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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

WEDNESDAY, 9 APRIL 2014

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS SUCCESS OF POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA WILL REQUIRE NEW PARTNERS

  • The Secretary-General spoke this morning at the joint thematic debate on the role of partnerships in implementing the post-2015 development agenda. He emphasized the need to focus not only on what the goals are but on how they will be achieved.
  • Success, he said, will require engaging a range of new partners, and he noted the contributions being made by the private sector and civil society, among others.
  • He added that his proposal for a Partnership Facility, submitted to Member States for their consideration and approval, is precisely meant to ensure that the United Nations is equipped both with the capacity needed to harness the strengths of external partners and the ability to ensure a coherent and accountable approach.

U.N. ENVOY FOR CENTRAL AFRICA CONTINUES ASSESSMENT OF IMPACT OF CRISIS ON NEIGHBOURS

  • The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa, Abou Moussa, arrived in Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo, to continue his assessment of the regional impact of the crisis in the Central African Republic.
  • He is expected to meet with Government officials, UN agencies and development partners on the ground.
  • One of the focuses of his mission is the situation of Central African refugees in neighbouring countries.
  • According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, almost 8,000 people fled the CAR for the Republic of Congo since last December.
  • Mr. Moussa will then travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where more than 17,000 CAR refugees arrived during that same period.

SOUTH SUDAN: U.N. MISSION WORKS AT DECONGESTING COMPOUNDS TO IMPROVE LIVING CONDITIONS OF DISPLACED

  • Asked about health hazards for the displaced people being protected at the UN’s Tomping compound in Juba, South Sudan, the Spokesman said that all humanitarian agencies working in South Sudan are deeply concerned about the living conditions of the 70,000 displaced people sheltering in congested sites inside UN bases.
  • Humanitarian partners have been working alongside the UN peacekeeping mission (UNMISS) to improve these conditions and to reduce congestion at the sites.
  • The Spokesperson said that aid activities only 32 per cent funded, adding that resources are severely overstretched.
  • He added that the security situation must improve so that people feel safe enough to return to their homes.
  • Dujarric added that the United Nations has been working with its non-governmental partners to decongest the sites and move people voluntarily to other sites.
  • The Spokesman said that the people at the sites are people who may not have survived during South Sudan’s violence had the United Nations Mission not opened its gates and provided them with shelter at the UN compounds.

D.R.C.: HUMANITARIAN COMMUNITY CONCERNED FOR ABDUCTED MSF STAFF IN NORTH KIVU

  • On the DRC, the Humanitarian Coordinator for that country, Moustapha Soumaré, reiterated today his call for the release of four members of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) abducted nine months ago in North Kivu province.
  • He denounced their abductions as an intolerable act and a threat to both the population in need of assistance and humanitarian workers as well.
  • The four Congolese team members were abducted during a July rebel attack in Kamango.

U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR GREAT LAKES SHOCKED BY SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS IN EASTERN D.R.C

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region was in Bukavu, South Kivu, on Tuesday. She met with local authorities and women’s organizations.
  • As the first woman to be appointed Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Mrs. Robinson said she was committed to supporting women’s organizations and to making their work more visible and their voices more powerful.
  • In this perspective, the Women’s Platform for the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework signed last year by all countries of the region was established. It is meant to ensure that women’s organizations have access to financial and technical support, and are able to establish links with other women throughout the region working towards sustainable peace and development.
  • Mary Robinson said that she was shocked by the number of women and young girls who continue to be victims of sexual violence in the DRC and she reiterated the need to end impunity and seek transitional justice.

MYANMAR: U.N. HUMANITARIAN OFFICE WELCOMES THE GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO DAMAGE ON AID PREMISES

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that it welcomes the response by the Government of Myanmar to the events in Rakhine State’s Sittwe late last month which caused damage to the premises of UN agencies and aid organizations
  • In particular, our humanitarian colleagues noted the Government’s condemnation of the violence, the President’s rapid establishment of an investigation commission and the recognition that the incident which sparked the attacks was purely unintentional.
  • The Office welcomes the Government’s commitment to bringing the perpetrators of the violence to justice.
  • The statement adds that it is important that the Government provide the conditions needed for aid agencies to resume their work in Rakhine State.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN SYRIA: IMPUNITY CANNOT STAND

  • Asked about human rights violations in Syria, the Spokesman reiterated the Secretary-General’s view that impunity cannot stand. He noted the continuing work by Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
  • Asked about the views expressed on Syria by High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, Dujarric said that the Secretary-General fully supports the High Commissioner in her work. He noted her specific mandate.

LAUNCH IN NEW YORK OF THE DECADE OF SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FOR ALL TO BUSINESS COMMUNITY

  • This afternoon, at 2:30 p.m., at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit here in New York, Kandeh Yumkella, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Chief Executive for the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, will launch the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All to the business community.
  • He will also announce the first annual forum for the initiative which will take place from 4-6 June at UN Headquarters.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Asked whether the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in Sudan has been expelled from the country, the Spokesman confirmed that that has happened.
  • Asked about a US visa for the next Iranian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, the Spokesman said that the matter is being handled bilaterally at this stage. Asked further if any analysis by the UN Office of Legal Affairs could be shared, he said no official request has gone to the United Nations to seek the UN’s legal opinion on the matter.
  • Asked about the situation in eastern Ukraine, the Spokesman reiterated the need for all parties to avoid provocations and for there to be an inclusive dialogue. He noted the talks scheduled for next week as a positive step.
  • Asked about the situation of migrants from Libya, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General has raised his concerns about the hazardous situation of migrants traveling to Europe when he met with European Union Commissioners in Brussels last week.