HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2015
AT SECURITY COUNCIL, SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES NEED TO BOLSTER WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT
- This morning, the Security Council adopted resolution 2242 unanimously, urging Member States, to assess strategies and resources needed in implementing the women, peace and security agenda.
- Addressing Council members at the debate marking the 15th anniversary of the resolution 1325, the Secretary-General stressed the need to step up efforts for women’s empowerment. He added that any reforms, including [of] the UN, must include gender equality and women’s leadership as central ingredients, and must be strongly grounded in human rights.
- The Secretary-General thanked Radhika Coomaraswamy, the lead author of the Global Study on the implementation of resolution 1325, as well as UN Women, Member States and civil society for their important contributions.
- Speaking after the Secretary-General, the Executive Director of UN Women highlighted that there is growing body of evidence that the greatest and most under-utilised tool we have for successfully building peace is the meaningful inclusion of women.
- This debate has 112 speakers, the largest number ever for a Security Council meeting.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO TRAVEL TO ITALY, SLOVAKIA
- The Secretary-General will travel to Italy and Slovakia this week.
- He will first travel to Rome where, on Thursday, he will address the Parliament on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of Italy’s accession to the United Nations. He is scheduled to meet with a number of governments officials during his visit, including the President and Foreign Minister of Italy.
- The Secretary-General will also deliver a keynote speech at the Third World Forum on Local Economic Development in Turin. He will then mark World Food Day at the Milan Expo and participate in events on ending hunger.
- Back in Rome, the Secretary-General will also visit a refugee center in the Italian capital.
- The Secretary-General will then travel on to the Slovak Republic where he is scheduled to meet with the President and Prime Minister as well as the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs.
- In Bratislava, he is scheduled to meet with students from the diplomatic academy at Comenius University. He will also receive an honorary doctorate from the university. The Secretary-General is scheduled to visit a centre hosting refugees in Gabcíkovo before returning on to New York.
U.N. AGENCY DEEPLY ALARMED BY STEPPED UP VIOLENCE, LOSS OF CIVILIAN LIFE IN OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
- The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said in a statement that it is deeply alarmed by the escalating violence and widespread loss of civilian life in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel. It says that only robust political action can prevent the further escalation of a situation that is affecting Palestinian and Israeli civilians.
- UNRWA reiterates the Secretary-General’s call on all sides to respect and protect the rights of children, in particular their inherent right to life. The Agency calls for maximum restraint to ensure the protection of civilians, in accordance with international law.
U.N. RELIEF WING: 40,000 PEOPLE FLEEING CLASHES, AIRSTRIKES IN NORTHERN SYRIA
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that between the 4 and 9 October, approximately 7,000 households, or up to 40,000 people, fled towns in northern rural Hama in Syria as a result of intensified conflict involving Government ground forces, non-State armed groups, and Russian airstrikes.
- Humanitarian partners estimate that at least 2,000 families from the total number of displaced have gathered in open spaces and that some 200 families have managed to find shelter with host families or rented homes. Most internally displaced people have fled to towns in Idleb governorate. Many of the displaced population have opted to remain in close proximity to their homes, in the hope of returning should fighting cease in coming days. Most IDP camps and settlements in the areas have reached their full capacity and cannot accommodate additional arrivals. The most urgent humanitarian needs include basic food items, basic supplies, shelter and water as well as hygiene kits.
U.N. AGENCY CONCERNED BY RECENT ATTACKS ON DIPLACED CHADIANS, PROVIDES PROTECTION TO THOUSANDS FORCED TO FLEE BY BOKO HARAM
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is concerned over the recent attack at the Kousseri site for internally displaced Chadians in Baga Sola. These attacks have been condemned by the Secretary-General.
- UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies have been trying to help provide protection and assistance to tens of thousands of people displaced from their homes by the conflict with Boko Haram in that area.
- The agency says that the attack on Baga Sola has shown how vulnerable and isolated the displaced are in the lake area. But it welcomed the government’s determination to improve security.
AHEAD OF FINAL PRESIDENTIAL POLL RESULTS, SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES CONTINUED PEACEFUL ATMOSPHERE
- In a statement issued yesterday afternoon welcoming the peaceful conduct of the first round of the presidential election in Guinea, the Secretary-General said that as the country awaits the final results, the Secretary-General encourages all political leaders and national stakeholders to maintain the peaceful atmosphere that prevailed on election day and to refrain from any statements that may lead to violence and unrest.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS OUT AGAINST SIMULTANEOUS SUICIDE ATTACKS BY BOKO HARAM IN CAMEROON
- In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General condemned the two simultaneous suicide attacks in Kangaleri, Cameroon, that took place on 11 October by suspected Boko Haram groups.
- Since July 2015, the Northern State of Cameroon has witnessed fifteen separate suicide attacks, causing the death of scores of civilians. The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Cameroon. There is no justification for such indiscriminate violence and killings.
- The Secretary-General reaffirms his solidarity with the people of Cameroon. He reiterates the United Nations support to the Cameroonian government and the Lake Chad Basin countries in their fight against terrorism, grounded on international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.
AFGHANISTAN: SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES RIGOROUS, PROMPT INVESTIGATION INTO KILLING OF U.N. STAFF MEMBER
- In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General urged the local authorities in Afghanistan to undertake a rigorous and prompt investigation into the circumstances and motives behind the killing yesterday of Toorpaki Ulfat, a UN staff member with the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
- The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the family of Ms. Ulfat, a much valued colleague, staunch human rights defender and friend to many in the United Nations and across Afghanistan.
- United Nations staff in Afghanistan work under hazardous and trying conditions to support the Afghan people in building a secure and more prosperous future. The Secretary-General reiterates the Organisation’s commitment to continue this support.
MARKING DAY FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION, SECRETARY-GENERAL SPOLIGHTS ROLE OF TRADITIONAL, INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE IN ADAPTION EFFORTS
- Today is the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction and in his message for the day, the Secretary-General stresses the importance of traditional and indigenous knowledge in helping many societies live in harmony with nature and adapt to disruptive weather events.
- He added that local knowledge of the impacts of urbanization, population growth and eco-system decline and greenhouse gas emissions is especially important in an era when more and more disasters are climate and weather-related.
U.N. GLOBAL ADVOCATE DANIEL CRAIG SEES DEMINING EFFORTS FIRST HAND IN CYPRUS
- The UN Global Advocate for the Elimination of Mines and Explosive Hazards, actor Daniel Craig, is in Cyprus to visit the UN peacekeeping mission there.
- This is his first mission since he was appointed to this role by the Secretary-General.
- Yesterday, he visited an active minefield and saw first-hand the difficult and risky work involved in manual demining and explosive ordnance disposal by UN peacekeepers from Cambodia.
- In the past decade, UN de-miners have removed some 27,000 landmines from the buffer zone in Cyprus.
U.N. AVIATION AGENCY WELCOMES DUTCH REPORT ON MALAYSIA AIRLINES TRAGEDY IN UKRAINE
- The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) today welcomed the Dutch Safety Board’s accident investigation final report on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. The head of ICAO’s Council said that it will review the report’s recommendations and respond as needed.
- In the weeks after the MH17 tragedy, the ICAO set up a special task force on risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones. The Task Force recommended that ICAO should establish an online system where States could share their conflict zone information more effectively, and where the public could also access it. That site was launched in April.
ON 70TH ANNIVERSARY, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, GIZA PYRAMIDS, AND EMPIRE STATE BUILDING TO ‘TURN U.N. BLUE’
- The Department of Public Information (DPI) has issued a press release on a global campaign for the UN’s 70th anniversary commemoration.
- As part of the campaign, which is called ‘Turn the World UN Blue,’ more than 160 landmarks in nearly 50 countries across the world will be lit up in UN blue on 24 October.
- Some of the landmarks include the Opera House in Sydney, the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio, as well as the Empire State Building, and the UN headquarters in New York. Cristina Gallach, the Under-Secretary-General for Public Information, will brief reporters on this next Monday.
***The guest at today’s noon briefing was John Ging, Director of the Operational Division at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He spoke to reporters about his recent visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan.