Category Archives: Breaking news

UN rights chief warns of violence re-escalating in Central African Republic

655005MINUSCA4 July 2016 – The United Nations human rights chief today warned that the security and human rights situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) may be starting to deteriorate again, after a series a major incidents in the capital of Bangui and rural areas. “While 2016 began on a positive note, with the successful holding of elections in February, recent events in Bangui and in several other parts of the country make me fear a re-escalation of violence in the coming months,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a news release. “There is an urgent need to disarm the armed groups – who remain far too powerful and retain the potential to reignite the conflict – as well as to restore State authority and rule of law, and to ensure the security of all civilians,” he added.

He noted that tensions have been on the rise in Bangui since mid-June between armed elements and soldiers serving with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in Bangui’s Muslim PK5 neighborhood. Six armed men were killed and some 15 civilians were injured in clashes on 20 June. On the same day, MINUSCA forces intervened to extract CAR and UN police officers from a Commissariat building surrounded by a hostile armed crowd. On 24 June, a Senegalese UN peacekeeper was also killed in Bangui by unidentified armed men.

A number of incidents have also taken place recently in several regions where armed groups continue to exercise control, committing serious human rights violations and preying on the civilian population. In all, clashes outside Bangui involving armed groups, including ex-Séléka and anti-Balaka, resulted in the killing of at least 17 people in June.

To achieve a sustainable peace and reconciliation, security and accountability must be improved, the justice system must be re-established and confidence in State institutions must be restored, Mr. Zeid stressed.

He also expressed his concern at the continuing human rights violations committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the country’s southeast, including large-scale killings, mutilations, abductions, sex-slavery and forced recruitment of child soldiers. He said he was also deeply concerned by credible and deeply worrying allegations of human rights violations and abuses by members of the Ugandan army deployed to the CAR as part of the operation to counter the LRA.

During preliminary investigations, at least 18 women and girls said they were subjected to sexual violence and harassment by members of the Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF). Mr. Zeid said his office has already approached the Ugandan authorities on allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation, abduction and forced marriage, and will continue to follow up this matter with great attention.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Cameroon

Ban-Ki-moonNew York, 30 June 2016

The Secretary-General condemns the suicide attack that took place on 29 June in the far North region of Cameroon. He reiterates that no cause can justify terrorist attacks.

The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and to the Government and people of Cameroon, and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack.

The Secretary-General renews his call on international partners to provide support to the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin, with the backing of the African Union and the Multinational Joint Task Force, to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram in the sub-region.

United Nations begins informal briefings to select next Secretary-General

General Assembly Seventieth session Informal Dialogues with Candidates for the Position of Secretary-General AM session: Dr. Igor LuksicKicking off what he has called a “new and transparent process,” General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft today opened informal dialogues with candidates for the next United Nations Secretary-General, for the first time providing an opportunity for substantive and open engagement with the candidates – for the full UN membership and the public.

“We are sailing into uncharted waters here,” said Mr. Lykketoft addressing the press ahead of the start of the informal dialogues. Calling the process a “potential game-changing exercise,” he said the informal briefings were part of a “very transparent, very interesting discussion about the future of the United Nations.”

Over the course of the next three days, the official candidates – currently eight of them – will answer questions related to promoting sustainable development, how to improve efforts to create peace, how to protect human rights, how to deal with huge humanitarian catastrophes, and how to resolve challenges defined by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

At the end of the process, Mr. Lykketoft said, expressing his personal view, one single candidate could emerge, making it difficult for the Security Council – which is tasked with making the official selection, as stated in the UN Charter – to choose another candidate.
Defining some of the qualities in who would be the “best person” for the job, Mr. Lykketoft stressed independence, strong moral authority, great political and diplomatic skills, and some experience in being at the head of a huge administration.

As part of the informal dialogues, each candidate will have a televised and webcast two-hour timeslot, starting with a short oral presentation. Representatives from Member States will then ask questions, followed by the President of the General Assembly, who will ask a few of the more than 1,000 questions submitted by the general public on social media under the hashtag #UNSGcandidates.

The three candidates who will go before the General Assembly today are listed below, in order of appearance. They will present their ‘vision statements,’ which address the challenges and opportunities facing the UN and the next Secretary-General, and answer questions from the audience.

Igor Luksic is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. He is nominated by the Government of Montenegro.
Irina Bokova is currently the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. She is nominated by the Government of Bulgaria.
Antonio Guterres was most recently the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He is nominated by the Government of Portugal.
Following their sessions, each candidate will have the opportunity to speak with the press. The events can be followed live on UN WebTV.

Opening the dialogues, Mr. Lykketoft underscored that as the UN grapples with multiple crises and deals with “fundamental questions regarding its own role and performance,” finding the best candidate to succeed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “absolutely crucial.”  “Much of what we are embarking on today is without precedent at the UN,” he stressed. “For the first time in this Organization’s 70-year history, the process for selecting and appointing the next Secretary-General is being genuinely guided by principles of transparency and inclusivity – and the dialogues that we are beginning today are at the very core of this change,” he added. Mr. Lykketoft reiterated that candidates will be given the opportunity to respond to Member States’ interventions at regular intervals, with Member States speaking on behalf of groups given priority.

A civil society committee had reviewed all the more than 1,000 questions submitted from 70 countries since 26 February, when the call was opened for civil society to submit questions. The committee had agreed on a shortlist of 30 questions, the General Assembly President said. “The level of interest in these dialogues from the global public and civil society is extraordinary,” he said.

Mr. Lykketoft said that for the purpose of transparency and inclusivity, each candidate will be asked to respond to one or two questions from civil society, time permitting. He also plans to post 10 of the top remaining questions on his website after the dialogues, and encouraged each candidate to answer them in writing.

UN Secretary-General on the Central African Republic [scroll down for French version]

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the killing of a peacekeeper from the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)  [scroll down for French version]

01-19-2015MINUSCA_TroopsNew York, 10 November 2015, The Secretary-General condemns the killing today of a peacekeeper from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in Batangafo, located 400 kilometres north of Bangui.
Following an outbreak of violence between armed anti-Balaka and ex-Séléka elements at an internally displaced persons camp in Batangafo, ex-Séléka elements confronted MINUSCA troops at a nearby MINUSCA checkpoint. During the incident, one peacekeeper went missing and was subsequently found dead. The Secretary-General deplores, in the strongest terms, any attacks against UN peacekeepers, and calls for swift action to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice.
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the ongoing fighting in the Central African Republic and reiterates his call for all armed groups to immediately lay down their weapons and refrain from violence. He underscores the importance of creating an environment conducive to the holding of elections in line with the calendar announced by the National Electoral Authority to complete the country’s transition and bring sustainable peace and stability to the Central African Republic. The Secretary-General reiterates that MINUSCA will take all necessary measures in line with its mandate to protect civilians and foster stability. The Secretary-General offers his sincere condolences to the family of the victim and to the Government of Cameroon.

Déclaration attribuable au Porte-parole du Secrétaire général sur la mort d’un casque bleu de la Mission intégrée multidimensionnelle de stabilisation des Nations Unies en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA)

New York, le 10 novembre 2015 Le Secrétaire général condamne la mort d’un casque bleu de la Mission intégrée multidimensionnelle de stabilisation des Nations Unies en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA), lors d’une attaque aujourd’hui à Batangafo, à 400 kilomètres au nord de Bangui.
Après une flambée de violence entre des éléments armés appartenant aux groupes anti-Balaka et ex-Séléka près d’un camp de déplacés à Batangafo, une confrontation impliquant des éléments ex-Séléka a eu lieu à proximité d’un barrage de la MINUSCA. Au cours de cette confrontation, un casque bleu a disparu et a, par la suite, été retrouvé mort. Le Secrétaire général déplore, dans les termes les plus forts, toute attaque contre des casques bleus des Nations Unies et demande que leurs auteurs soient rapidement traduits en justice.

Le Secrétaire général condamne fermement les violences en cours en République centrafricaine et réitère son appel à tous les groupes armés à déposer immédiatement leurs armes et à renoncer à tout usage de la violence. Il souligne l’importance de créer un environnement propice à la tenue d’élections, en conformité avec le calendrier annoncé par l’Autorité électorale nationale, afin de mettre un terme à la transition et d’apporter une paix et une stabilité durables en République centrafricaine. Le Secrétaire général réitère que la MINUSCA prendra toutes les mesures nécessaires conformément à son mandat, afin de protéger les civils et favoriser la stabilité. Le Secrétaire général présente ses sincères condoléances à la famille du défunt ainsi qu’au Gouvernement du Cameroun.

UN Security Council Press Statement on Sexual exploitation and abuse and the Central African Republic

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18 August 2015, The members of the Security Council were briefed by the Secretary-General on 13th August 2015 on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by United Nations peacekeepers, including the latest allegations of abuses committed in the Central African Republic (CAR). They shared his outrage and anger at these allegations and recalled that peacekeepers should protect civilians in the areas where they are deployed. They stated that the United Nations, and particularly its peacekeepers, must comply with relevant provisions of international law, including with respect to the protection of human rights.  The members of the Security Council noted the United Nations should not let the actions of a few tarnish the heroic work of tens of thousands of United Nations peacekeepers and personnel.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the commitment of the Secretary-General to enforce strictly his zero tolerance policy and took note of his recommendations to ensure full compliance of all missions with the policy, including as part of regular reporting by the missions. They noted the recent appointment of an External Independent Panel to look into reports of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Central African Republic and the United Nations’ systemic response, and looked forward to its findings being made public.

The members of the Security Council reiterated the primary responsibility of troop and police contributing countries to investigate allegations against their uniformed personnel, and, if appropriate, to prosecute, and to inform the United Nations, in a timely manner, of the progress and outcome of investigations. They asked the Secretariat to keep police and troop contributing countries fully informed as soon as allegations against peacekeepers are made, stressed the need for full and appropriate reporting within the United Nations system, and regretted that some allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse including the latest allegations by the United Nations peacekeepers in the CAR were brought to their attention by external actors such as the media and NGOs. They stressed the importance of the United Nations quickly investigating in a credible, transparent manner the most recent allegations of misconduct and abuse, and if substantiated, working with the troop contributing countries involved to ensure those responsible are held accountable. The members of the Security Council underscored the importance to build the capacity of troop contributing countries to investigate allegations and hold accountable those involved in abuses within their own national legal frameworks. The members of the Security Council emphasized the need for victims and their families to be assisted when such abuses occur, including through better information sharing on the actions taken by troop and police contributing countries to hold those committing abuse accountable and underlined the importance of addressing the needs of the victims.

The members of the Security Council recalled paragraph 45 of resolution 2217 (2015), and stressed the need for all forces operating in the CAR, while carrying out their mandate, to act with full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the CAR and in full compliance with applicable international law and recalled the importance of training in this regard. They took note of the decision of the Secretary-General to ask for the resignation of his Special Representative in CAR and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA). They paid tribute to General Babacar Gaye’s tireless efforts in support of peace, security and reconciliation in the Central African Republic and during his United Nations career. They took note of the Secretary-General’s nomination of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga as Acting Special Representative and Head of MINUSCA and assured him of their full support to MINUSCA.

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

08-03-2015CAR_PeacekeepThe members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attacks against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 2 August 2015 in Bangui, in which one peacekeeper was killed, and several others were injured.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the peacekeeper killed and to the Government of Cameroon, and to MINUSCA. The members of the Security Council wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms all attacks and provocations against MINUSCA by armed groups. They underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute a war crime and reminded all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law.  They called on the Central African authorities to swiftly investigate, with the assistance of MINUSCA, this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.  They stressed that those responsible for the attack shall be held accountable.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for MINUSCA to assist the Transitional Authorities, which bear the primary responsibility to protect the population, and the people of the Central African Republic in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country, as mandated by the Security Council in resolution 2217 (2015).

3 August 2015

Statement by the Secretary-General following agreement on the Outcome Document of the Post-2015 Development Agenda 

UNSGI welcome the agreement achieved today by Member States on the outcome document of the United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda to be held in New York from 25 to 27 September 2015. “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” encompasses a universal, transformative and integrated agenda that heralds an historic turning point for our world. This agreement results from a truly open, inclusive and transparent process.

This is the People’s Agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behindIt seeks to ensure peace and prosperity, and forge partnerships with people and planet at the core. The integrated, interlinked and indivisible 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the people’s goals and demonstrate the scale, universality and ambition of this new Agenda.

The Agenda will be adopted at the United Nations Summit in September in New York. Building on the successful outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, the Summit will chart a new era of Sustainable Development in which poverty will be eradicated, prosperity shared and the core drivers of climate change tackled. Critically, the Summit will also contribute to achieve a meaningful agreement in the COP21 in Paris in December. I look forward to joining Heads of States and Government, civil society, faith and business leaders, and peoples around the world for the adoption of this new agenda in the historic Summit in New York.

I wish to commend Member States for their leadership and commitment. I thank the co-facilitators of the negotiations, Ambassadors Kamau of Kenya and Donoghue of Ireland, for their stewardship and tireless efforts. I commend the engagement of civil society, parliamentarians, business, the academic community and all major groups in this historical participatory process during the last two years that makes the 2030 Agenda the “We the Peoples” sustainable development agenda.

The UN System stands ready to support Member States in the implementation of the new agenda.

New York, 2 August 2015

The draft agreement can be found at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015

Countries reach historic agreement to generate financing for new sustainable development agenda


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 15 July –
Countries today agreed on a series of bold measures to overhaul global finance practices and generate investments for tackling a range of economic, social and environmental challenges at the United Nations Third International Conference on Financing for Development, being held in Addis Ababa.

AAAA-agreement-reachedThe groundbreaking agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, provides a foundation for implementing the global sustainable development agenda that world leaders are expected to adopt this September. The agreement was reached by the 193 UN Member States attending the Conference, following negotiations under the leadership of Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The agreement, adopted after months of negotiations between countries, marks a milestone in forging an enhanced global partnership that aims to foster universal, inclusive economic prosperity and improve people’s well-being while protecting the environment.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “This agreement is a critical step forward in building a sustainable future for all. It provides a global framework for financing sustainable development.” He added, “The results here in Addis Ababa give us the foundation of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development that will leave no one behind.”

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