HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FARHAN HAQ,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 1 JUNE 2015
SECRETARY-GENERAL: LACK OF JOBS FEEDS INSECURITY
- The Secretary-General spoke this morning at the high-level event of the General Assembly on the Demographic dividend and Youth Employment.
- The Secretary-General stressed that a lack of jobs feeds insecurity, while a jobs-rich country can have a wealth of stability.
- He proposed four steps for empowering young people in a holistic manner: first, address high fertility in countries where there is still a large unmet need for contraceptive services; second, ensure that young people get quality education and training; third, coordinate planning and investments with a focus on human rights and human dignity; and last, build social protection systems to help end poverty and fight persistent inequalities.
DA’ESH ACTIVITIES CONTINUE TAKING TOLL ON CIVILIANS IN IRAQ – U.N. MISSION
- According to casualty figures released today by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), a total of 1,031 Iraqis were killed and another 1,684 were wounded in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict during the month of May.
- Jan Kubiš, the head of the UN Mission, said that current developments in and around the city of Ramadi and in Anbar Governorate once again showed grave consequences of Da’esh’s actions for civilians. He said that more than 237,000 people have been displaced from and within Anbar Governorate to date, while thousands were killed and injured, sometimes in the most horrendous way.
- Mr. Kubiš said that for any military gains to be sustainable, the Government of Iraq must adopt a set of confidence-building measures towards disaffected communities, enabling them to assume a share in governing their matters, and assuring them of the State’s ability to ensure their protection from violence, to deliver justice and create conditions for their fair participation in society.
U.N. YEMEN ENVOY CONTINUES EFFORTS TO GET POLITICAL PROCESS BACK ON TRACK
- The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Yemen, Ismail Cheikh Ould Ahmed, visited Sana'a from 29 to 31 May as part of his efforts to get the political process back on track, notably through the holding of Yemeni consultations in Geneva as soon as possible.
- He is currently in Saudi Arabia where he met with President Hadi and Vice-President Bahah.
- Also. a World Food Programme (WFP) chartered ship carrying vital food assistance destined for the Yemeni port of Aden was diverted yesterday to the port of Hudaydah following reports of ongoing fighting and security threats.
- The MV Amsterdam was on its way from Djibouti carrying over 5,700 metric tons of food -- enough to feed around 60,000 Yemenis for a month. It was expected to berth in Aden on Saturday when the port authorities issued a security warning that made it change its course.
- WFP will continue to try to reach Aden and surrounding areas by sending supplies from Hudaydah by road, as millions of people are in desperate need of food in areas that have been inaccessible for a long time due to the fighting.
- Another vessel, the MV Celine, which was carrying 7,000 metric tons of wheat flour, also docked in Hudaydah on 31 May as previously scheduled. Some 70,000 Yemenis are expected to benefit from that shipment.
SYRIA: U.N. ENVOY SPEAKS OUT AGAINST GOVERNMENT USE OF BARREL BOMBS IN ALEPPO
- The Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, over the weekend strongly condemned the death of at least 70 civilians in Syria's northern Aleppo province by barrel bombs dropped from Government helicopters.
- He said that, while it is true that, unfortunately, the UN proposed freeze of heavy bombing in Aleppo did not materialize, it is nevertheless totally unacceptable that the Syrian Air Force attacks its own territory in an indiscriminate way, killing its own citizens, as happened in Aleppo.
- Mr. de Mistura stressed that the use of barrel bombs must stop. All evidence shows that the use of such indiscriminate aerial weapons has been responsible for the majority of civilian victims. He added that the protection of civilians during armed conflicts is a cornerstone of international humanitarian law and applies in all circumstances and without distinction.
SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS CONTINUE, DEATH TOLL NEARS 6,500, NEW U.N. UKRAINE REPORT FINDS
- The latest report by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine says that serious human rights violations and abuses – including shelling, executions, arbitrary detentions, torture and human trafficking – persist in the east of the country.
- This is deeply affecting the five million people living in the conflict-affected areas.
- Between mid-April 2014 and 30 May 2015, at least 6,417 people have been documented as killed while nearly 16,000 have been wounded in eastern Ukraine. This is a conservative estimate and the actual numbers could be considerably higher.
- The High Commissioner for Human Rights stressed that even with the decrease in hostilities, civilians continue to be killed and wounded. He noted that millions of ordinary women, men and children in Ukraine have suffered tremendous hardship, violence and have been living in fear for more than a year now.
- He urged all parties involved in the hostilities to seek common ground, through sustained dialogue, to fully implement the 12 February Package of Measures, to end the fighting, and to ensure that all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law are investigated, regardless of the perpetrators.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF URGES STEPPED UP INVESTIGATIONS INTO ALLEGATIONS OF ‘SERIOUS’ VIOLATIONS
- Over the weekend, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he has urged several States to intensify their efforts to investigate allegations of very serious human rights violations by soldiers sent to keep the peace in the Central African Republic.
These allegations include killing of civilians, summary executions, abductions and sexual exploitation of local women.
The High Commissioner said that in the wake of the revelations of alleged serious sexual abuse of children, currently under investigation by the French authorities, his Office had taken a deeper look into these issues.
- Some of the incidents have been at least partly investigated, and some States have apparently sanctioned some of the soldiers involved, but the fact that a number of foreign contingents may have been implicated is in itself a matter of enormous concern, he added.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE ISSUES NEW REPORT FINDS CONTINUED DISCRIMINATION, VIOLENCE AGAINST L.G.B.T. PEOPLE
- The second ever official report on discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity to the Human Rights Council presents evidence of continuing, pervasive, violent abuse, harassment and discrimination affecting LGBT and intersex persons in all regions.
- It contains 20 recommendations directed at national governments.
- These recommendations include to legally recognize same-sex relationships, to ensure access to legal identity documents that reflect an individual's self-identified gender, and to end abusive therapies and treatments, including so-called "conversion" therapy, forced sterilization of transgender persons and certain medical procedures on intersex children.
MOROCCO, VIET NAM BECOME 93RD, 94TH CONTRIBUTORS TO U.N.’S REGULAR BUDGET
- Morocco and Viet Nam have paid their regular budget dues in full, bringing the total number of Member States that have paid to 94.
***The guest at today’s noon briefing was Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).