HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2015
SECRETARY-GENERAL REQUESTS INTERNAL OVERSIGHT OFFICE TO LAUNCH AUDIT FOLLOWING ACTIONS BY U.S. AUTHORITIES
In light of the recent accusations announced by US federal authorities, the Secretary-General is requesting that the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) launch an audit of the interaction between the United Nations and the Global Sustainability Foundation and the Sun Kian Ip Group, and the use of any funds received from these two entities.
The Secretary-General is concerned about the serious nature of the allegations, which go to the heart of the work of the United Nations and its Member States.
- The Secretary-General reaffirms that there will be no tolerance for any corruption at the United Nations or in the name of the United Nations.
- He is committed to ensuring that funds received from such private entities were handled properly according to relevant UN rules and regulations.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER
- The Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, is in Jeddah today, where he met with Adel al-Jubeir, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia.
U.N. HAITI ENVOY SAYS FUTURE ELECTIONS SHOULD BE ADMINISTERED BY NATIONAL AUTHORITIES
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, told the Security Council that the current elections would be the last ones where the level of assistance provided by the UN Mission in the country would be necessary. She said that future elections should be administered by the Haitian authorities with targeted, limited technical and operational assistance from UN agencies and international partners.
- Ms. Honoré also said that, to allow for an orderly and sustainable transfer of these and other activities currently undertaken by the UN Mission, MINUSTAH, the Secretary-General had recommended the extension by one year of the Mission’s mandate.
- She also said that she was confident that Haiti was now moving resolutely towards the renewal of its democratic institutions and the re-establishment of institutional balance, which are crucial for the consolidation of democracy and stability.
U.N. MISSION IN SOUTH SUDAN CONDEMNS INCIDENT IN WHICH PATROL WAS STOPPED, CALLS FOR UNFETTERED ACCESS
- A patrol from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was travelling yesterday from Juba to Wonduruba in Central Equatoria when it was stopped by Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers at a check-point close to Wonduruba.
- UNMISS military and civilian personnel were ordered to exit the vehicle and were physically assaulted by the soldiers. In view of the highly hostile attitude, the patrol turned back to Juba.
- The UN Mission condemns such hostile acts and calls on the Government of South Sudan to investigate this incident immediately and hold those responsible accountable.
- The Mission also urges the Government of South Sudan to reiterate clear orders to all concerned to give unfettered access to UN personnel, as per the Status of Forces Agreement signed with between the UN and the Government of South Sudan.
U.N. LIBYA ENVOY SET TO ANNOUNCE MEMBERS OF UNITY GOVERNMENT
- Bernardino León, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, is set to announce the members of a unity government for Libya shortly.
- Speaking to the press in Skhirat, Morocco, yesterday, the Special Representative said that the government would be announced today.
- Mr. León affirmed that the agreement among the Libyan parties is final, as was said clearly by the international community last Friday, and he predicted that it will be supported by a huge majority of Libyans.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF EXTREMELY CONCERNED BY VIOLENCE IN OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, said today that he was extremely concerned about increased tensions and violence in Occupied Palestinian Territory, and stressed that calm can only be restored on the basis of respect for human rights.
- In recent days, he said, four Israelis and five Palestinians have already lost their lives, while hundreds of others have been injured.
- The High Commissioner said that the escalating tensions indicate a general sense of growing frustration and despair resulting from the situation of prolonged occupation, exacerbated by recent restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on Palestinian worshippers wishing to access the Al-Aqsa compound, the ongoing settlement expansion and settler violence, and a general lack of accountability in cases such as the Duma arson attack.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO AFGHAN REFUGEES, LONGEST DISPLACEMENT IN HISTORY
- The UN Refugee Agency’s Member States today reaffirmed their commitment towards seeking lasting solutions for millions of Afghan refugees in a bid to end one of the longest displacement situations in history.
- They pledged to support Afghanistan in creating the conditions necessary for refugees to return home and reintegrate in their country.
- High Commissioner Antonio Guterres said that to ignore Afghanistan would be dangerous, regardless of the urgency and scale of other new crises, stressing that it is clear that gradually resolving old crises is absolutely crucial to avoid becoming entirely overwhelmed with new ones.
- There are some 2.6 million Afghan refugees worldwide, most of them in the two neighbouring countries, Pakistan and Iran. Many of them are second- or third-generation refugees who have never lived in Afghanistan.
MEXICO: HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF SUGGEST STRENGTHENING ATTORNEY-GENERAL OFFICES TO PROPERLY INVESTIGATE VIOLATIONS
- The High Commissioner for Human Rights on Wednesday wrapped up a visit to Mexico, where he met with the President, Foreign Minister, the head of the federal police, and others.
- Speaking to the press, the High Commissioner said that progress has been made towards building a solid human rights framework.
- But he said that many of the people he spoke to have painted a very bleak and consistent picture of a society wracked by high levels of insecurity, disappearances and killings, continuing harassment of human rights defenders and journalists, violence against women, and terrible abuses of migrants and refugees transiting the country on their way to the United States.
- The High Commissioner noted that Mexico has at the very least 26,000 missing people, with new cases occurring every day.
- He suggested that the Attorney-General’s offices across the country be strengthened to ensure the proper investigation of human rights violations, as well as to strengthen the capacity of the police to carry out their public security functions in line with human rights obligations.
- He also suggested that a time frame be adopted for the withdrawal of the military from public security functions.
FIRST FULL WEEK WITHOUT NEW REPORTED EBOLA CASES
SINCE MARCH 2014
- There were no new Ebola cases reported for the week that ended on Sunday, 4 October. This is the first complete week with no new cases reported since March 2014.
- While this news is very encouraging, there are still a number of high risk contacts.
- Previous experience indicates that at the tail end of an Ebola outbreak, we may see weeks with zero transmission interspersed with flare-ups.
- Everyone involved in the response must remain vigilant.
SECRETARY GENERAL APPOINTS HEAD OF U.N. MISSION IN THE D.R.C.
- Today, the Secretary-General is announcing the appointment of Maman S. Sidikou of Niger as his Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
- Mr. Sidikou succeeds Martin Kobler of Germany. The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Kobler’s important contribution and dedicated service for the past two years in supporting the implementation of MONUSCO’s mandate.
- Mr. Sidikou brings vast experience to his new position, with more than 25 years in his country’s domestic and foreign services, the United Nations and as a senior African Union (AU) official. He is currently serving as the AU Special Representative for Somalia (SRCC) and Head of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). More information is available about Mr. Sidikou in my office.
CAMEROON BECOMES 129TH MEMBER STATES TO PAY DUES IN FULL
- For the honour roll, Cameroon has paid its regular budget dues in full, becoming the 129th Member State to do so.