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United Nations Daily Highlights, 10-06-15

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

ARCHIVES

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY FARHAN HAQ

ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON IS CLOSELY FOLLOWING DEVELOPMENTS IN KYRGYZSTAN

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

spoke separately by telephone today with Roza Otunbaeva, the Chairperson of the Interim Government of Kyrgyzstan, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

In his call with Ms Otunbaeva, the Secretary-General said the United Nations was closely coordinating with other organizations and players to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the south of Kyrgyzstan. The Secretary-General expressed his condolences for the loss of life. He said he took the situation very seriously and was closely following developments.

In his call with Minister Lavrov, the Secretary-General said he was deeply concerned by the violence, especially given the inter-ethnic character of the unrest. He said he appreciated Russia's efforts to address the alarming humanitarian situation.

He told both interlocutors his Special Representative

Miroslav Jenca would continue to coordinate closely on the ground in Bishkek. He noted UN agencies were working to help Uzbekistan respond to the influx of refugees.

Asked about reports that the border between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan had been closed, the Spokesperson said that UNHCR was monitoring the situation, and has always pushed to ensure that borders are kept open for the movement of refugees.

Asked about the number of deaths since the crisis began, Haq said that the United Nations did not have its own death toll, although it has been in touch with other organizations about casualties.

He added that the Secretary-Generals Special Representative,

Miroslav Jenca, was in touch with parties in Kyrgyzstan to push all sides to restore calm.

Asked about any possible peacekeeping mission in Kyrgyzstan, he said that would be a matter for the

Security Council to consider.

U.N. AGENCIES PROVIDING HUMANITARIAN AID AND FOOD TO AFFECTED PEOPLE IN KYRGYZSTAN

The

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator,

John Holmes, says an improved security situation is required on the ground around Osh to prevent further loss of life and to allow access so that humanitarian needs can be properly assessed and tackled.

Some humanitarian assistance has already been delivered but UN agencies and NGOs need to build up their capacity. It is essential that the safety and security of humanitarian staff is assured so that we can reach all those in need, Holmes said. It is also vital that the border with Uzbekistan remains open. We welcome Uzbek generosity to those crossing the border and hope that this can continue.

The crisis requires a concerted response from humanitarian agencies and donors in the coming days and weeks, Holmes added.

The

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is

preparing Flash Appeals to cover the most urgent initial needs for displaced people in Kyrgyzstan, particularly in the health and food sectors, and the tens of thousands of

refugees in Uzbekistan.

OCHA says that humanitarian agencies are working with the relevant authorities of both countries and seven humanitarian clusters are being activated in Kyrgyzstan to coordinate the humanitarian assistance in the main sectors of action. Food, medicine, shelter and protection are critical issues at this stage. Serious concerns have also been raised over the need for shelter for displaced people.

The

World Food Programme (WFP) has

launched an emergency operation to provide logistics and feed civilians caught in Kyrgyzstans humanitarian crisis. At the same time, it is calling on all sides to allow the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian supplies, particularly in the countrys second city, Osh.

WFP is working with local authorities to distribute food in Osh, where shops are reported to be running out of supplies and people have arrived at a WFP warehouse asking for food.

The Programme says that transporting aid from the capital, Bishkek, is difficult, as roads are not safe and commercial trucking companies dont want to risk their vehicles.

WFP currently has 3,000 metric tons of food, mainly wheat flour and oil, pre-positioned in Kyrgyzstan enough to feed 87,000 people for two months.

Given the number of people who have sought refuge across the border in neighboring Uzbekistan, WFP is also positioning itself to operate in both countries if needed; and its

Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, Italy, is on standby to provide emergency supplies and logistics support.

Meanwhile, the

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as part of the UNs inter-agency response is focusing on shelter and protection needs of internally displaced.

The first of six planned Ilyushin-76 cargo planes, each carrying 40 tonnes of UNHCR relief supplies, is scheduled to take off from Dubai early tomorrow morning, arriving at Andijan airport in Uzbekistan later that day.

At the request of the Uzbek authorities, the first UNHCR-chartered flight will be loaded with 800 lightweight tents to meet rapidly growing shelter needs. According to Uzbek government more than 75,000 refugees have arrived from Kyrgyzstan since last Friday.

UNHCR says the subsequent five flights will be loaded with blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and plastic sheeting for emergency shelters. In total, the agency plans to deliver some 240 tons of humanitarian aid from its central emergency stockpile in Dubai.

UNHCR is also preparing a separate airlift and deployment of an emergency team to Kyrgyzstan. It says the situation in Osh and Jalalabat remains difficult and it fears that unless peace and order is restored swiftly more people could be displaced as they flee to the countryside or try to cross the border to Uzbekistan.

U.N. SPECIAL ADVISER WARNS OF ETHNIC CLEANSING POSSIBILITY IN KYRGYZSTAN

The Secretary-Generals

Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide,

Francis Deng, and his Special Adviser on the responsibility to protect,

Edward Luck, have both expressed grave concern over the recent eruption of violence in Kyrgyzstan.

I encourage the Interim Government and international actors to do all in their power to stop the violence and ensure the protection of vulnerable minority communities, Mr. Deng said.

The Special Advisers have been monitoring the situation in Kyrgyzstan closely since April 2010, when the ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev brought ethnic tensions to the surface, particularly between the Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities in the south.

The Special Advisers noted that the violence that started on 10 June appears to have targeted ethnic Uzbeks in particular.

The pattern and scale of the violence, which has resulted in the mass displacement of Uzbeks from South Kyrgyzstan, could amount to ethnic cleansing, said Mr. Luck. He reminded all parties that the 2005 World Summit banned either the commission or the incitement of ethnic cleansing, genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity.

The Special Advisers are calling on the international community to operationalise its responsibility to protect by providing coordinated and timely assistance to stop the violence and its incitement.

SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD OF INTERNATIONAL CONSENSUS ON GAZA

Robert Serry, the

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told the

Security Council in an open briefing this morning that there is now a welcome international consensus on

Gaza.

It is fully agreed by the Quartet that there must be a fundamental change to the situation. The basic principle that should guide the policy on Gaza is clear, Serry said. Everything should be allowed into Gaza, unless there is a specific and legitimate security reason. Israel should therefore move from the current policy where only about 116 items are approved to enter Gaza to a policy in which all goods and materials are able to enter Gaza unless there is a legitimate security rationale against it.

Serry added that the

Secretary-General has proposed an international panel to look into the 31 May incident one that is under the aegis of a third party seen as impartial and in which both Turkey and Israel actively participate. The Secretary-Generals proposal is not incompatible with domestic inquiries, and his proposal, accordingly, remains on the table.

Asked about reports that Israel had rejected the Secretary-Generals proposal for an international investigation, the Spokesperson reiterated that the Secretary-General believes his initiative is complementary to national investigations. Accordingly, he believes that the door remains open for his proposal and he is hopeful that Israel will accept it.

Asked about Palestinian criticism of Israels idea of its own national investigation into the incident, Haq said that the Secretary-Generals view is that his own idea of an investigation with a strong international component would allow for an inquiry that would be impartial, credible and thorough, in accordance with the Councils

1 June Presidential Statement.

SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSED MDGS WITH PRESIDENT OF SIERRA LEONE

The

Secretary-General is in Sierra Leone on the last day of his latest Africa trip.

He held talks with President Ernest Bai Koroma and his cabinet. They discussed Sierra Leone's peacebuilding successes, the challenges facing the country, UN-Sierra Leone relations and the

Millennium Development Goals.

The Secretary-General also attended the official launching of the independent Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, which is a merger of the state broadcaster and UN's own radio station in the country. The Secretary-General described the launch as a milestone on the country's march to progress.

The Secretary-General met the diplomatic corps in Freetown and will also be meeting representatives of political parties, civil society and UN staff.

The Secretary-General will return to New York overnight.

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMED OUTCOME OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT REVIEW

In a

statement issued last night, the

Secretary-General welcomed the outcome of the First Review Conference of the

International Criminal Court which concluded last Saturday morning in Kampala, Uganda.

The Secretary-General also welcomed the historic agreement on the definition of the crime of aggression in the Rome Statute and on the conditions under which the Court is to exercise its jurisdiction with respect to that crime. The compromise text is a significant step forward in the fight against impunity and towards an age of accountability.

U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY: 43.3 MILLION PEOPLE FORCIBLY DISPLACED AT END OF 2009

Some 43.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide at the end of 2009, the highest number of people uprooted by conflict and persecution since the mid-1990s, according to the annual 2009 Global Trends report,

released today by the

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

"Major conflicts such as those in Afghanistan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo show no signs of being resolved,

said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees,

António Guterres. Conflicts that had appeared to be ending or were on the way to being resolved, such as in southern Sudan or in Iraq, are stagnating. As a result last year was not a good year for voluntary repatriation. In fact, it was the worst in twenty years.

The report indicates that overall refugee numbers remained relatively stable at 15.2 million, two thirds of whom come under UNHCRs mandate while the other third fall under the responsibility of the

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Because of the growing resilience of conflict, more than half of the refugees under UNHCRs care are in protracted situations.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ATTEND DELIVERING AS ONE CONFERENCE: The

Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro, arrived yesterday in Hanoi, Vietnam, where she will deliver a speech tomorrow at the opening session of the High-Level International Conference on

Delivering as One. Today, she is holding a series of bilateral meetings with visiting officials, including the Ethiopian, Comoran, and Uruguayan foreign ministers. She will also be meeting with the UN Country Team tomorrow.

MONUSCO SET TO REPLACE MONUC IN D.R. CONGO ON 1 JULY: Asked when

Roger Meece would start as the head of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), the Spokesperson noted that MONUSCO was scheduled to replace the existing

UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known by the acronym MONUC, as of 1 July 2010.

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME OPERATIONS IN WEST AFRICA TO SUFFER DUE TO FLIGHT SHORTAGE: The

World Food Programme (WFP) says the

UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) will cease all its flights into Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia starting tomorrow. And this is due to a $2.5 million funding shortage. Without the Air Service, WFP says many of its operations in the region will not run as efficiently as required. One of the smaller services of the UNHAS, the West African Coastal service had been providing air transport for an average of 500 UN aid workers and others every month.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

United Nations, SA-1B15

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212-963-7162

Fax. 212-963-7055


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