HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STÉPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
WEDNESDAY, 31 JANUARY 2018
ON HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY, U.N. CHIEF SAYS WORLD MUST STAND TOGETHER AGAINST NORMALIZATION OF HATE
- The Secretary-General spoke at this year’s ceremony in remembrance of the Holocaust, saying that the annual day of commemoration is about the past, but also the future; it is about Jews but also all others who find themselves scapegoated and vilified solely because of who they are.
- Today, he said, we have two fundamental duties: first, to remember the Holocaust and its victims; and second, to be vigilant about hatred today. He said that since hatred and contempt of human lives are rampant in our time, we must stand guard against xenophobia every day and everywhere.
- Decades after the Holocaust, the Secretary-General said, Nazi symbols and slogans remain chillingly present. He said that we must stand together against the normalization of hate. We must reject those who fail to understand that as societies become multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural, diversity must be seen as a source of richness and not a threat.
INVESTORS MUST ENSURE THEIR PORTFOLIOS ALIGN WITH PARIS AGREEMENT – DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL
- the Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed spoke at the opening of the 2018 Investor Summit on Climate Risk. She told investors that climate change poses a systemic macroeconomic risk and a risk to the financial system itself and stressed that they must act with urgency, consistency and transparency to ensure that their portfolios are aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and that momentum continues at a global level and climate action voices are heard by regulators, central bankers and finance ministers.
MAMI MIZUTORI OF JAPAN APPOINTED AS U.N. SPECIAL RESPRESENTATIVE FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
- Today, the Secretary-General is appointing Mami Mizutori of Japan as Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction in the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, or UNISDR.
- Ms. Mizutori will succeed Robert Glasser of Australia to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedication and excellent leadership of UNISDR.
- Ms. Mizutori brings to the position a combination of management and leadership expertise as well as more than twenty-five years of experience in international affairs and security.
YEMEN: HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS TO RESUME WORK IN ADEN
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports a cautious calm in Aden, following three days of fighting during which the Southern Transitional Council (STC) seized control of most of the city from forces loyal to the Government of Yemen.
- Some shops have re-opened in the city and civilians have been able to move out of their homes to stock up on essential supplies. Schools are still closed except in Al Bureka districts. Operations at Aden airport and sea port have yet to resume.
- Essential UN humanitarian staff reported to work today. Humanitarian organizations hope to resume operations in the next few days, if the situation remains calm.
- Meanwhile, there are six vessels currently offloading at Hodeidah, three carrying a combined 61,700 metric tons of food and three carrying a combined 33,265 metric tons of fuel. There are seven other vessels at the anchorage area, carrying a combined 53,000 metric tons of fuel, awaiting to dock.
U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA TO CONSULT ON CREATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEE
- Following the conclusion of the talks in Sochi yesterday, the Special Envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, noted that the delegates in their Final Declaration embraced the 12 principles developed in the Geneva political process, which describe a vision of Syria that all Syrians should be able to share. He also noted that the participants agreed on forming a constitutional committee.
- Mr. de Mistura said that he will consult widely on the formation of such a committee and will indicate as soon as possible how he intends to proceed on his mandated task, under resolution 2254, to set a schedule and process for constitution drafting.
U.N. SENIOR OFFICIALS TO LAUNCH HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE PLAN FOR SOUTH SUDAN, REFUGEES IN NAIROBI
- Following his visit to Ethiopia and Somalia, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, will tomorrow join the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, on a visit to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, which hosts around 186,600 refugees and asylum-seekers, most of whom are from South Sudan.
- Mr. Lowcock and Mr. Grandi will then jointly launch the South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan and the Regional Refugee Response Plan in Nairobi. Humanitarian partners in South Sudan need US$1.7 billion to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to six million people across the country.
- An anticipated 3.1 million South Sudanese will be refugees by the end of 2018 in six neighbouring countries. UNCHR and partners are requesting for $1.5 billion to address the refugees’ needs.
U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY LAUNCHES $157 MILLION APPEAL TO HELP PEOPLE IMPACTED BY BOKO HARAM
- The UN Refugee Agency and its partners today launched a funding appeal for US$157 million to help over a quarter of a million people impacted by the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin region. The 47 UN agencies and humanitarian organizations will cater for the needs of some 208,000 Nigerian refugees and 75,000 of their hosts in Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
- UNHCR’s Deputy High Commissioner, Kelly T. Clements, warned that the Boko Haram crisis is far from over and said the world should not forget the victims of this deadly conflict. Since it started in 2013, the Boko Haram conflict has internally displaced another 2.4 million people in northeast Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
ILLITERACY IN CONFLICT AFFECTED COUNTRIES IS THREE TIMES HIGHER THAN GLOBAL RATE – U.N.I.C.E.F
- Nearly 3 in 10 young people aged between 15 and 24 years old living in countries affected by conflict or disaster are illiterate – that is triple the global rate - UNICEF said today.
- Niger, Chad, South Sudan and Central African Republic – all countries with a long history of instability and high levels of poverty – are home to the highest illiteracy rates among young people. It is as high as 76 per cent in Niger.
- The new analysis also notes that girls and young women are at the biggest disadvantage when it comes to reading and writing, with 33 per cent of them in emergency countries failing to learn even the basics, compared to 24 per cent of boys.
- Yet, despite its role in leveling the playing field for the most vulnerable children and young people, education remains severely underfunded.
- Currently, only 3.6 per cent of humanitarian funding goes toward providing education for children living in emergencies, making it one of the least funded sectors in humanitarian appeals.
- Overall, UNICEF estimates that it will spend approximately $1 billion a year on education programmes over the next four years.
AZERBAIJAN, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, MONACO PAY THEIR BUDGET DUES IN FULL
- Azerbaijan, Brunei Darussalam and Monaco have paid their dues in full. The total on the Honour Roll is now 32.