The SG: The SG arrived in Washington DC this morning. Addressing the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, he noted that the global influence of the Americas as a whole was on the rise. Mr. Ban is due to have separate meetings with members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and will meet with the new US Secretary of State, John Kerry on Thursday. Asked about the SG’s message for Washington, the Spokesperson said that the SG will emphasize the importance of the United States to the United Nations and vice versa. ECOSOC: PR of Colombia and President of ECOSOC, Ambassador Néstor Osorio, briefed the press today. He noted that the theme of how to integrate the three pillars of sustainable development – economic development, social equity, and environmental protection – into the post-2015 development agenda will be at the center of July’s session in Geneva. Other sessions will also focus on food security and nutrition, ECOSOC’s relationship with other Bretton Woods institutions, amongst other topics. DSG: DSG Jan Eliasson will participate in an event sponsored by UN Women and the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign on Thursday to draw attention to the upcoming CSW. The event itself will call for firm global action to end all forms of violence against women and girls and will coincide with events around the world by One Billion Rising, a civil society campaign focusing on ending gender-based violence. Sahel: The SG’s Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, and the SRSG for West Africa, Said Djinnit, began a three-day joint visit to the region. While there, the two will meet with the Heads of States of Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, and Niger, as well as with representatives of civil society, in order to grapple with the current challenges facing the Sahel region, including the situation in Mali. Burundi: The SC this morning extended the mandate of the UN political mission in Burundi until February 15, 2014. The aim of the extension is to continue to support peace and long-term development in the country, as well as to increase efforts towards tackling corruption and allowing individuals the freedom to organize ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2015.