SG: On Monday, April 4th, the SG will open the fifth meeting of the Global Colloquium of University Presidents at the University of Pennsylvania, where approximately 30 university presidents plan to attend. The theme of this year’s colloquium event is: “Empowering Women to Change the World: What Universities and the UN Can Do.”
Libya: In regards to whether SCR. 1973 allows the international community to arm the opposition or rebels in Libya, the Spokesperson explained that ultimately, SCR. 1973 was passed by the Security Council and thus, it’s up to the Council members to determine how it’s implemented. Also, according to Turtle Bay, Qaddafi selected Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, former Nicaraguan FM and PGA, to represent him at the UN.
U.S. at the HRC: Mark Toner, Acting Deputy Spokesman at State, issued a statement yesterday commending the work of the HRC during its latest session, noting concrete and direct efforts to address human rights issues. He also pointed out more work which needs to be done which the U.S. intends to address: 1) end the Council’s biased and disproportionate focus on Israel; and 2) thwart the efforts to elect as Council members governments that clearly don’t merit membership given their human rights records. Hence, the U.S. has decided to pursue a second term on the Council at the HRC elections in the GA in May 2012. In his statement Toner said, “In our two years on the Council, we’ve not been happy with every outcome, and have firmly denounced Council actions we disagree with, but the Council has made important strides.” The State Department also issued a fact sheet yesterday on “Key U.S. Accomplishments at the UN Human Rights Council”.
Sudan: David Gressly, the UN Regional Coordinator for Southern Sudan, explained that ongoing violence across Southern Sudan remains a major UNMIS concern. In particular, there’s limited access by UNMIS to northern Jonglei State where fighting continues due to freshly laid landmines and frequent misunderstandings with the SPLA. Gressly noted that although there’s a provision in the UNMIS mandate for the protection of civilians under imminent threat, the primary responsibility still rests with the Government of Southern Sudan. With this in mind, the UNMIS Security Council mandate is set to expire in April with the expectation that it will be extended to the end of the CPA interim period on July 9th.
Briefings Tomorrow: At 10 AM, the former 63rd PGA will brief the press. Afterwards, UNAIDS will hold a press conference at 10:30am to launch the SG’s “Uniting for universal access: towards zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths”. The SG will officially launch the report with UNAIDS ED Michel Sidibé tomorrow in Nairobi. At noon, the Capital Master Plan will be discussed.