HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FARHAN HAQ,
DEPUTY SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
WEDNESDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2017
ON INTERNATIONAL DAY, U.N. STRESSES NEED TO ELIMINATE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
- Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This morning, the Secretary-General spoke at an event here at Headquarters to mark the Day. He said that every woman and every girl has the right to a life free of violence yet, this right is violated every day for millions of women. He pointed to the recent emergence of reports detailing sexual harassment in the workplace from many organizations and institutions worldwide as evidence of how pervasive sexual violence against women is.
- Violence against women is fundamentally about power, he said, and it will only end with gender equality and the full empowerment of women.
- He added that the UN is committed to addressing violence against women in all its forms and called on the international community to further its collective action to end violence against women and girls -- for good.
U.N. CHIEF TO TRAVEL TO CÔTE D’IVOIRE NEXT WEEK
- The Secretary-General will travel to Côte d’Ivoire to attend the fifth African Union-European Union summit in Abidjan on 29 November. The theme of the summit is “Investing in the youth for a sustainable future”. The Secretary-General will deliver remarks during the opening ceremony.
- He will also meet with President Alassane Ouattara, as well as other participating Heads of State and Government.
- The Secretary-General is expected to be back in the office in the afternoon of 30 November.
IN BELGIUM, U.N. PEACEKEEPING CHIEF TO DISCUSS PARTNERSHIP WITH AFRICAN UNION AND EUROPEAN UNION
- The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, is in Brussels, Belgium, today on a two-day visit. He is meeting with senior Government officials, as well as officials from the European Union and the African Union and key stakeholders. He will discuss ways to further strengthen the partnership with the European Union and the UN-AU-EU triangular cooperation, including at a European Parliament high-level conference that focusses on a renewed partnership with Africa. Mr. Lacroix will also co-chair the UN-EU Steering Committee on Crisis Management tomorrow.
INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL CONVICTS RATKO MLADIĆ TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT
- The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) today convicted Ratko Mladić on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
- Serge Brammertz, the prosecutor for the Tribunal, said that today’s judgment is a milestone in the Tribunal’s history and international criminal justice. He noted that Ratko Mladić was one of the first persons indicted by his Office, and the last to be convicted. Mr. Brammertz said that this judgment vindicates the Security Council’s vision twenty-four years ago: to secure peace through justice, by holding accountable the most senior leaders responsible for the crimes.
IRAQ: U.N. OFFICIAL CALLS FOR CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE BETWEEN FEDERAL AND KURIDSTAN REGIONAL GOVERNMENT
- Ján Kubiš, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, briefed the Security Council and congratulated Iraq’s Government and people on their historic victory against Da’esh and its so-called Caliphate, which he called a victory on behalf of the world community.
- Regarding the situation in the Kurdistan region, Mr. Kubiš said that all outstanding issues between the federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government need to be resolved through their constructive partnership dialogue, leading to sustainable solutions on the basis of the Constitution that will also guarantee the full constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and its people.
- He provided an update on the UN’s humanitarian work in Iraq, noting that humanitarian partners have reached more than six million Iraqis during this year, including two million affected by military operations in Mosul. Each month, he said, we are reaching nearly one million civilians with the assistance they need to survive.
IN RIYADH, U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA EXPRESSES HOPE THAT CONFERENCE WILL ASSIST GENEVA TALKS
- Staffan de Mistura, the Special Envoy for Syria, spoke to reporters as he attended the conference taking place in Riyadh and he expressed his belief that the meeting will assist the UN-led negotiations in Geneva for a political solution in Syria, based on resolution 2254.
- He told opposition leaders that a strong, unified team would be a creative partner in Geneva, and he stressed the need for a team that can explore more than one way to arrive at the goals that need to be reached.
U.N. CHIEF CONDEMNS SUICIDE ATTACKS IN NIGERIA
- In a statement, the Secretary-General condemned the suicide attacks on 21 November in Adamawa State, Nigeria, which resulted in scores of casualties.
- The Secretary-General extended his condolences to the bereaved families and to the Government and people of Nigeria for the loss of life. He wished a speedy recovery to the injured. He called for those responsible for these heinous acts to be swiftly brought to justice.
- The Secretary-General reiterated the solidarity of the United Nations with the Government of Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism. He also renewed the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support regional counter-terrorism initiatives.
AT U.N. CONFERENCE, COUNTRIES PLEDGE $1.3 BILLION TO ASSIST CARIBBEAN ISLANDS AFFECTED BY HURRICANES
- Following yesterday’s High-level Conference to address the urgent needs of Caribbean islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, over US$1.3 billion were mobilized in pledges and over $1 billion in loans and debt relief.
- Nearly 400 high-level representatives from governments, multilateral and civil society organizations and the private sector were gathered here, with the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to help countries to “build back better”.
- The principal economic sectors of tourism and agriculture have been significantly affected, and recovery costs surpass $5 billion, according to the latest needs estimates.
- In some cases, the impact is 3.5 times the countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as is the case in the British Virgin Islands.
REINTEGRATION OF EX-CHILD SOLDIERS IN COLOMBIA MUST BE A PRIORITY - U.N. OFFICIAL
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, wrapped up a two-day visit in Colombia where she met Government and civil society representatives, members of the Catholic Church and UN partners.
- She said that the implementation of the child protection measures included in the Colombian Peace Agreement between the Government and the FARC-EP is encouraging and that lessons can be drawn from that process.
- Ms. Gamba added that the reintegration of former combatants, especially ex-child soldiers, should be everyone’s priority, as it allows released children to become active members of their community, while promoting a culture of peace.
- She also stressed that children used and abused in and for armed conflict should be treated as victims and that detention and juvenile courts should only be used as a last resort.
EUROPEAN AUTHORITIES MUST PAY GREATER ATTENTION TO NEEDS OF MIGRANT CHILDREN – U.N.I.C.E.F.
- UNICEF today called on European authorities to pay greater attention to the needs of refugee children, many of whom are living in deep distress.
- The call came after the reported suicide of an 11-year-old Afghan boy in a refugee facility in Austria. In a statement, UNICEF said it is crucial that these children receive the right quality of care at the right time to detect early warning signals of trouble, access to mental health services and the support of guardians or foster families. If such measures are not put in place as a matter of urgency, the long-term impact on children’s lives and their societies can be incalculable, the agency said.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS PERNILLE DAHLER KARDEL OF DENMARK AS ACTING SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR LEBANON
- The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Pernille Dahler Kardel of Denmark as Acting United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL).
- Ms. Kardel succeeds Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands, who concluded her assignment on 26 October 2017. The Secretary-General is thankful for Ms. Kaag’s dedication and leadership of UNSCOL.
- Ms. Kardel brings 25 years of experience in diplomacy, political affairs, international cooperation and economic development, spanning several continents. Most recently, Ms. Kardel served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) since 2016. She was previously the Ambassador of Denmark to Egypt (2012-2016) and served as Ambassador to Ethiopia as well as to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti (2007-2012) as well as Permanent Representative to the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
- She has held several positions with Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ranging from Counsellor with the Permanent Mission to the United Nations to Deputy Head of Mission in Moscow, Russian Federation, and Second Secretary in New Delhi, India. She also served as the Head of the Asia Department in the Ministry.
- Ms. Kardel holds two master degrees, one in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, and one in interdisciplinary planning from Roskilde University in Denmark.