Geneva, 6 October 2016 SdeM: I am here with my friend and colleague Jan Egeland, because we have just ended an important, in our opinion, Humanitarian Task Force meeting, so will first elaborate, at length actually, about where we are in the situation and then give the floor to Jan Egeland to summarize where we are on the Humanitarian Task Force progress.
No one can deny that we are in an emergency mode, let’s be frank, regarding Syria, regarding Aleppo, about the future of this conflict. What has happened the other day when the two co-chairs, who have been working hard, I have seen them with my eyes, on possible cessation of hostilities based on the 9th of September, decided, unfortunately and sadly, to suspend their own bilateral discussions on the cessation of hostilities, it was and has been a serious setback. So pretending that that was not the case would be unfair towards the Syrian people, and towards common sense and public opinion. So let me take stock first of all and clarify on consequences on that as to the architecture of international involvement on the attempt to solve the Syrian crisis and in particular establish some type of reduction of violence, humanitarian assess and political process.
UN DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE ELIMINATION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT New York, 21 June 2016
In conflicts around the world, women and girls, men and boys, are subjected to horrendous acts of sexual violence. These acts, rape, sexual slavery, forced marriage, and sexual torture, constitute abhorrent violations of human rights and human dignity.
June 19, 2008, the international community decided to take action to elevate conflict-related sexual violence to the international peace and security agenda. This was done through the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1820. I remember those years that we saw more and more that sexual violence was used as a method of warfare, and it was indeed appropriate to bring to the attention of the Security Council.
Last year, the General Assembly decided to commemorate this breakthrough. The intention was to help to break the silence that so often surrounds these heinous crimes, by designating the June 19 as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
This day reminds us of our mission. We must stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors of sexual violence. And we must support those working on the frontlines to fight this scourge.
At the recent World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, more than 9,000 participants made a three-fold commitment to people in crisis all over the world. We pledged to improve our response to people caught up in natural disasters and conflicts; to empower them as the agents of their own recovery; and to summon greater political will to prevent and end the wars which are causing so much suffering.
The challenge we face is unprecedented. Around the world, 130 million people need humanitarian aid. More than 60 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Despite their precarious conditions, there is a severe lack of funding to assist them — raising basic questions about global solidarity in a world of great wealth.
The massive extent of this challenge meant this had to be a different kind of summit. For the first time, people affected by crises worked alongside world leaders, heads of NGOs, civil society and the private sector to find solutions. This diversity of voices was an achievement in itself.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, expressed his warmest wishes to all observing the holy month of Ramadan, which starts today, noting it is a moment to “reflect on the difficult experiences faced by millions of people uprooted from their homes by conflict.”
The holy month is being observed this year at a time when “acute and protracted crises in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya and other locations have created levels of human suffering not witnessed in decades,” Grandi said.
Inter-agency convoys deliver critical assistance to besieged towns in Rural Damascus
On 1 June, inter-agency convoys delivered critical life-saving assistance to two besieged towns in Rural Damascus: Darayya and Moadamiyeh, according to the UN spokesperson. He said that this is the first time that the UN has been able to deliver any assistance to Darayya since November 2012. The Darayya convoy delivered medicine, nutritional items for children and vaccines to some 4,000 people, while technical teams were assessing needs on the ground for future deliveries. The humanitarian situation in Darayya is dire, characterized by severe shortages of food, medicine, medical equipment and supplies, health facilities and personnel. The UN is strongly advocating for another convoy to Darayya containing food in the days to come. The Moadamiyeh convoy is the first of three planned convoys, bringing food to some 22,000 people. It is the fifth convoy to the town this year, but the first time the UN has had access since March.
Earlier, on 25 May, a joint United Nations-International Committee of the Red Cross-Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy delivered much-needed humanitarian assistance to the hard-to-reach area of Houle in Homs. Food, nutrition, hygiene kits, and educational materials were delivered to 71,000 people. This is the third humanitarian convoy to Houle this year. Since the beginning of 2016, inter-agency operations have reached more than 800,000 civilians in need in besieged, hard-to-reach and priority cross-line areas. Many of these people have been reached more than once.
More than 1,000 indigenous participants from all regions of the world are expected to attend the fifteenth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 9 to 20 May. Continue reading →
Building resilient national institutions and capacities in the aftermath of conflict is critical to the consolidation of peace. The present report, the last stand-alone report on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict, addresses issues raised by Member States, highlights results achieved in the past two years, underlines lessons learned, and identifies remaining challenges and a way forward. Continue reading →