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UN Daily News
Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Issue DH/7165

In the headlines:
WHS: Humanitarian summit has set new course,

Burundi: UN probe completes on-the-ground

WHS: New charter for persons with disabilities

UN report paints mixed picture of global responses

WHS: Humanitarian aid is 'failing' in an interview,

Amid Boko Haram violence, situation worsens for

Sri Lanka: Deadly tropical storm displaces more

says Ban, calling for action on commitments


endorsed at UN humanitarian summit
UN advisor tells why

With many plant and animal species hanging on by


a thread, UN urges action to tackle wildlife crime

Economic development in Africa centres around


urbanization UN-backed report

Argentina: UN rights expert urges immediate

action to address exclusion of indigenous peoples

deployment of human rights monitors


to declining air quality

displaced in southeast Niger UN

than 230,000, UN relief wing reports

Somalia: Security Council commends

advancements, urges accelerated peace- and


State-building

Iraq: UN human rights office urges investigation


into use of force against protestors

More stories inside

WHS: Humanitarian summit has set new course, says Ban,


calling for action on commitments
24 May Hailing the global communitys achievements at the firstever World Humanitarian Summit, United Nations Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon today called for commitments made to be taken forward
for transformative change from the top down and from the ground up.
The World Humanitarian Summit has been a unique event, in form
as well as substance, Mr. Ban said in Istanbul, Turkey, speaking to
reporters on the second and last day of the Summit, dedicated to
improving the humanitarian system and alleviating the suffering of
millions.
We have the wealth, knowledge and awareness to take better care of
one another. But we need action, based on the five core
responsibilities of the Agenda for Humanity, he stressed, referring to
the principles that guided the hundreds of events organized at the twoday conference.

United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Turkish


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on stage at the closing ceremony of
the World Humanitarian Summit. 24 May 2016. Photo: UNOCHA

In total, the Summit brought together 173 Member States, 55 Heads of State and Governments, some 350 private sector

For information media not an official record

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representatives, and over 2000 people from civil society and non-governmental organizations. Together, some 1,500
commitments were made, including:

The Education Cannot Wait fund to help provide quality education to children and youth in crises.
A Grand Bargain that will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of investment in emergency response
The Global Preparedness Partnership to better prepare twenty of the countries that are most at risk of crisis
The One Billion Coalition for Resilience which aims to mobilize a billion people to build safer and more stable
communities worldwide

Yet, the Secretary-General also expressed disappointment that some world leaders could not be in Istanbul, especially from
the G7 countries, except Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
They are some of the most generous donors of funding for humanitarian action, but I urge their greater engagement,
particularly in the search for political solutions, he stressed, noting that aligning the interests of such a diverse
constellation of actors is inherently challenging.
The UN chief said divisions between the members of the Security Council have prevented progress in recent years, not only
on critical issues of war and peace, but on humanitarian affairs.
That is why I make a special appeal to leaders of the nations that are permanent Members of that Council to take important
steps at the highest level. Their absence from this meeting does not provide an excuse for inaction, he said.
Speaking at the closing ceremony with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mr. Ban further highlighted that the
Summit is not an end point, but a turning point.
In September, I will report to the United Nations General Assembly on the Summits achievements, he noted. I will
propose ways to take our commitments forward through intergovernmental processes, inter-agency forums and other
mechanisms.

WHS: New charter for persons with disabilities endorsed at UN


humanitarian summit
24 May A new charter to significantly improve living conditions of
persons with disabilities during emergencies has been endorsed at the
United Nations World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey.
The intersection between humanitarian crises and persons with
disabilities is very strong, Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, the UN
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, told the
UN News Centre on the margins of a special session at the Summit on
ensuring disability-inclusive humanitarian action.
Persons with disabilities are always left behind and the humanitarian
response is very complicated because there is no planning to address
their needs. We see that constantly in armed conflict situations, and
natural disasters, she explained.

Sign language interpreter at the special session on the inclusion of


persons with disabilities into humanitarian action, at the World
Humanitarian Summit. Photo: UN News Centre/Stphanie Coutrix

The Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian


Action urges government representatives as well as leaders of non-governmental organizations and funding bodies to ensure
that their future humanitarian actions will be inclusive of people with disabilities, based on five principals:

non-discrimination and recognition of the diversity of people with disabilities;


involvement of people with disabilities in developing humanitarian programs;

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ensuring services and humanitarian assistance are equally available for and accessible to all people with disabilities;
implementation of inclusive global policies; and
cooperation and coordination among humanitarian actors to improve inclusion of people with disabilities.

For me, it was absolutely critical that I was [at the special session], because it reminded me of my responsibility as a
citizen, and also as the Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to really put people with disabilities
much closer to the center of everything we do. We must leave no one behind, and we must be inclusive, said UN Special
Advisor David Nabarro.
He noted that the endorsement of the charter shows there is real commitment to working to ensure that people with
disabilities are much closer to the center of humanitarian action.
This message was echoed by Pierre Krhenbhl, the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), where many people have been injured due to conflict.
When I met young children in Syria who recently had lost limbs because of a car bomb attack, I realized, when I look at
them and talk to them, that we need to do much more, he said. So [the charter] is an incentive to improve programmes, to
include people with disabilities into the planning processes, as part of consultations in far more systematic way.
Speaking with the UN News Centre through an interpreter, Colin Allen, who will be the next chair of the International
Disability Alliance (IDA), highlighted that the charter will help address the specific needs of many people, such as those
who are deaf, blind, or both.
My role [at the session] was to make sure humanitarian actors have systems in place that are accessible, so that in the event
of any natural disaster or crisis, they are able to facilitate access for people with disabilities, he said, stressing the need to
be prepared well in advance for this kind of assistance, such as having people who know sign language.

WHS: Humanitarian aid is 'failing' in an interview, UN advisor


tells why
24 May The humanitarian sector is failing to protect civilians from
violence, a top UN advisor stressed today at the World Humanitarian
Summit (WHS) in Istanbul, Turkey.
Jan Egeland, who is at the two-day conference in his capacity as
Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, is also the
Special Advisor to Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy for
Syria, where millions of people are in besieged areas with little to no
food or medical assistance.
The Summit, which ends today, is bringing together government
representatives, leaders of the private and public sectors, as well as
UN officials, to improve the world's response to crises. Affected
communities, including many youth, and humanitarian workers are
also in attendance to share first-hand experiences about the situation
on the ground when disaster hits.

Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council


and Special Advisor to the UN Envoy for Syria, at the World
Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: OCHA

The UN News Centre met with Mr. Egeland after a press conference focused on how humanitarian aid has to be more
efficient and cost-effective not to fail those most in need.
UN News Centre: What was your main message at the World Humanitarian Summit today?
Jan Egeland: My talk today was that via besieged areas in Syria, and Fallujah in Iraq to Yemen, to many parts of Africa, we
are failing millions of people, we are not reaching them. That is a theme we need to focus on at the humanitarian summit.
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24 May 2016

We're doing lots of good work for tens of millions of people but there are still millions we are not even reaching.
UN News Centre: At the Summit, there are five core responsibilities world leaders are asked to promote. One of
them is respecting the rules of war, such as protecting civilians. What can concretely come out of this conference to
achieve that commitment?
Jan Egeland: One very concrete things I would hope is that leaders who travel back from here would saycan we at least
stop assisting, aiding, giving arms, giving money to those armed groups that are systematically violating humanitarian law
of armed conflict, and bombing hospitals, bombing schools, abusing women and childrenthat kind of behaviour we cannot
continue supporting. So let's blacklist this division and that armed group and that army and that government. They have to
behave better before they get our support. That would be my wish.
UN News Centre: The Security Council recently adopted a resolution on protecting healthcare and civilians. How
does that translate on the ground right now?
Jan Egeland: There is unfortunately a big distance from the Security Council chambers to the battlefield in the sense that
the men with arms and power on the ground are not getting the right orders, it doesn't reach them really. And even when
they get the orders, they are not obeying them. That's what the Security Council has to fix. [Member States] have to make
their resolution be implementedwhich means they have to go systematically to all of those who are sponsors of armed
groups, and say end impunity, end assisting those who do bad things, make it less attractive to do bad things and more
attractive to do good things. Then we would see change.
UN News Centre: Turning to the refugee crisis, have you seen action on how countries can come together to better
support refugees at this World Humanitarian Summit?
Jan Egeland: Well, there are pledges for more funding for humanitarian work, for internally displaced which are at the
bottom of the pit and getting the least of the attention and the resourcesas well as for refugees. We lack governments
saying they will also uphold humanitarian law and the UN refugee convention, keeping borders open and keeping the right
of asylum sacrosanct. As Europeans, when we initiated the refugee convention we really felt that asylum was important
when we were the asylum seekers. Why don't we think it's equally important now, when we are those to whom people come
for asylum?
UN News Centre: Today is the second and last day of the Summit. What do you think has been the biggest
achievement in Istanbul?
Jan Egeland: The biggest achievement is to assemble so many humanitarian workers in one place at the same time. There
are 5,000 people here and there is recognition of their good humanitarian work. But the problem is what will happen
afterwardswill we see that we have better tools, will we see we have better resources, and will see that we are better
reaching the millions we are not reaching. We have to be more focused next time, and try to get one thing at a time sorted
out.
UN News Centre: Leaders are underlining this is the first ever humanitarian summit. Does that imply that there will
be many more to come?
Jan Egeland: Not necessarily in this shape and in this format. But this will be part of a process to make the humanitarian
system more efficient, more cost-effective. We must do away with all that ridiculous competition for funding, for credit and
what not, and really discuss how can we reach all those we are not reaching, how can we get people out of their endless
misery, and get them out of their situation as displaced, as refugees, as chronically poor or chronically exposed to disasters.

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With many plant and animal species hanging on by a thread,


UN urges action to tackle wildlife crime
24 May The poaching and illegal trade of thousands of species
across the globe present real environmental dangers and undermine
the rule of law, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC) said today, urging shared responsibility among the
international community in tackling wildlife and forest crime.
Launching its inaugural World Wildlife Crime Report part of an
ongoing Global Programme on Wildlife and Forest Crime UNODC
highlighted that one of the main messages the report aims to convey is
that wildlife and forest crime is not limited to certain countries or
regions, but is a truly global phenomenon.
The desperate plight of iconic species at the hands of poachers has
deservedly captured the worlds attention, and none too soon. Animals
like the tiger, feared and revered throughout human history, are now hanging on by a thread, their dwindling numbers spread
across a range of states that are struggling to protect them. African elephants and rhinos are under constant pressure, said
Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director.
Wildlife. Credit: UNODC

But the threat of wildlife crime does not stop with these majestic animals. One of the critical messages to emerge from this
research is that wildlife and forest crime is not limited to certain countries or regions. It is not a trade involving exotic goods
from foreign lands being shipped to faraway markets, he added.
Launched at this weeks Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the report was developed by UNODC with
data provided by partner organizations under the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime, including the
Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the
World Customs Organization.
The report looks at eight case studies of species products sorted by seven industrial sectors that make use of wild sourced
materials across the world. It builds on information taken from World WISE, a recently unveiled data platform that contains
more than 164,000 seizures related to wildlife crime from 120 countries.
One of the key observations that the database illustrates is the extreme diversity of the illegal activity: nearly 7,000 species
are included in the seizures, yet no single one represents more than 6 per cent of the total, nor does a single country
constitute the source of more than 15 per cent of the seized shipments, UNODC said.
This comprehensive global report is rooted in the best data and case studies available, is backed by in-depth analysis, and
demonstrates a heightened sense of rigor in the way in which we report on wildlife crime, emphasized CITES SecretaryGeneral John E. Scanlon.
The World Wildlife Crime Report shows the extensive involvement of transnational organized criminal groups in these
highly destructive crimes and the pervasive impact of corruption, demonstrating that combating wildlife crime warrants even
greater attention and resources at all levels, he added.
The report includes an analysis of legal and illegal markets of wildlife and forest products, which UNODC said can be
useful in addressing vulnerabilities in the legal trade and promote better global regulatory systems. It also highlights how
gaps in legislation, law enforcement and criminal justice systems present serious issues.
If we want to get serious about wildlife and forest crime, we must shore up our collective responses and close these gaps,
said Mr. Fedotov, noting that as with all forms of organized crime and trafficking, criminals will always look to exploit
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24 May 2016

systems where they can.


The report, through analysis of trade sectors, markets and representative case studies, also sheds light on seven specific areas
to illustrate the scale of wildlife and forest crime: seafood; pets, zoos and breeding; food, medicine and tonics; art, dcor and
jewellery; cosmetics and perfume; fashion; and furniture.

Economic development in Africa centres around urbanization


UN-backed report
24 May With two-thirds of Africans expected to live in cities by
2050, how Africa urbanizes will be critical to the continents future
growth and development, a new report presented by the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has found.
According to the African Economic Outlook 2016, released yesterday
at the African Development Bank Groups annual meetings, Africa
remained the second-fastest growing economic region in 2015, after
East Asia. The continents average growth is expected to be 3.7 per
cent in 2016 and 4.5 per cent in 2017, provided the world economy
strengthens and commodity prices gradually recover.
Making cash transfer payments to women in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez

In 2016, the emerging common African position on urban


development and the international

New Urban Agenda to be discussed in Quito in October provide the opportunity to begin moulding ambitious urbanization
policies into concrete strategies for Africas structural transformation, said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Director of the Regional
Bureau for Africa at UNDP.
We need to invest in building economic opportunities, especially those of women, of which 92 per cent work in the
informal sector. Cities and towns have a key role to play in that process, but only if Governments take bold policy action,
he added.
The report whose theme this year is Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation is produced annually by UNDP,
the African Development Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development
Centre.
In 2015, net financial flows to Africa were estimated at $208 billion, 1.8 per cent lower than in 2014 due to a contraction in
investment. At $56 billion in 2015, however, official development assistance (ODA) increased by four per cent, and
remittances remain the most stable and important single source of external finance, at $64 billion in 2015, the report found.
African countries, which include top worldwide growth champions, have shown remarkable resilience in the face of global
economic adversity. Turning Africas steady resilience into better lives for Africans requires strong policy action to promote
faster and more inclusive growth, said Abebe Shimeles, Acting Director, Development Research Department, at the
African Development Bank.
The continent is urbanizing at a historically rapid pace, coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom, with the
population living in cities doubling from 1995 to 472 million in 2015. This phenomenon is unlike what other regions, such
as Asia, experienced, and is currently accompanied by slow structural transformation, according to the reports special
thematic chapter.
The authors of the report concluded that lack of urban planning leads to costly urban sprawl. In Accra, Ghana, for example,
the population nearly doubled between 1991 and 2000, increasing from 1.3 million to 2.5 million inhabitants at an average
annual growth rate of 7.2 per cent. During the same period, the built-up area of Accra tripled, increasing from 10,000
hectares to 32,000 hectares by an average annual rate of 12.8 per cent.
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Africas ongoing, multi-faceted urban transition and the densification it produces offer new opportunities for improving
economic and social development while protecting the environment in a holistic manner. These openings can be better
harnessed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals especially SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities and
the objectives of the African Unions Agenda 2063, said Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and
Acting Director of the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate.
The benefits could accrue for both urban and rural dwellers, provided governments adopt an integrated approach, he
added.
This approach includes stepping up investment in urban infrastructure, improving connectivity with rural areas, better
matching formal real estate markets with the housing demand by clarifying land rights, managing the growth of intermediary
cities, and improving the provision of infrastructure and services within and between cities. Such investments need to be
accompanied by productive formal employment especially for the youth and sufficient public goods, according to the
report.
In 2015, approximately 879 million Africans lived in countries with low human development, while 295 million lived in
medium and high human development countries. Africas youth are particularly at risk from slow human progress. In subSaharan Africa, nine out of ten working youth are poor or near poor, the report found.
According to the report, seizing this urbanization dividend requires bold policy reforms and planning efforts. Ongoing
endeavours to promote efficient multi-level governance systems, including decentralization, capacity building and increased
transparency, at all government levels, should also be strengthened, the report said.

Argentina: UN rights expert urges immediate action to address


exclusion of indigenous peoples
24 May The United Nations human rights expert on racism today
urged the Government of Argentina to take urgent measures to
sustainably address the invisibility, marginalization and systematic
exclusion of indigenous peoples in the country.
In a press statement issued by the Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Mutuma Ruteere, the
UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, highlighted that
during his first official visit to Argentina, he found that, as elsewhere
in the world, discriminatory practices in the country have often
targeted the poor and, in effect, the most vulnerable who belong to
minority groups including indigenous peoples, Afro-Argentines, and
migrant communities.

Agriculture workers on a strawberry farm in Argentina. Photo:


World Bank/Nahuel Berger

Argentina has developed a comprehensive legal framework for the elimination of racial discrimination and the equal
enjoyment of rights for all inhabitants, whether Argentine or foreign, the expert noted.
The expert travelled to Argentina from 16 to 23 May, to assess the situation of indigenous peoples, peoples of African
descent, migrants from the region and beyond, and other groups.
Mr. Ruteere welcomed existing laws to protect specific vulnerable groups such as the indigenous peoples, as well as efforts
made to acknowledge the existence of Afro-Argentines through a series of symbolic measures.
I acknowledge Argentinas progressive migration law that recognizes migration as a fundamental inalienable right, and the
establishment of a number of institutions aiming at promoting human rights and anti-discrimination, such as the National
Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism, he said.

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The human rights expert also underscored that, despite the existing comprehensive legal and institutional framework,
effective implementation is lacking and significant challenges persist.
The situation of indigenous peoples in certain areas of the country is appalling, as they live in extreme poverty, sociocultural isolation and without access to basic services such as adequate health, descent housing or even drinkable water,
Mr. Ruteere said, calling on the Argentine authorities to develop a comprehensive multi-sectoral national strategy to address
the rights of indigenous peoples and other groups subjected to discrimination.
Most alarming are the reported trends of repression, in several parts of the country, against the mobilization by indigenous
groups to claim their rights; and the reprisals against minority rights defenders and leaders as well as members of their
families, the independent expert said.
I have heard reports of police profiling and violence against migrants from neighbouring countries and beyond and that
those acts remain unpunished and investigations of such crimes are seldom conduct, he added.
The expert also stressed that access to justice for vulnerable groups, starting with indigenous peoples but also including
migrants and Afro-descendants, remains a significant challenge.
The absence of minority groups in the judicial system including in highest positions represents a significant challenge to
groups subjected to racial discrimination, in particular indigenous peoples and migrants, he said.
Mr. Ruteere recommended implementing affirmative action measures to enable the representation of minority groups in
positions of influence, such as in education including university level, judiciary, legislatures and executive positions.
This is particularly urgent for indigenous peoples as the current modes of their participation have largely failed to provide
them with the voice and visibility necessary to remedy their long history of exclusion and marginalization, the expert
emphasized. The current condition of indigenous peoples cannot wait and requires immediate attention from the highest
levels of national and Federal governments.
The Special Rapporteurs final findings and recommendations will be reflected in his report to the Human Rights Council in
June 2017.

Burundi: UN probe completes on-the-ground deployment of


human rights monitors
24 May The United Nations Independent Investigation in Burundi,
which was set up to investigate human rights violations in the country
since April 2015, said today it has completed the deployment of a
team of human rights monitors on the ground.
The UN Human Rights Council established the Independent
Investigation team in December 2015 to investigate violations and
abuses of human rights in Burundi, make recommendations on the
improvement of the human rights situation, and engage in a dialogue
with the authorities and other relevant actors in the ongoing crisis.

Relatives of a student killed in the Jabe neighbourhood of


Bujumbura, mourn at home in the Burundian capital. Photo: Phil
Moore/IRIN

Following our first visit to Burundi in early March, the deployment


of human rights monitors is a new and important step forward in our
investigations, and will help us collect meaningful information on
human rights violations and abuses which have been committed in
Burundi since April 2015, said Christof Heyns, Chair of the

Independent Investigation.
In addition to collecting information in Burundi, the team will also visit neighbouring countries, including Rwanda, Uganda,
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24 May 2016

Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The visits to neighbouring countries will allow the human rights
investigators to meet with Burundian refugees and collect testimonies from those who have fled the violence.
Now that the team is fully in place and operational, I hope that we will receive information and documentation from many
individuals, groups and organizations on the human rights violations and abuses which have been taking place in Burundi
since the crisis started, a year ago, said Mr. Heyns.
In addition to Mr. Heyns, the team consists of two other independent human rights experts: Maya Sahli-Fadel and Pablo de
Greiff.
The three experts plan to undertake a second visit to Burundi in June, and will present their final report to the 33rd session of
the Human Rights Council in September 2016.

UN report paints mixed picture of global responses to declining


air quality
24 May Noting that from 2008 to 2013, air pollution levels in urban
areas increased by eight per cent, a new report from the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) spotlights the need to
support introduction of more renewable energies and clean cook
stoves, some of the vital actions aimed at combating this public health
emergency.
Air pollution kills seven million people each year, according to the
World Health Organization (WHO), with more than 80 per cent of
people living in urban areas exposed to air quality levels that exceed
WHO limits.
In many parts of rural Nepal, women spend on average of five hours a
day in smoke-filled kitchens such as these, underming their health.
Photo: IRIN/Naresh Newar

Actions on Air Quality, released today at the second United Nations


Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) under way in Nairobi, Kenya,
found that there is a growing momentum for change, such as
improved access to cleaner cooking fuels and stoves, renewables, fuel

sulphur content and public transport.


However, action in other areas is less impressive and will not halt the increase in air pollution that is threatening to claim
many more lives, the report warned.
The current global response to pervasive poor air quality is inadequate, said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
Despite this lack of a holistic response, numerous countries and regions are coming up with effective and cost-effective
measures to improve air quality. The Sustainable Development Goals provide an opportunity to replicate those best practices
globally, and bring about cleaner air, and social and economic benefits worldwide.
While policies and standards on clean fuels and vehicles could reduce emissions by 90 per cent, only 29 per cent of
countries worldwide have adopted Euro 4 vehicles emissions standards or above. Meanwhile, less than 20 per cent of
countries regulate open waste burning, which is a leading cause of air pollution.
On the positive side, 97 countries have increased the percentage of households that have access to cleaner burning fuels to
more than 85 per cent a key move to tackle indoor air pollution, which claims over half of the seven million lives.
At least 82 countries out of 193 analysed have incentives that promote investment in renewable energy production, cleaner
production, energy efficiency and/or pollution control equipment. Last year, for the first time, renewables accounted for a
majority of the new electricity-generating capacity added around the world, at an investment of $286 billion, according to
research by UNEP, Bloomberg and the Frankfurt School.
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A Review of Air Pollution Control in Beijing: 1998-2013, which was also released today, analyzed measures implemented
since Beijing began launching air pollution control programmes, which saw a steady downward trend in the concentrations
of many harmful pollutants.
Even though the air pollution control programmes in Beijing have made substantial progress, the environment quality is far
from satisfactory, said Chen Tian, Director General of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. We will
continue to explore approaches that could work effectively for improving the environment in this region.

Amid Boko Haram violence, situation worsens for displaced in


southeast Niger UN
24 May Security and humanitarian conditions are deteriorating in
southeast Niger, where hundreds of thousands of people settled after
fleeing Boko Haram insurgents, the United Nations refugee agency
warned today.
According to government figures in mid-May, the area in and around
Diffa was hosting over 241,000 people, including refugees from
Nigeria, displaced people within Niger, and returning Niger nationals
who had been living in Nigeria.

Nigerian refugees arrive in Sayam Forage camp, an hour-drive away


from Diffa, the main city in the region. Photo: UNHCR/Hlne Caux

Some 157,000 people who have fled Boko's Haram terror have settled
in 135 makeshift encampments along 200 kilometres of Route
National 1, a major road that runs parallel to the border with Nigeria
and the Komadougou river.

Living conditions along Route National 1 are harsh. In this remote and semi-desert environment, temperatures are reaching
48 degrees Celsius in the current dry season, while rains that will follow in two or three months often flood the ramshackle
settlements, said spokesperson Adrian Edwards of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
He said that shelters are made of straw, and sanitation is basic, with few latrines and showers. Many children do not have
access to education because of limited schooling structures in the nearby villages, which are already overcrowded, and
because of closures of many schools in insecure areas close to the border. Food supplies are irregular, and the local
population is not always able to share their meagre resources with the displaced people.
The security situation around the towns of Diffa and Bosso, to the east, has deteriorated in recent months, with a succession
of criminal incidents including suicide attacks near villages and spontaneous sites where both Nigerian refugees and the
internally displaced are being sheltered.
Two large markets along that road have been closed since April out of fear that infiltrated insurgents could attack. This hits
livelihoods and the local economy. A 7pm to 5am curfew is in force across the region, which has been under a state of
emergency since February 2015.
Many of these people have been displaced two or three times prior to settling along the road. Both the local and displaced
communities are fearful of new attacks, Mr. Edwards said.
Aid agencies are struggling to bring assistance to the displaced due to the highly insecure environment, the increasing
number of sites some of them remote and a lack of funding.
Of $112 million required by 22 aid agencies, including UNHCR, for operations in the Diffa region in 2016, only $20 million
has been received to date.
Ten days ago, at the government's request, UNHCR started to relocate hundreds of refugees from two spontaneous sites
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24 May 2016

along Route National 1 to a camp some 50 kilometres from the border.


Although most people prefer to live outside of the camps, they have decided to move for both protection reasons and for
access to food and adequate services. The camp presently hosts some 3,000 people.

Sri Lanka: Deadly tropical storm displaces more than 230,000,


UN relief wing reports
24 May The United Nations humanitarian wing has reported that at
least 84 people have died, another 116 are missing, and more than
230,000 are displaced following a severe tropical storm this past week
that caused widespread flooding and landslides in 22 districts of Sri
Lanka.
On 15 May, Sri Lanka was hit by Tropical Storm Roanu, which
caused widespread flooding and landslides, destroying homes and
submerging entire villages. In addition, a landslide struck Aranayake,
Kegalle district, on 17 May, followed by a second landslide in the
same area four days later.
In a situation report, the UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that as of 22 May, some 237,240
people are displaced from their homes and living in 376 safe
locations, including camps, schools, temples, with host families and in other temporary accommodations.
Aerial view of flooding in Sri Lanka, after Tropical Storm Roanu hit
the island. Photo: UNDP Sri Lanka

At least 503 houses are reported to have been destroyed, with a further 3,793 partially damaged, although the extent of
damage is likely to be higher, OCHA said.
The majority of the displaced people are in Colombo and Gampaha districts, in the south-west of the country, where
floodwaters still remain high. Landslide warnings remain in place in nine areas of the country.
As a result of heavy rains, several major reservoirs overflowed and flood gates were fully opened to avoid a dam breach,
causing flooding downstream. Areas downstream of two large rivers to the north and south of the capital city, Colombo
the Kelani River and the Kalu River remain flooded, with the possibility of further floodwaters flowing from upstream
areas should heavy rains persist, OCHA said.
It is expected to take several days for floodwaters to recede and, in some areas, water levels remain as high as the roofs of
peoples houses, with access only possible by boat or by air.
Many of the affected population, particularly in the rural areas, were already amongst the most vulnerable in the country
and have now lost everything, including their homes, possessions, agricultural land and means of making a living, the
report said.
In the urban areas of the affected districts, there are growing health concerns related to the quantity of so much standing
water in highly populated areas and the destruction of much of the water and sanitation infrastructure, which could lead to
serious public health issues, according to OCHA.
While Tropical Storm Roanu has now passed over Sri Lanka, the Department of Meteorology predicts more rain over the
island in the coming days as normal south-west monsoonal rains settle in. This could cause additional flooding and
landslides in many of the same areas that are still waterlogged, with those who have lost their homes and who are living in
temporary shelters the most vulnerable to the potential impacts, OCHA stressed.
The Government of Sri Lanka is leading the response to the floods, and UN agencies and non-governmental organizations
are providing assistance. Priority needs are for water, sanitation and hygiene; health; shelter; and food assistance, OCHA
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24 May 2016

said.

Somalia: Security Council commends advancements, urges


accelerated peace- and State-building
24 May The Security Council welcomed the political and security
progress in Somalia during a mission to the capital, Mogadishu, on 19
May, where representatives of the 15-member body met with
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, regional leaders, Somali civil
society and women's groups.
In a press statement following up the mission, they underlined the
advances made since the transition ended in 2012, while underscoring
the need to accelerate the country's peace- and state-building process,
saying: Holding a peaceful, transparent electoral process in 2016 will
mark a historic step forward for all Somalis, and will be fundamental
for the country's continued progress towards democracy and stability.
UN Security Council members visit Somalia. UN Photo/Omar
Abdisalan

In the context of Security Council resolution 2232 (2015), which laid


out that there be no extended electoral process timelines in Somalia,
the members welcomed the electoral mechanism in the decree issued by President Mohamud on 22 May 2016, noting that it
should enable necessary technical preparation and implementation without further delay.
They also acknowledged that Somali leaders had worked hard to achieve agreement on the modalities of the electoral model
and commended President Mohamud and the Government for ensuring that the electoral process timelines were upheld.
The challenge now is to prepare and implement the elections and renew their call on all Somali stakeholders to work
constructively to that end, without delay, the members emphasized.
The Council members called it a historic opportunity to deliver more representative governance to the people of Somalia.
They commended the Government's commitment to reserve 30 per cent of seats in the upper and lower houses for women
and emphasised the importance of adhering to the political road map to 2020 in particular to reach one-person, one-vote
elections by 2020.
The Security Council members further underlined their determination to play a constructive and active role in the months
ahead.

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Iraq: UN human rights office urges investigation into use of


force against protestors
24 May The United Nations human rights office today urged the
Government of Iraq to immediately conduct an independent,
transparent and effective investigation into the use of force by security
forces against protestors outside the Green Zone in Baghdad this past
week.
In the regular bi-weekly news briefing in Geneva earlier today, Rupert
Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights (OHCHR), said that on 20 May, four protestors
were killed and up to 200 were injured after security forces used tear
gas canisters, rubber bullets and some live ammunition against the
demonstrators for close to two hours.
The spokesperson said that it had been reported that up to 200 people
had been subsequently arrested in connection with the protest,
including a group of university students.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for


Human Rights. UN Photo

The protestors, including women and children, hailed mainly from different areas of Baghdad that had suffered terrorist
attacks, such as Sadr City, were calling on the Government to take immediate action to ensure greater accountability for
those attacks and to protect their communities, Mr. Colville said.
OHCHR appealed to the Government to promptly announce an independent investigation to establish whether unnecessary
or excessive force was used and to hold accountable by law any security officers who may have acted in violation of the
strict standards required concerning the use of force by law enforcement officials.
Additionally, OHCHR urged the Government to ensure that the protection of civilians was paramount in its military
operations to retake Fallujah.
On a separate matter, the spokesperson said that OHCHR was concerned at the announcement by the Ministry of Justice that
22 people had been executed in the past month.

UN chief welcomes municipal elections on Lebanon


24 May United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed
the holding of municipal elections in Lebanon, which are expected to
conclude on 29 May, urging all Lebanese leaders to act responsibly to
elect the countrys President, a post vacant for two years, without a
further delay, his spokesperson said today in a statement.
[The elections] are a testament to Lebanons enduring democratic
tradition and further proof that the people of Lebanon deserve to be
represented at all levels, the statement said.

City view of Beirut, Lebanon. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez

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National unity and Lebanons standing will remain fragile and


incomplete as long as the vacancy in the presidency persists, the
statement added.

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24 May 2016

African Union most important partner, UN peacekeeping chief


tells Security Council
24 May The Security Council today stressed the importance of
strengthening the existing cooperation between the United Nations
and the African Union (AU), a regional organization described by a
senior UN official as the most important peacekeeping partner.
Adopting a Presidential Statement, the 15-nation Council commended
the increased contribution of the African Union to the maintenance of
peace and security, and acknowledged the progress made in the
ongoing cooperation between the UN and the AU.

The African Union-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Sector West


Child Protection Unit (CPU) at Krinding (1) Camp for internally
displaced persons in El-Geneina, west Darfur, distributed vests
inscribed with messages that promote the protection of children as
part of its campaign. Photo: Elsadig Daud/UNAMID

The Council also welcomed the development of the new roadmap for
2016-2020 to make the African peace and security architecture fully
operational, and noted that the recent reviews of the UN
peacebuilding architecture, peace operations and the implementation
of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and
security provided an opportunity to build a stronger, forward-looking
partnership between the two organizations.

The Council, however, recognized that one major constraint facing the AU in effectively carrying out the mandates of
maintaining regional peace and security is securing predictable, sustainable and flexible resources. In that regard, it
welcomed the appointment of an African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund.
The adoption of the Presidential Statement came during an open debate on this subject, organized by Egypt, the Council
President for this month. It featured more than 40 speakers, including Herv Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for
Peacekeeping Operations, who said: The African Union, directly or not, is the most important partner of the UN in
peacekeeping.
He said that nine out of 16 UN peacekeeping operations are in Africa, almost 50 per cent of all uniformed peacekeepers
come from African Union member states, and more than 80 per cent of all uniformed peacekeepers are deployed in UN
peacekeeping missions in Africa.
Noting that today marked the tenth anniversary of annual consultations on peace and security between the UN and the AU,
Mr. Ladsous said a prime indicator of progress is the development of the African Standby Force. The African peace and
security architecture roadmap 2016-2020 signals a move away from ad hoc activity-based responses towards a more
strategic position, he said.
UNs role changed from support and capacity-building to a partnership based on unity of purpose and effort
The role of the UN had changed from support and capacity-building to a partnership based on unity of purpose and effort,
he said, adding that its key coordination mechanism is the United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force, which has
increasingly encouraged proposals on coordinated messaging, shared information, joint analysis and monitoring of
upcoming elections and crisis situations in Africa.
However, the most active area of cooperation has been on the ground, he said. It included the development of strategic
concepts of operations for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as well as the planning for operations in Mali
and the Central African Republic.
Noting the Secretary-Generals call for more predictable and sustainable financing and support for African peace operations
authorized by the Security Council, he said that the two organizations will launch a joint review on financing and support for
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24 May 2016

AU peace operations this week.


Haile Menkerios, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Special Envoy for Sudan and
South Sudan, noted that, despite the progress made, real and numerous threats to international peace and security remains
in Africa.
Recent reviews of the international security architecture recommended strengthening the partnership with the African
Union, he said, noting that his Office was a critical bridge in that effort.
Consultations have been enhanced, positions harmonized and volatile situations addressed across the continent, from the
Lake Chad Basin to Somalia, Burundi and the Sahel, he said. Recent joint efforts to de-escalate political tensions in
Comoros demonstrated the value of having the international community speak with one voice, he said.
Recalling that the Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council had held their tenth annual consultations
yesterday, he commended the growing relationship between the two entities.
In addition, the UN Secretariat was working with the African Union Commission to systematize working-level
consultations, share information, support joint training and carry out joint early warning and conflict-prevention exercises
through a new framework that emphasized a holistic approach.
Regarding the recommendations of the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the related report of the
Secretary-General, he said the collective challenge was to support and strengthen the mutual security architecture,
particularly through the African Standby Force and the African Unions capabilities in preventive diplomacy and mediation.
I am more hopeful than ever that efforts to strengthen the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations
will remain critical to the continued quest for security and stability in Africa, he said.
Tt Antnio, Permanent Observer of the African Union, and Macharia Kamau, Chair of the UN Peacebuilding
Commission, also addressed the meeting.

New report shows nearly half UN relief agencys schools


affected by conflicts across Middle East
24 May Nearly half of the 692 schools run by the United Nations
Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
(UNRWA) across the region have been impacted, attacked or
otherwise rendered inoperable by conflict or violence in the last five
years, according to a new report unveiled at the World Humanitarian
Summit, in Istanbul.
A staggering 302 schools have been directly affected, said
UNRWAs Commissioner-General, Pierre Krhenbhl, in an article
published this week. Speaking at Summit, where protecting education
is a major theme, he emphasized the courage and determination of
UNRWA teachers, specialists and principals, who preserve access to
learning for half a million Palestine refugee boys and girls despite
these extremely adverse conditions.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krhenbhl says for


children, education is a passport to dignity. Photo: UNRWA

In our innovative Education in Emergencies programmes, we deliver classes to tens of thousands of refugee children
across the Middle East through UNRWA TV broadcasts and interactive distance-learning modules. In Gaza, Lebanon,
Syria and the West Bank, hundreds of specifically trained psychosocial counsellors work with deeply traumatized children
to recover and move on with their lives. In many ways, we simply never give up, he said.
The report details deeply disturbing attacks across the region, and, providing specific figures, UNRWA Spokesman Chris
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24 May 2016

Gunness said that in Syria, at least 70 per cent of 118 UNRWA schools have at some stage of the war been rendered
inoperative, either because they were impacted by violence or because we have used them as centres to house the
displaced.
He said the report is equally bleak about the impact of conflict on UNRWA schools in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,
where 83 UNRWA school buildings were damaged during the 2014 Gaza conflict. Further, some 90 UNRWA school
buildings were used as designated emergency shelters for almost 300,000 displaced Palestinians, including at least 150,000
children.
Six of these school buildings were struck by artillery shells or other munitions, in three cases causing deaths and injuries.
Weapons components were placed by armed groups in three other schools, he explained.
As for Lebanon, periodic outbreaks of violence have forced 36 UNRWA schools to suspend classes for up to a week at a
time on different occasions. Over 50 per cent of all our schools in the country have been impacted at one time or another.
For more than six decades, UNRWA has been an essential part of the world's humanitarian system, said Mr. Krhenbhl,
and all too often we have seen first-hand the terrible human cost of conflict. We therefore endorse the Secretary Generals
call for a strengthening of political leadership to prevent and end war and human displacement. This includes the conflict
between Israel and Palestine in accordance with international law and UN resolutions.
The UNRWA chief concluded that at the Summit, [the agency] will join initiatives such as the Grand Bargain on
humanitarian financing between humanitarian actors and donors in the hope that means can be mobilized to preserve and
improve its investment in education for hundreds of thousands of Palestine refugee children. It is their future and their
humanity that is at stake and, as the UN Secretary-Generals report reminds us, there is but One Humanity.

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)