SG launches Academic Impact at the UN, welcomes Israeli decision to withdraw from northern Ghajar and more from UN Direct

SG: In a statement released yesterday, the SG welcomed the Israeli decision to “accept, in principle: the UN proposal for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the northern part of Ghajar and redeployment south of the Blue Line separating Lebanon from Israel.  The issue of Ghajar has long been the subject of debate and tension along the border.

Academic Impact launch: this morning the SG launched UN Academic Impact, an initiative to align universities with the UN to support ten universally accepted principles, such as human rights, educational opportunity, sustainability and global citizenship.  In a week the Centro Niemayer in Spain will host the first Academic Impact conference in Europe, followed by a conference on education and entrepreneurship next year at the Korean Council for University Education.

Counterterrorism: On Monday, the Council’s three counterterrorism committees (1267, 1373 and 1540) briefed the Council in an open debate.  Briefing on the Counter-Terrorism Committee (born out of resolution 1373) Ambassador Apakan (Turkey), who chairs the CTC, spoke about the CTC Executive Directorate’s (CTED) work to facilitate regional workshops in places such as Nairobi, Sarajevo and Jakarta.  To date, 109 States have submitted reports pursuant to the resolutions and various working groups have been created.  Ambassador Apakan also spoke to a CTC initiative which will bring national counterterrorism prosecutors together in a seminar and added that one of the main challenges CTC faces is the issue of capacity building.  Speaking at the debate, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative DiCarlo said that the U.S. remains committed to forging international coalitions to prevent the spread of WMD to terrorists, especially in light of the recent foiled plot of explosives coming out of Yemen, which was tracked in Dubai and in England. DiCarlo stressed the U.S.’ commitment to working with partners, and praised Apakan for facilitating CTC’s work to conduct open meetings on international legal cooperation, stressing the U.S.’ decision to continue to work with the CTC and partners.  She noted that the 1267 al Qaeda/Taliban sanctions regime has been one of the UN’s most effective counterterrorism tools.  DiCarlo also enumerated several recommendations for States to consider as they look towards renewing CTED’s mandate, such as further transparency, development of regional capacities in areas such as the Horn of Africa and South Asia and more attention to dialogue with countries on issues in Res 1624 that relate to ‘softer’ approaches to counterterrorism. Lastly, she said the U.S. supports a “lengthy continuation” of the 1540 Committee, to allow for long-term strategic implementation and resourcing.

Third Committee: on Tuesday, when the Third Committee considered a draft resolution on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, the African Group and OIC successfully introduced an amendment to withdraw the reference to protect people from killings on the basis of sexual orientation, which passed by a narrow margin of 79-70, much to the disappointment of many Western States.  The last time the resolution was considered in 2008, Uganda introduced a similar amendment, but it was defeated.  The overall resolution ended up passing with 165 in favor and 10 abstentions, one of which was the U.S.  The Third Committee is expected to consider resolutions on the DPRK and Myanmar today.