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Reports and Policy Documents

2018

  • 14 Feb 2018

    Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

    I thank you for this opportunity to introduce the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Guinea-Bissau and the activities of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office (UNIOGBIS). As the report already presents a detailed outline of recent events in Guinea-Bissau, my intervention will focus on updating you on political developments since its issuance, analyzing present challenges and making proposals for the way forward.

     

    Mr. President,

    This briefing is taking place against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving political situation in Guinea-Bissau. In recent weeks, a series of key events have occurred with important ramifications. At the country level, President José Mário Vaz dismissed former Prime Minister Umaro Sissoco Embaló and replaced him with Artur Silva. The African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC) finally held its Party Congress, despite attempts made by national authorities to block it and re-elected Domingos Simões Pereira as its leader.

    At the regional level, on 4 February, the ECOWAS Authority, pursuant to its decision of 27 January, imposed targeted sanctions on 19 individuals deemed to be obstructing the implementation of the Conakry Agreement.  These individuals and their family members are subject to travel bans and assets freezes. They have also been suspended from ECOWAS activities.  The ECOWAS Authority also requested the African Union, the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, the European Union, the United Nations and other partners to support and facilitate the enforcement of the sanctions.

    Following the imposition of these sanctions, the reaction of national stakeholders has been mixed. Those upon whom the sanctions were imposed have described them as “unsubstantiated” and “unjust”, while those in favor of the sanctions have characterized them as a necessary measure to safeguard the country’s democratic course.  

    Meanwhile, national reactions to the appointment of Mr. Artur Silva as the new Prime Minister have been generally consistent. On 31 January, the PAIGC issued a statement denouncing Mr. Silva’s appointment as not being in conformity with the Conakry Agreement. Last week, the Party for Social Renewal (PRS), the second largest party in Parliament, and the Group of 15 dissident members of the PAIGC, also issued public statements stressing that they would only participate in a government formed under a consensual Prime Minister in strict compliance with the Conakry Agreement. Thus far, the Prime Minister’s efforts to consult with political parties represented in the National Assembly on the formation of an inclusive government have not borne fruit.

     

    Mr. President,

    Under my leadership, the “P5” group of regional and international partners, comprising representatives of the African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Speaking Countries, ECOWAS, the European Union and the United Nations, has continued to harmonize efforts and messaging at opportune moments with the aim of creating a stable and enabling environment for dialogue among political leaders. So far this year, I have convened three meetings of the group. My efforts, together with the partners, have focused on engaging national authorities and key political stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau to defuse escalating tensions, encourage political dialogue to ease the political gridlock, call for protection and respect for the human rights of Bissau-Guinean citizens, and urge all aggrieved stakeholders to pursue their grievances through legal and constitutional means.  

    Furthermore, under my direction, UNIOGBIS continues to play a central role in supporting and facilitating the regional mediation efforts of ECOWAS by, inter alia, ensuring the participation of Bissau-Guinean stakeholders at the Summit of the ECOWAS Authority and Heads of State and Government in Abuja in December, providing substantive and logistical support to the ECOWAS high-level delegations during their missions to Bissau and regularly sensitizing regional leaders on ongoing political developments in the country, while encouraging them to exert their influence on protagonists towards compromises.

     

    Mr. President, Distinguished members of the Council,

    The absence of a functioning and stable Government for more than three years has limited the ability of UNIOGBIS to effectively and sustainably implement some of its mandated tasks. As recommended by the DPA-led Strategic Review Mission conducted in 2016, and endorsed by this Council last year, I have streamlined UNIOGBIS’ leadership and structure to promote better integration and complementarity with the UN country team and other international partners, while boosting the Mission’s political capacities, which has enabled me to exercise my good offices more effectively at the national level. These changes have also assisted the broader UN system in Guinea-Bissau in delivering more focused and integrated peacebuilding support to national authorities and civil society, including women and youth. In this regard, the support provided by the Peacebuilding Fund has been critical.

    Going forward, UNIOGBIS will need to focus its efforts on supporting national leaders in their efforts to appoint an acceptable Prime Minister, establish an inclusive Government, organize and conduct timely elections, and implement the priority reforms as outlined in the Conakry Agreement and the ECOWAS Roadmap.  Until the completion of the electoral cycle in 2019, more than ever, Guinea-Bissau remains a country that requires a dedicated United Nations presence to prevent a further deterioration in the political and security situation at the national level and avoid any negative consequences in the sub-region.  In this context, my good offices, political facilitation, advocacy and mediation roles, alongside my efforts to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law and carry out integrated peacebuilding support, will continue to be critical.

    As the Secretary-General has indicated in his report, it is vital that the United Nations remain engaged in peacebuilding efforts in the country while supporting ECOWAS’ intervention to resolve the political crisis for at least one more year. At the end of that period, the SG has expressed his intention to authorize an assessment of the current Mission, and to present options to the Security Council for a possible re-configuration of UN presence in the country.  It is my hope that the Council will give favorable consideration to this recommendation.

     

    Mr. President,

    The AU Peace and Security Council, through its communique issued on 13 February, has fully endorsed the measures taken by ECOWAS on 4 February, including sanctions against “political obstructionists”, requested the AU Commission to coordinate with the ECOWAS Commission in order to ensure the effective implementation of these measures and further requested that the United Nations Security Council endorse the PSC Communique endorsing the ECOWAS decision.

    At this critical juncture, it would be important for the UN Security Council to continue to reaffirm the centrality of the Conakry Agreement and to reiterate its full support to ECOWAS in its mediation efforts and for the measures it has taken against political stakeholders deemed to be obstructing the resolution of the political crisis.

    I would further seek the Council’s support in underscoring the importance of urgently organizing and holding legislative elections within the constitutionally-mandated timeline.

    Lastly, throughout the past year, ECOMIB’s presence has consistently acted as a stabilizing factor in the country. Therefore, I would call on members of the Council and international donors to support the continued presence of ECOMIB through to the holding of a presidential election in 2019, including by advocating for the renewal of its mandate and the provision of the financial support needed to maintain its deployment.

     

    Mr. President, Distinguished members of the Council,

    I would like to express my gratitude to the Council for its continued interest in promoting peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau.

    I would also like to commend ECOWAS and its current Chairperson, President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, and the ECOWAS Mediator for Guinea-Bissau, President Alpha Condé of Guinea, for their tireless mediation efforts.

    Finally, I would like to express appreciation to all multilateral and bilateral partners, especially to AU, CPLP and EU for their commitment to promoting peace and prosperity in Guinea-Bissau.

    After several years of long-term investment in the stability of Guinea-Bissau, it is time to consolidate and reap the dividends of our concerted efforts. It is vital that we accompany this process to its completion. 

    Thank you for your attention.

  • 14 Feb 2018

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,  

    I have come to New York to convey in person, I could have done it by video as we have done many times, to the Security Council the Secretary-General’s grave concern at the escalation of violence in Syria – and to urge you to focus on de-escalating that violence and on the political path forward for the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2254.

    We have seen a string of dangerous and worrying escalations, including inside the de-escalation zones established by the Astana guarantors and outside them. There has been a gradual return to back-and-forth competition over territory in Idlib and in Hama. We have seen heavy and sustained airstrikes across the northwest and in besieged Eastern Ghouta including today. Civilians have been killed and injured on a horrific scale - reports suggest more than 1,000 civilian casualties in the first week of February alone – and strikes have continued to hit hospitals, schools and markets. There have been several allegations of chlorine attacks, in Ghouta, in Idlib, and also now recently in Afrin. While we cannot independently verify these allegations but if confirmed, it is outrageous and should be having no impunity. At least 320,000 people have been displaced due to fighting in Idlib in just two months – an area that is already hosting over 1.2 million IDPs.  Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham - which is basically al Nusra - is active in Idlib. Meanwhile, we have reports of heavy mortar shelling falling even across residential Damascus, wounding and killing civilians and damaging infrastructure, embassies and even close to the hotel where the UN is.

    The conflict is also further spilling over Syria’s borders in more than one direction and there have been increased military intervention from multiple sources.  The last several weeks have seen a new cross-border conflict in Afrin with yet no clear end in sight. There are reports of exchanges of fire between Turkish and Syrian Government forces in Idlib, between the US-led Coalition and pro-Syrian Government forces in the Euphrates valley, with loss of life. We have seen a Russian aircraft shot down over northern Syria – with the loss of its own pilot. And now, over the last weekend, there have been Israeli reports of an Iranian drone entering Israeli airspace – those reports have been denied by Iran; Israeli jets striking targets inside Syria; an Israeli jet shot down by Syrian Government anti-aircraft fire; and what Israel calls large-scale strikes against the Syria Aerial Defence System and Iranian targets.

    In short, we see developments that raise questions as to the sustainability even of the Astana de-escalation arrangements, in which we have a lot of hope and we still continue having hope, and threaten wider regional stability. I have been now four years as the Special Envoy. This is as violent and worrying and dangerous a moment as any that I have seen in my time of tenure so far. Therefore, I strongly reiterate the appeal of the Secretary-General to all concerned in Syria and the region and beyond to de-escalate immediately and unconditionally, and urge all stakeholders, including the Astana guarantors, to use their influence to help reduce violence. I also urge continued attention to maintaining the Amman de-escalation arrangements in place in the south.

     

    Mr. President,

    Not only are Syrian civilians being killed and displaced in large numbers more than before - they are also being deprived of the humanitarian assistance they need.

    There has not been a single UN humanitarian convoy to any besieged area since the 28th of November - two and a half months. Last week, together with Senior Adviser Jan Egeland, I warned the Humanitarian Task Force of the International Syria Support Group in Geneva of a collective failure to enable effective humanitarian action. I urged at that time the two co-chairs -- the Russian Federation and the United States -- as well as other States, to promote urgent actions to ensure immediate and unfettered humanitarian access to besieged and hard-to-reach areas in particular. A series of urgent consultations are actually underway in Geneva while we are talking – so far, however, without concrete results except one convoy. We urgently need genuine de-escalation to protect civilians, evacuate the sick and the wounded, particularly children, and allow humanitarian aid to reach the 390,000 people in besieged areas and those who are also in the hard-to-reach areas. We just learned a few minutes ago - actually before coming here - that 7,200 people in besieged Nashabyeh received a partial delivery today, this morning. This is fine but let’s think about it - that is less than two percent of the 390,000 people which have been and are still in the besieged areas. We need much more and much more sustained.

    We must also never forget, because that’s what people in Syria tell us, the need for concrete steps on the release of detainees and abductees, and for the disclosure at least of information regarding persons missing in Syria since March 2011. The UN will leave no stone unturned to press this issue, in accordance with resolution 2254. We also remind the Astana guarantors of their own commitment agreed last December to form a Working Group, and. we urge them to move ahead on this important issue when they meet next.  

     

    Mr. President,

    What we are seeing in Syria today not only imperils de-escalation arrangements and regional stability - it also undermines the efforts for a political solution. Yet we will not be deterred from pursuing the Geneva process, which is the only, the only sustainable path towards a political solution, and which is mandated by yourselves, by this Council.

    You will recall that in December, when I briefed you, I laid out a number of parameters and observations regarding baskets 2 and 3 of the agenda of the political process, which mean the constitutional and electoral baskets. Then, on January 25 and 26, I convened a special round 9 meeting of the intra-Syrian Talks in Vienna focused specifically on the constitutional basket. After intensive consultations with the Syrian parties and key states, I made a statement regarding any constitutional committee to be formed and stressed that final agreement on the composition, mandate and terms or reference of a constitutional committee would need to be reached in Geneva. 

    For its part, the Russian Federation, which had invited the Secretary-General also on behalf of Turkey and Iran to a Congress of National Dialogue in Sochi, affirmed that the outcome of Sochi would be brought to Geneva as a contribution to the UN-led intra-Syrian talks in accordance with resolution 2254. There were intensive consultations between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Secretary-General and myself regarding such an understanding. I also maintained, on that occasion in Vienna and beyond, close consultations with a number of other states at that time.

    Accordingly, the Secretary-General asked me to attend Sochi. The Congress took place over one day on 30 of January. I attended the opening address by Foreign Minister Lavrov, as did the senior representative of Turkey and Iran and others. Afterwards, all internationals left the gathering to enable the discussion to proceed among Syrians. Only Russian Presidential envoy Lavrentiev remained in the room as host to facilitate the debate – and he did so very effectively – alongside with senior Syrian figures and a presidium of Syrians. I was later officially informed by the hosts that the Final Statement had been adopted, and was made aware of its content - you can see it published on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Arabic, Russian and English as Foreign Minister Lavrov publicly confirmed yesterday after his meeting in Moscow with the Belgian Foreign Minister.

    As Secretary-General has publicly noted, Final Statement embraced a vision of the future Syria for all Syrians – as reflected in the 12 living intra-Syrian essential principles that came out of the UN-led talks in Geneva in November last year. The Final Statement, which took place in Sochi, affirmed that a Constitutional Committee should be formed and stated that it should at the very least comprise of  Government, Opposition representatives in the intra-Syrian talks – which means those which are facilitated by the UN in Geneva -- Syrian experts, civil society, independents, tribal leaders and women. The Final Statement noted that care should be taken to ensure adequate representation of Syria’s ethnic and religious components. And it made clear that final agreement on the mandate, terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure, and selection criteria for the composition of the Constitutional Committee is to be reached in Geneva, and appealed for the UN, in Geneva, assistance in that regard.

    Given this important Final Statement, I joined the closing of the Congress to welcome it and to affirm the UN’s intention to proceed speedily accordingly, so as to assist in finalizing all aspects of a constitutional committee, thereby enabling its establishment in Geneva. And I noted to the Congress publicly as I note to you that the mandate given by this Council to the UN in Geneva is indeed to set, in the context of resolution 2254, a schedule and process for drafting a new constitution.

    We’ve been assured by the Russian Federation that it will endeavour to ensure that the Government of Syria fully supports the official outcome of the Sochi Congress, at which many Syrian government officials were present.  I also take note that the Syrian Negotiating Commission – that is the Opposition embracing all components specifically mentioned by name in resolution 2254 -- has issued a public statement by and large positive towards moving ahead on a constitutional committee under the auspices of the UN in Geneva.  

     

    Mr. President, 

    Since the Vienna and Sochi meetings, both of them important, I have been consulting intensively on the establishment of a constitutional committee. I have had initial discussions so far in Geneva with representatives of the Government of Syria, Syrian Negotiating Commission, and with a number of Governments. My team continues to be in touch with a wide array of Syrians – women and men. And I continue to look carefully at the candidates for a constitutional committee developed in Sochi and other relevant inputs.

    I also continue to pursue the convening, naturally, of the further formal intra-Syrian talks and advancing on all the four baskets of the political process in Geneva in accordance with resolution 2254. I am particularly aware of the need to focus now more than ever on the establishment of a secure, calm, neutral environment if any constitutional process is to unfold – and if UN-supervised presidential and parliamentary elections pursuant to a new constitution as envisaged in resolution 2254 are to take place.

    I am proceeding from here to Munich, God willing, where I will be consulting the Secretary-General and engaging a number of Ministers and other senior officials present for the Munich Security Conference.

    Here is therefore Mr. President, the bottom line of my intervention: I intend to strike while the iron is hot and try to move the Geneva process ahead in consultation with all concerned. To do this, I need all the members of this Council, indeed the Council as a whole, and all who have influence on the Syrian parties, including the Astana guarantors and others, to push hard on three main points: 

    First: to work urgently for de-escalation, civilian protection, and humanitarian access;

    Second: to support the UN in Geneva to give effect in Geneva to the Sochi Final Declaration within the framework of 2254;

    Third: to support the UN in convening the political process for the full implementation of 2254, in particular advancing real issues in the baskets to promote a safe, calm and neutral environment.

     

    Mr. President,

    The Syrian people and the United Nations need this Security Council’s support now more than ever.

    Shukran Jazilan (شکراً جزیلاً) 

  • 13 Feb 2018

    Mr. President,

    We are discussing the crisis in Myanmar in this Chamber for the first time in 2018. It is now five months since the start of the violence that has forced 688,000 Rohingya across the border.  And the outflow of people continues, although at a lower rate. As of 5 February, between 1,000 and 1,200 people were reportedly waiting on a beach in Maungdaw planning to leave for Bangladesh. Since the last briefing by Under-Secretary-General Feltman on 12 December 2017, the General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/72/248 on the human rights situation in Myanmar by vote.

     

    Mr. President,

    The Secretary-General has laid out three priorities that provide an important framework for assessing the situation. Regrettably, while there has been certain progress, not all have been implemented thus far.

    First, the need to end violence and improve the security situation. Although large-scale acts of violence have subsided, concerns about threats and intimidation against the remaining Rohingya population from Bamar and Rakhine communities, as well as from militia and security forces in Rakhine State, persist. Bamar-Rakhine tensions remain high, further fueled by incidents such as a clash between the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and the military on 7 January. Or the incident in Mrauk-U on 16 January, in which police shot and killed seven Rakhine nationalist protestors, and later imprisoned two noted Rakhine leaders. We remain concerned about the protection of future returnees.

    On 14 November 2017, the Government of Myanmar reportedly transmitted to the Bangladesh authorities a list of 1,300 of what it calls suspected “terrorists” and asked for their extradition. The Government also published in the official newspaper the names and photos of hundreds of suspected “terrorists”. These steps have raised questions about due process, and possible intimidation of potential returnees.

    Second, the immediate granting of humanitarian access in the affected areas of Rakhine.  Such access continues to be severely curtailed.  The majority of humanitarian organizations that previously worked in Rakhine are simply not allowed to enter the area. A handful of organizations are given travel authorizations but in a short-term and unpredictable manner that impedes the systematic delivery of assistance. The UN does not have sufficient access to make a meaningful assessment of the humanitarian or human rights situation. Thus, there is little sense of whether the full range of humanitarian needs of the population are being met or about the state of protection of the human rights of all people of the region.

    Third, voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) to their places of origin or choice. Let me acknowledge the fact that the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar had signed a Memorandum of Understanding and established a Joint Working Group which reached agreement (on 16 January) on a number of issues to facilitate the return process.  It is also important to note that Myanmar had made progress in its logistical preparations to receive returning refugees.  

    On the issues related to repatriation, I will defer to the High Commissioner Grandi to provide more details on these issues.

     

    Mr. President,

    The Secretary-General has underlined the importance of implementing the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission as a key element of creating conditions for a safe and dignified return.  The Government has taken some high-level steps to advance this process, including convening an Advisory Board led by Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai with distinguished national and international participants.  At the end of its mission, the Board offered preliminary recommendations to the Implementation Committee, including: the inclusion of the UN at an early stage, soonest full humanitarian access, wider media access, and the formation of an independent fact-finding commission. In this context, I wish to reiterate that we urge the Government to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and all UN human rights mechanisms, in particular the Fact-Finding Mission mandated by the Human Rights Council and with the Special Rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar. It is important that the work of UN human rights mechanisms not be undermined by other mechanisms.

    As suggested by the final report of the Rakhine Advisory Commission, we urge the Government to take a leadership role in promoting inter-communal cohesion, create an environment conducive for dialogue, foster values of tolerance and respect for basic human rights between Rakhine and Rohingya communities, and to accelerate and align the citizenship verification process in alignment with international standards and treaties.

    Overall, addressing the root causes is fundamental to ensuring a durable, genuine solution to this crisis. We have consistently said the problem is statelessness. This must be addressed.

    In line with the Council’s Presidential Statement of 6 November 2017, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten concluded her first official visit to Myanmar from 14 to 17 December 2017, to address reports of conflict-related sexual violence.  In her consultations, she advocated for the swift adoption of a Joint Communiqué of the Government of Myanmar and the United Nations on the prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence, in accordance with Security Council resolution 2106 (2013).

     

    Mr. President,

    While we discuss Rakhine, we also take this opportunity to note other developments in Myanmar, in particular the ongoing fighting, as well as peacemaking efforts between the Government and diverse Ethnic Armed Organizations.  

    We are concerned that fighting in Kachin and northern Shan states has escalated in recent months.  This has cast a shadow on peace negotiations, and provoked a number of serious human rights and humanitarian concerns. Such concerns include the situation in Tanai, Kachin, where many civilians have been killed or injured, and as many as 5,000 civilians are reportedly unable to leave the area where fighting is ongoing. And as in Rakhine State, the Government has severely restricted humanitarian access in many of the most critical areas. The UN is therefore unable to verify the numbers of people affected.   

    On a more positive note, two Ethnic Armed Organizations, the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in Nay Pyi Taw today. The signing is the first of its kind for the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) government and brings the total number of ethnic armed groups that have signed the NCA to ten out of sixteen.

    Finally, let me address the unfortunate arrest of two Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. The Secretary-General has called in clear terms for the release of the journalists and urged the authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression and information. Allow me to reiterate those calls here today. The ability to exercise the right to freedom of expression and information is a barometer for respect for human rights more broadly. Reuters has now published the story these journalists were working on, a deeply disturbing account of the execution of ten Rohingya men in Inn Din village (Maungdaw) in northern Rakhine State. The Associated Press has also published a report of five mass graves in Gudar Pyin village in Buthidaung. These and other shocking reports of grave abuses demand our attention and action, for the sake of lasting peace and justice.

    Thank you

  • 31 янв 2018
  • 17 янв 2018

    On 17 January 2018, the 52nd meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship United Nations, with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives.

    The overall security situation on the ground, since the previous IPRM meeting of 27 November 2017, was assessed as calm and stable. The participants have again highlighted the importance of the hotline for information exchange purposes, and most essentially for prevention of incidents. The Chair and participants welcomed the recent release of several detainees, whose cases had been discussed at the previous IPRM meetings.

    In line with the provisional agenda, the participants followed up on matters discussed earlier, including the murder case of May 2016 and one detention case of April 2017. In addition, they discussed new agenda points - the issues of “borderization” and military exercises. In relation to the military exercises, the participants were urged to be transparent and to implement one of the agreed measures of voluntary exchange of advance notice on sensitive activities for confidence building purposes, which is a standing agenda point. Furthermore, the participants discussed in detail several other issues, including patrolling along the line of control and previously agreed “code of conduct” of patrols.  

    The 52nd IPRM meeting took place in a constructive and business-like atmosphere. Discussions on all agenda points were useful and substantive.

    It was agreed to hold the next meeting on 27 February 2018.

  • 17 янв 2018

    Сообщение для СМИ

    17 января 2018 г., 52-aя встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей.

    Общую обстановку на местах в плане безопасности, начиная со встречи МПРИ от 27 ноября 2017 г., охарактеризовали как спокойную и стабильную. Участники снова подчеркнули важность горячей линии связи в целях обмена информацией, и главным образом для предотвращения инцидентов. Председатель и участники приветствовали недавнее освобождение нескольких задержанных, случаи которых обсуждались на предыдущих встречах МПРИ.

    Согласно предварительной повестке дня, участники продолжили дискуссию по ранее обсужденным вопросам,  включая по делу об убийстве, произошедшему в мае 2016 г., и по одному случаю задержания от апреля 2017 г.  Кроме того, они обсудили новые пункты повестки дня – вопросы по “укреплению границы” и военным учениям. Относительно военных учений, к участникам был обращен убедительный призыв обеспечить транспарентность  и проявить усилия по осуществлению одной из согласованных мер по добровольному обмену заблаговременными извещениями о значимой деятельности с целью укрепления доверия, что является постоянным пунктом повестки дня. Кроме того, участники подробно обсудили несколько других вопросов, включая патрулирование вдоль линии контроля и ранее согласованный “кодекс поведения” патрулей.  

    52-я встреча МПРИ прошла в конструктивной и деловой атмосфере. Обсуждение всех пунктов повестки дня было полезным и по существу.

    Было согласовано провести следующую встречу 27 февраля 2018 г.   

     

    The English press release is available here.

  • 17 янв 2018

    Сообщение для СМИ

    17 января 2018 г., 52-aя встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей.

    Общую обстановку на местах в плане безопасности, начиная со встречи МПРИ от 27 ноября 2017 г., охарактеризовали как спокойную и стабильную. Участники снова подчеркнули важность горячей линии связи в целях обмена информацией, и главным образом для предотвращения инцидентов. Председатель и участники приветствовали недавнее освобождение нескольких задержанных, случаи которых обсуждались на предыдущих встречах МПРИ.

    Согласно предварительной повестке дня, участники продолжили дискуссию по ранее обсужденным вопросам,  включая по делу об убийстве, произошедшему в мае 2016 г., и по одному случаю задержания от апреля 2017 г.  Кроме того, они обсудили новые пункты повестки дня – вопросы по “укреплению границы” и военным учениям. Относительно военных учений, к участникам был обращен убедительный призыв обеспечить транспарентность  и проявить усилия по осуществлению одной из согласованных мер по добровольному обмену заблаговременными извещениями о значимой деятельности с целью укрепления доверия, что является постоянным пунктом повестки дня. Кроме того, участники подробно обсудили несколько других вопросов, включая патрулирование вдоль линии контроля и ранее согласованный “кодекс поведения” патрулей.  

    52-я встреча МПРИ прошла в конструктивной и деловой атмосфере. Обсуждение всех пунктов повестки дня было полезным и по существу.

    Было согласовано провести следующую встречу 27 февраля 2018 г.   

     

    The English press release is available here.

  • 16 янв 2018

    The UNOAU Chief of Staff, Ms. Nathalie Ndongo-Seh, attended the inauguration ceremony of the African Standby Force (ASF) Continental Logistics Base on  5th January, 2018. This base is located in Douala in the...

  • 5 янв 2018

    Mr. President,

    As requested, I would like to brief the Security Council on ongoing developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran under the Agenda Item: The Situation in the Middle East.

     As this is the first public meeting of the Security Council in 2018, I would like on behalf of the Department of Political Affairs, to congratulate the six new elected members of the Council on the assumption of their important responsibilities. I also wish the Security Council a successful year. 

     

    Mr. President,

    The protests in the Islamic Republic of Iran started on 28 December 2017 when hundreds of Iranians gathered, in a largely peaceful manner, in Mashhad, the country’s second-largest city, chanting slogans against economic hardship.

    Over the following several days, protests occurred in other urban areas, including Tehran, as well as many rural areas. Some of the slogans also expressed disappointment at slow or limited change in social strictures and political freedoms, and criticized what demonstrators decried as the privileged position of the clergy and elements of the country’s security establishment. In some cases, demonstrators demanded that Iran cease costly involvement in the region.

    As the protests escalated, some turned violent. Videos posted on social media platforms, several of which remain largely blocked by the Government, and footage broadcast by state TV channels showed the beating of protesters, as well as the burning of government offices, banks and religious centres.

    According to reports carried by official Iranian media, more than 20 Iranians, including a teenage boy and a policeman, have died during the protests. Iran’s Ministry of the Interior stated that over 1,000 protesters have been detained, although many may have since been released.

    With very limited presence on the ground, the Secretariat cannot confirm or deny the authenticity of these images that have been broadcast nor the extent of violence. However, we have received reports that the police, rather than military forces, were responding to the protests.

    On 3 January Iran's Revolutionary Guards announced the end of the anti-government protests. Recent reports indicate smaller and scattered demonstrations. Meanwhile, from 3 to 5 January, large pro-government rallies were reportedly held across the country, with participants expressing support for the Supreme Leader and condemning violence.

     

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    On 31 December 2017, President Rouhani told a Cabinet meeting that the Iranian people should be allowed “space” to protest and criticize the government. At the same time, he stressed that violence would not be tolerated.

    Two days later, on 2 January, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei accused Iran’s enemies, without naming them, of “stirring” the unrest.

    On 3 January, the Permanent Representative of Iran to the United Nations wrote to the Secretary-General, accusing the United States of stepping up “its acts of intervention in a grotesque way in Iran’s internal affairs under the pretext of providing support for sporadic protests” in Iran.

     

    Mr. President,

    The outbreak of violent protests in Iran has focused attention to events in the country. A number of world leaders have expressed support for the Iranian protesters. Others, including the European Union, have called on the Iranian authorities to respect the right to peaceful demonstration and freedom of opinion. Yet more have supported the Government of Iran calling the protests an internal matter.  

    On 3 January, the Secretary-General issued a statement deploring the loss of life in the protests, and urging respect for the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and that demonstrations take place in a peaceful manner. The same day, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the Iranian authorities “to handle the wave of protests that have taken place around the country with great care so as not to further inflame violence and unrest,” and to investigate all deaths and serious injuries that have occurred so far.

    On 5 January, four United Nations Special Rapporteurs stated that “[t]he Iranian authorities should take immediate action to ensure that all citizens can exercise peacefully the right to freedom of expression and assembly, and should ensure that these and other fundamental rights are not met with violence.”

     

    Mr. President,

    As of today, the United Nations’ development work in the Islamic Republic of Iran has not been significantly affected by the recent events.

    The Secretariat will continue to monitor developments on the ground and engage Iranian authorities with a view to contributing to efforts that address, as the Secretary-General underscored in his statement of 3 January, the legitimate concerns of the population through peaceful means and avoid violence or retribution against peaceful protestors.

    Thank you.

2017

  • 30 дек 2017

    The end of year publication features some of the highlights of our online magazine Politically Speaking in 2017.

  • 26 дек 2017

    The Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin hosted the second meeting of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) on the African Union (AU) Additional Support to...

  • 20 дек 2017

    UNOAU hosted the UN Liaison Team in Ethiopia in its premises in December.

    In this meeting, key issues of common concern in relation to the work of the UN and the African Union were discussed. 

  • 20 дек 2017

    Members of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) visited Addis Ababa from 7-8 December, 2017.

    The objective of the visit was to further strengthen cooperation with the African Union (AU) in the...

  • 19 дек 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Almost two years after Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we are at a critical crossroads.  Today’s meeting is an important opportunity to reflect carefully on what has been achieved and the challenges that lay ahead. Since 16 January 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency has reported to this Council nine times that Iran is continuing to adhere to its nuclear-related commitments.

    Against this positive story of JCPOA implementation, on 13 October, the President of the United States decided not to certify to Congress that the suspension of its national sanctions pursuant to the agreement is "appropriate and proportionate to the specific and verifiable measures taken by the Iran with respect to terminating its illicit nuclear program"[1].  This decision has regrettably created considerable uncertainty about the future of the JCPOA.  The Secretary-General is reassured that the United States, during the recent 7th meeting of the Joint Commission, together with other participants, expressed its continued adherence to its commitments and stressed the need to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement in all its parts in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere.

    The support of this Security Council for the agreement is vital to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, as well as regional and international stability.  The agreement is in the interest of the global non-proliferation regime, and of regional and international peace and security. It is also the best way to realize the aspirations of the Iranian people through an opportunity for greater economic engagement with the world.  The international community will be following carefully what the participants to the agreement, and this Council, will do in the coming months and years – and will certainly calibrate its own actions accordingly. 

    For these reasons, the Secretary-General encourages the United States to maintain its commitment to the agreement and to consider the broader implications for the region and beyond before taking any further steps.  Similarly, he encourages the Islamic Republic of Iran to carefully consider the concerns raised by other JCPOA participants.  The Secretary-General also encourages the international community to continue to support the full implementation of this historic agreement and welcomes the affirmative statements by numerous other Member States in support of the Plan.

     

    Mr. President,  

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on the Fourth Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2017/515).  This report was submitted to the Council on 8 December 2017 pursuant to annex B to resolution 2231 (2015) and the Note by the President of the Council issued on 16 January 2016 (S/2016/44).   

    As guided by the Security Council, the report of the Secretary-General focuses on the implementation of the provisions contained in annex B to resolution 2231 (2015).   I now turn to the main findings of the fourth report. 

    First, the Secretary-General has again not received any report regarding the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of nuclear-related items undertaken contrary to the provisions of the resolution. Meanwhile, Member States are making greater use of the procurement channel.  Eight additional nuclear-related proposals were submitted to the Security Council for approval, bringing to 24 the total number of proposals submitted since Implementation Day.  These proposals were processed in accordance with the timelines established by resolution 2231 (2015), with due regard for information security and confidentiality.   I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge once again the excellent cooperation we have with the European External Action Service, especially its Coordinator of the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission.

    Second, regarding the implementation of ballistic missile-related provisions, the report reflects official information provided by Member States on the launch of the Simorgh Space Launch Vehicle in July 2017 by the Islamic Republic of Iran and on several ballistic missile launches by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    In October and November, the Secretariat was requested to travel twice to Saudi Arabia to examine the debris of the ballistic missiles launched at Yanbu and Riyadh on 22 July and 4 November 2017, respectively.  Saudi authorities assessed that Iran had a role in manufacturing these missiles used in the July and November attacks.  We take note of the information presented in the recent press conference by Ambassador Haley on 14 December and Iranian statement(s) in response. At this time, the Secretariat is not yet in a position to confirm whether those missiles were Iranian Qiam-1 missiles (a variant of the Scud missile) transferred contrary to resolution 2231 (2015), as assessed by Saudi authorities.   However, the report contained preliminary observations indicating that (1) the two missiles had similar features which suggested a common origin; (2) the missiles contained features that are consistent with missiles of the Scud family; (3) the missiles also had features known to be consistent with the Qiam-1 missile; and (4) one of the missile bore castings similar to that of an Iranian entity on the list maintained pursuant to resolution 2231 (2015).  The Secretariat is still analysing the information available and will report to the Council in due course.  The Secretariat recommended a joint meeting of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) and of the “2231 format” to be jointly briefed by the Panel of Experts on Yemen and the Secretariat on their respective findings at the appropriate time.  It is important that the Security Council is able to consider this issue holistically, and coherently, on the basis of all the information available to it.

    Third, in terms of restrictions on arms-related transfers, the Secretariat was requested to examine the arms and related materiel seized by the United States in March 2016.  The Secretariat also received information on an unmanned surface vessel (USV) laden with explosives allegedly used against the Saudi-led coalition and had the opportunity to examine parts of its guidance and detonation systems.  The Secretariat was also requested to examine two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), reportedly recovered in Yemen after Implementation Day.

    The Secretariat is confident that close to 900 of the assault rifles seized by the United States are identical to those seized by France also in March 2016, which the Secretariat had assessed were of Iranian origin and shipped from the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The Secretariat is also confident that half of the 200 rocket propelled grenade launchers had characteristics similar to Iranian-produced RPG launchers.  We are still analysing the remaining weapons found in the shipment and will report back in due course.

    The Secretariat could also observe that the guidance and detonation systems of the USV included a computer terminal with a dual English/Farsi keyboard and characteristics similar to those of Iranian-produced terminals.  It was also observed that the detonation system included items identical to items found on board the dhow Adris by the United States in March 2016, and that the electrical cables within the detonation mechanism and in the guidance system bore markings indicating Iranian manufacture.  An update will be provided in due course.

    The Secretariat observed that one of the UAV – which Saudi authorities ascertain was similar to that of the Iranian-made Ababil-II – is similar to other drones reportedly seized in Yemen brought to our attention by the United Arab Emirates.  We look forward to the opportunity to examine these other unmanned aerial vehicles, in order to independently ascertain their origin.

    Fourth, the report also highlights the participation of the Defence Industries Organisation in another foreign exhibition, the International Aviation and Space Salon held in the Russian Federation in July 2017.  The issue was raised with the Russian Federation and we were informed that an investigation into the issue found no action inconsistent with resolution 2231 (2015).  The Secretary-General report also provides information on additional travels by Major General Qasem Soleimani, noting that the Security Council should call upon the government of relevant Member States to take the necessary steps to ensure the proper implementation of the travel ban and other provisions of annex B to resolution 2231 (2015).

    Before concluding, I wish to underline that the Secretariat carefully considered the information that the Islamic Republic of Iran conveyed in its letter dated 28 August 2017 which stated that the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, signed into law on 2 August 2017, violated the terms of paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of annex B to resolution 2231 (2015).  It is our assessment that this information does not fall within the scope of this report, unless guidance to the contrary is provided by the Security Council.

     

    Mr. President,

    In closing, I would to thank H.E. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy) for his successful tenure as Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) during this challenging year. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish well to H.E. Ambassador Karel Jan Gustaaf van Oosterom (Netherlands) as he will assume the role of Facilitator on 1 January 2018 and to assure him of the Secretariat’s full support.  Thank you.

     

     

    [1] Note: quote is taken from speech by President Trump on 13 October, itself based on the language of the U.S. Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. 

  • 13 дек 2017

    Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

    It is my honour to present to you the latest Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Central Africa and the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA). The report covers the latest peace and security developments in the sub-region as well as the activities of UNOCA that have been undertaken since my last briefing to this Council in June 2017.

    I am pleased to report on some positive developments in the sub-region, particularly regarding regional integration and capacity-building of the General Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). However, the overall situation in Central Africa remains marked by tense socio-political situations, economic difficulties, and continued attacks and horrific abuses carried out by armed groups against civilian populations, all of which necessitate concerted national, regional and international action to prevent a further degradation. In this context, I have maintained continuous contact with stakeholders and leaders across the sub-region to facilitate the search for a peaceful resolution of the conflicts through inclusive dialogue.

    Mr. President,

    In Chad, the Republic of the Congo and Gabon, continuing, serious economic difficulties combined with political and social tensions between the respective Governments and opposition movements remain a cause for concern. In Chad, I have encouraged the Government and opposition leaders to discuss the modalities and timeframe for an inclusive dialogue in order to reach consensus on proposed solutions to the governance and economic issues facing the country and agree on meaningful governance reforms that will create an environment conducive to the holding of legislative elections. In the Republic of the Congo, though several political leaders who were arrested following the 2016 presidential election were released on humanitarian grounds to seek medical treatment abroad, prominent opposition leaders such as Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko and André Okombi Salissa, remain detained without trial. The security situation in the Pool region also remains unresolved, although it has relatively improved and internal political consultations have begun regarding the region’s stabilization. During my visits to the country, I have stressed the importance of stabilizing the Pool region and operationalizing the platforms for political and social dialogue. I have also highlighted the need for a timely and fair trial for the detained opposition leaders, who deserve humane detention conditions.

    Meanwhile, in Cameroon, half of the country’s regions are affected by either Boko Haram (Far North), the crisis in the Central African Republic (the Eastern part of the country), or the Anglophone separatist movement (North-West and South-West regions). We must remain alert and redouble our prevention efforts to ensure that prevailing tensions do not deteriorate in the context of the 2018 elections. The situation connected to the grievances of the population in the English-speaking regions of the country is of particular concern. I have maintained close contact with the Cameroonian authorities and continued to underline the need for genuine and inclusive dialogue. While the Government took a number of measures to address these grievances, including reforms in the judicial and education sectors and the release of a number of English-speaking leaders detained in connection with the crisis, there have been calls for a more fundamental dialogue to overcome the marginalization that is felt by much of the population there. At the same time, clashes have continued between radicals and government forces resulting in the death of security officers in the North-West and South-West regions likely to further inflame tensions.

    M. le Président,

    Au Gabon, le contexte national est caractérisé par la persistance du ralentissement économique et des mouvements de grève, ainsi que le débat sur un projet controversé de réforme constitutionnelle. L’opposition et une partie de la société civile critiquent tant la méthode utilisée, qu’elles considèrent comme non-inclusive et illégitime, que la substance de la réforme constitutionnelle qui, selon elles, représente un recul démocratique. Il est attendu que la réforme soit adoptée par le parlement, où le parti au pouvoir détient une majorité de deux-tiers. La voie référendaire, quoique possible selon la constitution, ne semble pas envisagée. Le candidat malheureux à la dernière élection présidentielle M. Jean Ping et ses alliés ont continué à contester la réélection en 2016 du Président Ali Bongo Ondimba. En particulier, M. Ping continue d’encourager ses partisans à organiser des manifestations publiques en faveur de sa prise de pouvoir, et persiste dans son refus de participer à un dialogue avec le Président Bongo Ondimba.

    La situation en République centrafricaine (RCA) demeure une source de préoccupation, avec la persistance d’attaques et d’abus graves perpétrés par des groupes armés, y compris le meurtre de casques bleus de la MINUSCA ainsi que de travailleurs humanitaires déployés pour venir en aide à la population civile. Il est urgent que le processus de paix progresse, dans le cadre de l’Initiative africaine, avec la mise en oeuvre des actions concrètes prévues par la feuille de route adoptée lors de la réunion organisée par l’Union africaine (UA) à Libreville le 17 juillet. Cela devrait déboucher sur une cessation immédiate des hostilités et éventuellement le désarmement et la démobilisation de tous les groupes armés actifs dans le pays. Je salue le lancement des activités du Panel des Facilitateurs de l’Initiative africaine en RCA à la fin du mois de novembre dernier, suivi de ses premiers contacts avec les groupes armés en décembre. Il est maintenant important de ne pas perdre cet élan pendant la période cruciale à venir. La réunion de haut niveau sur la RCA tenue en marge de la session de l’Assemblée Générale de cette année ainsi que la visite qu’a entreprise le Secrétaire général dans le pays en octobre ont joué un rôle critique pour attirer à nouveau l’attention de la communauté internationale sur la RCA. Dans ce contexte, l’engagement entier de la région dans le processus de paix demeure vital, pas seulement pour soutenir politiquement l’Initiative africaine, mais aussi en vue d’apporter des réponses collectives aux dynamiques transfrontalières qui ont un impact sur le conflit en RCA, notamment la transhumance et les trafics. UNOCA, en étroite coopération avec la MINUSCA, continuera de travailler avec la CEEAC et les pays de la sousrégion afin qu’ils jouent un rôle actif dans la résolution de la crise en RCA.

    En dépit des efforts considérables déployés aux niveaux national, régional et international pour lutter contre Boko Haram, ce dernier maintient sa capacité à perpétrer des attaques et des abus horribles, aggravant la situation humanitaire, économique, sociale et sécuritaire dans les zones affectées. Il est donc crucial que toutes les parties prenantes et les partenaires redoublent d’efforts pour régler de manière holistique la crise causée par Boko Haram. A cet effet, les conclusions de la récente conférence régionale pour la stabilisation du bassin du Lac Tchad, organisée par la Commission de l’UA et la Commission du Bassin du Lac Tchad, sont des initiatives à saluer et qui méritent le plein soutien de la communauté internationale pour leur mise en oeuvre.

    Mr. President,

    Concerning the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), in addition to its abuses committed against local populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic and its poaching activities, along with the increased security vacuum following the withdrawal of Ugandan and U.S. forces from the zone, it is important to recall that the areas in which the LRA operates face a myriad of security challenges, including issues related to transhumance, lack of state authority, and cross-border movements of poachers and a variety of armed groups. Furthermore, it is important for AU and troop-contributing countries to the AU Regional Task Force to quickly agree on the reconfiguration of the Task Force and to an increase in support for the training of the Central African Armed Forces. We also encourage the international community to support the AU’s Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA.

    Mr. President,

    The United Nations welcomes the advancements in regional integration, particularly regarding the free movement of persons throughout the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) zone, which is now a reality. UNOCA has continued to place emphasis on support to the overall process of regional integration, including through advocacy for institutional reform of the ECCAS Secretariat and the rationalization of ECCAS and CEMAC. In this connection, UNOCA organized multiple activities designed to strengthen the capacity of the ECCAS Secretariat in mediation, early warning, collaboration with civil society, and gender mainstreaming. UNOCA and UNOWAS strengthened their cooperation in facilitating an enhanced interregional partnership between ECCAS and ECOWAS, which has culminated in plans to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two Regional Economic Communities. Overall, UNOCA and ECCAS continue to enhance their cooperation through the establishment and execution of a joint workplan and the holding of regular meetings at the senior and working levels. 

    With regard to Women, Peace and Security, the Government of Cameroon launched its National Action Plan for the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on 16 November. This will contribute to solidifying the Regional Action Plan for Resolution 1325 in Central Africa, which is in the process of being developed with the support of UNOCA. It will also encourage other countries to follow suit. 

    UNOCA, in cooperation with UNESCO and ECCAS, presented their joint three-year programme on youth at a Pan-African Youth Forum held in Libreville on 30 November and 1 December. The Forum aimed at engaging young people in promoting a culture of peace and non-violence and involving them in the prevention of radicalization and the management of conflicts by creating an early warning system.

    Mr. President,

    Before travelling to New York, I participated in the 45th ministerial meeting of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC), held in Kigali, from 4 to 8 December. For the first time, UNSAC held a closed-door ministerial session, which focused on the situation in CAR, including the report from the October visit of the UNSAC Bureau to Bangui, organized by UNOCA, as well as the reform of the Peace and Security Council of Central Africa (COPAX). A side-event for youth and civil society was also organized to ensure greater visibility by leaders of the region on the issues youth face as well as their interest and capacity for involvement in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

    Mr. President,

    UNOCA continues to place emphasis on efforts to enhance the coherence and coordination of overall UN activities in the sub-region. This includes collaborating with UN Resident Coordinators and Country Teams to engage national authorities on sensitive political issues as well as on longerterm efforts to formulate national and cross-border peacebuilding plans, with the support of the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).

    I thank you for your attention.

  • 12 дек 2017

    Mr. President,

    Thank you for the invitation to brief on recent developments in Myanmar.  I welcome the participation of Ambassador Hau Do Suan as well as Ambassador Masud Bin Momen.  I also welcome being joined by Ms. Pramila Patten, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

    Mr. President,

    The estimated number of refugees who entered Bangladesh since 25 August now exceeds 626,000.  As the Secretary-General underlined in his 2 September letter to the Council, we need collectively to encourage the adoption of policies to end the vicious cycle of discrimination, violence and displacement in Rakhine. 

    The Council’s 6 November Presidential Statement (PRST) reaffirming the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Myanmar noted that the Government holds the primary responsibility to protect its population, through rule of law and the respect, promotion and protection of human rights. 

    During my October visit, I explored with the authorities potential United Nations support in these key areas. 

    My visit followed shortly after State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s 12 October address responding to the humanitarian concerns in Rakhine and the return of refugees from Bangladesh.  We welcome the State Counsellor’s decision to establish the Union Enterprise Mechanism as well as the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on returns between Myanmar and Bangladesh. 

    We are also encouraged by the announcement that the new Advisory Commission comprising of international experts and the Committee for Implementation of the Recommendations on Rakhine State will meet in early January to finalise action plans to rehabilitate and develop the region.  We hope plans will swiftly be followed by action.

    The State Counsellor’s visit to Rakhine on 2 November was an important step.  We urge all Myanmar leaders, including in the military, to condemn incitement to racial hatred and violence. We encourage them to adopt measures to defuse tensions between communities and create an environment for safe and dignified repatriation, including through interfaith initiatives.

     We have highlighted to the authorities that the capacities, best practices, and extensive experience of the United Nations can help in implementing their stated intentions in a timely and effective manner.

    Mr. President,

    Although violence has subsided, new refugees continue to arrive in Bangladesh, albeit at slower rates. These refugees arrive exhausted, destitute and traumatized. The Government of Bangladesh estimates that more than 36,000 unaccompanied children arrived with no immediate family support system.  During November, arsons in Rakhine State appeared to lessen, but recent satellite imagery revealed renewed fires and related destruction in different villages.

    Humanitarian access to Rakhine State remains insufficient. Although Myanmar permitted some ICRC and more recently WFP assistance, access by other UN agencies and partners to northern Rakhine is still highly restricted. Issuance of travel authorizations has eased in central Rakhine, but large numbers of staff still lack these permits due to cumbersome procedures.

    We are all grateful for the continued generosity of the Government and people of Bangladesh, and we call on the international community to continue to support these efforts.  But the origins and solutions to the Rohingya crisis rest in Myanmar. Repatriation and reconciliation policies will fail without accountability and non-discriminatory rule of law and public safety measures to address the fears and distrust among communities in Rakhine.

     

    Mr. President,

    On 23 November, Myanmar and Bangladesh reached a bilateral agreement on the issue of returns. The agreement recognizes the need for a ‘comprehensive and durable solution’ through the ‘safe, dignified, and voluntary return’ in accordance with international law.

    In this regard, I would like to present some key considerations:

    1. Returns must be supported by reconciliation efforts, and the time frame must allow for this and other measures to ensure that return is sustainable. Central to this is the implementation of the Rakhine Advisory Commission recommendations;
    1. Returns should be to the ‘original place of residence’ or to a safe, secure place near to their destination of choice, as envisaged by the Arrangement.  It should not be to camps, however temporary; experience shows that camps lead to prolonged segregation;
    1. The reference to freedom of movement in the arrangement is positive, but the qualifier ‘in conformity with existing laws and regulations’ which are currently extremely restrictive, is a serious limitation. Expanding freedom of movement is essential to achieving stated commitments on access to basic services and livelihoods.
    1. Eligibility criteria for return must be applied in the broadest possible manner.  The current requirements (including documentary proof of residence) would be difficult for many refugees to meet;
    1. Finally, experience on voluntary repatriation movements over the decades, underscores the important role that the UN, through UNHCR, can play in all aspects of a return operation.

    We encourage including UNHCR in the Joint Working Group aimed at overseeing all aspects of return. 

    We appreciate the role of neighbouring countries, particularly China, in constructively engaging both Bangladesh and Myanmar to facilitate the bilateral agreement.  During his recent visit to Myanmar, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out the importance of finding a long-term solution, including by addressing the chronic underdevelopment in Rakhine state.  Strengthened regional cooperation with Myanmar will be essential.  We welcome Myanmar’s engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for humanitarian assistance, which led to an initial delivery of 80 tonnes of relief material for Rakhine.

    The recently established Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development in Rakhine aim to support cooperation between the Government and all sectors, including the UN, in the implementation of development projects.  Meetings between the government, donors and the UN have started.  In addition, the Implementation Committee for the Rakhine Advisory Commission has begun meeting and identified priority interventions in specific sectors.

    These are welcome developments, but we again urge tangible action and implementation of these commitments.  Plans alone are not sufficient.  We hope Myanmar will draw upon the wealth of expertise the UN can offer.    

     

    Mr. President,

    As Kofi Annan highlighted, the complex challenges in Rakhine require civilian-military coordination.  Council members have underlined the importance of effective partnership with the Myanmar authorities, especially the military.  Close neighbors like China and Indonesia can help through their military-to-military engagement.  We appreciate the recognition by these regional and other Member States for the role of the UN in helping Myanmar address areas beyond Rakhine issues including the peace process, to help advance the country’s democratic consolidation efforts.  The 2020 national elections will stand as an important test in the consolidation of the nation’s democratic institutions. 

    The effort to achieve peace between the Government and various Ethnic Armed Organizations is a cornerstone of this transition.   All eight signatory parties have shown a sustained commitment to upholding the October 2015 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.  Momentum in the peace process is slowing, however, with the majority of Ethnic Armed Organizations still not among the signatories.   

    Finally, I note that the General Assembly is expected to approve the Third Committee Resolution on Myanmar, requesting the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Envoy.  We want this initiative to strengthen our partnership with Myanmar, in close consultations with interested Member States in the region and beyond.  We believe we have much to offer in working with Myanmar on a number of challenges the country faces, in full respect of Myanmar’s sovereignty.                                

    Thank you.

     

  • 11 дек 2017

    Mr. President,

    Members of the Security Council,

    This Security Council meeting on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is timely and again demonstrates that it is not just the nuclear issue that deserves international attention and action.

    While it is difficult to obtain up-to-date and comprehensive information about human rights developments in the DPRK, the information gathered reveals a continuing pattern of serious human rights violations and lack of progress on issues such as family reunions and the abduction issue. There are no indications that the situation has significantly improved since the finding in the Commission of Inquiry’s 2014 report that, on balance of probability, crimes against humanity had been and were being committed in the DPRK. In keeping with its obligations under international law, the DPRK has a responsibility to protect its population from crimes that are considered the most serious in international law. And the international community has a collective responsibility to protect the population of the DPRK, if the State does not protect its own citizens, and to consider the wider implications of the reported grave human rights situation for the stability of the region.

    During the past year, the security environment has had a negative impact on human rights in the DPRK. The country’s continued nuclear and ballistic missile activities have led to its further isolation from its neighbours and the international community. The country has imposed more severe restrictions on freedom of movement both within the country and on the border with China. People pay a heftier price and take riskier routes to leave the DPRK, and women continue to be the primary targets of human traffickers who help them escape if they accept to be sold into the sex industry. 

    The situation of prisoners and foreign detainees continues to be a cause of concern, with reports about abject detention conditions in holding centres and labour camps throughout the country. In June, student Otto Warmbier died a few days after he was released from detention in Pyongyang and repatriated to the United States. His case highlighted the situation of foreign detainees, who risk being cut off from the outside world and are unable to enjoy basic entitlements such as access to medical treatment and to consular assistance. Today three citizens of the United States and six citizens of the Republic of Korea remain in custody. We continue to advocate for their release.

     

    Mr. President,

    The past year witnessed a surge in forced repatriations of DPRK nationals in China, particularly in the months of December 2016, April, July and November 2017. Reports of DPRK escapees being sent back are regularly received by the United Nations and civil society groups. Many of these are women victims of human trafficking who leave their children in China. As we speak, dozens of DPRK nationals remain detained in China and scheduled for refoulement back to the DPRK, where they are at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

     

    Mr. President,

    The United Nations has taken a number of steps this year to address the human rights situation in the DPRK. The Special Rapporteur presented his report (A/72/394) to the General Assembly in September, and in August, the Secretary-General also issued his report (A/72/279) to that body. The Third Committee has agreed on a draft resolution (A/C.3/72/L.40*) that is to be adopted by the General Assembly this month. In response, the DPRK has maintained its strong objections to country- specific resolutions and mandates, though is open to non-country specific cooperation on human rights.

    The pursuit of accountability continues to be an urgent priority on the DPRK human rights agenda. In 2016 the Human Rights Council appointed a group of independent experts on accountability who recommended in their report to the council in March this year that steps be taken to strengthen current monitoring and analysis efforts by OHCHR, including through the recruitment of additional staff and the setup of a central repository to be used in any future accountability mechanism.

     

    Mr. President,

    While emphasis is placed on the political and security situation, the DPRK is a forgotten crisis on the global humanitarian agenda. An estimated 18 million people (70 per cent of the population) are suffering from food insecurity, and 10.5 million people (41 per cent of the population) are undernourished. The situation is even more critical with the current lack of funding.

    In response to the accelerated nuclear and ballistic missile testing, the Security Council has strengthened its DPRK sanctions regime with three additional resolutions since the last briefing. The Special Rapporteur on human rights in the DPRK alerted in his latest report of the possibility that sanctions may have a detrimental impact on livelihoods and medical care, requesting that human rights be given due consideration when drafting and assessing sanctions resolutions. Humanitarian partners operating in the country have reported increasing operational challenges including custom clearances of life-saving items, procurement of humanitarian supplies, transport of goods, rising food prices (up 160% since April). In addition, the banking channel for the international organizations working in the country has broken down for the third time in the last seven years.

     

    Mr. President,

    The Security Council, in its latest resolution (OP 26 of resolution 2375 (2017)), reaffirmed that the measures imposed by the relevant resolutions are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences for the civilian population of the DPRK or to affect negatively or restrict the activities of the work of international and non-governmental organizations carrying out assistance and relief activities for the benefit of the civilian population of the DPRK. I take note of the 8 December communication from the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) to all Member States offering clarifications on this point and highlighting mechanisms to seek exemptions for humanitarian activities.

     

    With this in mind, I would like to make four requests: 

    • First, I encourage all international and non-governmental organisations who are facing operational challenges to use the established process to inform or seek the necessary guidance or exemption from the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006). Doing so helps to remove ambiguity and provide reassurance for the relevant entities and partners to facilitate the work of such organizations in the DPRK.
    • Second, I urge the 1718 Committee to continue to expeditiously review these requests to ensure that the already fragile humanitarian situation does not deteriorate further.
    • Third, I urge all Member States to support the life-saving activities in the country. Funding for relief activities is essential. Some USD 114 million are required to address the critical humanitarian needs in the DPRK.
    • I echo the 1718 Committee’s communication to Member States which emphasizes each Member State’s obligation to comply with sanctions obligations and exemptions including by clarifying to public/private sector entities that humanitarian activities should not be unduly restricted.
    • Finally, I call on financial institutions to exercise their corporate social responsibility and provide the life-saving banking services for humanitarian organisations in the country. The channel would be sent to the Security Council for approval.

     

    Mr. President,

    The United Nations remains committed to contributing to furthering efforts to reach a peaceful, negotiated solution of the outstanding issues, and to ensure genuine and meaningful improvement of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the DPRK. The United Nations system is ready to assist with the General Assembly’s call on the DPRK to – QUOTE: “engage constructively with international interlocutors with a view to promoting concrete improvements in the human rights situation on the ground, including through human rights dialogues, official visits to the country that include adequate access to fully assess human rights conditions, cooperation initiatives and more people-to-people contact as a matter of priority”. END QUOTE.

    To conclude, let us use all the tools at our disposal — the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly, the Security Council and United Nations and other international entities — to work towards a better future for the people of the DPRK.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 30 ноя 2017

    The Multi-Year Appeal 2018-2019 lays out the priorities for the biennium, taking into account the Secretary-General’s vision and focus on prevention, and in line with DPA’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2019. Under the overarching priorities of the Strategic Plan, the MYA 2018-2019 puts emphasis on inclusive processes as part of setting the agenda for conflict prevention and as a cross-cutting theme in all areas of our work. The MYA continues investments in sustaining peace and further strengthening of partnerships and common agendas with regional and sub-regional organizations.

  • 29 ноя 2017

    Mr. President,

    Members of the Security Council,

    According to the official news agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and various governmental sources, at approximately 02:48 am local time on 29 November 2017, the DPRK launched a ballistic missile, which it termed an “intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15”. The missile was reportedly launched from an area north of Pyongyang, covering approximately 950 km and reaching an apogee of around 4,500 km, before impacting into the sea in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

    These parameters indicate that, if flown on a standard trajectory, the missile as configured would have a range in excess of 13,000 km. This is the DPRK’s third test of a ballistic missile of apparent intercontinental range in less than six months and its twentieth ballistic missile launch this year. The DPRK again did not issue any airspace or maritime safety notifications.

    The official media claimed the DPRK was now – quote – “capable of striking the whole mainland of the U.S.” – end quote. The official media also claimed that the DPRK had – again I quote - “finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power” end quote.

    Mr. President, this is the thirteenth time the Council has met to discuss the DPRK in 2017. The DPRK’s repeated nuclear and missile tests over the past two years have created great tension on the Korean Peninsula and beyond. This dynamic must be reversed. The solution can only be political.

    Given the grave risks associated with any military confrontation, in exercise of its primary responsibility the Security Council needs to do all it can to prevent an escalation. Unity in the Security Council is critical. Security Council unity also creates an opportunity for sustained diplomatic engagement – an opportunity that must be seized in these dangerous times to seek off-ramps and work to create conditions for negotiations.

    Mr. President, the Secretary-General strongly condemns this latest launch. This is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions and shows complete disregard for the united view of the international community. The Secretary-General urges the DPRK to desist from taking any further destabilising steps. The Secretary-General reaffirms his commitment to working with all parties to reduce tensions. I called a meeting this morning with the DPRK Permanent Representative to deliver the Secretary-General’s message in person. During the meeting, I stressed that there is nothing more dangerous to peace and security in the world than what is happening now on the Korean Peninsula.

    Mr. President, the Secretary-General discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula with all concerned parties in the margins of the high-level week of the General Assembly. During the Secretary-General’s meeting with Mr. Ri Yong Ho, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the DPRK on 23 September, he expressed concern over the tensions on the Korean Peninsula and appealed for de-escalation and full implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions. The Secretary-General emphasized the need for a political solution.

    Mr. President, amidst the heightened tensions, the United Nations and other humanitarian actors play a critical role in saving the lives of the most vulnerable in the DPRK. The needs are increasing and food security remains a critical concern for 70 per cent of the population. Member States are again reminded of the need to support the life-saving activities carried out by humanitarian organisations in the country.

    We will continue to closely follow the developments and remain in close coordination with the concerned international organisations, and with Members of this Council, as well as other governments concerned.

    Thank you.

  • 28 ноя 2017

    On 28 November 2017, the 51st meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the United Nations chairmanship with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives. The overall security situation on the ground since the previous IPRM meeting of 25 October 2017 was assessed as calm and stable. The positive assessment of value and important contribution of the hotline was reiterated, and the participants were encouraged to continue using this information-sharing tool effectively.

    According to the agenda, the participants exchanged views and shared additional information on the previously discussed, but not yet resolved, issues. They also discussed new agenda points, including the issues related to freedom of movement and crossing documents. In this connection, an update was provided on the issuance of permanent residence permits to the local population. A new trend of cases linked to the crossings by foreign citizens to Abkhazia at uncontrolled locations was also discussed in details, and the participants expressed readiness to follow up on the matter.

    The participants once again touched upon the necessity of voluntary exchange of advance notice on sensitive activities for confidence building purposes, which is a standing agenda point. As usual, the meeting took place in a constructive and business-like atmosphere.

    It was agreed to hold the next meeting on 17 January 2018. 

  • 28 ноя 2017

    Сообщение для СМИ

    28 ноября 2017 г., 51-я встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей. Общая обстановка на местах в плане безопасности, начиная со встречи МПРИ от 25 октября 2017 г., была оценена как спокойная и стабильная.  Была подтверждена положительная оценка важности и существенного вклада горячей линии связи, и участникам рекомендовалось продолжить эффективно использовать этот инструмент для обмена информацией.

    Согласно повестке дня, участники обменялись взглядами и представили дополнительную информацию относительно ранее обсужденных, но еще нерешенных, вопросов. Они также обсудили новые пункты повестки дня, включая вопросы, связанные со свободой передвижения и документами для пересечения. В этой связи была представлена обновленная информация касательно выдачи разрешений на постоянное место жительства местному населению. Новая тенденция случаев, связанных с пересечениями иностранными гражданами в Абхазию в неконтролируемых местах, была также подробно обсуждена, и участники выразили готовность продолжить рассмотрение этого вопроса.

    Участники еще раз затронули необходимость добровольного обмена заблаговременными извещениями о значимой деятельности с целью укрепления доверия, что является постоянным пунктом повестки дня. Как обычно, встреча прошла в конструктивной и деловой атмосфере.

    Было решено провести следующую встречу 17 января 2018 г.

     

    Press Release in English

  • 27 ноя 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council, 

    I am briefing you from Geneva, as we are preparing for round 8 of the UN-convened intra-Syrian talks. Let me explain how we got here over the past month, and the approach to the talks at the moment.

    Last month, you remember, I said: after Raqqa, after Deir-ez-Zor -- and let us perhaps now also say after the Government of Syria defeated ISIS recently in its last stronghold of Abu Kemal -- the operation to combat and defeat ISIS’ territorial foothold in Syria would have completed its main tasks, and there would be a moment of truth for bringing about a real political process. I still believe that a moment of truth has arrived; although I want to register at the moment my serious concern at the tremendous escalation of violence in Eastern Ghouta in these last weeks and on-going restrictions on humanitarian access to that area. As ISIL is being defeated, neither side should turn their guns back towards de-escalation zones, and I therefore would like to urge, together with you, the Astana guarantors to address these challenges in order to avoid these problems for the de-escalation areas.

    To prepare for real talks in Geneva, I called for real diplomacy. My messages were essentially the following:

    1. the Government delegation should come ready to negotiate;
    2. we need a united opposition delegation with common positions that comes ready to negotiate;
    3. negotiations should take place in Geneva [repeats: in Geneva] without any, any preconditions;
    4. they should negotiate on a workplan initially focussing on the 12 living essential principles and the constitutional and election baskets, towards the implementation of SCR 2254;
    5. all other initiatives [repeats: all other initiatives] should support the UN mediation process that you, this Council, mandated the United Nations to conduct - and no one else.

    We have seen signals on all these points, and we will now see what happens in Geneva. I do note with great interest that in DaNang, Sochi, and Riyadh, important meetings have taken place that might help us, I believe, to begin a genuine negotiation process in Geneva. International players are clearly looking for some common ground based on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2254, and are urging Syrians to begin to find some common ground too.

    In DaNang, Russian President Putin and US President Trump affirmed that the political process, and I quote, “must include full implementation of UNSCR 2254”, end of quote. They also noted that this included, and I am quoting again, “constitutional reform and free and fair elections under UN supervision, held to the highest international standards of transparency, with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to participate” – end of quote. This statement of the two Presidents followed a taking note by them of what they termed, and I quote, “President Assad’s recent commitment to the Geneva process and constitutional reform and elections as called for under UNSCR 2254”, end of quote. As the mediator, I also noted that President Assad said in Sochi after meeting President Putin on 24 November, and I quote, “we do not want to look back. We will accept and talk with anyone [repeats: anyone] who is really interested in a political settlement”, end of quote.

    Notwithstanding these potentially interesting and important signals, when my deputy, Ambassador Ramzy, held consultations in Damascus with the Government over the weekend, the Government did not yet confirm its participation in Geneva, but indicated that we would be hearing from them soon. Last night, we received a message that the Government would not travel to Geneva today. Naturally we hope and indeed expect that the Government will be on its way shortly, particularly in light of President Assad’s commitment to President Putin when they met in Sochi.

    Turning to the opposition: last week, over three intensive days, and I witnessed one and a half of them, an expanded opposition conference was convened in Riyadh. Participants reflected the main components of the Syrian mosaic and the ideological diversity within the Syrian opposition and the Syrian society. Resolution 2254 mentions by name three groupings -- those who met in Riyadh 1, the Cairo Platform and the Moscow Platform -- and they were all there. Armed groups controlling territory inside of Syria, including those involved in Astana and the various de-escalation arrangements, were active participants in Riyadh. There was a strong participation – finally – by women. There was a strong presence of independents including activists, business people, and tribal figures. Several parties based inside Syria were actually represented through their own political umbrellas, including representatives based inside Syria.

    As this Riyadh 2 initiative was clearly designed within the framework of advancing resolution 2254 and the Geneva process, which speaks clearly of three by name, and “others”, I was glad to attend it to urge the participants to move ahead. I also took note of other international attendees at the opening of the conference, including Russian Presidential Envoy Lavrientev. After I left to travel to Moscow for useful consultations, Foreign Minister Lavrov and I were both active in assisting the efforts of Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir, whose determined efforts in order to obtain the outcome that we saw we really should be appreciating. The Syrian Negotiations Commission formed in Riyadh is now in the process of arriving in Geneva while we are talking -- I expect this process will be completed by tomorrow morning coming from various locations.

    I publicly noted that the participants in Riyadh unequivocally rejected terrorism and affirmed that the solution to the crisis is political, not military. I have noted that they formed a united opposition delegation reflecting the full diversity of the participants to the conference. And I have noted that the delegation was tasked to negotiate in Geneva without any, repeat any, preconditions, to discuss all issues on the agenda, and to have the implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions as the sole reference for the negotiation.

     

    Mr. President,

    Assuming that both parties arrive in Geneva, we will be looking to move them into beginning serious discussions and hopefully negotiations. Let me make one thing clear: we will not accept any preconditions from either party.

    And let us be clear what a precondition is: it is when one party says: “I will not begin to negotiate with the other side unless they do or say the following”. I hope both parties hear this message. I will also assess, as a mediator should be doing, the parties’ engagement by what they do in the room, and how positively they engage on a workplan and show a genuine readiness to discuss, negotiate, regardless of their stated public positions on any issue.  We know that there are always differences. That is what negotiations are really, and each side has the right to express its own opinion, which might not be pleasant for the other one as long as they don’t put preconditions and refuse to talk to the other side. That is what negotiations are all about. Resolution 2254 is a guideline for this.

    What can therefore that workplan more or less look like? We can do this by looking at the end goal of resolution 2254 and then working backwards.

    Resolution 2254, if we all remember, culminates in an end-goal of free and fair elections held under UN supervision [repeats: under UN supervision], to the highest standards of accountability and transparency, with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to vote – no exclusion, refugees included of course. They must also be preceded by the popular ratification of a new constitution, and the draft constitution should be produced according to an inclusive schedule and process that, as resolution 2254 says, is set via a process in Geneva. Clearly, the drafting and approval process must be all-inclusive and a national dialogue and/or a national conference would be important components of this overall process.

    Serious engagement and negotiations on these matters should proceed on the basis of resolution 2254 and guided by the living 12 principles developed during the process which can paint a clear vision for the future of Syria that can be shared by all. I believe, with goodwill, Inchallah, it should be possible to narrow the differences on these principles.

    If possible, we would also begin to explore issues pertaining to baskets 1 and 4 – namely governance and counter-terrorism, security governance and confidence-building measures.

    I will be discussing all this with all who are coming to Geneva, and I will share with them thoughts and a workplan for the negotiation process. And as I do so, I will be reminding them that the time has come to demonstrate, not to us, not even to you, but to the Syrian people that they care about their survival, their lives and the lives of their loved ones -- through immediate, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access and medical evacuations from besieged areas, and in willingly addressing the plight of detainees, abductees and missing people - and believing concretely in a negotiation on a political process.

     

    Mr. President,

    Throughout the process various ideas have emerged for a wider gatherings of Syrian stakeholders. Indeed, the Geneva process itself does require such a gathering of Syrians and I have been building the foundation for it by inviting Syrians from all walks of life, from inside and outside, to participate.

    In this context, let me also stress that more than 200 civil society actors will be engaged here in Geneva now in the UN-led political process in Geneva over the next weeks as part of the intra-Syrian talks. In the coming days, the Women Advisory Board will be fully engaged, once again, and in the real negotiations. I will engage a group of Syrian legal and constitutional experts and hear their advice and expertise. I will be engaging with civil society organizations with human rights expertise including detainees, abductees and missing persons; aided by technology we will be able to get in touch with refugee community leaders, in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey; and with civil society actors working in hard-to-reach and besieged areas. All that from Geneva. I count on their commitment to the political process, sense of citizenship, and real contact with the real problems on the ground and their own insights and ideas in order to strengthen our on-going mediation efforts.

    I note the initiative of France to bring together representatives of the five permanent members of this Council here in Geneva, for a preparatory meeting tomorrow at which I was invited to participate to elaborate on the agenda of this round.  I am looking forward to any expression of support by the international community, including the Security Council, to the efforts of the United Nations to implement resolution 2254 -- through a UN-led political process in Geneva. 

    As you are aware, the Russian Federation has continued to pursue plans for a large gathering related to Syria, in the relatively near future but with no date set as yet. I should report that the Presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey met recently in Sochi. The Russian Federation has sought the United Nations support for this conference. I have been in continuous and open consultations with them. I have also continued to assess the views of Syrians, and the wider international community, including all members of the Security Council, bearing in mind the mandate given to the United Nations by you in this Council – by you. Therefore, it is, as far as I can see, premature for me at this stage to say anything regarding this initiative. And I will continue to view this proposal and all other initiatives through the same prism: does it contribute to effective UN-led intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva to implement resolution 2254? Yes or no?

     

    Mr. President,

    Syria has been at war for the last 6 years. Half of its population have fled their homes. Reconstruction will cost at least 250 billion US dollars. There have been myriad of obstacles to a settlement: a constellation of actors; a variety of shifting agendas, and a real danger, still there, of soft but concrete fragmentation of the Syria’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. And then we have had history’s largest and wealthiest terrorist group bringing in terrorists from over 100 countries; the use of force against civilians on a horrific scale. All this has been in front of our eyes for the past 6 years.

    This crisis, one of the worst in the history of the United Nations, now has the potential to move towards a genuine political process. A clearer map of de-escalation, ceasefire and de-confliction arrangements has emerged, largely enabled by Astana and Amman. We see the emergence of international consensus, and we must begin to stitch the process into concrete results, enabling Syrians to determine their own future freely. The united support of the international community, centred on this Council, will be vital if negotiations are to move forward in a concrete way.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 20 ноя 2017

    Monsieur le président, Permettez-moi, tout d’abord, vous féliciter pour votre accession à la présidence du Conseil pour le mois de novembre. Profitez de cette occasion, je salue les membres du Conseil.

     

    Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    Mon exposé se propose, d’une part, de vous rendre compte des activités que j’ai menées depuis le dernier examen par le Conseil, de la question du Burundi et, d’autre part, de faire le point sur les derniers développements en la matière.

    La mission assignée à l’Envoyé Spécial au Burundi est très claire: appuyer les efforts de la région, en d’autres termes, le médiateur et le facilitateur, pour faire avancer les négociations dont la finalité, je le rappelle est le dialogue inclusif inter burundais.

    C’est ce que j’ai fait, en entreprenant les démarches suivantes:

    • rencontre avec les autorités et les acteurs politiques burundais;
    • rencontre avec l’opposition burundaise et représentants de la société civile, y compris ceux qui sont en exil;
    • rencontre avec des chefs d’Etat africains et partenaires du Burundi;

    Mes premiers entretiens avec le médiateur, le Président Museveni, ont eu lieu en août 2017, à Entebbe. Ils ont porté sur la nécessité et l’urgence de convoquer un mini-sommet régional, aux fins d’évaluer les avancées des négociations et, si possible, les assortir de décisions. A l’issue de nos échanges, le médiateur m’a informé de son intention de rencontrer le Président Pierre Nkurunziza. Je sais que récemment il a dépêché un émissaire spécial porteur d’un message à son homologue du Burundi.

    J’ai également rencontré un certain nombre de leaders africains toujours dans le but de les sensibiliser et solliciter leur soutien, compte tenu de leurs affinités avec les autorités burundaises.

    Ma rencontre avec l’opposition burundaise de l’extérieur s’est déroulée à Bruxelles, le 14 octobre 2017 et a regroupé les responsables du CNARED ainsi que ceux de la société civile, en exil. Pour cette première entrevue, je leur ai surtout expliqué le sens de ma mission qui est essentiellement une mission de bons offices, cherchant, en appui aux efforts de la sous-région, à rapprocher les positions du gouvernement et de l’opposition en vue d’un dialogue inclusif inter- Burundians. Ma visite à Bruxelles m’a aussi donné l’opportunité d’avoir des échanges avec le Ministre des Affaires étrangères de Belgique et quelques représentants de l’Union Européenne sur la situation qui prévaut au Burundi.

    Mon retour à Bujumbura a été l’occasion de recueillir les vues de deux autorités morales de l’église catholique du Burundi, très influentes, en l’occurrence les évêques de Bujumbura et de Gitega.

    Ma rencontre le 2 novembre 2017 avec l’Ombudsman a essentiellement porté sur les échanges avec les opposants de l’extérieur, à Helsinki et l’adoption par le gouvernement de la nouvelle constitution révisée.

    L’Ombudsman m’a assuré qu’en dehors de la non-limitation relative et la durée de 7 ans du mandat présidentiel, prévue par la nouvelle constitution, le gouvernement a respecté toutes les autres dispositions de l’Accord d’Arusha.

    Toutes ces activités que j’ai eu à mener, ont fait l’objet d’un compte-rendu au Facilitateur, avec qui je me suis entretenu le 3 novembre dernier à Dar-Es Salam.

    De la synthèse d’ensemble, le Facilitateur, en accord avec le Médiateur et le gouvernement burundais, a décidé de la convocation, le 27 novembre prochain, à Arusha, d’une session de dialogue entre les représentants du gouvernement et toutes les autres parties prenantes burundaises, y compris l’opposition en exil. Ces assises se dérouleraient du 27 novembre au 8 décembre 2017 comme je l’ai dit à Arusha. Nous avons été informés que le CNARED ne serait pas prêt à y participer.

    Un sommet des Chefs d’Etat de la Communauté des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Est serait prévu en janvier 2018, qui entre autres, aurait à évaluer les conclusions de ces assises. Concernant la situation même au Burundi, il y a deux semaines, j’étais à Bujumbura et tout était apparemment calme, en dehors des manifestations de colère contre la décision de la CPI d’ouvrir des enquêtes sur les crimes contre l’humanité commis depuis 2015 au Burundi.

    Les manifestations ont également dénoncé les rapports sur les abus et violations des droits de l’homme, dont les allégations portent sur les cas d’arrestation ou emprisonnement, les disparitions forcées, traitements inhumains et dégradants ou restrictions de liberté d’association, d’intimidation, et discours de haine.

    Les autorités burundaises, s’attèlent déjà, à la préparation des prochaines élections, bien que la question du dialogue inclusif n’ait pas encore trouvé une juste solution.

    En conclusion, les Nations Unies ont l’obligation, quelles que soient les difficultés qui persistent, de continuer leur mission de bons offices, aux côtés de la sous-région, afin d’aider le Burundi à sortir de la crise. Nous restons persuadé que le processus politique demeure la seule voie pour le dénouement de la crise burundaise.

    S’agissant enfin des relations Nations Unies – Burundi, elles me semblent aller dans le bon sens. En effet, le Secrétariat des nations unies et le gouvernement poursuivent les négociations sur le projet d’Accord de siège. On notera, cependant, que le gouvernement n’a pas encore concrètement satisfait à sa décision de coopérer pleinement avec le Conseil des Droits de l’Homme et le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les Réfugiés. Les négociations se poursuivent également avec le Bureau du Haut-Commissaire aux Droits de l’homme.

    Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil, tell sens les principaux faits, que j’ai noté depuis mon dernier briefing au conseil. Je vous remercie de votre attention.  

  • 15 ноя 2017

    Good afternoon.

    I wanted to make a few remarks publicly as I conclude this visit, which is the fifth time that I have been to Colombia over the past two and half years. As always, I appreciate the warm reception received by everyone who gave of their time to meet with me and to share their insights on the peace process and their recommendations for the United Nations.

    Since arriving on Monday night, I have had meetings with President Santos and members of his cabinet and peace team, including the High Commissioner for Peace, the High Counsellor for Post-Conflict and the Minister of Defense. In addition, I remain in close contact with the Foreign Minister, who was away from Colombia this week, and with Colombia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. I also met here with senior leaders of FARC, Ivan Marquez and Pastor Alape, as well as with the ambassadors of the guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway, with the European Union and several other countries who have a strong interest in the peace process. I spoke with delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross, with the Organization of American States and with representatives of civil society on the National Commission for Security Guarantees. And of course, I relied in particular on discussions with SRSG Arnault and his team in the Verification Mission, as well as with UN Resident Coordinator Martin Santiago and the representatives of a number of UN agencies, funds and programmes.

    When I was last in Colombia, toward the end of June, it was a different moment in the peace process. The laying down of arms of the FARC to UN monitors was well underway in the zones and points where the group had concentrated its forces in observance of the cease-fire agreement. I visited the zone in Pondores, in La Guajira, where I witnessed the storage of FARC arms in UN containers. I also saw those same FARC combatants receiving the certification of having laid down their weapons, which qualified them for the opportunities of reinsertion into civilian life.

    The successful completion of this laying down of arms just three months later was, without doubt, a major milestone in Colombia’s transition from war to peace. This was an achievement that signaled to the country and to the world that the armed conflict with the FARC was over.

    I stated at that time that I was “profoundly impressed” by what had been achieved by the parties. This was not just a personal assessment. I was reflecting the admiration of the United Nations as a whole, and in particular of the Secretary-General and the Security Council, for all that has been achieved thus far.

    High hopes and expectations continue to be placed on Colombia’s peace process. There is immense goodwill in the international community. This said, I arrived this week, at the request of the Secretary-General, to convey a sense of growing concern about how the peace process has been evolving over the past several months. These are concerns of which Colombians working within the peace process and those following it internationally are well aware. They relate in particular to three key issues that are central to the early implementation of the peace agreement and to the mandate of the UN Verification Mission:

    • First, the state of reintegration of former FARC members. Reintegrating former fighters is a difficult prospect in any post-conflict situation. Success in the context of Colombia demands the development and implementation very quickly of opportunities that provide former fighters, including women, with an alternative that is attractive and distinct from that which may be on offer from illegal economies and other armed groups that could pull some number of them back into illegality. However, despite a range of commendable activities underway from the Government, the FARC itself and the international community, we are concerned at the lack of an overall strategy for reintegration matched by concrete plans and resources to enable its success. We believe efforts on a larger scale are needed, including by providing land for productive projects. The drifting of a number of FARC members out of the zones, for a range of reasons that include joining the so-called “dissidents”, is a troubling sign of what could be the result on a wider scale if reintegration efforts are not very substantially accelerated.
    • Second, the situation of security in the former conflict zones, particularly those areas that have been vacated by FARC in the course of their laying down of arms and conversion to an unarmed political movement. We share the deep concern about the reported vacuums of authority in many of these areas and the resultant insecurity for communities as other illegal groups move in to fill the void. This is the context in which we continue to see killings of social leaders and some former FARC members, and where authorities have themselves confirmed rising levels of violence. We saw this tragically last month in Tumaco, and I was saddened to learn of the killing, just in the past several days, of a former FARC member in Antioquia and of two community leaders, one in Nariño and the other in Cauca. We do recognize the effective operations to secure the areas around the ETCRs and the many responsibilities resting on the shoulders of the state security forces; however, we believe that more needs to be done very quickly to assert effectively state authority, by public security forces and civilian state institutions alike, in the former conflict zones. The experience globally in peace processes shows that it is vital in the immediate aftermath of an agreement to establish basic security in the post-conflict, to bring visible improvements to communities, and to get the reintegration of former combatants right. The consequences of failure to achieve those basic objectives are very high. In Colombia, such a failure would make it extremely difficult to achieve the broader objectives of the Final Peace Agreement in terms of developing the countryside, improving governance and respect for human rights, assisting and ensuring the rights of victims, broadening participation, especially by women, and combatting the illicit economies.
    • A third point of concern has been the legal uncertainties, particular as they affect members of the FARC, resulting from delays in approval of key legislation and the ongoing judicial review of a number of previously adopted measures -- especially the Special Peace Tribunal and the Amnesty Law, which was adopted nearly a year ago. We hope that following yesterday’s decision by the Constitutional Court on the Tribunal, Congress can now move quickly to adopt the implementing legislation and other important measures while fast-track powers remain in effect. This would only be consistent, in our view, with the decision of the same Parliament to ratify the peace agreement one year ago.

    In this context, I would like to stress something that President Santos spoke of in his address to the nation last night. We, too, have been particularly concerned about talk of the closing off of the avenue provided in the peace agreement to political participation by FARC. What I can say, from the United Nations’ extensive experience in the settlement of internal armed conflicts globally, over many decades, is that the decision by insurgents to forego armed violence in order to pursue peaceful democratic politics is the very heart of the matter. It is the deal, and it is at the center of the peace agreement. The failure, following the laying down of arms, to deliver on this essential compromise would have very serious repercussions for the process and would not be understood or accepted by the international community.

    We recognize that the peace process is subject to legitimate debate in the country. However, our appeal to all of Colombia’s institutions, parties and to the public at large is to appreciate that, independently of one’s views about different aspects of the Peace Agreement, all surely can see the interest in ensuring that former combatants are absorbed productively into legal civilian life. All surely can also see the national interest in ensuring that regions which for more than five decades have been besieged by lawlessness, violence and under-development are now stabilized and integrated fully into the economy and governance. It is our strong view that this can be achieved by the robust implementation of the Peace Agreement.

    My discussions over the past two days confirmed that these concerns are not only of the UN, but rather are shared widely. There is a common assessment that more must be done to ensure that the remarkable gains of the first phase of the peace process are maintained. I heard calls across the board to invigorate the reintegration process and to move more decisively to stabilize the former conflict zones with a mixture of a greater preventive presence of the security forces and of civilian state institutions.

    I appreciate the very clear statements I heard from President Santos and officials of the government and other state authorities, as well as by the FARC, of their commitment to overcoming obstacles. We listened carefully to, and were encouraged by, the President’s address last night. 

    Let me also state how strongly we welcome the initial assessments that the ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN) has been broadly complied with to this point. We hope that the parties can come to a timely decision on its extension past the 9th of January, and to communicate that as soon as possible to the Security Council.

    I return to New York tomorrow, and will have the opportunity to share the observations from this visit with the Secretary-General. He and the Security Council are following closely what is happening in the peace process. The next report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the mandate of the Verification Mission is due on the 26th of December. That is still more than a month from now, and it is our hope that by the time that report is finalized it can include the most positive assessment possible. This would be a sign that the next stages of the peace process are resting on solid ground, and would therefore give further confidence to the international community that has been so optimistic until now, and so committed to seeing that it succeeds.

    In conclusion, as is often said, implementation is even more difficult than negotiation. Our call is for Colombians to stay the course set out in the Peace Agreement.  

  • 31 окт 2017

    Mr. Chairman, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen,

    I have the pleasure to address the Fourth Committee on behalf of Under-Secretary-General Feltman and introduce the Secretary-General’s latest report on “Overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions”, requested by the General Assembly in resolution 71/100. USG Feltman regrets that his schedule did not allow him to be here today.

    Let me express DPA’s appreciation to the delegations of Finland and Mexico for their continued leadership on this agenda item, and their close cooperation with the Secretariat.

     

    Mr. Chairman,

    The current debate is the fifth the General Assembly has held on special political missions. The debate is a critical part of the ongoing discussion between Member States and the Secretariat on the key role played by special political missions in promoting international peace and security, as well as on the challenges they face in implementing their mandates safely and effectively, and the actions that need to be  taken to strengthen and support them.

    This debate, and the Secretary-General’s report submitted in advance of it, provides an opportunity to discuss the various policy issues reflected in GA resolution 71/100, as well as the priorities and concerns voiced by Member States in May this year during the annual interactive dialogue on special political missions.

    Since USG Feltman briefed the Fourth Committee on the SPM agenda item last year, the global operating environment has continued to face uncertainty, volatility and rapid transformation. Today’s conflicts are enormously diverse in nature, involving competition over state institutions, natural resources, and territory. The regionalization of the causes and consequences of conflict adds layers of complexity to our efforts to resolve them, as has been the case with respect to Syria, Libya and Yemen, to name but a few. Within some conflicts, we have seen the rise of political narratives and actors such as ISIS/ISIL and Boko Haram that reject the modern conception of the state.

    Against this backdrop, special political missions continue to play a wide variety of peace and security functions, demonstrating their versatility and flexibility. At national and regional levels, SPMs have played vital roles in advancing political transitions; in supporting governance, strengthening institutions and enabling democratic processes; and in identifying early risks and crafting effective preventive responses.

    The report of the Secretary-General details a wide variety of developments for SPMs, from the completion of the initial mandate in Colombia, where the mission supported the remarkable progress made by the Government and the FARC-EP towards the implementation of their peace agreement, and the establishment of the follow-up Verification Mission; to the expansion of the mandates of several panels of experts; to the strategic assessments and subsequent adjustments to the missions in Libya and Somalia.

    It also addresses a number of policy issues that arise from, or are made more urgent by, these trends in the mandates and operating environments of SPMs. Many of these issues were also raised by Member States during the interactive dialogue in May. Let me highlight four such issues.

    The first is the effectiveness of SPMs in preventing conflict and sustaining peace. The Secretary-General has called for a reorientation of the work of the Organization around a universal agenda for prevention. This has injected renewed energy into our efforts to strengthen the efforts of the UN to prevent conflict, as conceptualized in the Sustaining Peace resolutions, which call for a focus on “preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence” of conflict.

    With their diverse mandates and operational orientations, special political missions are a critical part of any effort to strengthen the Organization’s work on conflict prevention. The integration of a broad range of disciplines into the work of SPMs, including DDR, SSR, human rights and institutional capacity development, serves as a strong example of the three pillars of the Organization working effectively as one in support of prevention. The research conducted by panels of experts provides an invaluable source of information to the Security Council that underpins the effectiveness of sanctions regimes as a key preventive tool.

    The recommendations of the High-level Panel on Peace Operations and the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture provided a detailed technical agenda for increasing the effectiveness of SPMs, while the recent announcement by the Secretary-General of a surge in preventive diplomacy and the establishment of a High-level Advisory Board on Mediation have put new wind in their sails.

    A second important policy area is the strengthening of partnerships between SPMs and regional and sub-regional organizations, another priority for the Secretary-General. The case for close collaboration between SPMs and regional organizations on early warning and analysis, preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution has been thoroughly and convincingly made. We must now work to strengthen our links to these organizations and find innovative ways to collaborate, based on the principles of transparency, mutual accountability and comparative advantage.

    Over the past year we have taken major strides forward in the relationship between the African Union and the United Nations on peace and security cooperation, guided by decisions of the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council. The signing this April of the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, in particular, provides a strengthened basis for collaboration and technical exchange. We are also enhancing our collaboration with other regional organizations including the European Union, OSCE and League of Arab States. At the sub-regional level, our regional offices have made significant progress in building operational relationships with their counterparts.

    A third area of focus is the Women Peace and Security Agenda, where DPA’s efforts to deploy more gender expertise to special political missions has met with some success. The impact of these capacities on the work of the missions is tangible, with evidence of a gender-disaggregated approach to planning, executing and monitoring of the implementation of SPM mandates reflected in reports to the Security Council. DPA will continue to provide targeted support to help missions foster the roles of women in mediation and peacemaking efforts and to encourage women’s increased political participation.

    With respect to the fourth area of focus, as the focal point for electoral assistance, DPA has continued to respond to requests for support to electoral processes, including through SPMs. Increasingly, such support is targeted at medium-to-long term objectives of increasing the capacities of electoral bodies and addressing structural challenges that affect the success and credibility of electoral processes. A critical element of sustaining peace and preventing conflict over the long term, electoral support delivered by SPMs will need to continue to evolve to respond effectively to such demand.

     

    Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee,

    In addition to these four key areas, the Secretary-General’s report addresses our ongoing efforts to improve geographical distribution and gender representation in SPMs as well as to advance transparency, accountability and efficiency in the execution of our mandates. In particular, the report highlights the continued efforts that the Secretariat has made in ensuring that our missions are broadly representative of the United Nations membership.

    While some progress has been made to improve the representation of women in SPMs, progress is far too slow and will need to be accelerated to meet the Secretary-General’s goals for achieving gender parity across the Organization. Improving both the geographic distribution and representation of women in SPMs will continue to be priorities that DPA and its leadership take very seriously. The report also addresses in some detail the safety and security challenges faced by special political missions in an ever-more volatile global environment, and highlights some of the impediments to mandate implementation that missions operating in difficult security environments face.

    The real and serious nature of the security threats UN personnel face every day was laid bare in March 2017 with the murder of two members of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as of the four Congolese citizens accompanying them, who were killed while researching arms trafficking, armed group activity, and human rights abuses in the DRC. We pay tribute to the two brave young professionals, as well as their Congolese aides, and to all personnel of SPMs who similarly put their safety on the line to implement Security Council mandates.

     

    Mr. Chairman,

    We look forward to the consideration by the governing bodies of the various reform proposals put forward by the Secretary-General over the last few months. While Member States deliberate on the reforms, special political missions will continue to play a critical role in the UN peace and security toolkit. It is therefore vital that we retain a sharp focus on SPMs and the conditions required for their success, including international and regional political backing, relationships and entry points, and effective backstopping and support. We appreciate the support Member States have continued to demonstrate to this crucial tool, both in the General Assembly and in the Security Council.

    We will continue to work closely with the Fourth Committee to take stock of the progress achieved and challenges faced by special political missions, and seek your guidance and advice on the way forward.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman

  • 26 окт 2017

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on progress in the implementation of Resolution 2046 which is concerned with outstanding bilateral issues between Sudan and South Sudan, and, the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

     

    Mister President,

    As relations between the two countries have continued to be tense, it was hoped that the meeting between Presidents Bashir and Kiir that was planned to take place in Khartoum during the reporting period would provide guidance on the way forward, at best on the stalled implementation of the 2012 Cooperation Agreements, but this did not materialize- at least during the reporting period.

    The internal conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan, coupled with mistrust between the two countries, have continued to impede the full implementation of the Agreements and the normalization of their bilateral relations. At the extraordinary meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) held in Addis Ababa from 14 to 15 May, both governments recommitted to the resumption of regular meetings and to the implementation of the decisions taken at the last JPSM held in Khartoum in June 2016. However, the ordinary JPSM meeting agreed to be held in Juba by the end of June did not, take place after both governments exchanged, once again, accusations of harbouring each other’s rebels. An extraordinary JPSM meeting, convened by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel(AUHIP), is expected to take place on November 1st. In my engagement with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, I have reiterated that the agreements on Security Arrangements cannot be implemented without regular meetings of the JPSM, the main bilateral mechanism empowered to take decisions regarding security and the border.

    The monitoring of the border remains critical to peace efforts as border violations have the potential to be a flashpoint of military confrontation between the two countries. In line with the July 2011 “Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission”, both sides acknowledge the importance of border monitoring. If fully implemented, the JBVMM can help them prevent violations and cross-border incursions by armed groups, contain the cross-border circulation of weapons and assist in building mutual trust, particularly in the light of mutual accusations of harboring rebels. It can also serve to protect the flanks of the Abyei area.

    While there has been limited progress on security and border issues, the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan have continued to show more appetite for sustained bilateral cooperation in the oil sector. In September, the Ministers of Petroleum of the two countries agreed, in Khartoum on the resumption of oil production in the Unity State oilfields, which had stopped with the outbreak of the war in 2013. Sudan would provide technical assistance and electricity, and accommodate oil workers at its base camp in Heglig. 

    In line with “The Agreement on Trade and Trade Related Issues”, the two Governments agreed in September to boost border trade and approved the export of 54 Sudanese products to South Sudan through five border crossing points yet to be identified. It is expected that a meeting of customs and immigration officials will be organized to operationalize the agreement, while the branch of Sudan’s central bank at Kosti has been identified to facilitate transactions. The contemplated JPSM meeting at the end of this month is intended to expedite the establishment of the first crossing points.

    Sudan also continued to facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid to South Sudan by allowing the World Food Programme to deliver food assistance on 5 October to Aweil.

    With the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Sudan, South Sudan has expressed interest in a joint approach to the international community, including a creditor outreach strategy arrangement as contemplated in the “Agreement on Certain Economic Matters”, which has not been implemented so far. In my future engagement with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, I will encourage them to build on their sustained cooperation on oil, and their interest in enhancing their economic and commercial cooperation to implement, in a timely manner, the Agreements on Security Arrangements and Border Issues.

     

    Mister President,

    Since the independence of South Sudan, the most prominent outstanding territorial issue between Sudan and South Sudan has been the question of sovereignty over the Abyei Area. After an interval that followed the upsurge of violence in 2011 in Abyei resulting in the displacement of the population, and following the independence of South Sudan later in the year, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2046 in May 2012. This urges the parties to cease all hostilities and withdraw their forces. The main concern of the members of the Security Council was to avoid the risk of greater conflagration and, in the words of the Resolution, “returning to the horrors of the past, taking the entire region with them”.

    Today, thanks notably to UNISFA’s sustained and fruitful efforts for which Ethiopia should be commended, the risk of relapse into conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is low. The stabilizing role of UNISFA, described in detail by my colleague ASG Alexander Zuev in his briefing, should inform any decision the international community is considering taking regarding Abyei and the JBVMM.  The conflict prevention and mitigation strategy adopted by UNISFA and its engagement with both communities to foster dialogue and reconciliation have also been critical in averting an escalation of tensions.                                 

    This enabling role of UNISFA is, in my view, crucial for any future progress on the implementation of the transitional agreements and the arrangements on the border, as well as the resumption of talks about the final status of Abyei. In my continuous engagement with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, I have urged them to build on the relative improvement in their relationship, including through bilateral meetings between President Omar al-Bashir and President Salva Kiir, to take concrete measures to achieve progress on the joint administration of Abyei and resume discussions about its final status. 

     

    Mister President,

    Turning my attention to the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the Roadmap Agreement brokered by the AUHIP last year can, if fully implemented, lay the ground for lasting peace in Sudan as it contemplates a comprehensive solution to the conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas through peace negotiations and national political dialogue- resulting in a new inclusive social contract.

    Humanitarian aid delivery to the territories under SPLM-N’s control remains a major contentious issue, a road block, between the Government of Sudan and SPLM-N. The Government of Sudan has reiterated readiness to implement the US proposal on humanitarian access which consists of the US undertaking the delivery of medicines from within Sudan to South Kordofan and Blue Nile by air. The new SPLM-N leadership stated that the position of the movement on this matter has not changed and that it sticks to the delivery of some percentage of the humanitarian assistance directly from a neighboring country to the areas under its control.  In my future engagement with the parties, I intend to urge them to build on the current unilateral cessation of hostilities declared by both sides in the Two Areas, to resume talks on the basis of the US proposal on humanitarian assistance, under the auspices of the AUHIP.

    Thank you for your attention.

     

     

  • 25 окт 2017

    Сообщение для СМИ

    25 октября 2017 г., 50-ая встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей. Она была проведена в деловой и довольно конструктивной атмосфере. Общая обстановка на местах в плане безопасности, начиная с сентябрьской (2017 г.) встречи МПРИ, была оценена как спокойная и стабильная.

    50-ой встрече предшествовали презентации по борьбе с преступностью в условиях конфликта или постконфликтных ситуациях, представленные двумя международными полицейскими экспертами. Цель этой инициативы ООН состояла в том, чтобы уделить главное внимание различному международному опыту относительно того, как наладить и укрепить сотрудничество, обмениваться информацией и координировать действия правоохранительной органов. 

    На самой встрече, главным образом продолжилась дискуссия по инцидентам, которые уже  были обсуждены во время предыдущих встреч МПРИ. Участники также обменялись мнениями относительно расширения добровольного обмена информацией о значимой деятельности с целью укрепления доверия.  Была подчеркнута важность активного использования горячей линии связи и обмена точной информацией.

    Участники согласились провести следующую встречу 28 ноября 2017 г. 

  • 25 окт 2017

    On 25 October 2017, the 50th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship of the United Nations with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives. It was held in a businesslike and rather constructive atmosphere. The overall security situation on the ground since the September 2017 meeting was assessed as calm and stable. 

    The 50th meeting was preceded by presentations on combatting crime in conflict or post conflict environments by two international police experts.  The purpose of this UN initiative was to highlight various international experiences on how to establish and strengthen cooperation, share information and coordinate activities of law enforcement actors.

    The actual meeting mainly followed up on incidents deliberated at the previous IPRM meetings. The participants also exchanged views on enhancing voluntary exchange of information on sensitive activities for confidence-building purposes. The importance of actively using hotline and sharing accurate information was emphasized.

    The participants agreed to hold the next meeting on 28 November 2017. 

     

  • 18 окт 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    Today’s briefing is taking place as important developments unfold to end the more than ten year long Palestinian divide and return Gaza to the full control of the legitimate Palestinian Authority.

    Last month when Hamas dissolved the Administrative Committee, a parallel institution to run governmental affairs in Gaza, it agreed that the Palestinian Government of National Consensus should assume its responsibilities in the Strip.

    President Abbas welcomed this crucial step, promising on 20 September at the UN General Assembly that the Government would soon visit Gaza.

    The Secretary-General, the Middle East Quartet and several Member States expressed their firm support and encouraged the parties to build on the commendable efforts of Egypt to seize this positive momentum toward Palestinian unity.

    On 2 October, Prime Minister Hamdallah travelled to Gaza with a delegation of some 150 officials, including Ministers, key security agencies and heads of the energy and water authorities. On the following day, the Government held its first meeting in Gaza since 2014.

    The United Nations has worked with the Palestinian leadership and the region in support of this process. Special Coordinator Mladenov travelled repeatedly between Ramallah, Gaza and the region in recent weeks to support the reconciliation effort and alleviate the humanitarian crisis. He also led a UN delegation during the Government visit and engaged with the Prime Minister, as well as all Palestinian political factions and civil society to ensure their support for the implementation of the understandings reached between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo on 17 September. These understandings included a three-step process to advance Palestinian unity: the return of responsibilities in Gaza to the legitimate Palestinian Authority (PA); subsequent bilateral talks between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo, including on public sector employees, security and control of the border crossings; and consultations with all Palestinian factions.

    On 12 October, with Egyptian mediation, Fatah and Hamas signed an agreement that enables the Palestinian government to resume its responsibilities in Gaza. According to its provisions, by 1 November, the Palestinian Authority should take control of the crossings of Gaza. Separately a joint committee will be formed to resolve the issue of public sector employees that should complete its work no later than 1 February 2018.

    A statement released by Egypt further highlighted that the Government should assume its full responsibilities in the management of the Gaza Strip by 1 December 2017. It was further announced that Egypt has called for a meeting in Cairo on 21 November for all Palestinian factions.

    The agreement does not contain any provisions related to elections, the formation of a national unity government, or the disarming of Hamas.

    The Secretary-General has spoken to President Abbas and welcomed the signing of this intra-Palestinian agreement. Its timely implementation and concrete efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis will be critical for effectively empowering the Palestinian Government in Gaza. Its implementation should also facilitate the lifting of the closures, while addressing Israel’s legitimate security concerns.

    The agreement is an important step toward achieving the goal of Palestinian unity under a single, democratic Palestinian national authority on the basis of the PLO platform, the Quartet principles and the rule of law.

    The United Nations will continue working with the Palestinian leadership and the region in support of this process, which is critical for reaching a negotiated two-state solution and sustainable peace.

     

    Mr. President,

    I would like to take a moment to discuss the acute severity of Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and continuing human rights abuses.

    In an urgent call to action, during his August visit to the region, the Secretary-General called it “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises” he has ever seen. Since then, the conditions have only worsened.

    For the sixth consecutive month, the two million people living in Gaza have received electricity for a mere four to six hours per day. The lack of energy has had a devastating impact on all aspects of their lives.

    It continues to disrupt essential public services including health care, the water supply and sanitation systems. The equivalent of over 40 Olympic-size swimming pools of virtually raw sewage continues to flow daily into the Mediterranean Sea, leaving the whole shoreline contaminated.

    Gaza is an unfolding environmental disaster that has no regard for borders.

    The quality of health care inside the Strip is deteriorating at an alarming rate. Access to medical care outside Gaza has also become increasingly difficult.

    As the Government returns to Gaza, it is critical that urgent measures are taken to reverse these trends.

    Meanwhile in other worrying developments, on 26 September Hamas sentenced three men to death by hanging on the charge of murder, accessory to murder and burglary. There are serious doubts as to whether their trials and detention conditions in Gaza meet international standards. As in previous cases, if these executions were to be implemented, they would be done in violation of Palestinian law, which requires the approval of the President.

    I urge Hamas not to carry out such executions and I, once again, call on President Abbas to establish a moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty.

     

    Mr. President,

    Turning to the broader situation on the ground, over the past month violence has remained at low levels, compared to the rest of the region. Four Israelis were killed by a Palestinian attacker, who himself was shot, at the entrance of the Har Adar settlement on 26 September. It is deplorable that Hamas and others once again chose to glorify this attack.

    The UN urges all to condemn violence and stand up to terror.

    On 4 October, the body of an Israeli man from the settlement of Elkana was found in the Israeli-Arab village of Kafr Kassem with signs of extreme violence. Israeli authorities investigating the death arrested two Palestinians from the West Bank town of Qabatiyah in relation to the incident.

    During the reporting period in total 80 Palestinians were injured by Israeli security forces, with five Israelis injured by Palestinians.

    On 8 October, a rocket fired from Gaza toward Israel landed inside the Strip. No injuries or damage were reported. In response, the Israel Defense Forces shelled a Hamas post in central Gaza Strip, with no injuries reported.

     

    Mr. President

    Turning to the question of settlements, on 17 and 18 October, the Israeli High Planning Committee met to advance plans for more than 2,000 housing units in Area C of the occupied West Bank. This includes units in the new settlement of Amihai and a new neighborhood in Kochav Yaacov, both designated for settlers evicted by court orders from illegal outposts. Separately, a tender was issued for 296 units in Beit El and building permits for 31 units were conditionally approved in Hebron. Reportedly, the Hebron Municipality is expected to appeal this decision, which would delay the implementation of the building permits.

    This week, work began to prepare for the construction of infrastructure in Givat Hamatos, a settlement that, if built, would further disconnect East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

    I remain concerned about proposed legislation that, if adopted, would expand Jerusalem’s municipal jurisdiction by incorporating several West Bank settlements.

    The UN reiterates that all settlement activities are illegal under international law and are an impediment to peace.

     

    Mr. President,

    2017 has seen a significant decrease in Area C demolitions as compared to the previous year. Against this background some 13 residential, livelihood and public structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were demolished in the past month. This brings the total of demolished structures for the year to over 350. Meanwhile the number of demolitions in East Jerusalem is quickly approaching 2016 levels, which were the highest number since 2000.

    I am particularly disturbed by reported Israeli plans to evict specific communities, including Bedouin in Khan al Ahmar, adjacent to the E-1 area, and Susiya in the South Hebron Hills. Nearly all structures in Khan al Ahmar now have demolition orders. Many of the structures are donor funded, including a school that serves 170 children.

    I urge Israel to cease the practice of demolitions, which has led to the displacement of thousands of people.

     

    Mr. President,

    Turning to Lebanon, the situation has remained generally quiet in the UNIFIL Area of Operations and along the Blue Line. 

    On the occasion of LAF Commander Aoun’s visit to UNIFIL, on 22 September, the LAF formally announced the deployment of the 5th Rapid Intervention Regiment to the UNIFIL Area of Operations, fulfilling their earlier commitment to expand LAF’s presence south of the Litani river.

    The regiment has since deployed, and coordination of activities between UNIFIL and the regiment has commenced. On 19 September, HoM/FC Beary chaired a Tripartite meeting during which the parties discussed the UNIFIL mandate extension under resolution 2373, violations of Security Council Resolution 1701, Blue Line marking and ongoing liaison and coordination matters.

    On the Golan, the ceasefire between the State of Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic has been maintained, albeit in a volatile environment attributable to the ongoing conflict in Syria. Both sides have stated their continued commitment to the Disengagement of Forces Agreement and support for the full return of UNDOF to the area of separation, conditions permitting.

     

    Mr. President,

    In closing, I would like to emphasize that despite the overall negative trajectory that has characterized the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for far too long, there are reasons for cautious optimism.

    This past month, thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women united in a two-week march for peace that brought forward participants of all ages and backgrounds. The yearning for peace amongst both peoples remains strong. These grass-roots initiatives by civil society are critical to building the foundation for peace and must be supported.

    A key piece of the peace puzzle is to bring Gaza back under the control of the legitimate Palestinian Authority. The lack of Palestinian unity was identified in the July 2016 report of the Middle East Quartet as one of the main obstacles to achieving a two-state solution.

    Current Palestinian efforts to return the Government to Gaza must be encouraged; they must be supported; and they must be successful. The parties have taken a crucial first step in this process. They have demonstrated a willingness to engage positively and in good faith. Yet overcoming their deeply entrenched differences will not be easy, it will take time, and there will be many hurdles to overcome along the way.

    Success carries with it an enormous opportunity, just as failure carries with it great risks. Palestinians need to decide which path they will take. The international community must ensure that they are given every support and opportunity to reach a positive outcome, and we must ensure that work can move forward on ending the occupation and establishing a viable, sovereign Palestinian state that lives in peace and security with Israel.

    Thank you.

  • 17 окт 2017

    United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visited Myanmar from October 13 to October 17 at the invitation of the Government.  In Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, he met with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, among other officials, as well as with representatives of Myanmar’s civil society. He attended the ceremony commemorating the signing of Myanmar’s historic National Ceasefire Agreement and met with the signatory ethnic organizations.  He also met with the resident diplomatic community and representatives of international NGOs.

    Most of Under-Secretary-General Feltman’s discussions focused on the situation in Rakhine State and the plight of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled to Bangladesh in the aftermath of the 25 August attacks on security positions and subsequent military action. He reiterated Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call that humanitarian actors be given full and unhindered access to northern Rakhine State and that refugees be allowed voluntary, safe and dignified return to their place of origin. 

    Acknowledging the announcements by the Government of Myanmar, including the State Counsellor’s address to the nation on 12 October, regarding the establishment of programs and policies to address the humanitarian concerns in Rakhine and the return of refugees from Bangladesh, the Under-Secretary-General encouraged the authorities to utilize the capacities, best practices, and extensive experience of the United Nations to help assure that stated intentions could be implemented in a timely and effective manner.

    In northern Rakhine, the Under-Secretary-General viewed dozens of burned and destroyed villages by air and visited several communities affected by the recent violence. He also visited internally displaced persons’ camps outside Sittwe, set up in 2012. He witnessed how, in addition to the documented endemic discrimination against the Rohingya population, socio-economic challenges adversely affect all communities.  Mr. Feltman noted the Government’s endorsement of the recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State and urged their comprehensive implementation, which the United Nations can help support if so requested.

    In discussions with Tatmadaw officials, the Under-Secretary-General noted that, in the UN’s experience, successful counter-terrorism efforts do not rely exclusively on security measures.  He urged the Tatmadaw to support the full implementation of the Advisory Commission’s recommendations and credible investigations into allegations of human rights abuses by security officials in Rakhine.  He underscored the importance of accountability and non-discriminatory rule of law and public safety as part of the comprehensive approach needed to address the fears and distrust among communities in Rakhine.

    The United Nations is committed to supporting Myanmar and Bangladesh in their efforts to find a sustainable solution to the plight of the refugees and people affected by the recent violence and mass displacement. Returning to New York, Mr. Feltman will report to the Secretary-General as the United Nations continues to respond to the humanitarian and human rights crisis and positions itself to work with Myanmar to help relieve the suffering of the Rohingya population and address the grievances and needs of Rakhine and other ethnic groups.

  • 16 окт 2017

         

  • 11 окт 2017

    The 41st round of the Geneva International Discussions has just concluded.

    In Working Group I dealing with security issues, the situation on the ground was extensively reviewed and assessed as relatively calm and stable. The participants continued discussions and consultations on the topic of non-use of force, including on the content of a joint statement. They agreed to continue consultations on this matter during the period leading up to the next round. The participants also touched upon several other issues, including detentions along the dividing lines, access to farmland, exchange of information on military activities and the need to ensure justice for serious crimes.

    Environmental challenges impacting the livelihoods of the local population were raised by participants in both Working Groups as an issue of particular urgency. The participants agreed to conduct additional consultations in the coming weeks in order to find joint solutions.

    In Working Group II dealing with humanitarian issues, the participants discussed developments affecting the rights of the local population, including freedom of movement, property rights, documentation and education. The exchanges also covered the issues of missing persons, cultural heritage and archives. Unfortunately, because of long-standing divergent positions on the issue of returns of IDPs/refugees, it was again impossible to complete discussion of all agenda items.

    The participants agreed to hold the next round on 12-13 December 2017.

  • 27 сен 2017

    Mr. President,

    Let me update you first on the latest developments, and then turn to the way ahead on the political track and the implementation of Security Council resolution 2254.

    First, what’s happening on the ground. The Amman discussions and the meetings which have taken place very effectively in Astana have created four zones of de-escalation – in the south, in Eastern Ghouta, north of Homs, and in Idlib province. We also now have two other so-called de-confliction zones which have been brokered by the Russian Federation in Ifreen and Eastern Qalamoun. 

    However, the situation, you know it, we know it, remains still fragile. We are concerned by the al Nusra offensive in Idlib and Hama provinces following the Astana meeting, and the heavy fighting that has been taking place there. This includes some of the first airstrikes in the area since April, some allegedly hitting civilians and civilian infrastructure including health facilities, as well as heavy opposition shelling on civilian towns under government control in Hama and Latakia. We are also concerned at heavy fighting in other places. So the situation is far from perfect. Nevertheless, we have to admit, and we want to reaffirm it here, the creation of the de-escalation zones is a very important step in the effort to de-escalate the violence in the whole country and we are seeing the results of it.

    ISIL is being beaten back. Government forces have advanced in the eastern countryside of Hama and Homs and broken the three-year of the so-called siege of, which is taking place de facto in Deir Ez Zor city. The Government and allies recently crossed the Euphrates River. Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces with the backing of the International Coalition made further advances against ISIL, taking control of most of the city of Raqqa, while the SDF-led Deir Ez Zor military council has made advances against ISIL on the eastern banks of the Euphrates.  The Government and its allies have reportedly increased their strikes on SDF positions. Armed opposition groups are also involved in battle against ISIL in Daraa.  I wish to recall the United Nations’ calls for the protection of civilians – and this is the right place to do it – in Idlib, in Deir ez Zor, in Raqqa and elsewhere where fighting is still going on. 

    In the midst of this intensive military activity, while we all recognize that the fighting against ISIL is important, we need to remember that the civilians cannot be punished twice: already because they have been under the rule of ISIL and then because they happen to be unlucky enough to be there when the fighting goes on. I would like to urge that more needs to be done in the field of protection of civilians: more needs to be done to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure from military assault, and to ensure safe, sustained and unimpeded access to all civilians in need in Syria, wherever they are. You will hear more from my colleague Mark Lowcock on the latest humanitarian developments.

    Allow me nevertheless to specifically underline the issue of detainees, abductees and missing persons. Thousands of them according to their families are still missing, abducted or detained. We have not seen any progress on this issue – neither in Astana, despite several attempts and hopes; nor in Geneva. A very large number of Syrian families are suffering from the absence of their all detained or missing relatives, and lack above all information on their fate. They don’t even know if they are alive or not. The time has come to address this issue now as a major priority, particularly in this period when we see de-escalation taking place.

    I also hope that concrete results can be achieved in the near future on the issue of humanitarian mine action - I hate mines, I had three of my colleagues killed by mines both in Afghanistan and in Iraq. I’ve seen them in action -  as this would constitute another important confidence-building measure. I note with interest the ongoing dialogue between UNMAS and the Government of Syria in this regard.

     

    Mr. President,

    There is wide consensus that de-escalation arrangements must not lead to a soft partition of Syria, must not lead to a soft partition of Syria, and that Syria’s unity and territorial integrity must be fully upheld. I found many common perspectives through the hundreds of Syrians we are meeting regularly; Syrians of all backgrounds have voiced their strong rejection of any partitioning of Syria – its territory and its people.

    That is why de-escalation should be a pre-cursor to a truly nation-wide ceasefire, and to action on the humanitarian and confidence-building fronts – the issues identified in paras 12-14 of 2254. The Astana effort -- and the Amman one too -- should be seen as laying the basis for a renewed Geneva process -- one that moves from preparatory talks into genuine negotiations on the political future of Syria as envisaged in resolution 2254, tackling all four baskets of the agenda, and as welcomed by this Council.

     

    Mr. President,

    I have engaged both sides, as well as all those who have an influence over them, during the General Assembly, which has been as usual very useful. I attended a number of multilateral meetings in its margins, including one convened by the European Union - and I want to thank the European Union for that initiative - with a wide cross-section of international actors. I also had the opportunity to visit Washington on Monday, while my Deputy, Ambassador Ramzy, visited Moscow yesterday and today. I intend to maintain a high level of engagement with all concerned countries and Syrian parties in the weeks ahead.

    We will continue to engage with all participants in the Civil Society Support Room and to draw on the insights of the Women’s Advisory Board. Participants from both have strongly underscored to me the expectations of a broad cross section of Syrians for an inclusive political solution reflecting the interests of all Syrians and grounded in human rights, equality, and justice. They continue to call attention to the voices missing from the political process, including women who are half the population if not more. They should have an equal voice in the decisions shaping the future of their country.

    I wish to confirm today my intention to convene the 8th round of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva – I discussed it with the Secretary-General yesterday – in about a month from now – the precise date is to be determined. It should be no later than end October or very early in November. I am reaffirming that timeframe so that all concerned can use the crucial month from now until then to create conditions for those talks to be particularly meaningful. And I am calling on both sides – I repeat, both sides – to assess the situation with realism and responsibility to the people of Syria and to prepare seriously to participate in the Geneva talks without preconditions – without preconditions. Let me explain exactly what we mean by that.

    We believe the Government has an interest and indeed a duty to genuinely negotiate with the opposition that this Council has identified by name in 2254. Until now, the Government has conditioned its readiness to move from talks to real negotiations on the issue of opposition unity, and a commitment to certain essential principles. I also know how important the terrorism and counter-terrorism issue has been to the Government. But it is precisely at this time, as terrorism is starting to be defeated in Syria, - and we are watching it with our own eyes - that we need to preserve those gains on the ground and sustain them through a real and inclusive political process – guided by resolution 2254.

    The Government therefore should be urged to show by word and action that it genuinely wants to have a negotiation about credible, inclusive governance locally and centrally; about a schedule and process for a new constitution; about UN supervised elections -- all while the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Syria are preserved -- all while terrorism is combatted and defeated. It is important that those states who are friends of the Syrian Government encourage it to show its readiness to move forward, including on the substance of 2254, the agenda of the baskets, not just in broad terms, but in specifics, with details, sequencing and implementation modalities. This will not be easy, but it has to start, and the United Nations will be more than willing to be an honest broker in enabling real negotiations with the opposition.

    For its part, we also believe that the opposition has an interest and indeed a duty now to signal that it does want to speak with one voice and with a common platform in genuine negotiations with the Government on those 4 baskets and on the implementation of resolution 2254. No one is asking the opposition to suddenly stop being the opposition – but we are urging the opposition to realize that it is at its most credible and effective when it stands together, and shows readiness to negotiate, which means to give and take.

    In this regard, there has been a lot of hard work done by my office frankly. There is much to build from. My office facilitated valuable technical work of the three opposition platforms from May to July. The opposition should be urged now to take the opportunity presented by the effort of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to convene what they call an inclusive Riyadh 2 conference – which we hope and trust will take place in October before the Geneva talks and before Astana. That conference should be the time and place for the opposition, with the encouragement of those who have influence over it – and some of them are in this room – to ensure that it comes together, and presents a strategic approach to the negotiation process to realize the vision which remains always the same of 2254. The United Nations is ready to support this in any way we can.

    Let me caution all sides against illusions of victory or dreams of shortcuts. There is no substitute for a UN, internationally supported process based in Geneva on a comprehensive and inclusive approach that also helps Syrians to re-discover a modicum of trust and social cohesion after this bitter conflict.

    We need to remember: hundreds of thousands are dead, and millions carry the physical or psychological wounds of a brutal conflict. Millions are displaced, either within Syria or beyond, even as some are trying to return home. Thousands are detained, thousands have disappeared – many without a trace, and with no progress on revealing their fate. Infrastructure – particularly civilian infrastructure – has been destroyed on a scale that is not imaginable. Internationally proscribed terrorist groups, even if they are on the back foot today and they have shown their resilience in other places of the world in surviving battlefield reverses and thriving again – which they will or they could if there is no new political compact that enables the society to transition to a shared, inclusive, democratic future. The need to address the unmet grievances that exist in Syria is apparent to me from the range of Syrian voices who are not aligned neither with the Government nor the opposition.

    That is why, Mr. President, the time has come for the focus to return to Geneva, and the intra-Syrian talks under the auspices of the United Nations – yourselves. That is the only forum in which the transitional political process envisaged by this Council in resolution 2254 can be developed with the Syrian parties themselves, with the full legitimacy that the UN provides and the backing of the international community. We have a month until those talks - that is why we want to all work in this month. Let us use it to prepare them well.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

     

  • 19 сен 2017

    Сообщение для СМИ

    49-ая встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей.  Встреча была деловой и довольно конструктивной.

    Общая обстановка на местах в плане безопасности, начиная с предыдущей встречи МПРИ, была оценена как спокойная и стабильная.

    Участники продолжили обсуждение по делу от 19 мая 2016 г. об убийстве гражданского лица грузинской национальности на одной из бывших точек пересечения. Они обменялись информацией относительно предыдущих и недавних задержаний местных жителей, связанных с предполагаемыми “незаконными пересечениями”. Вновь прозвучал призыв рассматривать такие случаи с гуманитарной и административной точки зрения, а не как уголовное преступление. Участники также продолжили обсуждение касательно вопросов, связанных с пересечениями школьниками для получения образования на языке их выбора.

    Участникам было предложено уделить должное внимание предотвращению инцидентов и тесно сотрудничать в этом отношении, включая предоставление заблаговременных  извещений о значимой деятельности и активное использование горячей линии связи, которая доказала свою эффективность.

    Кроме того, участники продолжили использовать возможности на полях встречи для проведения интенсивных двусторонних обсуждений по интересующим их вопросам и укреплению доверия.

    Участники согласились провести следующую встречу 25 октября 2017 г. 

     

  • 19 сен 2017

    On 19 September 2017, the 49th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship of the United Nations with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives. The meeting was businesslike and rather constructive.

    The overall security situation on the ground since the previous IPRM meeting was assessed as calm and stable.

    The participants followed up on the 19 May 2016 killing case of a Georgian civilian man at one of the former crossing points. They exchanged information on previous and recent detentions of local residents related to alleged “illegal crossings”. An appeal was reiterated to handle such cases from a humanitarian and administrative angle, rather than as a criminal offence. The participants also followed up on the issues related to crossings by schoolchildren to access education in the language of their choice.

    The participants were called upon to give due attention to prevention of incidents and to closely cooperate in this respect, including by provision of an advance notice of sensitive activities and the active use of hotline, which has proven its effectiveness.

    Furthermore, the participants continued to take the opportunity in the margins of the meeting to conduct intensive bilateral discussions on issues of their interest and confidence building.

    The participants agreed to hold the next meeting on 25 October 2017. 

  • 18 сен 2017

    Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.

    We are grateful to Norway for convening and chairing this important forum. 

    Last month, I accompanied the Secretary-General in his first visit to Israel and Palestine in his new capacity. In the visit, he had the chance to speak with Palestinians and Israelis and with their leadership about their concerns, hopes and aspirations. The Secretary-General came away more convinced than ever that there is no alternative to the two-state solution that can bring an end to the conflict and meet the legitimate national aspirations and security needs of both sides.

    The evolving situation in the occupied Palestinian territory these past few months is deeply worrying. A man-made humanitarian crisis in Gaza is rapidly deteriorating, somewhat slowed by the United Nations delivery of fuel to key infrastructure facilities. The situation also remains volatile in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with little hope for a political breakthrough on the horizon.   

    The development needs of the Palestinian people, however, cannot be held hostage to the political stalemate. Israel, the Palestinian Leadership and the international community must each take tangible steps to improve socio-economic conditions on the ground and to protect human rights.

    However, economic development, critical as it is, is no substitute for sovereignty and statehood. Efforts aimed at achieving both must proceed in parallel. We must simultaneously pursue a three track approach — a political process with the clear objectives of two states living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition; a substantial effort to improve the socio-economic conditions of Palestinians that would reduce the vast discrepancies between the two societies; and an active engagement with the region to support the process.   

    This approach also requires dealing with the obstacles to meaningful engagement.

    Settlement activity remains a substantial impediment to the implementation of the two-state solution. It is illegal under international law and needs to stop. Violence and incitement, as well as the political divisions between Gaza and the West Bank also present substantial challenges to peace.

    Let me address also the situation in Gaza which is rapidly deteriorating and remains of grave concern for all of us. Hamas’ rule and militant buildup have continued for ten years. Israel’s restrictive closures also remains a key impediment to Gaza’s development. This long-standing reality is further exacerbated by the internal political divide between Fatah and Hamas.

    In this regard,  I welcome the recent statement by Hamas announcing the dissolution of the Administrative Committee in Gaza and agreement to allow the Government of National Consensus to assume its responsibilities in the Strip.

    I commend the Egyptian authorities for their tireless efforts in creating this positive momentum and I encourage all parties to seize this opportunity to restore unity and open a new page for the Palestinian people. This should facilitate the removal of Israeli closures on Gaza, in line with Security Council Resolution 1860.

    The United Nations stands ready to assist all efforts in this respect, most notably to address the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza and crippling electricity crisis.

    When I visited Gaza with the Secretary-General, I saw firsthand the deep sense of isolation within the population.

    Let me be clear - the risk of a major humanitarian breakdown is very high today as essential services are largely operating on back-up generators and with fuel provided by the UN.

    Today, our first priority should be to urgently stabilize the electricity supply by restoring the electricity coming from Israel to at least to pre-crisis levels. Once this is done we can seize the momentum and create a facility to finance the necessary infrastructure upgrades and increase electricity supply without a negative effect on the already strained Palestinian budget.

     

    Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    In conclusion, on the occasion of this AHLC, as we renew our commitment to support the development of the State of Palestine, we must take stock of the progress achieved to date. The formidable challenges notwithstanding, the Palestinian Authority has made tremendous strides in its ability to deliver services and expand its economy. These are laudable achievements, absolutely, but not an end goal. For more than 20 years, we have told Palestinians that they need to focus on institution building and socio-economic development. We have encouraged and supported them in preparing for statehood. The time has come for us to deliver on that promise.

    In this context, I want to express the steadfast commitment of the United Nations to do everything in its power to realize the two-state solution, to protect human rights and to advance the development aspirations of the people of the occupied Palestinian territory.

    Today, I hope that we can together commit to systematically easing the political constraints to Palestine’s development and statehood. I hope you will all take back to your capitals the urgency of the situation and a clear vision of the way forward.

    I wish you the very best in your endeavors. 

  • 13 сен 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin (S/2017/764).  

    Mr. President,

    Allow me to comment first on security and political developments. Thanks to coordination among affected countries, we have witnessed encouraging progress in the fight against Boko Haram.  The Secretary-General commends the Governments of the region for their efforts, including through the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). Without question, Boko Haram’s combat capacity has diminished.  But to compensate for this, Boko Haram has changed tactics, increasing the use of suicide attacks.

    We thank the Government of Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross for efforts in the release of an additional 82 girls kidnapped from Chibok in north-east Nigeria in 2014. The recent visit to Nigeria by the Deputy Secretary-General and the Executive Director of UN Women shed further light on the plight of women and girls in the Lake Chad Basin.

    Unfortunately the fight is far from over.  130 attacks attributed to Boko Haram in the four affected countries in June and July resulted in 284 civilian fatalities, a significant increase compared to 146 attacks and 107 civilian fatalities in April and May. The most affected countries remained Nigeria, followed by Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

    In terms of political advocacy, the two Special Representatives of the Secretary-General for Central Africa and for West Africa and the Sahel regularly visit the affected countries to promote enhanced inter-regional cooperation. They propose a regional strategy to address the root causes of the crisis. Such a strategy should be owned and supported by the affected countries as well as the relevant sub-regional organizations:  the Economic Community for Central African States, the Economic Community for West African States and the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

    The Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region in February, and the visit by this Council in March brought needed attention to the long neglected crisis in the Lake Chad Basin. The UN and international partners are working to sustain the momentum created by these events. Last week in Berlin, the UN participated in the first Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Oslo Consultative Group on Prevention and Stabilization in the Lake Chad Region.  This brought together representatives of the affected countries, donors and regional and sub-regional organizations. Discussions focused on addressing the structural causes of the crisis, including community stabilization, restoration of services, local governance systems and prevention of violence.

     

    Mr. President,

    Turning to the development challenges, I note that the Lake Chad Basin crisis has wreaked havoc on basic infrastructure, assets and government services. Insecurity has sparked large-scale unemployment and left 1 million school-age children deprived of education. The substantial economic impact of the crisis has reached nearly $9 billion across north-east Nigeria alone.  Poverty, low legitimacy of the State, human insecurity and climate change, among other challenges, compound this dire situation. As is so often the case, women and the youth are key risk groups.

    Conflict and displacement have eroded, and in some cases ruptured, the bonds between and within communities. Intra-communal structures and processes that traditionally regulated violence and resolved conflicts have weakened. We detect worrying signs of social fragmentation as tensions emerge from ethno-religious, social and other divisions, including between IDPs and host communities. Unless robust peacebuilding efforts are introduced, reintegration of ex-combatants, including from Boko Haram and vigilante groups, risks creating additional tensions and heighten the risks of secondary conflict.

    In addition, the report notes the need for greater attention and funding to support development interventions including community stabilization, economic revitalization and prevention to build community resilience and ensure durable solutions.

     

    Mr. President,

    Yesterday, Under-Secretary-General Lowcock of OCHA concluded his first visit to Niger and Nigeria to raise international visibility on the humanitarian situation,  discuss with the Governments and consider practical steps to further strengthen the response.

    Despite significant progress made in reaching affected people in the Lake Chad basin, the humanitarian needs in the region continue to be staggering. Some 10.7 million people require humanitarian assistance. With 8.5 million people in need, north-east Nigeria is again enduring the worst of this crisis. Funding continue to fall significantly short. At present, the regional appeal requesting $1.5 billion for 2017 is funded at only 40%.

    The region now faces the rainy season, when food insecurity is at its worst, with thousands of farmers having missed four planting seasons in a row due to conflict, resulting insecurity and displacements. Across the region, 7.2 million people are severely food insecure, including 5.2 million in north-east Nigeria, where an estimated 50,000 people are at highest risk of famine.

    The crisis displaced an estimated 2.4 million people, including 1.5 million children. New displacements occur alongside the return of IDPs and refugees. Given the continued insecurity and lack of basic services in many affected areas, involuntary and unsafe returns of refugees and IDPs must be avoided at all costs.

     

    Mr. President,

    On human rights, we are deeply concerned with the continued violations by Boko Haram, including killings, forceful use of children as suicide bombers and sexual and gender-based violence against women and children. Perpetrators must be brought to justice.

    The UN has also received numerous allegations of serious human rights violations committed in the context of counter-terrorism operations. The UN continues to advocate strongly with MNJTF to put forward a clear strategy to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, including by recruiting a dedicated gender adviser within its civilian component.

    The report notes our conviction that we must develop a common understanding that human rights violations are among the root causes of instability in the Lake Chad Basin and that impunity will fuel the crisis. Investing in traditional justice mechanisms at the community level is essential to sustainable reconciliation and stability. Prevention of terrorist activities, stabilization and recovery initiatives must integrate the human rights dimension.

    Sexual violence remains appallingly widespread in the region. It is a driver of forced displacement and a particular risk in displacement settings, where conflict-affected women and children are exposed to daily risks of exploitation. Those suffering from acute physical and psychological trauma need urgent medical and psychosocial care. The UN is exploring options for the deployment of dedicated expertise on conflict-related sexual violence to north-east Nigeria.

    The UN faces a serious funding shortage to deploy human rights monitors across the region. We reiterate our call to the international community to generously contribute funds to enable UN to support the establishment of national and regional mechanisms for the systematic monitoring and reporting of the human rights situation.

     

    Mr. President,

    Allow me to touch on SSR and DDR.  The lack of a comprehensive approach in addressing Boko Haram defectors, including clear and transparent criteria that are human rights-compliant and in line with the international terrorism framework, produces multiple challenges. Despite good faith, ad hoc efforts result in thousands of persons being irregularly detained and/or unpredictably processed. This situation is not productive, sustainable or in accordance with the rule of law, and justice is not served.

     

    Mr. President,

    In our view, the MNJTF efforts remain indispensable in resolving the crisis. However, the heavy financial investment borne by regional countries comes at a high cost:  Governments have no choice but to divert much of their national budgets from development to addressing national and regional security. Within the UN, Member States are careful to make sure that we do not shift development and humanitarian funds to peace and security work; we would hope that the affected countries could attract the support to do the same.  We welcome the pledges already made and encourage the further timely disbursement of contributions to enable MNJTF to address the challenges it faces.

     

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,                            

    In conclusion, I note that the complex and increasingly protracted nature of the Lake Chad Basin crisis calls for innovative and integrated solutions that bridge traditional divides between humanitarian and development strategies. UN is committed to adopting a New Way of Working that will address the urgent needs of the affected populations and the root causes of the crisis in a coordinated and phased manner. I urge all partners to redouble their efforts to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to the affected populations, as well as early and longer term recovery. That is the basis to build resilience and assure durable solutions to the crisis.

    We encourage, once again, the affected countries to jointly elaborate a regional strategy to address the root causes of the crisis. We hope that the planned regional conference on stabilization in N’Djaména, in October, will be the first step towards the development of such a strategy.

    We in the UN remain committed to working with regional countries on ending the violence, protecting civilians, promoting human development and alleviating the suffering in the Lake Chad Basin. We can prevent this crisis from growing but that would require greater political and financial support to the Lake Basin region. The Side-event on 21 September, in the margins of the General Assembly, will be a key opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its support for the region.

    Thank you for your attention.

  • 4 сен 2017

    Mr. President,

    Members of the Security Council,

    In a statement by its official news agency on 3 September 2017, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced that it had successfully conducted a sixth nuclear explosive test.

    The DPRK characterized the event as a quote “perfect success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)” end quote. The DPRK further said that it also – quote – “marked a very significant occasion in attaining the final goal of completing the state nuclear force” end quote.

    The Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Vienna said in a statement that the organization’s monitoring stations had picked up an unusual seismic event in the area of the site used in the DPRK for its previous nuclear tests.

    The CTBTO’s data indicated that the event measured approximately 6.0 in magnitude. Governmental sources from UN Member States measured a yield as high as 6.3. In any case, it is evident the yield of the device was larger than any of the DPRK’s previous nuclear tests. Experts have estimated a yield of between 50 and 100 kilotons, or on average more than five times more powerful than the weapon detonated over Hiroshima and at the low end of the yield of a modern thermonuclear weapon.

     The CTBTO detected a second smaller seismic event at the location of the DPRK test site eight and half minutes after the main event. The CTBTO has not yet completed its analysis of this second event, but experts have speculated that it could have been caused by the collapse of the tunnel used in the nuclear test.

    Mr. President, in an earlier statement the same day, the DPRK official media reported that their leader had inspected what they claimed to be a hydrogen bomb, which was conspicuously displayed in front of a payload fairing for a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile. The DPRK article stated that the hydrogen bomb was quote “a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack” end quote. This was a rare reference by the DPRK to the use of EMP, an electromagnetic pulse, which triggered by a nuclear weapon would aim for widespread damage and disruption to electricity grids and sensitive electronics, including on satellites.

    Mr. President, this is the second emergency Security Council meeting on non-proliferation/DPRK in less than a week and the tenth time the Security Council has met to discuss the DPRK this year. On 31 August, the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement to reject the Security Council’s recent Presidential Statement and said that the ballistic missile launch of 29 August was the quote “first step taken by the Korean People’s Army in its Pacific operation and a meaningful prelude to restraining Guam” end quote. There are reports today indicating that the DPRK may be preparing new ballistic missile tests.

    Mr. President, we are alarmed by this dangerous provocation. The Secretary-General condemns the underground nuclear test announced by the DPRK. This act is yet another serious breach of the DPRK’s international obligations and undermines international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts. This act is also profoundly destabilizing for regional and international security. The DPRK is the only country that continues to break the norm against nuclear test explosions. The Secretary-General reiterates his call on the DPRK leadership to cease such acts and to comply fully with its international obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions.

    Mr. President, the Secretary-General counts on the Security Council to remain united and take appropriate action. As was said in the Security Council meeting last week, as tensions rise, so does the risk of misunderstanding, miscalculation and escalation.

    The latest serious developments require a comprehensive response in order to break the cycle of provocations from the DPRK. Such a response must include wise and bold diplomacy to be effective.

    As the Council considers its reaction, the Secretary-General reiterates the importance of responding to humanitarian imperatives regardless of the political situation. The people of the DPRK rely on the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need.

    We will continue to carefully follow the developments and remain in close coordination with the concerned international organizations, Members of the Council and other governments concerned.

    Thank you.

     

     

  • 30 авг 2017

    Mr. President,

    I last briefed the Security Council after the 7th round of the Intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, which concluded on the 14th of July. Since then, we have been active in a range of diplomatic efforts and continuing contacts. I have recently held high-level consultations in Tehran and Paris, and my Deputy Special Envoy, Ambassador Ramzy, was earlier in Moscow and is currently in Saudi Arabia. Contacts are continuing with other actors as we seek to lay the ground for further rounds of talks that bring the parties into a genuine negotiation.

    Let me now elaborate on how I assess the situation at present, and what we think we can expect in the period ahead – in de-escalating violence, in combatting terrorism, and in advancing the political process.

    While undoubtfully there is still violence in Syria, the trend of de-escalation and the operationalization of de-escalation zones is indeed continuing. We are encouraged by the calm in the southwest, and the opening of a trilateral Amman Monitoring Centre by the Russian Federation, the United States of America and Jordan. Meanwhile, following a series of agreements with armed groups, including with the active support of Egypt and the Russian Federation, we have seen a significant reduction of violence in parts of the Ghouta de-escalation zone, although not in all of it. In Homs, we note that the Russian Federation's efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement are continuing. We are worried about reports of shelling and airstrikes north of Homs city, which we believe require the guarantors’ urgent attention.

    Meantime, the situation in Idlib is complex and complicated and needs close attention. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham – or as we still continue to call it, the former al-Nusra, a terrorist group identified by this Council – has seized territory from other armed opposition groups in this area. Its stated intention is to set up some kind of new Al-Nursa dominated administration. It is very important that Astana guarantors, in liaison with the Government and armed opposition groups, come to a speedy agreement to operationalize the de-escalation zone in Idlib. This will also require a very important element: protecting civilians; but that will be addressed I am sure by my colleague, Steven O’Brien.

    As efforts to combat terrorism continue, we are seeing ISIL/Daesh’s area of control being constantly shrunk – something I think everybody welcomes in the ongoing fight against terrorism. While the Government of Syria is proceeding towards Deir Ez-Zor, the Lebanese army has advanced against ISIL/Daesh on the Lebanese side of the border. The Syrian Democratic Forces and the US-led coalition continue their efforts to eliminate ISIL from Raqqa, while the Russian Federation is supporting the Government of Syria in proceeding towards Deir Ez-Zor.

    And while military operations are underway, rapid, safe, and sustained humanitarian access remains indeed essential, as well as the work for the release of the arbitrarily detained persons, and to shed light on the fate of the thousands of disappeared. All parties must also do their utmost to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure while this is happening. I am sure my colleague and friend, Under-Secretary-General O’Brien – who I would like to thank personally for his immense efforts on Syria – will further address these issues in his briefing on the humanitarian aspects. I also want to thank UNMAS for its continued readiness to support humanitarian demining efforts.

     

    Mr. President,

    The developments I have described are the result of a very timely process of prioritization and cooperation among key external players, and a realization among internal players of the need to compromise. The challenge ahead will be to extend this spirit into the political realm. This requires clear and new thinking from the opposition and the Government, and enhanced international cooperation.

    Let me start with the opposition. The opposition invitees to the Geneva talks – i.e. the HNC, the Cairo Platform and the Moscow Platform, those specified in SCR 2254 – have important and urgent work to do to develop common negotiating positions and strengthen their unity. It is high time. I briefed you last time on progress we have made with them in two rounds of UN technical talks in Geneva and nearby – there was important substantive progress, which should now be used as a springboard for further efforts. Given that many developments are taking place elsewhere between the actors of the opposition, we have refrained from holding further UN technical talks to give time for these developments to unfold and progress. But time must not be lost. Elevating common technical commonalities to the political level remains an imperative.

    I am grateful to Saudi Arabia for taking the initiative for a new, more inclusive meeting of the opposition – a Riyadh 2 conference as it is called, including with the hosting of a preparatory meeting last week. Our technical work and political support will be important contributions to these efforts. We will work closely with Saudi Arabia and all who have traditionally supported or engaged with the opposition in this pursuit. I recall in this respect that 2254 does encourage me to be active in any finalization effort in this regard.

     

    Mr. President,

    As we counsel fresh thinking and initiative on the part of the opposition, we may also need to do the same with the Government. The Government has indicated that it would be prepared to intensify its engagement with a unified opposition and with clarity on principles that govern the political process. But there are times when strong public signals are sent that indicate an exclusively military approach, and a dismissal of the prospects of any meaningful political negotiation.

    However, we have seen too many instances in other conflicts where, despite military advances, a government has not been able to turn those gains into a sustainable post-conflict situation, due to unmet political grievance and lack of genuine inclusion of all in the future of the country. That’s why we are convinced that both the Government and the Opposition should have a genuine interest now to engage in a serious discussion.

    Ultimately, it will only be Syrians who determine the future of their country. But an internationally supported and inclusive political process will be required to lay the foundation for a sustainable future, and for genuine reconstruction.

    It is in the profound interests of the long-suffering people of Syria that the government and the opposition realize that the time has come to engage in a more serious and concrete negotiation.

     

    Mr. President,

    In this regard, I would like to note that we are not only focused on the government and opposition, but are listening to the full range of Syrian stakeholders.

    Immediately after the 7th round, our OSE Civil Society Support Room completed regional consultations in Beirut, Gaziantep and Amman. These discussions involved over 120 actors and networks stemming from the Syrian civil society, establishing the foundations for future consultations in Geneva. It is becoming increasingly clear from these consultations that regardless of their perceived differences, all Syrians are impatient for the conflict to end and the political process to deliver. We will continue to encourage and facilitate their collective work.

    Let me also update you on the Women Advisory Board. Following its regular contributions to the work that was done during the 7th round of intra-Syrian talks, the 12-member board is currently undergoing a rotation exercise to ensure continuous diversity of perspectives.

    I count on the continued support of the Women Advisory Board to advise me and my team to ensure the meaningful representation of diverse women’s voices and women’s rights perspectives in the political process as we move forward. And we hope to see the same, both in the delegation of the opposition and of the Government.

     

    Mr. President,

    So, how do we bring all of this activity together into one common effort in the coming months to genuinely advance a political solution? What is the path forward?

    First, Russia, Iran and Turkey and others – including the United States of America, Egypt and Jordan – will need to keep actively working, as they have been doing, on de-escalation. The next Astana meeting, now scheduled for 14 and 15 September, should help to address these matters, and I and my team will be there to help.

    Second, it will be important that Saudi Arabia and all who have influence with the opposition focus as they are currently doing on one plan to foster the cohesion and realism of the opposition. We shall on our side be actively involved in that too, while, let me reiterate, standing ready for my office to convene further technical talks to support what Saudi Arabia has been trying to do in unifying the opposition.

    Third, it will be vital for those with influence on the Government of Syria to [urge it to] assess the situation carefully and signal a genuine readiness for dialogue and inclusion on the political future of Syria.

    Fourth, I appreciate the continued engagement and support of the European Union, and view the meeting it intends to host during the General Assembly as an opportunity to address future resilience and stabilization efforts and support the humanitarian needs of civilians.

    Bearing all this in mind, Mr. President, it is my intention to re-convene the formal intra-Syrian talks in Geneva later in October. This is designed to give time for the dynamics I have just described to reach a further stage of maturity. It is my hope that both the Syrian Government and the opposition will come to Geneva then to engage in formal negotiations.  

     

    Mr. President,

    This is a time for realism and focus, for shifting from the logic of war to that of negotiation, and for putting the interests of the Syrian people first. If I could identify one thing above all that can make the difference, it will be a sense of unity of purpose internationally with clear priorities and common goals.

    We need to find creative ways to proceed along the path of peace that this Council, with SCR 2254, has long sought to advance. With that, and our common encouragement to the Syrians in this regard, we can make a real difference in this tragic conflict. I also look forward to the occasion of the forthcoming General Assembly to see further occasions and initiatives related to an accelerated political process in Syria.

    Let me summarize so that we have on our radar screen some points that may be helping us to focus. First, our Security Council meeting and your own deliberations. Second, Astana is due to take place, and we want them to succeed and look at additional de-escalation areas. Then the opportunity that all of us will have at the General Assembly to promote and push for discussions, initiatives, related to an accelerated political process for Syria. Then, in October, we hope to see – and we will be working and pushing for it – that the Riyadh 2 meeting will contribute to produce a common platform among the oppositions, hoping meanwhile that the Government will also be helped to realize that there is now a need for a genuine and concrete political negotiation.

    Meanwhile, we hope that Deir Ez-Zor and Raqqa will be moving towards liberation. Hence, there will be even more urge for a sustainable political solution so that Daesh will not reappear again like it did in Iraq.

    Late October: Geneva talks. This time, we hope, serious ones, concrete ones. We are planning for two weeks in a row. That is basically what we are seeing on our radar screen. Things may happen to support the political process, to stop it, to complicate it or to move it forward, but we need a to have a common vision.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 24 авг 2017

    Monsieur le Président, Distingués Membres du Conseil,

    C’est pour moi un insigne honneur de prendre la parole pour vous présenter le dernier rapport du Secrétaire général sur la situation en Guinée-Bissau et les activités du Bureau Intégré des Nations Unies pour la Consolidation de la Paix dans ce pays (BINUGBIS).

    Notamment, je souhaite vous présenter mon analyse des derniers développements dans le processus de résolution de la crise en Guinée-Bissau, des étapes immédiates qui reste à franchir, et du rôle qu’il serait souhaitable que les Etats membres et le BINUGBIS continuent à jouer en vue d’assurer une stabilité à long terme et la réalisation du plein potentiel de développement économique et social du pays.

    A cet égard, j’aimerais souligner que l’Accord de Conakry et la feuille de route de la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO), demeurent le cadre principal pour résoudre la crise actuelle et aider la Guinée-Bissau à s’attaquer aux causes structurelles de l’instabilité politique et des blocages institutionnels récurrents depuis son indépendance. La mise en œuvre de cet Accord et de la feuille de route nécessite la volonté des acteurs politiques de la Guinée-Bissau, ainsi qu’un engagement dans la durée de la communauté internationale.  

    Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

    The political situation in Guinea-Bissau has evolved since my last briefing to the Council in February. Three months ago, tensions had reached a new peak leading the Guinea-Bissau based Group of International Partners to publicly express, on 26 May, concern over increasing inflammatory rhetoric and the threats of violent street demonstrations and to reiterate calls for restraint made by ECOWAS and the Security Council, among others.

    By contrast, in recent weeks, the tone of media coverage in the country has quieted down and dialogue aimed at resolving the political impasse within the framework of the Conakry Agreement has resumed between the parties to the crisis. In July, for the first time since the start of the crisis in 2015, bilateral discussions took place between the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the People’s National Assembly and leaders of the main political parties.  I congratulate Bissau-Guinean political actors for these positive developments.

    I must also acknowledge the continued efforts of the international community to convey the need for urgency in the implementation of the Conakry Agreement; the commitment of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS to maintain their focus and engagement on the crisis and their  determination to impose, if need be, targeted sanctions on those who obstruct the implementation of the Conakry Agreement ; as well as the intense facilitation efforts led by the Women’s Facilitation Group—with advisory, technical and operational support from UNIOGBIS.

     

    Distinguished Members of the Council,

    Next month, the three-month mandate extension for the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) by the sub-regional organization to enable Guinea-Bissau’s political actors to fully implement the Conakry Agreement will expire.

    The resolution of the crisis in Guinea-Bissau, within the framework of the Conakry Agreement, requires our continued engagement and support. As I brief you today, I believe that essential conditions exist for the implementation of this Agreement. To capitalize on recent positive developments and on the considerable concerted international efforts, I call upon the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government and the Security Council to jointly:

    • Exhort the President of the Republic to abide by his commitment to implement the Conakry Agreement within the timeframe provided by ECOWAS;
    • Exhort the leadership of PAIGC and the remaining members of the group of 15 parliamentarians expelled from PAIGC to complete their effective reintegration into the party;  
    • Encourage the leadership of PAIGC and the Party for Social Renewal (PRS), as well the three other parties represented in Parliament, to reach an agreement on a stability pact to ensure the stability of the inclusive government.

     

    Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

    As we enter a sensitive electoral period, with the legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 2018 and 2019, respectively, requisite measures must be taken to create an environment conducive to the holding of free, peaceful and credible polls.

    I therefore urge Member States to consider ways to financially support the continued presence of ECOMIB through the full implementation of the Conakry Agreement and the completion of the next electoral cycle.

     

    Distinguished Members of the Council,

    Recent positive developments include the continuation of processes around national reconciliation, through the Organizing Commission for the National Conference on reconciliation and with the support of UNIOGBIS; on combatting drug trafficking and serious organized crime, with joint support from UNIOGBIS and UNODC; as well as on mainstreaming women’s human rights and gender equality.

    Progress on the implementation of reform of the Security Sector has been slow, although the process has seen some positive developments, including the recent endorsement of an ambitious three year Joint Programme on Justice, Police and Corrections, which focuses on building the capacities of national law enforcement agencies and strengthening the national justice system. I have called on the members of the Peacebuilding Commission to support resource mobilization efforts to ensure the immediate implementation of this programme.

    On the economic front, economic growth is forecast to reach 5.2 percent on account of another strong cashew harvest in a context of attractive prices on the international markets. According to the IMF, the country has made notable progress in improving the macroeconomic frameworks and the management of the public expenditures. Better domestic resource mobilization in the absence of budget support has enabled the regular payment of salaries in the public sector.

     

    Distingués membres du Conseil,

     L’engagement concerté, et sur le long terme, de la CEDEAO, de la Communauté des pays de langue portugaise (CPLP), de l’Union Africaine, de l’Union Européenne et des Nations Unies reste crucial pour appuyer la mise en œuvre de l'Accord de Conakry. Ce n’est qu’en remplissant les conditions minimales posées par l’Accord que le pays pourra avancer dans le processus de réformes, organiser des élections crédibles et apaisées, canaliser les ressources nationales, et mobiliser l’assistance internationale nécessaire au soutien de ses efforts de développement socio-économique pour le bien-être de son peuple.

    J’encourage la CEDEAO à effectuer une mission d’évaluation de la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de Conakry par le biais de son Comité ministériel de haut niveau, conformément à la dernière décision de la Conférence des Chefs d’état et de gouvernement. Cela permettra à l’organisation de prendre la mesure des défis qui restent à relever, et de recommander des actions appropriées. J’encourage également les Chefs d’Etat de la CEDEAO à organiser une rencontre sur la Guinée-Bissau en marge de la prochaine session de l’Assemblée Générale. De plus, la concrétisation de la visite envisagée par le Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l'Union Africaine à Bissau au cours de cette année, en vue de suivre la mise en œuvre des décisions de l'Union Africaine et de la CEDEAO, serait une contribution importante au maintien de l’engagement de la communauté internationale aux côtés de la Guinée-Bissau. A cet égard, il serait souhaitable que telle visite puisse être effectuée conjointement avec le Conseil de Sécurité des Nation Unies.

    J'aimerais saisir cette occasion pour réitérer mes remerciements au Conseil pour l’intérêt qu’il n’a cessé de manifester concernant l’évolution de la situation en Guinée-Bissau, comme en attestent les réunions et déclarations de presse à ce sujet. Il est important que le Conseil maintienne son engagement. A cet égard, une session spéciale de consultations pourrait être consacrée à la Guinée-Bissau en marge de la prochaine Assemblée générale des Nations Unies pour s’accorder sur les prochaines étapes afin d’assurer la résolution de la crise.

    J’adresse mes félicitations à la CEDEAO et à son président en exercice, le Président Faure Gnassingbé du Togo, ainsi qu’au médiateur de la CEDEAO pour la Guinée-Bissau, le Président Alpha Condé de Guinée, pour leur engagement inébranlable en faveur de la stabilité dans ce pays et leurs efforts de médiation. Mes remerciements vont également à l’endroit de tous les partenaires régionaux et internationaux, notamment l’UA, la CPLP et l’UE, avec lesquels le BINUGBIS continuera à travailler de manière étroite afin d’aider le pays à maintenir le cap vers la stabilité durable et la prospérité, facteurs de paix et de stabilité régionale et internationale.

    Je vous remercie de votre attention. 

  • 24 авг 2017

    Thank you very much Mr. President for the opportunity to brief the Council on the situation in South Sudan. My remarks build on the briefing provided by Assistant Secretary General Wane and cover the developments relating to a resumption of a political process in South Sudan.

     

    Mister President,

    Since my last briefing two months ago, the five internal and regional initiatives to address the crisis in one form or another indicate continuing concern over the trajectory and depth of the conflict, without any of them so far presenting a definite breakthrough in the political impasses. However, I remain hopeful that some or a combination of them, may have the potential to positively impact the situation. 

    As we have heard from ASG Wane, there is sporadic fighting and widespread insecurity across the country. Our engagements with South Sudanese interlocutors, including the opposition, suggest that battlefield fortunes continue to inform the calculus of both the Government and its opponents. Alongside its military pacification efforts, the Government has created an appearance of reconciliation efforts, inter alia through the limited release of political prisoners.  

    The Government has further linked these efforts to the National Dialogue initiative, and to lay the ground to calls on political actors to prepare for elections in 2018. We have made clear to all external and internal stakeholders our view that the prevailing insecurity, (internal and external) population displacement, the lack of appropriate institutions or a reasonably level political playing field, in an increasingly divided ethnic environment, militate against organizing credible elections within a year, indeed it may well contribute to deepening and extending the conflict.

    ASG Wane has dealt with some of the challenges facing the National Dialogue and its potential contribution to long-term sustainable peace. I would simply draw attention, in the context of various current regional initiatives, to the possibility of the National Dialogue initiative being played off against other initiatives directly related to securing an immediate Cessation of Hostilities.

     

    Mr. President,

    Among the regional efforts, the Ugandan initiative has focused on the reunification of certain factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). This initiative led in late July to President Kiir, Madame Rebecca Garang of the Former Detainees group, and First Vice President Taban Deng committing to expediting the implementation of the Arusha Agreement of January 2015. This agreement concerned a resolution of SPLM intra-party problems.  With the continued absence of Machar’s opposition faction, and some among the Former Detainees reluctant to reconcile with President Kiir in such a manner, the Ugandan initiative continues to fall short of achieving its goal. It may even be divisive amongst and between opposition groups. President Museveni has also begun to engage groups outside the SPLM core, inter alia encouraging preparations for elections.

    Another regional initiative, the meeting of opposition parties that was to be hosted in Kenya by President Kenyatta, has not gained much traction. With the Kenyan Government focused on the outcome of recent elections, and the Former Detainees – who were the driving force behind the initiative – preoccupied with the Kampala discussions, the initiative appears to be stalled.  The apparent advantage to any peace process of dealing with a coherent opposition, and the rising competition and conflicts between opposition groupings, have led stakeholders to explore alternatives.  A meeting between Opposition parties, possibly outside Kenya, could be reinstated as part of preparations for the IGAD Revitalization Forum.

    The decision of the IGAD Heads of State summit of 12 June to convene a High-Level Revitalization Forum in respect of the 2015 IGAD sponsored peace agreement has begun to gain some momentum. It aims to include Government and Opposition groups in a dialogue to consider how to implement the Peace Agreement, and IGAD has appointed Special Envoy, Ambassador Ismail Wais, to follow through on its decisions. Recognizing the importance of securing President Kiir’s buy-in, the IGAD Council of Foreign Ministers met in Juba on 24-25 July. Following that, IGAD, with help from JMEC, UNMISS, and my office, carried out a mapping exercise on the relevant opposition actors to be included in the Revitalization Forum.

    In mid-August, I attended an IGAD-hosted meeting of independent South Sudanese experts in Ethiopia. The discussions were frank, and generated a number of recommendations for IGAD, including on which opposition parties to engage, and on how the Peace Agreement should be adjusted to reflect the new realities in South Sudan.

    While the IGAD initiative continues to have potential, a main concern, which I have conveyed to IGAD, is its cautious preparation for engagement with the opposition actors. While these engagements are delicate, the danger is that the more they consult with IGAD capitals, including Juba, the more suspicious the opposition will become that its agenda is partisan.

    Crucially, and irrespective of his declared commitment made to the IGAD Council of Ministers during their Juba visit to implement the IGAD summit decisions, President Kiir continues to prioritize the National Dialogue and the reunification of the SPLM, which he recently stressed would bring peace, with the revitalization process playing only a “supplementary role”.

    As IGAD grapples with these challenges it has already warned that the indicative timeline for holding the Revitalization Forum at the end of September will necessarily slip.

    Meanwhile, in regard to the AU’s engagement, the AU High Representative, President Alpha Oumar Konaré is awaiting the internal adoption of a broad AU engagement strategy on South Sudan before taking matters further. Previously, President Konare has emphasized speaking with one voice, the primacy of internal support for any solutions to the conflict, and a full and robust presence of the Regional Protection Force. President Konare is visiting Addis Ababa this week, providing my office an opportunity to engage and take stock on the current tracks of engagement, and the respective steps to be taken by the AU, IGAD and the UN. We will be concerned to establish mutual complementarity between IGAD and AU initiatives. This will be crucial as we enter a period of a more intensive public engagement by, respectively, your Council, the AU Peace and Security Council, and forums on the margins of the UN General Assembly.

     

    Mr. President,

    Given the motives and underlying logics that drive the National Dialogue, the SPLM reunification process, the IGAD’s Peace Agreement Revitalization forum, and even the AU plan of action, it would at first instance appear that these initiatives will clash or undermine each other. On the other hand, they could harness the potential complementarity. And such an outcome would require a clear commitment to an inclusive and credible peace process. We have underlined to the IGAD Secretariat the importance of distinguishing the particular goals of each initiative and to focus on how they can work to the greater good. The Revitalization Forum, the National Dialogue or the other initiatives should neither adopt the agenda of the other nor overload the agenda of competing initiatives with their own goals.

    In the quest for a more coherent approach therefore, my office will continue to work closely with IGAD, JMEC, the AU and UNMISS to support initiatives towards a sustainable peace.  I will also continue to engage South Sudanese stakeholders so as to open lines to all sides of the conflict.

    Thank you.

  • 22 авг 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    Thank you for this opportunity to brief you on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. As detailed by Special Coordinator Mladenov last month, the recent crisis in Jerusalem highlighted once again the unsustainability of the current situation, and the need for a political horizon and a clear re-commitment by the international community and both parties to ending the occupation and realizing a two-state solution that meets the legitimate national aspirations and security needs of both Palestinians and Israelis.

    Following the deadly 14 July attack in which two policemen were killed by three assailants in the Old City, three Israelis were stabbed to death in a terror attack and six Palestinians were killed during primarily peaceful protests, two as a result of live ammunition, which raises concerns about the use of force by Israeli Security forces.

    I join the Secretary-General in commending the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in line with its special and historic role, for bringing this crisis to a conclusion. I would also note positively the calls for de-escalation by prominent religious leaders on both sides. We encourage continued discussion among all concerned parties to ensure the safety and security of all worshippers and visitors, while upholding the historical status quo in the holy sites.

    In this context, continued security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is paramount, and the official resumption of contacts between the parties is vital.

    Mr. President,

    In other incidents in recent weeks, two Palestinians were killed and over 150 injured by Israeli Security Forces. Four Israelis were injured by Palestinians, including one civilian. On 28 July, a Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli Security Forces for reportedly attempting to stab a soldier at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank. On 2 August, an Israeli civilian was seriously wounded during a stabbing attack by a Palestinian in the Israeli town of Yavneh.

    On 8 August, militants in Gaza fired a rocket, which landed in an open area in southern Israel. The following day, the Israeli Air Force retaliated with missile fire at two Hamas installations in Gaza, injuring three people.

    On 17 August, an alleged suicide bombing killed one and injured five other in the Southern Gaza strip.

    Mr. President,

    Over the past month, other developments occurred that further undermine trust between the parties. On 26 July the Israeli Knesset approved in a first reading, an amendment to the “Basic Law: Jerusalem the Capital of Israel.” If approved, this law would further cement Israeli control over occupied East Jerusalem and would limit the ability of both sides to reach a negotiated solution that is in line with UN resolutions and prior agreements. Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the parties. Any move which could impact demographics in the city is extremely worrisome and could spark violence.

    On 25 July, 15 Israeli settler families illegally occupied the so-called Machpelah House in the divided city of Hebron, despite an ongoing Israeli legal process over ownership of the house. We urge Israeli authorities to resolve the situation quickly to avoid further tensions in this already highly charged town.

    Settlers reportedly also placed mobile homes near the settlement of Halamish in response to last month’s deadly attack there, as well as within the Shvut Rachel neighbourhood of the Shilo settlement.

    On 3 August, the Israeli Prime Minister delivered an inauguration speech at the launch of the construction of 1,000 new housing units in the Beitar Ilit settlement. In the speech, he praised the achievement of his Government in promoting settlements.

    Such actions only fuel perceptions that those working to obstruct the two-state solution are gaining the upper hand. I must reiterate that settlements are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace.

    Mr. President,

    In a few days’ time, we will mark the third anniversary of the ceasefire that ended the last round of hostilities between Hamas and Israel in Gaza in 2014, in which close to 1,500 civilians were killed. Since then the overall humanitarian conditions in Gaza have worsened. This was clearly documented in a recent UN Country Team report which looked at the state of Gaza’s population since Hamas’s take-over of the Strip in 2007, increasing concerns that the strip could become unlivable by 2020. The punishing measures taken against Gaza by the Palestinian Authority since April only add to the crippling humanitarian effect on the population of Israel’s closures. Whatever the political differences between the Palestinian factions, it is not the people of Gaza who should pay the price.

    Despite the reconstruction efforts over the past three years, some 29,000 people remain displaced, living in temporary shelters and in poor conditions. Completing our collective reconstruction effort in Gaza is within sight but Member States need to fulfil their funding commitments.

    The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, established by Israel and the Palestinian Authority with support from the United Nations in the aftermath of the conflict, has enabled much of the reconstruction. I encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to intensify their engagement towards improving the Mechanism to reach its full potential. It is also time for the parties to discuss the future of this provisional instrument with the goal of fully lifting all closures.

    Mr. President,

    Despite the import of fuel from Egypt to run the Gaza Power Plant, most residents are experiencing the sweltering summer heat with only 4 to 5 hours of electricity per day. The impact of the ongoing energy crisis is far-reaching, affecting the availability of clean water, health care and sanitation services. The UN continues to provide a lifeline through its provision of emergency fuel supporting a number of critical facilities.

    I call on Palestinian leaders to address the destructive consequences of the divisions. I encourage them to reach agreement that would allow the legitimate Palestinian authorities to take up their responsibilities in Gaza, as a step towards the formation of a united, democratically elected Palestinian government on the basis of the PLO principles.

    Hamas must also ensure that calm is maintained by stopping militant buildup against Israel and by doing its utmost to sustain security at the border with Egypt. Israel should step-up measures to lift the closures and facilitate development in Gaza as overall calm persists in the Strip, in line with Security Council resolution 1860.

    I also call upon donors to respond urgently to the $25 million humanitarian appeal made in July in the wake of the electricity crisis, and to fill the current 70 per cent funding gap.

    Mr. President,

    Turning briefly to Lebanon, the situation in the UNIFIL area of operations remained generally quiet. On 31 July, Major General Beary chaired a tripartite meeting with the parties during which both sides discussed violations of Security Council Resolution 1701, Blue Line marking and ongoing liaison and coordination matters. UNIFIL protested the presence of unauthorized weapons and uniformed personnel in violation of Resolution 1701 during a commemoration of the 2006 war organized by Hizbullah on 13 August.

    Military operations against militants continue on the eastern border with Syria. As a result of local deals, a number of militants and refugees were evacuated from the area of Arsal to areas in Syria. Support to the Lebanese Armed Forces and other security institutions of the State as the sole protectors of the security and stability of Lebanon remains important.

    In the Syrian Golan, the ceasefire between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic has been maintained, albeit in a volatile environment attributable to the ongoing conflict in Syria. Both Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic have stated their continued commitment to the Disengagement of Forces Agreement and support for the full return of UNDOF to the area of separation, conditions permitting.

    Mr President,

    Returning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, last month’s crisis in the Old City of Jerusalem, which hosts Holy sites of all three monotheistic religions, demonstrated that tensions can ignite, threatening to transform the nature of the conflict and spread across borders.

    It is, therefore, essential that international and regional partners remain engaged in ending the occupation and resolving all final status issues, in upholding and implementing the vision of two states living side-by-side in peace and security on the basis of all relevant UN resolutions, and in supporting both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take the necessary steps for an enduring peace.

    Thank you.

  • 17 авг 2017
  • 3 авг 2017

    Thank you, Mr. President for the opportunity to address the Security Council on issues related to United Nations sanctions.

    This Security Council discussion on sanctions is set against a backdrop of wide-ranging and sustained challenges to international peace and security.   New crises are straining the collective capacity to respond, while older conflicts are simmering, without resolution, and with the potential to reignite.   

    It seems timely therefore to take stock of the efficacy of UN sanctions, as was recently done for peace operations, peacebuilding and the women peace and security agenda.  Just as the causes of conflicts are complex and interlinked, the  responses must be effective, complementary and mutually reinforcing.  Sanctions are not an end in themselves. At their most effective, sanctions should contribute to a comprehensive political strategy, working in tandem with other Charter-based instruments, to prevent and peacefully resolve conflicts.

    Today, 13 Security Council sanctions regimes[1] play an enabling role in preventing conflict, countering terrorism and constraining the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  The Council has adopted tailored and calibrated sanctions measures to deter unconstitutional change of governments, the illicit exploitation of natural resources which fund the activities of armed groups, as well as violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular sexual violence in conflict as an act of terror.  Conversely, sanctions measures have been adopted to support implementation of peace agreements and peacebuilding efforts.  The Council’s sanctions regimes on ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida, as well as its 1718 regime on DPRK are central to international efforts to tackle terrorism and non-proliferation, respectively. Both have been continually adjusted to meet specific and evolving challenges, with due regard to the impact on civilian populations.

    Security Council sanctions are also a flexible instrument, subject to regular reviews, adjustments and terminations. In 2016, three sanctions regimes (Iran, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia) were terminated. While the Council has adopted 26 sanctions regimes since 1966, it has also terminated 15 regimes to date, invalidating the often-heard criticism that the Council establishes but does not terminate its sanctions regimes. 

    In this commitment to continually review its sanctions regimes, the Council has also requested the Secretary-General to take stock of various elements of the sanctions regimes.  Since 2014, the Secretary-General has provided assessments to the Council on the arms embargoes in Somalia and Central African Republic, as well as the sanctions regimes in Liberia and Guinea-Bissau. In his next report  to the Security Council on small arms and light weapons, the Secretary-General will provide  lessons learned on the implementation of arms embargoes in field missions. 

    Reviews of sanctions regimes have also resulted in strengthening responses to growing threats. Last year, the Council adopted two resolutions 2270 (2016) and 2321 (2016)) which considerably strengthened the existing sanctions regime on DPRK. In Libya, the Council expanded the prohibitions on the export of petroleum products, and designation criteria were adopted this year for acts of sexual violence in the Central African Republic, as well as in the  ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida sanctions regimes.  

    Moreover, the Council has combined robust sanctions enforcement with due respect for human rights through the Focal Point for Delisting in the Secretariat and the Office of the Ombudsperson for the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida sanctions regime. Over the last decade, the Council has made important strides in its due process commitments when imposing targeted sanctions on individuals and entities.

     

    Mr. President,

    Effective UN sanctions require the broad-based support of Member States and the international community at large. Even the best designed UN sanctions resolutions are not self-implementing. Member States would need to fulfill their implementation obligations.  And while there may have been different assessments of the implementation gap of UN sanctions, it is undeniable that the diversity and complexity of targeted UN sanctions regimes have imposed a considerable implementation burden on Member States and other implementing entities.

    To mitigate these difficulties, the Security Council and its sanctions committees have enhanced outreach to Member States, and especially to regional countries affected by sanctions. Sanctions committees routinely meet with regional countries to discuss implementation challenges. Chairs of sanctions committees have also held open briefings, including for regional groups, to promote awareness of Council sanctions regimes.  These are supplemented with the travel of committee Chairs to countries and regions impacted by sanctions, to gain first-hand understanding of the effectiveness of sanctions measures. Furthermore, all Security Council sanctions lists[2] have been made available in the six official languages, with linkages to UNSC-INTERPOL Special Notices[3], where available. The Secretariat has also been working on the implementation of an enhanced data model of UN sanctions lists to deepen the information base for more accurate screening of individuals and entities by relevant national and international authorities.

    While these are all useful means to enhance the application of sanctions, the implementation of UN sanctions is necessarily a “whole of government” endeavor and Member States would benefit from even greater “in-country” assistance.  Sanctions are adopted in New York, but they are mainly implemented at border crossings, ports, and airports as well as in banking and financial institutions, bringing together a multitude of governmental institutions at various levels as well as the private sector. Beyond Member States, the positive experience of Council’s partnership with INTERPOL (especially through the use of the [UNSC-INTERPOL] Special Notices) should be applied to other important partnerships, especially the aviation and financial sectors. 

     

    Mr. President,

    All previous States-led reviews of UN sanctions have stressed the importance of coordinated UN system-wide support to Security Council sanctions regimes. Since 2014, under the leadership of the Department of Political Affairs, the UN Inter-Agency Working Group on UN sanctions, comprising 26 UN entities, has continued its work to ensure system-wide support to UN sanctions. The Working Group is an important forum for promoting better understanding of UN sanctions regimes, facilitating the preparation of sanctions assessment reports, as well as promoting productive interactions among UN entities, sanctions committees and sanctions experts.  

    The Department of Political Affairs, through its Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD), has also continued its support to the Security Council in the design, implementation and evaluation of UN sanctions.  In recent years, SCAD has further enhanced its support to the Council, sanctions committees and their experts on substantive, procedural and technical issues.  Sanctions workshops and regime-specific briefings were organised for incoming members of the Council to explain working methods and procedural issues, as well as the substantive aspects of each sanctions regime. Furthermore, advisory support was also provided to Member States to facilitate implementation of UN sanctions regimes, in particular regarding exemption requests and implementation reports.   

    SCAD also plays a key role in the support to, and management of, the nine sanctions monitoring groups, team and panels[4], which comprise 59 sanctions experts.  Since 2013, the Division has organized an annual inter-panel workshop for all sanctions experts.  And since 2015, it has organized an investigative techniques workshop for relevant experts, in partnership with the UN Office for Internal Oversight and Audit. 

    The importance of our support to sanctions experts was brought into sharp focus, tragically, with the killings in March this year of Ms. Zaida Catalan and Mr. Michael Sharp, members of the DRC Group of Experts.  Even as we continue to press for full accountability for these abhorrent crimes, we need to also reassess the security arrangements governing the work of sanctions experts to ensure that such crimes never happen again.  In this regard, the findings and recommendations of the board of inquiry will be instructive, and we look forward to the support of the Security Council in the implementation of the necessary changes that may be required. 

     

    Mr. President,

    United Nations sanctions are a formidable instrument for global peace and security.  It is important that they continue to be deployed in tandem with other Charter-based instruments, in the service of clearly established objectives, and with respect for due process and human rights.

    Thank you. 

     

    [1] Somalia and Eritrea, ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida, Iraq, DRC, Sudan, 1636 (Hariri investigation), DPRK, Libya, 1988 (Taliban), Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic, Yemen, and South Sudan.

    [2] As of 31 July 2017, the UN Security Council Consolidated Sanctions List contains 1031 entries (654 individuals and 377 entities)

    [3] As of 31 July 2017, there are 583 UNSC-INTERPOL Special Notices

    [4] The Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team (supporting the 1267 and 1988 Sanctions Committees), the Group of Experts on the DRC, and the Panels of Experts on Sudan, DPRK, Libya, CAR, Yemen and South Sudan.

  • 26 июл 2017

    Сообщение для СМИ

    48-ая встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций (ООН).  Грузинские, российские, абхазские и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представители приняли участие во встрече.

    Общая обстановка на местах в плане безопасности, начиная с предыдущей встречи МПРИ, была оценена как относительно спокойная и стабильная. Особое внимание было уделено основному мандату МПРИ, то есть, предотвращение инцидентов и сотрудничество в ответ на любые события. В этом связи было высоко оценено частое использование горячей линии связи, и участникам рекомендовалось продолжить эффективно её использовать для предотвращения инцидентов и в гуманитарных целях, таких как случаи срочных медицинских эвакуации.

    В целях нахождения решения, была продолжена дискуссия по двум раннее обсуждённым случаям  - по делу от 19 мая 2016 г. об убийстве грузинского гражданского лица на одной из бывших точек пересечения и дальнейшее содержание под стражей двух людей за предполагаемое “незаконное пересечение”. Относительно второго пункта, вновь прозвучал призыв уделить должное внимание гуманитарной стороне этого случая и освободить задержанных как можно скорее.

    Участники обменялись имеющейся в наличии информацией по вопросам, связанным с видами на жительство и документами для пересечения. Кроме того, было сделано обращение к соответствующим властям рассмотреть механизмы для беспрепятственного  пересечения школьниками в течение предстоящего учебного года, который начнётся в сентябре.

    Применяя уже установленную практику, которая всегда приветствовалась Председателем, участники использовали на полях встречи для двусторонних обсуждений интересующих их вопросов.

    Участники согласились провести следующую встречу 19 сентября 2017 года.

     

    Read the English press statement.

  • 26 июл 2017

    Mr. President,

    I would like to start by congratulating you on assuming the presidency of the Security Council for this month.

    It is an honour for me to address for the first time the Security Council in my capacity as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General. As you are aware, EAC Facilitator, Former President Benjamin Mkapa was scheduled to brief with me this Council. Due to health reason, he is not here today. I wish him a speedy recovery.

    My briefing will focus on three aspects:

    1. my meetings in Bujumbura
    2. my preliminary assessment on the situation in Burundi
    3. and possible way forward

     

    Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    Arrivé à Bujumbura le 27 juin, j’ai été reçu, successivement, par le Ministre des Relations extérieures et de la coopération internationale, Monsieur Alain A Nyamitwe et par le Président Pierre Nkurunziza. J’ai eu avec le Président Nkurunziza près d’une heure d’entretien en tête-à-tête. Ma rencontre avec le Président était essentiellement une visite de courtoisie.

    J’ai également rencontré à Bujumbura, différents acteurs politiques burundais, les représentants de la société civile, et des confessions religieuses, les membres du corps diplomatique ainsi que la famille des Nations Unies.    

    En Tanzanie, j’ai été reçu par l’ancien Président et Facilitateur du dialogue inclusif inter-burundais, Monsieur Benjamin Mkapa, et le Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Monsieur Augustine Mahiga. Le Facilitateur dit avoir terminé son travail dont le rapport a été transmis au Président Museveni, le Médiateur en Chef du dialogue inter-burundais.

    A Addis Abeba, j’ai également eu des entretiens, en marge du Sommet de l’Union Africaine, avec le Ministre des Affaires étrangères de l’Ouganda, avec des leaders Africains qui suivent de près la situation au Burundi, notamment le Président en exercice de l’Union Africaine, Monsieur Alpha Condé, ainsi qu’avec le Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine, Monsieur Moussa Faki.  

     

    Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    Je viens de vous relater, assez rapidement, les contacts que j’ai eus dans le cadre de mon premier voyage au Burundi et dans la sous-région. J’imagine que vous vous posez la question de savoir quelle analyse je fais de ces différents échanges?

    Il ressort de ces entretiens, des appréciations divergentes sur la situation politique qui prévaut dans le pays. Les autorités burundaises sont confiantes en leur capacité à conduire les affaires du pays dans la sérénité. Elles estiment que la situation générale est calme, dénoncent les interférences étrangères dans la gestion de leurs affaires internes et rappellent leur attachement à leur souveraineté nationale.

    Les représentants de l’opposition politique et certains de la société civile, pour leur part, s’inquiètent de ce qu’ils qualifient de  dérives autoritaires actuelles du pouvoir et demandent, à cet égard, une plus grande implication de la région et de la communauté internationale, en faveur de la tenue d’un dialogue inclusif et sans préconditions et avec la participation de tous les Burundais. Ils souhaitent également, la suspension du processus de révision de la Constitution, en cours, ainsi que la fin de la violation de leurs droits élémentaires et l’hostilité des autorités à leur égard, laquelle s’accompagne, selon eux, d’une répression par les forces de l’ordre ou par des groupes proches du pouvoir. En revanche, les partis politiques et organisations de la société civile, favorables au pouvoir, sont d’un avis opposé.

    La situation socio-économique continue de se dégrader, en raison de la conjoncture politique tendue, qui dissuade l’engagement des investisseurs privés nationaux et internationaux. Le chômage, notamment des jeunes, est une réalité. Cette situation entraine des départs de populations vers les pays voisins, ce qui accroit indubitablement le nombre des réfugiés.

    Quant à la situation sécuritaire, elle s’est améliorée depuis le début de l’année. A Bujumbura, tout semble calme et la population vaque librement à ses occupations. On note toutefois que, ces dernières semaines  ont été marquées par des attaques à la  grenade ayant occasionné plusieurs morts et blessés. Pour l’instant, les raisons de ces attaques n’ont pas été élucidées. 

     

    Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    C’est une telle atmosphère de paix que l’on souhaiterait désormais au Burundi. Mais dans quelle condition et à quel prix pourrait-on y arriver?

    La première exigence est de donner la priorité au dialogue inclusif, condition sine qua non à tout règlement de la crise. Il devient impératif que le Gouvernement burundais accède à l’insistance des pays de la sous-région et de l’Union Africaine, appuyée en cela par les Nations-Unies, d’aller au dialogue inclusif, c’est à dire impliquant l’opposition exilée et celle de l’intérieur. C’est, à mon avis, à ce prix que nous parviendrons à instaurer la confiance entre les Burundais, à garantir des institutions crédibles, stables et démocratiques et à promouvoir la réconciliation nationale.

    De ce point de vue, l’Accord d’Arusha doit demeurer la norme de référence la pierre angulaire. Tous les acteurs non-gouvernementaux que j’ai eu à rencontrer, le reconnaissent et l’exigent.  

     

    Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    Les nouvelles perspectives et orientations que nous devons envisager pour le règlement de la situation du Burundi, doivent converger, me semble-t-il, vers une action commune et collective des dirigeants Africains, et d’abord ceux de la sous-région, solidairement avec les Nations-Unies, visant à:

                -Persuader le régime burundais d’accepter des mesures d’apaisement, notamment celles proposées par le Facilitateur et celles plus générales contenues dans l’Accord d’Arusha ;

                -Une action commune aussi visant à encourager le régime burundais à s’engager impérativement dans le dialogue inclusif inter-burundais.

    Dans cette optique, la récente visite du Président Nkurunziza au Président Magufuli de la Tanzanie, est un signe encourageant. Osons espérer que ce geste est l’indication de la  volonté de faire avancer le processus de dialogue inclusif.

    Voilà pourquoi entant qu’Envoyé spécial et alors que de nombreux hauts responsables Africains se décide à s’engager personnellement et à fond dans le règlement de la crise, je suggère d’apporter plus de discernement dans l’examen de la question burundaise.

     

    Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    Comme vous le savez, je suis à ma première mission exploratoire et  entends poursuivre mes consultations dans les jours à venir.  Je crois en l’engagement de la sous-région a ouvrer pour la paix au Burundi avec le soutien de l’Union Africaine et je recommande fortement que les Nations-Unies accompagnent et soutiennent résolument ces efforts.

    A terme, même s’il faut encore un tout petit peu de patience, nous arriverons certainement à un compromis dynamique.

    Par conséquent, et pour me répéter, tous nos efforts doivent porter sur ce soutien sans faille à la région et, en particulier, aux efforts du Médiateur et du Facilitateur ainsi qu’à ceux du Gouvernement de la Tanzanie.

    Je vous remercie de votre attention.

  • 26 июл 2017

    On 26 July 2017, the 48th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship of the United Nations (UN).  Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives took part in the meeting. 

    The overall security situation on the ground since the previous IPRM meeting was assessed as relatively calm and stable. The special emphasis was made on the key mandate of the IPRM, which is prevention of incidents and cooperation in responding to any occurrences. In this connection, the frequent use of hotline was highly commended, and the participants were encouraged to continue using it effectively for incident prevention and for humanitarian purposes, such as emergency medical evacuation cases.

    The earlier discussed two cases – the 19 May 2016 killing case of a Georgian civilian man at one of the former crossing points and the continued detention of two individuals for an alleged “illegal crossing” - were followed up with a view to finding solutions. With regard to the second point, an appeal was reiterated to give due attention to the humanitarian side of the case and to release the detainees as soon as possible.

    The participants exchanged available information on issues related to the residence permits and crossing documents. Furthermore, an appeal was made to respective authorities to consider the modalities for smooth crossing of schoolchildren during the upcoming school year, which commences in September.

    Following the already established practice, which is always welcomed by the Chair, the participants used the margins of the meeting for bilateral discussions on issues of their interest.

    The participants agreed to hold the next meeting on 19 September 2017.

  • 21 июл 2017

    The Ninth General Meeting between the United Nations (UN) system and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and its associated institutions was held at the UN Headquarters in New York on 20 and 21 July 2017.  The UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, and the Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, addressed the participants.  The meeting − which enjoyed wide participation of representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat and its associated institutions and of the UN system − was co-chaired by Ambassador Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations of the CARICOM Secretariat, and Ms. Martha Doggett, Director, a.i. of the Americas Division of the UN Department of Political Affairs.  Mr. Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Ambassador Granderson delivered closing remarks.

    The UN Secretary-General congratulated CARICOM on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the General Assembly session during which it was granted observer status at the UN and thanked CARICOM Member States for their leadership on pressing global issues, such as climate change and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).  He underlined that the UN system stood ready to help prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change, a global threat and a hurdle for sustainable development which affects, in particular, the most vulnerable countries such as Small Island Developing States (SIDS), including low-lying coastal States.  He commended the progress of regional integration in the Caribbean and welcomed the meeting as a means to increase bilateral cooperation between CARICOM and the UN.  The UN Secretary-General thanked the Caribbean region for its strong commitment to multilateral diplomacy and expressed his gratitude for CARICOM’s longstanding role as an advocate for Haiti.  He praised the contributions to the UN by CARICOM nationals who figure prominently among his senior advisers and the UN leadership in general, while calling for CARICOM and the UN to stand together in defense of the rights and well-being of future generations.

    The Secretary-General of CARICOM expressed the Caribbean Community’s appreciation for the support rendered by the UN System to the integration movement and the development of its Member States. He reiterated the Region’s commitment to the UN “as a principal forum for multilateral cooperation and a platform from which small States can be seen and heard.”  He outlined some of the major challenges faced by CARICOM, including the adverse effects of climate change, graduation from concessional development financing based on GDP per capita and not taking into account the inherent vulnerability of SIDS, crime and violence, the illicit trade in drugs and small arms, the threat of terrorism and extreme violence, the blacklisting of CARICOM Member States as non-cooperative tax jurisdictions despite their compliance with the relevant OECD regimens, the withdrawal of correspondent banking relations, and the high economic cost of addressing NCDs.  With regard to NCDs, Secretary-General LaRocque welcomed ECOSOC’s most recent resolution on their prevention and control, which, inter alia, called for greater financing to facilitate the work of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force.  He, also, noted the opportunity provided by the Ninth General Meeting to examine the impact of global changes and developments of significance to SIDS and to strengthen cooperation between CARICOM and the UN system in relation to those developments. 

    An update was provided on the Caribbean Community, highlighting the links between the Community’s four (4) pillars − economic integration, foreign policy coordination, human and social development and security − and the implementation of the Community’s first Strategic Plan 2015-2019.  The Meeting was also informed of the outcome of the review of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), which highlighted the significant progress made but also the challenges involved in completing implementation.  Note was taken of recent decisions of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community further strengthening the integration arrangements and charting the way forward toward making the CSME more effective.

    As part of the review of the implementation of decisions adopted in the previous General Meeting, the Meeting was informed of progress made in various areas of strategic intervention and received a briefing on the main activities undertaken via the UN Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (MSDF), which has been signed by fourteen (14) CARICOM Member States and twenty (20) UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes.  Taking into account that the UN MSDF and CARICOM Strategic Plan 2015-2019 are fully aligned and complementary, the UNDS proposed to use the UN MSDF as the Strategic Framework for collaboration with the UN system, which was welcomed by the CARICOM Secretariat.  Thus, CARICOM will continue to engage with the UN system in the Caribbean through the MSDF Annual Coordination Meeting to enhance collaboration and for better and faster results toward the SDGs in the Caribbean region. Also, the UN system will engage with CARICOM and its institutions to build initiatives addressing identified needs and gaps, while ensuring complementarity that may be identified by the MDSF Virtual Policy Networks.  This does not preclude the existing MOUs with specific UN Entities.  UN Agencies will continue to engage in specific areas of sectoral expertise with CARICOM.  The CARICOM side expressed its appreciation to the UN for its support. A brief overview of current changes and developments in the international and hemispheric political and economic environment and their geopolitical and geo-economic implications for the Caribbean Community was presented.

    The action framework that the UN has adopted regarding SIDS, with particular reference to the SAMOA Pathway, was presented.  Participants highlighted the challenges that Caribbean States face in the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda as well as the goals of the SAMOA Pathway.  The aim of the Caribbean Community in achieving a high level of congruity between the developments at the international level on SIDS with its regional strategic plan and the international sustainable development agenda was noted.  CARICOM stressed the urgency to take action, mobilize resources, strengthen cooperation and undertake activities needed to achieve the SDG and SAMOA targets.  Additionally, the economic and social burden on the region from the epidemics of CHIKV and Zika and the gap in regional health security was noted. 

    The Meeting also focused on the strong linkages between the development of Caribbean States and the environment.  The role that the CARICOM Secretariat and the UN system could play in supporting Member States’ participation in both regional and global multilateral environment agreements was highlighted.  CARICOM’s impending engagement in a series of national, sub-regional and regional consultations on the proposed Community Environment and Natural Resources Policy Framework and First Action Plan was underlined and discussion on these engagements with UN stakeholders was invited. 

    The Meeting also received a report on the energy situation in CARICOM Member States, which depend heavily on fossil fuels and which face technical, environmental and socioeconomic obstacles to improving energy efficiency.  Participants were updated on CARICOM’s Energy Policy, and the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS). The Meeting recognized the critical role of energy within the sustainable development agenda of CARICOM SIDS, along with key issues faced by CARICOM in integrating variable renewals and resilience into energy planning and in incorporating energy at the center of development planning.  CARICOM pointed out that a sustainable energy architecture, if suitably designed, could play a significant role in empowering Member States with an ability to implement some of the measures that are necessary for adapting to climate change and sea-level rise.  It could also support other critical interventions, which are necessary for Member States’ sustainable development and resilience building.  The General Meeting noted the positive steps made within the Caribbean Community, inclusive of the establishment of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CREEE), thanks in part to the critical support of international partners.

    Recognizing that the impacts of climate change will be felt most strongly by SIDS, CARICOM sought support for adaptation and mitigation measures and in implementing national action plants as well meeting commitments under the COP Paris Agreement.  Adverse effects include more extreme climate events occurring with more intensity, frequency and unpredictability.  The importance of community-level preparedness was highlighted, given the differential impacts of recent hurricanes in the region.  The UN recognized the capacity of CARICOM through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and offered support to strengthen partnerships for joint risk assessment, mobilization of disaster experts and resource mobilization.

    Additionally, the Meeting noted the multi-dimensional challenges of financing for development.  These included the lack of economic resilience and of access to concessional multilateral financing and a worsening of the external public debt situation resulting from a constrained fiscal capacity.  Several initiatives were being pursued by CARICOM States toward the achievement of fiscal and debt sustainability, such as a fiscal responsibility framework for the Caribbean Community and an ECLAC initiative on debt for climate change adaptation and debt reduction.  The Meeting was also informed of external challenges which exacerbate inherent vulnerabilities.  These included the decrease in correspondent banking relations − which disrupted international payments and capital inflows − and the high cost of compliance with the OECD-driven international tax agenda.

    CARICOM emphasized the need to advance measures to develop sustainable ocean-based economies in the Caribbean and the importance of technical assistance and investments in unlocking the potential of oceans and seas for food security, employment and the economic development of Caribbean countries, especially in the context of SDG 14 −  “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” −  and of the outcomes of the UN Oceans Conference held in June 2017.  CARICOM also highlighted the ongoing work on the development of a legally binding international instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.  The Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) was spotlighted as a model for protection and sustainable development of marine resources. 

    The important relationship between fisheries and the environment was underscored.  In recognition of the blue-growth concept, which focuses on generating economic growth from oceans and seas, CARICOM sought to expand and sustain the productive potential of fisheries and aquaculture, while developing new opportunities for trade in marine products and improving the resilience of coastal communities.  It was posited that although marine conservation and fisheries were treated as separate issues, they were part of the same system.  A call was made by CARICOM, therefore, for closer collaboration between the agencies involved in the maritime environment and those involved in fisheries, as well as for continued technical support from the UN system to develop and implement fisheries management plans, strengthen data collection and statistics for evidence-based decision-making, and build human resources in fisheries and oceans management. 

    A presentation was made on CARICOM’s Human Resource Development Strategy, which will focus on the development of technical and personal skills to address the workplace, the future of jobs and active citizenship. It was recognised that the opportunities for lifelong learning and certification presented through the proposed seamless system would be crucial in addressing wastage and the current high stratification of outcomes.  The importance of an inter-sectoral approach  and partnerships at all levels in ensuring successful implementation of the Strategy was stressed.

    Furthermore, linkages were drawn between the CARICOM’s HRD Strategy and the framework for the implementation of SDG 4: “Ensure inclusive and quality for all and promote lifelong learning” on education.  It was stressed that, as a basic human right, as a transformational force for poverty eradication, as an engine for sustainability, and as a force for dialogue and peace, education is a fundamental enabler for the enjoyment of other rights.  Implementing evidence-based education policies is in fact a key strategy to address all development challenges and uphold the 2030 Agenda.

    Prioritizing early-childhood development and addressing the need for reform and expansion of higher education were exemplified as commitments to lifelong learning in the region.  In order to improve learning outcomes, tackle disparities, prevent dropouts, secure completion of secondary education and increase completion of tertiary education, participants underscored the need to generate tangible outcomes in relation to SDG 4, such as: tying education with employment; moving towards a technology and gender-inclusive approach; developing vocational training based on requirements needed to go into the workforce and ultimately building a culture of human rights.

    Participants drew attention to the linkages between health and nutrition security, particularly with respect to the child population and underscored the value of the ongoing collaborative work between CARICOM and the UN in securing Food and Nutrition Security with emphasis on reducing the food-import bill through increased food production and trade, wider application of Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS), supporting the Regional NCD Strategy and implementation of effective Agricultural Health and Food Safety Systems.  The Meeting was advised of decisions of CARICOM Heads of Government supporting action in these areas and the importance of the Region realizing the potential for the contribution of agriculture.  CARICOM expressed its appreciation particularly to the FAO for its ongoing contribution to the Region’s agriculture sector. 

    Participants assessed youth development as an accelerating factor for national and regional development, paying attention to the outcomes of CARICOM’s Youth Development Action Plan.  The benefits of systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective, including a gender perspective in development frameworks, were underscored.  Participants agreed on the need to foster the use and collection of data and application of gender-analysis tools such as the CARICOM Gender Equality Indicators as a means to support and amplify Governments’ capacity to achieve gender equality and monitor and assess its SDG implementation. Participants welcomed the decision of the CARICOM Heads of Government during the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting celebrated in February of 2017 in Guyana to endorse the “Every Caribbean Women, Every Caribbean Child Initiative” and to take actions to address  women’s, girls’, children’s and adolescent’s health.  Attention was drawn to the fact that gender equality, including the prevention of gender-based violence and adolescent pregnancy, as well as combating NCDs and HIV requires a multi-sectoral approach that relies on the availability of sex-disaggregated data as a minimum requirement in all monitoring frameworks.

    UN participants praised CARICOM’s leadership in raising global awareness of NCDs.  Cooperation options between the UN and CARICOM to improve Caribbean States’ health systems were explored, including sexual reproductive health and “Fast Tracking” the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, under a convening role of CARICOM/PANCAP. 

    The regional challenges regarding transnational organized crime and citizen security were discussed.  CARICOM highlighted its concerns regarding the escalating crime and violence in the region and their deleterious impact on society  and the need for support for interventions to eradicate this scourge.  Participants agreed on the need to maintain a comprehensive approach to security issues.

    Responding to the priorities emphasized by CARICOM, the UN also stood ready to continue to support the Caribbean region in strengthening the approach to citizen security through tackling key areas of concern, including criminal intelligence and the control of small arms and light weapons, as well as the strengthening of capacities at both the national and regional levels for statistics.  UNODC applauded the work of the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) in the development and drafting of the Caribbean Agreement for the Return and Sharing of Recovered Assets and pledged to continue to support the development, adoption and subsequently the implementation of the Agreement in the region.  As the Caribbean region, led by IMPACS, seeks to strengthen its capacity to prevent, combat and prosecute terrorism through the development of a Caribbean Counter Terrorism Strategy − currently under development − the UN System aimed to support the implementation of the Strategy through the focus on region-wide strengthening of the legal counter terrorism framework, at both the national and regional levels, in line with UN Security Council resolutions.

    An overview was provided of the University of the West Indies (UWI)’s 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, which is focused on expansion of access to tertiary education, alignment of industry and academia for wealth creation and economic growth, and UWI’s agility to respond to global opportunities.  In highlighting the UWI’s current thematic research areas, synergies with the MSDF in the Caribbean, the SDGs and CARICOM development goals were identified, with the UWI pledging to increase UN access to its research and graduate talent.

    Participants agreed that the Ninth UN-CARICOM General Meeting achieved its goals of strengthening the existing partnership between the two organizations and identifying ways to maximize progress in the priority areas of cooperation.  The Tenth UN-CARICOM General Meeting is expected to take place at the CARICOM Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana, in 2019.

  • 12 июл 2017

    Mr. President,

    The situation in Yemen remains extremely grave. The intensity of the conflict increases day after day and the tragic humanitarian situation continues to worsen.

    For a third successive year, Yemenis have seen the Holy month of Ramadan transformed from a month of tolerance and peace into a month of violence and hopelessness. Yemen has seen an increase in battles of attrition between the parties to the conflict, and the pace of military operations has increased in Hajjah, Marib and Al Jawf governorates. Since 10 June, fighting has also escalated significantly in Taiz and areas to the east of the city. The fighting for control of the Presidential Palace in the city has intensified in parallel with indiscriminate shelling in residential areas, leading to an increase in the numbers of dead and injured, and further destruction to the city’s remaining civilian infrastructure. There have been numerous casualties in Ma’reb governorate, particularly during the battle for control of Serwah district.

    Violence has also continued in Hajjah governorate and the border area between Yemen and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including on 22 and 29 June when rockets landed in the Jizan area of Saudi Arabia. Airstrikes have continued to hit numerous locations in the governorates of Saada, Taiz, Marib and Sana’a. Airstrikes hit a market in Moshnaq village in Saada on 18 June and Al-Mokha town on 4 July. Both incidents resulted in numerous civilian deaths and injuries, including women and children.

    I am deeply concerned by the continued targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure by the parties to the conflict. I have consistently urged the warring parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. The targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and must stop immediately.

    On 15 June, an Emirati ship was subjected to a bombardment from the vicinity of Al-Mokha port, threatening maritime security in the Bab Al-Mandab strait. The continued targeting of vessels in the area seriously jeopardises the provision of much needed humanitarian and commercial supplies to the most vulnerable Yemenis.

    In addition, security continues to be undermined by the activity of extremist groups including Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. On 7 June, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device targeted the convoy of the Abyan Chief of Security, killing two of his bodyguards. Later in the month, on 14 June, militants detonated an improvised explosive device at a police station in Al-Dhale’ governorate, killing the Chief of Police and wounding several others. As part of their counter-terrorism efforts, on 27 June, the Government of Yemen re-deployed additional forces to Abyan, Lahj and Taiz.

    As I have stated here many times, the longer the conflict lasts, the more the terrorist groups will expand and threaten Yemen’s future.

     

    Mr. President,

    The humanitarian situation in Yemen is appalling. The people are suffering from war, hunger and cholera, which has spread further during the last few weeks. The country is not suffering from a single emergency but a number of complex emergencies, which have affected more than 20 million people and whose scale and effect will be felt long after the end of the war. 14 million people are food insecure, of whom almost 7 million are at risk of famine. My colleagues will provide further details on the humanitarian situation in their briefings.

    Cholera is spreading rapidly and is infecting children and elderly people and other vulnerable groups in many areas of the country. There are now over 300,000 suspected cases and over 1,700 have died as a result of the epidemic. Tens of thousands of healthcare workers have not been paid for many months, more than half of the country’s health facilities have closed and supplies of medicine and medical equipment remain severely limited.  

    The speed and scale of Yemen's cholera outbreak highlights the consequences of a collapsed public sector system. I praise the generous donation of USD 67 million from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which helped to slow the spread of the disease. I call on other donors to provide further contributions as soon as possible. The non-payment of salaries for healthcare workers and other staff in the public sector is an urgent issue. If this is not addressed the health situation will continue to deteriorate and key state institutions will cease to function. I fully support the joint UNDP, WHO and UNICEF proposal to support immediate payments to health care workers as soon as possible in advance of an agreement to restart salary payments nationally as I have proposed. I encourage member states to support this important initiative which will help ensure the maintenance of health care services. Preserving national capacity is critical to stabilizing the humanitarian situation now and to securing service delivery in the future.

    A World Bank-financed cash transfer program is expected to disburse the first quarterly payment to the most vulnerable households across the country in August, benefitting about eight million Yemenis. My office has been working continuously with partners to ensure the success of this initiative, to support household purchasing power, avoiding widespread destitution, improving the general situation and restoring hope. I hope that the international community will heed this call and support these initiatives. 

     

    Mr. President,

    Over the last year, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and I have called repeatedly for the resumption of commercial flights from Sanaa. The lack of commercial flights has placed an unnecessary burden on the population and worsened an already desperate humanitarian situation. I appeal to the Coalition and the parties to the conflict to support our proposal for the resumption of regular flights specifically for individuals requiring medical care, students studying abroad and the reunion of families.  

     

    Mr. President,

    I continue to encourage the parties to work towards the agreements I outlined during my last briefing to this Council. I am planning to invite representatives of Ansar Allah and GPC to restart discussions of these ideas as soon as possible. In the past few days, I was in direct contact with Ansar Allah, which is cause for optimism. I am grateful for the efforts of the People’s Republic of China for playing an instrumental role in this regard.

    The proposed agreements focus on the Hodeidah port and the surrounding area and aim to ensure the continued flow of basic humanitarian supplies and commercial goods through the port and to implement a programme for collecting taxes and other revenues so that they can be used to support salaries and services, instead of supporting the war. An agreement on the port of Hodeidah should become the basis for a national agreement for the resumption of salary payments nationwide that will provide some relief to many Yemenis. Without doubt, such an agreement will require clear mechanisms to ensure that all state revenues, whether collected in Hodeida, Sanaa, Aden or elsewhere, are used in support of salary payments and the reactivation of state institutions in all areas of the country.

    The Government of Yemen has reacted positively and has agreed to negotiate on the basis of my proposals. In my meetings with President Hadi he agreed on the necessity of implementing measures to ensure the delivery of humanitarian and commercial supplies, and prevent arms smuggling and the diversion of taxes and other revenues. I arrived this morning from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where I met Saudi Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister His Royal Highness Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud, and I welcome the commitment by the Saudi leadership to support agreements between the parties on these issues.

    I will depart for Cairo tomorrow to continue my current work with the Government of Yemen and regional leaders on these ideas. I also hope to meet with the delegation of Ansar Allah and GPC soon to discuss the possible agreements on Hodeidah and salaries as a preliminary step to a national Cessation of Hostilities and a comprehensive resolution to the conflict which restores peace to Yemen. It is essential that Ansar Allah and the GPC engage with me constructively and in good faith on these proposals if they truly want an end to the war and improvements in the humanitarian situation.

    I reiterate my sincere gratitude to the international community, which has consistently supported my efforts and the proposals that I have put forward to the parties. I briefly visited France recently and the new government has re-iterated its support for the peace process. Regional and international unity is critical in order to secure peace and security in Yemen.

     

    Mr. President,

    I commend the courageous efforts of Yemeni civil society, who continue to push for peace in spite of many security challenges. In June, the Yemeni Women’s Pact continued to promote a spirit of compromise and mechanisms that could put an end to this devastating conflict. I recently met a group of Yemeni youth activists who also demonstrate the same commitment and dedication. Yemeni civil society groups are in constant contact with my team and me. They are supportive of the efforts of the United Nations and recognize that only a political solution will end the war and the suffering of the Yemeni people. Their drive and sense of nationalism carries with it high hopes. I wish that the political leaders would mirror these activists’ love of their nation and its people, which I sense with each and every proposal I receive from them. They are the true voices of Yemen, far removed from personal concerns and considerations. They convey the suffering of the people from the farthest corners of the country.

    The political leadership must recognize that the continuation of the war can only lead to more human and physical loss, and complicate crucial questions on the future of the country, including the grievances of the South. In this context, the Southern Question requires a deeply considered solution and I call on Yemenis to address this question through dialogue and peaceful means.

    Finally, I want to note that history will not judge kindly those Yemeni leaders who have used the war to increase their influence or profit from the public finances, and Yemenis’ patience will not last. The people need an alternative to politicians who work for their own interests and not for their country, who destroy and do not build, and who use the finances of the people and the state to enrich themselves, rather than serve the people.

    I call on all of the parties to act for the sake of peace. Their excuses are unacceptable, and their justifications are unconvincing, especially when the solutions are in plain sight. The opportunity to reach peace is not yet lost.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

     

     

  • 5 июл 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    According to the official news agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and various governmental sources, at approximately 09:00 am local time on 4 July 2017, the DPRK launched a ballistic missile, which it termed a quote – “test-fire of inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-14” – end quote.

    The missile was launched near the Panghyon airfield in the northwest of the DPRK.  According to the DPRK, it covered a distance of 933km during a 39-minute flight, reaching an altitude of 2,802km, before impacting into the sea.  According to these parameters, the missile would have a range of roughly 6,700 km if launched on a more typical trajectory, making it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) according to widely used definitions.  The DPRK again did not send pre-launch notifications to international organisations responsible for airspace and maritime safety.

    The official media claimed the DPRK was now – quote – “a full-fledged nuclear power that has been possessed of the most powerful inter-continental ballistic rocket capable of hitting any part of the world, along with nuclear weapons” – end quote.

    This is the seventh time the Council has met to discuss the DPRK in 2017.  Including today, five of these emergency consultations have followed the launch by the DPRK of ballistic missiles in open violation of Security Council resolutions.

    Mr. President, the Secretary-General strongly condemns the launch of a ballistic missile of possible intercontinental range conducted by the DPRK.  This action is yet another brazen violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and constitutes a dangerous escalation of the situation.  The DPRK leadership must cease further provocative actions and comply fully with its international obligations. The Secretary-General underlines the importance of maintaining the unity of the international community in addressing this serious challenge.

    The DPRK must stop actions in violation of Security Council resolutions and allow space for the resumption of sincere dialogue.  All parties must work to reopen communication channels, particularly military-to-military, to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding.

    Amidst the escalation of the security situation in the region, the United Nations and partners play a critical role in saving the lives of the most vulnerable people in the DPRK. As the Council considers its response, we again remind Member States of the importance of separating political and humanitarian concerns, and urge them to support the life-saving activities carried out by the humanitarian organisations in the country.

    Mr. President, I would like to close by reiterating the Secretary-General’s commitment to seeking peaceful and political solutions. The United Nations will remain in close contact with all concerned parties and remains ready to assist in any way possible.

    Thank you.