United Nations
United Nations 12 Jan 2021

Humanitarian situation in Yemen & other topics - Daily Briefing (12 January 2021)

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Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:

- Secretary-General virtual visit to the United Kingdom
- Security Council
- Yemen
- Libya
- South Sudan
- Madagascar
- Ebola Vaccine Stockpile
- Children

SECRETARY-GENERAL VIRTUAL VISIT TO UNITED KINGDOM
The Secretary-General is wrapping up his first virtual visit to the United Kingdom today.
In a few minutes, he will be meeting with Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. The meeting is expected to focus on the issue of climate change.
This morning, the Secretary-General also had bilateral meetings with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, as well as with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who is also a member of the SG's High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation.
And, yesterday, during their meeting, the Secretary-General thanked Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his country's support to the United Nations, as well as for the UK's political and financial leadership in the fight against the pandemic.
Earlier this week, the lawn situated at the front of Queen Elizabeth II Centre, in Westminster, was renamed United Nations Green in commemoration of the 75th anniversary.

SECURITY COUNCIL
This morning, the Security Council held a ministerial-level meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Counter-terrorism Committee, established through resolution 1373.
Vladimir Voronkov, the head of the Counter-terrorism office, began his remarks by noting how quickly the Security Council acted to establish the committee in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Throughout the last two decades, he said, the threat of terrorism has persisted, evolved and spread, causing unspeakable human suffering and loss. Over the years, he added, the Council has provided critical impetus and guidance for Member States, which has led to important successes, helping Member States to bring terrorists to justice and disrupt additional attacks.
Mr. Voronkov said the Security Council's leadership remains critical to ensure a unified front against terrorism, adding it is essential to reinvigorate international counter-terrorism cooperation during and after the pandemic, with a focus on emerging threats and challenges.
Also speaking at this session was Michèle Coninsx, the Executive Director of the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate. She said that the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated an already challenging threat landscape.
She added we must ensure that future counter-terrorism policies respect the rule of law and are both human rights-compliant and gender sensitive.


Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:

- Central African Republic
- Mali
- South Sudan
- Ethiopia
- Libya
- Syria
- Israel/Palestine
- India
- Mozambique
- Madagascar
- U.N. Conference On Trade And Development

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
In the Central African Republic, today, the peacekeeping mission on the ground (MINUSCA) tells us that the security situation remains fragile throughout the country. Peacekeepers continue to maintain a robust posture to ensure the protection of civilians.
You will have also seen that, yesterday afternoon, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the head of Peace Operations, joined senior officials from the African Union, the Economic Commission of Central African States (ECCAS) and the European Union, in issuing a joint statement. The statement took note of the decision of the Central African Constitutional court, which proclaimed the final results of last month's presidential election.
In their joint statement, they called on all actors to accept the results of the elections as certified by the Court, and reaffirmed their commitment to political dialogue, the consolidation of peace and democracy.
The UN mission will continue to provide its multifaceted support to complete the electoral process, particularly the legislative elections. 
Also on the Central African Republic, we have a few more details on yesterday's attack in the country. Two peacekeepers - one from Gabon and one Morocco - were killed near Bangassou, in the Mbomou prefecture, by alleged combatants from the Coalition of Patriots for Change, the CPC.
The Secretary-General expressed his deep condolences to the families of the peacekeepers, and to the people and Governments of Gabon and Morocco.
The Secretary-General also reiterated his grave concern over the escalation of violence in the Central African Republic, and called on all parties to immediately cease hostilities, to engage in dialogue to advance the political process, preserve fragile gains and fulfil the country's aspirations for lasting peace. 
Already this year, as you will have noted, nine UN peacekeepers have been killed in incidents around the world. The Secretary-General said this demonstrates, yet again, the perilous environment in which peacekeepers carry out their mandates to protect people and support peace processes. The task is made harder by the global pandemic. While progress has been made in reducing casualties among UN peacekeepers, recent incidents show that the threat continues. Our collective efforts to ensure the safety of peacekeepers, including through the Action for Peacekeeping initiative, need to keep pace.
The Secretary-General salutes the service, the sacrifice and the selflessness of the women and men who are serving, or have lost their lives while serving, under the flag of the UN in some of the world's most dangerous places.
MALI
The Head of Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix is still in Mali today.
We wanted to note that, this morning, at the headquarters of the UN Mission (MINUSCA) in Bamako, he took part in a ceremony to honour the memory of the peacekeepers killed last week. 
The head of the Peacekeeping Mission in Mali, Mahamet Saleh Annadif, also attended the ceremony.
Since his arrival in the country, Mr. Lacroix has had a series of meetings with political leaders and the UN's partners. His visit will continue tomorrow.
SOUTH SUDAN
From South Sudan, the UN Mission (UNMISS) says it is deploying additional troops and resources to Bunj in the Upper Nile region following recent clashes.
The Mission said it is enhancing its peacekeepers' ability to conduct more frequent patrols.
Peacekeepers recently assessed the security situation in the area. They met with county commissioners and others to understand what the community is experiencing, given the current instability and tensions.
The Mission is also helping to deliver humanitarian aid to those in need.
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:
- United States
- Iraq
- Syria/Humanitarian
- Syria/Independent Advisory Panel
- Security Council
- Guatemala/Honduras
- Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- South Sudan
- Ethiopia
- Advisory Board
- Honour Roll

UNITED STATES
Yesterday afternoon, we issued a number of statements last night, responding positively to the decisions issued by the new United States President, Joe Biden.
The Secretary-General warmly welcomed President Biden's steps to re-enter the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and join the growing coalition of governments, cities, states, businesses and people taking ambitious action to confront the climate crisis.
We look forward to the leadership of the United States in accelerating global efforts towards net zero, including bringing forward a new nationally determined contribution with ambitious 2030 targets and climate finance in advance of COP26 in Glasgow this year.
Yesterday, the US notified the Secretary-General of its acceptance of the Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015.
The US signed the Paris Agreement on 22 April 2016 and expressed its consent to be bound by the Agreement by acceptance on 3 September 2016, before withdrawing from the Agreement as of 4 November 2020.
A new instrument of acceptance of the Paris Agreement by the US was signed by President Biden on 20 January and deposited with the Secretary-General on the same day - that is, yesterday.
The Paris Agreement will enter into force for the US on 19 February 2021, in accordance with article 21 (3) of the Agreement.
The Secretary-General also welcomed the US' stated re-engagement with the World Health Organization (WHO). Supporting the WHO is absolutely critical to the world's efforts for a better coordinated response against COVID-19, the Secretary-General said. Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences.
With vaccines being a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19, the US joining and supporting the COVAX facility will give momentum to efforts to ensure equitable access to vaccines for all countries.
Yesterday, the US formally informed the Secretary-General of the revocation of its notification of withdrawal of 6 July 2020 from the Constitution of the World Health Organization, which would have been effective, under certain conditions, on 6 July of this year. Accordingly, the United States remains a party to the WHO Constitution and, without interruption, a Member of the World Health Organization since 21 June 1948.
Lastly, we also welcomed the positive steps announced by the US administration relating to migration and refugees.
The Secretary-General looks forward to working with the new US administration to strengthen multilateral cooperation in these areas and hopes the US will join the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

IRAQ
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the deadly double suicide bombing targeting civilians at a market in Baghdad today. He expresses his deep condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Iraq and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.
The Secretary-General appeals to the people of Iraq to reject any attempts to spread fear and violence aimed at undermining peace, stability and unity. He calls on the Government to ensure that those behind these horrific crimes are swiftly identified and brought to justice.
The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to support the people and Government of Iraq in their efforts to consolidate peace.
The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said that such a despicable act will not weaken Iraq's march towards stability and prosperity. They offer their sincere condolences to families of the deceased and wish the injured a speedy recovery.

SYRIA/HUMANITARIAN
In a joint statement, the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Imran Riza, and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Muhannad Hadi, have expressed serious concerns over the deteriorating security conditions at Al Hol camp, in the north-east.
Between 1 and 16 January, we received reports of the murders of 12 Syrian and Iraqi camp residents, including one woman Iraqi refugee. Another person was critically injured in a violent attack.
These disturbing events indicate an increasingly untenable security environment at Al Hol. They also jeopardize the UN and the UN's humanitarian partners' ability to safely deliver critical humanitarian assistance to its residents.
Daily Press Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General.

- Security Council
- Gulf
- Yemen
- Syria
- Stockholm Initiative
- Niger


SECURITY COUNCIL
This morning, the Secretary-General spoke to members of the Security Council at the Open Debate on "Challenges of Maintaining Peace and Security in Fragile Contexts." 
He said that even before the pandemic, conflicts were already increasingly complex - fueled by greater regionalization, the proliferation of non-State armed groups and their linkages with criminal and terrorist interests. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been pushed into poverty and humanitarian needs have multiplied, reaching the highest levels since the Second World War, he noted. 
He also repeated his call for more funding for conflict prevention and peacebuilding, adding that on 26 January he will be co-chairing a replenishment conference for the Peacebuilding Fund. He told Council members that he counted on their support at this critical time. 
GULF
Yesterday a statement was issued in which the Secretary-General welcomed the al Ula declaration on "solidarity and stability" announced at the Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The declaration recognizes the importance of unity among the GCC states and aims to strengthen regional security, peace, stability and prosperity. The Secretary-General also welcomed the announcement on opening the airspace, land and sea borders between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and the State of Qatar. 
The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to those from the region and beyond, including the late Emir of Kuwait and the late Sultan of Oman, who worked tirelessly towards resolving the Gulf rift. He trusts that all countries concerned will continue to act in a positive spirit to strengthen relations. 

YEMEN
The Special Envoy for the Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, met earlier today with President Hadi in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia.   
Mr. Griffiths congratulated President Hadi of Yemen on the formation of the new Cabinet and condemned the horrific attack against the newly formed Government of Yemen last week that aimed at undermining peace efforts.  
Mr. Griffiths also conveyed, on behalf of the Secretary-General, condolences to the Government and people of Yemen and reiterated the support and solidarity of the UN and the international community to the country.  
The United Nations remains committed to helping Yemen find a way towards a sustainable and comprehensive end of this conflict through a negotiated, political solution. 
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:

- Central African Republic
- Central African Republic Update
- Mali
- Security Council
- Uganda
- Ethiopia
- Malawi
- Death Penalty
- Ilo Report
- Fao
- Honour Roll

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The Secretary-General strongly condemns today's attacks near Bangui by unidentified armed combatants on Central African national defense and security forces, as well as UN peacekeepers. A UN peacekeeper from Rwanda was killed and another injured in today's attack. 
The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the family of the deceased peacekeeper, as well as to the people and Government of Rwanda. He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured. 
The Secretary-General recalls that attacks against UN peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. He calls on the Central African authorities to take all the necessary measures to ensure accountability for these heinous attacks. 
The Secretary-General remains very concerned over continued destabilization efforts by armed groups in the Central African Republic, and calls on all parties to stop violence and engage in meaningful dialogue. He commends the continued engagement of the UN peacekeepers in their efforts to protect civilians and preserve national stability. 
The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the UN, working closely with national, regional and international partners, to support the cause of peace in the Central African Republic. 

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC UPDATE
Following this morning's attack, the UN Mission says that the overall situation remains under control, although tensions are continuing.  
UN peacekeepers have reinforced their posture in Bangui and in areas surrounding the capital, in coordination with Central African defense and security forces, as well as other security partners. This is to prevent further infiltrations towards the capital of armed groups aiming to destabilize national institutions.   
The security of UN personnel and premises have also been reinforced.

MALI
Another sad and tragic note from the peacekeeping department: Following an attack today against a UN convoy in Timbuktu, Mali, the Peacekeeping Mission reports that one peacekeeper has died and seven others were injured.  
The UN Mission has secured the area, provided casualty evacuation and launched an investigation into the incident. 
More details on that incident in Mali will be shared when available.
SECURITY COUNCIL
Mali was the subject at the Security Council this morning and Council members heard from Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the head of the UN peacekeeping Mission in the country. He reiterated that the transition period represents a real opportunity for the country to break out of the vicious circle of political crises followed by coups d'état. 
He noted that despite a lack of consensus throughout the process that led to the designation of members of the Government and the National transitional council, we should welcome the fact that all transitional bodies are operational today. 
Mr. Annadif told Council members that the success of the transition depends on the successful completion of reforms, leading to inclusive and credible elections. He warned that the process will only be viable if it is the product of the will of the Malian political actors. 
As Special Representative for Mali for nearly five years, he concluded with his hope that this window of opportunity will not be a missed opportunity.

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