The following statement by UN Secretary‑General António Guterres was issued today:
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 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.
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gustavo Meza-Cuadra (Peru):
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):
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Sebastiano Cardi (Italy):
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia today convicted Ratko Mladiæ on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, giving him a life sentence. Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said the judgment was a milestone in the Tribunal’s history and international criminal justice.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report having noted an increase in murders and threats against human rights defenders and community leaders in the country’s Pacific Coast region. In most cases, the victims are from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
The United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia and the Episcopal Conference of Colombia issued a joint press release highlighting the first month of ceasefire monitoring by the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN). The Mission has established 33 local or regional verification teams that are now operational.
Some 4,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar and crossed the border into Bangladesh in the last 48 hours. The newly arrived refugees say thousands more people are waiting on Myanmar’s coast to make the crossing. United Nations agencies and their partners are providing food and other supplies.
Welcoming “remarkable achievements” in Colombia following agreements to end long-term civil strife, the Security Council decided this afternoon that the United Nations Verification Mission there would expand its work to include monitoring a ceasefire recently signed by the Government and the group known as Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN).
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that the number of Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh has surpassed 700,000, with 480,000 arriving since late August. The United Nations continues to provide aid, but the massive influx of refugees is outpacing the capacity to respond.
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