Libya: tomorrow, the Human Rights Council will address the human rights situation in Libya during a special session, where it will consider a resolution which could mandate an international investigation into the abuses. President Obama announced yesterday that he is dispatching Secretary Clinton to Geneva this weekend to work with other foreign ministers on the situation and attend a HRC meeting. Today the State Department said it supports expelling Libya from the HRC, and other officials have suggested that the U.S. would support an investigation into the violence as well. Human Rights First has called on Clinton to lead the effort to expel Libya from the Council, as well as impose sanctions, enforce a no-fly zone and arms embargo, impose targeted sanctions on Qaddafi and his family, and suspend all U.S. exports to Libya (except humanitarian and medical supplies). OCHA is currently coordinating with other agencies to assess the need for food assistance, while UN security officials are evaluating security conditions and looking into the possibility of the evacuation of non-essential UN personnel.
Egypt: Today USG Pascoe is departing for Cairo with other senior UN officials, where they will meet Egyptian officials, civil society and political party representatives, as well as the SG of the League of Arab States. During the visit, the mission will also work with the UN Country Team in Egypt to discuss socio-economic issues, electoral assistance, and human rights.
Mideast Peace Process: This morning, Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Council on the latest developments, expressing his concern with the continued stalemate and worry that if the impasse persists, achievements made could unravel. He also urged Israel to freeze all settlement activity. Meanwhile, Quartet envoys are meeting separately with the parties and representatives of the Arab Peace Initiative.
Côte d’Ivoire: UNOCI is reporting renewed fighting between the Defense and Security Forces and the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles, urging all parties to refrain and resolve the post-electoral crisis. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, released a report today, commissioned by the HRC, on in Côte d’Ivoire up to January 31, 2011. Significantly, the report highlights “a continuous pattern of serious human rights violations since the presidential elections” and recommends actions to hold perpetrators to account.
Tunisia: the UN mission which traveled to Tunisia in the aftermath of the government overthrow has just issued a report that stresses that human rights must be an integral part of the country’s transition and future, adding that a framework should be established which includes a separation of power between the executive, legislative and judicial branches. The report outlines 10 areas requiring national and international attention in the lead-up to elections and after, on topics such as participation in political affairs, accountability and justice.
UN Women: Tonight, the SG will attend the celebration of the launch of UN Women, where he plans to emphasize his support for the new agency and underline the UN’s commitment in investing in women because it’s both the right and smart thing to do.