Middle East: the SG condemned the killing of four Israelis today in the West Bank, calling it a “cynical and blatant attempt to undermine the direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations starting tomorrow”. Tony Blair, Representative of the Middle East Quartet (which includes the UN), will be present at the talks in D.C.
DRC: in response to questions raised over whether the UN was aware of the rapes which occurred in eastern DRC earlier than mid-August, the SG’s Spokesperson said that the SG had dispatched ASG for Peacekeeping Operations Atul Khare to the DRC (where he is now) to specifically learn more about the events and the UN’s response. Khare is expected to brief the Security Council upon his return to NY next week.
MDG Champions: today the UN announced a group of UN Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace who will lend their voices as champions of the MDGs to call for action in advance of the September 20-22 Summit. The champions include Angelique Kidjo, Ronaldo, Her Majesty Queen Rania, Ricky Martin, Mia Farrow and Zinédine Zidane, among other celebrities and high-profile individuals from around the world.
Disabilities Conference: today marked the start of the three-day Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, under the theme of inclusion. The Convention, known as the first new human rights convention of the 21st century, entered into force in 2008. The U.S. joined as a signatory in July 2009.
Senior Appointment: today the SG has appointed Stephen Mathias (U.S.) as ASG for Legal Affairs, replacing Peter Taksøe-Jensen (Denmark).