The Government of Zimbabwe has declared a state of emergency following a cholera outbreak in the capital, Harare, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports. As of this morning, there have been more than 4,000 suspected cases, including 58 confirmed cases, and 25 cholera-related deaths.
The Security Council decided today to extend until 2019 the mandate of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) welcomed Qatar’s decision to end exit visa requirements for most of its migrant workers. ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said in a tweet that this is a “positive step towards decent work”, adding that the agency is committed to working with the Government of Qatar as it pursues further reforms. The Secretary-General adds his welcome to the voice of ILO.
United Nations humanitarian officials say violent protests in Ethiopia’s Somali region have led to at least 29 deaths, and that houses of worship, homes and businesses have been attacked and destroyed. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that some 22,000 households were already provided with emergency supplies, but more than 150,000 still need assistance.
Recovery and response efforts are continuing in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic following the 23 July dam collapse, according to the humanitarian community. The United Nations is working closely with the Government to provide any support requested.
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Olof Skoog (Sweden):
Members of the Security Council joined the Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia today in welcoming progress in the implementation of the South American nation’s landmark peace agreement, while expressing worries over a rash of violence that risks imperilling hard‑won gains.
Drought hits the Sahel region hard, with more than 10 million people expected to need emergency food assistance, up from 7.1 million currently, if adequate assistance is not provided in time. Poor rains in 2017 are now deeply affecting parts of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal.
The following statement by UN Secretary‑General António Guterres was issued today:
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gustavo Meza-Cuadra (Peru):
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq commended Kurdistan Region political parties and blocs for signing the Electoral Charter of Honour on 18 April in Erbil. He said that the Charter is essential to conducting the elections in a free, fair, impartial, transparent and credible manner.
While circumstances had tested commitment to the peace agreement in Colombia, a united Council had helped to sustain resolve, demonstrating how it could effectively contribute to peace, members of that body heard this morning.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Jessica Faieta of Ecuador as his new Deputy Special Representative for Colombia and Deputy Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and humanitarian colleagues express concern about persistent forced displacement of indigenous people and farming communities in rural Colombia. Since 19 January, violence in Caceres has displaced at least 822 people; in Bajo Cauco murders have increased.
The United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia condemned the murder of Wilman Asprilla Allim and Ansel Montoya Ibarra, two Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) political party members who were participating in electoral activities in Peque municipality. The Mission urges all the competent institutions to investigate and prosecute those responsible for this crime.
United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres traveled on Saturday, 13 January, to Bogotá, Colombia, for an official visit to the country to support the peace efforts there.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that $430 million is needed this year to help 2.8 million people in Afghanistan, assisting those displaced by conflict or natural disaster, feeding malnourished children and helping vulnerable families returning home after years in Iran or Pakistan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that heavy rains and flooding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may exacerbate the country’s ongoing cholera epidemic. The current outbreak, which began in July, is one of the most severe in years. The latest reports find 55,000 cases, including nearly 1,200 deaths, for 2017 alone — double the number of cases in 2016.
Although the reintegration of former guerrilla combatants in Colombia was on track, the level of accumulated frustration with that process would not be easily overcome, the Security Council heard today, as representatives also expressed concern about the possible ramifications stemming from the broken ceasefire between the Government and the National Liberation Army (ELN).
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Kairat Umarov (Kazakhstan):
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