Violence Spreading; Conflict Mediation; Child Mortality; Brahimi in Syria; Disarmament

Violence Spreading: After the attack on the US Consulate in Libya on Tuesday, the violence in response to the anti-Islamic video only continues to spread throughout the Middle East, now to Yemen and Iran. In Yemen, hundreds of protesters attacked the American Embassy, while a protest raged in Tehran, with around 500 Iranians chanting “Death to America” while converging on the Swiss Embassy, which handles United States interests in the absence of formal diplomatic relations with Washington. In addition, US warships were sent to the coast of Libya today, and Colum Lynch discusses the impact on the UN here.

Conflict Mediation: The SG participated in a GA meeting on mediation and conflict resolution where he presented to Member States his most recent report on the subject and the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation. In his remarks to this meeting, the SG said he was pleased to report that the UN was making real progress, working hard to enhance its readiness to implement and support mediation processes.

Child Mortality: Although the pace of death for children under five has declined sharply in recent decades – with an estimated 6.9 million children under five dying in 2011, compared to around 12 million in 1990 – greater gains must be made to meet international goals to save infants and young children, according to the latest annual report of the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN-IGME). Formed in 2004, the UN-IGME is made up of the UNICEF, WHO, DESA’s Population Division, and the World Bank.

Brahimi in Syria: Lakhdar Brahimi, arrived in Damascus today, where he will hold talks with the Government, and with representatives of the Syrian opposition and civil society, and will also meet the UN Country team. Mr. Brahimi is accompanied by Mokhtar Lamani, who will remain in Damascus to assume his new function as Head of the Office of the Joint Special Representative for Syria in Damascus.

Disarmament: The UN Conference on Disarmament ended its 2012 session in Geneva today, ending in deadlock over its agenda, including the consideration of a fissile materials treaty. The UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs urged Member States to continue to seek progress, keeping in mind that their national security was not solely dependent on military might.