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UN Daily News
Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Issue DH/7166

In the headlines:
DR Congo: Ban profoundly concerned over reports

Citing obstruction, UN torture prevention panel

Security Council ends 13-year sanctions regime on

UN agencies provide seeds and food to break

UN launches unprecedented #WildforLife campaign

Haiti: UN agencies support Government in

South Sudan: Senior UN relief official condemns

of rising political tensions


Liberia

to end illegal trade in wildlife

Amid bad year for coral, UN launches tool and


report outlining ways to protect threatened reefs

suspends Ukraine visit

hunger cycle in Central African Republic


vaccination campaign against cholera
killing of health worker

The will to advance towards peace clearly exists in

On Africa Day, Ban urges leveraging gains to

With busy bees in the lead, pollinator-friendly

At Crime Commission, UN official urges stepped-up

the Middle East UN envoy

approach vital for healthy agricultural ecosystems


UN

ensure no African is left behind

responses to curb human trafficking

More stories inside

DR Congo: Ban profoundly concerned over reports of rising


political tensions
25 May United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has
expressed profound concern over reports of increasing political
tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) linked to the
continuing uncertainty surrounding the countrys electoral process.
In a statement from his spokesperson, the Secretary-General called
for the strict respect of the fundamental freedoms and rights
enshrined in the Constitution, urging all parties in the central African
nation to exercise restraint and express their views peacefully,
including in the context of demonstrations scheduled to take place
tomorrow.
Burned house in Eringeti, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC). UN Photo/Abel Kavanagh

The Secretary-General called on all Congolese political stakeholders


to place the interests of their country above their own by engaging
constructively in a meaningful political dialogue aimed at peacefully
resolving their differences, according to the statement.
The UN chief also urged the political stakeholders to extend their full cooperation to the African Union (AU) Facilitator for

For information media not an official record

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25 May 2016

the National Dialogue in the DRC, Mr. Edem Kodjo, and reiterated the full support of the UN for his efforts.

Security Council ends 13-year sanctions regime on Liberia


25 May Acknowledging the sustained progress made on rebuilding
Liberia after the 1999-2003 civil war, the United Nations Security
Council today terminated an arms embargo against the country and
dissolved the related mechanisms, namely the sanctions Committee
and the expert panel.
While taking such measures, the 15-nation body, through a
unanimously adopted resolution, also encouraged the Government to
establish a necessary framework to combat the illicit trafficking of
arms and ammunition.

The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2288 (2016),


lifting sanctions on Liberia. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Following the Councils action to lift the measures, most of which


have been in place since 2003, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a
statement issued by his spokesperson, welcomed the decision.

According to the statement, the UN chief noted that targeted sanctions measures have accompanied the consolidation of
peace and the rebuilding of State institutions in Liberia since 2003, and that these measures have been progressively
adjusted as Liberia has met the benchmarks set out by the Council.
Todays lifting by the Security Council of the remaining arms embargo on non-State actors further signals the significant
progress made by Liberia and the sub-region in maintaining stability, the statement said.
The Secretary-General echoed the resolutions call on the Liberian Government to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken
to establish the necessary legal and administrative framework to combat the illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition, the
statement added.

UN launches unprecedented #WildforLife campaign to end


illegal trade in wildlife
25 May The United Nations today launched the #WildforLife
campaign against illegal trade in wildlife, warning that such trade is
pushing species to the brink of extinction, robbing countries of their
natural heritage and profiting international criminal networks.
Each year, thousands of wild animals are illegally killed, often by
organized criminal networks motivated by profit and greed, said UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a press release.
I call on all Governments and people everywhere to support the new
United Nations campaign, Wild for Life, which aims to mobilize the
world to end this destructive trade. Preserving wildlife is crucial for
the well-being of people and planet alike, he added.

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bndchen taking part in the


#Wildforlife campaign. Credit: UNEP

The campaign, which was launched today at the second UN


Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in Nairobi, aims to mobilize millions of people to make commitments and take action
to end the illegal trade in wildlife.
The campaign is run by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN
Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
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Flora (CITES).
The initiative is being backed by celebrities from across the globe, including UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors. These include
Brazilian model Gisele Bndchen, who is fighting for sea turtles; four-time African Footballer of the Year Yaya Tour
(Manchester City, Cte d'Ivoire), who is backing elephants; and actor Ian Somerhalder (Vampire Diaries, Lost), who is
rooting for pangolins.
They are being joined by major celebrities from China, India, Indonesia, Lebanon and Viet Nam battling to conserve species
such as orangutans, tigers, rhinos and helmeted hornbills, and calling for citizen support to end the demand that is driving
the illegal trade, the agencies said.
It saddens me that in the 21st century, with all our knowledge and power, we are still hearing stories of wildlife facing the
possibility of extinction at the hands of man, said Ms. Bndchen.
Knowledge is power and now is the time to set our minds to ending all illegal wildlife trade before the choice is no longer
in our hands. Today, I am giving my name to change the game for sea turtles, she added.
Between 2010 and 2012, 100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory in Africa. Three rhinos are killed every day, and the
western black rhino has already become extinct. Pangolins scaly anteaters are the most illegally trafficked mammal in
the world. Great apes are already locally extinct in several African nations, the agencies stressed.
The campaign asks participants to find their kindred species and use their own spheres of influence to end the illegal trade,
however it touches or impacts them.
Profits from the illegal wildlife trade sometimes go into the pockets of international criminal networks, threatening peace
and security, and damaging the livelihoods of local communities who depend on tourism.
Stopping this trade is also crucial to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as it threatens countries
biodiversity and peoples livelihoods, and disturbs peace. (SDG 15) in particular calls for the protection of wild fauna and
flora, as well as the ecosystems that they depend on including targets on combatting and addressing the supply and
demand of illegal wildlife products, the agencies said.
Politicians, celebrities and business leaders will be making pledges during UNEA-2 and in the run-up to World
Environment Day, which is observed on 5 June and whose theme this year is Go Wild For Life to tie in with the
campaign. Angola, the global host of this years Day, will be making significant pledges to tackle the illegal ivory trade at
the event.
John Kay, the lead singer of Steppenwolf, a Canadian-American rock group, donated the use of the groups iconic 1968 hit
song Born to Be Wild to the campaign.

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Amid bad year for coral, UN launches tool and report outlining
ways to protect threatened reefs
25 May At the second United Nations Environment Assembly
(UNEA-2) taking place in Nairobi this week, the UN Environment
Programme (UNEP) was among a group of agencies launching a new
tool and report that recommends ways to protect threatened coral
reefs.
Humans have left an indelible mark on the marine environment that
has led to almost 20 per cent of coral reefs disappearing. But coral
reefs are an invaluable natural asset we cant afford to lose, said
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner in a press release.
A school of Moorish Idols cruise over the coral reef, Haapai, Tonga.
Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Glenn Edney

To give them a fighting chance, we need early and effective action


on climate change, he said.

UNEP noted that there has been unprecedented coral bleaching on the
northern and central Great Barrier Reef, one of the world's most iconic reefs and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Bleaching in the central Indian Ocean is also severe, in the Maldives, Sri Lanka and in the Lakshadweep islands of India,
where up to 100 per cent of corals are bleached in some locations. Many will not survive.
A dataset by UNEP, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and
the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center of the United States Geological Survey provides a new tool to prioritize reef
management in the face of climate change.
By downscaling climate model projections for coral bleaching conditions, the time when severe bleaching conditions can be
expected at a frequency of twice per decade, and when bleaching can be expected annually, has been identified, for all the
worlds coral reefs, at a resolution of 4 kilometres, UNEP said.
The new report, Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems: A Lifeboat for Coral Reefs, examines what we know and dont
know about submerged reefs, and shows that coral ecosystems that live in low light conditions come to the rescue in some
situations.
The report found that bleaching is chief among the threats of climate change to coral reefs. When bleaching occurs
frequently, reefs become more vulnerable to erosion and lose their structure, which in turn means that their productivity and
provision of ecosystems services diminish.
This will have wide-ranging impact on coastal dwellers in more than 100 countries, including most small island developing
States, affecting in particular people who depend on reefs for income or food, as well as industry sectors developed around
reefs, such as tourism, UNEP stressed.
As the global climate heats up, shallow coral reefs will experience increasing levels of catastrophic bleaching and mortality.
Even if emission reduction committed to by countries in the Paris Agreement are achieved, more than three quarters of all
the worlds reefs will experience bleaching conditions annually within this century, UNEP said.
The agency noted, however, there is a glimmer of hope in the great variation within and among countries.
Many reefs are projected to experience annual bleaching conditions more than 10 years later than reefs within the same
country or territory, said Ruben van Hooidonk, NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory.

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These relative refugia are coral reef conservation priorities, and can be found within 16 of the 20 countries with the
greatest reef area in the world, including, for example, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Australia.
Until now we have not been able to identify such refugia on reefs because the spatial scale of climate models is too coarse.
This dataset provides an important resource in prioritizing reef management, including establishment of marine protected
areas and reduction of direct human stresses to support ecosystem resilience, said Mr. van Hooidonk.
Available through a newly developed coral reef theme on UNEP Live, the data can be freely downloaded and used for
management or adaptation planning as well as outreach.
UNEP said that in order to buy coral reefs more time and to support recovery of reefs that have bleached severely, some
researchers are looking deeper for answers. They are studying submerged, light-dependent reefs to see if they may serve as
lifeboats for nearby, connected shallow reefs that have been damaged by repeated bleaching. Mesophotic coral reefs are one
of the few remaining ecosystems on earth to remain largely unexplored.
While they are deeper and more remote than shallow coral ecosystems, mesophotic reefs are still subject to some of the
same effects such as bleaching and habitat destruction, Mr. Steiner said. We are just beginning to understand them, but in
some locations they may resist the most immediate impacts of climate change, and may be able to help re-seed damaged or
destroyed surface reefs and fish populations.
The reports main recommendations include to locate where mesophotic reefs exist, with a priority in the equatorial IndoWest Pacific and eastern Atlantic; to increase understanding of how they are connected to shallow reefs in order to
understand the extent to which they can be used as a refuge for, or to reseed, shallow reefs; and to raise awareness among
managers and policymakers of the importance of their ecosystem service values and encourage measures to protect them.
These tools may support implementation of the proposed UNEA-2 resolution on coral reefs, UNEP said.
There is truly no time to waste, and UNEA-2 is an opportunity to accelerate action on safeguarding our planet, said Mr.
Steiner.

The will to advance towards peace clearly exists in the Middle


East UN envoy
25 May The United Nations envoy for the peace process in the
Middle East today warned the Security Council that, as circumstances
on the ground continue to deteriorate, lamenting the disappearance of
a negotiated two-state solution has become a default narrative for
many.
The will to advance towards peace clearly exists. What remains
glaringly absent is the political will and bold leadership to make
genuine progress a reality, said Nickolay Mladenov, Special
Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, in a briefing to the
Security Council at New York Headquarters this afternoon.
We need collectively to ask ourselves whether those Israelis and
Palestinians who today support a return to negotiations will continue
to do so next year, or two years from now, if the prospects for peace
remain out of reach. Prolonging the current impasse will sap any
remaining optimism for finding a solution to the nearly 50-year occupation, he added, citing a recent study conducted by
Tel Aviv University, which shows that close to 60 per cent of the Jewish population and more than 70 per cent of
Palestinians remain in favour of conducting peace negotiations.
Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace
Process (on screen) briefs the Security Council via video conference.
UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The envoy underscored that over the past decades, a broad consensus has been built around the understanding that the
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Palestinian-Israeli conflict can only be resolved through negotiations and on the basis of a two-state solution.
Indeed, this consensus is at the core of the work of the Middle East Quartet the European Union, Russia, the United States
and the UN, which continues to work with the parties and the region to bring about the necessary conditions for the
resumption of meaningful negotiations and is finalizing its first report on the impediments to the two-state solution and the
way forward, he said.
Fragility of security dynamics on the ground
Mr. Mladenov noted that in a few days, several countries and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will come together in Paris to
reaffirm their commitment to a negotiated two-state solution and to discuss how they can constructively support both parties
in achieving this goal.
All these efforts, important as they are, cannot be divorced from the stark reality on the ground that is affecting the lives of
Palestinians and Israelis alike, he stressed.
The envoy said that despite a general downward trend in violence, on 18 April a Hamas-affiliated Palestinian teenager
detonated a bomb on a bus in Jerusalem, injuring 21 people, several of them seriously.
Welcoming President Abbass firm rejection of the attack, Mr. Mladenov said it is deplorable, however, that some
Palestinian factions chose instead to praise it.
I reiterate the UNs firm conviction that there can never, under any circumstances, be a justification for acts of terror, he
said.
He went on to say that days later, on 27 April, a pregnant, 23-year-old Palestinian mother and her 16-year-old brother were
shot and killed under questionable circumstances at a checkpoint close to Jerusalem, reportedly by Israeli private security
contractors, after allegedly attempting to carry out a knife attack against Israeli security forces.
Noting that Palestinian eyewitnesses refuted the claim and that the case has once again raised concerns about the need to
calibrate the use of force, the envoy said that Israeli authorities have initiated an investigation, and encouraged them to
conduct it in a swift and transparent manner.
Escalation of violence
Mr. Mladenov said that the beginning of May saw the biggest escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas since the
2014 conflict. Two tunnels were discovered and Israel carried out 14 incursions into Gaza to destroy them and seek out
others.
In the violent exchanges that followed, militants fired 40 mortars and eight rockets at Israel and the Israel Defense Forces
conducted 13 airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip. In addition, a Palestinian woman was killed by shrapnel and several
others were wounded, the envoy said.
These incidents in recent weeks underscore the fragility of the security dynamics on the ground, particularly the tin-eat to
the ceasefire in Gaza, which needs to be vigorously upheld by all sides if we are to avoid slipping into another devastating
conflict, the envoy said.
Against this backdrop, the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee met in Brussels on 19 April and expressed concern over the
damaging consequences of the current political impasse, the importance of preserving the two-state solution, and the sharp
decline in donor aid to the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Mladenov said.
I am encouraged that both sides agreed to work with donors over the coming two years to build a more sustainable
Palestinian economy by reducing the budget deficit and stimulating long-term economic growth, he said.

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The envoy also emphasized that as Palestinians face mounting financial and institutional challenges, negative developments
continue in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials on security arrangements for Area A have all but reached an impasse. I urge
both sides to continue to work to bridge existing gaps.
Continuation of demolitions of Palestinian structures
The envoy also noted the continuation of demolitions of Palestinian structures in the West Bank. While the pace has
somewhat slowed compared with last month, the number of structures that have been demolished or confiscated across the
West Bank in 2016 exceeds the total for all of 2015, and at least 900 people have been displaced, he said.
Although many of the structures that have been demolished are not dwellings, the loss of water wells, solar panels and
animal shelters has impacted the livelihoods of more than 2,500 people, the envoy said.
Situation in Gaza desperate and highly volatile
Turning to Gaza, Mr. Mladenov said the situation continues to be desperate and highly volatile.
We in the international community have a responsibility not to fail the Palestinians in Gaza, to help them recover from the
physical and emotional traumas of war, to assist them in rebuilding their lives and livelihoods and, ultimately, to see Gaza
and the West Bank reunited and the closures lifted, he said.
Mr. Mladenov recalled that in early April, Israel suspended private import of cement following the diversion of a substantial
amount from its intended legitimate beneficiaries. After 45 days and intense efforts by the UN team on the ground, the
suspension was lifted, he said, adding that all sides must ensure that cement is used solely for civilian purposes.
In addition, the envoy stressed that Palestinians in Gaza are growing ever more desperate, seeing their prospects for living
a normal life and recovering their economy blocked by Hamass military build-up, Israels security measures and closures,
the lack of Palestinian unity, and the insufficient fulfilment of aid pledges by donors.
Recent events clearly demonstrate that the spectre of violence looms ominously over the territory. Unless radically more is
done to address the chronic realities in Gaza, it is not a question of if, but when another escalation will take place, he
said.
In addition, Mr. Mladenov said that in a most worrying recent development, Hamas had announced their intention to
implement a number of death sentences.
International law limits the application of the death penalty to the most serious crimes and pursuant to a trial and appeals
process that scrupulously follow fair trial standards. I have serious doubts as to whether capital trials in Gaza meet these
standards, he said.
Lastly, Mr. Mladenov welcomed the recent statement by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi expressing Egypts
readiness to mediate a reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions so as to pave the way toward a lasting peace
agreement with Israel.
His call also to Israelis and Palestinians to continue the historic step towards peace taken by Israel and Egypt 37 years ago
must not go unheeded, not in Israel, not in Palestine, and certainly not in the Arab region, the envoy said.
I urge Palestinian leaders in Gaza and the West Bank to take up this opportunity and to deliver, at long last, to the
Palestinian people an end to the issues that divide, and a commitment to strengthening the ties that bind them. And I also
urge Palestinian and Israeli leaders to engage, through the initiatives that have been put forward, to bring a just,
comprehensive and enduring peace to the people of Israel and Palestine, he said.

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With busy bees in the lead, pollinator-friendly approach vital


for healthy agricultural ecosystems UN
25 May As bellwethers for ecosystem health and biodiversity, bees
play a crucial role in agriculture and ending hunger, and pollinatorfriendly approaches are therefore highly encouraged, according to
the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
"A world without pollinators would be a world without food diversity
and in the long run, without food security," Jos Graziano da Silva,
FAO Director-General, said late last week during a visit to Slovenias
national beekeepers' festival.

A bee does its business in Kenya's Kerio Valley. Photo: FAO/Dino


Martins

FAO, as well as some 53 countries, has supported Slovenia in the


promotion of declaring May 20 as the World Bee Day at the last
regional Conference of Europe.

The technical committees of FAO and the FAO Conference in 2017


would be one of the first concrete actions in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris
Agreement on climate change, according to Mr. Graziano da Silva.
Honeybees, he noted, are the worlds most famous pollinators, a group of species whose members fly, hop and crawl over
flowers to allow plants including those that account for over a third of global food crop production to reproduce. Their
absence, however, would remove a host of nutritious foods from our diets, including potatoes, strawberries, carrots, apples,
almonds, tomatoes and cocoa.
Moreover, ecosystem health and biodiversity also depend on more than 20,000 species of wild bees which have links to
specific flowering plants and are more vulnerable to climate change.
"Bees are a sign of well-functioning ecosystems," said Mr. Graziano da Silva, adding that "to a great extent the decline of
pollinators is also a sign of the disruptions that global changes are causing to ecosystems the world over."
Land-use change, pesticide use, monoculture agriculture and climate change are some facts that have threatened bee
populations.
Fostering robust pollinator communities ensures a diversity of environmental homes for them and supports traditional
agricultural practices that benefit them, he noted.
"Pollination is one of the most visible ecosystem services that make food production even possible," said the FAO DirectorGeneral.
Improving pollinator density and diversity have direct and positive impact on crop yields. In this regard, the FAO-backed
International Pollinators Initiative knowledge, guidelines and protocols has been supporting countries in monitoring
pollinators and better understand threats, information needs and data gaps since 2000.
Welcoming Slovenia's leadership in apiculture, Mr. Graziano da Silva also urged all countries to take up "pollinator
friendly" approaches towards farming and appreciate the important role of bees and other pollinators, and make their
pollinator-friendly choices, he added.
"Without bees, it would be impossible to achieve FAO's main goal, a world without hunger," he said.

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Citing obstruction, UN torture prevention panel suspends


Ukraine visit
25 May The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture
(SPT) has suspended its visit to Ukraine after being denied access to
places in several parts of the country where it suspects people are
being deprived of their liberty by the Security Service of Ukraine, the
SBU.

Chair of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture Malcolm Evans.


UN Photo/Loey Felipe

This denial of access is in breach of Ukraine's obligations as a State


party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. It
has meant that we have not been able to visit some places where we
have heard numerous and serious allegations that people have been
detained and where torture or ill-treatment may have occurred, said
Malcolm Evans, head of the four-member delegation, in a statement
issued by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR).

The delegation concluded that the integrity of the visit, which began on 19 May and was due to end on 26 May, had been
compromised to such an extent that it had to be suspended, as the SPT mandate could not be fully carried out.
Under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment (OPCAT), the SPT is mandated to visit all States parties and can make unannounced visits to any places of
detention. This is only the second time the Subcommittee has halted a mission such suspensions are made in cases where a
lack of cooperation by the State party prevents the SPT from fulfilling its OPCAT-mandated duties.
The SPT expects Ukraine to abide by its international obligations under the Optional Protocol, which it ratified in 2006,
said Mr. Evans.
We also hope that the Government of Ukraine will enter into a constructive dialogue with us to enable the SPT to resume
its visit in the near future and so work together to establish effective safeguards against the risk of torture and ill-treatment in
places where people are deprived of their liberty, he added.
The focus of the SPT's visit was to evaluate how its recommendations made after its first visit in 2011 had been
implemented. The work of the SPT, which is composed of independent human rights experts, is guided by the principles of
confidentiality and cooperation, the SPT said.
The Subcommittee delegation to Ukraine consisted of: Sir Malcom Evans (United Kingdom), Mari Amos (Estonia), June
Caridad Pagaduan Lopez (Philippines) and Victor Zaharia (Republic of Moldova).

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UN agencies provide seeds and food to break hunger cycle in


Central African Republic
25 May Two United Nations agencies have begun providing both
seeds and food to nearly 50,000 hungry farming families in some
areas of the conflict-torn Central African Republic (CAR) to ensure
that they dont eat seeds meant for planting.
Household food stocks are typically lowest at this time in the planting
season. Under the seeds protection initiative, the Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) provides crop and vegetable seeds,
while the World Food Programme (WFP) provides groundnuts, maize,
rice, sorghum, and beans to the same families.
Helping families rebuild food production is an important part of the
recovery in this country, as it creates a source of food and income and
can help bring stability to communities, said FAO country
representative Jean-Alexandre Scaglia. Thats why its critical we
make sure families dont cope with the current scarcity by eating their
seeds meant for planting.

Under the 'seeds protection initiative, FAO provides crop and


vegetable seeds, while WFP provides groundnuts, maize, rice,
sorghum, and beans to the same families. Photo:
FAO/WFP/RicciShryock

We know that during this period, food is limited and families are already struggling, said Bienvenu Djossa, WFP Central
African Republic Country Director. The food provided by WFP ensures that the seeds get planted and families dont go
hungry at the same time. Our support now can help people escape the vicious cycle of hunger.
Three years of conflict have disrupted agriculture and severely constrained peoples access to food as they have been
struggling with the effects of multiple poor harvests, disrupted markets and soaring prices for many staple foods.
As peace is returning to CAR, this initiative is a beam of hope for thousands of families, added Mr. Djossa.
Another 50,000 families will be supported during the second planting season in August/September, meaning 100,000
families, or 500,000 people in total, will be supported under the initiative this year.
With 75 per cent of the population depending on agriculture, FAO, WFP and their partners have been working together
since the beginning of the unrest to mitigate negative impacts on agricultural production and food security; the seeds
protection initiative was first implemented in 2014.
FAO and WFP are supporting the Governments initiative to revive the agricultural sector through longer-term programmes
that aim to save and strengthen livelihoods and build resilience.
However, the two UN agencies warn that with only half of both agencies funding needs secured, people in CAR face
receiving only half of the support they need.

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Haiti: UN agencies support Government in vaccination


campaign against cholera
25 May Two United Nations agencies said today they are supporting
the Government of Haiti in a vaccination campaign against cholera
that aims to reach 400,000 people in 2016.
In a press release, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti
(MINUSTAH) said the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and
Population is being supported by the Pan American Health
Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), as well as
by the UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF).

Government of Haiti has launched a vaccination campaign against


cholera that aims to reach 400,000 people in 2016. Photo:
UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

The first phase of the campaign was launched on 11 May in the town
of Arcahaie, about 30 minutes north of the capital city of Port-auPrince. That phase aims to provide two doses of oral vaccine to some
118,000 people during May and June.
The vaccine provides warranty protection ranging from three to five

years, according to PAHO/WHO.


A second phase of the vaccination campaign is planned for the second half of the year. To be successful, nearly 563,785
additional doses are required.
For both phases of the campaign, an initial budget of about $3.6 million has been provided.
Previous campaigns of vaccination against cholera reached 285,534 people 102,250 in 2013 and 183,284 in 2014.
MINUSTAH stressed the importance, given the increase in the population, of increasing access to clean water and sanitation
in exposed areas as key to eliminating the disease.
In the first quarter of 2016, MINUSTAHs Civil Affairs programme approved or began work on 17 Quick Intervention
Projects (QIPs) projects worth some $845,380 to prevent cholera and other water-borne diarrheal diseases.
This outlay represents more than 20 per cent of the total 2015-16 QIPs budget. The 17 projects (seven approved; 10 already
being implemented) are expected to reach over 220,000 beneficiaries in seven out of the 10 departments of the country.
Of these, three projects (totalling some $152,971) deal with renovations or extensions to health centres, in the West Centre
and Grande Anse respectively; while 14 relate to the construction, renovation or extension of local drinking water systems.
The largest of these, in the Village Solidarit in the West Department, is expected to assure clean drinking water for some
75,000 beneficiaries.

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South Sudan: Senior UN relief official condemns killing of health


worker
25 May The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for South
Sudan has strongly condemned the killing of Veronika Rackov, a
Slovakian nun and medical doctor who was shot on 15 May in Yei,
while on a humanitarian mission, and later succumbed to her wounds.
I am deeply saddened by this senseless act and send my deepest
condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sister Veronika
Rackov, said the humanitarian coordinator, Eugene Owusu, in a
statement issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). I welcome steps being taken by the
authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice and urge them to act
swiftly.
Displaced people at the Protection of Civilians (POC) site in Bor,
South Sudan. Photo: OCHA

The health worker was driving an ambulance in Yei, in southwest


South Sudan, on her way back from a medical centre when she was
attacked. Her death brings the number of aid workers killed in South Sudan since the beginning of the conflict in December
2013 to 54.
Violence against humanitarian workers and humanitarian assets is categorically unacceptable and must stop, said Mr.
Owusu. I urge the Transitional Government of National Unity to endeavour to strengthen the safety and security
environment for aid workers and will work intensively with them to achieve this.

On Africa Day, Ban urges leveraging gains to ensure no African


is left behind
25 May Despite an uncertain global economic landscape, Africas
prospects are positive, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Kimoon said today, urging the continents leaders to use recent gains to
address rising social and economic inequalities.
In his message to mark Africa Day, which commemorates the
founding in 1963 of the Organization of African Unity, now known as
the African Union (AU), Mr. Ban noted that this years Day is being
celebrated in furtherance of the AUs theme for the year: Human
Rights with a Particular Focus on the Rights of Women.
This demonstrates the commitment of Africas leaders to place
women as key drivers and enablers at the front and centre of all
efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development and the African Unions Agenda 2063, the UN chief said.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Evan Schneider (file)

The Secretary-General highlighted that both frameworks share similar strategic principles, with a focus on people,
prosperity, environmental sustainability, justice, human rights and mutually accountable partnerships.
The alignment between the global and the continental agendas calls for a harmonized approach in planning,
implementation and monitoring, he said.
Under Agenda 2063, Africas priorities include investing in its people, with an emphasis on women and youth; developing
manufacturing and agro-processing; building transport, water, sanitation, energy and ICT infrastructure; domestic resource
mobilization and stemming illicit financial flows; ending conflict; promoting human rights; and expanding democratic
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governance. Africa also has the opportunity to pursue industrialization in a more environmentally sustainable manner,
including through climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy and arresting deforestation, the UN chief emphasized.
I encourage African nations and their partners to spare no effort in advancing these priorities. The United Nations is
committed in its support, the Secretary-General said.
Mr. Ban noted that growth in Africa is projected to increase to 4.4 per cent in 2016, from 3.7 percent in 2015.
I urge Africas leaders to use these gains to address rising social and economic inequalities, and ensure that no African is
left behind. This is crucial for tackling root causes of conflicts, terrorism and violent extremism, and fostering peace and
stability, the Secretary-General said.
I also commend Africas bold initiative on Silencing the Guns by 2020, which is one of the flagship projects of Agenda
2063s First 10-Year Implementation Plan, he added.
The Secretary-General emphasized that the successful implementation of these new agendas will require a renewed
partnership for development cooperation among African governments, UN entities, the AU Commission, the NEPAD
Agency, the Regional Economic Communities and development partners.
The private sector also has a key role to play in creating jobs, promoting innovation in technologies and services, and
supporting the massive infrastructure transition needed to fulfil Africas sustainable development objectives, Mr. Ban said.
On this Africa Day, I urge all stakeholders to rally behind the transformative vision set out in the Sustainable
Development Goals and Agenda 2063. What is good for Africa is good for the world, he concluded.

At Crime Commission, UN official urges stepped-up responses


to curb human trafficking
25 May Despite all of the positive effects of migration, the
unprecedented flow of people is generating new criminal
opportunities, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and
Crime (UNODC) said today at a high-level event on the recently
launched UN-European Union initiative aimed at curbing human
trafficking and migrant smuggling.
At-risk migrants, especially children, have become easy targets for
abuse and exploitation, and clearly more needs to be done to reduce
vulnerabilities, enhance protection and stop the criminals, said
UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.
The continuing crises which we're witnessing makes it even more
critical that we take steps to address these shortcomings and
strengthen criminal justice responses, he added

At the Bandeu checkpoint in Nepal, inspectors and a police constable


approach a bus to look for potential victims of child trafficking
onboard. Photo: OCHA/Tilak Pokharel.

Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (2015-2019), or GLO.ACT, aims to
prevent and address the two crimes within 13 strategically selected countries by identifying proven good practices and
lessons learned. These nations are Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mali,
Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa and Ukraine.
The event was held in Vienna, Austria, on the side-lines of this week's 25th session of the Commission on Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ).
Together with UNODC we can stop a culture of impunity for those who treat human beings as commodities, said EU
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25 May 2016

Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Myria Vassiliadou.


The current migration and refugee crisis has made it all the more important to jointly and comprehensively address these
distinct, yet often overlapping, complex crimes. Criminal networks seize opportunities to generate illicit profits at the
expense of States and people and right now, organized crime groups are taking advantage of the gaps that exist in the laws,
strategies and operational capacities of States.
The four-year initiative marks a significant milestone in the global fight against trafficking and smuggling, and being
delivered in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
UNODC's work, moreover, is directly relevant to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the
facilitation of orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration, such as through decreasing profit opportunities for criminal
networks, the provision of access to justice for all, and the building of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all
levels.

Security Council condemns terrorist attacks in cities on Syria's


coast
25 May The United Nations Security Council has strongly
condemned the terrorist attacks in Syria claimed by the Islamic State
in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) that killed and injured more
than 100 people on 23 May, expressing condolences to the victims'
families and a speedy recovery to the injured.
In a press statement, the Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its
forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to
international peace and security and cannot and should not be
associated with any religion, nationality or civilization.

In East Ghouta, Syria, rural Damascus, a child's plush toy lies in the
rubble of a destroyed building (file photo). Credit:
UNICEF/UN013166/Al Shami

After the attacks on the Syrian coastal cities of Jableh and Tartous, the
Council voiced concern over the continuation of terrorists from ISIL
and groups loyal to ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other individuals,
groups, and entities affiliated with ISIL or Al Qaeda to operate in
Syria.

Council members condemned the negative impact of the terrorists' presence, actions and violent extremist ideology on the
stability of Syria, neighbouring countries and the region, while noting the devastating humanitarian impact on the civilian
populations.
They stressed the need for Member States to abide by their obligations under relevant Council resolutions while underlining
that those responsible for the terrorist attacks be held accountable and that the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and
sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism be brought to justice.
Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by
whomsoever committed, reiterated the Council members.
In accordance with the UN Charter and international law, the Council reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all
means, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
They stressed the importance that measures be taken to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, terrorist
organizations and individual terrorists in accordance with resolutions 2199 (2015) and 2253 (2015).
The members also reiterated their condemnation of indiscriminate attacks on civilians by any party to the Syrian conflict.

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25 May 2016

They backed the International Syria Support Group's 17 May statement expressing serious concern over growing civilian
casualties in recent weeks, making clear that the attacks on civilians by any party are completely unacceptable.
The ISSG comprises the United States, the Russian Federation, the UN, the Arab League, the European Union, and 16 other
countries and has been working since late last year to resolve the Syrian crisis.
The members of the Security Council called for a new round of negotiations, under UN auspices, to be convened at an
appropriate time and urged the parties to engage constructively in the process.
They reiterated their call for safe, unhindered, immediate and direct humanitarian access throughout Syria and, pointing to
Security Council resolution 2254, also called for immediate humanitarian assistance to reach all people throughout the
country, particularly in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, including those in the Damascus Suburbs. Citing resolution 2258
(2015), they stressed that border crossings remain open for humanitarian relief.

UN rights office 'deeply concerned' about possible imminent


executions in Gaza
25 May Expressing concern about possible imminent executions in
Gaza, the United Nations human rights office today urged the
authorities in Gaza to uphold their obligations to respect the rights to
life and to a fair trial and not carry out death penalty.
We also urge the Palestinian President to establish a moratorium on
executions in line with the strong international trend towards ending
the use of the death penalty, said spokesperson Rupert Colville of the
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for


Human Rights (OHCHR).

He said that the office is deeply concerned about recent statements


made by the authorities in Gaza, including the Attorney General, of
their intention to implement a number of death sentences, and fear that
the first executions may be imminent.

The Gaza authorities' statements follow the demands of several families for the death penalty to be carried out against
individuals accused of killing their relatives.
Death sentences may only be carried out in extremely limited circumstances, and pursuant to a trial and appeals that
scrupulously follow fair trial standards, he said, adding that the office has serious doubts as to whether capital trials in Gaza
meet these standards, and is concerned about reports indicating that these executions will be implemented without the
approval of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which is required under Palestinian law.
Media reports indicating that the sentences could be carried out in public also raise alarm, as this is a practice prohibited
under international human rights law, the spokesperson said.

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25 May 2016

UNESCO welcomes Azerbaijans decision to free investigative


reporter Khadija Ismayilova
25 May The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has welcomed Azerbaijans
Supreme Court decision to free an award-winning investigative
journalist Khadija Ismayilova.
Some three weeks after UNESCO awarded [Ms. Ismayilova] the
prestigious UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, I
welcome her release from prison as a major step for freedom of
expression, due process and the rule of law in Azerbaijan, said
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in a press release.
UNESCOs commitment to stand by journalists around world is
unwavering, Ms. Bokova added.

Courthouse in Azerbaijan. Photo: World Bank/Allison Kwesell

Ms. Ismayilova, a freelance journalist and contributor to the Azerbaijani service of Radio Free Europe, was detained in
December 2014. In September 2015, she was sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment on charges relating to abuse
of power and tax evasion.
Our mandate to enhance the safety of journalists and fight impunity for crimes against them, to defend freedom of
expression and media freedoms has never been so important. This requires the commitment of all actors and every
Government, Ms. Bokova said.

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)