Category Archives: UN General Assembly

S.E Lejeune Mbella Mbella devant l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU

Photo ONU/Cia Pak
Le Ministre des affaires étrangères du Cameroun Lejeune Mbella Mbella devant l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies. 28 septembre 2018

Le Ministre des relations extérieures du Cameroun, Lejeune Mbella Mbella, a assuré jeudi que « la consolidation de la culture démocratique au Cameroun est un processus inéluctable, malgré les défis sécuritaires » auxquels le pays fait face.

Dans son discours devant l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies à New York, M. Mbella a affirmé que son pays avait procédé au perfectionnement de son système électoral, d’une part par le renforcement des mécanismes d’organisation des élections, d’autre part par des mesures visant à assurer une participation élevée aux prochains scrutins, dont le plus proche est l’élection présidentielle prévue pour le 7 octobre de cette année.

Le ministre a également affirmé que grâce à des efforts coordonnés avec les pays voisins du Bassin du lac Tchad, « la capacité de nuisance de la secte terroriste Boko Haram a été considérablement réduite, même s’il faut rester mobilisé jusqu’à son éradication totale ».

Le ministre a par ailleurs assuré que le gouvernement camerounais restait déterminé à « stabiliser la situation socio-politique dans les régions du nord-ouest et du sud-ouest du pays. Il a caractérisé les troubles récemment observés dans ces régions comme provenant de revendications corporatistes de syndicats d’enseignants et d’avocats.

« Malheureusement, a-t-il ajouté, des individus sans foi ni loi ont cru devoir transformer ces préoccupations socioprofessionnelles en revendications sécessionnistes, visant la désintégration de l’Etat ». Il a assuré que le gouvernement s’employait à restaurer paix et sécurité dans ces régions « dans le respect des droits de l’homme et des lois » et était déterminé à « garantir aussi bien la sécurité des personnes et des biens que l’unité et l’intégrité du territoire national ».

M. Mbella a par ailleurs exalté le multilatéralisme comme étant « la voie la plus appropriée pour répondre aux défis auxquels l’humanité fait face aujourd’hui ». Il a estimé que le rôle et l’avenir de l’ONU restaient « tributaires de la volonté des Etats membres de raffermir sa légitimité, sa démocratisation et sa représentativité ».

Cela passe par les réformes de ses organes, au rang desquels le Conseil de sécurité, a-t-il dit, ajoutant que l’on ne pouvait envisager « la pérennisation de la marginalisation de l’Afrique, qui demeure le seul continent à ne pas disposer d’un siège permanent au sein du principal organe chargé de la paix et de la sécurité internationales ».

Président Faustin-Archange Touadéra, devant la 73e Assemblée générale des Nations Unies


“Face aux nombreuses épreuves qui jonchent notre histoire, nous saurons être patients mais déterminés dans l’action, vigilants et conscients de l’ampleur de la tâche qui reste à faire », a-t-il ajouté dans un discours devant les autres Etats membres.

M. Touadéra a promis de ne ménager aucun effort pour créer les conditions de la réconciliation et de la reconstruction de son pays, où est déployée une Mission de la paix des Nations Unies (MINUSCA) depuis plusieurs années.

Il a expliqué que son gouvernement s’efforçait de restaurer l’autorité de l’Etat en poursuivant le déploiement progressif de l’administration et des services de l’Etat dans les provinces ainsi que le rétablissement des services sociaux de base.

Il a déploré la persistance d’événements tragiques et douloureux « perpétrés par les ennemis de la paix », qui « alimentent les violences qui ensanglantent, depuis le début de l’année 2018, aussi bien dans la capitale qu’à l’intérieur du pays, avec une augmentation des cas de violation des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire ».

Le Président centrafricain a ajouté que, malgré ces défis, son gouvernement avait maintenu l’élan des réformes dans les secteurs de la sécurité et de la défense. Il s’est réjoui de l’engagement pris par l’Union européenne et des partenaires bilatéraux pour soutenir la formation et la montée en puissances des forces de défense et de sécurité.

« Notre ambition, c’est de les voir véritablement opérationnelles et contribuer, aux côtés de la MINUSCA, à l’immense effort de stabilisation et de retour à une paix durable en République centrafricaine », a-t-il dit. Pour gagner ce pari, il a toutefois jugé nécessaire la levée totale de l’embargo sur les armes qui pèse encore sur l’armée nationale.

M. Touadéra a enfin exprimé toute la gratitude du peuple centrafricain à l’ensemble de la communauté internationale, « pour tous les sacrifices consentis afin de ramener la paix dans mon pays ». Il a souhaité que la communauté internationale reste mobilisée aux côtés du peuple centrafricain pour travailler au relèvement du pays.

73rd Sessions of UN General Assembly

100+ world leaders will attend high-level #UNGA events all week starting on Monday.

The theme for the general debate this year is “Making the United Nations relevant to all people: global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies”; it is also the theme of the 73rd session of the General Assembly.

Now there are more ways than ever to follow the action ➡️ https://bit.ly/2QNjasK

When is your Head of State speaking?

UN Secretary-General’s High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda

No single actor can fund a sustainable future. We need everyone.

On 24 September, global leaders will convene at #UNGA for the Secretary-General’s High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda to discuss financial policies that put sustainable development at the centre of a strong global economy.

Learn more 👉 http://bit.ly/financing2030 #Fin4Dev #GlobalGoals

H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés Starts Work Today as President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Yaounde, Cameroon, 18 September 2018 – H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés will be sworn in today to commence her official tasks as President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The General Assembly elected María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés on June 5, 2018 as President of its seventy-third session — making her the fourth woman to helm the 193-member organ in its more than seven-decades-long history.

H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés

Ms. Espinosa, a former Ecuadorian Minister for National Defence and current Minister of Foreign Affairs, received 128 votes, surpassing the required simple majority of 96. The only other candidate, Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake (Honduras), received 62 votes during the elections.

Speaking at the UN Headquarters, in New York, after her election in June, she promised to lead the Assembly in a way that strengthens multilateralism and better delivers on its commitments. On her priorities for the 73rd Session, she said “I think that we are really living in a very troubled environment, and I think it is very important that we really work towards the strengthening of the multilateral system and the revitalization of the United Nations; that we work hard to deliver better”.

She also added “to use an acronym that I have come up with, the “D.A.R.E” acronym, meaning “Delivery, Accountability, Relevance and Efficiency. “The D.A.R.E acronym is going to guide my work as President of the General Assembly during the 73rd Session. So, revitalize and boost multilateralism, revitalize the General Assembly, revitalize the UN system. I think that we all need, and we will all benefit from, a strong rules-based international system”. She added.

H.E. Ms. Espinosa has chosen the theme “Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies”.

The 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly opened in New York today.

Commemorating International Migrants Day in Cameroon

Statistics from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) indicate that 1700 Cameroon migrants are concerned by the merchandising of black Africans in the Maghreb countries. Moreover, despite the growing hostility, illegality and insecurity encountered by migrants, global statistics reveal that 258 million migrants roam the world in search of better living conditions. This was disclosed during the official ceremony co-organised to mark the 2017 International Migrants Day on 18 December 2017, at MINREX by the UN System on the theme; “Cross-border migration: Stakes and challenges for Cameroon”. In attendance was Mrs. Allegra Baiocchi; UN Resident Coordinator in Cameroon.

Mr. Boubacar Seybou; Head of Mission of IOM Cameroon harped on the role of the international community to show solidarity as he emphasised that “Migrants are victims of human trafficking, separated from their families and maltreated. You are a migrant, I am a migrant, we are migrants, together let us take action for migrants wherever and whoever they are, making it a beneficial opportunity for migrants and the countries that welcome them so that they may live well even beyond their borders”.

UNIC’s NIO; Jean Njita presented the storyline and projected the documentary “Wallah Je te jure”, a 24 mins film produced by the IOM. This tells the stories of men and women travelling along West African migration routes to Italy, Senegal’s rural villages, Niger’s bus stations and “ghettos” full of traffickers, Italian squares and houses will be backdrops of these courageous trips, which often end in tragedy. No matter the cost, the goal to reach Europe will be achieved, “Wallah”. But there are those who tired from the journey, turn back home.

Wallah – je te jure (short 23 min English)

Wallah – je te jure (short 23 min French)

Mr. Abou Omar; Director of cooperation with the Islamic world at Ministry of External Relations reiterated government’s commitment in creating a conduisive economic, social and cultural relationships with other countries for a better protection of their citizens who migrate, he cited an example; the Franco-Cameroon convention for social security.

Conference Debate on “Cross-border migration: Stakes and challenges for Cameroon”

Moderated by Mr Yves Tsala of the NGO “Solutions aux migrations clandestine (SMIC)”, the panel discussion had as panelists;

  1. Boubacar Seybou of IOM who focused on “Migration management”,
  2. Mrs Njikam Sanatou (MINREX) dwelt on “Refugess and migration issues”,
  3. Mr Landry Hubert Mbozo’o (National Social Insurance Fund) stressed on “Migration and Social Security”.

The three panelists disclosed that migration in itself was not a bad thing, but illegal migration is. They advised any individual embarking on a journey to obtain the legal documents and avoid the risks and dangers involved in illegal migration. They also insisted on the assistance of the government and its partners such as IOM, to returnees from this dangerous adventure across the Sahara desert (some were present in the hall).

Discussions continued with rich exchanges between panelists and participants, with questions such as;

  • What is the difference between a refugee and a migrant?
  • Does the IOM organize conferences to sensitize migrants on migration and the economic situations of countries they wish to migrate to?
  • How does the government protect her citizens in the other countries? Is there a system which keeps her updated with exact number of migrants in the world?

Dr. Boubacar Seybou insisted that, migrants must not take boats to migrate, it is necessary to migrate in a legal way and this way should not be reserved only to elites but to everyone.

UNIC Yaounde provided information kits comprised of; UNSG’s message on the migrants day (French and English), the storyline of the movie “Wallah je te jure”, and the Africa Renewal edition of December 2016 – March 2017 with a special on “Migrants risk all for better lives”. This kit with specific statistics for Africa was distributed to all participants.

 

UN Secretary-General’s remarks at Opening Session of High-Level plenary meeting to address Large movements of Refugees and Migrants-New York, 19 September 2016

CoverToday’s Summit represents a breakthrough in our collective efforts to address the challenges of human mobility. More people than ever are on the move. Some flee war; others seek opportunity.
Refugees and migrants are not to be seen a burden; they offer great potential, if only we unlock it. We must place the human rights of all refugees and migrants at the heart of our commitments. When we translate the New York Declaration which we adopt here today into reality: More children can attend school.  
More workers can securely seek jobs abroad, instead of being at the mercy of criminal smugglers. And more people will have real choices about whether to move once we end conflict, sustain peace and increase opportunities at home.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development advances those goals. The Declaration we will adopt today rallies all partners around collective commitments:
To protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants, regardless of their status.
To increase support for the hardest-hit countries.
To assist despairing people in protracted crises.
To ensure that children get an education.
To improve search and rescue operations.
And to boost humanitarian funding and resettlement of refugees.

Also today, we will formally bring the International Organization for Migration, IOM, into the United Nations system. This will further strengthen our collective response. Congratulation to IOM! We must change the way we talk about refugees and migrants.  And we must talk with them.  Our words and dialogue matter. That is why today, the United Nations is launching a new campaign called “Together – Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” Acting together, we can respond to rising xenophobia and turn fear into hope.

I call on world leaders to join this campaign and commit together to upholding the rights and dignity of everyone forced by circumstance to flee their homes in search of a better life. This summit shows that we can find common ground. But the summit will have real meaning only if we all honour the promises made here today. With courageous actions to implement the New York Declaration, we will ensure that no refugee or migrant is left behind.

Thank you for your strong commitment and leadership.

United Nations High Level Summit for Refugees and Migrants, 19 September 2016 at UNHQ, New York

Image may contain: textFor the first time, world leaders are coming together at the United Nations to address issues affecting both refugees and migrants!

The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September is an historic opportunity for the world to agree on a better response to large movements of refugees and migrants.

Read more about the #UN4RefugeesMigrants Summit at;

English: http://refugeesmigrants.un.org

French: https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/fr/summit-refugees-and-migrants

 

Opening 71st General Assembly, new President pledges to ‘turn the wheels’ on implementing 17 Global Goals

H.E. Peter Thopmson, President of the 71st UN General Assembly

H.E. Peter Thomson, President of the 71st UN General Assembly

The United Nations General Assembly today opened its 71st session, with an emphasis on ensuring that implementation of the new global development goals, adopted by its 193 Member States last year, is well underway.

“The 70th Session launched the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals], and for integrity’s sake the 71st must be the year we witness the wheels turning on the implementation of all 17 SDGs,” the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson, said as he opened the new session and took an oath of office.

Mr. Thomson, who had had been serving as the Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations until his appointment, said that the theme of the 71st session is ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World.’

The United Nations General Assembly today opened its 71st session, with an emphasis on ensuring that implementation of the new global development goals, adopted by its 193 Member States last year, is well underway.

“The 70th Session launched the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals], and for integrity’s sake the 71st must be the year we witness the wheels turning on the implementation of all 17 SDGs,” the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson, said as he opened the new session and took an oath of office.  Mr. Thomson, who had had been serving as the Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations until his appointment, said that the theme of the 71st session is ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World.’

On 1 January 2016, the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September last year – officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with the aim of achieving the SDGs, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. The new Assembly President noted that it had been heartening to observe the sincerity with which governments and national planning agencies around the world have begun integrating the 2030 Agenda into national processes. “But make no mistake, the great majority of humankind has yet to learn of the Agenda; it has yet to embrace the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, that if successfully implemented will bring an end to poverty and secure a sustainable place for humanity on this planet,” he said.

To fulfill his commitment to achieving meaningful progress in all 17 Goals during the session, Mr. Thomson said he had appointed a team specifically dedicated to the implementation of the SDGs.

Working with two Secretaries-General
This session will be also special, he flagged, in that his office will have the experience of working with two Secretaries-General. The search for the best possible candidate to fill the post is approaching its final stages. “As President of the Assembly I will dedicate myself to facilitation of the transition process, and will be available at all times to assist the incoming Secretary-General settle into her or his responsibilities of office,” he said.

Mr. Thomson also pledged to work to strengthen the relations between the UN’s organs, continuing the practice of holding regular meetings with the Secretary-General, the Presidents of the Security Council, and the President of the UN Economic and Social Council, and inform the membership as to the scope of these meetings.

He also pledged to maintain financial transparency of his presidency by ensuring that all contributions to the running of his office are entered into a UN trust fund where the donors and expenditure will be public knowledge. He said his team will strive to find new methods to resolve entrenched conflicts, diminish the atrocities of global terrorism, better manage migrant and refugee flows, and end the many humanitarian crises. The link between sustainable development, peace and security, and human rights has never been more explicit, he noted, drawing attention to next week’s high-level meeting on large movements of refugees and migrants. “I regret the evidence of widespread lack of empathy for people on the move, many of whom are fleeing from conflict, persecution, or climate change […] It is time to turn down the rhetoric of intolerance and ratchet up a collective response based on our common humanity,” he said.

In the area of peace and security, the Assembly President said the 71st session must build on the review of the Global Counter-Terrorism strategy, including the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action on Violent Extremism, and act on improving the UN architecture to face these threats. The session must also look to take forward implementation of the ambitious ‘sustaining peace’ agenda, agreed by the General Assembly and Security Council earlier this year, he added, noting that this is an opportunity to bring new coherence and coordination to the UN’s work across peace and security, development, and human rights.

In his remarks, the new General Assembly president also highlighted the issue of UN Security Council reform. “The membership is unanimous in agreeing that reform is necessary to align the Security Council with the realities of the 21st Century,” he said. During his speech, Mr. Thomson invited to the stage his seven- and five-years-old granddaughters, who, he noted, will be young adults ready to fulfill the potential of their lives in 2030, when the remaining 14 years of the new development agenda have expired. “What kind of world will we have bequeathed them and all their brothers and sisters around the world, your own grandchildren and children, born and yet to be born?” he asked in an appeal to create a better future for them.

“The 71st session will only be fulfilling,” he said, “if at its end we can be assured real progress is underway on each of the Goals, that our faith and hope in progress is not misplaced, and that a better world will be at hand when the year 2030 rolls around.”

UN chief addresses new Assembly
Addressing the opening of the new Assembly session, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the chosen theme. “This first year is crucial. It is a time when all Member States should align their policies, programmes and spending behind the 17 goals,” he said.

He said it is also a time to bring the Paris Agreement on climate change into force, drawing attention to the high-level event he is hosting on 21 September will strengthen momentum for achieving that objective this year. Mr Ban noted that on 1 January 2017, the 71st session of the Assembly will welcome his successor, the ninth UN Secretary-General. “You will serve as a bridge between my administration and the next […] You will have my full support, and that of my team, in ensuring a seamless transition,” he said.

“The Assembly will be called upon to address many threats, and to show its solidarity with people facing injustice,” he added. “People also look to this body not just to react to problems, but to work proactively and preventively to better the human condition.”

Earlier today, Mr. Ban attended a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 55th anniversary of the death of Dag Hammarskjöld, one of his predecessors, at which he renewed his call to the General Assembly to appoint an eminent person or persons to review new information which may exist regarding the circumstances around his death and the loss of 15 others in a plane crash during their mission for peace.

Closure of 70th General Assembly
Prior to the opening of the 71st session, the General Assembly held the last meeting of its 70th session, with the outgoing Assembly President, Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark, underscoring the progress made under his leadership, including the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, as well as the holding of the Special Session on the World Drug Problem, and the World Humanitarian Summit. The General Assembly has discussed the three major UN reviews on peace building and peace operations, and on women, peace and security, he said.

Turning to the election of a new UN Secretary-General, Mr. Lykketoft said: “I am very proud that we broke new ground with unique transparency in the selection process. The two-hour presentation of each of the candidates in the General Assembly dialogues, and their collective Global Townhall debate, were important highlights and helped to include the global public in the debate about the future of the UN. And I hope that transparency proves instrumental in identifying the best possible new Secretary General over the coming months.”

He appealed to the Security Council to also make the remaining process open and engaging to preserve the legitimacy of their recommendation as it feeds into Assembly’s final decision.  “Throughout this session, I sought to instil greater transparency in everything we do – and I am delighted to see that many of the steps I have advanced relating to the integrity, transparency and accountability of my own office have now been codified in the GA Revitalization resolution adopted earlier this morning – and I look forward to witnessing the first ever taking of an oath of office by an incoming President in just a few moments,” he said.