SG welcomes Sudan agreement, expresses concern over civilian casualties in Afghanistan and more from UN Direct

Sudan: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today the agreement reached between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-North) on political and security arrangements for Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, two states along the country’s north-south border. “The Secretary-General commends both parties for the political will they have demonstrated in reaching the agreement,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

Conference on Disarmament: North Korea assumed the Presidency yesterday of the UN Conference on Disarmament.

Afghanistan: The Secretary-General, in a new report to the Security Council on Afghanistan, expressed concerned over the number of civilian causalities, particularly women and children, affected by the conflict. He says that a redoubling of efforts by all parties is required to reach a political settlement, for which UNAMA will continue to support and advise the Afghan Government on matters related to peace and reconciliation.

Côte d’Ivoire: The Security Council this morning adopted a resolution extending the redeployment of three armed helicopters with their crews from the UN Mission in Liberia to the one in Côte d’Ivoire until the end of September. The Council also extended the deployment of an additional 2,000 military personnel to the UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire until the end of next month.

DRC: The SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström, on Tuesday welcomed the mandate extension of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), saying it was crucial that the UN has a continuing presence in the country. Ms. Wallström said she supports the Mission’s engagement with armed groups so as to obtain commitments from them to not employ sexual violence as a weapon.

Gaza flotilla: Asked about a flotilla that is expected to travel to Gaza, the Spokesperson recalled that the Secretary-General has urged leaders in the region to avoid taking actions that could raise tensions and has called on those who want to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza to use the established aid routes. The Secretary-General and the United Nations, including through the UN’s role in the Quartet, have pushed for an end to the closures into and out of Gaza.

Special Tribunal for Lebanon: In response to questions on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Spokesperson said that the Tribunal had not shared its indictment with the United Nations and that any reports to the contrary were false.

ICC: Asked whether the work of the ICC on Libya is complicating UN diplomatic efforts there, the Spokesperson said that the UN Special Envoy, Abdul Ilah al-Khatib, is continuing with his diplomatic work and has particularly tried to involve the African Union.