HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FARHAN HAQ,
DEPUTY SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
WEDNESDAY, 19 JULY 2017
NARRATIVE ON AFRICA MUST CHANGE TO FULLY RECOGNIZE CONTINENT’S POTENTIAL – U.N. CHIEF
- This morning, the Security Council met on enhancing African capacities in the areas of peace and security.
- The Secretary-General said he firmly believes the international community needs to change the narrative about Africa and to establish a higher platform of cooperation that recognizes Africa’s enormous potential and promise. In the area of peace and security, he said the African Union and the UN have a shared interest in strengthening mechanisms to defuse conflicts before they escalate, and to manage them effectively when they occur.
- The Secretary-General added that enhancing African capacities is essential both in the context of our collective response to international peace and security challenges as well as for the self-reliance of the African continent. Along with the African Union, he noted that our shared objective is to work closely on the basis of the principles of mutual respect and comparative advantage in all stages of the conflict cycle and in a systematic, predictable and strategic manner.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY SHOCKED BY REPORTS OF DEATHS OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE IN AERIAL ATTACK
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said today that it is deeply shocked and saddened at reports of the deaths and injuries of internally displaced people in an aerial attack on the embattled Mawza district of Yemen’s Taizz governorate.
- The number of civilian casualties is still being verified, but initial reports indicate that at least 20 people – including women and children – were killed.
- UNHCR says that this latest incident once again demonstrates the extreme dangers civilians face in Yemen, especially those people attempting to flee violence since they disproportionately bear the brunt of conflict.
- The Office says it also illustrates the difficulties in providing humanitarian protection and assistance in Yemen.
- Despite the security and safety conditions, UNHCR’s assistance for the internally displaced has reached the Mawza area.
U.N. RELIEF CHIEF IN DR CONGO TO SURVEY HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
- The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien arrived in Kinshasa for a three-day mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Tomorrow, he will fly to the eastern part of the country to inquire about the humanitarian situation in North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika provinces, before visiting the Kasai region.
- According to the World Food Programme, the under-reported crisis in the remote Kasai region is the most alarming in the country.
- WFP is extremely concerned by the lack of resources for this crisis. Despite this, it is launching operations to respond to the urgent food and nutrition security needs.
U.N. AGENCY HELPS HUNDREDS OF SOMALI MIGRANTS RETURN TO THEIR COUNTRY
- The International Organization on Migration (IOM) has helped 316 Somali migrants return to Somalia over the past four days.
- Many of these migrants were rescued from a boat near Yemen in February, and had been waiting since then to return to their country.
- While the migrants were waiting to leave, IOM helped ensure that they received medical care, food and clothing, and that the most vulnerable women, children, and medical cases received temporary shelter. The agency also ensured that they traveled safely through Yemen and across the Arabian Sea.
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES PROPOSAL TO REOPEN INTER-KOREAN COMMUNICATION
- Regarding recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, the Secretary-General welcomes the proposal by the Republic of Korea to reopen inter-Korean communication channels and encourages the leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to respond positively.
- As the Secretary-General emphasised on 28 April at the Ministerial-level Security Council meeting, the absence of communication channels with the DPRK could be dangerous.
- Reopening and strengthening communication channels, particularly military to military ones, are needed to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding and reduce tensions in the region.