HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 30 JUNE 2016
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES CHINA’S MEMBERSHIP IN IOM
- The Secretary-General welcomes China joining the International Organization for Migration (IOM). He believes that China will make a valuable contribution to IOM.
- China becoming a member of IOM is particularly important at this crucial time, when the issue of migrants and refugees needs more attention and action than ever before.
SECRETARY-GENERAL OFFERS CONDOLENCES AT TURKEY U.N. MISSION
- The Secretary-General went to the Turkish Permanent Mission to the United Nations today and he offered on behalf the United Nations his deepest condolences to the many victims who have been killed by the heinous terrorist attacks in Turkey. He said that the international community must be united to defeat and counter terrorism.
- The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation to the Turkish Government for its very generous support for millions of refugees. He said that the United Nations stands firmly with the people and Government of Turkey in fighting against terrorism and extremism.
U.N. MIDDLE EAST COORDINATOR REPORTS TO SECURITY COUNCIL
- The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace ProcessNickolay Mladenov, , briefed the Security Council this morning, and he described the recent violence affecting the Israelis and the Palestinians, including today’s stabbing attack of a 13-year-old Israeli girl in the West Bank, the killing of four Israelis in an attack in Tele Aviv on 8 June and the recent killing of a Palestinian teenager by the Israeli Security Force.
- He said the first two events were clearly acts of terror and the third was referred to as a “mistake” that cut short an innocent life, and he condemned all the tragic losses of life.
- He thanked the Israelis and the Palestinians for their constructive engagement as the Quartet worked on producing a report, which is to focus on the major threats to achieving a negotiated peace. He said that the Quartet outlined three trends that hurt the prospects for peace: continuing violence, terrorism and incitement; settlement expansion and related policies in the West Bank; and the situation in Gaza and the lack of control in Gaza by the Palestinian Authority.
- He said the point of the report is not to assign blame but to chart a way forward, with recommendations made to both sides. He believes that, based on the report, the two parties will engage with the Quartet, and he encouraged the Security Council to welcome the report once it is published and to support the Quartet’s efforts.
HUMANITARIAN DRIVER SHOT IN SYRIA
- Yesterday, a UN/International Committee of the Red Cross/Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy led by Yacoub El Hillo, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, delivered much needed humanitarian assistance for 20,000 people in need in the besieged towns of Arbin and Zamalka in Rural Damascus.
- At approximately 21:30, while returning from Arbin and Zamalka, and while in East Ghouta, the convoy encountered gunfire, and a driver was shot in the chest. He received immediate medical care and was admitted to a hospital in Damascus last night, where he is in stable condition. A vehicle was also shot at in the incident.
- It is unacceptable that the guarantees for safe passage to deliver aid received by the UN and its partners were not respected, and that yet another humanitarian worker was injured.
- This incident sheds further light on the risks taken by humanitarian workers in Syria- most of whom are Syrian- while serving those most in need. It also is a reminder of the dangers faced by civilians caught in the middle of this long and brutal conflict.
- Since 2011, 87 humanitarian workers have been killed while helping others in Syria, including 17 UN staff members.
ONE IN FIVE CHILDREN IN IRAQ AT RISK: UNICEF
- Some 3.6 million children in Iraq – one in five in the country - are at serious risk of death, injury, sexual violence, abduction and recruitment into armed groups, according to a new UNICEF report. The report says that the number of children in danger of these violations has increased by 1.3 million in 18 months.
- The findings show that 4.7 million children need humanitarian aid – or a third of all Iraqi children – while many families now face deteriorating conditions following military operations in Fallujah and around Mosul.
- Among other things, the report shows that a total of 1,496 children have been abducted in the country over the past two and a half years. That translates to 50 children abducted each month, with many forced into fighting or sexually abused.
U.N. GLOBAL HEALTH CRISES TASK FORCE APPOINTED
- The Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday announced the membership of his Global Health Crises Task Force. That Task Force was established by the Secretary General to support and monitor implementation of recommendations developed by his High-level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises.
- The Task Force will produce regular updates for the Secretary-General, describing progress on implementation of the Panel’s recommendations. It will also bring to the attention of the Secretary-General issues relating to emerging health crises and to gaps or weaknesses in the global health architecture.
- The Task Force will be chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, and Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank Group, will serve as co-leads for the Task Force. David Nabarro, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, will support the Task Force chair. The bios of all the members are available in a press release.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN DELEGATION VISITS WAU, SOUTH SUDAN
- The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reports that a humanitarian delegation led by Eugene Owusu, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General and Humanitarian Coordinator, today visited Wau to assess the situation
- He visited the Catholic Church, where more than 7,000 citizens are being sheltered and humanitarian agencies are providing medical services, as well as the area adjacent to the UN Mission base, where UN peacekeepers are currently protecting more than 12,000 displaced persons.
- While the overall security situation in Wau town remained calm, sporadic gunshots were heard yesterday south of the Mission's base
- Peacekeepers have been able to conduct some patrols, although they continue to face movement restrictions.
U.N. AFGHAN UNIT CONDEMNS ATTACK ON POLICE IN KABUL
- The United Nations in Afghanistan today condemned the attack in Kabul that targeted Afghan National Police cadets and their instructors, killing an estimated 33 people.
- The Secretary-General’s new Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, said that there is simply no justification for such an attack and reminded all parties to the armed conflict in Afghanistan of their obligations under international humanitarian law at all times.
LIBERIANS TAKE OVER SECURITY RESPONSIBILITIES FROM U.N.
- The Secretary-General yesterday welcomed the Liberian Government’s full assumption of its national security responsibilities from the UN Mission (UNMIL) in the country.
- He added that the timely conclusion of the security transition is a major benchmark in the peace process and a testament to the hard work of the Liberian people to create a nation built on peace, stability, human rights, democracy and rule of law.
- He urged all partners to stay engaged and to continue assisting the Government of Liberia to consolidate peace.
U.N. REFUGEE CHIEF VISITING DISPLACED PERSONS IN COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, COSTA RICA
- UN High Commissioner for Refugees, (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi, is visiting Colombia today where he is to meet with internally displaced communities the agency is assisting in and around Bogotá and on the Venezuelan border.
- He will also visit Ecuador, to meet with refugees who fled the conflict in Colombia as well as families displaced by the April 2016 earthquake.
- He will finish his mission in San José, Costa, Rica, where he will open a roundtable on refugees and displaced people in the Northern Triangle of Central America