HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FARHAN HAQ,
DEPUTY SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 13 JUNE 2014
ARRIVING IN BOLIVIA, SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES ROLE OF G77, CHINA IN ACHIEVING DEVELOPMENT TARGETS
- The Secretary-General arrived on Thursday in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, directly from São Paolo, Brazil, where he attended the opening game of the 2014 Football World Cup. He travelled to Bolivia with President Evo Morales, who had also witnessed the opening match.
- Upon arrival at Viru Viru airport, the Secretary-General told journalists that he was pleased to be in Bolivia to attend the 50th anniversary summit of the Group of 77 and China. He noted that this summit comes at a time when the Member States are focusing on three important issues: the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, the finalization of the post-2015 development agenda and a meaningful global climate agreement. He said that a strong partnership between the G77 and China, and the rest of the UN Member States is needed to achieve these ends.
- Early this morning, the Secretary-General joined President Morales to visit Santa Rita, a rural community about 200 kilometres away from Santa Cruz. The Secretary-General will speak at the plenary of the summit of Group of 77 and China tomorrow.
AS IRAQ SITUATION DETERIORATES, U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF SAYS HUNDREDS KILLED, NEARLY 1,000 WOUNDED
- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has expressed extreme alarm at the dramatic deterioration of the situation in Iraq, including reports of summary executions and extrajudicial killings.
- She said that reports suggest that the number of people killed in recent days may run into hundreds and that the number of those wounded is said to be approaching 1,000.
- She called for the immediate cessation of acts of violence and abuses committed against civilians in violation of applicable international human rights and humanitarian laws.
- Asked about efforts to foster political unity in Iraq, the Spokesman said that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, was in touch with Iraqi leaders and was trying to encourage a unified response during the crisis.
- In that regard, Haq said, Mr. Mladenov has urged the Iraqi Federal Court for the timely certification of the 2014 Council of Representatives election results. The current Council of Representatives’ mandate expires on 14 June 2014. Mr. Mladenov said there is a need to guarantee the continuity of the parliament due to the current crisis.
- Asked whether the current situation in Iraq is a threat to international peace and security, the Spokesman noted that such a determination is made by the Security Council, which has been seized of the situation in Iraq. He recalled that Mr. Mladenov briefed the Security Council on the latest developments in Iraq in consultations on Thursday.
- Asked about reported remarks made in those consultations that the United Nations deemed Baghdad to still be safe, the Spokesman said that the United Nations has been assessing security conditions in Iraq, as it does around the world, and came to that conclusion on the basis of its assessment.
IRAQ: U.N. STEPS UP HUMANITARIAN AID
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is concerned about the shortage of shelter as the displacement numbers increase in Iraq. Some 300,000 people are reported to have arrived in Erbil and Duhok with little more than the clothes they were wearing. Many families in Duhok are sheltering in schools, mosques, churches and unfinished buildings.
- A growing number of people were now staying in a transit camp near the Khazair checkpoint, near Mosul. UNHCR has helped the Iraqi Government set-up tents and is providing other relief items. Other UN agencies are installing latrines and water tanks. A new camp, expected to host some 3,000 people has been set-up near Duhok in the Kurdistan region. Two more sites are being planned in the area.
- UNHCR has observed that some Mosul families are returning after hearing that water and electricity services have been restored. As many as 25,000 people are displaced within Mosul.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) says that health clinics have been set-up at displacement sites and health partners are working with the Government to provide basic services including medicines and surveillance to families stranded at checkpoints. WHO and UNICEF will be providing measles vaccination for those entering into camps in the next few days.
- UN agencies are moving further supplies into the country in anticipation of further displacement, including a World Food Programme-organized flight from Dubai is being planned to transport humanitarian supplies to Erbil.
U.N. AFGHANISTAN ENVOY URGES PARTICIPATION IN TOMORROW’S PRESIDENTIAL RUN-OFF POLLS
- Ahead of the run-off presidential elections in Afghanistan tomorrow, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Ján Kubiš, urged the country’s people to take part in the polls.
- Speaking to reporters in Kabul yesterday, he said that he is convinced that the people of Afghanistan will have the same determination, resilience and courage tomorrow that they did during the first round of elections.
- Mr. Kubiš also took note of the ability, resilience and courage of the security forces to provide a secure environment for the elections.
- He called on the candidates themselves to urge their supporters not to commit fraud and to act responsibly, not only as politicians, but Afghan citizens.
AID AGENCIES CONCERNED OVER PLIGHT OF MORE THAN 130,000 PEOPLE WHO HAVE FLED CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – U.N.
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that humanitarian organizations in the Central African Republic are concerned about the dire plight of the almost 134,000 people who have fled into neighbouring countries, including more than 95,000 to Cameroon alone, since December 2013.
- It adds that acute malnutrition rates among refugees are reportedly between 20 and 30 per cent – that’s well above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent. The World Food Programme (WFP) launched an emergency feeding operation earlier this month in Cameroon to help 100,000 people over the next eight months.
- Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that in the past six months since violence erupted in the capital city Bangui, at least one child has been maimed or killed in the country every single day on average.
- UNICEF also says it is seriously concerned that the Central African Republic is the least funded appeal of any of its humanitarian emergency appeals. UNICEF needs in Central African Republic has recently increased to US$120 million for 2014, less than 25 per cent of which has been met.
SECRETARY-GENERAL ENCOURAGES SRI LANKA TO COOPERATE WITH HUMAN RIGHTS INQUIRY
- Asked about cooperation by the Government of Sri Lanka with the work of a human rights inquiry into that country’s war, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General encouraged Sri Lanka’s cooperation with that inquiry.
- He later added that the Secretary-General supports the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and commends the leadership she has demonstrated to assist Sri Lanka in advancing accountability and reconciliation.
- The Secretary-General fully understands the challenges and complexity related to post-war processes, and therefore encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to engage constructively with the international community, to strengthen the existing domestic processes in a manner that is inclusive and respectful of human rights and to work towards lasting peace in Sri Lanka.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
14 JUNE – 20 JUNE 2014
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 14 June
Today is World Blood Donor Day.
In Bolivia, the Secretary-General will participate in the Commemorative Summit on the 50th Anniversary of the Group of 77.
Sunday, 15 June
Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Monday, 16 June
At 10 a.m., in New York, the Security Council will hear a briefing on the work of the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (ONUCI), followed by consultations on Liberia sanctions.
From 16 to 20 June, the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals will hold its 12th Session in the Economic and Social Council Chamber in New York.
From 16 to 20 June, the 5th Biennial Meeting of States on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms will take place at Conference Room 3 in New York.
At 11 a.m., there will be briefing on Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and Girls in Conference Room C in New York.
At 3:15 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, UNICEF, UNESCO and the Permanent Missions of Argentina, Brazil and Norway will hold an event called Beyond 2015: The Education We Want.
At 2:15 a.m., in Geneva, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos is expected to brief the media on general humanitarian issues.
At 5 p.m., in Geneva, the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria will brief the Human Rights Council. A press conference by the Commission is expected on 17 June.
Tuesday, 17 June
At 10 a.m., in New York, the Security Council will hold consultations on Sudan and South Sudan.
At the press briefing room in New York, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-wha Kang will brief the press on Myanmar as the noon briefing guest.
From 17 to 19 June, the annual session of the Executive Board of UN Entity for Gender
Equality and the Empowerment of Women will take place in Conference Room 2 in New York.
At 11:30 a.m., in Geneva, the Secretary-General is expected to hold a press conference.
At 2 p.m., in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Refugees will launch UNHCR’s annual Global Trends Report.
In Geneva, the Secretary-General is expected to attend the opening of the Special Session of the Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD, in celebration of its 50th Anniversary.
In Geneva, WHO’s International Health Regulation and Emergency Committee will meet on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. A press conference is expected.
Wednesday, 18 June
At 10 a.m., in New York, the Security Council will meet on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. Later today, it will hold consultations on the UN Disengagement Observer Force.
At 11:00 a.m., in the press briefing room, Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari of Syria and a group of US observers, who monitored the Syrian presidential election, will brief the press.
At 3 p.m., in New York, the General Assembly will convene a thematic debate on Responding to the Opportunities and Challenges of the 21st Century: Human Security and the post-2015 Development Agenda.
In Geneva, the Secretary-General will speak at an event organized by the International Labour Organization on youth employment.
Thursday, 19 June
At 10 a.m., in New York, the Security Council will hear a briefing on peace and security in Africa.
Friday, 20 June
Today is World Refugee Day.
At 10 a.m., in New York, the Security Council will hold consultations on Yemen.
At 10:30 a.m., the Secretary-General will present a special address on the crisis in Syria at the Asia Society in New York.
At 12:30 p.m., in the press briefing room, there will be a press conference on the launch of the 2014 Global Peace Index.
At 9:30 a.m. in Geneva, the UN Conference on Trade and Development will launch the World Investment Report 2014. [Embargoed until 24 June 5 p.m. GMT]