HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STÉPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
TUESDAY, 14 NOVEMBER 2017
YEMEN: U.N. RELIEF WING WARNS BLOCKADE OF PORTS AND AIRPORT WILL BRING 7 MILLION PEOPLE CLOSER TO FAMINE
- On Yemen, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that, since the start of the blockade on 6 November, all humanitarian flights to Sana’a airport and all humanitarian and commercial vessel movements to Hudaydah and Saleef ports have remained blocked.
- Without Sana’a airport, and Hudaydah and Saleef seaports fully functioning and able to receive cargo, the dire humanitarian situation will deteriorate further.
- Seven million people are already on the brink of famine, and the blockade will only bring them closer to it, OCHA warns.
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today also said that it is alarmed at the worsening humanitarian situation in Yemen following the closure of land, sea and air borders.
- At a UNHCR-supported centre in Sana’a for the internally displaced, hundreds more people are approaching the facility daily, saying they are no longer able to meet basic needs or afford medical care.
- The border closures are hindering aid deliveries, as new stocks of UNHCR emergency assistance targeting nearly 280,000 internally displaced people have been halted. Some UNHCR staff have also been affected, with some stranded outside the country and others lacking fuel for transport.
IN BONN, SECRETARY-GENERAL TO URGE LEADERS TO ‘HAVE GREATER AMBITION’ IN FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
- The Secretary-General is now on his way to Bonn for the 23rd Conference of Parties, COP23, where he said he would appeal to all leaders to have greater ambition in the fight against climate change. CO2 emissions are again on the rise and the Paris Agreement is at risk, he tweeted, adding that we must do better.
- In Manila, he had bilateral meetings with the Prime Ministers of Singapore and Cambodia. He also met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
- In a meeting last night with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, with regards to the situation in Rakhine State, the Secretary-General highlighted that strengthened efforts to ensure humanitarian access, safe, dignified, voluntary and sustained returns, as well as true reconciliation between communities, would be essential.
- In Manila, the Secretary-General also participated in a luncheon of the East Asia Summit, hosted by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.
CLIMATE CONFERENCE DISCUSSES WAYS TO INCREASE COUNTRIES’ RESILIENCE
- The UN Climate Conference in Bonn today focused on how to increase countries’ resilience to the impacts of climate change.
- As part of the Action Day on Resilience, Germany pledged $125 million dollars for a global partnership that aims to provide insurance to 400 million poor and vulnerable people by 2020, and Norway announced that it is setting up a $400 million fund to invest in business models that combine investments in high productivity agriculture, smallholder inclusion and forest protection.
SYRIA JOINS PARIS AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE
- The Spokesman confirmed that the instrument of accession by Syria to the Paris Agreement on climate change has been accepted in deposit, effective yesterday, 13 November 2017. The Paris Agreement will enter into force for Syria on 13 December 2017.
- By joining the Agreement, Syria has reinforced the universality of the Agreement and the overwhelming desire by countries to address climate change.
U.N. REITERATES CONCERN OVER SAFETY OF 400,000 PEOPLE BESIEGED IN SYRIA’S EASTERN GHOUTA
- In the context of preparing for the eighth round of intra-Syrian talks, set to begin in Geneva on 28 November, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, met today with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov in Geneva.
- In light of the significant statement made by the Russian and US Presidents on 11 November in Viet Nam, the Special Envoy emphasized the importance of operationalizing the provisions of resolution 2254 (2015). The Special Envoy intends to continue consultations with international interlocutors in the coming period ahead of the resumption of intra-Syrian talks.
- We remain concerned for the safety and protection of some 400,000 civilians in besieged eastern Ghouta, as fighting continues to be reported in several areas despite the signing of a de-escalation agreement in late July. Today, according to initial reports, airstrikes and artillery shelling on many cities and towns resulted in several civilian deaths and injuries. All schools in eastern Ghouta will reportedly be closed tomorrow.
U.N. MIGRATION AGENCY WARNS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING, EXPLOITATION OF ROHINGYA REFUGEES
- The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the number of Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since 25 August has reached 618,000.
- The UN Migration Agency, IOM, has found that human trafficking and exploitation are rife among Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh. This is according to interviews and focus groups IOM conducted in Cox’s Bazar.
- Exploitation has been reported by Rohingya refugees, not only among those who arrived since 25 August, but also among those who have lived in Bangladesh for years.
- IOM says that desperate refugees are being recruited with false offers of paid work, and with almost no alternative source of income, they are willing to take whatever opportunities they are presented with, even risky, dangerous ones that involve their children.
- The agency is also concerned about forced and early marriages taking place among the Rohingya.
SOUTH SUDAN: U.N. AID OFFICIAL WELCOMES DECREE ON FREE HUMANITARIAN MOVEMENT
- The Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, yesterday welcomed President Salva Kiir’s decree ordering the free, unimpeded, and unhindered movement of humanitarian organizations in the country. Mr. Noudéhou said humanitarian workers hope the order will have a positive impact in reducing the many constraints they face that delay or prevent the provision of urgently needed help and which too often place humanitarian personnel at risk.
- He added that humanitarian workers look forward to seeing the order implemented on the ground swiftly and will continue to work with all concerned authorities to ensure a safe and secure operational environment that is conducive to the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need.
U.N. KOSOVO ENVOY: U.N. MISSION WORKING TO HELP PEOPLE PURSUE BENEFITS OF COOPERATION, RECONCILIATION
- This morning, the Security Council adopted resolution 2384, which renews the Eritrea and Somalia sanctions regime for 12 months.
- The Council was then briefed by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Kosovo, Zahir Tanin.
- He said that the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is working to help the people pursue the benefits of cooperation and reconciliation, finding energy within the new government which is already taking steps to work in a multi-ethnic partnership.
- Mr. Tanin stressed that the Mission’s final objective remains clear: sustained peace and the opportunities it brings for individuals to fulfil their aspirations and their potential.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF VOICES CONCERN OVER CONDITIONS OF MIGRANTS IN LIBYA
- The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, today issued a statement on the conditions in which migrants are held in detention facilities in Libya.
U.N. FIELD SUPPORT CHIEF, ISRAEL SIGN AGREEMENT FOR TECHNOLOGY PROJECT FOR CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC MISSION
- The Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Atul Khare, signed a Letter of Assist with the Government of Israel yesterday to extend a technology pilot project designed to improve security in the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
- Since 2015, Israel has contributed both static and mobile observation systems to MINUSCA. These capacities have proven highly successful in increasing situational awareness and preventing outbreaks of violence, including during the visit of Pope Francis, the election process in Bangui and many other events associated with potential security threats.
- Following a detailed evaluation process, the mission has approved the Government of Israel’s proposal to expand its existing observation system, which will include measures to fully integrate technological solutions into the mission’s day-to-day operations.
ON DIABETES DAY, U.N. HEALTH AGENCY SPOTLIGHTS WOMEN’S RIGHTS TO HEALTHY FUTURE
- Today is World Diabetes Day. This year, the World Health Organization is highlighting women’s right to a healthy future.
- According to WHO, there are some 422 million people living with diabetes. 205 million of them are women, with more than half in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia regions.
- WHO is promoting affordable and equitable access for all women with diabetes or at risk of diabetes to the essential medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.