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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

 

THURSDAY, 10 APRIL 2014

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION SETTING UP NEW CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC PEACEKEEPING FORCE

  • The Security Council this morning adopted resolution 2149 establishing the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, known by its French acronym, MINUSCA.
  • In a statement, the Secretary-General welcomes the adoption today of Security Council Resolution 2149, establishing the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic.  He trusts that this important decision of the international community will lead to the immediate, concrete and sustainable support that the Central African people need and deserve. The Secretary-General, deeply moved by his visit to the country on 5 April, again calls for an immediate cessation of the killings, targeted attacks and other atrocious human rights violations that continue  with total impunity. 
  • The Secretary-General commends the tireless efforts of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic, MISCA, which will continue to implement its mandate until 15 September alongside French forces (Sangaris) and the recently authorized European Union Force in the Central African Republic, known as EUFOR. The United Nations will work closely with MISCA to ensure a seamless transition to MINUSCA. The Secretary-General strongly calls on all partners to increase their support to MISCA until MINUSCA becomes fully operational.
  • The Secretary-General recognizes the importance of the role of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the African Union, as well as the Mediation led by the Republic of Congo in support of the political transition in the Central African Republic. This is the moment for the international community to demonstrate its collective support to the efforts undertaken by the Transitional Government, under the leadership of Catherine Samba-Panza, to bring long-lasting peace, stability and reconciliation to the Central African Republic.
  • The Secretary-General expresses his deep appreciation for the committed and courageous work of all United Nations personnel in the Central African Republic and, in particular, for the exemplary dedication of his Special Representative Babacar Gaye and the rest of the staff of the Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the CAR, known as BINUCA.

IN WASHINGTON, D.C., SECRETARY-GENERAL UNVEILS NEW EDUCATION INTIATIVE

  • Today, the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General are both in Washington, D.C., today, where they will attend a series of events taking place alongside the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
  • Right after arriving, the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, launched the Emergency Coalition for Global Education Action. That is a group of prominent leaders who are coming together to work harder to accelerate progress until the end of 2015 to ensure that all girls and boys are in school. 
  • They were joined in that launch by more than 500 youth, including two young women who had been shot by the Taliban along with Malala Yousafzai in 2012, only for wanting to seek an education.
  • This afternoon, the Secretary-General will attend events on ending poverty and providing education, along with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
  • Asked if the visit to Washington concerned the situation in Ukraine, the Spokesman said that this was a long-planned visit. He added that the Secretary-General continued to have contacts with relevant interlocutors concerning Ukraine.

BURUNDI: U.N. RAISING CONCERNS WITH GOVERNMENT, OTHERS ON TROUBLING POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

  • The United Nations is receiving troubling information about recent political developments in Burundi and has been raising concerns both with the Government of Burundi and at the highest levels in the region and the greater international community.
  • In New York, senior officials have briefed the Security Council twice in the past two weeks, with the latest briefing having taken place on 8 April, by Jeffrey Feltman, the Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs. M. Feltman drew the attention to the restrictions on political rights and freedoms and political violence mainly by the CNDD-FDD’s youth wing, including reports alleging about efforts to arm and train the youth wing.
  • In addition, as you may have recalled, and I think it’s been said from this podium in the past few days, the Secretary-General has discussed the political situation in Burundi with the President of Burundi, the First Vice-President of Burundi, and as well in recent days with political leaders in the region, including the Presidents of South Africa and Tanzania.
  • He is seeking their support in encouraging the Government of Burundi to take concrete steps to address these reports. Mr. Feltman also spoke with the African Union Commission and other leaders in the Great Lakes region.
  • Several special envoys for the Great Lakes have also recently voiced the same concerns to the government.  Today the Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, is in Bujumbura on a long-scheduled visit, and he will follow up with the government of Burundi on those concerns.
  • We are stressing that if no action is taken and serious human rights violations occur, those responsible for manipulating the youth affiliated to political parties and instigating violence would be liable for international prosecution.
  • In light of Burundi’s past, we trust that the government of Burundi will thoroughly and promptly address the ongoing political violence and restrictions to human rights.
  • Political violence has the potential to spark fear in the population and trigger large-scale violence.
  • This is a concern that is shared by many in the international community and we trust that the government of Burundi will take this matter seriously. As Burundi prepares for 2015 elections, we hope for steps that would demonstrate a genuine commitment to political pluralism and the democratic process.
  • Asked about the UN presence in Burundi, the Spokesman said that this was a political presence mandated by the Security Council.

U.N. ENVOY REAFFIRMS U.N. SUPPORT FOR IRAQ’S FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq has reaffirmed the United Nations’ support to the country in its fight against corruption.
  • Nickolay Mladenov said that corruption is a virus that plagues transitional societies. He added that it hinders peacebuilding and state-building efforts and undermines trust in public institutions.
  • The Government has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to recover stolen assets and increase cooperation with law enforcement in other countries to detect, trace, confiscate and recover stolen assets.
  • For its part, the World Food Programme (WFP) began providing emergency food assistance to nearly a quarter of a million people affected by fighting in Iraq’s Al-Anbar governorate.
  • WFP aims to reach about 48,000 families for the next six months.

U.N. AID OFFICIAL URGES ACCESS TO CONFLICT-AFFECTED IN NORTH YEMEN

  • The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen has called for full and unfettered access to people affected by clashes in Amran Governorate in the north of the country.
  • Tens of thousands of people in Amran have been uprooted by conflict and remain in need of humanitarian assistance.
  • Johannes Van Der Klaauw, the Humanitarian Coordinator, underscored the importance of maintaining the temporary truce brokered between Government forces and armed groups in Amran, urging the parties to protect civilians and provide unfettered access to aid groups to help those in need.
  • This year, nearly 60 per cent of Yemen’s population needs humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic needs.

HALF A MILLION DIED DUE TO INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE IN 2012, NEW U.N. REPORT FINDS

  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today launched its Global Study on Homicide.
  • This report establishes that almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide.
  • Men made up almost 8 out of every 10 homicide victims, while women accounted for the vast majority of domestic violence fatalities.
  • The report also indicates that 95 per cent of the perpetrators are men and that over half of all homicide victims are under 30 years of age.
  • The global average murder rate stands at 6.2 per 100,000 people, but Southern Africa and Central America record more than four times that number.
  • Homicide levels in North Africa, East Africa and parts of South Asia are also rising amid social and political instability.
  • However, in an encouraging trend, South Africa, which has had consistently high numbers of homicide, saw its homicide rate drop by half between 1995 and 2012.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ATTEND GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT MEETING IN MEXICO CITY

  • The Secretary-General will travel to Mexico City on Monday, 14 April, to attend the First High-level Meeting of Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.
  • Established during the Fourth High Level Forum (HLF4) in Busan to ensure that development co-operation has the maximum possible impact on development results, the Global Partnership brings together a wide range of countries and organisations to foster engagement, communication and knowledge-sharing.
  • The Secretary-General will speak at the opening session of the event on Tuesday, 15 April.
  • He will also hold bilateral meetings with President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Meade Kuribreña, as well as with other leaders and senior officials attending the Summit.
  • The Secretary-General will return to New York on the evening of 15 April.

SECRETARY-GENERAL RECEIVED INSTRUMENTS OF ACCESSION FOR 14 TREATIES FROM STATE OF PALESTINE

  • In response to questions, Dujarric said that on 2 April 2014, the Secretary-General, in his capacity as depositary, received from the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations in New York copies of instruments of accession to 14 multilateral treaties.
  • In conformity with the relevant international rules and his practice as a depositary, the Secretary-General has ascertained that the instruments received were in due and proper form before accepting them for deposit, and has informed all States concerned accordingly through the circulation of depositary notifications.
  • The Spokesman noted that it is important to emphasize that it is for States to make their own determination with respect to any legal issues raised by instruments circulated by the Secretary-General.
  • He also said that the Secretary-General, as depositary, verifies through OLA and the specifically the Treaty Section that the conditions for participation, in accordance with the relevant provisions of each treaty, are fulfilled.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Asked about the mobility framework adopted yesterday by the General Assembly, Dujarric said that the Secretary-General was very pleased by the adoption. He said that the policy was designed to create what mobile and multifunctional work force for the United Nations, a goal that the Secretary-general had put forward since the beginning of his first term. He added that there had been consultations with staff and others throughout the process leading to this adoption. The Spokesman noted that the process would be phased out over a number of years, starting in 2016.
  • Asked about the appointment of representatives to the United Nations, Dujarric said that every Member States could name the Permanent Representative of their choice to the United Nations.  He added that the exchange between Iran and the United States on this subject was a bilateral matter and that the UN hoped it would be resolved.
  • Asked about the importance of partnerships to achieve development goals, the Spokesman said that development required collaboration with civil society and the private sector, among others. He also noted that partnerships were essential to achieve developments goals, both up to and after 2015.