New non-permanent members elected to UN Security Council; UN condemns bomb explosion in Beirut; UNSC demands end to external support to armed groups in the DRC, Six Indian UN peacekeepers wounded in eastern DRC;
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  • In the elections to the UN Security Council, Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea and Rwanda were elected as non-permanent members by the General Assembly for two-year terms beginning January 01, 2013. The newly-elected members will replace Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa whose terms end on December 31, 2012.1

    In another development, the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council condemned the bomb explosion in Beirut, Lebanon that resulted in numerous deaths and injuries. They also urged all political actors in the country to maintain their commitment to Lebanese unity.2

    According to reports, the UNSC reinstated its condemnation of and demanded an end to all external support to the armed groups especially the March 23 Movement (M23) which have been destabilising the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The Council also called upon all countries in the region to condemn the M23 as well as other armed groups and to cooperate with the Congolese authorities to disarm these groups.3 Meanwhile, six Indian peacekeepers serving with the UN Organisation Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) were wounded when their patrol was ambushed in North Kivu province of DRC.4

    In other developments, at the Convention on Biological Diversity that concluded last week agreed to double biodiversity related funding to developing countries to enable implementation of goals on conservation. All parties also reed to substantially increase domestic expenditures for biodiversity protection by 2015.5

    Meanwhile, a report released by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific noted that India’s growth is likely to slow down to 5.9 per cent in 2012-13 from 6.5 per cent in 2011-12.6