Briefing by Deputy Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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ENGLISH 04-Jan-2017 00:22:06
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
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The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, and the other members of the “Core Group” congratulated today President-elect Jovenel Moïse on his election.

The Core Group includes the Ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, the United States, the European Union, the Organization of American States and the United Nations.

They welcomed the leadership of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) in the process and encourage all actors to respect the final results.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, today condemned the attack against one of its convoys that took place yesterday around the town of Obo. Two Moroccan peacekeepers were killed and two others were wounded.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, stressed that nothing could justify an attack against peacekeepers and that everything would be done to track down the perpetrators so they can be brought to justice. The UN Mission also recalls that an attack against peacekeepers can be considered a war crime.

Our condolences go to the people and Government of Morocco.

Following developments in central Libya, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Martin Kobler, has warned against the risk of escalation leading to renewed conflict.

He urged all parties to act with restraint and to resolve issues through peaceful dialogue. Mr. Kobler stressed the need for urgent renewed efforts to find solutions to political issues that will allow for the full implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement.

We are very disappointed to hear that the Burundian Government has banned the country’s oldest human rights organisation, Ligue Iteka
The organisation carries out crucial work in monitoring and documenting human rights abuses committed in Burundi, which is all the more important given the precarious human rights situation in the country.

We call on the Government to reverse its decision and reconsider restrictions on the other human rights and civil society organisations that have been sanctioned in the past three months.

The number of displaced people in the context of the Mosul military operations that began on 17 October is now nearly 132,000, of whom at least 114,000 are sheltered in camps and emergency sites.

Since 17 October, humanitarian partners have reached 513,000 people both in and out of camps with water, sanitation and hygiene services; nearly 386,000 internally displaced (IDPs) and other vulnerable people in need have received food aid; 333,000 IDPs have received household items, including winterization kits; and more than 277,000 medical consultations have been carried out by health partners.

Meanwhile, people inside Mosul are facing a dire humanitarian situation. Across the city, food stocks are dwindling while the price of staple foodstuff is rising rapidly and water boreholes in the east of Mosul are drying up or turning brackish from over-use. Response inside Mosul is hampered by a highly volatile security situation.

In response to questions, the Spokesman confirmed that the Secretary-General spoke to US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday morning.

This was an introductory phone call during which they had a very positive discussion on US/UN relations. The Secretary-General said that he looked forward to engaging with the President after his inauguration.

Yesterday, the Secretary-General shared with staff a number of management decisions taken on his first day in office. These decisions, which fall under his authority, aim at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the work of the Organization.

The Secretary-General is resetting the work of his Executive Office to build upon the work of the departments, agencies, funds and programmes, without duplicating their functions.

An Executive Committee, consisting of senior officials in the Secretariat, is being set up to assist the Secretary-General in taking decisions on issues of strategic consequence requiring top-level action across all the pillars of the UN's work. This group will meet weekly, if not more often, under his chairmanship.

The Secretary-General is also putting in place a number of new internal processes in order to improve integrated information flow and coordination of situational awareness to improve the effectiveness of the UN’s response to crises. This includes a more prominent role for the UN Operations Crisis Centre and the physical co-location at headquarters of the regional divisions of the departments of Political Affairs, Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support.

Further development of certain aspects will need to be put before the legislative bodies for decision by Member States but these steps are the first in adapting the work of the Organization to a challenging world and the high expectations placed upon it.
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