HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
WEDNESDAY, 5 JULY 2017

 
SECRETARY-GENERAL WILL RETURN TO CONFERENCE ON CYPRUS IN CRANS-MONTANA

  • The Secretary-General will depart New York this evening to travel to Switzerland.
  • Tomorrow, Thursday, 6 July, he will attend the Conference on Cyprus in Crans-Montana.

 

U.N. SYSTEM MUST UNDERGO BOLD CHANGES TO HELP COUNTRIES ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA BY 2030 – U.N. CHIEF
  • This morning, the Secretary-General presented his first report on the repositioning of the UN development system to the Economic and Social Council.
  • The Secretary-General said that the 2030 Agenda is our boldest agenda for humanity, and requires equally bold changes in the UN development system. He stressed that just like the 2030 Agenda is an integrated platform to address people’s needs, the UN development system must also be far more integrated in its work to respond more effectively.
  • The Secretary-General underlined key areas for reform which include: ensuring that the UN system fully transitions from the MDGs to the 2030 Agenda; increasing the focus on financing for development so countries can unlock the doors to financing, expertise, know-how and technologies; creating a new generation of Country Teams that are more cohesive, flexible and can respond to the specific needs of each country – this includes redefining the role of Resident Coordinators by delinking them from being UNDP Resident Representatives and giving them direct supervisory lines over all UNCT members so they can lead more effectively, and increasing accountability, oversight and transparency in the field as well as at headquarters.
  • The Secretary-General’s first report will be followed by a second one with further recommendations as well as more detailed actions for reform and this will be released in December this year.

 

U.N. CHIEF STRONGLY CONDEMNS LATEST BALLISTIC MISSILE LAUNCH BY DPR KOREA
  • Yesterday, we issued a statement in which the Secretary-General strongly condemned the launch of a ballistic missile of possible intercontinental range conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 4 July.
  • He said that this action is yet another brazen violation of Security Council resolutions and constitutes a dangerous escalation of the situation. The DPRK leadership must cease further provocative actions and comply fully with its international obligations.
  • The Secretary-General underlined the importance of maintaining the unity of the international community in addressing this serious challenge.
  • The Security Council will hold a meeting on this this afternoon at 3P.M.

 

U.N. CHIEF APPOINTS CATHERIN MARCHI-UHEL OF FRANCE AS HEAD OF MECHANISM TO ASSIST IN INVESTIGATION OF CRIMES IN SYRIA
  • The Secretary-General appointed Catherine Marchi-Uhel of France as the Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 (the Mechanism).
  • Ms. Marchi-Uhel is the first Head of the Mechanism established by the General Assembly in December last year. She brings to this position over 27 years of experience in the judiciary and in public service, including with the United Nations, in the fields of criminal law, transitional justice and human rights.
  • Following consultations with Member States and the Executive Board of UN-Women, the Secretary-General also announced the appointment of Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa as Executive Director of UN-Women for a further term of four years.

 

U.N. SCALING UP RELIEF SUPPORT IN YEMEN TO COMBAT CHOLERA OUTBREAK
  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that cholera has now reached all 21 of Yemen’s governorates.
  • There have been 270,000 suspected cases and more than 1,600 deaths since late April of this year.
  • Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners received 400 tonnes of life-saving medical supplies and equipment – including 30 fully-equipped ambulances and kits to treat 10,000 people – in Aden and Hudaydah.
  • Health partners have set up 2,350 treatment beds and more than 600 oral rehydration points throughout Yemen.
  • For its part, the World Food Programme (WFP) said today that it is scaling up its emergency operations in Yemen, which is on the brink of famine.
  • More than 17 million people, or two-thirds of the population, do not know where their next meal will come from.
  • In June, WFP provided food assistance to more than five million people, but due to funding shortages, 3.7 million people received a smaller food ration.
  • Resources are urgently needed to respond to the immense needs in Yemen, especially given the cholera outbreak.
  • WFP calls for immediate funds and unimpeded access to reach those most in need and avert famine. The agency needs $482 million from July to December to continue providing vital assistance in Yemen.

 

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: U.N. MISSION WORKING TO DETER FURTHER VIOLENCE IN ZÉMIO
  • The UN Mission in the Central African Republic has provided an update, on the situation in Zémio, where displaced civilians continue to shelter in locations, including the local church and hospital.
  • Yesterday, UN Peacekeepers exchanged fire with unidentified armed persons in the town on two separate occasions. No casualties were reported. Peacekeepers also arrested four armed anti-Balaka-affiliated elements later in the day.
  • MINUSCA continues to deploy around Zémio to deter further violence between the Muslim and Christian communities.
  • Separately, in Kaga Bandoro, the Mission is meeting local authorities and members of the Christian and Muslim communities to advocate for calm, following attacks by ex-Séléka last week.
  • The UN Refugee Agency strongly condemned an attack against their staff and premises that took place on Saturday, 1 July, in the northern town of Kaga Bandoro, in the Central African Republic (CAR).
  • Armed men entered UNHCR’s premises around 5 p.m. and looted all goods and money on site. Six staff who were present at the time of the incident were robbed of their belongings, including personal items and passports, and threatened at gun point.
  • UNHCR temporarily relocated staff to the MINUSCA Base in Kaga Bandoro, and will be moving some to Bangui.
  • Meanwhile, last Friday, President Touadéra confirmed the appointments of five magistrates and the international special prosecutor in a major step towards the operationalization of the Special Criminal Court.

 

U.N. ASSISTING CIVILIANS WHO CONTINUE TO FLEE MOSUL AS FIGHTING PROGRESSES IN IRAQI CITY
  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that civilians continue to flee Mosul as fighting progresses in the old city.
  • Since the start of the Mosul operation began last October, 916,000 people have been displaced, with more than 3,600 people were recorded newly displaced yesterday alone.
  • At least 10,000 to 20,000 people are believed to still be in the old city. Aid workers do not have access to the area and are extremely concerned for the safety of these civilians, who face risks from cross fire, direct targeting and use as human shields by Da’esh.
  • The Mosul crisis has surpassed humanitarian workers’ worst-case planning scenarios, which envisaged some 750,000 people requiring assistance over the course of the military offensive.
  • The humanitarian response has, however, kept pace with escalating displacement and needs, with some 1.9 million people have received front-line emergency assistance since the start of the crisis.

 

SYRIA: U.N. CONCERNED OVER RENEWED FIGHTING AND HUMANITARIAN CONDITIONS
  • The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it is deeply concerned over renewed fighting and violence in Syria which has led to the deaths and injury of dozens of civilians.
  • Yesterday, a car bomb reportedly exploded in front of a learning center near Hafasarja town in Idleb, resulting in the death of scores of civilians.
  • Also yesterday, attacks and fighting in Rural Damascus and Aleppo allegedly killed many people and damaged civilian infrastructure.
  • On Raqqa, our humanitarian colleagues say they are worried about the safety and protection of tens of thousands of people trapped in Raqqa amidst heavy fighting.
  • Since 1 April, the total number of people who have been displaced has topped 190,000.
  • Aid workers are providing assistance, including food and medicine, to displaced people from within Syria and cross-border in Raqqa, Al-Hassakeh, and Der Ez-Zor governorates.
  • The UN continues to call on all parties to the conflict - and those with influence over them - to ensure permanent and unhindered access by all humanitarian actors, including protection actors, to independently assess needs and provide services to people affected by fighting. It also reminds all parties of their responsibility to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure as required by International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law.

 

CHILDREN IN WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA MOVING IN GREATER NUMBERS THAN EVER BEFORE - UNICEF
  • UNICEF today said that over 7 million children are on the move in West and Central Africa each year, with some 75 per cent of them remaining in sub-Saharan Africa, and less than one in five heading to Europe.
  • The new report entitled “In Search of Opportunities: Voices of children on the move in West and Central Africa” looks at the main drivers behind regional child migration and displacement, as well as longer-term implications for the region.
  • Based on a series of interviews with migrants and their families, it suggests that migration involving children and young people from West and Central Africa is likely to increase due to a confluence of factors including rapid population growth and urbanization, unequitable economic development, persistent conflict, weak governance and limited institutional capacity to support the most vulnerable populations.
  • Climate change is also a major factor driving migration in West and Central Africa. The region is projected to experience a three to four degree rise in temperature this century – more than one and a half times higher than anywhere else in the world.

 

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY EVACUTES VULNERABLE WOMEN WHO SUFFERED ABUSE IN LYBIA
  • In Libya, the UN Refugee Agency evacuated yesterday six vulnerable refugee women to a country that has accepted to resettle them. A second group of seven refugees is expected to follow shortly.
  • The women suffered horrific abuse and were kept in servitude by an armed group in Libya. They were later detained by the authorities, before being released and transferred to a safe house in Libya.

 

WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION LAUNCHES CLIMATE REPORT SERIES EXPLORING EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
  • Our colleagues at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have just launched their latest series of climate reports by TV weather presenters exploring how climate change will change the weather in the future.
  • This series focuses on how much hotter summers will be by the end of this century in major cities like Paris, Tokyo and Buenos Aires if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. Paris for example, where daily summer high temperatures now average 22°C, may see summer temperatures like those today in Fez, Morocco which average 29°C.

 

HIGH-LEVEL EVENT WILL EXPLORE ROLE OF HUMAN SECURITY IN 2030 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
  • I wanted to flag that on Friday at 10:30 A.M. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the UN Human Security Unit is organizing a High-Level Event on Human Security and its contribution to Agenda 2030.
  • The event offers an opportunity to share experiences and lessons learned on how the human security approach, based on a wealth of experience in more than 90 countries, can help strengthen strategies, tools and partnerships to accelerate integrated and preventive actions towards achieving Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. Speakers will include the Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson.