HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FARHAN HAQ, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
WEDNESDAY, 29 JUNE 2016
TURKEY: SECETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACK AT ISTANBUL AIRPORT
- In a statement we issued yesterday, the Secretary-General condemned the terrorist attack at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport. He expressed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Turkey, and wished a speedy recovery to those injured.
- The Secretary-General hopes that the perpetrators of this crime will be identified and brought to justice. He stands firmly by Turkey as it confronts this threat and stresses the need to intensify regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism.
HUMANITARIAN CONVOY DELIVERS AID TO BESIEGED SYRIAN TOWNS OF ARBIN AND ZAMALKA
- The Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, briefed the Security Council in consultations today on the status of the talks with the Syrian parties.
- Earlier today, the Security Council passed resolutions extending the mandates of the United Nations Missions in Darfur and Mali by one year and the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Golan by six months.
- On the humanitarian front, an inter-agency convoy is delivering much needed life-saving assistance to the besieged towns of Arbin and Zamalka in Rural Damascus. This is the first time an inter-agency convoy has reached these locations since November 2012.
- The convoy includes water, sanitation and hygiene items, as well as food, nutrition, education, health and other emergency supplies for 20,000 Syrian men, women and children in need.
- Arbin and Zamalka were the last two besieged areas yet to be reached this year. The UN and its partners have now been able to access all 18 besieged locations in Syria through cross-line operations and airdrops. However, access cannot just be provided once and the UN continues to call for sustained access to these locations.
- Also today, an inter-agency convoy is underway to deliver aid to the hard-to-reach location of Western Harasta City. Assistance includes food, water, sanitation and hygiene items, nutrition, education, health and other emergency supplies for 12,500 people. The last time the area was reached with inter-agency convoys was in November 2014.
- Upon completion of today's convoys, since the start of 2016, more than 941,000 people, including more than 354,000 people in all besieged locations have been reached with assistance through inter-agency operations, many of them more than once.
YEMEN TALKS TO EMBARK ON A NEW PHASE – U.N. ENVOY
- The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, today announced that the Yemeni peace talks would embark on a new phase for the next two weeks.
- The Special Envoy said that, after extensive discussions with the participants, the main principles that will guide the next phase of Yemeni talks had been established. These principles are based on the working papers submitted by the two delegations and the recommendations of the specialized committees.
- The two delegations will use the coming two weeks to meet their respective leaderships and will then return to Kuwait on 15 July with practical recommendations on how to implement the necessary mechanisms that will enable them to sign a peace accord and end the conflict in Yemen.
- The Special Envoy will use the two-week period to meet with key Yemeni and regional political stakeholders to press for a comprehensive solution that will address the mechanisms discussed in the talks, which will ensure the security and stability of Yemen.
MAJORITY OF SOUTH SUDANESE NEED ASSISTANCE, WARN U.N. AGENCIES
- Three United Nations agencies warned today that South Sudan is experiencing an unprecedented level of food insecurity, with more than a third of the population in urgent need of assistance.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) said that up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan will be facing severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues to threaten parts of the country.
- This number does not include 350,000 residents of the UN Protection of Civilians areas or other camps for displaced people, who currently are entirely dependent on humanitarian assistance.
- Food insecurity and conflict are also forcing many families to leave South Sudan for neighbouring countries. In the last few months alone, an estimated 100,000 South Sudanese have crossed into Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, and this number is expected to increase to more than 150,000 by the end of June.
U.N. ALLOCATES $10 MILLION TO DELIVER EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE IN LAKE CHAD REGION
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced today the allocation of US$10 million dollars from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to address the pressing humanitarian needs in the Lake Chad region and food insecurity and malnutrition in Chad’s Sahel belt.
- More than 110,000 displaced people in the Lake region are living in precarious conditions, while in the Sahel belt, one million people are severely food insecure and 190,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
**The guest at the noon briefing was the Operations Director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, John Ging, who briefed on his recent visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.**