HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STÉPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
MONDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2019

 
SECURITY COUNCIL
The Secretary-General spoke at the Security Council’s open debate on preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention and resolution in Africa.
He said that all of the UN’s work on conflict prevention and resolution relies on partnerships with Member States, regional and sub-regional organizations, and others, pointing to how the African Union is our key strategic partner in the continent.
The Secretary-General said we are making progress on conflict prevention in many parts of Africa.
As an example, he pointed to the Central African Republic, where the UN, the African Union and others are cooperating in support of the historic agreement reached in February, to end violence against civilians, strengthen the extension of State authority and bring social and economic development.
 
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
At the end of a joint mission in the Central African Republic, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the head of the Department for Peace Operations, the African Union’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, and the European Union’s Director General for African affairs, Koen Vervaeke, reiterated their support for the full implementation of the peace agreement.
They welcomed the efforts of the President and his Government, as well as all who are working towards this goal, which the mission described as the only way to build a durable peace in the country. They travelled to Birao, to see first-hand the impact of recent clashes on the population.
On a related note, it is with much regret that the UN notes that a fourth Senegalese crew member, injured in the 27 September helicopter crash in the Central African Republic, has died. The UN sends its condolences to his family and all of his colleagues.
 
SUDAN DPO TRIP
After his trip to the Central African Republic, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the head of the Department for Peace Operations and the African Union’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, arrived in Khartoum, for a two-day visit.
During the visit they will meet with Sudanese transitional authorities and participate in a tripartite meeting to discuss the future of the UN- AU Mission in Darfur.
Tomorrow, they will also go to Darfur, where they will meet with the Mission’s leadership and staff.
The officials will then travel to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, on 9 October to jointly brief the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on the outcomes of the visits to the Central African Republic and Sudan.
On his way back to New York, Mr. Lacroix will visit Spain, where he will take part in the National Day ceremonies on 12 October at the invitation of the government, as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the participation of the Spanish Armed Forces in international peacekeeping operations.
 
DSG TRAVELS
The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, spoke to the Executive Committee of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Geneva today and told the Committee that, time and again, we see how both host communities and refugee populations can benefit from increased development cooperation, including in the areas of education and health.
The Deputy Secretary-General also added that the December’s Global Refugee Forum will be an excellent opportunity to support implementation of the Refugee Compact and to put the principle of leaving no one behind into good practice.
She also spoke at a ceremony marking the accession of Angola and Colombia to the conventions on statelessness, and she said that statelessness makes people invisible. When people are unable to prove their identity, they may be unable to access basic services like education and healthcare.
She is now on her way back to New York.
 
IRAQ
Turning to Baghdad, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said over the weekend on Twitter that she was deeply saddened by the senseless loss of life in Iraq and added that this must stop.
She said she was shocked at vandalism and intimidation of some TV studios by masked gunmen, which she called entirely unacceptable. She said that Government efforts must be put in place to protect journalists.
The Special Representative also called on all parties to pause and reflect. Those responsible for violence should be held to account, she added.
 
MALI
Over the weekend a statement was issued on Mali in which the Secretary-General strongly condemned two attacks against the United Nations Peacekeeping mission there.
In the Kidal region, a Mission convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device. One peacekeeper from Chad was killed, three others were seriously wounded.
In a separate incident in the Mopti, a temporary peacekeeping base was attacked by unidentified assailants. One peacekeeper from Togo was also seriously wounded.
The Secretary-General expressed his deep condolences to the family of the deceased peacekeeper, as well as the Government and people of Chad, and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.
The Secretary-General also called on Malian authorities, as well as the signatory armed groups to the peace agreement, to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of these attacks so that they can swiftly be brought to justice. He recalls that attacks targeting UN peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law, and he reaffirmed the United Nations commitment to support the Government and people of Mali in their pursuit of peace and stability.
 
CAMEROON
A statement was issued on Cameroon in which the Secretary-General said he is encouraged by the decision announced by President Paul Biya to release Maurice Kamto, the leader of the Mouvement pour la Rennaissance du Cameroun (MRC), as well as 102 members of the party.
He also took note of the release of another 333 individuals in connection with the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions.
 
HAITI
The peacekeeping mission in Haiti has reiterated its deep concern about the impact of the political crisis on the population.
They said they are attentive to the demands of different sectors of society and stand ready to support peaceful solutions, which only Haitian actors can devise, to resolve the current situation and alleviate the suffering of the population.
The mission encourages all state actors and citizens to refrain from violence, to ensure the normal functioning of schools, hospitals and emergency services, and to allow humanitarian actors to assist those most vulnerable.
 
IAEA
In Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency and its partners today kicked off a five-day conference on climate change and the role of nuclear power.
The conference will provide a platform to discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the role of nuclear power in combating climate change. Topics include challenges and opportunities for existing nuclear power plants and the prospect for synergies between nuclear power and other low carbon energy sources, among others.
 
HABITAT DAY
Today is World Habitat Day. In his message, the Secretary-General highlights the central role played by the cities and communities in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.