HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 20 APRIL 2015
SOMALIA: SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES OUTRAGE AT DEADLY ATTACK CLAIMING LIVES OF U.N. STAFF
- In a statement attributable to the Spokesman, the Secretary-General expresses his outrage at the attack this morning on a UN vehicle in Garowe, Somalia's Puntland region. The attack resulted in the death of seven people, including four UN staff, and injury to several others.
- The Secretary-General conveys his deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victims, and wishes the injured a speedy recovery. He condemns in the strongest terms this attack against UN staff who are working to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the people of Somalia, including the country's children, many of whom are in desperate need.
- The Secretary-General reiterates that terrorist attacks will not erode the commitment of the whole United Nations family to supporting the people and Government of Somalia in rebuilding peace and prosperity. He expresses his thanks for the dedication of UN staff serving in Somalia, and reiterates that such barbaric attacks will not diminish the United Nations' resolve to continue working for the cause of peace in the country.
- Also on Somalia, UNICEF’s Executive Director Anthony Lake condemned the attack as well. He called them heroes who had dedicated their lives to helping the children of Somalia.
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, also condemned the attack which showed, he said, a complete disregard for the lives of people working on the humanitarian and development needs of the people of Somalia.
CURRENT TRAGIC EVENTS UNDERSCORE URGENT NEED FOR FIRST WORLD HUMANITARIAN SUMMIT – SECRETARY-GENERAL
- The Secretary-General briefed the Member States on the first World Humanitarian Summit, which will be held in Istanbul on 26-27 May 2016.
- He said that today’s headlines have brought new reminders of why the Summit is needed. He said that the death of hundreds of migrants off the coast of Libya is not only deeply saddening – it should shock the global conscience.
- The Secretary-General said that this truly titanic humanitarian tragedy highlights yet again the need to address the plight of migrants, to crack down on the criminals who exploit the most vulnerable, and to strengthen rescue capacity in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. He urged the European Union to show solidarity by accelerating its support.
- In a statement we issued yesterday, the Secretary-General made clear that the international response to this must be comprehensive and collective. The challenge concerns not only improved rescue at sea and protection. It is how to ensure the right to asylum of the growing number of people worldwide fleeing war who need refuge and safe haven.
- The Secretary-General added that the World Humanitarian Summit must focus the world’s attention on people caught in crisis, especially those that may have receded from the spotlight but where suffering remains acute.
LIBYA: SECRETARY-GENERAL STRONGLY CONDEMNS BARBARIC KILLING OF ETHIOPIANS BY DAESH AFFILIATES
In a statement attributable to the Spokesman, the Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the barbaric killing of a number of Ethiopian nationals by individuals affiliated with Daesh in Libya. He utterly deplores the targeting of people on the basis of their religious affiliation. The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives as a result of this act and to the Government of Ethiopia.
The Secretary-General reaffirms that the ongoing UN-facilitated dialogue is the best chance for Libyans to overcome the crisis in their country. He encourages the parties to make the necessary compromises to reach an agreement. Only by working together will Libyans be able to start building a state and institutions that can confront terrorism.
AS LATEST ROUND OF U.N.-BACKED LIBYA TALKS WRAP UP, ENVOY ASKS PARTIES TO FINALIZE AGREEMENT
- The latest round of UN-facilitated talks on Libya wrapped up in Morocco yesterday. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Bernardino Leon, said at a press conference that Libyan parties participating in the talks are now expected to consult with their constituents on the draft agreement.
- He added that the mission has asked them to finalize the agreement in the coming weeks. The mission is currently planning to facilitate parallel talks with armed groups, in an effort to make sure all Libyan actors are involved in finding a solution to Libya’s political and security crisis.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL ISSUES CALL FOR POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA TO INCLUDE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS
- The Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today addressed the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, calling on Member States to make sure the post-2015 development agenda includes the rights of indigenous peoples.
- Now is the time for indigenous peoples to be at the forefront of a transformative agenda that leaves no one behind, he said.
U.N. OFFICIALS UPDATE SECURITY COUNCIL ON LATEST SITUATION IN SYRIA’S YARMOUK CAMP
- In its closed consultations this morning, the Security Council heard an update on the situation in Syria, including the plight of the civilians who have been affected by the fighting in Yarmouk camp.
- The Deputy Special Envoy for Syria, Ramzy Ezzeldine Ramzy, briefed Council members, as did the Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl.
AID AGENCIES RUSHING AID TO MORE THAN 90,000 IN IRAQ’S ANBAR – U.N.
- Humanitarian agencies there are rushing to provide assistance to more than 90,000 people fleeing clashes in Anbar Governorate in Iraq.
- The priority is delivering life-saving assistance to people who are fleeing, with food, water and shelter highest on the list of priorities.
- Civilians are fleeing Ramadi, Albu Farraj, Albu Aetha, and other towns, and are moving towards Khaldiya, Ameriya al Fallujah, as well as Baghdad. Most of these people are moving on foot.
- The World Food Programme (WFP) is distributing rations, sufficient for three days, to more than 41,000 people in Ramadi, and has already distributed rations to more than 8,750 newly displaced people in Baghdad. Meanwhile, their colleagues at UNHCR have distributed kits with key relief items to approximately 1,000 families in Ameriyat al Fallujah and Baghdad, with plans to distribute another 2,000 kits in coming days.
- UNICEF has distributed kits in the last few days to cover the immediate needs of 85,000 people, including adult hygiene items and 12 litres of water.
U.N. MIDDLE EAST ENVOY CALLS AGREEMENT TO RELEASE TAX REVENUES ‘IMPORTANT STEP IN RIGHT DIRECTION’
- The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, today welcomed the announcement on Saturday that an agreement has been reached that will allow Israel to release tax revenues, collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
- He said that withholding these revenues for over four months has undermined the stability of the Palestinian institutions and the ability of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's government to pay public sector salaries and provide needed services. He added that this agreement is an important step in the right direction.
U.N. RELIEF WING WELCOMES SAUDI ARABIA’S DONATION YEMEN
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) welcome the announcement of a $274 million donation by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for humanitarian operations in Yemen, which will support the needs of 7.5 million Yemenis in the coming three months.
- This funding will provide urgently-needed lifesaving assistance including food assistance for 2.6 million people, clean water and sanitation for 5 million people, protection services to 1.4 million people and nutrition support to nearly 79,000 people.
- In the past days, the UN and partners have distributed drugs and vaccines to critical areas, provided clean water and water purification tools to areas hosting displaced people, and started to distribute food supplies aimed at reaching 105,000 people.
- However, access is severely constrained and humanitarian pauses and increased land and sea access are necessary to ensure aid, fuel and other supplies can continue to enter the country and reach the areas where they are most needed.
BAN KI-MOON BECOMES FIRST U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL TO SPEAK AT WORLD BANK’S MEETINGS ON DEVELOPMENT, INTERNATIONAL FINANCE
- Over the weekend, the Secretary-General became the first UN Secretary-General to speak to both the Development Committee and the International Monetary and Finance Committee at the spring meetings for the World Bank Group and IMF in Washington, D.C.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ‘BARBARIC’ ATTACK IN AFGHANISTAN’S JALALABAD
- In a statement issued over the weekend attributable to the Spokesman, the Secretary-General condemned in the strongest terms the barbaric attack carried out in Jalalabad.
- He called for those responsible for the act to be swiftly brought to justice.
GUATEMALA: U.N. READY TO RESPOND FAVOURABLY TO REQUEST FOR FURTHER EXTENSION OF INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION AGAINST IMPUNITY
- In response to questions on the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), the Spokesman said that the United Nations is ready to respond favourably to a request for a further extension, as the Commission has been doing an excellent job investigating criminal networks with ties to government structures in Guatemala.
- The results of its investigations into criminal activity in Guatemala's customs authorities, revealed last week, are a case in point.
- The Commission was extended on three occasions by means of an exchange of letters, which the Government of Guatemala initiates, and we are positively disposed to continue helping Guatemala to investigate, prosecute and dismantle criminal organizations and strengthen the rule of law.
HAITI: INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT BY U.N. BLUE HELMETS COMPLETED
- In response to questions on the issue of the investigation into conduct of Formed Police Units in Haiti, the Spokesman said that the investigation report into allegations of serious misconduct implicating members of a Formed Police Unit deployed to the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti has been completed.
- The report found that the two members of the Formed Police Unit (FPU) in question used unauthorized and excessive force in response to demonstrations. No injuries or deaths resulted from their use of force.
- These actions were found to be incompatible with the highest standards of conduct by UN personnel.
- The Mission is in the process of repatriating the two officers and the platoon commander on disciplinary grounds in consultation with the Police Contributing Country (PCC) concerned and the authorities of the host government.
U.N. TO BRING TOGETHER MEMBER STATES, FAITH LEADERS TO DISCUSS WAYS TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE, RECONCILIATION
- Tomorrow, the General Assembly President, the Secretary-General and the High-Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC) will convene a two-day thematic debate on promoting tolerance and reconciliation.
- The two-day meeting will take place here at the UN Headquarters and offer a platform for Member States and faith leaders from around the world, along with other stakeholders, to discuss ways to address the challenges of countering radicalization and extremism.
- The General Assembly President, the Secretary-General and the High Representative are expected to speak to you at a brief stakeout on 22 April.
BARBADOS BECOMES 75TH MEMBER STATE TO PAY U.N. DUES IN FULL
- The Government of Barbados has become the 75th Member to pay its U.N. regular budget dues in full.