HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
FRIDAY, 28 APRIL 2017
 
ONUS ON D.P.R. KOREA TO COMPLY WITH GLOBAL OBLIGATIONS, WORLD MUST REDUCE TENSIONS – SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL

  • This morning, the Secretary-General spoke at the Security Council meeting on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which he called one of the longest-standing and most serious issues before the United Nations.
  • He noted that the DPRK is the only country to have conducted nuclear tests this century. He added that we must assume that, with each test or launch, the DPRK continues to make technological advances in its pursuit of a military nuclear capability.
  • The Secretary-General strongly condemned the DPRK’s repeated violations of the relevant Security Council resolutions.
  • He also expressed alarm by the risk of a military escalation in the region, including by miscalculation or misunderstanding. He said that he is particularly concerned by the possibility that efforts to offset the destabilizing activities of the DPRK could also result in increased arms competition and tensions, further impeding the ability of the international community to maintain unity and achieve a peaceful solution.
  • The Secretary-General stressed that the onus is on the DPRK to comply with its international obligations. At the same time, the international community must also step up its efforts to manage and reduce tensions.
  • He emphasized that we need to avoid miscalculation and misunderstanding. We need to act now to prevent conflict and achieve sustainable peace.
U.N. HUMANITARIAN OFFICIAL SPOTLIGHTS COMPLEX EMERGENCY IN MALI
  • Following a three-day visit to Mali, the Director of Operations for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, John Ging, is drawing attention to the complex emergency in Mali and the deteriorating humanitarian situation as a direct result of the conflict.
  • Humanitarian and development needs are escalating across the country, with the greatest vulnerability in the conflict and violence-affected areas of northern, and now increasingly, central Mali.
U.N., AID PARTNERS CALL ON WORLD NOT TO NEGLECT CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
  • At the end of their mission in the Central African Republic today, regional humanitarian officials are urgently appealing for the world not to neglect the country. Their message takes on new urgency after an upsurge in attacks in the east and northwest has sparked fresh displacements.
  • The regional representatives of UN agencies and nongovernmental organisations met with affected communities, civil society, donors, aid workers and authorities in Bangui and in the northwest prefecture of Ouham-Pendé, which has witnessed a recent peak of violence.
  • Almost half the population in the CAR depends on humanitarian assistance to survive. Due to the lack of state presence and services in most areas, humanitarian actors are delivering over 50 per cent of social services to the population. Equally worrying is the continued, serious funding shortfall that threatens life-saving assistance. The $399.5-million humanitarian response plan for CAR in 2017 is only 10 per cent financed.
U.N. URGES RESTRAINT, CALM IN FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
  • In a statement issued yesterday evening, we said that we are following developments unfolding in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with great concern and call for restraint and calm. Violence directed at democratic institutions and elected representatives of the people is unacceptable.
  • We urge all political forces to resolve their differences through democratic means, strictly adhering to the Constitution, in order to overcome the political impasse without further delay.
CAMBODIA: U.N. CALLS FOR RELEASE OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
  • The UN Human Rights Office today called on the Cambodian authorities to release five human rights defenders who have been in pre-trial detention for one year, and whose detention was yesterday extended for an additional six months by the investigating judge.
  • This comes despite and an opinion by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention last November that ruled the detention of these five individuals to be arbitrary.
  • A number of UN Independent Experts have also urged their release, expressing their dismay about the use of criminal proceedings as a pretext to suppress and prevent the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression and to silence human rights defenders.
SUDAN LATEST U.N. MEMBER STATE TO PAY DUES IN FULL
  • Sudan has paid its regular budget dues in full for this year and last, bringing the number of Member States which have paid their dues for this year to 90.