Security Council Program for December: this afternoon Ambassador Rice briefed the press on the program of work of the Security Council in December under the U.S. Presidency.  The centerpiece of the agenda will be a high-level event on December 15 on Iraq, which Vice President Biden will Chair.  The meeting is expected to discuss recent political gains in the country.  Another debate will be held on December 20 on Resolutions 1820 and 1888 on women, peace and security, featuring briefings by SRSG Wallstrom and USG Le Roy.  For the first time in the Council’s history, a unique and informal youth event will be held on Tuesday, November 21 entitled “Voices of a New Generation”.  USUN is currently asking the world’s youth to submit video or written answers to the question, “What is the most vital challenge to international peace and security facing your generation?  Tell the UN Security Council what issue you believe deserves more attention, and explain why it is important.”  Council members will then discuss their reactions.  Briefings and consultations this month will be held on Afghanistan (a debate and briefing by SRSG de Mistura December 22), Iran (Sanctions Committee briefing December 10) and various consultations on Sudan (ICC briefing December 9 and Sanctions briefing December 16).  Several mandate renewals are also expected, and the Council will travel to D.C. December 13 where it will hold meetings at the State Department and White House.

Amos in Pakistan: Valerie Amos, USG for Humanitarian Affairs and ERC, arrived in Pakistan today on a three-day mission, designed to emphasize the UN’s continued, unified commitment to the humanitarian efforts and people there.  She plans to meet with the PM of Pakistan, other senior officials, and leaders of NGOs and will travel to Sindh and Khyber Paktunkhwa, the most areas most affected by the flooding.

Human Security Report: Today the Human Security Report 2009/2010, a Canadian University study funded by the Governments of Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK, was released at the UN.  Among the main findings, the report notes that 4 out of 5 of the deadliest conflicts (in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia) are being waged by Islamist insurgents, more countries are involved in war than at any time since WWII and there has been a 25% increase in the number of conflicts since 2003.  While these all present worrying trends, Professor and Project Director Andrew Mack noted that the 25% increase in conflicts is actually due to minor conflicts which actually kill very few people and the number of international wars since 1950 has declined dramatically, along with associated deaths and intensity of conflicts.  The finding that more countries are engaged in war than at any other time since WWII is somewhat skewed due to countries who have sent token forces to the U.S.-led wars in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Importantly, the Report gives credit to the UN for the decline in high-intensity conflicts since the Cold War, citing the surge in peacekeeping and use of sanctions.

West Darfur Clash: There was an outbreak of violence in West Darfur yesterday, which resulted in at least one death and several wounded. The SG deeply regrets the loss of life and is calling for a full investigation.  In his statement, he also stressed the need for the Government and armed movements to fully engage in the Doha negotiations to drive the peace process.

Appointments: today the SG announced the appointments of Brice Lalonde (France) and Elizabeth Thompson (Barbados) as Executive Coordinators for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

Iran: Speaking to the IAEA Board of Governor’s today, DG Amano said Iran has failed to  provide the cooperation needed to confirm that its nuclear program is for peaceful activities and does not include a military dimension, including access to all sites, equipment, persons and documents as requested.  He also added his regret that DPRK has not allowed inspectors in the country since April of 2009 and has not allowed IAEA to implement safeguards since 2002.

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