UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl visiting the Abu Tue’ma school in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, on 14 September 2014, to celebrate the start of the new school year. Photo: UNRWA/Shareef Sarhan
Palestine, 19 August 2015 – The United Nations relief agency dealing with Palestinian refugees has declared the school year open will on time today for the 500,000 boys and girls in the increasingly unstable Middle East, where multiple crises and a major funding shortage nearly forced the delayed of the opening of 685 schools in the region.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is “greatly relieved” that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and stressed that education is a right, “and that rights delayed are rights denied.” Continue reading
President Hassan Sheik Mohamud of Somalia. AU-UN IST Photo/Stuart Price
Somalia, 19 August 2015 – Envoys from the United Nations and other international organizations today joined to express deep concern that a parliamentary motion to impeach Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud would impede progress on the country’s peace and State-building goals.
In a joint press statement, the UN, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union (EU), the United States and the United Kingdom said, “while we fully respect the right of the Federal Parliament to hold institutions to account and to fulfil its constitutional duties, the submission of any such motion requires a high standard of transparency and integrity in the process and will consume extremely valuable time, not least in the absence of essential legal bodies.” Continue reading
Specialized local operators carrying coffin of one victim of marine accident off the coast of Libya. Photo: UNHCR/Fabio Bucciarelli
Libya, 19 August 2015 – Following a spate of deadly shipwrecks of the coast of Libya, the UN refugee agency has announced that it has set up a forum to improve the country’s response to boats in distress its waters by streamlining information sharing and coordination with international organizations.
“We hope the new contact group will boost Libya’s ability to save lives, collect bodies at sea or along the coast and improve the humanitarian care of the rescued on disembarkation,” said Leo Dobbs, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at a Geneva press briefing on Tuesday. Continue reading
Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) Diane Corner. UN Photo/Dany Balepe
CAR, 19 August 2015 – A series of new “disturbing” allegations of misconduct in the Central African Republic were announced today by the Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country (MINUSCA).
“These new allegations relate to a case where three young females – including one minor –were victims of rape by members of a MINUSCA military contingent. The Mission was informed of these allegations on August 12 2015 by the families of the three women,” explained Diane Corner during a press conference from Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). Continue reading
UN Photo/Martine Perret
Sri Lanka, 18 August 2015 – Applauding the people of Sri Lanka for their peaceful and broad-based participation in yesterday’s parliamentary elections, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has encouraged the new Government to make further progress on good governance, accountability and reconciliation.
“The Secretary-General applauds the people of Sri Lanka for their peaceful and broad-based participation in the parliamentary elections of 17 August,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson. Continue reading
Former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar (seated right) and Pagan Amum Okiech, representing the Former Detainees, sign the compromise peace agreement put forth by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Partners Forum (IGAD) mediation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo: IGAD
South Sudan, 18 August 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the signing by former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar and the Former Detainees of the compromise peace agreement put forth by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Partners Forum (IGAD) mediation, meant to end the conflict raging in the country for the past 20 months.
“He takes note that President Salva Kiir initialled a copy of the agreement with some reservations [and] expresses his strong hope that President Kiir will sign the agreement by the end of the 15-day deadline,” said a statement released in New York by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson. Continue reading
Peacekeepers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on patrol in Bambari. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina
New York, 18 August 2015 – Welcoming Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s commitment to strictly enforce his ‘zero tolerance’ policy against sexual exploitation or abuse by United Nations personnel, the Security Council today stressed the importance of the UN quickly investigating the most recent allegations of misconduct by peacekeepers, and if substantiated, working with the troop contributing countries involved to ensure those responsible are held accountable.
In a press statement that follows a 13 August briefing from Mr. Ban on allegations of sexual exploitation committed by UN peacekeepers, including the latest allegations of abuses committed in the Central African Republic (CAR), Council members said they “shared his outrage and anger…and recalled that peacekeepers should protect civilians in the areas where they are deployed.” Continue reading
Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). UN Photo
Libya, 18 August 2015 – The United Nations human rights office today expressed concern over violence in Sirte, Libya, involving militants claiming allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“It seems that fighting erupted in the city after a local imam, Khaled Ben Rajab al-Ferjani, known for his vocal opposition to ISIL, was shot dead on 10 August. He is reported to have been killed while resisting abduction by ISIL fighters,” Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), told reporters in Geneva. Continue reading
Wide view of the Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Loey Felipe
Guinea-Bissau, 17 August 2015 – Expressing concern over the current political developments in Guinea-Bissau, the United Nations Security Council has called on leaders to seek dialogue and consensus in resolving the crisis in the interest of peace in the country.
“Members of the Security Council called on parties to resolve the ongoing political dispute in the interest of peace in Guinea Bissau,” reads a press statement issued Friday evening. Continue reading
Peacekeepers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina
CAR, 17 August 2015 – The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) said today that it is determined to investigate fully all allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by its forces in the country and to hold to account perpetrators of such acts.
During the regular press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, spokesperson Vannina Maestracci said, “investigations into recent allegations of sexual assault on a minor and killings by UN forces in Bangui are ongoing.” Continue reading