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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 FARHAN HAQ,

DEPUTY SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

FRIDAY, 22 JULY 2016

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER AND RESPECT FOR INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW IN TURKEY

  • In relation to the declaration of a state of emergency for a period of three months in Turkey, the Secretary-General has taken note of the repeated assurances by senior Turkish government officials regarding full adherence to the rule of law and due process when investigating and prosecuting those deemed to be responsible for the attempted coup of 15-16 July.
  • This is particularly important in the aftermath of the declaration of the state of emergency and the ongoing widespread arrests, detentions and suspensions.
  • The Secretary-General has urged the Turkish authorities, consistent with the assurances given, to do their utmost to ensure that the constitutional order and international human rights law are fully respected, in line with Turkey's international obligations. These include the freedoms of expression, movement and peaceful assembly; independence of the judiciary and of the legal profession; and adherence to due process. 
  • The Secretary-General hopes that procedures under the state of emergency will be carried out in full transparency.

SYRIA: AID CONVOY REACHES 32,000 PEOPLE IN HARD-TO-REACH AREA OF HAMA

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that on 21 July, an inter-agency convoy delivered assistance to 32,000 people in the hard-to-reach town of Qalaat al-Madiq in Syria’s Hama Governorate. 
  • This was the first inter-agency convoy to Hama in 2016.  The convoy carried food, education materials, health support, water and sanitation and other basic relief items. However, some surgical and medical items had been removed during the loading process. 
  • The United Nations continues to call on all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, to allow for all necessary humanitarian aid, including medical supplies and surgical items, to be allowed onto the convoys. 
  • Another inter-agency convoy on 21 July brought medical, health, non-food items, shelter and nutrition supplies for some 50,000 people in Big Orem in Aleppo Governorate.

SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS ON LEBANON, SYRIA AND LIBYA

  • The Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement on Lebanon today, stressing that the election of a President, the formation of a unity government and the election of a parliament by May 2017 are critical for Lebanon’s stability and resilience to withstand regional challenges.
  • After that, the Council began consultations to discuss the latest report by the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concerning the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.
  • The Council then went on to hold consultations on the Secretary-General’s report on foreign terrorist fighters in Libya. Council members will also meet on Libya this afternoon, to hear by video teleconference from the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Martin Kobler.

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED OVER CONTINUING VIOLENCE IN SOUTH SUDAN

  • The Secretary-General yesterday expressed great concern about the continuing violence in South Sudan, in particular sexual violence, as well as attacks against United Nations humanitarian facilities and the looting of humanitarian assistance.
  • The looting of World Food Programme (WFP) warehouses by the SPLA is totally unacceptable, he said. He also called for the perpetrators to be held accountable.
  • The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) informed that a number of journalists visited the Protection of Civilians site 3, adjacent to UN House, in Juba earlier today.
  • The Mission is protecting some 35,000 civilians at UN House, while an estimated 4,000 civilians are sheltering at the UN Tomping compound. Given the continued tense and volatile situation, the Mission is evaluating the security situation on a daily basis.
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said today that 26,468 people have fled South Sudan and crossed into Uganda since the fighting started on 7 July. More than 90 percent of these are women and children. This is severely stretching the capacity of collection points, transit and reception centres.

SOMALIA: U.N. REPRESENTATIVE CALLS FOR MORE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN CAUGHT UP IN CONFLICT

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, today concluded a six-day visit to Somalia, urging for better protection of children caught up in armed conflict.
  • Speaking to the press today in Mogadishu, Ms. Zerrougui said she was optimistic regarding the Government’s efforts to improve the conditions of children in armed conflict.
  • She also called on them to integrate former child soldiers into the community, and address stigmatization and abuse of underage victims of violence, following her visit to detention centres in Garowe and Bossaso.
  • The Special Representative is expected to present the Secretary-General’s annual report of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, which is due on 2 August 2016.

DEPUTY HUMANITARIAN CHIEF CONCLUDES VISIT TO SOUTHERN AFRICA, CALLS FOR MORE SUPPORT FOR DROUGHT-AFFECTED COMMUNITIES

  • The Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-wha Kang, concluded her visit to Malawi and Madagascar, calling for urgent action by governments and donors to assist millions of people affected by severe drought in the southern Africa region.
  • Nearly 40 million people are food insecure, including some 23 million who require urgent humanitarian assistance.
  • The scale of the drought is stretching national coping capacities and hard-won development gains and even minimum coping mechanisms hang in the balance.

NIGERIA: AID CONVOY REACHES THOUSANDS OF DISPLACED PEOPLE IN BORNO WITH AID

  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today that a UN cross-border humanitarian mission from Cameroon to Nigeria provided food assistance and other relief items for 15,000 internally displaced people in Banki, Borno State.
  • Civil authorities are no longer present in Banki, where the Nigerian Army is in control, and delivery of assistance to the town is not possible from within Nigeria at the moment because of insecurity.

U.N. LAUNCHES NEW SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE PREVENTION EFFORT

  • The UN Department of Field Support (DFS) reported two important developments in the fight against sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • First, a new mandatory "e-learning programme" for all uniformed and civilian personnel has been launched to strengthen training on the standards of conduct, as well as the expectations of accountability and individual responsibility.
  • The new online learning programme was developed with generous funding from the Government of Japan.
  • Second, the Government of India has contributed US$100,000 for the Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. This is the first received contribution to the Trust Fund, which was established at the end of March.

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS DEPUTY HEAD OF U.N. MISSION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Fabrizio Hochschild of Chile as his new Deputy Special Representative for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
  • Mr. Hochschild will also serve as the UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Mr. Hochschild succeeds Aurélien Agbénonci of Benin, who was appointed Foreign Minister of his country in April 2016.
  • The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Agbénonci’s service and steadfast commitment to support the political transition in the Central African Republic, during a critical time between 2014 and 2016. Mr. Hochschild brings to this position extensive experience in peacebuilding and humanitarian affairs. 

**The guest at the noon briefing was Jean-Paul Laborde, the Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). He briefed on the flow of foreign terrorist fighters and recent terror attacks.**