World AIDS Day: In a statement marking World AIDS Day, the SG called for the “three zeros,” as in zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero discrimination. Michel Sidibé of UNAIDS explained that while it’s important to recognize that the number of new HIV infections and deaths have dropped by nearly 20%, roughly 30 million people have died and 10 million still wait for treatment. A statement issued by Ambassador Rice highlighted the U.S.’ $4 billion pledge for 2011-2013 for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria under the President’s Global Health Initiative.
SG in Kazakhstan: At the OSCE Summit in Kazakhstan today, the SG spoke about issues concerning Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan, calling leaders to collaborate and ensure sustainable transitions. In regards to Afghanistan, he said he would welcome more OSCE involvement in supporting national programs, and indicated that the UN will launch a Regional Program for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries next year, designed to facilitate cooperation on transnational threats such as drug trafficking. On the sidelines of the Summit, he held a bilateral with Secretary Clinton and is currently flying back to NY.
Afghan Elections: Staffan de Mistura, the SRSG for Afghanistan, welcomed the final certification of the September 18th Wolesi Jirga election results, announced by the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) today.
DRC: MONUSCO has launched Operation “Rudia Umbrella” to address the activities of illegal armed groups like the LRA by deploying more peacekeepers and increasing patrols across sensitive areas. Operation Protective Shield ended on Tuesday in South Kivu, and MONUSCO noted its effectiveness in recovering weapons from armed groups.