SG’s busy schedule in Addis touches on Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia and Sudan, senior advisors speak to press and more from UN Direct

Egypt: Speaking to the press Sunday, the SG addressed the situation in Egypt, stressing that leaders of any country, including Egypt, should listen to the voice of the people, and are responsible for providing decent jobs and good opportunities for them, calling on the need for “bold measures” to address these concerns.  He also said that Governments should ensure a proper channel of communication, in order to exercise freedom of speech and association, adding that this kind of expression should be done peacefully.  He is monitoring the situation closely and supports Pillay’s call to investigate any excessive use of force. On whether the UN would assist the Egyptian people, the Spokesperson said that a request from the Egyptians must be made.

Cote d’Ivoire: at a high-level meeting on Cote d’Ivoire which the SG co-chaired with the AU and ECOWAS on Friday, the AU created a High Level Panel comprised of five African presidents to address the post-election crisis in the country within a month.  The UN has emphasized that it will support the panel any way that it can.  Answering a question at a press conference on whether the thinks the panel will be able to solve the impasse, SRSG Choi said that it has yet to be established and “we will know in one month”. On the humanitarian front, UNHCHR delivered aid, namely blankets and plastic mats, for tens of thousands of Ivorian refugees in Liberia yesterday, the second airlift in the past couple months. 

Sudan/Somalia: today the SG attended a high-level meeting on Sudan and Somalia on the sidelines of the AU Summit, where he discussed Sudan, explaining that it’s critical that “all stakeholders exercise restraint and avoid provocative action” as the country reaches the final days of the referendum.  Critical issues yet to be discussed include border demarcation, oil revenue sharing and citizenship/rights, in addition to Abyei.  On Somalia, the SG called for the need to help the TFG accelerate outreach and reconciliation efforts to Somali political organizations, conclude consultations on a draft constitution, and to develop its own sustainable security forces and deliver basic social services.  He also called on the rapid deployment of (4,000 AU) troops recently authorized by the Security Council.

Haiti: at a meeting over the weekend with Sarkozy, the SG expressed his “strong hope” that the Haitian Government will accept the OAS recommendations on the elections.

Malaria: speaking at an African Leaders Malaria Alliance Event over the weekend hosted by  Ray Chambers, the SG said the Alliance is a “great success story”, citing WHO’s figures released last month that malaria deaths have decreased 10% between 2008-2009 and 290 million nets were delivered in Africa since 2008, adding that universal coverage is “within our reach”.

DRC: speaking at a press encounter in Addis, Le Roy enumerated action the UN is taking n the ground in the DRC to protect citizens against rape and sexual violence; 1) strengthened joint protection teams; 2) random patrols day and night; 3) provision of community liaison officers with the capacity to communicate with communities via cell or satellite phone; and 4) capacity to investigate rapes.

Security Council: Today is the last day of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Security Council presidency – Brazil will assume the Presidency for February tomorrow.