Daily Press Briefing: Haiti, Great Lakes, Cameroon, Iraq, Water, Agriculture, Gaza, Ethiopia-Eritrea, OCHA, Press conferences, Honour roll
13 Apr 2017 - Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
THURSDAY, 13 APRIL 2017
SECURITY COUNCIL SETS UP NEW MISSION IN HAITI
- Today, the Security Council adopted unanimously a resolution establishing a new Mission in Haiti, called the Mission for Justice Support in Haiti, MINUJUSTH.
- This smaller peacekeeping operation, MINUJUSTH, will have a concentrated focus on the rule of law and police development.
- It will be composed of up to seven Formed Police Units, or 980 personnel, and 295 Individual Police Officers and civilian staff.
- The current mission, MINUSTAH, is to close in six months from now, with a gradual military drawdown to be completed by 15 October 2017.
- The Council also discussed sanctions on Somalia and Eritrea this morning.
U.N. GREAT LAKES ENVOY UPDATES SECURITY COUNCIL ON PROGRESS MADE IN IMPLEMENTING PEACE PACT
- Yesterday afternoon, Said Djinnit, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes, also briefed the Security Council, highlighting some progress in the implementation of the Peace and Security Framework for the region.
- Although relations between countries have been affected by the activities of illegal armed groups in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he noted promising steps towards strengthening economic cooperation.
- Mr. Djinnit also encouraged the leaders of the region to remain committed in assisting Burundi, the Central African Republic, the DRC and South Sudan to address the persisting crises these countries experience.
CAMEROON: U.N. ENVOY CALLS FOR PEACEFUL, LEGAL SOLUTIONS TO TENSIONS
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa, Louncény Fall, concluded a three-day visit to Cameroon yesterday. This was his fourth visit since November 2016, and the second focused on the situation in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon. During his visit, he met with Government officials, civil society, opposition leaders, detained representatives from the Anglophone movement and their lawyers, representatives of the international community and the UN system.
- Mr. Fall reiterated the UN’s call to all parties to address the current situation through peaceful and legal means. He welcomed the Government’s announced intention to restore internet services in Bamenda for hospitals, universities and banks, as part of the measures announced on 30 March by the Minister of Justice. He encouraged the Government to consider additional confidence-building measures to appease tensions, including the release of the Anglophone leaders, and the full restoration of internet services in the two regions.
- Mr. Fall also called on the leaders of the Anglophone movement to engage with the Government in a constructive manner to find a consensual and lasting solution to the situation in the South-West and North-West regions. He reaffirmed the willingness of the UN to continue to accompany the two parties in their dialogue efforts.
- Mr. Fall will return to Cameroon on the occasion of the 44th ministerial meeting of the UN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa from 29 May to 2 June 2017.
U.N. AGENCY SPOTLIGHTS EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO IRAQ’S WESTERN MOSUL
- The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) says that extensive damage has occurred in western Mosul, with more than 1,000 homes having been destroyed.
- Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande says that the level of damage in western Mosul is already far greater than in the east, even before the battle to retake the Old City begins.
- With nearly 300,000 civilians having fled western Mosul, she warned that hundreds of thousands more may flee in the days and weeks ahead.
- With homes being destroyed, schools and health centres sustaining damage, and electricity and water stations in ruins, Ms. Grande stressed that under international humanitarian law, parties to the conflict are obliged to do everything possible to protect civilians and limit damage to civilian infrastructure.
FUNDING NOT KEEPING PACE WITH SANITATION GOALS – NEW U.N. REPORT
- Countries are not increasing spending fast enough to meet the water and sanitation targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says a new report published today by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Universal access to safe drinking-water and sanitation will not be achieved unless steps are taken to use financial resources more efficiently and increase efforts to identify new sources of funding.
- Some 80 per cent of countries report that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) financing is still insufficient to meet nationally-defined targets.
- In order to meet the SDG targets, the World Bank estimates investments in infrastructure need to triple to US $114 billion per year, a figure which does not include operating and maintenance costs.
U.N.-BACKED STANDARDS ADOPTED TO BOLSTER SAFER TRADE IN PLANTS, SEEDS
- A new UN-backed global standard was adopted today to ensure safer international trade in plants and seeds.
- In this globalized world, food and agricultural products are continuously on the move, with ships ferrying each year more than 500 million large steel containers filled with all kinds of cargo.
- The standard adopted today in the Republic of Korea by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures aims to ensure that all shipments, big or small, are free from bugs and diseases, and to address the threat of pest transmission posed by seeds.
U.N. SPEAKS OUT AGAINST GAZA EXECUTIONS
- In response to questions, the Spokesman said that we condemn the execution of three men on 6 April by Hamas in Gaza.
- We reiterate our opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances.
- Furthermore, death sentences carried out in the absence of a fair trial and the required approval of the Palestinian President are in violation of Palestinian and international law.
- We urge the authorities in Gaza to immediately cease the practice of capital punishment and to uphold their obligations under national and international law.
ETHIOPIA-ERITREA: U.N. CALLS FOR PEACEFUL SOLUTIONS TO HORN OF AFRICA CONFLICTS
- In response to questions, we are aware that today marks 15 years since the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission reached its ruling on the delimitation of the border between the two countries. We regret that the ruling, made in line with the Algiers Peace Agreement signed in 2000, has yet to be implemented and that relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea have yet to normalise.
- We would underscore the importance of finding peaceful solutions to conflicts affecting the Horn of Africa and of fully implementing agreements to that end.
- We also call on both Eritrea and Ethiopia to implement the ruling of the Ethiopia-Eritrea Claims Commission, reached in 2009, and work towards laying the foundation for a comprehensive and lasting peace with the support and assistance of the United Nations and other international partners.
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, GERMANY AND MONTENEGRO LATEST U.N. MEMBER STATES TO PAY FULL DUES
- Brunei Darussalam, Germany and Montenegro have paid their UN dues in full, bringing the total number of Member States which have done so to 83.