HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STÉPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2015
SECRETARY-GENERAL FOCUSES ON AFRICA AT PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE TALKS
- The Secretary-General has returned to New York, returning from the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris.
Before leaving France, he held a joint meeting with the Presidents of Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria, with whom he discussed the way forward for the climate change negotiations.
He then attended a high-level meeting on Africa and climate change, hosted by French President François Hollande. In his remarks, he stressed that Africa was particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, with much of its economy depending on a climate-sensitive natural resource base.
- He added that sustainable energies offered huge opportunities. The Secretary-General welcomed yesterday's announcement of the African Adaptation Initiative, as well as efforts to launch the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative.
- The Secretary-General is expected to talk to reporters about his trip on Thursday, at 12:30 pm, at the Security Council stakeout.
U.N. WEST AFRICA ENVOY MEETS BURKINA FASO’S PRESIDENT-ELECT
- On Burkina Faso, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, is today in the country’s capital, Ouagadougou. He met with the President-elect, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
- He also met with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission – known as the CENI-- and representatives of the European Union and African Union observation missions.
- Following the announcement of the preliminary results, Mr. Ibn Chambas congratulated the people of Burkina Faso, civil society, the transitional authorities, the Electoral Commission and all political actors on making these elections a success.
- He noted that the elections mark the end of the transition period in the country and said that the United Nations and the international community stand with Burkina Faso in this new era.
U.N. MISSION IN THE D.R.C. CONDUCTS OPERATION AGAINST ARMED GROUP IN NORTH KIVU
- The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) reports that it conducted an operation this morning against an Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) camp in coordination with the Congolese armed forces near Eringeti in North Kivu.
- The operation included the use of attack helicopters and artillery fire.
- The Mission has received reports of some 13 ADF killed in the operation.
SOUTH SUDAN: AID WORKERS REACH TOWNS IN LEER COUNTY FOR FIRST TIME SINCE OCTOBER
- On South Sudan, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that aid workers have reached Leer town and Thonyor in Leer County today for the first time since October, when they were forced to withdraw because of intense fighting.
- The relief teams brought survival kits, blankets and high energy biscuits for communities in need, and began to re-establish operations in the area.
U.N. MISSION: MORE THAN 800 IRAQIS KILLED IN NOVEMBER
- The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) released its casualty figures for November, saying that a total of 888 Iraqis were killed and another 1,237 were wounded in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict last month. That toll includes nearly 500 civilians killed.
- Ján Kubiš, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, said today that the Iraqi people continue to suffer from this vicious circle of violence, which has affected all walks of life in the country. He said that the United Nations deplores the continuing loss of life resulting from acts of terrorism and armed conflict in Iraq.
- Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) distributed urgently needed food assistance today, provided by the Government of Iraq, to nearly 70,000 people in the besieged cities of Haditha and Al Baghdadi in the central governorate of Anbar.
- Lack of steady access to these cities, located some 240 kilometres northwest of Baghdad, has left tens of thousands of people without humanitarian assistance for more than seven months. Haditha and Al Baghdadi have been under siege since March 2015, severely impairing humanitarian access and exacerbating humanitarian needs.
U.N. SYRIA ENVOY CONSULTS WITH EUROPEAN COUNTRIES IN NORWAY AND BELGIUM
- The Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, visited Oslo on Monday upon the invitation of the Foreign Minister of Norway for consultations on the Vienna process and on efforts currently undertaken jointly by the Norwegian, British and German Governments to call for an international donor conference on Syria next February.
- Norway has been providing support to the office of the Special Envoy through various initiatives, for which Mr. de Mistura is grateful.
- Mr. de Mistura is now in Brussels, where he is consulting with representatives of a number of European countries and European Union officials.
IN JORDAN, DEPUTY HUMANITARIAN CHIEF SEES CROSS-BORDER OPERATIONS
- The Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-wha Kang, arrived in Jordan yesterday, as part of her visit to the Middle East.
- Today, she travelled to Ramtha border, where she met with border authorities and operational partners. She also travelled to Azraq camp, where she met with aid organizations and refugees affected by the Syria crisis.
- Ms. Kang remarked on how gratifying it was to be able to see cross-border operations in action and noted her appreciation of the support of the Jordanian authorities in facilitating cross-border operations into southern Syria and their support to the refugees.
- On Wednesday, she is expected to meet with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan.
“SHARE YOUR WARMTH” CAMPAIGN AIMS TO RAISE MONEY FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES DURING WINTER
- The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) today started a campaign, called Share Your Warmth, which intends to raise $2 million to provide the most vulnerable Palestine refugees with the support they need to keep warm this winter.
- All donations to the campaign, lasting from today to the end of February 2016, will support the Agency’s winterization efforts, including shelter repairs and the provision of food and cash assistance to Palestine refugee families.
- The campaign is being launched in in 10 languages today - Arabic, English, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Malay and Bahasa Indonesia.
AMID WORSENING FOOD SECURITY, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME SCALES UP OPERATION IN YEMEN
- The World Food Programme (WFP) says that Yemen’s fragile food security is deteriorating fast. Humanitarian organizations need to be able to move freely and safely to provide assistance to reach all those in urgent need before they fall deeper into crisis.
- Since October, WFP operations have scaled up and currently reach more than 2.8 million people each month.
- In November, WFP reached all 10 governorates on the edge of famine and delivered much-needed food assistance to over 900,000 people.
- WFP is scaling up and aims to reach 5 million people every month by February 2016. To do this, WFP requires $320 million for the next six months, from November 2015 to April 2016.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY WELCOMES THAILAND’S GRANTING OF NATIONALITY TO 18,000 PEOPLE
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today welcomed an announcement by the Government of Thailand that more than 18,000 people have been granted nationality in the country in the last three years.
- With more than 10 million people believed to be stateless around the world, the Agency said that this marks an important further step in the global campaign to end statelessness by 2024.
- The number of stateless people in Thailand now stands at 443,862.
- Stateless people and those at risk of statelessness in Thailand have often not registered as Thai or have lost their connection with former countries of origin.
- Acknowledging the problem, Thai authorities established a legal framework for access to nationality.
- In recent years, UNHCR has worked with the authorities to reach out to affected communities while trying to streamline the application procedure to ensure the timely processing of eligible applicants.
ON WORLD AIDS DAY, SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS TO WORK ON ALL FRONTS TO END THE EPIDEMIC
- In his message marking World AIDS Day today, the Secretary-General applauded the staunch advocacy of activists, commended the persistent efforts of health workers and paid tribute to the courage of all those who have joined forces to fight for global progress against the disease.
- He noted that world leaders unanimously committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September.
- But the Secretary-General stressed that the window of opportunity to act is closing. To break the epidemic and prevent it from rebounding, he said, we must act on all fronts.
- For his part, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said that the good news is that we now have what it takes to break the AIDS epidemic and keep it from rebounding – to prevent substantially more new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths and to eliminate HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
- With the Sustainable Development Goals, he said that the world has entered a new era of innovation and integration. There is a greater understanding of how the global goals are interconnected and a better appreciation for moving forward together.