UN chief to chair international meeting on Libya next week

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8 April 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Egypt next week to chair a meeting of regional organizations convened in an effort to ensure continued coordination of the international response to the crisis in Libya, his spokesperson said today.

The meeting on Thursday will be held at the headquarters of the League of Arab States in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Senior officials expected to attend include the League’s Secretary-General, Amre Moussa; the Chairman of the Commission of the African Union, Jean Ping; the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu; and Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

“The objective of the meeting will be to exchange views and enhance coordination among the participating organizations in addressing the current crisis in Libya,” said UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky.

Next Tuesday, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Libya, Abdel Elah al-Khatib, will represent the UN at the first meeting of the Libya Contact Group in Doha, Qatar.

The UN delegation will also include representatives of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The Contact Group was established at the London Conference on Libya on 31 March.

In a related development, OCHA reported today that the unrest in Libya continues to impede response to the humanitarian crisis in the North African country, where thousands are in need of life-saving aid and many others require evacuation.

The UN continues to call for a temporary cessation of hostilities to allow aid workers to deliver assistance to those in need.

A vessel chartered by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) was able to dock yesterday at the port city of Misrata, the scene of some of the worst fighting, and has unloaded supplies that will cover urgent medical needs for 50,000 people for a month.

More than 600 tons of food – enough to feed more than 40,000 people for a month – is also on board the ship and will be distributed in the coming days, according to OCHA.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that there is an urgent need for medical supplies and personnel, drinking water, food and other relief items for people in Misrata, Brega, Zintan and surrounding areas, OCHA said.