Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

Preview Language:   English
15-May-2018 00:26:06
Noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Available Language: English
Type
Language
Format
Acquire
Original
MP3
/
English
Other Formats
Description
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told the Security Council by videoconference this morning that yesterday was a day of tragedy for the people of Gaza. He said that there is no justification for the killing, and there is no excuse. He called on all to join him in condemning in the strongest possible terms the actions that have led to the loss of so many lives in Gaza.
He said that, according to various reports, at least 60 people were killed yesterday, including at least six children, while more than 1,300 people were reportedly injured by live ammunition and rubber bullets.
In a statement yesterday, the Secretary-General said that Israeli security forces must exercise maximum restraint in the use of live fire. Hamas and the leaders of the demonstrations have a responsibility to prevent all violent actions and provocations.
With tensions high and more demonstrations expected in the coming days, the Secretary-General said that it is imperative that everyone show the utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life, including ensuring that all civilians and particularly children are not put in harm’s way.
The ongoing violence underscores the urgent need for a political solution. The Secretary-General reiterates that there is no viable alternative to the two-state solution, with Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace, each with its capital in Jerusalem.
NO CHALLENGE LOOMS AS LARGE AS CLIMATE CHANGE, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL AT AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT
The Secretary-General is currently in Brussels. He met today with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. From there, he went on to meet with Didier Reynders, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium. Later this evening, the Secretary-General will be hosted by Belgium’s Prime Minister, Charles Michel, for a working dinner.
Earlier today, the Secretary-General was in Vienna, where he delivered remarks at the R20 Austrian World Summit. The summit brings together international leaders from politics, the business and investment worlds, civil society, academia and start-ups to work together and show leadership on implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Secretary-General told the gathered leaders that of all the challenges he is faced with every day, none looms so large as climate change. If we fail to meet this challenge, he added, all our other challenges will just become greater and threaten to swallow us. Acknowledging the Summit’s focus on sub-national and local efforts, the Secretary-General underscored the need for financing to reach the people and places that need it most. He said that mobilizing and equipping local governments with the capacity and financing to accelerate climate action is necessary if we are to bend the emissions curve.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the Secretary-General had two separate bilateral meetings, with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and with the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg.
BURUNDI: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF VOICES CONCERN OVER VIOLENCE AHEAD OF REFERENDUM
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, expressed concern today about a possible upsurge in violence in Burundi during the run-up to Thursday’s controversial constitutional referendum.
A recent deadly attack on a village left 26 civilians dead, and even as there are differing accounts of whom the attackers may have been, Zeid said that in this febrile atmosphere, it was a very dangerous development.
Burundi is awash with rumours, political negotiations are deadlocked, and tensions are rising sharply in the wake of this attack, he said.
Zeid took note of the authorities’ announcement that they are launching an investigation and urged them to ensure it is transparent and credible.
Everyone will suffer if Burundi explodes into violence during or after the referendum, he said, urging the Government to live up to its responsibilities.
U.N. YEMEN ENVOY MAKING PROGRESS ON FRAMEWORK FOR NEGOTIATIONS
The Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is making good progress towards the production of a framework for negotiations, as promised in his briefing to the UN Security Council in April. He plans to put that framework to the Security Council in the first half of June, and he looks forward to a formal relaunch of peace negotiations afterwards.
Mr. Griffiths is grateful for the continuing unhindered and prompt access he continues to enjoy with all the parties. He wishes to correct any impression that the postponement of his visit to Sana’a has in any way impeded his access to Ansar Allah leaders to better understand their own perspectives on his framework for negotiations.
The Special Envoy continues to ask the parties to take urgent measures to de-escalate.
U.N., PARTNERS VISIT SYRIA’S EASTERN GHOUTA FOR FIRST TIME IN TWO MONTHS
Staffan de Mistura, the Special Envoy for Syria, spoke to reporters in Astana today, saying that he and his technical team had participated in a useful ninth meeting in Astana with some concrete discussions on de-escalation. He said that the issue of Syrian territorial integrity and national unity was clearly stressed by everyone.
He added that the UN participated very actively in a working group where the Guarantors had constructive engagement on the issues of detainees, abductees and missing people.
Meanwhile, yesterday, an inter-agency United Nations/Syria Arab Red Crescent (SARC) mission visited the towns of Saqba and Kafar Batna, in eastern Ghouta. This was the first United Nations access to eastern Ghouta since it delivered assistance to Duma on 15 March.
During the visit, the mission visited medical facilities, schools, and a local market. They observed the destruction of infrastructure, with over half of Saqba damaged or destroyed. Six schools in Saqba are functioning, and interventions are ongoing to rehabilitate additional educational facilities.
The United Nations continues to call on all parties, and those with influence over them, to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, and to allow safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to all in need, in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law.
U.N. REPORT HIGHLIGHTS NEED TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT CORRUPTION IN AFGHANISTAN
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan today released its second anti-corruption report, which takes stock of the progress made to fight corruption in the country and provides recommendations to move forward.
The head of the Mission, Tadamichi Yamamoto, said that while Afghanistan has made significant and notable progress in fighting corruption, new reform strategies and laws have yet to be fully applied to bring tangible benefits to the daily lives of Afghans.
“It has become clear that all Afghan institutions, along with all segments of society, must now engage in fighting corruption to rebuild integrity, accountability and transparency in the country, with a long-term agenda,” said Mr. Yamamoto.
U.N. RELIEF WING SOUNDS ALARM OVER DETERIORATING SITUATION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warns that the situation in the Central African Republic has been deteriorating for several months in the interior of the country, with outbreaks of violence also reported in the capital, Bangui, in the past month.
According to health workers, the outbreak of violence in Bangui has left 61 people dead and 330 wounded. An estimated 10,000 people have been displaced within the city due to insecurity. The displacement has an adverse effect on access to already scarce resources such as drinking water. Parents are also reluctant to send their children to school due to fear of further violent attacks.
Humanitarian needs in the country have increased with 2.5 million people in need this year compared to 2.2 million in early 2017. The number of internally displaced people is now close to 690,000, an increase by 70 per cent in the past year, while the number of refugees in neighboring countries reached 568,500 people - a 30 per cent increase in one year. In addition to insecurity, serious underfunding continues to impede the delivery of aid. The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan, requesting $515.6 million, is only 9 per cent funded at mid-year.
U.N. AGENCY URGENTLY SEEKING FUNDS TO ASSIST CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC REFUGEES IN CHAD
The World Food Programme warned today that without urgent humanitarian assistance, more than 30,000 people forced to flee an upsurge in violence in the Central African Republic to seek refuge in Chad, face hunger and destitution.
WFP and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), working with the Chadian government’s refugee commission, have provided initial assistance including food, shelter, essential non-food items and medical care but the relief effort has been hampered by a lack of funds.
WFP needs US$ 10 million to provide continued food and nutrition assistance to the refugees and members of host communities during the next six months.
The current influx of mostly women and children brings to 100,000 the number of Central African refugees living in Chad.
‘STOP ATTACKS ON CHILDREN’, URGES U.N.I.C.E.F. CHIEF
“Stop attacks on children”: the Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, made that call in a statement today, saying that from the Central African Republic to South Sudan, and from Syria to Afghanistan, attacks on children in conflict have continued unabated during the first four months of the year.
With little remorse and even less accountability, parties to conflict continue to blatantly disregard one of the most basic rules in war: the protection of children. Ms. Fore denounced indiscriminate attacks on schools, hospitals and other civilian infrastructure, abductions, child recruitment, besiegement, abuse in detention and denial of humanitarian assistance.
She stressed that despite funding shortfalls, UNICEF is resolutely committed to serving the most vulnerable.
Humanitarian aid alone is not enough, she added, children need peace and protection at all times. When conflicts break out, rules need to be respected and those who break them need to be held to account.
MYANMAR: U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS WING CONCERNED ABOUT INCREASED ATTACKS BY MILITARY, ARMED FORCES IN KACHIN, SHAN
The Human Rights Office is deeply concerned about the escalation in attacks by military forces and armed groups in Kachin and northern Shan States in Myanmar.
These attacks have caused new displacement and some civilians remain trapped in areas of active fighting, with extremely difficult escape routes through mountains and forests, and in need of humanitarian support.
The Human Rights Office urges all sides to exercise restraint and call on the Government to ensure that those who have been displaced or remain in conflict-affected areas have access to humanitarian aid.
They say they are also concerned about the reported arrests Saturday of demonstrators in Yangon who were peacefully calling for an end to hostilities in Kachin State, calling on the authorities to respect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
INTERNATIONAL DAY SPOTLIGHTS ROLE OF FAMILIES IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Today is the International Day of Families. The theme this year is “Families and inclusive societies” and explores the role of families and family policies in advancing Sustainable Development Goal 16 in terms of promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.
At 1:15 p.m. in Conference Room 6, there will be a panel discussion on the Day’s theme organized by the Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
INDONESIA PAYS FULL U.N. DUES
Indonesia has paid its regular budget dues in full. This payment takes the Honour Roll to 94.
Personal Subjects
Parent ID
2151492
Asset ID
2151947