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UN Daily News
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UN Daily News
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Issue DH/6680
In the headlines:
• Despite recent positive steps, Ukraine situation
• UN envoy denounces latest attack on Lebanese
• In Windhoek, Ban inaugurates UN House, hails
• UN reports foreign direct investment hit $1.4
• Iraq violence: UN confirms more than 2,000 killed,
• UN officials welcome move to set up interim
remains deeply worrying, Security Council told
cooperation with Namibia
injured since early June
•
Illegal trade in wildlife, timber products funding
criminals, armed groups – joint UN report
• Central African Republic: UN official urges strong
action to protect women, girls
security forces
trillion in 2013, upward trend to continue
administration for south-west Somalia
• Citing value for money, deputy UN chief urges
generous support for Peacebuilding Fund
• Pakistani offensive against Taliban militants
uproots over 400,000 people – UN agency
Despite recent positive steps, Ukraine situation remains deeply
worrying, Security Council told
24 June - While there have been several steps recently to help de-escalate tensions in
Ukraine, including a ceasefire that seems to be holding and the start of peace talks, the
situation on the ground remains deeply worrying, senior United Nations officials reported
to the Security Council today.
“There are encouraging signs towards de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, and political
and diplomatic steps are beginning to emerge towards the resolution of the crisis,” Assistant
Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun said in his briefing.
Assistant Secretary-General for Political
He said this is due in large part to the initiative taken by President Petro Poroshenko since
his inauguration on 7 June to find a peaceful, lasting resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, as
well as to the unrelenting efforts of the international community.
Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun briefs the
Security Council on the situation in
Ukraine. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
Mr. Zerihoun highlighted the recent peace plan for eastern Ukraine put forward by the President, which included deescalatory measures such as amnesty for those who did not participate in ‘serious crimes’; disarmament; decentralization of
power and early local and parliamentary elections; and a programme for creation of jobs in the region.
At the same time, the President – upon the advice of his military commanders that the border with Russia has been secured –
announced the start on 20 June of a week-long unilateral ceasefire aimed at giving armed militia a window of opportunity to
disarm.
The armed militia groups have agreed to reciprocate the ceasefire, despite previously rejecting the President's offer and
continuing their offensive, noted Mr. Zerihoun. Also, peace talks have reportedly started with representatives of armed
groups in eastern Ukraine.
“Overall, the ceasefire is holding,” he stated, adding that the UN expects all sides to live up to the ceasefire and to leave the
For information media not an official record
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24 June 2014
door open for effective negotiation and mediation toward a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
“Today, in a welcome development and one that will not only help reduce tensions but also improve the chances for a
negotiated settlement, President Putin asked the Russian parliament to revoke the authorization to send troops to Ukraine,”
Mr. Zerihoun stated.
“While these are important steps, with the potential to de-escalate the situation, the Secretary-General remains deeply
concerned that the realities on the ground are still grave and deeply worrying,” he stated.
While the peace plan has received support from key parties in the country, the region and beyond, there is still more hard
work to be done, he said. “The international community needs to support Ukraine in surmounting the current crisis and
finding a peaceful and lasting resolution to the challenges facing the country.”
Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, told the Council that the peace plan and ceasefire are
positive steps in the right direction. “This creates a window of opportunity for human rights and humanitarian confidencebuilding measures.”
He recalled the recently released third monthly report of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, which
highlighted the rapidly deteriorating situation in the eastern part of the country during the period from 7 May to 7 June.
“However, the situation has deteriorated even further, since the cut-off date of the report,” he stated. Estimates based on
information gathered from official sources indicate that from 15 April to 20 June, 423 people, including servicemen and
civilians, have been killed.
In addition, he said there is an increase in arms and recruitment for the armed groups, while abductions and detentions by
the armed groups remain a worrying trend. The lawlessness continues to spread. Human rights abuses by the armed groups
are increasing and common criminality is rising.
In the context of the Government’s security operations, there has been an increase in reports of enforced disappearances and
of excessive use of force that have led to casualties among the general population, Mr. Šimonovic reported.
He added that the population is leaving, partly due to fear, but also because of the worsening situation of economic and
social rights.
Over the last two weeks, the population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has doubled in the country with a large
movement of people – estimates of some 15,200 – within the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
As of 23 June, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has profiled more than 46,100 IDPs – 11,500 from
Crimea and nearly 34,600 from the east. In the absence of a formal registration system, and given the limited access to some
areas by humanitarian partners, the number of IDPs is likely to be higher, Mr. Šimonović noted.
In Windhoek, Ban inaugurates UN House, hails cooperation
with Namibia
24 June - Hailing the valuable history between the United Nations and the Namibian
people, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived today in Windhoek to “write another
chapter in our cooperation,” as he inaugurate the UN House there, which will help enhance
the coordination of the world body’s activities and agencies working in the country.
United Nations House, Namibia. Photo:
UNDP Namibia
“This donation of the UN House is a stellar example of Namibia’s role in supporting the
United Nations,” said Mr. Ban at the ceremony commissioning the facility, adding that:
“We can all take pride in the accomplishments you have achieved in only 24 short years
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24 June 2014
since independence in 1990.”
“I applaud Namibia for its tremendous progress on national reconciliation, press freedom, the adoption of human rights
treaties, and substantial economic growth. Namibia’s sound economic policies have enabled it to transition to upper-middleincome status in a very short period,” said the UN chief. “This makes Namibia an economic frontrunner in Africa.”
He went on to commend Namibia for its invaluable support for UN peacekeeping operations and welcomed the country’s
leadership as a member of the Human Rights Council. “I thank Namibia for presiding over the UN General Assembly during
its 54th session for the negotiations which resulted in the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG),” he
added.
As the UN prepares for the post-MDG period, Mr. Ban said he is pleased Namibia is playing a leadership role in developing
Africa’s Common Position on the development agenda beyond 2015, the deadline for achieving the Goals.
“Namibia has also demonstrated its leadership in addressing HIV/AIDS, reducing poverty, protecting the environment and
promoting gender equality,” he said. Namibia is also advancing a regional approach to migration issues in Southern Africa
and mainstreaming migration in its development agenda.
“Of course, important challenges remain, most notably income inequality and unemployment, especially among youth. I
understand that the current fourth National Development Plan aims to address these issues head on,” he said.
Mr. Ban went on to note that he is leading a global campaign to end all forms of violence against women and children. “We
must all take steps to change harmful gender norms and support the empowerment of women and children,” he said, noting
that the UN Partnership Framework recently signed with the Government has a specific outcome on gender equality and
gender-based violence.
While in the Namibian capital, Mr. Ban met with President Hifikepunye Pohamba. According to a UN spokesperson, the
two exchanged views on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and underscored the importance of united
action by all actors in the region.
They also discussed climate change issues, especially related to desertification and drought. Mr. Ban welcomed Namibia’s
announced participation at the climate change summit to be held in New York this September.
The Organization, through the early days of the League of Nations and later the UN, has had a long history with Namibia,
formerly South-West Africa. In 1966, South African forces began combating an insurgency by the People's Liberation Army
of Namibia (PLAN), the military wing of the Namibian-nationalist South West African People's Organization (SWAPO).
The height of the UN involvement came in 1967, when, during its fifth session, the General Assembly established a UN
Council “to administer South-West Africa until independence, with the maximum possible participation of the people of the
territory.”
The next year, it adopted the name “Namibia” for the territory. The Security Council then endorsed the Assembly’s actions
by adopting resolutions 264 and 269 of 1969. Meanwhile, in 1968, the General Assembly created the post of UN
Commissioner for South-West Africa. The Assembly renamed the post UN Commissioner for Namibia in 1968.
The UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) was the peacekeeping force deployed from April 1989 to March 1990 in
Namibia to monitor the peace process and elections there. Namibia achieved its independence from South Africa on 21
March 1990.
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Iraq violence: UN confirms more than 2,000 killed, injured since
early June
24 June - More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq, and another 1,000 injured in the two
weeks since the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) and its
allies began to sweep across the country, the United Nations today confirmed, stressing that
those figures should be viewed “very much as a minimum.”
According to the human rights team at the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), at
least 757 civilians were killed and 599 injured in Nineveh and Salah al-Din provinces, north
of Baghdad, and Diyala, in the east, between 5 and 22 June.
People fleeing intense fighting in Mosul,
the third largest city in Iraq, crossing into
the Erbil governerate. Photo:
UNHCR/Inge Colijn
“This figure – which should be viewed very much as a minimum – includes a number of
verified summary executions and extra-judicial killings of civilians, police, and soldiers
who were hors combat,” Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR), told journalists in Geneva.
At least an additional 318 people were killed, and 590 wounded, during the same 17 days in Baghdad and areas in the south,
many of them as a result of at least six separate vehicle-borne bombs.
OHCHR is cautioning that abductions continue to be reported in the northern provinces and Baghdad, some of which have
resulted in killings. There is also evidence of summary executions continuing to take place, the UN office continued.
ISIL has broadcast more than a dozen videos showing beheadings and shootings of hors combat soldiers and police officers,
as well as apparent targeting of people based on their religion or ethnicity, including Shia and minority groups such as
Turcomans, Shabak, Christians, and Yezidis.
Meanwhile, UNAMI has also received reports of abuses by Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), including at least two summary
executions of prisoners. One of which, at the al-Qalaa police station in Tal Afar, allegedly involving the killing of 31
detainees on 15 June, is still not fully verified.
UN human rights officers have, however, confirmed a reported summary execution by ISF personnel in Mosul. According to
the account, personnel threw grenades into rooms filled with detainees in the Nineveh Operations Command, killing at least
10 and injuring another 14.
“We urge the Iraqi authorities to swiftly carry out their obligation to thoroughly investigate these, and any other, reported
summary executions and all other violations by their personnel, and to make a concerted effort to bring all perpetrators to
justice,” the OHCHR spokesperson said.
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Illegal trade in wildlife, timber products funding criminals,
armed groups – joint UN report
24 June - Global environmental crime, possibly worth more than $200 billion annually, is
helping finance criminal, militia and terrorist groups and threatening the security and
sustainable development of many nations, notably in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a
new joint United Nations-INTERPOL report.
Illegal trade in wildlife and timber
products finances criminal and militia
groups, threatening security and
sustainable development. Photo: World
Bank/Curt Carnemark
The report was compiled by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL for
release at the first UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi this week, where action
to tackle environmental crime is high on the agenda for hundreds of environment ministers,
law enforcement officers, the judiciary and senior UN officials.
“Beyond immediate environmental impacts, the illegal trade in natural resources is
depriving developing economies of billions of dollars in lost revenues just to fill the
pockets of criminals,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
“Sustainable development, livelihoods, good governance and the rule of law are all being threatened, as significant sums of
money are flowing to militias and terrorist groups,” he added.
The UN Environment Assembly is the highest-level UN body ever convened on the environment. It enjoys universal
membership of all 193 UN Member States, as well as other stakeholder groups.
The report Environmental Crime Crisis , points to an increased awareness of, and response to, the growing global threat, but
calls for further concerted action and issues recommendations aimed at strengthening action against the organized criminal
networks profiting from the trade.
According to the new report, one terrorist group operating in East Africa is estimated to make between $38 and $56 million
per year from the illegal trade in charcoal.
Wildlife and forest crime also play a serious role in threat finance to organized crime and non-State armed groups, including
terrorist organizations. Ivory, for example, provides income to militia groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
and the Central African Republic.
Ivory similarly provides funds to gangs operating in Sudan, Chad and Niger.
Combined estimates from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UN Office on Drugs
and Crime (UNODC), UNEP and INTERPOL place the monetary value of all environmental crime — which includes
logging, poaching and trafficking of a wide range of animals, illegal fisheries, illegal mining and dumping of toxic waste—
at between $70 and $213 billion each year.
Illegal logging and forest crime has an estimated worth of $30 to $100 billion annually, or 10 to 30 percent of the total
global timber trade. An estimated 50 to 90 percent of the wood in some individual tropical countries is suspected to come
from illegal sources or has been logged illegally.
With current trends in urbanization and the projected growth of over one billion additional people in Sub-Saharan Africa by
2050, the demand for charcoal is expected to at least triple in the coming three decades. This will generate severe impacts
such as large-scale deforestation, pollution and subsequent health problems in slum areas.
The increased charcoal demand will considerably increase the purchasing power of non-State armed groups, including
terrorist organizations, and accelerate emissions if left unchallenged.
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The overall size of the illicit charcoal export from Somalia has been estimated at $360–$384 million per year, the armed
group in East Africa earning up to $56 million of this.
For pulp and paper production, networks of shell companies and plantations are used to funnel illegal timber through
plantations, or to ship wood and pulp via legal plantations. These methods effectively bypass many current customs efforts
to restrict the import of illegal tropical wood to the United States and the European Union.
The report highlights poaching across many species, including tigers, elephants, rhinos, great apes and Saiga antelopes:
• The number of elephants killed in Africa annually is in the range of 20,000 to 25,000 elephants per year out of a
population of 420,000 to 650,000.
• Ninety four per cent of rhino poaching takes place in Zimbabwe and South Africa, which have the largest remaining
populations. Rhino horn poached last year is valued at around US$63 to US$192 million.
• Even conservative estimates suggest that the illegal trade in great apes is widespread. From 2005 to 2011, a minimum of
643 chimpanzees, 48 bonobos, 98 gorillas and 1,019 orangutans are estimated to have been lost from the wild through illegal
activities. The real figure is more likely to be around 22,000 great apes lost over that period.
The report says while more needs to be done, the scale and nature of the illegal trade in wildlife has been recognized and
some successes have been scored but the scale and coordination of efforts must be substantially increased and widened.
Central African Republic: UN official urges strong action to
protect women, girls
24 June - With women and girls in Central African Republic (CAR) falling prey to a raft of
“terrifying” violations ¬perpetrated by armed groups – from rape to sexual slavery and
forced marriage ¬– the head of UN Women today urged the Security Council to take strong
action to help restore the rule of law in the country and bolster women’s participation,
leadership and protection.
Briefing on her recent mission to CAR, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of
UN Women, told the Council that she and Bineta Diop, Special Envoy of the African Union
on Women, Peace and Security, had aimed to spotlight the plight of women and girls,
ensure that gender issues are addressed from the outset in the newly established UN
mission, and to promote women’s participation and leadership in local reconciliation,
transitional justice, and upcoming elections.
Internally displaced women and children
in the Central African Republic. Photo:
OCHA
“What we saw and heard was terrifying,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, explaining that in displacement camps countrywide,
including one visited by the two officials, people sought shelter under plastic covers or even pieces of cloth in inhumane
conditions, surrounded by puddles of dirty, stagnant water and garbage, vulnerable to waterborne diseases.
As for reports of rape, sexual slavery, and other violations perpetrated by armed actors, she said that such reports had been
confirmed last December by a UN fact-finding mission led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR) and supported by UN Women.
“This violence has taken place in house-to-house searches, unauthorized road blocks, military camps, and as part of
sectarian violence,” she continued, adding: “We learnt that girls are frequently subjected to forced marriage. Many have
become pregnant, miscarried, or contracted sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.”
With women and girls facing such miserable conditions, she told the Council there is a great need for medical and psychosocial support in sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs), 90 per cent of which lack services for survivors of genderbased violence. “The very few services that are available assist hundreds of victims of rape every month,” Ms. MlamboNgcuka added.
“What I heard over and over again from women was that security and rule of law, healthcare, food, and schools were the
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country’s greatest needs,” she continued, noting that nearly two-thirds of schools in the CAR remain closed, and hundreds of
thousands of children are growing up without an education.
In addition, neighbouring countries are struggling to provide adequate support to tens of thousands of refugees. Cameroon
now hosts approximately 100,000 newly arrived refugees, of whom 84 per cent are women and children who arrive after
traveling for many days or weeks, and are often sick and traumatized.
“These alarming and distressing facts are important to highlight because – as of today – less than one-third of the [UN]
humanitarian appeal has been funded by the international community,” she said, calling for the urgent and full funding of
that appeal.
“I also call your attention to a very different side of the Central African Republic,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, explaining
that against the odds, many people – including women from all walks of life – are organizing to survive and prosper. Indeed,
women leaders across religious and social divides are clear in their resolve to bridge their difference and build a better
future.
“I urge members of the Security Council to support the women of the Central African Republic, and to implement the
gender equality recommendations issued by the UN electoral needs assessment mission,” she said, stressing that the success
of reconciliation initiatives, upcoming elections, and national recovery depends upon women’s leadership and participation.
As for the UN integrated mission in CAR, known as MINUSCA, she said that when that operation is up and running,
priority should be given to special temporary measures and quotas for women’s representation, and MINUSCA protection
and security for women’s participation in the elections.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka reiterated further priorities, including that the Council ensure that troop-contributing countries for
MINUSCA provide all troops access to the training on prevention of sexual violence; that women are represented in all
processes that deal with peacemaking, peacebuilding and reconciliation; that efforts to rebuild the justice system and secure
accountability for grave crimes include dedicated sexual and gender crimes experts; and education and economic well-being
is also addressed.
In his remarks, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for CAR, Babacar Gaye, said that the security situation
“remains tense” in the capital, Bangui, and inside the country. The recent attack on the Notre-Dame de Fatima de Bangui
church on 28 May, where 11 people including the priest were killed, illustrates not only the dangerous spiral of attacks and
reprisals shaking the country, “but also radicalization of both parties and the risk of a worse situation.”
“There is no doubt. To achieve lasting security, disarmament and an inclusive political dialogue are essential steps,” he said,
noting the recent seminar facilitated by the Centre of Humanitarian Dialogue at the request of the Head of State of the
Transition as well as a dialogue initiative of a local non-governmental organization as encouraging developments.
“They indicate that many Central Africans are ready for dialogue if they believe it will bring peace,” said Mr. Gaye.
UN envoy denounces latest attack on Lebanese security forces
24 June - The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon has strongly condemned
the suicide bombing that took place yesterday at the entrance to the southern suburbs of
Beirut in which a member of the security forces was killed and a number of people were
injured.
The attack, which occurred close to a Lebanese army checkpoint at the Tayyouneh
roundabout, comes on the heels of last Friday’s suicide bombing at an Internal Security
Forces checkpoint in Dahr El-Baidar.
“The Special Coordinator underlined the need for continued unity in Lebanon in the face of
the terrorist threat,” said a statement issued by Derek Plumbly’s office.
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Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek
Plumbly. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
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24 June 2014
“He paid tribute to all that the security forces are doing to sustain security and stability in the country, and again underlined
the United Nations’ solidarity with the Government and people of Lebanon as they stand up to this threat.”
Also today, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, continued his visit to Lebanon,
meeting with Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Tammam Salam in Beirut, as well as the Commander
of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), General Jean Kahwaji.
During the meetings, issues related to the implementation of UN resolution 1701 – which ended the 2006 war between Israel
and Hizbollah – were discussed, with particular focus on the situation in area of operations of the UN Interim Force in
Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the cooperation between the peacekeeping mission and the LAF in southern Lebanon.
“I was very encouraged by my discussions with the leaders today. They strongly reaffirmed their commitment to the full
implementation of resolution 1701 and were highly appreciative of UNIFIL’s role in keeping the calm along the Blue Line
in these turbulent times,” said Mr. Ladsous.
“The prevailing calm in southern Lebanon has a stabilising effect beyond the immediate area and I assured the leaders that
we, UNIFIL and the UN Headquarters, will spare no efforts in keeping it this way. Lebanon has stood up commendably to
the immense challenges posed by the regional developments, and we must stand together with Lebanon in supporting this
endeavour.”
Mr. Ladsous also visited UNIFIL’s headquarters in Naqoura, in southern Lebanon, where he was briefed by the Head of
Mission and Force Commander Major-General Paolo Serra and other staff on the mission’s operations.
UN reports foreign direct investment hit $1.4 trillion in 2013,
upward trend to continue
24 June - Global foreign direct investment is up and expected to rise over the next three
years, driven mainly by stronger economies in developed countries, according to a new
United Nations report which highlights the key role that transnational corporations and
foreign investment could play in accelerating progress on sustainable development.
Credit: UNCTAD
According to the ‘World Investment Report 2014,’ produced by the Geneva-based UN
Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), foreign direct investment (FDI) rose 9
per cent in 2013 to $1.45 trillion.
“UNCTAD projects that FDI flows could rise to $1.6 trillion in 2014, $1.7 trillion in 2015 and $1.8 trillion in 2016,” the UN
agency reported.
The predicted rise in FDI would be mainly driven by investments in developed economies as their economic recovery
strengthens, but fragility in some emerging markets and risks related to policy uncertainty and regional conflict could derail
the gains, said UNCTAD.
In addition, direct investment to developing economies is expected to remain high. Developing countries and transition
economies constitute half of the top 20 economies ranked by FDI inflows, which includes China, Chile, Colombia and India.
Of the total FDI, about 39 per cent was to developed countries, while a new high of $778 billion – or 54 per cent – was
reported to developing economies. The top destination remains China and the Asian region, which attracted more than $420
billion in foreign investment last year.
This overall growth demonstrates the “great potential of international investment, along with other financial resources, to
help reach the goals of a post-2015 agenda,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in the preface of the report, referring to
the development targets that will follow after 2015, the deadline to reach the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs).
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Highlighting the importance of transnational corporations, Mr. Ban added that this year’s report offers an action plan for
galvanizing the role of businesses in achieving the future sustainable development goals, as well as enhancing the private
sector’s positive economic, social and environmental impacts.
These aims will have significant resource implications. Global investment needs are around $5 trillion to $7 trillion per year,
according to UNCTAD, the majority of which is in developing countries and includes mainly basic infrastructure, such as
roads, water and sanitation, as well as agriculture and rural development, climate change mitigation and adaptation, health
and education.
UN officials welcome move to set up interim administration for
south-west Somalia
24 June - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the top United Nations envoy in Somalia
have welcomed the agreement reached to establish a new interim regional administration in
the south-western part of the country.
The new Interim South West Administration will comprise the regions of Bay, Bakool and
Lower Shabelle, according to the agreement signed yesterday in the Somali capital,
Mogadishu.
“The Secretary-General commends all parties involved for their diligent negotiation of this
important agreement, and looks forward to its prompt implementation,” Mr. Ban’s
spokesperson said in a statement.
Ugandan troops, as part of the African
Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM),
advanced with troops from the Somali
National Army (SNA) on three towns in
the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia in
February 2013. UN Photo/Tobin Jones
“He recalls that the formation of inclusive regional administrations is a key milestone in
Somalia’s path towards a federal system of governance, in line with the Provisional Constitution and the aspirations of the
Somali people.”
The agreement was also welcomed by Nicholas Kay, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN
Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), who congratulated all parties for their commitment to finding a solution through
dialogue and negotiation.
“I urge all parties to continue to work closely with the Federal Government and ensure an inclusive administration is
established swiftly,” he stated in a news release issued on Monday.
Mr. Kay said the agreement is “a significant step forward” in Somalia’s progress towards federalism, and will also clear the
way for improved security and a more effective campaign against the insurgent group known as Al-Shabaab.
Set up in June 2013, UNSOM is tasked with, among other things, providing UN ‘good offices’ functions to support peace
and reconciliation; assisting the Government and the existing African Union peacekeeping force known as AMISOM with
advice on peacebuilding and state-building; and helping build capacity in human rights and the rule of law.
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Citing value for money, deputy UN chief urges generous
support for Peacebuilding Fund
24 June - Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today appealed to Member States for
continued support towards meeting the annual $100 million target of a United Nations fund
that helps post-conflict countries build lasting peace.
Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson
addresses meeting of UN Peacebuilding
Fund. At right is Judy Cheng-Hopkins,
Assistant Secretary-General for
Peacebuilding Support. UN Photo/Mark
Garten
“We wanted to be sure that the United Nations would act faster, intervene more effectively
and help countries to move energetically from conflict to peace,” Mr. Eliasson said,
recalling the original thinking behind the creation of the Peacebuilding Commission in
2005.
The Commission aims to help struggling States avoid slipping back into war and chaos by
providing strategic advice and harnessing expertise and financing from around the world to
aid with recovery projects. The UN Peacebuilding Fund, launched the following year,
supports activities, actions, programmes and organizations that seek to build a lasting peace
in countries emerging from conflict.
Addressing the fourth annual stakeholders’ meeting of the Fund, Mr. Eliasson highlighted the positive result from the firstever global, independent review of the mechanism. It found that over the last three years, the Fund “has built ‘a much
stronger platform’ and developed ‘substantial credibility’ with partners.”
He said that the Fund built such credibility “by being persistent, creative and focused,” citing examples of its work in
countries on the Peacebuilding Commission’s agenda, including Burundi, the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone.
“This is exactly the kind of catalytic, hands-on action the Fund was set up to generate,” the senior official said. He added
that the mechanism has strengthened UN collaboration with international financial institutions, including the World Bank;
improved cooperation within the UN system; and is helping national partnership create strong and legitimate national
institutions.
It also contributes to the UN’s Rights Up-Front initiative which places the promotion of respect for human rights at the core
of the Organization’s agenda.
“I call on supporters of the Fund to renew their commitments, especially in the light of the positive findings of the global
review, and I would add, the magnitude of crises that we see emerging around the world,” Mr. Eliasson told the stakeholders
meeting, underscoring that the Fund is entering its second Business Plan cycle, covering 2014 to 2016, at an annual target of
$100 million.
He also thanked the “impressive” donor base of more than 50 Member States “for your belief in the work and future work of
the peacebuilding fund and the peacebuilding commission.”
The Fund has received over half a billion dollars since 2006, of which more than $490 million has been allocated, Mr.
Eliasson said. It has made new commitments to Burundi, Central African Republic, Guinea, Somalia and Yemen, among
others.
Also addressing today’s high-level meeting is Judy Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support.
“The Peacebuilding Fund has found an important niche and we are getting health funding from our donors year after year. I
hope there’s no turning back,” Ms. Cheng-Hopkins said in an in-depth interview with the UN News Centre.
“Peacebuilding can’t wait. It’s not like building a bridge,” she noted. “If the opportunity for peacebuilding is there, and
people are willing to lay down their arms and they’re ready to talk to the other party, that opportunity may not be there for
months.”
UN News Centre • www.un.org/news
UN Daily News
- 11 -
24 June 2014
Pakistani offensive against Taliban militants uproots over
400,000 people – UN agency
24 June - Pakistan’s military offensive against Taliban militants in the north of the country
has displaced more than 400,000 people and the number continues to rise, the United
Nations refugee agency reported today.
According to the latest Pakistani Government registration figures, 435,429 people,
including some 183,000 children, have fled from combat zones in North Waziristan agency
since mid-June.
Children in North Waziristan, a
mountainous region of Pakistan and
home to ongoing army operations against
militants. Photo: IRIN/Fakhar Kakahel
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that most of the families have
sought refuge in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, with reports of families
also now arriving in Punjab and Balochistan. Almost all the internally displaced people are
being hosted by local communities.
“The Government of Pakistan and our UN and humanitarian community partners expect up to half a million people could be
displaced by the current military operations,” UNHCR spokesman Dan McNorton told journalists in Geneva.
This would bring the total number of displaced people from the tribal regions of the country to 1.5 million – including
930,000 uprooted in various waves since 2009.
UN officials met this week with Pakistani authorities and offered support for humanitarian operations in the area of
protection and registration, as well as the provision of emergency relief items. The Government had made a formal request
to the UN for assistance.
Mr. McNorton said a key challenge for aid agencies is access to the areas where the displaced are arriving.
“The UN and partners have called for full and unimpeded access to the affected populations to allow the delivery of
humanitarian aid,” he stated.
Last week, UNHCR reported it was helping authorities in neighbouring Afghanistan to register and assist thousands of
people who fled the fighting in Pakistan’s tribal regions.
The UN Daily News is prepared at UN Headquarters in New York by the News Services Section
of the News and Media Division, Department of Public Information (DPI)

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