Bienvenidos a las Naciones Unidas

Reports and Policy Documents

2015

  • 25 Ago 2015

    Text in English below:

    Déclaration à la presse de M. Jeffrey Feltman,Secrétaire général adjoint des Nations Unies pour les Affaires politiques, à  la sortie de son audience avec M. Michel Kafando, Président de la Transition du Burkina Faso,  Ouagadougou, 25 août 2015

    A la demande du Secrétaire général de l’ONU, M. Ban Ki-moon, j’ai entrepris ma deuxième visite au Burkina Faso avec le Représentant Spécial du Secrétaire général pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest M. Mohamed Ibn Chambas. Nous étions accompagnés par le Coordonnateur Résident, M. Pascal Karorero.

    Nous avons rencontré le Président du Faso, le Premier ministre, le Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, le Président du Conseil National de Transition, le Président de la Commission électorale indépendante, le Président du Conseil constitutionnel et les représentants de la communauté internationale au Burkina Faso.

    Durant ma réunion avec le Président Michel Kafando, j’ai salué au nom des Nations Unies, le leadership et la détermination dont il a fait preuve dans la mise en œuvre de la Charte de la Transition et la garantie de la tenue d’élections démocratiques le 11 octobre 2015.

    J’ai exprimé l’appréciation des Nations Unies pour les progrès accomplis dans l’organisation des élections. J’ai relevé que la crédibilité de ces élections repose sur une large participation du peuple burkinabè. J’ai souligné l’importance de la stabilité politique et sécuritaire pour garantir la tenue d’élections pacifiques et crédibles. A cet effet, j’ai salué la signature par les acteurs nationaux clés du « pacte de bonne conduite » pour les prochaines élections. 

    Le peuple burkinabè, les acteurs régionaux et internationaux ainsi que l’ONU suivent la situation de près. Il est évident que beaucoup de progrès ont été accomplis mais il faut rester vigilant. A cet effet, j’ai encouragé les autorités de la transition à continuer de travailler ensemble pour garantir que le processus de transition se conclue avec succès.

    J’ai réitéré l’engagement des Nations Unies à  continuer de fournir au Burkina Faso le soutien requis pour organiser les élections, conformément aux recommandations de sa Mission d’évaluation des besoins électoraux qui a été déployée au Burkina Faso en janvier dernier.

    J’aimerais saisir cette occasion pour encourager le peuple du Burkina Faso et ses leaders politiques à user librement de leur droit de vote, à résoudre tout différend lié aux élections par les voies légales, et à respecter les décisions des institutions judiciaires compétentes.

    Les Nations Unies, y compris à travers les bons offices du Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest, M. Chambas, et de son équipe pays continueront à soutenir la transition au Burkina Faso, en collaboration étroite avec les partenaires régionaux et internationaux.

     

     

    Press statement by Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs following his meeting with H.E. Mr. Michel Kafando, Transitional President of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, 25 August 2015

    At the request of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, I conducted my second visit to Burkina Faso with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas. We were accompanied by the Resident Coordinator, Mr. Pascal Karorero.

    We met with the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of the National Transitional Council, the President of the Independent Electoral Commission, the President of the Constitutional Council and representatives of the international community in Burkina Faso.

    During my meeting with President Michel Kafando, I expressed the United Nations’ appreciation for his commendable leadership and determination to ensure the implementation of the Charter of the Transition and the holding of democratic elections on 11 October 2015.

    I shared the United Nations’ appreciation for progress accomplished towards the organization of the elections. I noted that the credibility of these elections will require wide participation of the people of Burkina Faso. I emphasised the importance of a stable political and security environment to enable the holding of peaceful and credible elections. In this regard, I commended the signing by key national stakeholders of a “good conduct agreement” for the forthcoming elections.

    The people of Burkina Faso, regional and international stakeholders, as well as the United Nations, are following the situation closely. While significant progress has been achieved, we must remain vigilant. In this regard, I encouraged the transitional authorities to continue to work together to ensure the successful completion of the transition process. 

    I reaffirmed to national authorities the United Nations’ readiness to continue to provide Burkina Faso with the support required for the organization of the elections, guided by the recommendations of its Electoral Needs Assessment Mission that was deployed to Burkina Faso in January 2015. 

    I would like to seize this opportunity to encourage the people of Burkina Faso and its political leaders to exercise freely their right to vote and to resolve any dispute that may arise from the electoral process through established legal procedures and to respect decisions taken by the relevant juridical institutions.

    The United Nations, including through SRSG Chambas’ good offices and the UN Country Team, will continue to accompany Burkina Faso’s efforts, in close collaboration with regional and international partners.

  • 19 Ago 2015

    Madam President, Members of the Security Council,

    I address you at a time when the risk of escalation in Israel and Palestine is palpable. The past month has witnessed unconscionable crimes of hatred by extremist elements, reprehensible retaliatory violence, provocations at Jerusalem’s holy sites, and a worrying increase in rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel.

    The coming days will mark the one-year anniversary of the conclusion of last year’s devastating Gaza conflict – a conflict from which the Palestinians of Gaza have yet to recover. One year on, their continued suffering highlights the inadequacy of our collective response to date. Thus, I begin my briefing to you today with an appeal to political, military, community and religious leaders on all sides to work together to reduce tensions, reject violence and prevent extremists from escalating the situation and hijacking the political agenda.

    Madam President,

    I reiterate the Secretary-General’s strong condemnation of the horrific terrorist arson attack against a Palestinian family in the occupied West Bank village of Duma, during the early hours of 31 July, apparently committed by extremist Jewish settlers. The attack killed 18 month-old Ali Dawabsha; his father died of his wounds five days later, while his mother and four year-old brother continue fighting for their lives.

    The Secretary-General welcomes the strong condemnations of the attack by Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, as well as by political and religious leaders from across the spectrum. At the same time, we denounce calls made by Hamas and by Islamic Jihad to escalate violence and to carry out revenge attacks. At a moment of heightened emotions and anger, such incitement can only serve to bring about more tragedy. I urge the Israeli Government to promptly bring the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice.

    I further note the 2 July Israeli Cabinet decision to strengthen the legal and institutional means of addressing terrorism by Jewish extremists and to ensure that the new anti-terrorism law applies equally to all perpetrators. However, I am concerned by the decision to extend the use of prolonged administrative detention, which the United Nations has consistently opposed. This practice, whether used against Palestinians or Israelis, is incompatible with international human rights standards and should be ended. All administrative detainees should be promptly charged or released.

    I underscore that this attack, like so many others over the years, including against Israeli settlers, occurred in the context of a chronic lack of adequate law enforcement in the West Bank. Such violence is possible because of the environment created as a result of Israel’s decades-long policy of illegal settlement activities.

    Madam President,

    The goal is clear.  But over 20 years of failed negotiations have bred mistrust and, worse, the slow and painful withering of hope. In such a contentious environment, restoring confidence, before a return to realistic negotiations, is a must. What is needed now is a comprehensive approach on three levels – on the ground, in the region, and with the international community – to alter fundamentally the current negative dynamics and begin to shape a clear and positive pathway towards peace.

    On the Israeli side, this should reflect significant policy shifts to enable the growth of Palestine’s sovereignty, economy and security. On the Palestinian side, unity is critical – the legitimate Palestinian authority must represent all of Palestine and all Palestinians. I am encouraged by the increased cooperation between the Quartet and key regional actors and I fully support enhanced exploration of how the region, including through the Arab Peace Initiative, may contribute to resolving the conflict. The Secretary-General supports the Quartet’s work to connect these various levels of engagement. 

    Madam President,

    In the West Bank, after failed attempts to form a Palestinian National Unity Government, a Government reshuffle resulted in the appointment of five new ministers on 31 July. The process was met with some resistance among Palestinian factions.

    The reporting period was marked by continued violence, including incidents causing Palestinian casualties as well as a number of attacks against Israelis and Israeli security forces. Israeli security forces conducted some 188 search-and-arrest operations, resulting in the arrest of some 292 Palestinians. A total of 203 Palestinians were injured, including 40 children and seven women. Six Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli security forces, including a 17-year-old. Twelve members of the Israeli security forces were also wounded, with no fatalities reported. I reiterate that any use of force by Israeli security forces in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, must be consistent with international human rights law.

    Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the West Bank resulted in injuries to nine Palestinians, including four children, and seven Israelis. In an apparent retaliatory attack for the administrative detention of several Jewish extremists, on 12 August, another arson attack was reported in Ein Samia, where a tent belonging to a Bedouin was set on fire and completely burned, reportedly by Jewish extremists. 

    Israel’s practice of demolishing homes and structures also continued.  This month, 86 structures, including 26 residential structures, were demolished in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 177 Palestinians, including 89 children. On 17 August 22 structures were demolished in four communities in the planned E-1 area affecting in particular vulnerable Palestinian Bedouins which displaced 78 people, including 49 children.  This was the largest number of Palestinians displaced in the West Bank in one day in nearly three years. And yesterday, 27 structures, including eight residential structures were demolished resulting in 42 displaced, including 27 children in the Jordan Valley Area C community of Fasayil al Wusta. The Secretary-General calls on the Israeli authorities to halt demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank, to revoke plans that would result in the forcible transfer of Palestinian communities, and to implement an inclusive planning and zoning regime that will enable Palestinians’ residential and community development needs to be met.

    Madam President,

    Recent changes in Israeli law and policy affecting the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem risk compounding the already-precarious human rights situation.

    On 30 July, the Knesset amended the Prisons Act to allow a judge to order force-feeding of a hunger-striking prisoner to prevent imminent death, if recommended by a doctor. While Israel insists that it has established a careful legal mechanism in order to strictly limit this means of enforcement to instances where a threat to life exists, numerous human rights and medical bodies have questioned whether force feeding meets international standards of medical ethics, safety and human rights. Careful consideration should be placed on addressing the underlying human rights concerns which lead prisoners to such extreme protests, including prolonged administrative detention.

    We are aware that the status of prolonged hunger striker Mohammed Allan may be evolving.

    On 20 July, the Knesset also amended the Israeli Penal Code to extend harsh punishments for stone-throwing at moving vehicles. It allows for sentences of up 20 years. The law is likely to affect children disproportionately.

    In another legal development, the Israeli Supreme Court legitimized the applicability of the Absentees' Property Law of 1951 to Palestinian property in East Jerusalem when the owner is in the West Bank. This move allows for the expropriation of property from Palestinians who have become absentee through no fault of their own.

     

    Madam President, Members of the Security Council,

    Turning to Gaza, the unrelenting pressure on the socio-economic situation due to the continued closures, the lack of electricity and water and the slow pace of reconciliation, continue to feed the discontent of the population.

    While much remains to be done, I welcome some positive developments on reconstruction, particularly under the Residential Stream of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, which enables the reconstruction of fully destroyed homes. Since its launch in June, and thanks to financial assistance from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Germany  2,250 families have been processed, of which some 630 have already purchased construction materials.

    Although the mechanism is working, current resources are insufficient to meet the massive demand for assistance. In a recent letter to the Foreign Ministers that participated in the October 2014 Cairo conference on Gaza’s reconstruction, the Special Coordinator urged donor countries to fulfil their pledges.

    We welcome Egypt’s opening of the Rafah crossing for several days this week. The Secretary-General encourages the Egyptian authorities to allow the Rafah crossing to be opened on a more regular basis, taking into account Egypt’s security concerns.

    Security incidents in Gaza continued to be recorded. The Secretary-General condemns the 24 rockets fired at Israel by Palestinian militants in Gaza, one of which impacted Israel, with no reported injuries. Palestinian militants also test fired seven rockets at the sea. Israeli security forces conducted four airstrikes inside Gaza. On 7 August, in response to a rocket fired from Gaza, the Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas training site, injuring four Palestinians. In incidents that took place following the Duma arson attack, a 17-year-old Palestinian was shot dead and two others were injured by Israeli security forces in the vicinity of the wall.

    Madam President,

    The Secretary-General is relieved by the announcement today by Commissioner-General Krähenbühl that the UNRWA schools will indeed open in time.  The Secretary-General joins the Commissioner-General in expressing appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden and the Slovak Republic. The governments of host countries, in particular, the State of Palestine; the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; and Lebanon, have spared no effort during this challenging period. The Secretary-General extends his sincere gratitude for their support. A sustainable solution must still be found to address UNRWA’s long-term funding needs so that we can ensure the provision of basic services such as education are no longer at risk for all Palestine refugees.

    Madam President,

    A few words about the situation in Lebanon and Syria.

    In Syria, the air raids by Syrian forces on a market place in the town of Douma, which reportedly killed and injured over 300 civilians on 15 and 16 August, was one of the bloodiest since the conflict started in March 2011. This would be yet one more crime for which those responsible must be held accountable. Hostilities must end and the parties must show genuine commitment to resolving this conflict through an irreversible political transition by engaging in the efforts of the Secretary-General's Special Envoy, as endorsed by the Security Council Presidential Statement.

    In Lebanon, political differences continued to hinder the proper functioning of Lebanese state institutions despite Prime Minister Salam’s commendable efforts to run the government. We continue to call on Lebanon’s leaders to act urgently and responsibly by filling the presidential vacuum without further delay. The situation along the Blue Line and in UNIFIL’s area of operations has remained calm, despite Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace on an almost daily basis.

    Madam President,

     In conclusion, the recurrent violent incidents and radicalization in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza threaten to further destabilize an already tense environment. The incidents share a common thread: they are the inevitable product of the failure to make the tough choices necessary to resolve this conflict. They are the ramifications of the failure to prioritize the pursuit of a shared future built on trust rather than fear. We can no longer accept this reality. It is time to reverse the perilous tide that we are now facing and restore, to Israelis and Palestinians alike, the hope that is in danger of being stifled by those promoting their hate-driven agendas.

    Thank you. 

  • 29 Jul 2015

    Thank you Mr Secretary-General for your strong and supportive introduction to this debate,

    Your Excellency Foreign Minister McCully, Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    It is precisely the immensity of the human suffering as just described by the Secretary-General and yesterday by our colleague USG O'Brien that commands us to seek out even the remotest possibility for a political solution, even if, and we heard it, sadly the logic of assuming a military victory by anyone, which is impossible, continues. And barrel bombs and other indiscriminate weapons continue to kill Syrian civilians. 

    On 5 May, based on instructions from the Secretary-General, we unrolled the Geneva Consultations.  It’s a new form of avoiding getting cornered in a conference which then gets us straight-jacketed, it is a set of structured separate discussions with Syrian and non-Syrian players aimed at "stress testing" any willingness, if there is any, of narrowing the gaps in interpretation of the principles contained in the Geneva Communiqué, which is still, let’s be frank, the internationally only recognized framework for a settlement, even if still ambiguous in some parts.   To-date Consultations with over 200 different individuals, actually 216, -Syrians and non-Syrians- in Geneva and in capitals, reveal a generally shared sense of urgency given especially the recent gains by Daesh and al-Nusra Front, the talk of some de facto fragmentation, radicalization and sectarianism. There is thus growing reference to the need for a managed, phased, gradual controlled transition, to avoid a repeat of what no one in this Council would like to se, the problems we have had in Libya and in Iraq. 

    Consultations too have reaffirmed that most Syrians and international actors agree on what Syria should look like, and the relevance of the principles and content of the Geneva Communique.  It was three years ago, and it is still valid.  Syrians overall emphasize their own vision for a united, sovereign, independent -they’re very proud people-, non-sectarian, multi-confessional, all-inclusive state with territorial integrity, preserved but reformed state institutions, such as the Ministries -as we have seen in Iraq that was the biggest problem we faced when suddenly many institutions disappeared in one moment of the change-, including the political, security and judiciary sectors led by those who can inspire public confidence and trust. 

    Yet, there is disagreement -Mr Secretary-General said it very clearly- on how to get there much based on the different narratives, one as to the root causes of the conflict and emerging priorities. The fear of black flags over Damascus is driving many to consider reassessing their own earlier positions. Yet, many continue to consider also that the conflict continues to be about the Arab Spring calls for a change.  There is a firm recognition that counter-terrorism is now definitely a priority. However, many are also wondering -both Syrians and member states- that n order to assert that type of counter-terrorism, there is a need for a credible new government with whom they can partner in that effort. 

     

    Mr. President, 

    While common ground exists, the question over the devolution of executive authority to a transitional body -let’s be honest with ourselves- remains the most polarizing element of the Communique. For some, this means that the TGB -transitional governing body- is an instrument to hand over power. Some political and armed opposition groups generally reject any notion of power-sharing with the current government in Damascus. The Syrian government has accepted in theory to discuss the TGB at the Geneva II Conference but continues to reject the concept as unconstitutional.

    It is still broadly understood that, whatever the solution, it should ensure the "meaningfulness and irreversibility of the transition" and a widely acceptable process, without causing an abrupt jolt, shock, trauma, catastrophe, in the system in Syria - we cannot afford that. And that should also include assurances for Syrian communities -and there are many minorities who have been under threat- and regional stakeholders and guarantees that the Syrian people are part of the decision-making - including, let me stress it, especially women.  We met remarkable Syrian women in our Geneva Consultations who haver been giving us often the most powerful concept and analysis we have heard. 

     

    Mr. President, 

    Sadly there is still no consensus on the way forward on the Communique or yet a formalized even negotiation - we would not be discussing it here otherwise, we would be working on the negotiation. At the same time, given the deepening tragedy- the UN is obliged -and all of us are- to keep the issue alive, to not leave any stone unturned, also attuned to ongoing serious conversations and discussions which are taking place, and we are hearing them, around the region and elsewhere, which may require perhaps more time, and may be linked with developments that the Secretary-General just referred to. 

    We have thus strived to develop recommendations, guided by the views and analysis shared with us during the Consultations.  This is the first time by the way that the Syrian people have been given a chance, they told us, to be deeply and intensely consulted - after all we always say this is a Syrian-led , Syrian-involved process, well this was the opportunity.  Our recommendations are predicated on the need for a regional and international consensus - and sustained engagement- on a way forward. 

     

    Mr. President

    In responding to the Secretary-General's instruction therefore that we should try to "operationalise the Geneva Communique", together with my team we have consulted widely inside and around; and verified if there was critical mass for common action, and ultimately tried to visualize, from a technical point of view, the implementation of the Geneva Communique, in all its aspects, including the TGB. And we have come up with a detailed formula for the phased implementation of the Geneva Communique, so there is no alibi in case there was -and there will be- a political consensus, including on the TGB, which could assume the functions of a government, a definition of mutual consent, which was in the Geneva Communiqué, the functioning of a military council and Syrian National Congress for national dialogue and constitutional reform, combined with confidence-building measures.

    Ours is a straightforward interpretation formula for the implementation of the Communique. Regretfully, the Consultations also confirmed that achieving an agreement on this is difficult in the current Syrian context. In fact, many urged us not convene a Geneva III conference yet, because we are not yet there.  

    But, we cannot let the situation in Syria continue to drift. And that’s why based on the appeal and the urge of the Secretary-General, we need to move in a direction where Syrians come together to stop the violence and set out an irreversible path towards a genuine political transition. Which leads us to our main Recommendation.

    The Geneva Consultations got Syrians to again start talking to each other, sometimes indirectly through us, but they did. What I am today proposing is actually a deepening, getting much deeper, of those issues in the Geneva Communiqué which are not so controversial, and analyzing those that can be controversial. I now intend to invite therefore Syrians to parallel, simultaneous, thematic discussions through intra-Syrian working groups addressing the key aspects of the Geneva Communique, as identified by them in the first phase of the Consultations:

    • Safety and Protection for All: which means including ending sieges, how to do so, ensuring medical access and releasing detainees;
    • Political and Constitutional Issues: including the essential principles, transitional governing body and elections; 
    • Military and Security Issues: including combatting terrorism in an effective inclusive way, cease-fires, and integration;
    • Public Institutions, Reconstruction and Development: which means we should to try to avoid as we said what happened in Iraq and elsewhere where suddenly institutions disappeared and the country got into a major difficulty.  Those institutions should continue to deliver public services under a top leadership acceptable to all, and acting in accordance with principles of good government and human rights.

    These working groups will start generating movement, we believe, towards a Syrian-owned Framework Document on the implementation of the Geneva Communique. These efforts can build on the very useful meetings that took place in Moscow, in Cairo, in Paris, and even in Astana recently and many track II initiatives. This effort should be led by a Steering committee and the Framework Document will also provide for a transitional governing body, procedures for a national dialogue, and so on. Such an international initiative will require the support of a Contact Group, and we will get there at the right time.

    In all of the above I seek this Council's support, as the Secretary-General has said, and stand ready to regularly report to you and to the Secretary-General, on progress or challenges, which we will definitively have.

     

    Mr Secretary-General, Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    The Consultations have gone some way towards identifying existing common ground. They also still hold the promise that a set of formal negotiations could convene after preparing the ground, if there is a political will.  The Geneva Consultations have been loud and clear on the profound risks of failing to act now, including the increasing risk of a multi-generational conflict that, with each passing month, reduces the prospects of ever restoring Syria as a unified state, let alone making it even harder to establish a political process.  

    In closing Mr. President, let me thank the Secretary-General again for being with us today, showing his strong commitment about the issue that is in front of us, and the Secretariat, and the members of the Security Council for their continuous  support for our difficult, uphill, difficult, but needed mission.  I am obviously ready to go into details more in a separate meeting later on. 

    Thank you. ​

  • 23 Jul 2015

    Thank you Mr. President,

    Let me begin by extending my warmest wishes to our Muslim colleagues and their families on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr and the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

    In a region currently torn by religious radicalism, age-old sectarian rivalries and geopolitical realignments, one conflict has endured for over 65 years. Some see it as the core problem of the region; others dismiss it as unrelated to the current turmoil. Either way, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is increasingly entangled in the tectonic shifts in the Middle East. Given the region's massive transformation, it is imperative — perhaps more than ever before — that a permanent settlement be found, based on the concept of two states, Israel and a sovereign, contiguous and viable Palestine, living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition.

    Despite continuing security coordination in the West Bank, today the two sides are further apart from that goal than ever. Support for the two-state solution among both Palestinians and Israelis is fading away. The current situation on the ground is not sustainable as the two-state solution continues to be under threat including from settlement construction, security incidents, occupation-related violence, and lack of Palestinian unity.

    In the absence of a political process, the rise of violent extremism and terrorism in the region present a danger as much to the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians for statehood, as to the security of Israel.

     

    Mr. President,

    In the current environment of mistrust we in the international community must work with Israelis and Palestinians to create the conditions on the ground, regionally and internationally, that will facilitate a return to meaningful negotiations on the basis of an agreed framework and within a reasonable timeframe.

    On the ground, both parties must undertake steps that demonstrate their continued commitment to a two-state solution, including through the implementation of existing agreements and by avoiding unilateral actions.

    Advancing the two-state solution requires a fundamental change in policy with regard to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. I welcome the recent decision by Israel to add 8,000 new work permits for Palestinians from the West Bank, bringing the number of permits issued for employment in Israel to a new high of some 60,000. This and other similar initiatives should be sustained and expanded, while much more needs to be done for improving the quality of life for Palestinians.

    Unilateral activities in the West Bank, including settlement construction, so-called legalisation of outposts, demolitions and evictions must stop. 

    While settlement expansion had slowed of late, planning for related infrastructure has not ceased. I am concerned by reports about the imminent approval of new residential units in the occupied West Bank. Such a decision will inevitably damage the prospects for peace and increase the risk for political escalation. I urge the Israeli authorities to reconsider this action. Settlements are illegal under international law and undermine the very essence of the viability of a future Palestinian state.

    Meanwhile the Palestinian people rightly expect their leaders to act to advance unity and empower their government to take control of the border crossings in Gaza, implement civil service integration, pay public sector salaries and ensure that the governance framework between the West Bank and Gaza is integrated under a single authority. These efforts will pave the way for much delayed elections to take place.

    I call on all Palestinian groups to avoid in-fighting and find common ground, on the basis of non-violence and reconciliation, to achieve national unity which is critical for a two-state solution.

    The Secretary-General stands ready to work with the Security Council and our partners in the Middle East Quartet on a reinvigorated effort to create the conditions for the return to meaningful negotiations towards the two-state solution. In this context, I note the proposed establishment of an international support group that could contribute to such efforts. In the past month, the Quartet envoys, as part of an active outreach effort, engaged constructively with Egypt, Jordan and the League of Arab States. I take this opportunity to encourage the leadership of Israel to endorse the Arab Peace Initiative as an important contribution to a resolution to the conflict.

     

    Mr. President,

    July 8th marked the one-year anniversary of the outbreak of conflict between Israel and Hamas.

    Gaza’s painstaking emergence from last summer’s conflict is undermining belief among the population that genuine progress can be achieved. Activities of Salafi jihadists and other extremist groups are a cause for concern not only in Gaza, but also in neighbouring Sinai, where there are reports of their active support of militants on the Egyptian side of the border.

    On 18 July, six cars were blown up in Gaza city. Palestinian Salafi militants launched a rocket at Israel on 16 July, which exploded in an open area near Ashkelon. In response, Israel conducted four airstrikes against militant infrastructure targets in Gaza. Militants also fired a rocket from the Sinai on 3 July, which landed in Israel close to the Egyptian border, highlighting the potential for violence in the Sinai to expand beyond its borders.

    The Secretary-General calls on all actors in Gaza to provide information as to the possible whereabouts and conditions of two Israeli civilians who had entered Gaza sometime over the past year and remain unaccounted for, as well as to take prompt action to facilitate their safe return to their families.

    These, and other incidents, underscore the fragile dynamics within Gaza that - without positive change - will continue to provide fertile ground for extremism to flourish.

     

    Mr. President,

    Last month, Israel and the Palestinian Authority reached a welcome agreement on a new mechanism to allow Palestinians in Gaza access to construction material for the reconstruction of fully destroyed homes and for new construction. Close to 700 families have already been cleared and over 160 of these have purchased the required construction materials.

    Given this positive development, I take this opportunity to once again, urge donors to fulfill their pledges, in particular those allocated to housing construction and to addressing Gaza’s urgent energy and water needs.

    I also welcome recent agreement between Israel and the Netherlands to install an additional scanner for containers at the Kerem Shalom crossing. This should enable a substantial increase in exports from and imports into Gaza.

    The lifting of the Gaza closures within the framework of resolution 1860 (2009) remains an important objective of the United Nations. Absent this, the UN continues to work with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to support vital efforts to rebuild the lives of people in Gaza.

     

    Mr. President,

    Turning to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, while the frequency of security incidents decreased compared to last month, the situation remained tense.

    Israeli security forces conducted some 186 search-and-arrest operations, resulting in the arrest of some 300 Palestinians. Meanwhile Palestinian security forces also arrested over 100 people in the West Bank. I continue to be concerned by the situation of Palestinian prisoners, including those on hunger strike, held in Israel. All held in administrative detention should be promptly charged and tried in a court of law, or released without delay.

    In total, 50 Palestinians were injured, and four were shot and killed by Israeli security forces, including two at checkpoints near Nablus and Ramallah. Two members of the Israeli security forces were stabbed and injured, one seriously.

    Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli civilians in the West Bank also continued, resulting in the death of one Israeli and injury to eight Israelis and nine Palestinians, including one child.

    Just as such incidents contribute to the lack of hope and anger which feed a continuing cycle of violence and highlight the imperative to seek a resolution to this conflict, so too do the demolitions and displacement in the West Bank.

    On 12 July, Israel announced that it would seek to execute demolition orders of structures in the Palestinian village of Susiya in Area C. This comes ahead of a 3 August hearing, scheduled at the High Court of Justice, on a directly related planning-approval process. The Secretary-General joins the United States and the European Union in expressing his deep concern about the demolition and displacement plans for Susiya. Earlier today my Deputy Special Coordinator visited the community. We hope that the ongoing dialogue between Israeli authorities and the herding community will protect the rights of the persons affected.

     

    Mr. President,

    Against this backdrop intra-Palestinian talks to form a national unity government have faltered. I note the efforts of President Abbas and Prime Minister Hamdallah to reshuffle the current government and call on them to proceed without delay to appointing the new ministers.

    The reshuffling comes at a particularly sensitive time as the Palestinian Authority faces significant financial challenges, including a budget deficit of some $500 million for 2015. This gap cannot be closed through fiscal measures alone, and I urge donors to rapidly scale up their direct budget support. In this respect, it is also important to revive the functioning of the Israeli-Palestinian joint economic committee.

    While first and foremost it is up to the Palestinian authorities to take the lead, the UN stands ready to support the President, the Government and all factions in their efforts to reunite the West Bank and Gaza, in line with the intra-Palestinian unity agreement of 23 April 2014.

    Palestine is one and the UN will work determinedly to advance unity through its legitimate institutions.

     

    Mr. President,

    Allow me to briefly turn to the rest of the region and note that the UN’s broad engagement continued during the reporting period. Following consultations with Syrian, regional and international parties, next week the Secretary-General and Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura will be briefing the Security Council on their recommendations for moving the political track forward.

    In Yemen, Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed extends his good offices with all parties to restart negotiations on a political transition.

    In Libya, the UN remains engaged in facilitating talks aimed at ending the current political and security crisis through the formation of a Government of National Accord.

    In Iraq, the UN is working to promote political dialogue in the hopes of encouraging national reconciliation.

    In Lebanon, concerns grow that political differences are preventing the effective functioning of state institutions, despite Prime Minister Salam’s commendable efforts to run government, and there has been no progress in efforts to end the Presidential vacuum. The Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag continues to urge Lebanon’s leaders to put the country's stability and national interests ahead of partisan politics and elect a President without further delay.

    Meanwhile the situation along the Lebanese border with Syria has remained stable, with the Lebanese Armed Forces continuing their operations to prevent the infiltration of armed extremist groups from Syria. In the south, the situation along the blue line has remained generally calm, despite almost daily Israeli overflights over Lebanese territory. We encourage both parties to continue to make effective use of UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanisms.

     

    Mr. President and members of the Council,

    I am deeply concerned about UNRWA’s current unprecedented financial crisis. If the current gap of USD 100 million is not closed in the next weeks there is a serious risk that UNRWA schools, which educate 500,000 children throughout the Middle East, will not open. This will have grave implications for Palestine refugee children in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and for the stability and security of a region already in turmoil.

    I urge donors to step up support for UNRWA at this critical time.

     

    Mr. President,

    Let me turn back to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and reiterate our collective resolve to prevent a further deterioration of the situation; to uphold the two-state solution and to create the conditions for a return to meaningful negotiations.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas recently spoke and reaffirmed their desire for peace. This is a welcome sign. But, words need to be translated into concrete and sustained actions on the ground.

    But let me also be abundantly clear. Measures undertaken to improve the situation must not be considered an end unto themselves but part of a broader political framework with the goal of achieving a final status agreement.

    Now is the time to act decisively to reverse the growing perception that the two-state solution is on life-support, slowly dying a death “by a thousand cuts”.

    A comprehensive agreement will require committed engagement with key Arab states, including through the Arab Peace Initiative.

    The Secretary-General stands ready to support both sides in order to overcome their divisions and to rise to the challenge of forging a path towards a peaceful future.

     

    Mr President,

    In closing, let me place on record my deep appreciation for the support that the Security Council and the Secretariat have given to the excellent UNSCO team.

    I would also like to welcome Mr Robert Piper of Australia as the new Deputy Special Coordinator who will also serve as the Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

    Thank you for the opportunity to address the Council.

  • 22 Jul 2015

    Jeffrey Feltman, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, concluded today a two-day visit to Bogotá, Colombia, during which he met with President Juan Manuel Santos, officials of his Government, representatives of civil society and polítical parties, and the international community.  Mr. Feltman was in Colombia to convey on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the United Nations firm support for the peace process and its commitment to provide any support required by the parties to its successful conclusion. The Under-Secretary-General announced that, in response to the request of the Government and the FARC-EP, the United Nations has a team of experts prepared to travel soon to Havana to begin assisting the discussions of the sub-committee focused on end-of-conflict issues. 

  • 22 Jul 2015

    22 July 2015 -- Jeffrey Feltman, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, concluded today a two-day visit to Bogotá, Colombia, during which he met with President Juan Manuel Santos, officials of his Government, representatives of civil society and polítical parties, and the international community.  Mr. Feltman was in Colombia to convey on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the United Nations firm support for the peace process and its commitment to provide any support required by the parties to its successful conclusion. The Under-Secretary-General announced that, in response to the request of the Government and the FARC-EP, the United Nations has a team of experts prepared to travel soon to Havana to begin assisting the discussions of the sub-committee focused on end-of-conflict issues. 

  • 22 Jul 2015

    Thank you, Mr President.

    I have the honour to present the fourth report of the Secretary-General pursuant to resolution 2169 (2014), as well as the seventh report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 4 of resolution 2107 (2013) on the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals, and property. 

    During my previous briefing to the Council, I conveyed my initial impressions as the Secretary-General’s new Special Representative for Iraq as mixed but cautiously positive. Through my subsequent series of consultations with Iraq’s political and religious leaders, civil society, as well as neighbouring countries, my initial impressions remain valid, although I increasingly appreciate the scope, depth, and complexity of problems and challenges.   

     

    Mr. President,

    Since last summer’s onslaught by terrorists of the so-called ISIL, Iraq has been living through one of the most difficult phases in its modern history. While problems may seem daunting and persistent, there is hope, opportunities, and notably vision for the way out of the crisis, as expressed in the National Political Agreement. The real issue is its implementation.

    Iraq’s political process is moving forward, but without the needed vigour. The Government has achieved many successes, and deserves our acknowledgement and support. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is seeking actively to fulfil the promises of the Government’s programme, but not always with success. Political forces that have backed the Government and its programme often cooperate reluctantly, as if the existential threat of ISIL and economic and social difficulties were already matters of the past. The unity behind the creation of the current Government has not yet fully translated into unity of purpose or action. UNAMI has been actively working with all relevant interlocutors, using its good offices to bring views closer.

    There are signs of a growing understanding that the time has come for comprehensive political agreements, particularly for, as some leaders have described it, an “historic national reconciliation”. Several plans and blueprints have emerged recently, promoted by key leaders and political forces. Also, the National Reconciliation Commission has developed an action plan, an initiative owned and led by the Government. The so-called Baghdad Document is currently being widely consulted and will benefit from inputs from all Iraqi components, allowing for further ownership of and inclusion in the process. This could provide a starting point for further consultations, including with different opposition groups. UNAMI supports these processes.

    This development is most welcome, although political compromises are urgently needed to accelerate the implementation of the National Political Agreement and Ministerial Programme. In this regard, institutional and legislative reforms remain key to preserving Iraq’s unity, encouraging political reconciliation and defeating ISIL. Regrettably, the absence of consensus has halted the reform process. The national reconciliation legislative package, which includes key bills such as the National Guard, the General Amnesty, and the Justice and Accountability laws, has seen limited progress since my last briefing to the Council. All three bills are currently before the Council of Representatives, but progress has been stalled due to lack of trust between Iraqi communities, and absence of the necessary political will. I have informed my interlocutors in Parliament and in Government that “painful compromises” are needed to ensure these bills are passed, instead of being returned to the Council of Ministers. Iraq and her people do not have the luxury of time. UNAMI continues to stand ready to assist politically and technically to ensure these reforms succeed. 

    Mr. President, effective partnership between Baghdad and Erbil is equally critical to Iraq’s unity and stability for fighting ISIL. The past period has seen the two sides increasingly expressing disappointment with the implementation of the oil and revenue-sharing agreement signed last year, and was marked by some unilateral steps that work against the interest of both sides and the country as a whole. Both sides urgently need to renegotiate the deal, and reach a truly sustainable and comprehensive agreement. UNAMI supports any option that will provide for such sustainability, will reinforce confidence and partnerships of the two sides, and will keep them united in fighting ISIL.

    One year after the fall of Mosul, a third of Iraq remains under the control and governance of ISIL. In the reporting period, the military offensives of the Iraqi security forces, with the critical support of the Popular Mobilization Forces, tribal Sunni volunteers, and the International Coalition, have yet to significantly change the situation on the ground. Tikrit was liberated in March, but Ramadi fell in May. The Government’s ongoing offensive in Anbar aims to reverse this setback.

    The human cost of the conflict remains far too high. Since I last briefed the Council, UNAMI has recorded a minimum of 1,200 civilians killed and more than 2,000 wounded as a result of armed conflict or terror attacks. UNAMI continues to receive widespread reports of attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, extrajudicial killings, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual violence, forced recruitment of children, wanton destruction and looting of civilian property, and denial of fundamental rights and freedoms. Minorities, women and children continue to be particularly vulnerable to the horrors and indignities inflicted by ISIL. The recent terrorist outrage during the Eid holidays near a Shi’ite mosque in Khan Bani Saad in which over 120 civilians were reported killed and some 170 injured is another tragic witness to this.

    Reports are also received of occasional violations committed by elements of the Popular Mobilization Forces and allied groups. The Government and their leaders have reaffirmed that such violations will not be tolerated, and I urge them to continue taking all possible measures to prevent such transgressions and to bring perpetrators to justice. 

    With regard to the protection of children, I would like to commend the Prime Minister’s efforts to tackle the issue of child recruitment by ISIL. On 15 June 2015, he held a conference in Baghdad and proposed a series of recommendations, including increased regional cooperation, academic research, the promotion of co-existence at school, and social media campaigns. He also called upon the Security Council to take a firmer stance on this issue. The UN participated and will be working closely with the Office of the Prime Minister to develop a plan of action.

    Iraq is a mosaic of different ethnic and religious communities – and each component of the Iraqi people has suffered from a range of violations and abuses perpetrated at various times over recent decades. These violations and abuses have undermined trust between communities and eroded national identity. Exacerbating the sense of injustice are actions taken in the current phase of the conflict by ISIL and by some armed groups fighting against them, which aim at or result in forced demographic changes, and the targeting of communities considered to be “undesirable”. To restore trust and to rebuild unity between the various communities that form the Iraqi people, it is necessary to ensure justice and accountability for violations and abuses, whenever they have taken place and by whomever they were perpetrated, and to eliminate discrimination and marginalization wherever it occurs. Taking action to ensure the protection of diverse ethnic and religious minority communities, and their full and equal participation in the economic, social and political life of Iraq will be challenging – but such action will be required of the Government if the future cohesion of Iraq is to be assured.

     

    Mr President,

    The humanitarian situation is of the gravest concern.  At least 8.2 million, roughly one in four Iraqis needs urgent assistance, of which half need food assistance. More than three million people are internally displaced and partners estimate that a nearly a million more are likely to be displaced by continuing conflict and violence in the months ahead. Close to 300,000 refugees, mostly from Syria, have sought safety in the country. The Government is continuing to lead the operation, providing resources for cash stipends, distributing assistance and helping to erect camps for populations fleeing violence. Humanitarian partners are working around-the-clock to provide assistance but funds are running short. Close to eighty health facilities are closing in the weeks ahead unless support is received. Food rations have already been cut and scores of life-saving programmes are scheduled to shut down. The implications of this are enormous, and profoundly worrying.  I thank the donor community for their pledges in response to the recent Humanitarian Response Plan launched in cooperation with the EU in Brussels on 4 June, but I urge the international community to do more to help desperately vulnerable Iraqi communities. We are very worried by reports that communities and families are being forced to look to ISIL for life-saving assistance, even as UN-sponsored programmes are closing for lack of funding.

    At the same time, internally displaced persons, in increasing numbers, are starting to return to liberated areas. The stabilization efforts led by the Government with the support of the UN family using the UNDP Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization are commendable, but much more remains to be done to ensure that returns are voluntary, sustainable, and dignified and that conditions are in place to return to their homes. We are encouraging the Government to take all necessary steps to guarantee their safety through exerting further pressure on armed elements temporarily controlling liberated areas to prevent occasional revenge attacks and other violations committed against IDPs, to establish effective local control of security. 

     

    Mr. President,

    Permit me now to turn to the seventh report of the Secretary-General, pursuant to paragraph 4 of resolution 2107 (2013), on the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-party persons and property.

    Iraq-Kuwait relations are on the ascendant. Iraqi leaders and the UN have noted with gratitude the generous donation of 200 million USD for the needs of IDPs. There is much goodwill between the two sides. This goodwill could only heighten if tangible results were achieved on the issue of the missing Kuwaiti persons and property. I intend to visit Kuwait to discuss this.

     

    Mr. President,

    I would like to turn briefly to the issue of residents of Camp Hurriyah. We need to alleviate Iraq’s burden. I urge all countries to consider hosting these residents or to use their influence in assisting in their relocation. 

    And one more reminder, this time concerning our UN national staff member taken hostage. The Secretary-General in his report urged the Iraqi authorities to redouble efforts to secure his release, and I strongly support his appeal. Let’s remember it has been already 88 days since we have no credible information about our colleague and no positive solution to this case.  

     

    Excellencies, members of the Council

    From the lessons learned over the years from the implementation of UNAMI’s mandate and through a consultative process, the Secretary-General has spelled out his recommendations on where emphasis should lie as regards future UNAMI and UNCT mandate and activities.   

    Your decision later this month on our mandate will provide a clear guidance and will establish a re-focused political framework for the UN, including UNAMI. With the continued support of the Council, I remain confident that we can and we will work hand-in-hand with the Government of Iraq, political forces, and civil society, to achieve results in all areas, while increasingly mobilizing , notably regional support and cooperation. At this critical juncture, the Government of Iraq, its leadership and, most of all, Iraqis themselves need the continuous and massive international community’s support and assistance.  

    Thank you.

  • 15 Jul 2015

    Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Council, Excellencies,

    Since my last briefing to the Council, the situation in Libya continued to deteriorate amidst significant political fragmentation and violence. Too many Libyans continue to die in this fight among brothers and far too much destruction has taken place. The chaos on the ground has also given way to an expansion of extremist groups, including Daesh affiliates, into a number of areas across the country. This vacuum of authority has also been exploited by human smugglers and many refugees, asylum seekers and migrants are using the country as a launching area for an unprecedented surge in dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    The Libyan people have been crying out for an end to the chaos. I am pleased to report today that this message has been heard by a number of courageous Libyan leaders who on 11 July, in Skhirat, Morocco, initialed a political agreement. This act signaled the adoption of a framework for further talks and has brought the country one step closer to ending the conflict and fulfilling the goals of the 2011 revolution.
     
    While some members of the dialogue were not present, the message in Skhirat was one of reconciliation and encouragement for all Libyans to join together to end the unnecessary state of affairs and suffering. The dialogue committee of the Libyan House of Representatives, boycotting members from the House of Representatives and independent personalities, initialed along with a number of representatives of political parties and of municipalities from eastern and western Libya, who witnessed the ceremony that was attended by the Foreign Minister of Morocco.
     
    The initialing of the agreement is only one, albeit important step forward in the process of addressing the political and institutional divisions. This initialing also marks a consensus among the parties on the text, with the clear understanding that it will not be further amended, without prejudice to the negotiations on its annexes.
     
    This agreement sets out a comprehensive framework that will allow Libya to complete the transition that started in 2011. The text includes guiding principles and puts in place institutions and decision-making mechanisms to guide the transition until the adoption of a permanent constitution. This is intended to culminate in the creation of a modern, democratic state based on the principle of inclusion, the rule of law, separation of powers and respect for human rights.
     
    I want to praise the Libyan participants for their achievement after months of negotiations. This is a Libyan agreement, developed by Libyan representatives through their relentless efforts and political determination. The multiple tracks of this process sought to involve all segments of Libyan society, from municipal representatives, to political parties, women and activists who have been engaged since January and gathered in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Switzerland, Morocco and at the European Union in Brussels.
     
    As you know, the dialogue committee of the General National Congress decided not to initial this agreement, although they remain committed to the dialogue process. As I mentioned in Skhirat, I want to emphasise that the door remains open for them to join. I also wish to acknowledge their important role in developing this text. This agreement is also the fruit of their hard work, and they should not be on the sidelines as this shared vision for a solution to the crisis continues to take shape.
     
    The Libyan people have unequivocally expressed themselves in favor of peace and I am confident that the moderate voices will hear this call and will work constructively to end the conflict and bring Libya back on the path of stability, democratic transition and economic recovery.
     
    Through this agreement, which has received strong support from the international community, important progress was made; but I shall not shy away from underscoring that crucial work remains to complete this initial and significant development. As we move on to the next phase of negotiations, regarding the formation of a government of national accord and the annexes to the agreement, I am confident that all remaining issues will be addressed.
     
    The Libyan people deserve a strong government representing all Libyans, a government that the international community can and will support, to address the many challenges that the country is facing.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    Allow me to express my earnest gratitude to Morocco and all of Libya’s neighbors for their support and generosity for hosting the many sessions of this dialogue. Their support, and that of many other countries, such as Algeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, and as well as the League of Arab States and the European Union, has been crucial in building consensus throughout this process. I also wish to thank the African Union and the Forum of Libya’s Neighboring Countries for their support and for having provided important opportunities for crucial discussions and exchanges.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    In western Libya, local ceasefires and reconciliation agreements have improved the security situation and allowed for an improvement in the humanitarian situation. A growing rapprochement between the cities of Misrata, Warshafana, Zawia and Zintan has been instrumental in facilitating these ceasefires.
     
    In central Libya, Daesh-affiliated militants established full control over the city of Sirte and the surrounding coastal area. Misrata forces withdrew to the area of Abu Grain, some 75 km east of Sirte, but continue to carry out airstrikes and block Daesh advances westward. The prevailing political and security divisions within the country have prevented the development of a coordinated policy to deal with the threat of Daesh affiliates.
     
    In Benghazi, clashes between the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council and Operation Dignity continue with neither side making significant gains; the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council’s early July offensive has not changed the situation on the ground. In Derna, hardline Islamists from the Derna Mujaheddin Shura Council ejected Daesh from the city in June.
     
    UNSMIL has continued its efforts to convene the security track of the political dialogue. For that purpose the mission has organised a number of meetings with armed groups in Libya and abroad, and has also intensified its regular bilateral contacts with leaders of armed formations from all sides.
     
    The role of security actors is an important part of the overall reconciliation effort, and will be instrumental in sustaining, supporting and implementing the political agreement. We have listened to their concerns and taken onboard their contributions, and it is my intention to convene all security actors before the final signing of the agreement.
     
    With respect to the human rights situation in the country, violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law have continued to take place with impunity across Libya, with the civilian population bearing the brunt of the protracted fighting. In Benghazi, where fighting has once again escalated in recent days, the shelling of residential areas has led to the killings and injury of children and medical workers, as well to further destruction of civilian infrastructure. The two main hospitals still functioning, the Benghazi Medical Centre and the Jalaa Hospital - have been hit. Armed men wielding hand grenades reportedly entered the Medical Centre on 5 July threatening doctors and other staff. A number of civilians are believed to be trapped, including in Elblad and Sabri, as the warring parties fail to ensure their safe evacuation. More than half of the population in Benghazi is estimated to have left in a bid to escape the violence, and the ongoing fighting is impeding humanitarian relief operations.
     
    The situation in Benghazi, birthplace of the revolution, remains of serious concern. We must refocus our efforts on this city in particular, to try and put an end to the fighting, which has caused so much destruction.
     
    In western Libya, periodic outbursts of fighting including in residential areas led to the killing and injury of civilians including children in the cities of al-Zawiya and al-Ajilat. Armed groups have targeted individuals due to their family or perceived political affiliations. Thousands of Libyans remain illegally detained, including detainees who have been reportedly tortured. They include people held solely based on their family or tribal identity, many abducted for the purpose of exchanging them for fighters. Among them are also humanitarian workers.
     
    I was encouraged by the recent release of prisoners in various cities over the past weeks. However, all those illegally detained should be released without further delay. I have urged all parties to do so before the end of Ramadan. Such measures are not only a matter of human rights: they would contribute significantly to facilitating the next phase of the political dialogue and to reconciliation.
     
    I would be remiss if I did not mention the plight of foreign nationals, especially irregular migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, who remain vulnerable to killings, prolonged arbitrary detention, exploitation and sexual violence among other abuses. A number of non-Muslim migrant workers remain missing after having being abducted around Sirte in previous months. I fear for their safety after Daesh released videos in February and April 2015 depicting the brutal killings of some 50 Christians.
     
    The lack of security impedes the resumption of the work of the judiciary, in Benghazi, Derna and Sirte. In Tripoli, the last session of the trial of Saif al-Islam Qadhafi, Abdullah al-Senussi, and 35 other former regime officials for violations committed during the 2011 conflict, took place on 20 May, and the verdict is expected on 28 July. Libya must overcome this dark chapter in its history by holding those responsible for serious crimes accountable, in accordance with international standards for due process and fair trial.
     
    The overall humanitarian situation continues to cause concern, with the number of internally displaced doubled since last September and an underfunded humanitarian response. Awbari, Ghat and other areas of the South that require assistance remain largely inaccessible to the international humanitarian community as a result of deteriorating security conditions.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    Libya is at a critical stage, and it is my duty to seize this opportunity of addressing the Council to urge all parties in Libya to continue to engage constructively in the dialogue process. Spoilers should be held accountable, as they bear the responsibility of hindering the political agreement. Once again we must join together and send an unequivocal message that only through dialogue and political compromise, can a peaceful resolution of the conflict be achieved.
     
    A peaceful transition will only succeed in Libya through a significant and coordinated effort in supporting a future Government of National Accord and to ensure that sufficient security is achieved in Tripoli and throughout the country to ensure that key functions of the public administration can resume. A Government of National Accord can be the only interlocutor through which the growing threat of Daesh and its affiliate groups can be effectively tackled. I am confident that the international community is ready to offer the needed support based on the priorities that the Libyans will identify. The UN stands ready to work with the Libyans to ensure national ownership in this process.
     
    Thank you, Mr. President.  
  • 7 Jul 2015

    Mr. President,

    Distinguished Council Members,

    I am pleased to be here today to brief you on the situation in West Africa and the implementation of UNOWA’s mandate. Further to the 15th report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) which is before you, I would like to highlight few issues and update you on the most recent developments.

    The general picture in West Africa today is that of, first, continuous concerns regarding the security situation in the Lake Chad Basin area and its humanitarian impact, in spite of progress made by the affected countries in the fight against Boko Haram; second, continuing risks of instability in several West African nations, in the lead up to their presidential elections later in the year, following the resounding success in the Nigerian electoral process; Lastly, trans-national organized crime and the Ebola Virus Disease still remain  a matter of serious concern in spite of continuing national, regional and international efforts to curb these threats. These are areas that will continue to guide our preventive diplomacy and good offices efforts in the months to come.

     

    Mr. President,

    Since May, the Boko Haram insurgency has stepped up its attacks and violence in the Lake Chad Basin Area mainly against civilian targets, leading to new deterioration of the security and humanitarian situations.  Although the structure and capacity for conventional war of Boko Haram has been destroyed, the terror group continues to perpetrate violent attacks and rampages in Nigeria but also Niger and Chad, as illustrated in recent weeks. This underscores the necessity for continued vigilance and coordinated regional action. In this regard the unprecedented solidarity exemplified by the joint military operations carried out by Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon against Boko Haram since January, with the support of international partners, is indeed commendable.

    Immediately after his inauguration, President Buhari visited Niger and Chad on 3 and 4 June to initiate high level consultations and galvanize support for fight against Boko Haram. On 11 June, an Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries plus Benin took place in Abuja, where far-reaching decisions were taken to accelerate the effective operationalization of the multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). To ensure continuity in the war effort, more support from all partners remains crucial. In the longer term, addressing the root causes of the insurgency constitutes a condition for lasting stability. A coordinated post-conflict strategy is required to help restore normal living conditions and organize the return of refugees and displaced people that the conflict has caused.

    While the Boko Haram-related insecurity has impeded field assessment in their northern areas, I am pleased to report that in the context of the Cameroun-Nigeria Mixed Commission, which I chair on behalf of the United Nations, the two countries have not relented on completing the demarcation of their common land boundary. As the CNMC is actively preparing to initiate Confidence-building projects in favour of Cameroon and Nigeria populations adversely affected by the demarcation, I should note that the UN support team has already outlined a completion strategy which establishes specific timetables and projections for concluding the work of the commission, and for passing responsibility for residual and follow up activities to a bi-lateral commission exclusively composed by the two countries.   

    In Guinea, the inter-Guinean political dialogue kicked off on 19 June, with the international partners including the UN sitting as observers. Subsequently, however, the Representative of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and I assumed an informal facilitation role at the request of Government facilitators and the parties.  It is pertinent to note that the contentious issue of the sequencing of the elections has been resolved in favour of the presidential election holding before the communal/local elections. Longstanding contentious elements dividing the government and the opposition are now being addressed, notably strengthening the technical capacity of the CENI, a credible electoral register and the monitoring and evaluation of the preparations of the presidential elections with the support of the UN, ECOWAS, OIF, bi and multilateral partners.     

    One remaining major challenge is the financial and expertise gap that needs to be bridged for the electoral process in Guinea to be on course. Time is of the essence, given that we have only about four months to the date of the presidential elections.  While a number of partners have made pledges, it is expedient that these promises are redeemed soonest. 

    Concerning Burkina Faso, the International Group for Support and Assistance to the Transition in Burkina Faso (GISAT-BF) met on 12 June 2015 in the margins of the 25th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Johannesburg. The Group noted progress in the preparation for elections, notably with the completed revision of the voters’ register. Meanwhile, there are concerns regarding what is emerging as a fragile equilibrium of the transition and in particular the underlying tensions between Prime Minister Zida and the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP). Our concerns increased following recent incident on 29 June when elements of the RSP reportedly attempted to arrest Prime Minister Zida upon his return from a foreign trip. Several gun shots were heard in the Regiment’s camp that evening. I should, however, mention the commendable efforts by President Kafando in appeasing the situation and in keeping the transition on track towards the holding of presidential election on 10 October. Meanwhile, I plan to visit Ouagadougou upon my return to the region, jointly with the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Commission and the AU commissioner for Peace and Security in our capacity as co-chairs of the International Group for Support and Assistance to the Transition in Burkina Faso (GISAT-BF).

     

    Mr. President,

    Before I conclude, let me draw your attention to the continuous challenges posed by the Ebola virus disease in the region. On 24 June, UNOWA facilitated a telephone conference between the Mano River Union Secretariat and peace missions in the region, during which were emphasized the difficulties met in border areas, as none of the security and confidence-building mechanisms are operational, and restrictions due to Ebola continue to affect local livelihoods. Despite significant achievements in the fight against Ebola, Guinea and Sierra Leone are yet to attain zero case situations. Most worrisome is that, after declaring a zero case situation on 9 May, Liberia has detected three new cases; the last was confirmed on 28 June.  There have been remarkable examples of solidarity between the neighbors in facing the Ebola crisis. With the epidemics still active, and in a sensitive political context especially in Guinea, the resources in place since 2014, including UNMEER’s, remain essential towards achieving the goal of zero Ebola case.

     

    Mr. President,

    Distinguished Council Members,

    I thank you for your attention.

  • 24 Jun 2015

     

    Subscribe to our Politically Speaking mailing list

    * indicates required

  • 24 Jun 2015

    Mr. President,

    Let me open with best wishes to our Muslim colleagues on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.
     
    The Secretary-General is encouraged by the recent reaffirmations by Prime Minister Netanyahu of his commitment to “the idea of a sustainable two-state solution” but notes that this must be translated into actions. This includes a halt to sensitive and unilateral activities in the West Bank, including settlements, which could prejudice a final status agreement or prevent the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state. This message was reaffirmed by major donor countries at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting in Brussels on 27 May.
     
    The Secretary-General welcomes Israel’s measures to ease some restrictions on Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, in particular during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, although some measures have been revoked in response to repeated rocket fire from Gaza. He encourages Israel to sustain and expand these confidence-building measures, which enable the legitimate movement of people and goods in and between Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and improve the quality of life of Palestinians.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    The security situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, remained tense. A total of 186 Palestinians were injured, including 28 children and two women. Five members of the Israeli security forces were also injured. Israeli security forces conducted some 400 search-and-arrest operations, resulting in the arrest of 510 Palestinians. In three separate incidents on 20 May, 10 June and 14 June, three Palestinian men were killed by the Israeli security forces: first, a man was killed when an Israeli military jeep overturned during an operation to arrest suspected militants; the second incident occurred as a result of clashes with Israeli military forces; and the third was killed after ramming his vehicle into two Israeli policewomen.
     
    On 19 June, a Palestinian shot at an Israeli vehicle travelling near a West Bank settlement close to Ramallah, killing one Israeli civilian and injuring another. While claims of responsibility have not been confirmed, some Palestinian factions, including Hamas, praised the attack. The United Nations immediately condemned the attack. On 22 June, an Israeli policeman was critically wounded when he was stabbed at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, while the attacker remains in critical condition after being shot by the policeman. In total, six members of the Israeli security forces were injured.
     
    The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about the situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, notably those in administrative detention, including Khader Adnan, detained since 8 July 2014 and on hunger strike now for 51 days. The Israeli Government’s decision on 14 June to re-introduce draft legislation to permit force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike under certain conditions, if approved by the Knesset, would be in contravention of international standards.
     
    The demolishing of homes and structures in the West Bank has also continued. This month, 52 structures, including 17 residences, were demolished, leading to the displacement of 29 Palestinians, including 17 children. On 9 June, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a petition to restore planning authority to Palestinian villages in Area C of the West Bank. The planning and zoning system as it stands makes it virtually impossible for Palestinians to build or develop their land in Area C. 
     
    I reiterate our concerns over the fate of 7,000 Palestinian Bedouins and herders in 46 residential areas in the West Bank, who may be at risk of forcible transfer as Israel advances its plan to relocate these communities into three sites in Area C – a plan which may be linked to settlement expansion in E1 and other areas and which would seriously jeopardize the realization of the two-state solution.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    In the Gaza Strip, the desperate situation was exacerbated by a number of security incidents. During the reporting period, ten rockets were fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza, thankfully without casualties or damage. The Secretary-General has publicly condemned these incidents. A further 11 rockets were test fired towards the sea. Israeli security forces responded by conducting eleven airstrikes on militant sites in Gaza, again, without resulting in injuries.
     
    Concerns are also mounting around internal divisions within Gaza, including a potentially developing threat from militant Salafist individuals or groups. On 2 June, Hamas security forces reportedly killed a Salafist accused of firing rockets at Israel and arrested a number of others suspected of carrying out these attacks.
     
    12 Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli security forces: I call on Israel to implement measures to minimize incidents which result in injuries in the Access Restricted Areas on land and at sea.
     
    The Secretary-General is closely following media reports which suggest that a flotilla is expected to group and head towards Gaza in the coming days. He continues to believe that a flotilla will not help to address the dire situation in Gaza and reiterates his calls on the Government of Israel to lift all closures, with due consideration of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    The ever challenging circumstances in Gaza highlight the urgent need for strengthening Palestinian unity. Conflicts, poor governance and the closures have crushed Gaza’s economy. Unemployment spiked to 43 per cent at the end of 2014.
     
    I am, nevertheless, encouraged by Prime Minister Hamdallah’s commitment to overcome these obstacles, including the issue of public sector employees in Gaza, by reintegrating the governance framework under a single authority. The willingness and capacity of all Palestinian factions to resolve their differences, including on border crossings with Israel and Egypt, is integral to lifting the blockade of Gaza and advancing Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood.
     
    I note the decision on 22 June of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to form a committee to consult with all Palestinian factions in order to form a national unity government. I encourage all factions to maintain a positive approach to these discussions which are critical to the future of Palestinian reconciliation.  
    The Secretary-General welcomed Egypt’s decision – following consultations with President Abbas – to open the Rafah crossing from 13 to 19 June and for three days this week in both directions. Recognizing that such decisions critically depend on the security environment, and without diminishing the United Nations’ primary objective to see the full lifting of all closures within the framework of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009), it is our hope that the Rafah crossing can be opened on a regular basis to help relieve the suffering of the people of Gaza.
     
    While overall progress on Gaza’s reconstruction remains far too slow, the establishment of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism has been vital to facilitating the entry of material.  As of 23 June, over 88,500 homeowners have procured construction material. Furthermore, 135 construction projects have been approved by the Israeli authorities out of 202 submitted. I welcome that today the Government of Palestine approved the entry of material under the Mechanism for constructing 16,000 new homes to help address the housing gap.
     
    With major construction work expected to begin imminently, there is an urgent need for additional funding for the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, which will exhaust its funds in September.
     
    The Secretary-General took note of the release on Monday of the Human Rights Council's independent Commission of Inquiry’s report on Gaza. While we do not comment on the substance of such reports, it is our hope that this report will contribute to bringing justice to victims of last year’s war and encourage the parties to engage in serious and credible examinations of their own behaviour.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    A few words about the situation in Lebanon and Syria.
     
    Lebanon has now been without a President for over a year. The vacuum has prevented the parliament from legislating on urgent issues, affecting the economy and the Government’s ability to function effectively. Prime Minister Tamam Salam has suspended regular Cabinet meetings since 4 June to ease political tensions over upcoming senior appointments in the Lebanese Armed Forces.
     
    Along the eastern Lebanese-Syrian border, Hizbullah has reportedly seized a number of positions from armed extremist groups, including ISIL and the Nusra Front, in the region of Qalamoun up to the outskirts of Arsal. The Lebanese Armed Forces are deployed in and around Arsal to prevent the fighting from reaching the town.
     
    Six months after the launch of the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan, we urge donors to fulfill existing pledges for assisting the 1.2 million registered refugees and Lebanese host communities.
     
    General calm remained in the UNIFIL area of operations, despite escalatory rhetoric on both sides and security concerns in the Golan Heights. Israel continued violating Lebanese airspace on an almost daily basis.
     
    On Syria, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy continues the Geneva Consultations with Syrian, regional and international delegations with a view to developing recommendations on the operationalization of the Geneva Communique. On 4 June, he held discussions with the Syrian Opposition Coalition in Istanbul and from 15 to 17 June with Syrian officials in Damascus. In Damascus, he also raised issues related to the protection of civilians, including the unacceptable use of barrel bombs by government forces while also condemning the use of gas canisters by opposition groups.
     
    The Turkish Government has raised concerns about refugee flows resulting from efforts to oust ISIL from the Tal Abyad area in Syria. According to information available to the United Nations, approximately 25,000 Syrians from this area sought refuge in Turkey, although we believe that 2,000 refugees have reportedly already crossed back into Syria. It is neither just nor possible to expect from Turkey to continue to face the refugee pressures alone. OHCHR is investigating allegations of forceful displacement of Arab and Turkoman populations. To date, we are unaware of evidence that this has taken place on a wide scale or systematically.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    In conclusion, let me reiterate our concern that accepting a fatalistic narrative on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only accelerate a deterioration of the situation. It will also constitute a grave injustice to those on both sides who want to live peacefully and securely as neighbors – as two peoples whose pasts will be forever linked by their ancestral ties to the region, and whose futures stand only to benefit, including economically. This conflict can also not be viewed in isolation from the regional turmoil. The risk of radicalization in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is heightened by the continued lack of a political horizon. Absent courageous leadership, a sustainable solution will remain a distant and unachievable goal.
  • 22 Jun 2015
    Madam President, members of the Council,
     
    I thank you for this opportunity to share UNAMA’s perspectives on recent developments in Afghanistan.
     
    Since my last briefing to the Security Council, there has been progress in meeting Afghanistan’s challenges in three distinct but interrelated areas: the economic, the security and the political. Although such progress itself has been modest, this should not be undervalued.
     
    It needs to be stressed that Afghanistan continues to be tested in meeting its benchmarks in all three areas. There is no room for complacency - failure in any one of these areas would have consequences for the overall success of the Afghan transition. It is absolutely clear that Afghanistan continues to need the support of the international community, as well as the sustained attention of this Council.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    The economic contraction that followed the withdrawal of international military forces presents a continuing challenge to the Government to meet the fiscal gap; that is, the gap between the resources it can muster and the monies it must spend. Afghanistan is meeting and exceeding - admittedly modest - revenue targets. Nevertheless, Afghanistan is struggling to harness the resources to meet its governance commitments and its developmental priorities. At this time of continued low economic growth, we must also guard against the danger of an increasing shift into the illicit economy, particularly so in the case of burgeoning narcotics production.
     
    Afghanistan is meeting its security challenges, but is nonetheless being increasingly tested. The Afghan National Security Forces [ANSF] have been undeniably stretched as they take on full security responsibilities. We have seen an intensification of conflict across the country, including in areas previously considered to be safe. Only yesterday, there were fresh challenges to Government security control in an area close to strategically important Kunduz City. And today there was a failed attack on parliament as it was about to review the nomination for the Minister of Defence.
     
    While the ANSF face operational challenges, their commitment is beyond question and they are demonstrating resilience in the face of insurgent efforts to take and hold ground.
    Foreign fighters from Afghanistan’s northern neighbours and elsewhere present a particular challenge. There also remains considerable concern that ISIL, referred to in Afghanistan as Daesh, is seeking to establish a foothold. This demands greater regional involvement and collaboration to address this shared threat. It seems inequitable that Afghanistan should be shouldering the burden of taking on terrorists whose points of origin and eventual destinations are its neighbours.
     
    The determined outreach from Afghanistan to its neighbours is encouraging. Stronger relations between the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan are particularly noteworthy, amidst growing recognition of their shared interests.
     
    Ultimately, deeper collaboration on the full range of political, economic and social issues will promote regional stability and prosperity.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    The intensification of the conflict was as predicted. There has been higher attrition on both sides, but the most tragic index of this intensification is the toll on civilians – so far this year 4,216 civilians have been killed or injured. Just two days ago, 16 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed when a bus hit an improvised explosive device. Tragic though this is, sadly it was not an isolated incident, rather a typical event.
     
    Such incidents take a terrible emotional and social toll on families, especially surviving widows, often left in the most appalling economic circumstances. Many other Afghans continue to be affected by the conflict, including those who have been displaced. Humanitarian assistance is often impeded by continued insecurity and, lamentably, humanitarian actors have been targeted.
     
    The United Nations will continue to provide humanitarian support to those affected. UNAMA will work to increase levels of trauma care and meet the short term needs of the increasing number of those internally displaced. UNAMA will also continue to advocate with all parties, including the Taliban to strengthen measures to ensure the protection of civilians.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    On the political front, there has also been modest progress. Since I last briefed you, all the members of the cabinet have been appointed, even though one remains to be confirmed. As of this morning, 21 provincial governors have been appointed and there has been agreement on other significant appointments.
     
    After long delays, the Government has committed to appoint the Electoral Reform Commission within a week, and to provide clarity on the electoral calendar within a month. The term of office of the lower house of the National Assembly, the Wolesi Jirga, was due to end today, without the election of the new members having taken place. The lack of clarity on the future of the current Wolesi Jirga had caused consternation, with the potential for public discord. Thankfully, just three days ago, President Ghani decreed an extension of the Wolesi Jirga until elections can be held.
     
    Despite political tensions, Afghan institutions were able to work together to find solutions on sovereign issues. The United Nations looks forward to a decision on the date of the next elections, as well as action to implement the commitment to electoral reform. These steps will go a long way to reassuring Afghans that the democratic institutions and processes are able to fulfil their proper roles and to meet public expectations.
     
    The most difficult aspect of the National Unity Government partnership has been in effecting appointments. With these largely now completed, and the cabinet in place, we can expect to see a more effective functioning of the Government.
     
    Now is the time for a surge in delivery of public services, fulfilment of election promises, and implementation of the reforms set out in London and as promised in the ministerial 100-day action plans. The upcoming Senior Officials Meeting, in less than three months time, of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework presents an opportunity to demonstrate real progress on the mutual commitments of donors and Governments to supporting governance reforms.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    In reference to the request by the Security Council that the Secretary-General initiate an examination of the role, structure and activities of all United Nations entities in Afghanistan, I am pleased to update that we have now agreed with the Government to establish a Commission, comprised of representatives of the Government, the international donor community, UNAMA and affiliated agencies, funds and programmes; co-chaired by UNAMA and the Government. The terms of reference have been shared with the members and the Commission will commence its work shortly and we anticipate having a report ready for the Council by the time of its September meeting on Afghanistan.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    Peace would have a major positive impact on the capacity of the Government to address its economic, security and political challenges.
     
    In the long term, peace is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Unless Afghans can find a way to live together in harmony, Afghanistan’s political and security institutions and its economy simply may not be sustainable. Failure would have no beneficiaries.
     
    Despite the disturbing security trends, or perhaps as a consequence, there has been a renewed interest in peace efforts to resolve the conflict.
     
    In my last address I spoke of a unique alignment of circumstances that could be conducive to fostering peace talks.
     
    Indeed, the essential ingredients for a peace process are present: a protracted violent conflict with little prospect of a military victory for either side; combined with clear signs of a growing interest in a peace process.
     
    A conference hosted by the Qatari Government in early May reaffirmed the appetite for peace by a wide range of Afghans, showing the potential for progress to that end through dialogue. Since then, there have been several similar meetings in different locations, most recently in Oslo last week, which I attended.
     
    These events confirm that Afghans want an end to the ever-present violence that does so much harm and which shows no signs of abating.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    While the Government has repeatedly stated its readiness to engage in direct talks with the Taliban, what is still missing is a clear indication from the Taliban that they are ready to engage directly with the Government.
     
    Without this direct engagement, no meaningful progress towards peace will be possible, a point that I continue to stress in my conversations with Taliban representatives. Conference pronouncements have been useful in clarifying positions, but can never be a format for a systematic engagement between empowered representatives on the conditions for, the agenda of, and the barriers to, an enduring peace. In short, a direct engagement is necessary for a negotiated agreement.
     
    With leadership, peace is within reach. However, the intensification of the conflict is eroding the atmosphere for constructive negotiations. Just as the voices for peace are growing louder, so too are those who believe that peace is neither possible nor desirable or that the focus should now be on war.
     
    It is thus critical that the international community as a whole, and the regional neighbours in particular, send the same message to all involved, unambiguously and forcefully: the time to begin direct peace and reconciliation talks is now.
     
    UNAMA supports such a direct engagement between armed groups and the Government, has attempted to facilitate its realization and will continue to do so, in full consultation with the Government.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    I would like to express, finally, my hope that, in this holy month of Ramadan, Afghans will be able to come together to worship in peace.
     
    Thank you.
  • 16 Jun 2015

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations in October 2014 to review the current state of UN peace operations. The Panel consisted of 16 members chaired by former President of Timor-Leste and Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos-Horta and vice-chaired by Ms. Ameerah Haq. The Panel worked primarily through consultations, thematic workshops, review of submissions and relevant literature, capital visits, and targeted interviews. Consultations with Member States, civil society and academia were held in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Cairo, Egypt; Brussels, Belgium; and Salvador, Brazil. The Panel received more than 80 written submissions from more than 50 Member States, regional and other organizations, UN partner entities, civil society, academia and research outfits. The review included visits to Tokyo, Islamabad, New Delhi, Washington DC, Paris, London, Helsinki, Moscow, Beijing and Kigali as well as UN peace operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Senegal. The Panel coordinated closely with other parallel reviews such as the SCR 1325 Expert Study and the Advisory Group on the Review of Peace-building Architecture. A brief summary of the Panel’s observations and recommendations is provided below.

     

    Four essential shifts are needed

    • Primacy of politics. Lastingpeace is achieved through political solutions and not through military and technical engagements alone. Political solutions must guide all UN peace operations.
    • Responsive operations. UN missions should be tailored to context. The UN shouldembrace the term ‘peace operations’ to denote the full spectrum of responses.
    • Stronger partnerships. A more resilient global and regional architecture for international peace and security is needed for the future. The UN must lay out a vision and help enable others.  
    • Field-focused and people-centered. UN Headquarters should focus more on enabling field missions and UN personnel must renew their resolve to serve and protect the people.

     

    Some key recommendations

    On conflict prevention

    • Existing conflicts are proving harder to resolve and yet new ones are emerging. The Panel calls for a strong push on prevention.
    • Establish an international forum on prevention drawing on external resources and knowledge.
    • Need earlier engagement by the Security Council to address emerging threats and use UN expert resources earlier to support national and regional prevention and mediation efforts.
    • Reinforce UN Secretariat’s prevention and mediation capabilities.

     

    On protection of civilians

    • To deliver on protection of civilians, the current gap in many missions between resources and mandates need to be addressed.  
    • Every peacekeeper – civilian, military, police – must do all they can when civilians are under imminent threat. Political leverage and influence can be more powerful than military response.

     

    On the use of force

    • In the absence of a peace to keep, peacekeepers are increasingly asked to manage conflict. A rethink of capabilities and concepts is needed, to support these conflict management missions.
    • The Panel argues that extreme caution must guide any call for a UN peacekeeping operation to undertake enforcement tasks. The UN should not engage in military counter-terrorism operations.
    • The UN peacekeeping principles remain an essential guide for success; they must be interpreted flexibly in light of changed circumstances, and not be used as a shield for inaction.

     

    On rapid deployment, capabilities and performance

    • Ad hoc approaches to crisis response will not be sufficient for the future. The UN should lay out a vision and roadmap for a stronger network of national and regional standby capabilities.
    • Establish a modest UN rapid deployment capability for reinforcement and new mission start-up. 
    • The Security Council should provide strong political support to the UN’s force generation process, and there should be more involvement of higher capability countries in UN peacekeeping, including the Security Council members.
    • Command and control is too often undermined by national restrictions revealed in the field. This must not be tolerated. 

     

    On achievable mandates

    • Achievable mandates must be based on a clear analysis of the conflict and a political strategy. 
    • Establish sequenced and prioritized mandates as regular practice, including a two-stage mandating process, to allow for realistic planning on the ground.
    • Institutionalize Security Council and Secretariat consultations with troop and police contributing countries to forge a common purpose for missions from the outset.

     

    On sustaining peace

    • The Security Council and other international actors should remain politically vigilant and provide sustained support to the country to prevent a relapse of conflict.
    • Establish pooled country-level UN funds linked to a political roadmap and integrated strategies, and provide missions with some resources to spend in-country.
    • Review the current capacities of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes to aid in sustaining peace.

     

    On women, peace and security

    • Conduct gender sensitive analysis, planning, implementation, review, evaluation and mission drawdown processes, and integrate gender expertise within all mission components.
    • Improve the policy, substantive and technical support including from UN Women together with that received from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Political Affairs at Headquarters.

     

    On integrating human rights

    • Include key human rights developments when briefing and reporting to the Security Council or otherwise engaging with Member States, and there should be regular public reporting on the human rights situation.
    • Ensure coherence and avoid duplication of efforts among human rights and protection functions. Streamline monitoring and reporting requirements for the specialized protection mandates.
    • Provide sufficient resources for timely recruitment and deployment of human rights officers.

     

    On addressing abuse and enhancing accountability

    • Immunity must not mean impunity. Immunity was never intended and does not apply to provide immunity from prosecution to UN personnel alleged to have committed sexual exploitation and abuse. The immunity privileges are functional only, i.e., related to the exercise of his/her professional duty as a UN employee, not for private acts. 
    • Disclose information on disciplinary actions taken by contributing countries, including information on non-reporting.
    • Immediate and robust implementation of the Secretary-General’s proposed measures, including establishment of immediate response teams and six-month deadlines to complete investigations.
    • Bar troops from countries listed in the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict and on conflict related sexual violence, until de-listed.
    • Create an effective and adequately resourced victim assistance programme.

     

    More field-focused support

    • Administrative practices are too headquarters centric and hamper mandate delivery in the field.
    • Align authority with responsibility to deliver results in the field – ensure accountability for results and for resources, together. 
    • Develop field-focused specific human resources and other administrative procedures.  
    • Establish special administrative measures for mission start-ups and crisis response.

     

    Funding of AU peace support operations

    • Security Council-authorized African Union peace support operations should be supported, on a case by case basis, by United Nations-assessed contributions, and accountability and standards frameworks should be established for such operations.
    • Strengthen UN liaison with other regional organizations.

     

    On UN mission leadership, capability and performance

    • Reinforce senior leadership selection and appointment through defined, merit-based processes.
    • Select strong leadership teams based on diversity and complementarity responding to needs on the ground.
    • Appoint more women to leadership positions and review obstacles preventing their recruitment and professional advancement.
    • Ensure that those leading UN peace operations are held accountable, including through performance management mechanisms such as ‘360 degree appraisals’.

     

    Funding of special political missions

    • Adopt the four recommendations contained in the twenty-second report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, on the review of arrangements for funding and backstopping special political missions.

     

    On need to align Headquarters structures for more focused field operations

    • Develop options for restructuring the Secretariat’s peace and security entities, including the establishment of a position of an additional Deputy Secretary-General responsible for peace and security as recommended in 2005.
    • Propose the immediate establishment of a strategic analysis and planning capacity.
    • Develop a proposal for a single ‘peace operations account’ to finance all peace operations and related back-stopping activities in future.
  • 11 Jun 2015

    Monsieur le Président,

    J’ai l’honneur de vous présenter le Rapport du Secrétaire général sur la situation en Afrique centrale et les activités du Bureau régional des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique centrale (UNOCA).
     
    Ce rapport procède à une mise à jour sur les menaces contre la paix et la sécurité en Afrique centrale. Il passe aussi en revue les activités menées par UNOCA au cours des six derniers mois, de concert avec les Etats Membres et les organisations sous-régionales.
     
     
    Monsieur le Président,
     
    Depuis la publication du dernier rapport en novembre 2014, la situation politique et sécuritaire dans la sous-région est demeurée une source de préoccupation. 
     
    Ainsi, l’Afrique centrale est encore marquée par des tensions pré-électorales croissantes; une crise économique agravée par la chute des prix du brut pour les pays producteurs de la région; un chômage des jeunes à la hausse; des activités terroristes perpétrées notamment par Boko Haram et l’Armée de Résistance du Seigneur (LRA); ainsi que par l’impact transfrontalier des crises dans un certain nombre de pays de la région, telle que la République centrafricaine et le Burundi. 
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    The ongoing crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) continued to have regional and multidimensional consequences with almost half a million refugees; ongoing gross violations of human rights; the proliferation of small arms and light weapons; growing gang-related criminality; and environmental degradation in refugee areas.
     
    At the request of the Head of State of the Transition and with the agreement of the International Mediator, President Sassou Nguesso of Congo, I chaired the Bangui Forum for National Reconciliation and facilitated its functioning, in close consultation with the International Mediation and SRSG Babacar Gaye of the United Nations Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). This included working to defuse pre-Forum tensions and discouraging spoilers; advising participants, including representatives of the armed groups; ensuring inclusivity and transparency; facilitating ownership of the process by Central Africans; and keeping all actors mindful of a long-term vision for peace.
     
    The Forum concluded on 11 May with the signing of a number of key documents, including a Pacte républicain pour la paix, la réconciliation nationale et la reconstruction en République centrafricaine and an agreement on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR). I wish to acknowledge the transitional authorities and particularly the citizens of CAR for this success. Moving forward, it will be critical to capitalize on the momentum generated by the Forum and to mobilise the required resources for the elections and DDR. 
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    Boko Haram remained a serious threat to the Lake Chad Basin region. The dire humanitarian situation in this region, resulting from attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram, continued to affect the population, including hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Cameroon and Chad. Insecurity and insufficient resources continued to strain the already stretched response capacities of governments and UN entities in the affected countries.
     
    The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) demonstrated its commitment to address the Boko Haram threat during several Summits of Heads of State and Government in which I represented the Secretary-General. The deployment of Chadian troops to the border areas of Cameroon and Nigeria and the recent inauguration of the Headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force on Boko Haram (MNJTF) signaled increasing cooperation between States in the fight against Boko Haram. Military operations have put Boko Haram on the defensive, but recent attacks by the terrorist group highlight the need for the affected States to remain vigilant and engaged. While the fight against Boko Haram is not over, we must start looking ahead to the stabilization phase in order to secure military gains. This will involve international support and regional commitment for candidly examining and addressing the root causes of violent extremism.
     
    UNOCA remained both politically and technically engaged in supporting countries of the region address the impact of Boko Haram’s activities in close collaboration with the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA). My Office supported efforts to develop a coordinated humanitarian response and advance operationalization of the MNJTF. I undertook a diplomatic tour with SRSG Chambas of UNOWA to engage the leaders of Boko Haram affected countries. We will continue to support the the region’s collective response to the Boko Haram threat.  
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    The Lord’s Resistance Army continued to pose a threat to regional security, particularly to populations in CAR and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. During the period under review, and in spite of ongoing efforts, the number of abductions unfortunately increased. More than 200,000 persons still remain displaced across the region. The group is also involved in illicit trade of natural resources to finance its activities.
     
    The surrender of senior LRA commander Dominic Ongwen in January 2015, and his subsequent transfer to the International Criminal Court, marks a significant step forward with regard to criminal justice. Ongwen’s removal from the battlefield sends a strong message to remaining LRA fighters and signifies that international efforts to combat the group, within the framework of the United Nations and African Union regional strategies, are bearing fruit.
     
    UNOCA remained actively engaged on the LRA issue to ensure the implementation of the United Nations regional strategy on the LRA and to ensure international coordination through the convening of the bi-annual coordination meeting of LRA focal points. UNOCA also worked in close collaboration with the African Union to ensure the political commitment of LRA affected countries to this cause. The African Union Special Envoy for the LRA, General Jackson Tuwei, and I met with the Ugandan authorities in Kampala to emphasize the importance of the Government’s sustained political and operational commitment to the African Union Regional Task Force.
     
    I would like to express my gratitude for the work undertaken by the AU-RTF in this process and whose mandate was recently renewed, on 18 May, by the African Union Peace and Security Council.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    Maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, continued to pose serious security threats and have economic consequences for Central and West African States. In coordination with UNOWA, UNOCA continued working with concerned States to consolidate their efforts in combatting maritime insecurity. 
     
    Central Africa remained plagued by cross-border criminal activities including the illicit trade in wildlife used to support the activities of armed groups such as the LRA. Further to the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and ECCAS, UNOCA will support Central Africa in the development of a sub-regional strategy to tackle the growing phenomenon of poaching
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    Central Africa entered an electoral cycle ending in 2018. Political tensions in the run-up to elections are on the rise in some countries. Issues related to amending constitutional term limits are dividing electorates. Violent confrontations have led to the loss of lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Social grievances are percolating, exacerbated by the economic contraction in the sub-region’s many oil-producing States.
     
    In this context, I continued to use the good offices of the Secretary-General to engage political stakeholders across the sub-region and encourage the peaceful resolution of disputes. As a result of the support provided by UNOCA and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, journalist from Central Africa adopted a code of conduct articulating their responsibilities in support of peaceful electoral processes. UNOCA also organized the third meeting of UN presences in Central Africa, which took place on 18 May and focused on increasing internal coherence and efficacy in preventing and and managing electoral violence in the sub-region. The United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa took place on 4 June with UNOCA’s assistance. The meeting adopted ministerial declarations on Burundi and CAR to reaffirm the region’s support.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    Despite the many challenges they face, Central African leaders have undertaken important initiatives in the interest of their populations. On 6 May, Heads of State of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) decided to implement the free movement of peoples in the six countries of the CEMAC zone, signalling a major step towards greater regional integration.
     
    Meanwhile, ECCAS Heads of State continued to work collectively the CAR as well as in response to the instability caused by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin region.  ECCAS Heads of State also decided appoint a Special Envoy for Burundi and the Great Lakes region to appeal to the Burundian parties to seek to resolve their differences through peaceful means. UNOCA will continue to suppor these and other sub-regional initiatives that advance long-term stability.
     
     
    Mr. President,
     
    The report before you also presents the findings and recommendations of the recent Strategic Review of UNOCA’s mandate and activities. Since its establishment five years ago, UNOCA has demonstrated its added value in a fragile sub-region with enormous internal and cross-border security challenges. The Secretary-General encourages Member States to support the recommendations of the Strategic Review. With the continued support of this august body, UNOCA shall continue to be a steadfast partner to Central African States in the promotion of peace and stability.
     
    Thank you.
  • 10 Jun 2015

    English translation, followed by the original French version

    The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, and members of the facilitation team that joined and supported the dialogue between the Burundian parties, met today in Bujumbura with members of the diplomatic corps. During this meeting, the Special Envoy briefed the participants on the dialogue who he facilitated starting from 5 May 2015, at the request of the Burundian parties who had agreed, by themselves, on the agenda as well as the list of participants.

    The Special Envoy recalled that during the dialogue, the parties maintained diverging views on the candidature of President Nkurunziza for a third term. He highlighted the progress made on the other four agenda items, namely: the appeasement measures and mutual commitments; the management of the electoral calendar; guarantees for the holding of free, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections; and protection of Constitutional rights and freedoms. The conclusions of the dialogue are reflected in the attached 29 May press communiqué.

    The Special Envoy commended the Burundian parties, in particular, for the set of recommendations adopted by consensus at the 28 May dialogue session, on the right to information and the reopening of private radio and television stations damaged during the 13-14 May events. He encourages the parties to implement these recommendations without delay.

    The Special Envoy takes this opportunity to thank all the Burundian parties for their cooperation during the dialogue that he facilitated with impartiality and, on which he reported faithfully to the Emergency Summit of the East African Community which took place in Dar-es-Salaam on 31 May, and the relevant United Nations organs. The Special Envoy expresses his deep gratitude for the support extended to him in his role as facilitator by the East African Community, the International Conference for the Great Lakes region, the African Union and the United Nations including the Secretary-General, the Security Council and the Peace Building Commission. He also thanks the external partners of Burundi including the European Union, the United States, France, Belgium, and many others who came forth to help during the dialogue process.

    Mr. Said Djinnit thanks all the Burundian parties for the facilitation role they entrusted to him on 5 May. He duly takes note of the positions expressed a few days ago, on his role as facilitator by some Burundian parties.

    In his capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Mr. Djinnit remains committed, in collaboration with relevant regional organizations, to continue to work towards preserving and consolidating peace, democracy and stability in Burundi in accordance with the objectives of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region, signed in Addis Ababa on 24 February 2013.

    The Special Envoy encourages the Burundian parties to continue their dialogue with a view to create conditions conducive to holding free, fair, inclusive and peaceful elections. He stresses the importance of preserving the legacy of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement as enshrined in the Constitution. He reiterates his appeal to all parties to exercise restraint and to refrain from any acts likely to increase tension and violence.

     

    (Original version in French)

    PRESS COMMUNIQUÉ

    Stakeholders in the electoral process in Burundi were invited, on 5 May, by the Ministry of Interior with the support of the United Nations Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB) to review the various commitments by the parties. This included the roadmap of 13 March 2013, the code of conduct of 9 June 2014 and the charter of non-violence of 9 March 2015. The opening ceremony was chaired by the First Vice-President of the Republic, in the presence of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Great Lakes Region, and representatives of the international community.

    During the plenary session, debates were centered around the issues related to the presidential term. A representative group of stakeholders was formed and formulated an agenda; it proposed the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to facilitate their discussions.

    The adopted agenda included five items:

    1. Calming measures and mutual commitment,
    2. Management of the electoral calendar,
    3. Guarantees and measures for peaceful elections,
    4. Compliance with the Constitution and the Arusha Agreement in the electoral process (issue of the presidential term)
    5. Political rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. 

     

    On this basis, the following delegations met in the afternoon of 5 May, in the premises of MENUB, around the UN Facilitator to initiate dialogue. Were present:

    1. The Minister of Interior (representing the Government);
    2. Four representatives of the CNDD-FDD and allied parties;
    3. Four representatives of the opposition;
    4. Three representatives of civil society;
    5. Three representatives of religious communities;
    6. Two former Heads of State.

     

    Before initiating the dialogue, the parties decided to adjust the agenda as follows:

    1. Calming measures and mutual commitment,
    2. Compliance with the Constitution and the Arusha Agreement in the electoral process,
    3. Management of the electoral calendar,
    4. Guarantees and measures for peaceful elections,
    5. Political rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution

     

    Discussions continued on 5- 8 May, 20-23 May and 28 May 2015.

    The High Level delegation of the African Union took part in the discussions in support of the facilitation team from 20 May. After its departure, the head of the African Union Office in Bujumbura took over.

    On 21 May, the Secretary-General of the East African Community (EAC) joined the facilitation. Subsequently, he was represented by members of the delegation of the Group of Eminent Persons of the East African Community and the COMESA.

    The Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) joined the facilitation team on 22 May.

     

    Calming measures and mutual commitment

    The parties exchanged views on the following points:

    1. Restoring the broadcast capability of private radio and television stations, ensuring respect of the right to information;
    2. Release of all persons arrested and detained during the demonstrations;
    3. Cancellation of arrest warrants issued against political and civil society leaders;
    4. Cancellation of the decision of the Attorney General of the Republic on the establishment of a special commission to investigate demonstrations;
    5. The principle of postponing the electoral calendar within the constitutional limits of terms of office;
    6. Resumption of public education and postponement of the date for the national exam in consultation with professionals;
    7. Stopping demonstrations;
    8. Withdrawal of the candidacy of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

    The first six measures were agreed in principle. But the parties did not agree on the last two points, with regard to stopping demonstrations and the withdrawal of the candidacy of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

     

    Compliance with the Constitution and the Arusha Agreement in the electoral process

    The parties discussed at length on this issue, some (the government, the CNDD-FDD party and allied parties) supporting that the candidacy was in compliance with the Constitution and others (opposition political parties and civil society organizations) maintaining that the term was not compliant with the Constitution.

    The Facilitation took note of the divergent views of the stakeholders and the dialogue noted that this issue needed to be brought to the attention of the Heads of State of the East African Community.

     

    Management of the Electoral Calendar

    The parties agreed on the principle of delaying the electoral calendar to create conditions conducive to the holding of elections within the constitutional limits of terms of office. They agreed to pursue discussions on this issue after the Dar-Es-Salaam summit.

     

    Guarantees and measures for peaceful elections

    • The parties to the dialogue exchanged views on the following issues:
    • Securing the electoral process;
    • Safety of political and civil society leaders during the electoral process;
    • Disarmament of armed civilians;
    • Cancellation of arrest warrants issued against leaders of political parties and civil society;
    • Strengthening of the CENI;

     

    The facilitation took the commitment of making proposals on each of these measures on the basis of the practice of regional organizations and the UN on all these issues.

     

    Political rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution

    Discussions on this issue focused on the following two points: the right to information and the right to demonstrate. The facilitation established two representative working groups including experts and professionals who were assigned the task of considering issues related to media and demonstrations.

    During the session held on 28 May, stakeholders discussed the document proposed by the working group on the right to information and the reopening of private radio and television stations and adopted it after some adjustments.

    At the same session, the parties discussed the document prepared by the working group on the right to demonstrate. The parties began to discuss the document and it was agreed to continue its consideration after the Dar-Es-Salaam summit scheduled for May 31, 2015.

     

    Conclusion

    Throughout the dialogue, the parties reiterated their commitment to preserve the Arusha Agreement as reflected in the Constitution as the foundation for peacebuilding and stability in Burundi.

    In concluding yesterday’s session, I took the opportunity to thank all participants in the dialogue for their commitment to continue their discussions started on 5 May in spite of hardships and challenges faced. I congratulate them on the progress made in the framework of this dialogue. They agreed to resume their discussions after the Dar-Es-Salaam summit. I am convinced that the insights and guidance from the summit will contribute to strengthening the inter-Burundian dialogue and to giving it a new breath. On the eve of the summit, I would like to appeal to all parties to exercise restraint.

     

    Said Djinnit

    Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region

    Facilitator of the Inter-Burundian Dialogue

    Bujumbura, 29 May 2015

     

    AU FRANCAIS

    L'Envoyé spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies pour la région des Grands Lacs, M. Said Djinnit, et les membres de l’équipe de facilitation qui l'ont rejoint et soutenu dans le dialogue entre les parties prenantes burundaises ont rencontré, ce jour, les membres du corps diplomatique à Bujumbura. Lors de cette rencontre, l’Envoyé spécial a fait le point sur le dialogue qu’il a facilité à compter du 5 mai 2015 à la demande des parties burundaises qui avaient arrêté, elles-mêmes, l'ordre du jour et la liste des participants.

    L'Envoyé spécial a rappelé que tout au long du dialogue, les parties burundaises ont maintenu leurs positions divergentes sur la candidature du Président Nkurunziza à un troisième mandat. Elles ont cependant fait des avancées sur les quatre autres questions à l’ordre du jour à savoir: les mesures d'apaisement et les engagements mutuels; la gestion du calendrier électoral; les garanties pour la tenue d'élections  libres, transparentes, inclusives et apaisées; et les libertés fondamentales garanties par la Constitution. Les conclusions du dialogue sont reflétées dans le communiqué de presse publié le 29 mai et qui est joint à la présente déclaration.

    L'Envoyé spécial a salué, en particulier, les recommandations que les parties prenantes ont approuvées par consensus lors de leur dernière session, le 28 mai, portant sur le droit à l'information et la réouverture des radios et télévisions privées qui ont été endommagées durant les évènements des 13-14 mai. Il les encourage à les mettre en œuvre sans délai.

    L'Envoyé spécial saisit cette occasion pour remercier toutes les parties prenantes burundaises pour la coopération dont elles ont fait montre au cours du dialogue qu'il a facilité en toute impartialité et dont il a rendu compte fidèlement au Sommet de la Communauté des pays de l’Afrique de l'est qui s’est tenu à Dar-es-Salaam le 31 mai, ainsi qu’aux instances des Nations Unies. L’Envoyé spécial exprime également sa gratitude au Sommet de la Communauté de l’Afrique de l’est, à la Conférence internationale sur la région des Grands Lacs, à l’Union Africaine et aux Nations Unies y compris le Secrétaire général, le Conseil de sécurité et la Commission de consolidation de la paix pour le soutien qu’ils lui ont apporté en tant que facilitateur. Il tient aussi à remercier les partenaires du Burundi, notamment  l’Union Européenne, les Etats-Unis d’Amérique,  la France, la Belgique ainsi que plusieurs autres pays qui l’ont soutenu au cours de ce processus.

    Mr. Said Djinnit remercie l’ensemble des parties prenantes burundaises pour le mandat de facilitateur qu’elles lui ont confié le 5 mai 2015. Il prend acte de la position exprimée, il y a quelques jours, sur son rôle de facilitateur par des représentants de certaines parties.

    En sa qualité d'Envoyé spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies pour la région des Grands Lacs, il réaffirme son engagement à continuer à œuvrer, de concert avec les représentants des Organisations régionales, en vue de la préservation et de la consolidation de la paix, de la démocratie et la stabilité au Burundi conformément aux objectifs de l'Accord-cadre pour la Paix, la Sécurité et la Coopération en RDC et dans la région des Grands Lacs signé le 24 février 2013 à Addis Abéba.

    L'Envoyé spécial encourage les parties prenantes burundaises à poursuivre leur dialogue en vue de la création des conditions propices à la tenue d'élections libres, inclusives et apaisées. Il souligne l'importance de la préservation des acquis de l'Accord de Paix et de Réconciliation d'Arusha tels que consacrés par la Constitution du Burundi. Il réitère son appel à toutes les parties burundaises à la retenue et à s'abstenir de tout acte susceptible d'accroître la tension et de générer des actes de violences.

    Bujumbura 10 juin 2015

     

    Déclaration à la presse

     Les parties prenantes au processus électoral au Burundi ont été conviées le 5 mai par le ministère de l’Intérieur avec l’appui de la Mission d’observation électorale des Nations Unies au Burundi (MENUB) pour passer en revue les différents engagements pris par les parties. Il s’agissait notamment de la feuille de route du 13 mars 2013, du code de bonne de conduite du 9 juin 2014 et de la charte de non violence du 9 mars 2015. La cérémonie d’ouverture a été présidée par le Premier Vice Président de la République ,  en présence de l’Envoyé Spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies pour la région des Grands Lacs, et des représentants de la communauté internationale.

    Au cours de la plénière, les débats se sont cristallisés autour des questions liées au mandat présidentiel. Un groupe représentatif des parties prenantes s’est constitué et a arrêté un ordre du jour ; il a proposé à l’Envoyé Spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies de faciliter leurs discussions. 

    L’ordre du jour retenu comportait cinq points:

    a)      Mesures d’apaisement et d’engagement mutuel,

    b)      Gestion du calendrier électoral,

    c)      Garanties et mesures pour des élections apaisées,

    d)      Respect de la Constitution et des Accords d’Arusha dans le processus électoral (question du terme présidentiel),

    e)      Droits et libertés politiques garantis par la Constitution.

     

    Sur cette base, les délégations suivantes se sont retrouvées dans l’après-midi du 5 mai, dans les locaux de la MENUB, autour du facilitateur des Nations Unies pour entamer le dialogue. Etaient présents :

    a)      Le Ministre de l’Intérieur (représentant le gouvernement);

    b)      Quatre représentants du CNDD-FDD et des partis alliés ;

    c)      Quatre représentants de l’opposition ;

    d)      Trois représentants de la société civile ;

    e)      Trois représentants des confessions religieuses ;

    f)        Deux anciens Chefs d’Etat .

     

    Avant d’engager le dialogue, les parties ont décidé de réaménager l’ordre du jour comme suit:

    a) Mesures d’apaisement et d’engagement mutuel,

    b) Respect de la Constitution et des Accords d’Arusha dans le processus électoral,

    c) Gestion du calendrier électoral,

    d) Garanties et mesures pour des élections apaisées,

    e) Droits et libertés politiques garantis par la Constitution.

     

    Les discussions se sont poursuivies du 5 au 8 mai, du 20 au 23 mai et le 28 mai 2015.

    La délégation de Haut niveau de l’Union Africaine a pris part aux travaux en appui à la facilitation à partir du 20 mai. Après son départ, elle a été relayée par le responsable du bureau de l’Union africaine à Bujumbura.

    Le 21 mai, le Secrétaire général de la Communauté des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Est (EAC), s’est joint à la facilitation. Par la suite, il s’est fait représenter par des membres de la délégation du groupe des éminentes personnalités de la Communauté des Etats d’Afrique de l’Est et de la COMESA;

    Le Secrétaire exécutif de la Conférence internationale sur la région des Grands Lacs (ICGLR) a rejoint la facilitation le 22 mai.

     

    Mesures d’apaisement et d’engagement mutuel

     Les parties ont échangé sur les points suivants :

    la restauration des capacités de diffusion des radios et télévisions privées, la garantie du respect du droit à l’information;

    la libération de toutes les personnes arrêtées et détenues à l’occasion des manifestations;

    l’annulation des mandats d’arrêt lancés contre les personnalités politiques et de la société civile;

    l’annulation de la décision du procureur général de la République sur la création d’une commission d’enquête spéciale sur les manifestations;

    le principe du glissement du calendrier électoral dans la limite des termes constitutionnels des mandats;

    la reprise de l’enseignement public et le report de la date du concours national en consultation avec les professionnels;

    l’arrêt des manifestations;

    le retrait de la candidature du Président Pierre Nkurunziza.

     

    Les six premières mesures ont fait l’objet d’un accord de principe. Mais les parties ne se sont pas mises d’accord sur les deux derniers points, s’agissant de l’arrêt des manifestations et du retrait de la candidature du Président Pierre Nkurunziza.

     

    Respect de la Constitution et des Accords d’Arusha dans le processus électoral

    Les parties ont discuté longuement sur cette question, les unes (le gouvernement et le parti CNDD-FDD et les partis alliés) soutenant que la candidature était conforme à la Constitution et les autres (partis politiques de l’opposition et organisations de la société civile) maintenant que ce mandat n’était pas conforme à la Constitution.

    La facilitation a pris acte des points de vue divergents des parties prenantes et le dialogue a pris note de ce que cette question fait l’objet de l’attention des Chefs d’Etat de la Communauté de l’Afrique de l’Est.

     

    Gestion du calendrier électoral

    Les parties ont convenu du principe du glissement du calendrier électoral pour créer les conditions propices à l’organisation des élections dans la limite des termes constitutionnels des mandats. Elles ont convenu de poursuivre les discussions sur ce point après le sommet de Dar Es Salaam.

     

    Garanties et mesures pour des élections apaisées

     Les parties au dialogue ont échangé sur les questions suivantes:

    • Sécurisation du processus électoral ;
    • Sécurité des leaders politiques et de la société civile durant le processus électoral ;
    • Désarmement des populations civiles armées ;
    • Levées des mandats d’arrêt contre les leaders des partis politiques et de la société civile ;
    • Renforcement de la CENI ;

     

    La facilitation s’est engagée à faire des propositions sur chacune de ces mesures sur la base de la pratique des organisations régionales et de l’ONU sur toutes ces questions.

     

    Droits et libertés politiques garantis par la Constitution

    Les discussions sur ce point se sont focalisées sur les deux questions suivantes : le droit à l’information et le droit de manifester. La facilitation a mis en place deux groupes de travail représentatifs incluant des experts et des professionnels auxquels elle a confié le soin de réfléchir sur les questions liées aux médias et aux manifestations.

    Durant la session du 28 mai, les parties prenantes ont examiné le document proposé par le groupe de travail sur le droit à l’information et la réouverture des radions et télévisions privées et l’ont adopté après quelques aménagements. 

    Lors de la même session, les parties ont examiné le document préparé par le groupe de travail sur le droit de manifester. Les parties ont commencé à échanger sur ce document et il a été convenu de poursuivre l’examen de ce document après le sommet de Dar Es Salaam prévu le 31 mai 2015.

     

    Conclusion

    Tout au long du dialogue, les parties ont réitéré leur engagement à préserver l’Accord d’Arusha tel que reflété dans la constitution comme socle de la consolidation de la paix et de la stabilité du Burundi.

    En concluant la session d’hier, j’ai tenu à remercier tous les participants au dialogue pour leur engagement à poursuivre leurs échanges qu’ils ont entamé le 5 mai en dépit des épreuves et des difficultés traversées. Je les félicite pour les progrès enregistrés dans le cadre de ce dialogue. Elles ont convenu de reprendre leurs échanges après le sommet de Dar Es Salaam. Je suis convaincu que les éclairages et les orientations qu’apportera le sommet contribueront à renforcer le dialogue inter-burundais et à lui donner un nouveau souffle. A la veille de ce sommet, je tiens à lancer un appel à toutes les parties à la retenue.

     

    Said Djinnit

    Envoyé Spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies pour la région des Grands Lacs

    Facilitateur du dialogue inter-burundais

    Bujumbura, 29 mai 2015

  • 5 Jun 2015

    Mr. President, Distinguished members of the Council,

    Since this Council last met on Ukraine on 6 March, while the situation in eastern Ukraine has remained tenuous, we have had some grounds for hope: The ceasefire continues to largely hold in most parts of the conflict zone; the number and pace of casualties have generally slowed. Importantly, the political process aimed at full implementation of the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk agreements” is finally underway. I also wish to reiterate that, had it not been for the continued diplomatic efforts of Ukraine, France, Germany and the Russian Federation in the Normandy format, and the support of the OSCE, we would likely be faced with a more challenging situation.
     
    The full implementation of Minsk is sine qua non for leading eastern Ukraine and the country out of conflict. The continued non-implementation of various provisions of the agreement entails dangerous limbo.
     
     
    Ladies and gentlemen,
     
    Mr. Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, will brief you in detail on the security situation in eastern Ukraine, including on Wednesday’s hostilities. However, I would be remiss not to note the UN’s grave concern over continued, almost daily deadly clashes, the use of heavy weaponry, the laying of minefields on both sides of the contact line, the reported continued presence of foreign mercenaries on Ukrainian soil, and reported flows of heavy weaponry into eastern Ukraine, all of which run contrary to key provisions of the Minsk package of measures.
     
    The latest death toll since the outbreak of the conflict stands at over 6,400 people. Since the signing of the Minsk package, some additional 400 lives have been lost. Sadly, just this Wednesday, according to OHCHR’s latest figures, an additional 28 people, including nine civilians, were killed in deadly clashes around Marinka. This is a sharp increase over past weeks, particularly as heavy shelling elsewhere in Donetsk reportedly continued throughout yesterday. We are either looking at a return to a deepening, intractable conflict or a momentary upsurge in parts of the conflict zone. We cannot afford either scenario.
    The ceasefire must be fully respected and the protection of civilians a priority. I would also like to stress that all concerned should refrain from using threats of violence and military leverage to influence the political process.
     
     
    Ladies and gentlemen,
     
    The humanitarian situation also remains dire. Ukraine now ranks among the top ten countries in terms of internal displacement with over 1.3 million IDPs. There were none just over a year ago. 16,000 people were displaced in the last week of May alone. Similarly, nearly 870,000 Ukrainians have sought asylum, residence or other forms of legal stay in neighbouring countries, 10,000 of these in the second half of May alone. The number of displaced will only grow if the violence continues.
     
    Of immediate concern is the now complete lack of humanitarian access across the contact line in either direction. This is preventing life-saving humanitarian assistance from reaching those most in need. All parties to the conflict must immediately guarantee unimpeded access for humanitarian personnel and cargo, both UN and NGOs. The Government of Ukraine must remove all bureaucratic impediments to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and the 2 June decree issued by the de facto authorities in Donetsk that prohibits international NGOs from operating in non-Government controlled Donetsk must be immediately revoked. 
     
    Since this crisis began, we have seen this Council convene dozens of times. Security Council members have repeatedly raised concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation.
     
    Yet, the $316 million 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan to assist victims of this conflict faces a shortfall of $221 million. The Secretary-General calls on Member States to urgently translate their concern into action and fully fund the humanitarian response. This will ensure that the capacity and resources are in place to reach those in desperate need, the moment that access is restored.
     
     
    Ladies and gentlemen,
     
    On the political-diplomatic front, we are most encouraged by the continued and critical work in the Normandy format, with the next political director level meeting scheduled for 10 June in Paris, by the diligent efforts of the Trilateral Contact Group, and by the commencement of the four Working Groups on political, security, humanitarian and economic issues. In our view, these three inter-connected mechanisms are all equally important pieces of the political and diplomatic process, and we are heartened to see that the international community is fully committed to these efforts.
     
    With regard to the Working Groups specifically, we understand that, although they have not been without challenges, each group has met at least twice and the atmosphere has mainly been constructive. The political Working Group has focused its energies on the modalities of local elections, which also includes finding common ground on the “special status” law. Equally important efforts to find political solutions to some of the most pressing economic, humanitarian and security questions are also underway.
     
     
    Ladies and gentlemen,
     
    On 7-10 May, the Secretary-General visited Poland, Ukraine and Russia. During his visits, he held a number of constructive meetings with regard to the conflict in Ukraine, including with Presidents Poroshenko and Putin. Although they had varying views on the conflict in the east, both Presidents reassured the Secretary-General of their continued commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. It was evident that, although the road ahead would be long and arduous, full implementation of the Minsk agreements is possible if all concerned fulfil their obligations and engage in good faith.
     
    The Secretary-General will continue his good offices role on Ukraine, and remains open to considering how best to further support the OSCE as well as the implementation of the Minsk agreements more broadly.
     
    The critical work of the Human Rights Mission in Ukraine, evinced by its latest report of 1 June, as well as of the humanitarian and development actors on the ground remain priority areas for our Organisation.
     
     
    Mr. President,
    Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
     
    The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk agreements, including the reinstatement of full control of the state border by the government of Ukraine, has a deadline. That deadline is less than six months away. As we have stated on a number of occasions, neither Ukraine, nor the region nor the international community can afford to have this process fail.
     
    Above all, we cannot forget the tremendous human cost of the conflict that can only begin to be addressed through respect of the ceasefire and fulfilment of the political, economic, social, humanitarian and human rights provisions of Minsk.
     
    I would like to close by reiterating the United Nations’ unwavering support to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. The people of Ukraine deserve nothing less.
     
    Thank you, Mr. President.
  • 3 Jun 2015

    Ambassador Abdallah Al-Muallimi, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre,

    Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the United Nations and Chairwoman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the United Nations Security Council,

    Ambassador Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant-Secretary General of the League of Arab States,

    Ambassador Ahmed Fathalla, Ambassador of the League of Arab States to the United Nations,

    Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     

    I would like to thank the League of Arab States for inviting me to this important and timely forum.

    The United Nations shares your concern about the growth of violent extremist groups such as ISIL, Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram.

    It is undeniable that they present a serious threat to international peace and security. What is also undeniable is their effective use of social media to spread propaganda and to recruit vulnerable young women and men from all regions of the world to join their ranks as foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs).

    In last Friday’s meeting of the Security Council, the Secretary-General briefed that between mid- 2014 and March 2015 there has been an estimated 70 per cent increase in FTFs worldwide. The 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Monitoring Team estimates that more than 25,000 FTFs from over 100 Member States have traveled to Syria and Iraq, as well as Afghanistan, Yemen and Libya.

    There is no question that we are dealing with an issue of global concern. We can no longer stand by and watch as this phenomenon spreads. With their message of hate, violent extremists directly assault the legitimacy of the United Nations Charter and the values of peace, justice and human dignity on which that document and international relations are based. They assault global, universal values, as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Arab Charter on Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. 

    And there is a third aspect that is undeniable: the manipulative messages of violent extremists on Twitter, YouTube and other social media, are as attractive to young people in search of adventure as alternatives are not.

    There are almost 50,000 Twitter accounts supporting ISIS, with an average of 1,000 followers each. They succeed by offering young people opportunities to engage with their peers while providing a space where people can bond over their grievances, their hopes and their deeply held desire for a world that is just and fair.

    Governments are trying to keep up through disseminating more moderate counter-narratives. But young people are not looking for moderation - they are seeking visionary ideas that capture their imagination and offer tangible change.

    We, in the international community, need to develop a clear vision and then communicate it. To do this, we need to rekindle the core values at the heart of our community of nations. We need a global, collective and authentic response that engages people to effectively counter and ultimately prevent these destructive, extremist messages that espouse and promote violence and destruction. And we need to show that our words and values also allow people to achieve their aspirations of dignity and prosperity.

    For this reason, the Secretary-General has announced his intention to present a Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to the 70th General Assembly later this year.  It is time for the international community to focus on preventing violent extremism by addressing the structural context and drivers of violent extremism through proactive and constructive approaches. At its core this will include a global communications strategy involving social media stakeholders, governments and civil society.

    We can only prevent violent extremism if we engage the support of our entire society – we are calling this an “all of society” approach. Our efforts need to go beyond government, and extend to religious, youth, women and other community leaders – they are the ones on the front-line, standing up to violent extremists. This includes leaders in such diverse fields as music, business, sports and other cultural pursuits that can spark the imagination of the world’s youth.

    Of course, we also need the support of the world’s media. We need to further engage with them to enhance the credibility of our messages. We have to work closely with traditional and social media partners to get stories of courage out about returnees from violent extremist groups and victims of terrorism, who can turn their tragedy into a positive force to counter and prevent radicalization.

    We also need to look at ourselves. How can we improve our leadership, how can we govern better? Self-restrained and enlightened governance will underscore a society’s ability to show resilience and strength. Such resilience will not only protect individual freedoms, but also break the momentum of violent extremists. The Secretary-General has said that it takes a bullet to kill a terrorist, but good governance will ultimately kill terrorism.

    Full compliance with international law is central to our shared success. In dealing with traditional and social media, we need to respect and promote freedoms of speech and information. Short-term limits on press freedoms, deactivating social media sites or closing newspapers may appear to suppress the spread of hateful messages, but they can also end up making violent extremists and their forbidden messages all the more attractive to vulnerable groups. Such measures can also inadvertently silence activists and other community groups that hold the long-term solutions to preventing violent extremism. 

     

    Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Together we can and must reunite around our universal, shared values and commitments to offer the disenfranchised and disenchanted a real stake in shaping our global world. “We the peoples of the United Nations” need to stand together for peace not enmity, for justice not corruption, for dignity not despair.  

     

    Thank you.

  • 28 Mayo 2015

    Since the uprisings in Yemen broke out in early 2011, the United Nations has been engaged, through the good offices of the Secretary-General, in helping Yemenis to find a peaceful solution. The United Nations provided support for the negotiations between the Government and the opposition, which resulted in the signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism in Riyadh on 23 November 2011. The United Nations has since remained actively engaged with all Yemeni political groupings to facilitate and provide support for the effective implementation of the GCC Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism.

    To ensure the full and effective implementation of Security Council resolutions 2014 (2011) and 2051 (2012), together with the GCC Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism, the Secretary-General established the Office of the Special Envoy to the Secretary-General on Yemen. Since the establishment of the Office of the Special Envoy in 2012, the United Nations has provided support for the Yemeni-led political transition process and has promoted inclusive participation, including of previously marginalized groups, such as women, youth, the Houthis and Southern Hirak. With the support and facilitation provided by the United Nations, Yemenis concluded a National Dialogue Conference in January 2014, which brought together 565 delegates from all the regions and political groupings of Yemen. The outcome document of the National Dialogue Conference established the foundations for a new federal and democratic Yemen, with support for good governance, the rule of law and human rights. A Constitution Drafting Commission was created to draft a new constitution based on the National Dialogue Conference outcomes.

    Despite important progress in the political transition, conflicts between the Houthis, other armed groups and government forces led to an escalation of military violence in mid-2014. Notwithstanding agreements brokered by then United Nations Special Adviser, the Houthis and allied units of the armed forces seized control of Sana’a and other parts of the country in September 2014 and over the ensuing months.

    The United Nations facilitated numerous rounds of negotiations to resolve the political impasse, but these efforts were ineffective to halt the escalation of military confrontations that continued in early 2015. At the request of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia intervened militarily on 26 March 2015 to secure the return of the Government. The ensuing conflict triggered a humanitarian emergency. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other terrorist groups have actively exploited the chaos, extending their control over significant areas and conducting frequent attacks against government and civilian targets in many areas.

    Then Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took note of the military operation calling on all parties and Member States to refrain from taking any actions that undermine the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen.

    The United Nations has repeatedly reiterated that there is no military solution to the Yemeni crises and has called for a return to peaceful negotiations.

    In its resolution 2216 (2015), the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to intensify his good offices role in order to enable the resumption of a peaceful, inclusive, orderly and Yemeni-led transition. Since then, the Special Envoy has facilitated successive rounds of consultations aimed at obtaining a negotiated settlement to end the conflict and resume the political transition process, including direct talks in Switzerland in June and December 2015, and in Kuwait from April to August 2016. Despite these efforts by the United Nations, fighting continues between various parties throughout the country, including along the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border. Concurrently, attacks claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Islamic State, as well as counter-insurgency operations against those groups, continue in southern Yemen where the overall security situation remains highly volatile.

    After two and a half years of armed conflict, a stalled peace process and a severe economic decline that has accelerated the collapse of essential basic services and institutions, Yemen is in the grip of a protracted political, humanitarian and developmental crisis. Violence against civilians and their assets is causing unspeakable suffering. Health facilities have reported 8,673 conflict-related deaths and over 58,600 injuries. Yemen is facing the world’s largest food security crisis and an unprecedented cholera crisis. Some 22.2 million people, including 2 million internally displaced people, require humanitarian aid or protection assistance. Currently, 17.8 million people are food-insecure or malnourished, of whom 8.4 million acutely so—24 per cent more than in 2016. With only 45 per cent of health centres functional due to the conflict, and limited availability of medicine, the capacity of the health system to respond to disease and injuries is dangerously compromised, which led to one of the largest and fastest-spreading cholera outbreaks. 

  • 26 Mayo 2015

    Sierra Leone has made strides in securing peace after a prolonged violent conflict which ended in 2002. With the support of the United Nations, as part of a sustained multilateral approach, Sierra Leone is on its way to consolidate the hard-won peace and transition towards regular development.

    In light of the significant advances over the past decade, UNIPSIL, the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone, drew down on 31 March 2014, transferring its residual activities to the Government and the international community in Sierra Leone, including the UN presence there.  There are 17 agencies, funds and programmes that help advancing the country’s national development agenda, or Agenda for Prosperity.

    Sierra Leone is now one of six countries on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commissions (PBC), an intergovernmental advisory body that supports peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict. The PBC is aided by the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), headed by Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.

  • 26 Mayo 2015

    The United Nations has worked with regional and international partners to encourage a peaceful return to constitutional order in Guinea following the military’s seizure of power in December 2008 and to contribute to the holding of peaceful democratic presidential and legislative elections in 2010 and 2013, respectively.

    In early 2015, political tensions between the government and opposition parties resurfaced surrounding the presidential electoral process. Preventive diplomatic efforts were led on the ground by the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS, at that time UNOWA) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mohammed Ibn Chambas. As a result of the SRSG’s intense diplomatic engagement, conducted in close coordination with regional and bilateral partners, an inter-Guinean dialogue process was launched in June 2015, with the participation of the UN and other partners as observers. The process resulted in the signing on 20 August of a political agreement that created the conditions for moving forward with the holding of the presidential elections on 11 October 2015. The elections were conducted peacefully and resulted in the re-election of the incumbent President, Alpha Condé.

    The United Nations remains engaged in Guinea to ensure the full implementation of the political agreement of 20 August, which provides for, inter alia, the holding of local elections in 2016. The United Nations is also currently providing support in key areas, including security sector reform and socio-economic recovery programmes.

    Click here to read our Politically Speaking story from July 2015 on how UNOWAS supported the inter-Guinean dialogue process.

  • 21 Mayo 2015

    The United Nations and its Department of Political Affairs assisted in mediation to resolve Kenya's 2008 electoral crisis, and have since continued to work for reconciliation in the East African country.

     
    Historic vote on new constitution

    Major progress was achieved with the elaboration and promulgation of a new Constitution, which was supported overwhelmingly by the Kenyan people in a referendum on 4 August 2010. The Department of Political Affairs had deployed an electoral expert, specializing in operations and voter registration, to assist the electoral commission with the implementation of a credible referendum.

    The historic vote marked the end of Kenya’s long and turbulent search for a new Constitution, and brought renewed hope and momentum to efforts to prevent future crisis. However, much remains to be done – both in terms of operationalising the new Constitution and undertaking other essential reforms in the judiciary, police, in land affairs and other areas.

     
    Cooperation with African Union during electoral crisis

    When elections triggered widespread violence in Kenya in early 2008, the Department of Political Affairs assisted the AU in its efforts to broker a political solution. Throughout the lengthy political negotiations, the Department of Political Affairs provided staff support and technical advice to the mediators from the AU’s Panel of Eminent African Personalities: former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa and former First Lady of Mozambique Graça Michel.

    The Panel’s mediation efforts culminated on 28 February 2008 in a power-sharing agreement that ended the political crisis and led to the formation of a broad-based Coalition Government. The parties also agreed on measures to examine the violence and the electoral problems. They further decided to address the long-term issues that triggered and fuelled the crisis through land and judicial reforms, constitutional and electoral changes, and policies to overcome deep social resentments.

  • 21 Mayo 2015

    Increasing the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in peacemaking, conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts is a key priority for the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). Women, Peace and Security (WPS) first made it on to the Security Council’s agenda in 2000, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 on WPS. However, despite many global and regional commitments and initiatives, the number of women included in formal peacemaking processes remains low; and many peace agreements do not include gender provisions that sufficiently address women’s security and peacebuilding needs.

    In line with the Secretary-General’s forward looking goals for the decade (S/2019/800, para 120) and his) directives on women, peace and security (S/2020/946, para 113), DPPA is supporting multi-track efforts that increase the involvement of women at all levels, integrate gender equality, and shape strategies based on the priorities of women’s rights constituencies. This includes working with Special Envoys and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General to design and support strategies for inclusive peace processes. From Colombia to Syria, the Department is also using new pathways for participation through digital inclusion strategies and virtual consultations and engagements.

    In DPPA’s special political missions (SPMs) in the field, Gender Advisers or Gender Focal Points provide advice and support to the mission’s leadership - the Secretary-General’s Special Envoys and Special Representatives - on ways to promote women’s political participation, make peace processes and prevention efforts more inclusive, and include gender perspectives in the UN’s political work.

    In contexts where the UN is supporting a peace process, DPPA and its SPMs work to promote women’s direct participation through advocacy and by providing advice on inclusive mediation strategies. We also organize consultations with civil society and women’s groups and provide advice on effective ways to include women and their views in the process. Furthermore, the Department promotes women’s political participation in elections, for example through advice on Temporary Special Measures, including electoral quotas, during electoral support. To assist mediation actors and Member States in their efforts to make peace processes more inclusive and gender-responsive, DPPA (then DPA) developed two Guidance documents for mediators and mediation experts; one on Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements (2012); and one on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Strategies (2017). 

    In 2016, the Department established a stand-alone Gender, Peace and Security Unit (GPS), which oversees its implementation of the WPS agenda. GPS has the responsibility to develop policy, build the capacity of DPPA staff involved in peacemaking and support DPPA’s mission and headquarters staff in implementing Security Council resolutions on WPS and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. DPPA’s WPS Policy was first issued in June 2019, to ensure that gender relevant issues and perspectives are integrated into all the Department’s activities. The Policy outlines five priorities for the implementation of the WPS agenda:  a) Gender sensitive political and conflict analysis; b) Promoting inclusion and women’s meaningful participation in all peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts; c) Women’s participation in electoral and political processes; d) Preventing and addressing conflict-related sexual violence as a priority for peace; and e) Programmatic – ensuring gender mainstreaming in all projects through resource allocations, gender markers and tracking. Following a review, in 2023, GPS issued a revised DPPA WPS Policy (2023). The new Policy maintains the same priority areas, but with updates to reflect key developments and new areas of work, including digital technology and climate, peace and security. The Department continues to develop policy on the intersection of WPS and other relevant issues, such as Youth, Peace and Security, and to consider the gendered implications of evolving technologies and the risks of hate speech and mis- and disinformation.  

    The Department’s approach to implementing the WPS agenda is to ensure that gender is mainstreamed throughout DPPA’s work beyond the specific focus on WPS and WPS initiatives – and that WPS work is not only the responsibility of gender advisers, but the responsibility of all leadership, managers and every staff member in DPPA and its field presences.

    For more information and resources, visit https://peacemaker.un.org/wps

     

    Security Council Resolutions

    Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on WPS was backed by a diverse and geographically-representative coalition of Member States, and pushed by a strong global constituency of women civil society organizations.  This was the first Security Council resolution to link women to the peace and security agenda, looking at the impact of conflict on women and women’s contribution to conflict resolution and sustainable peace.

    The resolution consists of four pillars: 1) The role of women in conflict prevention, 2) women’s participation in peacebuilding, 3) the protection of the rights of women and girls during and after conflict, and 4) women’s specific needs during repatriation, resettlement and for rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction. A total of ten WPS resolutions have been adopted and can largely be divided into two groups. The first group, initiated by 1325 and followed by SCR 1889 (2009) , SCR 2122 (2013), SCR 2242 (2015)and SCR 2493 (2019), deals in short with the need for women’s active and effective participation in peacemaking and peacebuilding.

    The second group focuses on preventing and addressing conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). The first dedicated resolution on CRSV, SCR 1820 was adopted in 2008. It acknowledges that sexual violence when used as a tactic of war can significantly exacerbate conflict and be a threat to international peace and security. Since 2008, four additional resolutions have been adopted on CRSV: SCR 1888 (2009)SCR 1960 (2010)SCR 2106 (2013), and SCR 2467 (2019).

     

    Why Is Gender and Women Included in the UN Peace and Security Agenda?

    There is no internationally agreed definition of the term ‘gender’, however, gender is understood to be a social and cultural construct that assigns different roles, behaviors, norms and traits to men and women in a society. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can evolve over time. In most societies, gender is hierarchical and produces political, social and economic inequalities. When gender intersects with other forms of discrimination such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, geographic location, sexual orientation and gender identity , the impacts can compound and lead to intersectional marginalization and discrimination. Because conflict affects people of different gender identities differently, an intersectional approach to peacemaking is needed to respond to different groups’ security and peacebuilding needs.

    Men who predominantly occupy roles in both armed groups and public decision-making, have long been considered the only relevant actors in conflict and its resolution. However, women have always been involved in conflict in different roles, be it as peacemakers, combatants, dependents, politicians or activists, and are greatly – often disproportionally – affected by conflict. Women have a fundamental human right to participate in decision making processes that affect them, but women’s inclusion in peace processes is also a strategic imperative, as adding a broader range of perspectives can lead to more sustainable peace. For these reasons, and to answer to its responsibilities stemming from the human rights agenda, the United Nations is strongly committed to include women in its peace and security work.

     

    Links and Resources

    DPPA Activities and Guidance:

    DPPA Youth, Peace and Security Strategy (2024-2026)

    DPPA Women Peace and Security Policy (2023)

    Opening the Doors to Women's Meaningful Participation (2020). Poster also available.

    Guidance on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Strategies (2017)

    Guidance for Mediators. Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements (2012)

    From Words to Action: The Experience of UN Political Missions in Colombia on Women, Peace, and Security (2020). Available in Spanish here

    COVID-19 and Conflict: Advancing Women's Meaningful Participation in Ceasefires and Peace Processes (2020). Available in Arabic French | Russian Spanish.

    Women Peace and Security (WPS) & Youth Peace and Security (YPS) Complementarities of the two agendas (2021)

    References and General Information:

    Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi: Women Building Peace. What They Do, Why It Matters. London 2007.

    Research project on Women and the UN Charter by SOAS University London: https://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/research/women-and-the-un-charter/

    Nderitu, Alice/O’Neill Jacqueline: Getting To the Point of Inclusion: Seven Myths Standing in the Way of women Waging Peace. Background Paper for the 2013 Oslo Forum, May 2013. Online: https://www.osloforum.org/sites/default/files/Oslo%20Forum%202013-BP-Getting%20to%20the%20Point%20of%20Inclusion.pdf

    The International Peace Institute (IPI): The SDGs and Prevention for Sustaining Peace. Exploring the Transformative Potential of the Goal on Gender Equality. October 2016. Online: https://www.ipinst.org/2016/11/sdgs-goal-gender-equality

    Paffenholz, Thania: ‘Results on Women and Gender’ Briefing Paper. Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding. Geneva: The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies 2015. Online:  http://repository.graduateinstitute.ch/record/292671/files/briefingpaperwomen%20gender.pdf

    United States Institute of Peace: Charting a New Course. Thought of Action Kit. Women Preventing Violent Extremism. Washington 2015. Online: https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/files/Women-Preventing-Violent-Extremism-Charting-New-Course.pdf

    Bell, Christine: Women and peace processes, negotiations, and agreements: operational opportunities and challenges. NORF Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center Policy Brief. March 2013. Online: http://www.peacewomen.org/assets/file/Resources/Government/christine_bell.pdf

    For more resources, please visit https://peacemaker.un.org/wps/guidance-material 

    CSOs and Partner Organizations:

    UN Women: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/peace-and-security

    United Nations Development Program: http://www.undp.org/

    The UN’s Special Representative’s Office on Sexual Violence in Conflict: http://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/

    United Nations Department of Peace Operations (DPO): https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/empowering-women

    The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN): http://www.icanpeacework.org/

    The NGO Working Group on Women Peace and Security: http://www.womenpeacesecurity.org/

    The Crisis Management Initiative (CMI): http://cmi.fi/

    The Peace and Research Institute Oslo (PRIO): https://www.prio.org/

     

  • 19 Mayo 2015
    The United Nations has worked closely with the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to encourage a peaceful and consensual solution to the political crisis in Madagascar resulting from an unconstitutional change of government in January 2009. The Department of Political Affairs, as per the SADC Roadmap, supported the Transitional Independent National Electoral Commission (CENIT) in the preparation of the elections, which were successfully conducted and restored constitutional order in Madagascar in 2014.
     
     
    Support to promote political stability
    The Department of Political Affairs continues to support national and regional efforts to promote stability, reconciliation and inclusive policies in Madagascar, in close coordination with the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The Department of Political Affairs remains also committed to helping Madagascar implement the remaining provisions of the SADC ­Road Map.

     

  • 19 Mayo 2015

    The Department of Political Affairs contributes along with partner UN entities to the global fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia.

    DPA is an active participant in the International Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), the main international forum on countering piracy. The Department also manages a Trust Fund supporting a range of projects to strengthen the fight against piracy.

    The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), a political mission managed by DPA, works to promote political stability and the rule of law inside Somalia, which are ultimately the key to stopping the lawlessness and criminality off its shores.

    In his briefing to the Security Council in October 2014, DPA Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman cautioned that while reported piracy was at its lowest levels in recent years, "progress is fragile and reversible." He underscored the importance of Somali-led and Somali-owned State-building and inclusive governance to counter the scourge.

    Ransom payments adding up to hundreds of millions of dollars have created a “pirate economy” in some areas of Somalia that jeopardizes efforts to develop alternative livelihoods. Economies throughout East Africa and beyond are experiencing the fallout. International trade routes are affected by the constant threat of maritime attacks.

     
    Comprehensive approach against piracy

    Piracy and armed robbery at sea require a coordinated response under the overarching legal framework provided by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. There is broad consensus in the international community that effectively countering the Somalia piracy problems requires a comprehensive approach focusing on deterrence, security, the rule of law and development.

    The CGPCS was established on 14 January 2009 in line with Security Council resolution 1851 (2008) as a means of facilitating coordination among members of the international community. Today, over 60 nations and international organizations participate in the CGPCS, which meets regularly and reports on its progress to the Security Council.

    The Department of Political Affairs is an active participant of the Contact Group, providing briefings by senior officials, staff support and technical expertise to its working groups, and facilitating dialogue among its members.

    The Trust Fund to support initiatives countering piracy (PDF)In January 2010, the Contact Group established a Trust Fund to Support the Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. The objective of the Fund is to support prosecution of suspected pirates and detention-related activities, among other priorities. The Trust Fund can be replenished by both Member States and the private sector. DPA serves as the fund’s secretariat.

     
    Other UN entities working in partnership with DPA to combat Somali piracy include the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

     

    The Trust Fund to support initiatives countering piracy (PDF)

  • 19 Mayo 2015

    Thank you Madame President,

    I am honoured to address the Council in my new capacity as the Secretary General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process and Personal Envoy to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian Authority.

    From the outset, allow me to thank President Abbas and his Government for their warm welcome and genuine interest in working with the United Nations in advancing the just cause of peace. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Government of Israel for their warm reception and for engaging on a host of important issues related to the situation on the ground. Since taking up my assignment, I have engaged with the Palestinian and Israeli leaders; with political, civil society and business stakeholders in the West Bank and Gaza; and with key partners in Egypt and Jordan in order to begin developing a better understanding of the reality on the ground and the prospects of the future.

     

    Madame President,

    The Middle East faces a vicious tide of terror and extremism that presents a serious challenge to the region, and to international peace and security. However, the inability to respond, for over 60 years, both on the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state and to Israel’s quest for security, has fuelled a situation that is becoming more dangerous by the day.

    Generations of Palestinians and Israelis have come to realise that sustainable and just peace cannot be reached through conflict, but must be the result of negotiations. Thousands of people have died so that today we may hold this truth - that peace cannot be achieved through violence, but at the negotiating table, to be self-evident.

    This hard-earned belief in peace and negotiations must not be allowed to wither away. If it does, it can further destabilise the Middle East for decades. To save it, to give hope back to people, we must act to advance the prospect of a two-state solution: Israel and Palestine - living side-by-side in peace and security.

    How to do this is not an academic question, but one that must be addressed to the parties on the ground, to the international community, and to the United Nations as well.

    I do not underestimate the difficult decisions that both parties will have to take. Nor should we underestimate the domestic challenges that Israeli or Palestinian leaders alike will have to overcome. The region is facing a complicated security threat. However, it is precisely because of the dangers that lurk in the Middle East of today that both sides must show historic leadership and personal commitment to peace and negotiations.

    I take this opportunity to call on the new Government of Israel to take credible steps, including a freeze of settlement activity, in order to promote the resumption of meaningful negotiations. Continued security cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli authorities remains a cornerstone for a peaceful resolution. 

    Both parties must expend every effort to build upon existing agreements, including relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Roadmap and the Arab Peace Initiative, in order to gain momentum towards a final status agreement.

    The Secretary-General stands ready to work with all in order to encourage a return to negotiations, on the basis of an agreed framework.

     

    Madame President,

    On 14 May, the Israeli Knesset confirmed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s new coalition government. Its guidelines state that it will “strive for peace with the Palestinians and all our neighbours, while safeguarding the security, historical and national interests of Israel.”

    The Secretary-General and I will be engaging with the new Government to explore realistic options for a return to meaningful negotiations towards a two-State solution within a reasonable timeframe. However, this goal is increasingly threatened by actions on the ground that exacerbate the divisions between the sides.            

    We are deeply concerned to see the advancement of settlement activities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank on three occasions in the past month. On 14 May, tenders were issued for 85 housing units in Givat Ze’ev, south of Ramallah. On 6 May, the District Planning and Building Committee approved permits for 400 new residential units in the settlement of Ramat Shlomo, and, on 27 April, 77 tenders were issued for residential units in two other East Jerusalem settlements.

    These announcements come at a sensitive time in which the international community is looking to Israel to demonstrate its readiness to engage with the Palestinians on building peace. There should be no illusions about the impact of these unilateral actions. They not only undermine the collective hopes of those longing for a just resolution of the conflict, but they again call into question the viability of achieving peace based on the vision of two States. Settlement activity is illegal under international law and I urge the new Israeli Government to reverse these decisions and refrain from such action in the future.

     

    Madame President,

    In the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, tensions continued as Israeli security forces conducted some 265 search-and-arrest operations, resulting in the arrest of 294 Palestinians. In separate incidents in late April, three Palestinian men, including a 17-year-old boy, were shot and killed after reportedly stabbing and injuring Israeli security officers at checkpoints in Hebron and Ma’ale Adumin. On 25 April, a Palestinian man was suspected of intentionally ramming his car into a group of Israeli policemen in East Jerusalem, resulting in four injured. On 11 May, an Israeli was injured in a reported stabbing attack near a West Bank checkpoint. And on 14 May, three Israeli youths were struck by a car driven by a Palestinian man close Gush Etzion. 

    Despite repeated objections, the Israeli government continues to demolish Palestinian homes and structures. During the reporting period, a total of 15 structures, which contained 33 residences, were demolished leading to the displacement of 25 people, including 14 children. On 4 May, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a request by Palestinians from the Area C village of Susiya to freeze demolitions in the village. And on 10 May an Israeli court ordered the demolition of eight buildings in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Semiramis. The United Nations, once again, urges Israel to cease such demolitions and displacements.

    The United Nations also remains concerned about the recent moves to relocate Bedouin communities near Abu Nwar in the politically sensitive E1 area of the West Bank that may be linked to further settlement construction.

     

    Madame President,

    Turning to Gaza, I cannot but recall the shock of my first very brief tour of the destruction of the Shujaiya neighbourhood. No one, and let me repeat this Madame President, no one can remain untouched by the scale of devastation, the slow pace of reconstruction, and the vast needs to rebuild lives and livelihoods. Gaza is desperate and Gaza angry. Angry at the blockade, angry at the closure of Rafah, angry at Hamas, including for imposing an illegal 'solidarity tax', at the donors for not honouring their financial commitments for reconstruction, at everyone. There is a clear moral and humanitarian imperative not just for the United Nations and the international community, but primarily for the Israeli and the Palestinian authorities to prevent the implosion of Gaza. I particularly call on the factions on the ground to ensure that Gaza remains peaceful.

    Despite the fact that the agreed cease-fire, brokered by Egypt, continues to hold, some security incidents have persisted during the reporting period. Three rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza on 23 April, with one exploding in an open area in Israel while the other two dropped short and exploded inside Gaza; on 3 May, militants fired another rocket which impacted inside Gaza near the security fence; Palestinian militants also test fired 19 rockets at the sea. Thankfully, no injuries or damage were reported in any of these incidents, all of them we condemn. In response to the rocket firing, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) conducted an air strike in Gaza damaging a Hamas military site but also no casualties were reported. IDF also reportedly shot and injured nine Palestinians in Gaza: three fishermen whose boats were fired upon by the Israeli navy and six Palestinians, shot while approaching the Gaza border fence. Three militants were also killed in separate incidents where smuggling tunnels collapsed.

     

    Madame President,

    Without genuine Palestinian reconciliation and unity, all efforts to improve the situation in Gaza will face major difficulties. On 19 April, a delegation of Palestinian ministers travelled to Gaza to begin a process to reintegrate public sector employees, tens of thousands of whom have not received salaries for over a year. Discussions, however, broke down the following day.

    Despite this setback, I welcome the determination of Prime Minister Hamdallah and his efforts to find a solution to the problem of public sector employees in Gaza. His commitment that no one will be left behind is an important guarantee. I encourage all factions to support these efforts. The United Nations also stands ready to work with all stakeholders and support the Government in mobilising the necessary resources for this process.

    A comprehensive reconciliation must include the Government of National Consensus resuming control over the crossings into Israel and Egypt. This is key to allowing more movement of goods and people and to the eventual reopening the crossings. The responsibility for addressing these issues lies first and foremost with the Palestinian authorities. But it also partly rests with the United Nations and the international community, which must empower the Government to take up its leadership role in Gaza, including through the fulfilment of donor pledges that were made at the Cairo conference of last year.

    What is clear is that no approach which divides Gaza and the West Bank should be supported – Palestine is one and the United Nations will work determinedly to advance unity through its legitimate institutions. 

    The United Nations ultimate objective in Gaza is to see the lifting of all closures, within the framework of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009). In the absence of such a fundamental change, the temporary Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism is the only currently available option to facilitate the entry of material and to enable implementation of large-scale projects that can bring reconstruction, jobs and stability.

    I can report that, as of 19 May, close to 85,000 of the 100,000 households in need of construction materials to repair their homes have received materials. In addition, 85 out of 167 projects submitted and funded by the international community and the private sector have been approved; eight of these projects are currently underway.

    All of these are positive developments, but far from sufficient to address Gaza’s reconstruction needs. The United Nations is working closely with the Israeli Ministry of Defence’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, with the Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs, and donors to finalise arrangements to speed up reconstruction. I take the opportunity to thank all counterparts for their constructive engagement on these matters.

     

    Madame President,

    Turning briefly to Lebanon, Special Coordinator Kaag and members of the International Support Group for Lebanon met today in Beirut with Prime Minister Tamam Salam to discuss the current situation in the country. As of 25 May, the country will have been without a President for one year. This vacuum undermines Lebanon’s ability to address the challenges it faces and it jeopardises the functioning of State institutions. Members of Parliament should fulfil their constitutional obligation to elect a President without further delay.

    With almost 1.2 million registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon forming the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world, we again call on the international community to urgently fulfil existing pledges and increase and expedite support to Lebanon as a matter of priority. It is important that the Government and United Nations counterparts work together to promote effective management of the refugee presence in line with international humanitarian and human rights law. 

    The Lebanese-Syrian border remains impacted by incidents and infiltration attempts of armed extremist groups, particularly as a result of the fighting in the Qalamoun region. The Lebanese Armed Forces have committed considerable efforts to secure the border with support from the international community. On 20 April, Lebanon received its first shipment of military equipment from France financed by the $3 billion grant from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This and other contributions by Member States are both necessary and welcome.  

    UNIFIL’s area of operations has remained generally calm, despite the volatile situation in the Golan Heights. In their ongoing engagement with UNIFIL, both parties maintained their commitment to the cessation of hostilities and the stability of the Blue Line. Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace continued on an almost daily basis.

     

    Madame President,

    On the Golan, clashes occurred between the Syrian armed forces and armed members of the opposition, as well as heavy fighting between different armed groups in the area of separation. Between 24 April and 5 May, fire from the Bravo side, as a result of such fighting, impacted across the ceasefire line. On 24 April, an IDF Missile Launching Unit fired four missiles eastwards, one of which crossed the ceasefire line. A couple of days later, the IDF informed UNDOF that four persons carrying equipment had crossed the ceasefire line from the Bravo side and had been killed by the Israeli security forces as they approached the technical fence. These developments have the potential to heighten tensions and jeopardise the ceasefire between the two countries.

     

    Madame President,

    In conclusion, let me return briefly to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the coming period will be critical for the future of the peace process. The United Nations has repeatedly warned that maintaining the status quo is not tenable. It will inexorably lead to the continued erosion of living conditions for Palestinians and for Israelis alike, and will undermine the security and stability of all.

    My introductory meetings clearly demonstrated that, despite the prolonged absence of a political horizon, despite the sometimes poisonous rhetoric of incitement and the destructive actions of those seeking to undermine a return to talks, there remains a steadfast desire and determination to achieve an enduring agreement.

    Any resolution will need a comprehensive regional solution, conceivably with support from a reinvigorated Quartet that includes greater engagement with key Arab states. While the international community has a critical responsibility to support a peace process, a lasting solution can only be achieved by the parties themselves.

     

    Madame President,

    Thank you for the opportunity to address the Council. I look forward to working with you and to your guidance on the way forward.

    Allow me to place on record my gratitude to my predecessor, Robert Serry, for his tireless efforts in this position. I want to also thank the excellent team at UNSCO and here in the UN Secretariat, without whom our work in the field would not be possible.

    Thank you.

  • 15 Mayo 2015

    Today, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, and the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, undertook to work tirelessly to reach as soon as possible a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question.

    The two leaders agreed that this will be a leader-led process.

    The leaders began elaborating their shared vision for a united federal Cyprus. This took place in a very positive and constructive atmosphere.

    Furthermore, the leaders agreed on how they intend to spearhead the process over the coming months. Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akıncı have agreed to meet at least twice a month. Their next meeting will take place on Thursday, 28 May 2015. The negotiators will meet intensively between leaders’ meetings in support of this endeavour. They will have their first meeting later today.

    As a sign of their mutual commitment, Mr. Akıncı and Mr. Anastasiades agreed to work together on a number of confidence-building measures that would mutually benefit the two communities. Mr. Anastasiades provided Mr. Akıncı with the coordinates of 28 minefields in the north of the island and Mr. Akıncı announced that from tomorrow there will no longer be a requirement to fill a form at the crossing points. They decided to set up a committee to promote cultural events that could bring the two communities closer together. Both leaders stressed the importance of the missing persons issue and agreed to work together on this humanitarian matter. They plan to meet socially in the coming period, demonstrating their unity in promoting a mutually acceptable resolution of the Cyprus issue. They will visit each other on 23 May 2015. Furthermore, they instructed the negotiators to work on further confidence-building measures for the two leaders to consider.

    In the prevailing climate of optimism, and encouraged by the momentum that is building across the island, the two leaders underscored their shared will to reach a comprehensive settlement.

  • 14 Mayo 2015
    Madam President,
     
    Since I arrived to Baghdad at the end of March, I have endeavoured to meet as broad a range of Iraq’s political, community and religious leaders as possible, to hear their views on how Iraq and its different components can overcome the challenges and threats the country faces, and set a steady course towards unity, cooperation, reconciliation, stability and development. Whilst major differences of opinion and approaches exist, there is a general consensus that to successfully counter Iraq’s common enemy, the so called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, unity and cooperation among all the components of the Iraq society are needed, and that the way forward is to accelerate implementation of the Government Programme and the National Political Accord, to start a process of national reconciliation.
     
    Madam President,
     
    The Iraqi security forces (ISF), together with the Peshmerga, patriots of the Popular Mobilisation Forces and Sunni tribal volunteers supported by the international coalition and countries of the region are making advances and liberating territory from ISIL. I salute their bravery and commitment. They are saviours of Iraq. However, ISIL is far from being defeated and government gains remain at times fragile. An ability to liberate a city, a territory, doesn’t necessarily mean an ability to hold it.
     
    Vast areas of Iraq and millions of Iraqis remain under ISIL control and influence which continues to perpetrate horrendous crimes and human rights violations against the Iraqi people, in particular women, children and minorities. ISIL recently added to their crimes the barbaric destruction of Iraq’s cultural and historical heritage in another attempt to destroy its national identity. Many areas not under ISIL control, including Baghdad, are rocked by violence, terrorist and sectarian. Particularly appalling is violence against IDPs that are increasingly targeted and criminalised.
     
    It is important that local fighters and authorities are properly empowered to take their share of responsibility for the liberation from ISIL and for holding and governing of their areas. The Government’s efforts to provide the necessary financial and material support to tribesman and local authorities need to be expedited. All that, and notably military supplies and assistance, must be coordinated with and sanctioned by the respective authorities of the State. In that regard, I welcome the recent establishment of a Government committee to oversee the implementation of support. I also welcome the determination of the Government of Iraq to exert firm control over all elements taking part in liberation operations across Iraq and to hold to account those who have committed crimes, as indeed some opportunistic and criminal elements continue to engage in atrocities, revenge killings, looting, expropriation and destruction of property of the local population and returning of IDPs. I applaud the clear stance of both Prime Minister al-Abadi and His Eminence Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, who took a firm stance against such transgressions.
     
     
    Madame President,
     
    In the majority of my meetings with Iraq’s political representatives, I have heard one message - a military solution alone will not be enough to defeat ISIL. For any military gains to be sustainable, the Government of Iraq must also restore the confidence of disaffected communities that they will assume a share in governing their matters, in the State’s ability to ensure their protection from violence, to deliver justice and create conditions for their fair participation in society. Until the majority of IDPs conclude that the conditions for the safe and sustainable return of civilians are created, such returns will not happen. And one of the consequences might be the continuation of involuntary demographic changes, including in the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil.
     
    As a priority, the Government needs to urgently continue taking measures to restore civilian responsibility for security and the rule of law in the liberated areas. In addition, the Government needs, in coordination with the local authorities, restore as soon as possible, public services and rebuild basic infrastructure to facilitate the return of the displaced. Worryingly though, Prime Minister al-Abadi has underscored to me his Government’s great difficulties to respond to these urgent stabilisation needs, on top of massive humanitarian needs. The Government faces serious constraints in terms of funds and material for stabilisation and rehabilitation. The liberated areas are in urgent need of clearance from explosive remnants of war. I hope to see in particular UNMAS returning in force to Iraq and that cannot happen without donors’ support. Withdrawing resources from other areas of the country to meet these stabilization needs bring additional pressure to the already heavily impacted areas from the IDPs’ influx and beyond.
     
    I strongly urge the Security Council members and the whole international community to support the Iraqi Government’s efforts and to provide funding for the multitude of needs. Despite being a middle-income country, Iraq is temporarily unable to cope alone with the challenges of the security and humanitarian crisis and stabilisation and rehabilitation efforts. Unfortunately, however, critical is the urgency of continuous and massive support for Iraq, the international community’s response is grossly insufficient, as if the existence of other old and new crises were enough to excuse a waning attention to the plight of Iraq and its people. Lack of support, though, might eventually mar the existing opportunities to make Iraq successful in its fight against terrorism, to make it an example for other parts of the region and beyond, contrary to some trends prevailing elsewhere. Without such support, this fragile chance might disappear.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    Political processes, national reconciliation efforts are essential to overcome the underlying challenges facing Iraq and its unity, creating sustainable solutions for peaceful co-existence, cooperation and development of Iraq’s diverse components.  As such, more vigorous and productive Government and political forces’ efforts to adopt priority legislation that will aid national reconciliation efforts are needed. A draft amnesty law is with the Prime Minister. Parliament is finalising legislation to restore balanced representation in Iraq’s institutions. The National Guard law is under discussion.  I urge Iraq’s political leaders to work together to find consensus, while the Government of Iraq and the Parliament of Iraq need to take the steps necessary to accelerate the adoption and enactment of these laws. I therefore welcome the extension of Parliament’s session.
     
    These efforts towards political dialogue must also be accompanied by efforts to promote reconciliation at the community-level. Religious leaders, scholars, and community, tribal and political leaders alike must promote the principles of non-violence, religious tolerance, inclusiveness and forgiveness, as well as accountability for crimes committed.
     
    All these messages were also echoed in my meetings with the leadership of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. As the implementation of the December 2014 joint agreement on energy exports and revenue-sharing takes hold, so the relations between both sides strengthen. Prime Minister al- Abadi’s visit to Erbil on the 6th of April is a clear expression of this goodwill to cooperate. I encourage both sides to continue working together towards resolving open issues and towards the enactment of the legislation that will be necessary to secure the sustainable management and fair distribution of Iraq’s natural resources. And let’s not forget – the Kurdistan Region of Iraq also needs international support. Currently, in a major way it contributes to the fight against ISIL and hosts over one million IDPs within its own estimated population of above five million people.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    Prime Minister al-Abadi’s determination to strengthen Iraq’s regional ties with its regional partners in mobilising their support for Iraq and in promotion of a common regional approach to the regional and global threat of ISIL has been received positively by Iraq’s neighbours. During my recent visit to Kuwait and Jordan, I clearly heard a message that a united, peaceful and stable Iraq makes for a stable and prosperous region, a message of support to the Government of Iraq and readiness to coordinate closely with it in all areas.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    The unpredictable, unstable security situation and violence continues to take a terrible toll on the men, women and children from all of Iraq’s communities. Since June last year until the end of April 2015, over 44,000 civilian casualties have been reported, including at least 15,219 killed and 29,493 wounded. UNAMI has also been affected when on the 26th of April a UNAMI national staff member was abducted by unidentified gunmen in Baquba, Diyala. The UN is increasingly concerned by the lack of progress on this and strongly urges the respective authorities of Iraq to ensure his swift release.
     
    Madam President,
     
    The humanitarian consequences of the conflict are enormous. The Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, will speak on this and I fully support her analysis and appeal while commending the work of the humanitarian community.
     
    Madam President,
     
    Allow me now to turn to the sixth report of the Secretary-General, pursuant to paragraph 4 of resolution 2107 (2013), on the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-party persons and property.
     
    On 26 April, I visited Kuwait as my first regional visit as the Secretary General instructed me to pay personal attention to this mandate. During my visit, I was struck by the commitment and dedication of the members of the National Committee on the Missing and the Prisoners of War Affairs.  Many of the members of the Committee lost relatives in the tragic events of 1990. Yet we run the risk that future generations will continue to carry this burden lest progress be made after so many years without tangible results, notably on missing persons.
     
    The respective Iraqi authorities are called upon to urgently take practical steps that will move forward this caseload. UNAMI will continue to assist.
     
    As regards the question of missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives, Iraq has found and turned over some objects such as books and artefacts belonging to Kuwait, a move that is sincerely appreciated. Again, government commitment must be swiftly translated into action.
     
    Madam President,
     
    To sum up, my first impressions after just several weeks in Iraq are mixed, but with a positive perspective. Complexities and complications are enormous, as are constraints and risks. Progress is slow, regardless of a clear vision of the Government and political resolve of the Prime Minister. The plight of Iraq and its people is unjustly and unjustifiably overshadowed by other developments in the region at a time when more support is needed to counter and degrade terrorist ISIL, to work for the unity of Iraq based on balancing the rights and interests of its components. Yet, opportunities are there as well. Continuous and long-term adequate political, financial, and material support for Iraq, its government and its people by the international community and notably the countries of the region is needed to turn those opportunities into reality, for the benefit of Iraq, the region and beyond.
     
    Thank you, Madam President.
  • 8 Mayo 2015
  • 7 Mayo 2015

    Le Secrétaire général m’a dépêché au Burundi afin que je sois aux cotés de la MENUB et de l’équipe pays des Nations Unies pour les appuyer dans leurs efforts en faveur de la consolidation des acquis du Burundi en matière de paix, de stabilité et de développement ainsi que dans la création de conditions propices à la tenue d’élections inclusives, crédibles, apaisées et transparentes.

    L’annonce de la désignation de Monsieur Pierre Nkurunziza comme candidat du CNDD-FDD a suscité des manifestations que les forces de sécurité se sont employées à contenir.

    C’est dans ce contexte que le Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies a fait une déclaration le 28 avril dernier dans laquelle, il a condamné les violences consécutives à l’annonce de cette candidature et a appelé tous les Burundais à sauvegarder les acquis du pays.

    Le Secrétaire Général a réitéré l’engagement de l’ONU à soutenir des élections pacifiques, crédibles et inclusives. Il a invité les autorités Burundaises à faire respecter les droits de l’homme de tous les Burundais y compris la liberté de réunion, d’association et d’expression.

    Il a par ailleurs demandé aux services de sécurité de rester impartiaux et de faire preuve de retenue face aux manifestations publiques. Il a exhorté toutes les parties à rejeter la violence et de ne pas utiliser de langage incendiaire ou de haine qui ne pourrait qu’accroitre les tensions.

    C’est avec la plus grande inquiétude que nous constatons une montée des violations des droits de l’homme et des actes de violence dont certains ont entrainé la mort, y compris de mineurs, ainsi que de très nombreux blessés et des personnes arrêtées au nombre desquels des femmes et des enfants. Tout doit être fait pour éviter toute escalade qui pourrait nuire à la paix et à la stabilité du pays.

    Je voudrais  lancer un appel à l’arrêt immédiat de tout acte de violence d’ou qu’il vienne.

    Les femmes et les enfants doivent être particulièrement protégés en ces moments difficiles. En aucun cas, les enfants ne devraient se retrouver impliqués dans les manifestations

    Par ailleurs, comme chacun le sait, les auteurs et instigateurs des actes de violence auront à en répondre personnellement devant les juridictions nationales ou internationales.

    En conclusion, je voudrais réitérer l’engagement des Nations Unies à continuer d’accompagner tous les burundais dans leurs efforts de consolidation de la paix, de la stabilité et du développement qu’ils ont conquis après tant de souffrances, conjointement avec les pays de la région, la Communauté de l’Afrique de l’Est, la CILGR, et l’Union Africaine et les autres partenaires internationaux.

    Comme l’a dit le Secrétaire Général dans sa récente déclaration, nous invitons dans le respect des positions des uns et des autres, les parties prenantes Burundaises à chercher des solutions aux problèmes actuels, à travers le dialogue et des moyens pacifiques.

    Tout doit être fait pour éviter toute escalade qui risquerait de nuire à la paix, la stabilité et le développement du Burundi.

    Je vous remercie

  • 5 Mayo 2015

    What is the United Nations Single Electoral Roster?

    The United Nations Single Electoral Roster is a database of experts, who are deemed qualified and suitable to provide specialized technical assistance to governments and national electoral management bodies. Such individuals may be recruited by the UN Secretariat and the Agencies, Funds and Programmes as staff members or as consultants to participate in electoral missions ranging in duration from one week to several months, depending on the assistance requested.

    The development and maintenance of this roster is intended to fast track the selection and recruitment of the highest quality of international personnel in order to ensure effective and timely delivery of Electoral Assistance globally.

     

    Areas of Expertise

    The Electoral Assistance Division manages the roster and ensures that all client entities have access to experienced electoral experts for advisory or support activities in a variety of specialized areas, such as:  

    • Electoral law and/or Electoral dispute resolution;
    • Election security and prevention of election fraud;
    • Training of election officials;
    • Civic and voter education;
    • Increasing the participation of women and/or minorities;
    • Media and Communication;
    • Operational planning and logistics;
    • Voter registration;
    • Polling and Counting procedures;
    • Information Technology Electoral Systems. 

     

    Roster Membership

    While Roster membership does not provide any entitlement to work for the United Nations, it does have the advantage of belonging to a specialized pool of candidates whose academic credentials and work experience have been verified and are disseminated to hiring managers of any client entity when there is a job opening for that specific profile.

    For staff positions, roster members have already passed an assessment and compliance review process, and can therefore be selected for open positions without further assessments by the hiring manager.  However, some managers will conduct further assessments specific to the position being filled.

    Note:  While membership in the United Nations Single Roster System does not guarantee employment in the United Nations, it is a requirement for employment to a staff position within the UN.

     

    How to Apply for Roster Membership

    There are two ways to apply for the United Nations Single Electoral Roster:

    1. Roster Campaigns for Staff Positions: Prospective candidates apply to the Generic Job Openings (GJO) for the specific grade(s) level for which they are eligible. These GJO’s are posted periodically on the UN Careers Portal, INSPIRA, at the website careers.un.org, as well as in the websites of the participating UN Funds and Programmes
       
    2. Ongoing application for Consultants and Individual Contractors:  where prospective candidates can submit their CV or Personal History Profiles (PHPs) at any time to the email address:  electoralroster@un.org.

     

    Creating your Application and Personal History Profile in Inspira

    Each candidate has to submit an application using the UN online recruitment system, Inspira.  The Inspira application is an extended online resume, specifically used by the United Nations, where you articulate your education, competencies, achievements and professional experience. The application is used to evaluate your eligibility and suitability for the job. It is your opportunity to tell your story in a way that demonstrates that you are the best candidate for the job.

    When applying to the Generic Job Opening in Inspira, ensure that the information contained in your PHP is complete and correct as you cannot make any changes.  Your PHP will be used to evaluate your eligibility and suitability.  It is important to complete the information about your education, work experience and language skills (including mother tongue) accurately. This information will be used in the system automated pre-screening. 

    The cover letter, which you must complete when applying for a job at the United Nations, is the personal introduction that accompanies your application.  Your aim in the cover letter is to describe how your experience, qualifications and competencies match the job for which you are applying. Think of your cover letter as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other job seekers by highlighting what makes you the best match for the position.

    For more details on the application process, visit the UN Careers Portal Homepage (https://careers.un.org), and click on Creating your job application, and the Application Process.

     

    Evaluation of Candidates

    Candidates who meet the suitability requirements will be invited to participate in a written assessment exercise.  Those candidates who pass the written assessment are then invited to a Competency-Based Interview.  Successful candidates are then reviewed by the Field Central Review Body (FCRB) and if endorsed will be placed on the roster of pre-approved candidates and will be informed by accordingly.

     

    Contacting the Electoral Assistance Division

    Electoral Assistance Division | Department of Political and Pecaebuilding Affairs | United Nations Secretariat New York, NY, 10017 United States of America

    Email: electoralroster@un.org

     

  • 5 Mayo 2015

    The Department for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs' (DPPA) Division for Palestinian Rights provides substantive support to the General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, established in 1975. The Division serves as the Secretariat of the Committee and provides the following core functions:

  • 29 Abr 2015

    DPA has been closely monitoring the quickly-evolving situation in Syria and the multifaceted conflict dynamics since protests erupted in March 2011. The UN-led talks in Geneva strive toward a credible political settlement in line with resolution 2254 (2015) and the Geneva Communiqué (2012). 

    In February 2012, the General Assembly passed a resolution 66/253 requesting the UN to join forces with the League of Arab States in support of a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict through a political transition, this led to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s appointment as the Joint Special Envoy. In April 2012, the Security Council adopted resolutions 2042 and 2043 endorsing Annan’s six-point plan and establishing the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to monitor and support its implementation. However, the initial lull in hostilities that followed broad international consensus of the six-point plan was short-lived. In June 2012, Annan convened a meeting where key international and regional stakeholders adopted the Geneva Communiqué, a document which aimed to strengthen the implementation of the six-point plan and chart a political way forward. To this day, the Communique continues to provide the UN guidance on its mediation efforts toward a political transition. The Geneva Communique was endorsed by the General Assembly in resolution 66/253-B in August 2012 and by the Security Council in resolution 2118 in September 2013. Amidst increasing violence across the entire country, the Security Council was unable to renew the UNMSIS mandate beyond August 2012.

    In August 2012, following the departure of Kofi Annan, the Secretaries-General of the UN and the Arab League appointed Lakhdar Brahimi as their new Joint Special Representative. Brahimi convened intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva in January and February 2014, which aimed to provide space for the Syrian sides to agree on a full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué. While the parties agreed on an agenda (transitional governing body; violence and terrorism; national institutions; reconciliation) they could not agree on the sequence for negotiating these issues. Brahimi suspended the negotiations and did not extend his assignment beyond May 2014.

    The Secretary-General appointed the UN’s current Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, in July 2014. Intense diplomatic engagement in 2015 between Russia and the US, and other key international stakeholders resulted in the establishment of the International Syrian Support Group (ISSG) and the adoption of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015). Resolution 2254 (2015) reiterated the endorsement of the Geneva Communiqué and set the Special Envoy’s mandate. The resolution established a timeline for a political transition, including negotiations on the establishment of a credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance and a process and timeline for drafting a new constitution. It also called for free and fair elections, including the diaspora, pursuant to the new constitution and held under UN supervision.

    Since January 2016, Special Envoy de Mistura has conducted a series of intra-Syrian negotiations with talks in late 2017 into 2018 focusing on two key aspects of resolution 2254: the schedule and process for drafting a new constitution and precise requirements for UN-supervised elections. 

    Since the beginning of the conflict, Syria has witnessed unprecedented devastation and displacement, compounded by the re-emergence of the use of internationally proscribed chemical weapons

    Impunity has been a hallmark of the Syrian conflict and has challenged one of the UN’s core values—accountability. This gap was initially addressed when on 21 December 2016, the General Assembly adopted resolution 71-248 to establish the International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to assist in the investigation and prosecution of the most serious crimes under international law, in particular the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

     

    OCHA http://www.unocha.org/syria

    OHCHR http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/SYIndex.aspx

    Commission of Inquiry of the Human Rights Council (COI) http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

    UNDP http://www.sy.undp.org/

    UNHCR http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php

     

  • 29 Abr 2015

    The UN support role in Iraq was established by Security Council resolution 1500 (2003), revised under resolution 1770 (2007) and has since been extended on an annual basis.


    The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) is a special political mission headed by Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, supported by two deputies: Deputy SRSG Alice Walpole, who oversees political, electoral and constitutional issues and who leads on the issues of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives, and Deputy SRSG Lise Grande who leads the humanitarian and development efforts in her role as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq.

    The current mandate of UNAMI encompasses, at the request of the Government of Iraq, a number of key areas, including providing advice, support and assistance to the Government and the people of Iraq in advancing inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation; providing assistance to the electoral process; facilitating regional dialogue between Iraq and its neighbours; promoting the protection of human rights and judicial and legal reform; promoting gender equality; and promoting coordination and enhancing delivery in the humanitarian and development areas. Furthermore, under Security Council resolution 2107 (2013) UNAMI is mandated to promote, support and facilitate efforts of the Government of Iraq regarding the repatriation or return of all Kuwaiti and third-country nationals, or their remains, and the return of Kuwaiti property, including the national archives.

    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq is one of the largest and most complex in the world with eleven million Iraqis, displaced since the rise of ISIL, currently requiring some form of humanitarian assistance. Of the 5.4 million Iraqi civilians displaced since the rise of ISIL in 2014, 2.1 million have already returned, half of whom are in Anbar. Conditions in return areas vary; in some locations; insecurity, explosive hazards and damaged infrastructure jeopardize the safety of returning families. Despite operating in one of the most dangerous environments in the world, the UN and its 180 humanitarian partners are reaching nearly one million Iraqis every month with aid.

    In addition to their humanitarian activities, the UN Country Team is working together to improve the lives of Iraqis across numerous sectors. Under the auspices of a United Nations Development Assistance Framework, agencies, funds and programmes are helping to rebuild agricultural systems, restructure the country’s public distribution system, support through technical advice on security sector reform and societal reconciliation, reform the social protection floor that helps millions of Iraqi families, restructure health management systems, modernize public administration, protect cultural heritage, promote quality education, and clear complex IEDs from conflict areas so that people can return to their homes. 

    In June 2015, the Government asked UNDP to establish a Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS) to help stabilise areas liberated from ISIL. Using fast-track modalities, FFIS has been and is currently working in 23 liberated towns in Anbar, Diyala, Ninewa, Salah al Din, and Kirkuk governorates, helping the Government to quickly repair key public infrastructure, jump-start the local economy, generate income for local households, and promote societal reconciliation. 

     

    Key support role on elections and national dialogue


    UNAMI is supporting the government’s efforts to promote an inclusive dialogue on national and societal reconciliation and to help confidence-building measures to ensure the future of Iraq as a stable, federal, united and democratically inclusive state in which all of its citizens can fully and equally participate without discrimination and with equal rights and justice. UNAMI also promotes regional cooperation and dialogue between Iraq and neighbouring countries through its good offices mandate. 

    UNAMI played a key support role in the process by which Iraqis drafted and adopted a new constitution in 2005, and assisted the country in the holding of two national elections that same year as well as Iraq Governorate Council elections and parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan region of Iraq in 2009, Iraq parliamentary elections in 2010, Iraq Governorate Council elections and parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan region of Iraq in 2013 and Iraq parliamentary elections in 2014. Since the formation of the Independent High Electoral Commission in 2007, the United Nations has continued to provide technical support, policy advice and assistance to the institution.

     

    Activities on human rights 


    UNAMI is working with other UN partners, and all relevant stakeholders (Government, Parliament, law enforcement and civil society) to promote the respect and protection of human rights in Iraq, including, inter alia, the rights of women and children and their protection from sexual and gender based violence, the rights of diverse ethnic and religious minorities, the rights of persons with disabilities, ensuring their access to basic services without discrimination, and promoting respect for the right of freedom of assembly and expression. UNAMI is also working in partnership with other United Nations, Government and civil society partners, to provide technical assistance, legal and expert advice on content and implementation of Iraq’s international human rights obligations, and on drafting legislation, regulations and policies that promote the respect and protection of human rights, and assist with building the capacity of state institutions, including relevant ministries, the Council of Representatives, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, and law enforcement and the administration of justice.

  • 29 Abr 2015

    United Nations activities are focused on assisting the Afghan people and Government in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development. Leading this effort on the ground is the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The UN Security Council established the political mission in March 2002, at the request of the Afghan Government, through Security Council Resolution 1401. The Council has since extended the Mission’s work until 17 March 2018, stressing the importance of a comprehensive and inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process to support reconciliation and of advancing regional cooperation to promote security, stability and development in Afghanistan.

    Afghanistan has received assurances of continued international assistance for its security and development needs at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit in Warsaw and at the donors’ Conference on Afghanistan in Brussels in 2016. However, it remains a country undergoing conflict, which threatens the sustainability of its achievements. Peace negotiations between the Afghan Government and armed opposition groups are the only alternative for ending the conflict and the region and the broader international community have a stake and a role to play to help to create the conditions for peace.

    UNAMA's core work involves Good Offices, Human Rights, Development Coherence and Regional Cooperation. This includes the strategic priorities to support political cohesion, efforts towards a sustainable peace and alignment of international assistance with Government’s priorities, as well as human rights reporting and advocacy and support to national human rights institutions. UNAMA has field offices across Afghanistan.

  • 29 Abr 2015

    In February 2017, the Secretary-General appointed Dag Halvor Nylander as his Personal Representative on the Border Controversy between Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Mr. Nylander has been actively engaging with the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela with a view to exploring and proposing options for a solution to the border controversy between the two countries.

     

     

  • 27 Abr 2015
    Political, security and humanitarian situation
    Despite national, regional and international efforts to tackle the complex range of inter-connected challenges facing the Sahel, the region continues to be threatened by cyclical instability, state fragility and recurring humanitarian crises. Limited capacity in the region to effectively deliver basic services and foster dialogue and citizen participation contributes to grievances, leaving a vacuum exploited by terrorist and criminal groups. Efforts to stabilise Mali and prevent further destabilization in the Sahel are threatened by the continuing activity of terrorist and criminal groups, as well as the spread of violent ideology across the Sahel region.
     
    The Sahel region continues to face a food insecurity crisis with 20 million people at risk and nearly 5 million children at risk of acute malnutrition.
     
     
    UN Response through the Integrated Strategy for the Sahel
    The United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel [S/2013/354], endorsed by the Security Council in June 2013, is a promising new instrument for conflict prevention. The strategy prioritizes life-saving activities that meet immediate needs, while building the resilience of people and communities as part of a long-term development agenda. The strategy emphasizes the need for continued UN good offices to mobilize political will and resources to address the challenges in the region. It includes a range of innovative actions in the areas of Governance, Security and Resilience. For the implementation of the integrated strategy for the Sahel, the United Nations applies a flexible definition of the broader Sahelo-Saharan region, encompassing West, Central and North African countries, while placing a particular emphasis on five core Sahel countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
     
    In the area of Governance, it involves a combination of (1) capacity-building measures, aimed to improve the delivery of essential services, and (2) political inclusion, aimed to promote broad consensus amongst the population over the country’s priorities. In terms of security, the strategy focuses on strengthening border management. Given the vastness of the Sahel region, and the length and porosity of many of the borders, the strategy entails a combination of capacity building measures and the promotion of collaborative efforts among States. Collaborative management of borders is not only about constraining the activities of criminals and terrorists, but also about giving opportunity to legitimate economic activity. The third overall objective of the strategy is focusing on supporting vulnerable households and promoting food and nutritional security, while also building capacity for long term resilience.
     
    To reach a broad consensus, the Secretary-General convened a high-level meeting on the Sahel, on the margins of the 68th UN General Assembly. At the meeting, all countries of the region, as well as donor countries and institutions, expressed their support for the strategy and emphasized the importance of regional and national ownership. In addition, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chairperson of the African Union, the President of the World Bank, the President of the African Development Bank and the European Development Commissioner jointly visited the region in November 2013. They highlighted the challenges and opportunities for the implementation of the strategy and mobilized resources and political support. Likewise, during a ministerial-level meeting on the Sahel, organized by the Government of Mali during the visit, the region welcomed the Integrated Strategy and agreed on a broad set of common priorities. They decided to continue meeting every six months, on a rotating Chairmanship basis.
     
    The implementation of the strategy relies on the strong engagement of the United Nations System in the region, under the overall leadership of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel, Hiroute Guebre Sellassie. SESG Guebre Sellassie has already begun to develop a coordination mechanism for UN system-wide action, in close collaboration with UNOWA and other relevant UN presences in the region.
     
    More information about the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel is available on the OSES website.
     
     
    Main Documents
    • Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Sahel region - S/2014/397 - (FR/EN)
    • Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Sahel region - S/2013/354 - (FR/EN)
    • Statement by the President of the Security Council - S/PRST/2013/10 (FR/EN)
    • Resolution 2056 (2012) - S/RES/2056 (2012) (FR/EN)
     
    Fact Sheet (EN)
  • 27 Abr 2015

    The United Nations cooperates with regional and international partners in efforts to defuse tensions, encourage improvements on the ground, and advance political negotiations toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on all relevant Security Council resolutions, as well as the Madrid principles and Quartet Road Map.

     

    Support to the Secretary-General’s peacemaking efforts

    The Department of Political Affairs supports UN peacemaking efforts in various ways, including by advising and assisting the Secretary-General in his Middle East diplomacy and by overseeing UN political activities based in the region aimed at furthering peace efforts, preventing an escalation of the conflict, coordinating humanitarian aid and development assistance, and supporting Palestinian state-building efforts.

    In addition to making his own diplomatic “good offices” available to the parties, the Secretary-General is a principal member of the Middle East Quartet (composed of the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union, and the United Nations), a key mechanism established in 2003 to coordinate the international community's support to the peace process. The Secretary-General also works to ensure close cooperation in international peacemaking efforts with the League of Arab States and the broader international community.

    DPA also assists the Secretary-General’s crisis management activities, which include his direct involvement in efforts to prevent the recurrence of violence.  Senior officials of the Department of Political Affairs, particularly the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, provide regular briefings to the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East and the state of the peace process.

     

    Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process

    Special Coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, is the focal point on the ground for UN support to peace initiatives – including the work of the Middle East Quartet. The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), based in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza, is a field mission of the Department of Political Affairs that supports peace negotiations and the implementation of political agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. UNSCO is also responsible for coordinating the activities of more than twenty UN agencies, funds and programmes on humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinians.

  • 27 Abr 2015
    The United Nations works on multiple fronts to assist Lebanon in forging a peaceful, stable and democratic future. The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) provides leadership and coordination to UN efforts in the country. The Beirut-based political mission of the Department of Political Affairs is headed by UN Special Coordinator Pernille Dahler Kardel. The Special Coordinator is the Secretary-General’s representative to the Lebanese Government, all political parties and the diplomatic community based in the country and carries out good offices work on behalf of the Secretary-General and in furtherance of the conflict prevention agenda to assist Lebanese parties to reach peaceful and consensus- based solutions to contentious issues.
     
    Implementing Security Council Resolution 1701
    The July 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizbullah brought a new set of political, peacekeeping, and development challenges to Lebanon. In the aftermath of the war, the Secretary-General established in February 2007 the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon to represent him politically and to coordinate the work of the UN in the country. Among UNSCOL’s most important responsibilities is its assistance and reporting on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 under which the fighting was halted in August 2006. The resolution called for a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon and gave a framework for a long-term solution based on full respect for the border demarcation between both states, the so-called Blue Line. The framework also includes security arrangements to prevent a resumption of hostilities and a monopoly for the Government of Lebanon on the use of force and weapons within the country. UNSCOL works closely with the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL, which is assisting the Lebanese Army in extending the Mission's presence and authority in its area of operations. UNSCOL is in constant dialogue with actors across the political spectrum in Lebanon, as well as with relevant neighboring countries.
     
    Coordination with other UN actors
    The Special Coordinator for Lebanon coordinates the activities of the UN Country Team with the Government of Lebanon, donors and international financial institutions in line with the overall objectives of the United Nations in Lebanon, particularly those relating to reconstruction, development and reform. The Special Coordinator for Lebanon is assisted in this task by a Deputy Special Coordinator, who is Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
     
    Implementing Security Council Resolution 1559
    DPA also works closely with the Office of the Special Envoy for the Implementation of Security Council resolution 1559 (2004). Special Envoy Terje Rod-Larsen ended his functions in May 2016, since then Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman fulfills the reporting functions of the Secretary-General to the Security Council. The outstanding provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) include the disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory.
     
    Special Tribunal for Lebanon
    The United Nations supports the efforts and the independence of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon established to bring to justice those responsible for the 2005 terrorist attack that took the lives of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others.
  • 27 Abr 2015

    I just briefed the Security Council on the latest developments in Yemen. This was my last briefing in my capacity of the Special Adviser to the Secretary- General on Yemen.

    I told the Security Council that the demands it made of Houthis and other parties in resolution 2216 (2015) remain unmet. I further told the Council that the month-long conflict is expanding and becoming a confrontation with competing local and regional agendas. I warned that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is benefiting from current chaos and that it would continue to thrive unless a solution to the current crisis is found.

    I reported to the Security Council on the deteriorating humanitarian situation, with thousands of people killed, many of whom are civilians; more than 150,000 people internally displaced; and critical public infrastructure and civilian facilities seriously damaged. I also warned that the spectre of food insecurity has widened to threaten more than 12 million Yemenis.

    I further stressed to the Security Council the necessity for all parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded access to all people in need. In this connection, I warned that implementation of the new targeted arms embargo contained in resolution 2216 (2015) could inadvertently restrict the flow of much needed commercial goods and humanitarian assistance to Yemen, including food, fuel and medical supplies amongst others. Reports had been received of such incidents recently.

    I brought to the attention of the Security Council the dangerous situation in the South, especially in Aden, and warned that the ongoing war should not overshadow the just cause of Southerners.

    I reminded the Security Council of my numerous reports on the systematic acts of obstruction over the last three years. I expressed my regret that the Council did not act on my warnings more swiftly and strongly. I told the Security Council that the collapse of the transition was not the fault of one side, but rather the result of accumulated mistakes and miscalculations made to varying degrees by all sides.

    I told Security Council that the United Nations spared no efforts to convene talks to help solve the crisis. During the two months that preceded the launch of "Operation Decisive Storm," we had facilitated around 65 plenary and working groups meetings, and more than 150 bilateral meetings with all sides. The Yemeni parties continued to negotiate under UN auspices and substantial agreement had been reached on the core elements of a power-sharing agreement. The main sticking point was the issue of the presidency.

    I explained to the Council that the Yemenis were very close to an agreement and that they could have concluded, just like they did time and time again, when they signed GCC Initiative and Implementation Mechanism in November 2011; successfully concluded the National Dialogue Conference in January 2014; and adopted the Peace and National Partnership Agreement in September 2014. These achievements seem far away now, but form a solid basis for reactivating the political transition so long as all parties are involved.

    Finally, I stressed that getting the political process back on track and achieving lasting peace and stability in Yemen could only be reached through Yemeni-led peaceful negotiations where Yemenis could determine their future free from interference and coercion from outside forces.

  • 27 Abr 2015

    Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar in May 2008 was one of the largest disasters that affected Myanmar and claimed the lives of tens of thousands of its people, with millions severely impacted by its devastating effects. Despite the initial obstructions posed by the military Government, the Secretary-General was able to reach out to the country’s leadership and persuade them to welcome large-scale humanitarian assistance and in tripartite cooperation with ASEAN and the UN, to allow international humanitarian organizations to set up logistics operations to deliver supplies to the most affected areas. This disaster highlighted the need to strengthen our partnership with regional organizations and to work with Governments to create an adequate operating environment for continuing cooperation and effective humanitarian support to the peoples of Myanmar.  

    With the coming into effect of the 2008 constitution, and the opening by the country of its doors to democratic reforms, the role of the Secretary-General’s good offices began to evolve from its earlier one of critiquing the unrepresentative military regime into one of engagement, encouragement and support for reform, reconciliation and democratization. Even though the democratization process remains a work-in-progress, much credit is due to the people of Myanmar for their achievements thus far and to the administration of President Thein Sein, who ushered in the reform process with the election of a civilian government after the 2010 general election.

    The landmark elections of November 2015 has transformed Myanmar's political landscape by bringing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy Party into power. As the new government, which assumed power in April 2016, embarks on a process of national reconstruction as well as a revived national political dialogue process with various ethnic armed groups and others to unify the country, it faces major challenges in confronting entrenched attitudes, especially in Rakhine, and meeting the heightened expectations of its people. It is widely recognized that the momentous political and socio-economic changes taking place in the country can be consolidated only if it is based on the foundations of inclusiveness, tolerance and respect of human rights for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, where no one is marginalized, discriminated against or left behind. The Secretary-General will continue to make his good offices available to Myanmar as it moves strenuously ahead to make the peace process more inclusive, improve the lives of its peoples and secure greater empowerment to them.

  • 8 Abr 2015

    Regional Organizations

    Cooperation with regional organizations has long been a touchstone of the work of the United Nations, as recognized in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter and numerous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council. In many ways, the United Nations and regional organizations have unique and complementary capacities that, when properly coordinated, can contribute decisively to the prevention and management of armed conflict.

    In recent years, these relationships have strengthened and deepened across a wide spectrum of activities, including peacemaking and crisis mediation, peacekeeping, and humanitarian assistance. In support of this growing cooperation in the field, the Secretary-General, with support of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), has convened over the years a number of high-level meetings and retreats with the heads of regional organizations to ensure coordination and mutual understanding on operation imperatives as well as broader strategic issues facing the United Nations and its partners.

    In its core work in conflict prevention, preventive diplomacy and mediation, DPPA is in regular contact with its counterparts in regional organizations to ensure information-sharing and cooperation on regional or country-specific issues of mutual concern. In a growing number of instances in which regional or sub-regional organizations take the leading role in peacemaking or crisis diplomacy in their neighbourhoods, the United Nations is frequently present as a partner, providing support and advice as required.

    DPPA has also developed with partner organizations a series of regular “desk-to-desk” dialogues designed to improve understanding of how the different institutions work, improve channels of cooperation, and develop recommendations in that regard. "Desk-to-desk" dialogues and regular communication and consultation are on-going with organizations including the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the Organization of American States (OAS). DPPA also holds a similar annual staff-level meeting with relevant officers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

    DPPA also assists in building regional capacity, either through projects exclusively focused on mediation, or as part of more comprehensive capacity building assistance programmes. Under that Programme, DPPA has been working with the African Union to address its needs in the area of political and security affairs, including conflict prevention and mediation support, electoral assistance, and support to AU policy organs. In order to improve knowledge and understanding in the field of conflict prevention and mediation, DPPA regularly offers joint training programmes for staff from regional organizations and the United Nations.

    A key example of cooperation with regional organizations is the partnership with the African Union. In April 2017, the Secretary-General and Chairperson of the African Union Commission signed the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, the first agreement of its kind signed at the level of the Secretary-General. This builds on an increasingly close cooperation since the two Organizations signed the Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union in 2006. UN support is organized around numerous thematic areas, with the Department of Political Affairs leading the cooperation in the area of peace and security. The Department works with the African Union in the areas of conflict prevention, mediation, electoral assistance, and assistance to AU policy organs.

     

  • 8 Abr 2015

    Office of the Under-Secretary-General

     

    Rosemary A. DiCarlo

    Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs
    United States of America (Western European and Others Group)

    Rosemary A. DiCarlo of the United States assumed the post of Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs on 1 May 2018. She was appointed by Secretary-General António Guterres and succeeded Mr. Jeffrey Feltman.

    As Under-Secretary-General and head of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), Ms. DiCarlo advises the Secretary-General on peace and security issues globally, while overseeing "good offices" initiatives and field-based political missions carrying out peacemaking, preventive diplomacy and peace-building activities in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia and the Americas. She also oversees the United Nations electoral assistance provided to dozens of its member states each year.

    Ms. DiCarlo brings more than 35 years of experience in public service and academia. During her distinguished career with the United States Department of State, she served, among other functions, as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.  In that capacity, she represented the United States at the Security Council, General Assembly and other United Nations bodies. Prior assignments included Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Director for United Nations Affairs at the National Security Council in Washington, D.C. Her overseas tours took her to the United States Embassies in Moscow and Oslo.

    She also served as President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy from August 2015 to May 2018 and was concurrently appointed a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

    Ms. DiCarlo graduated from Brown University with a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature, as well as Slavic languages and literature. She speaks French and Russian.

    Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Ms. DiCarlo is married.

     

    Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Africa

     

    Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee

    Assistant Secretary-General for Africa
    Ghana (African Group)

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 21 May 2021 the appointment of Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee of Ghana as Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA-DPO). 

    Ms. Pobee succeeds Bintou Keita of Guinea, who took up a new assignment as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).  The Secretary-General is deeply grateful for her service and contributions as the first Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in DPPA-DPO. 

    A career diplomat, Ms. Pobee brings more than 30 years of experience in international affairs and diplomacy with her Foreign Ministry.  Currently Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, she was previously Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ghana to the United Nations from 2015 until 2020. In that position, she performed various special assignments, including as the Chair of the African Group of Ambassadors in New York, Vice-President of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Chair of the New York Group of Friends of the African - Women Leaders Network, Co-Facilitator of the High-level meeting on Financing for Development 2019, and Co-Chair of the Group of Friends on Gender Parity at the United Nations, among others. 

    Ms. Pobee previously served as Deputy Head of Mission and Chargé d’affaires at the Ghana High Commission in Pretoria (2012 to 2015), Director of the Information and Public Affairs Bureau at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (2010 to 2012) and Head of Chancery at the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington, D.C. (2006 to 2010). She was Acting Director of the Bureaux for Human Resources and Administration (2006) and for Information, Culture and Linguistics (2004 to 2006). Posted to the Ghanaian Embassy in Tel Aviv in 2000, she served as Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission (2002 to 2004), and as Chargé d’affaires (2000 to 2002). Ms. Pobee also served as Acting Director of the Personnel and Training Bureau (1998 to 2000), having been posted to Ghana’s Permanent Mission to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva (1995 to 1998) and to the Embassy in Moscow, where she was First Secretary (1994 to 1995). 

    A graduate of the University of Ghana, Ms. Pobee also holds a master’s degree in Development Studies with a specialization in Women and Development from the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague.  She also has diplomas in Public Administration and Multilateral Diplomacy from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and the Geneva Institute of International Studies.

     

    Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas

     

    Miroslav Jenča

    Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas
    Slovakia (Eastern Europe Group)

    On 12 March 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Miroslav Jenča of Slovakia as Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

    Mr. Jenča succeeds Jens Toyberg-Frandzen of Denmark who was appointed Assistant Secretary-General ad interim for Political Affairs in November 2014. The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Toyberg-Frandzen for his leadership and acumen in the position.

    As Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Jenča will be responsible, inter alia, for overseeing the divisions in the Department of Political Affairs dealing with the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East and West Asia, as well as the Decolonization Unit and the Division for Palestinian Rights.

    Mr. Jenča has served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, since 2008.  He was previously Director of the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, as well as Ambassador and Head of Mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Centre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  He served as Ambassador and Representative of Slovakia to the Political and Security Committee of the European Union and Ambassador of Slovakia to Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia, including positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia and diplomatic missions in Ireland and Mexico.

    Mr. Jenča holds a Doctor of Law degree from Comenius University in Bratislava.  He studied foreign trade at the University of Economics in Bratislava, diplomacy and international relations at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and diplomacy at Stanford University.

    Born in 1965, he is married and has two children.

     

    Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific

     

    Mohamed Khaled Khiari

    Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific
    Tunisia (African Group)

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 28 May 2019 the appointment of Khaled Mohamed Khiari of Tunisia, as Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations.

    Currently Director General of Americas, Asia and Oceania in the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Khiari brings over 35 years of experience in diplomacy and foreign affairs alternating between his Foreign Ministry headquarters and overseas postings.  He served inter alia as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations in New York (2012-2018), Director of Human Rights within the Department of International Organizations and Conferences at the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011-2012), Chargé de Mission in the Ministry of Youth and Sports (2009-2010), Deputy Director, Euromed, within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Europe Directorate (2007-2009), Deputy Head of Mission (2003–2006) and Secretary of Foreign Affairs with the Permanent Mission of Tunisia to the United Nations Office in Geneva (1987-1993) and the Ministry’s Department of Maghreb Countries (1984).

    Mr. Khiari participated in numerous multilateral and regional activities during his career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, notably as Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform, President of the Executive Board of UN-WOMEN, Vice-President of the United Nations General Assembly, Non-Aligned Movement Coordinator of the Peacebuilding Commission in New York, President of the African Group of experts to the World Summit on Information Society in Geneva and Coordinator of the Arab group on European Parliament issues in Brussels. 

    He is a graduate of the Higher Institute of Management of Tunis, where he earned a master’s degree in Management, specializing in marketing.

    Born in 1960, Mr. Khiari is married and has two children.

     

    Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support

     

    Elizabeth Mary Spehar

    Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support
    Canada (Western European and Others Group)

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 18 January 2022 the appointment of Elizabeth Spehar of Canada as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). Ms. Spehar succeeds Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for his dedication and contribution. 

    With 35 years of experience in international and political affairs, Ms. Spehar has worked in United Nations headquarters and in the field, leading political, development, peacebuilding and conflict prevention initiatives.  Most recently, since 2016, she was the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), also serving as Deputy to the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus. 

    Previously, Ms. Spehar was Director of the Policy and Mediation Division in the former Department of Political Affairs (DPA), where she worked on policy and operational matters related to conflict prevention, mediation, peacebuilding and gender mainstreaming.  Prior to this, she was the Director for the Americas and Europe Division and Director of the Europe Division in DPA, engaging extensively on key political issues facing the region.  She also served briefly as Interim Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNFICYP in 2008. 

    Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Spehar was a senior official with the Organization of American States for more than 12 years, working to promote democracy and develop the Organization’s dialogue and conflict resolution instruments. 

    Ms. Spehar holds a Bachelor of Arts with honours from Queen’s University in Canada, a master’s degree in international affairs from Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, also in Canada, and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures from the University of Pau in France.  She speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Croatian.

     

    Office of the Director for Coordination and Shared Services

    Security Council Affairs Division

    Policy and Mediation Division

    Electoral Assistance Division

    Division for Palestinian Rights

    Decolonization Unit

     

    For more information about the UN global leadership team, including senior officials in the field, visit: https://www.un.org/sg/en/global-leadership/home

  • 8 Abr 2015
  • 8 Abr 2015
  • 8 Abr 2015
  • 8 Abr 2015
  • 8 Abr 2015
  • 8 Abr 2015
  • 8 Abr 2015

    The United Nations Security Council today faces increasingly complex challenges to international peace and security. The Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD) of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) provides substantive and secretariat support to the 15-member Security Council in carrying out its critical responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security through its three branches: the Security Council Secretariat Branch, the Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch, and the Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch. Each of the branches functions as the secretariat of the Council's thematic and ad-hoc working groups: 

    - Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations
    - Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa
    - Informal Working Group on International Tribunals
    - Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004)
    - Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict
    Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions

    The Division also serves as the secretariat to the Military Staff Committee.

     

    General Substantive and Logistical Support

    The Security Council Secretariat Branch directly supports the daily work of the Council, especially its rotating monthly presidency, to help plan and manage the schedule of formal and informal meetings and other activities. Among other functions in this area, the Branch is responsible for the preparation of key planning documents including the Monthly Forecast, the monthly Provisional Programme of Work, the Daily Programme and Agenda, and the Reporting/Mandate cycles. The Branch also contributes to the drafting of key official documents including the Security Council’s Annual Report to the General Assembly, the Volumes of Resolutions and Decisions and the list of matters of which the Council is seized. In addition, the Branch arranges the publication of official Security Council documents, including letters received and sent by the Council President and reports of the Secretary-General. The Branch ensures that draft decisions (e.g. resolutions and presidential statements) are ready for adoption in all official languages, and their subsequent publication and dissemination following adoption. The Branch also supports field missions by Council members to countries and regions of concern.

     

    Support to the Subsidiary Organs

    The Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch provides logistical and administrative support as well as substantive advice and guidance to the subsidiary organs of the Security Council, including sanctions and other committees and thematic working groups. The Subsidiary Organs Branch assists Committee Chairpersons in developing a strategic programme of work, planning effective meetings, preparing documentation, drafting corresponding, committee guidelines and periodic reports, and liaising with Member states and regional and non-governmental organizations.

     

    Advisory Support and Research

    TThe Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch is the advisory and research arm of the Security Council Affairs Division and provides guidance to Member States and the Secretariat on the substantive and procedural practice of the Security Council. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 686 (VII) of 5 December 1952, the Charter Research Branch is responsible for the preparation of the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council, a publication which provides an authoritative overview of the Council’s interpretation and application of the United Nations Charter and its Provisional Rules of Procedure since 1946. Using new technologies, the Branch also develops and maintains a series of visual and analytical online research tools on select aspects of the practice of the Council.

     

    Training

    In addition to the five permanent members of the Council, the Security Council is composed of ten non-permanent members of the Council, five of which are elected every year by the General Assembly for two-year terms. The Security Council Affairs Division organizes the following workshops and information sessions to familiarize the incoming members with the work of the Council and to outline the Division’s role in assisting the Council and its subsidiary organs:

    - SCAD annual induction workshop
    annual joint SCAD-Security Council Report workshop on sanctions
    sanctions regime/committee-specific information sessions

    In addition, to enable permanent and outgoing non-permanent members to share their experience with incoming Council members, SCAD assists the Government of Finland in conducting an annual workshop on the practices, procedures, working methods and political dynamics of the Council and its subsidiary organs entitled “Hitting the Ground Running”. The Division is also responsible for maintaining a register of available training opportunities for incoming members.

     

    Military Staff Committee Secretariat

    The Military Staff Committee was established by Security Council resolution. 1 (1946) under article 47 of the UN Charter and consists of the Chiefs of Staff of the Permanent Members of the Security Council or their representatives. Its function is to advise and assist the Security Council on all questions relating to the Security Council's military requirements for the maintenance of international peace and security.  Since 2010, the Committee has routinely invited military representatives of the elected members of the Security Council to participate in its informal sessions, and since January 2017, to its formal meetings. The Committee also regularly invites representatives from various departments and offices of the UN Secretariat and UN Missions to its meetings to hold briefings and discuss current issues. The Security Council Affairs Division’s Military Staff Committee Secretariat acts as the liaison between the Committee, the Security Council and all UN entities. It supports the Committee by providing them with the most relevant information on the activities of UN military components, and organizes the Committee’s meetings and field trips.

  • 8 Abr 2015

    United Nations and Decolonization: Past to Present
    This animation video, produced in accordance with the mandate for dissemination of information on decolonization, highlights the UN’s path of decolonization since 1945, especially its commitment in eradicating colonialism towards our common future.

    When the United Nations was established in 1945, 750 million people - almost a third of the world's population - lived in Territories that were non-self-governing, dependent on colonial Powers. Since then, more than 80 former colonies have gained their independence. Among them, all 11 Trust Territories have achieved self-determination through independence or free association with an independent State. Former Non-Self-Governing Territories ceased to be on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories due to their change in status or as a result of their choice of independence, free association or integration with an independent State. Today, there are 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories remaining and fewer than 2 million people live in such Territories.

    The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) substantively supports  the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence of Colonial Countries and Peoples (also known as the “Special Committee on Decolonization” or “C-24”), whose role is to monitor implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV)) and to make recommendations to the General Assembly on its application.

    Among its functions, DPPA's Decolonization Unit:

    • Monitors political, economic and social developments in each of the 17 remaining territories inscribed on the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, and prepares annual working papers on each Territory;
    • Supports substantively the C-24 and the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) of the ​General Assembly, where representatives and petitioners from the Territories express their views;
    • Supports substantively the C-24 for its visiting missions to Territories, as well as for its annual regional seminars held alternately in the Pacific and the Caribbean, bringing together representatives of the Territories, members of the C-24, administering Powers and other stakeholders;
    • Maintains the website entitled “The United Nations and Decolonization” in the 6 official UN languages; and
    • Works with the Department of Global Communications in the dissemination of information on decolonization in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations on decolonization.