UN condemns deadly attack on peacekeepers in Central African Republic

UN condemns deadly attack on peacekeepers in Central African Republic

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has strongly condemned an attack against a convoy of the UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) that left four dead, one missing and 10 others evacuated.

“Attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime,” Mr. Guterres said through his spokesperson yesterday on the attack perpetrated by suspected anti-Balaka elements against a convoy of the UN Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA) on 8 May.

He called on the CAR authorities to investigate the attack – executed on the Rafai-Bangassou axis, in the country’s south east – in order to swiftly bring those responsible to justice.

Mr. Guterres offered his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and the Governments of the concerned troop contributing countries, and wished a swift recovery to the wounded.

The Secretary-General also reiterated his support to the actions of MINUSCA to protect civilians and stabilise the Central African Republic, and called “on all parties to heed President Faustin Archange Touadéra’s call to cease violence and work together towards the stability of the country.”

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013.

Also today, President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson arrived in CAR “to show solidarity with our United Nations people on the ground, particularly our peacekeepers.”

Accompanied by the President of the National Assembly, Karim Meckassoua, the Prime Minister, Simplice Sarandji and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MINUSCA, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Mr. Thomson went to MINUSCA’s military hospital to visit the bedside of the UN peacekeepers that were wounded during the attack on their convoy.

According to the Mission, Mr. Thomson, on behalf of the Organization, took the opportunity to salute the dedication of peacekeepers engaged in all theatres of operation in the name of peace.

He went on to not that he is in CAR to spread the word on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “but I’m also here I think you will hear from me those strong messages on sustainable development and on the solidarity that we have with what the UN mission is here.”

“The United Nations is here to help with the recovery of Central Africa, and I’m here to underline that role that the United Nations has here,” he added.

More than one million children have fled escalating violence in South Sudan

More than one million children have fled escalating violence in South Sudan

The escalating conflict in South Sudan had driven more than one million children out of the country, the United Nations announced today, warning that the future of a generation is ‘on the brink.’

“The horrifying fact that nearly one in five children in South Sudan has been forced to flee their home illustrates how devastating this conflict has been for the country’s most vulnerable,” said Leila Pakkala, the Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in a press release issued jointly with the UN refugee agency.

“Add this to the more than one million children who are also displaced within South Sudan, and the future of a generation is truly on the brink,” she warned.

Children make 62 per cent of more than 1.8 million refugees from South Sudan, according to the latest UN figures. More than 75,000 refugee children in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have crossed South Sudan’s borders either unaccompanied or separated from their families.

“No refugee crisis today worries me more than South Sudan,” said Valentin Tapsoba, the Africa Bureau Director of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“That refugee children are becoming the defining face of this emergency is incredibly troubling,” he added.

South Sudan has the highest proportion of out-of-school children in the world at about 75 per cent.

The trauma, physical upheaval, fear and stress experienced by so many children account for just part of toll the crisis is exacting. Children remain at risk of recruitment by armed forces and groups and, with traditional social structures damaged, they are also increasingly vulnerable to violence, sexual abuse and exploitation.

UNICEF’s appeal of $181 million for South Sudan and South Sudanese refugees in the region for the rest of the year is currently only 52 per cent funded while UNHCR’s funding appeal of $ 781.8 million for the country is only 11 per cent funded.

UNESCO spotlights power of jazz to promote dialogue among cultures

On International Day, UNESCO spotlights power of jazz to promote dialogue among cultures

Marking International Jazz Day, the United Nations cultural agency today stressed the power of jazz to unite people and its contribution to peace.

“Today, we celebrate the international art form of jazz and its power to promote dialogue among cultures, to make the most of diversity, to deepen respect for human rights and all forms of expression,” said UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova in her message on the Day.

Ms. Bokova quoted Nina Simone as saying that “jazz is not just music, it is a way of life, it is a way of being, a way of thinking.”

Today, we celebrate the international art form of jazz and its power to promote dialogue among cultures, to make the most of diversity, to deepen respect for human rights and all forms of expression.

“The story of jazz is written into the quest for human dignity, democracy and civil rights,” Ms. Bokova said, noting that its rhythms and variety have given strength to the struggle against all forms of discrimination and racism.

The Cuban capital of Havana is hosting this year’s celebration of International Jazz Day, reflecting the city’s profound ties to jazz. Hometown of renowned bandleaders, Mario Bauzá and Frank ‘Machito’ Grillo, the city and, more broadly, Cuba’s thriving musical culture gave birth to the Afro-Cuban jazz movement, inspired by a great mix of cultures and peoples across the region.

The celebration features an all-star global concert that displays the world’s greatest talents from Cuba, Latin America and around the world, including legendary jazz pianist and composer UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue, Herbie Hancock, and Cuban jazzman, Chucho Valdés.

The UN at the World Bank – IMF Spring Meetings

The World Bank – IMF Spring Meetings brought together world leaders from the UN, government, private sector and civil society to address the world’s most pressing and persistent challenges.  We were there.  Here is why and what happened.

UN-World Bank Partnership

On his first visit to Washington as United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres highlighted the continued importance of the UN-World Bank relationship.

Addressing Fragility

Secretary-General Guterres and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim unveiled a partnership framework to build resilience and sustain peace in conflict areas  As laid out in a joint statement, the framework is in response to global calls for the two institutions to work more closely together on prevention and reducing needs, risks, and vulnerability as the world faces a spike in violent conflict.  The two leaders discussed the UN-World Bank partnership earlier in the day at a flagship event: Financing for Peace: Innovations to Tackle Fragility.

 

Gender Equity

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed joined Christine Lagarde of the IMF and Winnie Byanyima of Oxfam for a high-level discussion of women’s economic empowerment. The Deputy Secretary-General said that while we know what the solutions look like, we will only realize them if women are involved in all levels of the decision making process.  A video of the event is available here: Gender and Macroeconomics: What’s Next?

 

 

The Deputy Secretary-General sat down with the World Bank on Facebook.

 

The Sustainable Development Goals

The President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, and UN Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed joined a discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals. The event, Implementing the 2030 Agenda: From Commitment to Action, covered a wide range of issues including private sector involvement, data collection and financing. The World Bank highlighted the SDG Atlas, which measures the progress societies are making towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals

 

Photos from the World Bank – IMF Spring Meetings

World Bank Spring Meetings 2017

Senior United Nations officials attended the 2017 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF. 

 

 

Public events with senior UN officials

WEDNESDAY – APRIL 19, 2017
Partners’ Roundtable on Investing in the Early Years: Identifying Synergies and Catalyzing Action
Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director
WEBCAST
THURSDAY – APRIL 20, 2017
Building Resilience in the Face of Increasing Threats
Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction
WEBCAST
Gender and Macroeconomics: What’s Next?
Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General
WEBCAST
Implementing the 2030 Agenda: From Commitment to Action
Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General
Peter Thomson, President, United Nations General Assembly
WEBCAST
Toward Water and Sanitation for All
Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General
WEBCAST
Boosting Women’s Economic Empowerment
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director
WEBCAST
FRIDAY – APRIL 21, 2017
Addressing Refugee Crises in Middle-Income Countries: Lessons Learned
Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
WEBCAST
Financing for Peace: Innovations to Tackle Fragility
António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
WEBCAST
Unlocking Financing for Climate Action
Erik Solheim, UNEP Executive Director
WEBCAST