Category Archives: Media

UN human rights chief urges Maldives to consider release of imprisoned former President

Former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Maldives, 25 August 2015 – The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today expressed deep concern that Government of the Maldives after former President Mohammad Nasheed was once again sent to prison, calling the move a “serious set-back” for the country.

“We had been encouraged by the Government’s earlier decision to move Mr. Nasheed to house arrest after widespread national and international criticism of the clearly flawed trial which resulted in him being sentenced to 13 years in jail in March this year”, said Rupert Colville, an OHCHR spokesperson. Continue reading

Experienced official from Netherlands appointed Deputy UN Special Representative for Mali

MINUSMA peacekeepers on patrol in Ansongo, in the Gao Region of eastern Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

MINUSMA peacekeepers on patrol in Ansongo, in the Gao Region of eastern Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

Mali, 25 August 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Koen Davidse, of the Netherlands, as his Deputy Special Representative in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). He will succeed Arnauld Akodjènou, of Benin, in September 2015.

Mr. Davidse brings with him 25 years of international experience. From 2011 to 2015, he served as Director of Multilateral Institutions and Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands, and as Director of Peacebuilding and Stabilization, and acted as the Dutch Special Envoy for Sudan. Continue reading

With peace deal set to be signed, South Sudanese parties must address ‘drivers of conflict,’ Security Council told

Fighting in South Sudan’s Greater Upper Nile region has remained intense and civilians have fled their homes in areas around Wau Chollo (Shilluk) district to the UNMISS protection site in Malakal. Photo: UNMISS

Fighting in South Sudan’s Greater Upper Nile region has remained intense and civilians have fled their homes in areas around Wau Chollo (Shilluk) district to the UNMISS protection site in Malakal. Photo: UNMISS

South Sudan, 25 August 2015 – Welcoming the decision by rival parties in South Sudan to convene tomorrow a ‘mini-summit,’ where the Government, “in the interest of peace,” is expected to sign the agreement already endorsed by former Vice-President Riek Machar, the top United Nations official in the country today said that the security situation on the ground remains “volatile and tense.”

“I reiterate my call to the leaders of South Sudan to place the interests of their people above their personal ambitions and to implement the peace agreement in good faith,” said Ellen Margrethe Løj, the head of the UN Mission in the country (UNMISS) in a briefing to the Security Council. Continue reading

Ban welcomes agreement to resume regular inter-Korean dialogue, hopes for talks on nuclear issue

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

New York, 24 August 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the news of the agreement reached between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea today.

“In particular, I highly appreciate the agreement to hold regular inter-Korean dialogue, and hope that this will serve as a mechanism to effectively manage any problems that may arise on the Korean Peninsula”, Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by the UN spokesperson. Continue reading

Ebola aftermath is ‘best chance’ to transform future epidemic response – UN health agency

Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone: WHO staff talking to mothers on getting children to health care. WHO/M. Harris

Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone: WHO staff talking to mothers on getting children to health care. WHO/M. Harris

Geneva, 24 August 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today warned that infectious diseases have become “a much larger menace” under the unique conditions of the 21st century with its unprecedented global travel volume of nearly 100,000 flights carrying 8.6 million passengers every day.

WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan, said however, that “the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak likely represents our best chance ever to transform the world’s response to epidemics and other health emergencies. Continue reading

Abuja: honouring victims of 2011 terrorist attack, Ban sees Nigeria as key partner in achieving UN goals

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is presented with a flower bouquet upon arrival in Abuja, Nigeria. UN Photo

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is presented with a flower bouquet upon arrival in Abuja, Nigeria. UN Photo

Nigeria, 24 August 2015 – Commemorating the 4th anniversary of the “vicious terrorist attack” that killed 23 United Nations employees in Abuja, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today also paid tribute to the “extraordinary fortitude” and determination of the survivors, many of whom suffered terrible injury and trauma.

“Our fallen colleagues and partners will be remembered this morning with moments of silence in many places. But nowhere are the memories of these colleagues more immediate, more vivid and more compelling than here in Abuja. We will remember them forever as truly the best of humanity,” Mr. Ban stated in his remarks during a wreath-laying ceremony. Continue reading

Top UN relief official in Central African Republic condemns attack against aid workers

Aid distribution point in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). Photo: OCHA

Aid distribution point in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). Photo: OCHA

CAR, 24 August 2015 – A senior United Nations relief official today strongly condemned the attack against humanitarian workers that occurred on August 20 in Bambari, in Central African Republic (CAR), and injured one staff from the Red Cross Movement.

“I condemn the violence and call on all belligerents to respect and protect humanitarian workers who provide assistance to thousands of people affected by the crisis in the country,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative for the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), Aurélien A. Agbénonci, in a press release. Continue reading

States Governors of Nigeria can implement locally the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN chief

Young women and girls carry water in Nigeria. Photo: World Bank

Young women and girls carry water in Nigeria. Photo: World Bank

Nigeria, 23 August 2015 – The UN chief travelled over the weekend to Abuja, Nigeria, where today he met the States Governors, who can play a “fundamental role” in shaping the future of their country by implementing the sustainable development agenda Members States will adopt in a month in New York.

“You have the resources and the power to help the people of Nigeria realize the tremendous promise of this great country – on education, on health care, on women’s empowerment, on climate change, on governance, institution-building, security and on rights across the board,” stated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his remarks. Continue reading

Mali: two UN peacekeepers seriously injured in an explosion

UN peacekeepers from the Niger contingent on patrol in Menaka, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

UN peacekeepers from the Niger contingent on patrol in Menaka, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

Mali, 22 August 2015 – The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) today condemned the use of landmines or explosive ordnance, which gravely injured this morning two of its peacekeepers.

“The MINUSMA strongly condemns such acts, aimed at paralyzing its operations in Mali and which indiscriminately affects UN personnel or innocent civilians,” stated a press release issued by the Mission Continue reading

Top UN relief official in Somalia appeals for scaled-up assistance in newly opened areas

Internally displaced persons uprooted from Xudur and Diinsoor in Somalia due to fear of attacks. Photo: OCHA/Cecilia Attefors

Internally displaced persons uprooted from Xudur and Diinsoor in Somalia due to fear of attacks. Photo: OCHA/Cecilia Attefors

Somalia, 21 August 2015 – Just back from an assessment mission in southern regions of Somalia, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the country has underscored that while relief supplies are reaching the areas “after years of isolation,” much work lay ahead for people to rebuild their lives in the towns of Baardheere and Diinsoor, in the Gedo and Bay regions, respectively.

“I was pleased to meet with people on the ground and see how medical and other humanitarian supplies are now going to these areas, after years of isolation,” said Peter de Clercq press release, noting that he was particularly encouraged by the resilience and determination of the people living in the towns he and his team had visited. Continue reading