HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FARHAN HAQ,
DEPUTY SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
WEDNESDAY, 18 JANUARY 2017
 
SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS U.N. STAFF, CHINESE LEADER IN GENEVA
  • The Secretary-General today is in Geneva, where he met with the heads of UN agencies based there and held a town hall meeting with UN staff.
  • A short while ago, he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and they are now taking part together in a high-level event.
  • Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will travel to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum.
MALI: U.N. PEACEKEEPING CHIEF SPEAKS OUT AGAINST SUICIDE ATTACK ON MILITARY CAMP
  • The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, briefed the Security Council on Mali this morning. He condemned the suicide attack that took place earlier today against the Operational Coordination Mechanism camp in Gao, saying it was clearly aimed at derailing the peace process.
  • Mr. Ladsous noted that the process is at a critical juncture. After over 18 months of interim period following the signature of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, little significant progress has been achieved. This is cause for major concern, he said, and raises questions about the will and commitment of the signatories of the agreement. Mr. Ladsous further asked Council members to examine the possibility of imposing targeted measures against those violating the ceasefire and voluntarily impeding the peace process.
  • Stressing that the agreement remains the only way to peace and reconciliation in Mali, Mr. Ladsous stressed the urgency to make progress and called on the signatories to fully engage in the implementation of the agreement.
  • The UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali also condemned today’s attack. It is currently providing assistance to the wounded and has stepped up its efforts to secure Gao city.
SENIOR U.N. OFFICIAL VOICES SHOCK AT DEADLY BOMBING OF NIGERIAN REFUGEE CAMP
  • The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, today expressed his shock at yesterday’s bombing on a site for internally displaced people in north-east Nigeria that left dozens of people dead. He stressed the need for the Nigerian authorities to urgently identify the failings that led to the tragedy.
  • The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) yesterday dispatched a helicopter with four medical personnel, 400 kg of emergency medical supplies and airlifted eight Nigeria Red Cross workers injured following the airstrike.
  • Rann is one of the localities in north-eastern Nigeria that have recently become accessible to humanitarian organizations. Emergency assistance is gradually being ramped up in areas that were previously unreachable. Additional assistance and personnel will be deployed to Rann in the coming days.
COTE D’IVOIRE: U.N. MISSION REPORTS CALM SITUATION FOLLOWING SOLDIERS’ PROTEST OVER UNPAID WAGES
  • The UN Peacekeeping Mission in Côte d'Ivoire reports that soldiers from the Écoles des Forces Armées in Zambakro, close to Yamoussoukro, protested yesterday over unpaid wages. The situation in the area is currently calm but volatile. The UN mission’s Quick Reaction Force continues to secure Yamoussoukro airport in support of the Ivorian security forces, and patrols within the city.
  • The mission also reports similar demonstrations by some gendarmes and police in Abidjan. Protests by soldiers were also reported in a number of cities, including Bouaké, Ferkessédougou, Daloa, Gagnoa, Man, Abidjan and Bondoukou. The UN mission reports that the armed forces contained the protests.
  • The Mission continues to closely monitor the situation and its helicopters are undertaking air reconnaissance over Yamoussoukro, Bouaké and Daloa.
INAUGURAL U.N. FORUM CONCLUDES WITH CALL FOR BETTER DATA TO IMPROVE LIVES
TOTAL NUMBER OF U.N. MEMBER STATES HAVING PAID FULL DUES REACHES 11
  • Canada and Singapore have made full payments to the UN’s regular budget, bringing the total number of Member States which have done so in 2017 to 11.