the violent clashes and 26 have died in the Abobo district alone.  UNOCI is working with partners to open a humanitarian corridor in Abobo and is planning on requesting a halt in fighting to provide water and food to the population there. The Mission just received two of the three helicopters from the UN Mission in Liberia and the third should arrive soon.

Sudan: The Security Council heard a briefing on the situation in Sudan today, specifically on the fighting in Abyei. UNMIS is increasing their presence as well as their foot patrols in Abyei to increase visibility.

DRC: Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, appointed a special high-level panel that just returned from a 17-day field trip and released a new report that states that resources needed to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of victims of sexual violence in the DRC are at best inadequate, and at worst nonexistent. Medical and psychological treatments as well as other forms of remedies aren’t routinely available to victims of sexual violence. Additionally, Congolese victims of sexual violence are extremely concerned that whatever they are given now to restore their lives could be destroyed again if there is no peace in the region.  During the 17-day trip, the panel went to seven locations in three different provinces in addition to the capital, Kinshasa.

HRC: Today, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay presented her annual report to the HRC, which details practical examples by OHCHR to safeguard human rights in areas such as non-discrimination, stating that “Human rights are too often discussed in abstract, technical or sometimes highly politicized terms. The events in the Middle East have proved how human rights matter and matter concretely in the lives of people.”