HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
TUESDAY, 6 OCTOBER 2015
SECRETARY-GENERAL SHOCKED, DEEPLY TROUBLED TO LEARN OF ALLEGATIONS OF FORMER HEAD OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY
- Regarding the case of former General Assembly President John Ashe, the Spokesman said that we had been made aware of the serious allegations this morning.
- The Secretary-General was shocked and deeply troubled to learn this morning of the allegations against Mr. Ashe, which go to the heart of the integrity of the United Nations.
- The current President of the General Assembly, Mogens Likketoft, is scheduled to speak to the press this afternoon.
SOUNDING ALARM ON DEADLY WEST BANK INCIDENTS, SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION BY BOTH SIDES
In a statement, the Secretary-General says that he is profoundly alarmed by the growing number of deadly incidents in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The last few days of clashes, which resulted in the death of four Palestinians, including a 13-year old boy, and hundreds injured, are yet another worrisome sign of violence potentially spiralling out of control. The Secretary-General condemns the killings and looks to the Government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation into the incidents, including whether the use of force was proportional. He does not believe that the demolition of Palestinian houses or the construction of new Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land will do anything other than inflame tensions still further.
The escalation of violent incidents underscores the need for urgent action by both sides. The Secretary-General welcomes the commitment by Palestinian and Israeli officials to work together to curb the violence, including through continued security cooperation.
The Secretary-General reiterates the United Nations readiness to work with all parties to create the conditions on the ground, in the region and internationally, for a political horizon including meaningful negotiations towards a two-state solution.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN OFFICIAL REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO HELPING VULNERABLE PEOPLE IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the security situation in Bangui in the Central African Republic reportedly remains relatively calm with more people seen on the streets as commercial activities continue to resume. Movement restrictions for humanitarians are still in place however.
- The Humanitarian Coordinator, Aurélien Agbénonci, reiterated today that humanitarian organizations are committed to staying and delivering assistance to vulnerable people in the country.
- He said that despite security constraints, humanitarian actors continue to provide assistance to the affected population.
- OCHA estimates that with 37,416 newly displaced people, the total number of people displaced in Bangui now stands at almost 65,000.
AID AGENCIES STRUGGLE TO REACH THOUSANDS WHO HAVE FLED FIGHTING IN AFGHANISTAN’S KUNDUZ – U.N. RELIEF WING
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that thousands of people have reportedly fled Afghanistan’s Kunduz and an estimated 8,500 families have been displaced in the north-east of Afghanistan as a result of the fighting.
- Lack of access to Kunduz is making it difficult to quantify needs, which are expected to include food, shelter, water, health and protection services.
- Aid agencies are concerned about the continued lack of access in Kunduz, where yesterday there was fighting between armed groups and Government forces, the airport was closed to civilian aircraft, and there was no road access into the city because of roadside bombs, threat of ambushes, and roadblocks.
- The Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien has stressed that humanitarians are not meant to be a target and that we are determined to carry out our work.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY, MIGRATION ORGANIZATION LAUNCH JOINT PLAN TO HELP 103,000 PEOPLE FLEEING YEMEN IN 2015
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization on Migration (IOM) today launched a plan to respond to the crisis in Yemen to deliver protection and humanitarian aid to some 103,000 people who will have fled the conflict by the end of this year.
- The two agencies estimate this number could rise to 202,000 by the end of 2016.
- The plan unveiled today will cost $36 million from this month until the end of the year and could cost a further $119 million next year.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO DEPART FOR PERU, BOLIVIA
- The Secretary-General will travel to Lima, Peru on Thursday, 8 October, to participate in the 2015 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund. From there, he will proceed on Saturday, 10 October, to Cochabamba, Bolivia, for the "Peoples World Conference on Climate Change and Defence of Life".
- While in Lima, he will meet with the President of Peru, Ollanta Humala, as well as with the President of the World Bank Group, Dr. Jim Yong Kim.
- He will also attend several events, including a Development Committee meeting on ‘The World Bank Group Support for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, a Climate Ministerial Meeting and a Small States Forum.
- The Secretary-General will leave Lima on the evening of Saturday, 10 October, for Cochabamba, Bolivia, where he will address the "Peoples World Conference on Climate Change and Defence of Life". The event will emphasize the views of indigenous peoples and those involved in social movements.
- The Secretary-General will also visit development projects in local communities, alongside the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales.
- The Secretary-General will be in New York on Monday, 12 October.
U.N. ENVOY SPOTLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT TO PUT MALI PEACE PROCESS BACK ON TRACK
- The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Mali, Mongi Hamdi, this morning told the Security Council that the difficulties of these last two months in the country show the importance of determined international engagement to prevent escalation and bring the peace process back on track.
- While regretting the delays in the implementation of some provisions of the peace agreement, he stressed that the concerted action of the UN mission (MINUSMA), the Government of Mali and the international Mediation was successful in bringing the parties back to the logic of the peace agreement.
- The process is back on track, he said, adding that vigilance was nonetheless necessary. He also said that he was convinced that promoting the implementation of the peace agreement was the best opportunity for Mali to address its multiple challenges.
EBOLA CONTINUES TO BE GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY – WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
- Following a new meeting of its Emergency Committee, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Margaret Chan, declared that the outbreak continues to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, as two active chains of Ebola transmission continue, one in Guinea and one in Sierra Leone.
- However, the Committee noted that since its last meeting, Liberia has been declared free of Ebola transmission for a second time, that the overall case incidence in Guinea and Sierra Leone has been below 10 cases per week, and that the Sierra Leonean capital of Freetown has remained free of transmission for over 42 days.
- The situation will be reassessed within three months.
U.N. AGENCIES UNVEIL NEW STANDARDS TO IMPROVE CARE FOR ADOLESCENTS
- The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS today launched new standards to improve adolescent care.
- These standards highlight the need for adolescents to be able to access services without necessarily having to make an appointment or requiring parental consent, safe in the knowledge that any consultation remains confidential, and certain that they will not experience discrimination.
- WHO and UNAIDS standards stress that adolescence is a time when critical behaviours are shaped that will affect health in the future, and call for an inclusive package of information, counselling, diagnostic, treatment and care services that go beyond the traditional focus on sexual and reproductive health.
- The top three causes of death among adolescents globally are road traffic injuries, AIDS-related illnesses and suicide.
***The guest at the noon briefing was Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). He spoke to reporters about the report on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2178 by States affected by foreign terrorist fighters.