Fallen peacekeeper from Cameroon to be honoured at ceremony at UN Headquarters –

Photo published for L'efficacité des opérations de maintien de la paix requiert des moyens adéquats et un soutien...22 May 2017:  The United Nation Headquarters will observe the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Wednesday, 24 May.  Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will lay a wreath to honour all fallen peacekeepers and will preside over a ceremony at which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to 117 military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations during 2016.

One fallen peacekeeper from Cameroon is among the 117 who will posthumously receive the Dag Hammarskjöld medal – Maitre Gustave Mbot who lost his life while serving with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

In a video message to mark the Day, the Secretary-General said:  “Every day, peacekeepers help bring peace and stability to war-torn societies around the world.  On the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we pay tribute to the more than 3,500 peacekeepers who have given their lives in the service of peace since 1948.”

He further said: “Their sacrifice only strengthens our commitment to ensuring that United Nations peacekeepers continue protecting civilians in harm’s way, promoting human rights and the rule of law, removing landmines, advancing negotiations and securing a better future in the places they are deployed.  Now, more than ever, it is essential that we continue investing in peace around the world.”

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said: “We pay our greatest respects to the committed and courageous peacekeepers who are no longer with us today. I offer my deepest and most sincere condolences to the families of those we honour and to the bereaved. It’s critical that we continue to invest in peace and make every effort to carry forward their noble work, and that we continue to pursue reform efforts to make United Nations peacekeeping more efficient and effective. That is the best way we can honour the memories and sacrifices of our fallen peacekeepers.”

“United Nations peacekeeping is an investment in global peace, security, and prosperity and remains the most reliable and used tool by the international community to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace. We are continuing to work hard to ensure that UN peacekeeping is fit for purpose, performance-driven and cost-efficient. These efforts coupled with the implementation of the Secretary-General’s reform of our peace and security architecture enables us to deploy uniformed and civilian peacekeepers in difficult and challenging environments around the world in an efficient and an effective manner,” said Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Atul Khare.

Today, more than 96,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop-and-police-contributing countries serve under the blue flag, alongside more than 15,000 international and national civilian staff and nearly 1,600 United Nations Volunteers.

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002, to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.  The Assembly designated 29 May as the Day because it was the date in 1948 when the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the world body’s first peacekeeping mission, began operations in Palestine.

While the Day will be marked in New York on the 24th, UN Peacekeeping operations and UN offices around the world will commemorate the Day on or around the 29th.

 

L’ONU rend hommage à deux Casques bleus gabonais décédés au service de la paix –

Photo published for L'efficacité des opérations de maintien de la paix requiert des moyens adéquats et un soutien...24 mai 2017:  Le Siège de l’ONU célèbrera la Journée internationale des Casques bleus des Nations Unies le 24 mai prochain.  Le Secrétaire général, M. António Guterres, déposera une couronne pour honorer tous les soldats de la paix tombés et présidera une cérémonie au cours de laquelle la Médaille Dag Hammarskjöld sera attribuée à titre posthume à 117 militaires, policiers et civils qui ont perdu la vie en servant dans des opérations de maintien de la paix en 2016.

Deux militaires gabonais figurent parmi les 117 Casques bleus auxquels sera décernée, à titre posthume, la médaille Dag Hammarskjöld, Caporal Ghislain M. Nziengui et Caporal Chef Jauris Nzombi Yopa, qui ont tout deux servi  dans la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA).

Dans un message vidéo pour marquer cette journée, le Secrétaire général souligne: « Chaque jour, les Casques bleus contribuent à apporter la paix et la stabilité aux sociétés déchirées par la guerre dans le monde entier.  Lors de la Journée internationale des Casques bleus des Nations Unies, nous rendons hommage aux plus de 3 500 soldats de la paix qui ont donné leur vie au service de la paix depuis 1948 ».

Il ajoute: « Leur sacrifice ne fait que renforcer notre engagement à faire en sorte que les forces de maintien de la paix des Nations Unies continuent de protéger les civils en danger, en promouvant les droits de l’homme et l’état de droit, en éliminant les mines terrestres, en faisant progresser les négociations et en assurant un avenir meilleur dans les lieux où ils sont déployés.  Maintenant, plus que jamais, il est essentiel que nous continuions à investir dans la paix dans le monde entier ».

Le Secrétaire général adjoint aux opérations de maintien de la paix, M. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, affirme: « Nous continuons à poursuivre les efforts de réforme afin de rendre le maintien de la paix des Nations Unies plus efficace.  C’est la meilleure façon d’honorer les souvenirs et les sacrifices de nos soldats de la paix tombés. »

Selon le Secrétaire général adjoint à l’appui aux missions, M. Atul Khare, « ces efforts, conjugués à la mise en œuvre de la réforme du Secrétaire général de notre architecture de paix et de sécurité, nous permettent de déployer des forces de maintien de la paix en uniforme et en civil dans des environnements difficiles à travers le monde de manière efficace ».

Aujourd’hui, plus de 96 000 membres en uniforme en provenance de 124 pays contributeurs de troupes et de police servent sous le drapeau bleu, aux côtés de plus de 15 000 agents civils internationaux et nationaux et près de 1 600 Volontaires des Nations Unies.

La Journée internationale des Casques bleus des Nations Unies a été créée par l’Assemblée générale en 2002 pour honorer la mémoire des Casques bleus de l’ONU qui ont perdu la vie au service de la cause de la paix et pour rendre hommage à tous ceux, hommes et femmes, qui ont servi et continuent de servir dans les opérations de maintien de la paix pour leur professionnalisme, leur dévouement et leur courage.

La Journée est officiellement célébrée le 29 mai, toutefois des activités de commémoration auront lieu au Siège de l’ONU à New York le 24 mai.  L’Assemblée générale a désigné le 29 mai comme la Journée internationale des Casques bleus des Nations Unies parce que c’est ce jour-là qu’en 1948 l’Organisme des Nations Unies chargé de la surveillance de la trêve (ONUST), la première mission internationale de maintien de la paix, a commencé ses opérations en Palestine.

Pour de plus amples informations, prière de contacter M. Douglas Coffman, du Département de l’information, au tél.: +1 212 963-4481, ou par courriel: coffmand@un.org; ou M. Aditya Mehta, du Département des opérations de maintien de la paix, au tél.: +1 917 367-5378, ou par courrier électronique: mehta2@un.org; ou visitez le site Internet de la Journée des Casques bleus au www.un.org/en/events/peacekeepersday ou le site Internet des Nations Unies sur le maintien de la paix au: http://www.un.org/fr/peacekeeping/operations/pkday.shtml.

Humanitarian Coordinator Alerts on Early Signs of a New Humanitarian Crisis in Central Africa

Bangui, 15 May 2017 – The city of Bangassou in the Mbomou Prefecture (South-Eastern CAR) has been the scene of indiscriminate violence since May 13 when an assault was launched by unidentified gunmen on the Tokoyo district, which is mainly inhabited by the Muslim population. Massive displacement of population followed. Within hours, intense violence forced more than 3,000 people to flee their homes. At present, nearly 1,000 people are confined in the Mosque compound following threats of an imminent attack on them. The Cathedral of Bangassou is home to about 1,500 people, while 500 others have taken refuge in the town’s hospital. An unknown number of displaced persons also took refuge in the parish of Tokoyo. Another unknown number of people have crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo, where an outbreak of Ebola virus was recently reported in a town located about 250 km from the border with CAR.

“This violence is of the utmost concern as it returns the country to the stigmatization of communities, which instigated the political crisis in 2013 and resulted in more than 800,000 Internally Displaced People, and an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, “regretted the Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central African Republic, Najat Rochdi. Bangassou had so far been spared by inter-communal violence and was presented as a model of social cohesion. Najat Rochdi forcefully condemned this stigmatization of a community and the ensuing human rights violations.

The situation in Bangassou is all the more dramatic that the level of violence does not yet allow wounded to be attend or to bury the deceased. Indeed, armed men proceeded to the destruction of all the bridges of Bangassou and to the occupation of the road. “This regrettable trend undermines the mechanisms for the protection of civilians and the capacity of humanitarian actors to reach the affected populations and affected populations to access aid,” said Ms. Rochdi. The humanitarian community is ready to initiate lifesaving interventions as soon as calm returns. The NGO “Doctors without Borders” is already providing vital assistance at the Bangassou hospital. In the spirit of “Stay and Deliver”, the Humanitarian Coordinator praised the courage of the actors who maintained their presence in Bangassou in order to continue saving lives even in an extremely unstable environment.

The ongoing crisis in Bangassou will inevitably generate new needs that were not foreseen in the humanitarian response. Additional funding will be needed to help those whose vulnerability will be exacerbated. “It is unfortunate that the humanitarian situation is deteriorating in Bangassou while advocacy efforts aimed at increasing donors ‘support to the Central African Republic are beginning to yield encouraging results,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator. “I urge the perpetrators of this upsurge of violence not to lose sight of the fact that in CAR half of the population is still dependent on aid,” she added. To date, the $ 399.5 million Humanitarian Response Plan has received only $ 64.8 million, or 16% of the required amount.

Press release – Humanitarian situation in Bangassou – 15052017

Déclaration attribuable au porte-parole du Secrétaire  général sur l’attaque contre la ville de Bangassou en République centrafricaine [Scroll down for English]

New York, le 14 mai 2017 : Le Secrétaire général est outragé par les attaques perpétrées par des présumés anti-Balaka contre des civils ainsi que contre la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA) les 12 et 13 mai, à Bangassou, dans le sud-est de la République centrafricaine. Ces attaques ont entraîné des déplacements considérables de civils, un nombre indéterminé de victimes civiles ainsi que la mort d’un casque bleu marocain, portant à six le nombre des soldats du maintien de la paix tués en Centrafrique cette semaine.


Le Secrétaire général présente ses condoléances à la famille endeuillée et au Gouvernement du Royaume du Maroc. Le Secrétaire général souligne que les attaques contre les casques bleus des Nations Unies peuvent constituer un crime de guerre. Il condamne fermement les attaques contre les populations civiles et la MINUSCA et lance un appel aux autorités de la République centrafricaine pour qu’une enquête soit lancée afin que les responsables répondent rapidement de leurs actes devant la justice.

Le Secrétaire général réaffirme la détermination des Nations Unies a avancer la mise en oeuvre du mandate de la MINUSCA. Le Secrétaire général tient à remercier profondément les pays contributeurs de troupe et de police dans leur détermination à protéger les civils.
Ces récents incidents démontrent que la situation en République centrafricaine reste fragile d’où le besoin d’un appuis continu et soutenu de la part de la région et de la communauté internationale pour surmonter les défis auxquelles le pays fait face. 

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the attacks against civilians and MINUSCA peacekeepers in the town of Bangassou in the Central African Republic 

New York 14 May, 2017: The Secretary-General is outraged by the attacks perpetrated by suspected anti-Balaka against civilians and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 12 and 13 May, in the town of Bangassou, in the south east of the country. These attacks led to significant population displacement, an undetermined number of civilian casualties and the death of one Moroccan peacekeeper, bringing to six the number of peacekeepers killed in the Central African Republic this week.

The Secretary-General offers his condolences to the family of the bereaved peacekeeper and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco. The Secretary-General reiterates that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. He strongly condemns attacks against the civilian population and MINUSCA and calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate the attacks in order to swiftly bring those responsible to justice.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the determination of the United Nations to advance the implementation of MINUSCA’s mandate. The Secretary-General extends his deep appreciation to MINUSCA’s troop and police contributing countries for their support.

These recent incidents amply demonstrate that the situation in the Central African Republic is still fragile hence the need for continued and sustained regional and international support to overcome the challenges at hand.

Déclaration attribuable au porte-parole du Secrétaire général sur l’attaque contre un convoi de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine [Scroll down for English]

New York, le 9 mai 2017: Le Secrétaire général condamne fermement l’attaque perpétrée par un groupe soupçonné d’anti-Balaka contre un convoi de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA) le 8 mai, sur l’axe Rafai-Bangassou, dans le sud-est de la République centrafricaine. L’attaque a causé la mort de quatre casques bleus tandis que dix autres ont été blessés et évacués sur Bangui. Un casque bleu est toujours porté disparu.

Le Secrétaire général présente ses plus sincères condoléances aux familles endeuillées at aux Gouvernements des pays contributeurs de troupes concernés, et souhaite un prompt rétablissement aux blessés. Le Secrétaire général souligne que les attaques contre les casques bleus des Nations Unies peuvent constituer un crime de guerre. Il lance un appel aux autorités de la République centrafricaine pour qu’une enquête soit lancée afin que les responsables répondent rapidement de leurs actes devant la justice.

Le Secrétaire général souhaite réitérer son soutien aux actions de la MINUSCA pour protéger les civils et stabiliser la République centrafricaine, et demande aux parties de répondre favorablement à l’appel du Président Faustin Archange Touadéra en vue d’arrêter les violences et de travailler ensemble pour la stabilité du pays.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the attack against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic

New York, 09 May 2017: The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attack perpetrated by suspected anti-Balaka against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 8 May, on the Rafai-Bangassou axis, in the south east of the Central African Republic. The attack led to the death of four peacekeepers while ten others have been evacuated to Bangui. One peacekeeper is still missing.

The Secretary-General offers his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and the Governments of the concerned troop contributing countries, and wishes a swift recovery to the wounded. The Secretary-General would like to underline that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. He calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate the attack in order to swiftly bring those responsible to justice.

The Secretary-General would like to reiterate his support to the actions of MINUSCA to protect civilians and stabilise the Central African Republic, and call on all parties to heed President Faustin Archange Touadéra’s call to cease violence and work together towards the stability of the country.

Youth leaders skilled on “Peace and Development” in Yaounde

Cameroon is currently being rocked by waves of attacks from the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency in her northern region, while the English speaking North West and South West Regions are witnessing social upheavals since November 2016, complaining about marginalization and assimilation by the Francophone majority. Youths have been mute and absent in the peace building process of these conflicts. This, in total ignorance of UNSC Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, adopted on 9 December 2015, which acknowledges the urgent need to engage young peacebuilders in promoting peace and countering extremism.

Against this backdrop, UNIC Yaounde organized a one-day training workshop for youth leaders on “Youth, Peace and Development”, in partnership with “Promise Africa” and the “Organization of African Youth for Peace (OAYP)” on Thursday April 13, 2017. The objective was to build the skills of youths on the fundamentals of peace consolidation, conflict prevention and crisis management, and engage them in the peacebuilding process.

UNIC’s Jean Njita emphasized the correlation between peace and Development, emphasizing Kant’s perpetual peace to Galtung’s negative and positive peace, presenting the history of Development through Rostow’s “stages of economic growth”, the 1992 Rio Earth summit, to the MDGs and SDGs. Focus was on SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, for “there can be no sustainable development without peace and no genuine peace without sustainable development.

The high rate of youth unemployment in Cameroon (about 6.7% in 2013, according to ILO), was identified as the reason for the high involvement of youths in conflicts, and political authorities were called upon to exercise good governance, for poor employability will eventuality lead to more conflicts. UNSCR 2250 was highlighted as a major instrument to mobilize youths in peace and Development activities as young peacebuilders, for it brings recognition and legitimacy for youth’s efforts in building peace. While Education, public awareness, youths training are pre-requisites for a durable peace building, genuine mediation can be a catalyst in reconciling and healing post conflicts societies. One participant called on youths to “bury their egoism, be tolerant, and accept different viewpoints for peace to thrive in their hearts…for today’s youths are too proud”

Participants acknowledged that youths have a role to play in conflict resolution, and should thus get involved. They were encouraged to use social media to transmit messages of love and reconciliation, to rebuild broken homes, and their society. Just as war is waged, Cameroonian youths should also ‘wage peace’ by making peace a full time activity. NGOs and associations advocating for Peace were urged to network for better coordination and greater impact of activities on the field. At the end, testimonials were handed to all participants.

UN Secretary-General – Remarks on Designation of Malala Yousafzai as UN Messenger of Peace

New York, 10 April 2017
Dear Malala, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

It is for me a very emotional day to be here with you. You are the symbol of one of the most important causes in the world – probably the most important cause in the world – and that is education, education for all, and particularly because we know it is more difficult in many societies – education for girls.

 Now, I must say I am a frustrated ex Assistant Professor of Physics in my University. When I say frustrated, because I wanted to be a Professor but with the revolution in Portugal I had to close all my papers and dedicate myself to other things. But there was always this nostalgia, being a professor, and can you imagine what it is for a frustrated Professor to be facing the most famous student in the world. It is an enormous pleasure to have you as our Messenger of Peace.

You are not only a hero, but you are a very committed and generous person, and the person that has this fantastic quality … a Nobel Prize, recognized everywhere, and you keep the same simplicity, the same open way to deal with all of us. People usually when they get all these honours become full of vanity, they become difficult to access, but you are this fantastic example of friendship and simplicity that really makes us very, very, very appreciative.

On the other hand, you have been going to the most difficult places, where education has more problems in becoming a reality. You have visited several refugee camps.  You have  two schools of your foundation in Lebanon, in the Beka’a Valley, where so many refugees are.  I have spent ten years of my life dealing with refugees, so you can imagine how happy I am to be able to confer to you the important responsibility of being a Messenger of Peace.   I am in total denial of protocol, but I think I have to read something here.

This is your assignment. Today, I am proud to designate you the youngest ever United Nations Messenger of Peace, with a special focus on girls’ education.

This is the official designation: inspired by your dedicated service to the ideals and objectives of the United Nations, especially its vision of a life of dignity for all people admiring of your courageous defense of the rights of all people, including women and girls, to education and equality honouring the fact that you have shown, even in the face of grave danger, an unwavering commitment to peace conscious of your consistent focus on the best in humankind and your resolve to foster a better world grateful that your example has energized people of goodwill to join together in pursuit of our common values hopeful that your principled activism will advance our shared vision of a future of justice, equity and sustainable progress it takes great pride and pleasure to me in proclaiming Malala Yousafzai a United Nations Messenger of Peace”.

Educational Talk on 2017 Slavery Remembrance at La Gaieté International School, Yaounde

UNIC Yaounde organized an Educational Talk with students of La Gaieté International School Complex, with over 175 students on 24 March 2017, on the occasion of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on the theme Remember Slavery: Recognising the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent. The objective of the event was to increase awareness and to educate students on the legacy and contributions of people of African descent and the consequences of their actions on the societies in which they found themselves during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, as well as about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.

UNIC’s Jean Njita presented the genesis and context of the 2017 commemoration, stating the historical background on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery. This was followed by the projection of UNESCO’s documentary “Routes de l’Esclave” (Slave Routes), an exchange with students to size up their understanding. Prizes of T-shirts, branded pens were handed to students who gave correct answers, sparking off many exchanges from students.

Jean Njita, highlighted (in French and English) the raison d’être of the observance, spelling out UN Resolution 62/122 of 17 December 2007 declaring 25 March as Slavery Remembrance. He further presented the theme of the 2017 commemoration, saluted the courage of these men and women, who through their many valuable skills in rhythms, musical traditions, and arts contributed significantly to the development of societies and cultures around the world. Africans deported to the West carried along their culture and tradition, expanding on the rich musical repertoire of these communities, he stressed.

Mr. Njita presented the Human Rights violations, emphasizing the inhumane treatment meted on slaves by traders and masters. Citing articles 1, 3 &4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he stressed that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”, “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude…”, and called on the students to denounce any act of racism, discrimination and violence, so as to leave no one behind.

Participants then watched the film; Queen Nanny: Legendary chieftainess” and were thrilled by Queen Nanny’ story, as she reportedly led her people courageously to victory over the mighty British army. During the question and answer session, prizes were offered to students who gave correct answers to questions asked on the film “Queen Nanny”.

The over 175 participants were led by Jean Njita to a guided tour of a poster exhibition on “Remembering Slavery: Recognition, Justice and Development”, composed of sets of 13 of posters highlighting the tenth anniversary of the Remember Slavery Programme, the work of the Decade, contributions of the African diaspora and the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade in English and French. The symbols and message on each poster was explained to the students, to draw their attention to the atrocities of slave trade, slavery and encourage them to denounce any act tantamount to Human Rights violation, racism and discrimination in all its forms.

 

UNITED NATIONS, UNICEF AND SMURFS TEAM UP TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HAPPINESS

Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign inspires support for Sustainable Development Goals

New York, March 18 – Voice actors from the upcoming animated movie Smurfs: The Lost Village today joined officials from the United Nations, UNICEF and United Nations Foundation at the world body’s headquarters in New York to celebrate International Day of Happiness with a campaign promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign is designed to encourage young people everywhere to learn about and support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world leaders in 2015 to help make the world more peaceful, equitable and healthy.

As part of the celebrations, Team Smurfs recognized three young advocates — Karan Jerath (20), Sarina Divan (17), and Noor Samee (17)for their actions to promote the Goals.

Jerath, a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, invented a containment device that could prevent offshore oil spills and ensure the protection of marine life. Divan expanded a UN Foundation girl empowerment initiative at her high school and beyond, and Samee is a UNICEF blogger and advocate on social justice issues and raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The movie’s U.S. stars — Demi Lovato, Joe Manganiello and Mandy Patinkin — presented the three young students with a symbolic key to the Smurfs Village in recognition of their work.

“This inspirational campaign highlights the fact that each and every one of us, no matter how young or old, small or big, can make our world a better and happier place,” said Cristina Gallach, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. “We are grateful to creative partners like Sony Pictures Animation and Team Smurfs for their spirit of collaboration in helping the UN reach diverse audiences.”

The Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign culminates on the International Day of Happiness on 20 March, which emphasizes the importance of personal happiness and well-being. The idea is closely linked to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which include decent work for all, access to nutritious food, quality education and health services, and freedom from discrimination.

 “Today we have seen how the Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign is giving children and young people a platform to speak out about issues they are passionate about. As we celebrate International Day of Happiness, we hope many more young people are empowered to take action on the Sustainable Development Goals and help achieve a world free from poverty, inequality and injustice,” said Caryl M. Stern, UNICEF US Fund President and CEO.

The actors and UN officials  addressed some 1,500 students  attending an international Model UN conference in the iconic General Assembly Hall of the United Nations, where they encouraged all participants and the public to join “Team Smurfs”.

The campaign invites the general public to visit SmallSmurfsBigGoals.com to find out how to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and share information, ideas and images on social media.

La Session d’information sur la situation humanitaire en République centrafricaine à Yaounde, Cameroun

Yaoundé, le 15 mars 2017 – La situation humanitaire continue de se dégrader en République centrafricaine (RCA). Avec la recrudescence de la violence et la multiplication des foyers de tension depuis le mois de septembre 2016 et le premier trimestre 2017, plus de 100 000 nouveaux déplacés ont été enregistrés, portant le nombre de déplacés internes 402 240. Ceci implique qu’un Centrafricain sur cinq est soit déplacé soit réfugié dans les pays limitrophes.

Alors que cette situation crée de nouveaux besoins urgents, le financement de l’action humanitaire suit une tendance à la baisse amorcée depuis 2014. Le budget du Plan de réponse humanitaire 2017 pour la RCA d’un montant de 399,5 millions de dollars n’est financé à ce jour qu’à hauteur de 5% soit 19 millions. En 2016, seuls 37% des 531,5 millions de dollars requis n’ont été mobilisés. Dans ce contexte, la RCA demeure le seul pays au monde où la moitié de la population doit sa survie à l’aide humanitaire.

Ministre des Affaires sociales et de la réconciliation de la RCA

«Ne laissons pas la Centrafrique devenir une crise oubliée ou négligée par le reste du monde » ont lancé de concert le ministre des Affaires sociales et de la réconciliation, Virginie Baikoua et le Coordonnateur humanitaire ad intérim en RCA, Michel Yao, aux partenaires techniques et financiers réunis le 15 mars 2017 à Yaoundé au Cameroun, à l’occasion une session d’information sur la situation humanitaire.

Coordonnateur humanitaire ad intérim en RCA

Des progrès indéniables ont été réalisés mais 2,2 millions de Centrafricains soit la moitié de la population dépend de l’aide humanitaire. «La République centrafricaine demeure une priorité absolue pour la communauté humanitaire » a rappelé Michel Yao. Le sous-financement chronique de l’action humanitaire a entrainé une baisse perceptible de l’aide humanitaire en termes qualitatif et quantitatif. La diminution de moitié des rations alimentaires dans plusieurs régions en atteste.

Représentants des donateurs de la RCA, Corps diplomatiques, et ONU

Des acteurs humanitaires se sont complétement retirés en divers endroits faute de financement alors qu’ils étaient souvent les seuls à procurer des services sociaux de base. La disparition de ces activités est déplorable notamment dans le secteur de la santé. En 2016, les dernières estimations montraient que 56% des infrastructures de santé étaient tenues par les humanitaires.

Cette situation risque d’hypothéquer les acquis obtenus si un niveau de financement adéquat ne permet pas de les consolider et de tomber dans une crise humanitaire plus aiguë. Afin de mieux répondre aux nouveaux besoins exprimés et faire face à ceux qui préexistaient tout en prenant en compte les contraintes logistiques et infrastructurelles spécifiques à la RCA, Michel Yao et Virginie Baikoua en ont à nouveau appelé à la générosité des donateurs.

«Cela nous aidera aussi à proposer un autre récit de la Centrafrique au reste du monde et un nouveau départ aux Centrafricains et aux Centrafricaines » a conclu Virginie Baikoua.