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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Central African Republic, Mali, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    Ceci est un résumé des déclarations du porte-parole du HCR William Spindler – à qui toute citation peut être attribuée – lors de la conférence de presse du 28 octobre 2014 au Palais des Nations à Genève.

    Le HCR a fait part vendredi de sa préoccupation concernant un projet de loi espagnol visant à légaliser l'expulsion automatique des personnes tentant de franchir les grillages de la triple clôture d'enceinte qui marque la frontière vers ses enclaves de Ceuta et Melilla en Afrique du Nord.

    Dans le cadre de cette initiative, une personne tentant d'accéder clandestinement à Ceuta et Melilla sans les documents requis, serait automatiquement expulsée. Elle n'aurait pas droit aux garanties juridiques prévues dans la législation espagnole et celle de l'Union européenne (UE) concernant le droit d'un individu à déposer une demande d'asile.

    Ces deux villes espagnoles sont les seules frontières terrestres entre l'UE et l'Afrique. Depuis l'année dernière, il y a eu une augmentation du nombre d'arrivants clandestins par cet itinéraire. Par ailleurs, une hausse a également été observée dans la proportion des personnes originaires de pays déchirés par la guerre, la violence et la persécution, y compris la Syrie, la République centrafricaine et le Mali.

    En 2013, environ 4 200 personnes sont entrées clandestinement dans les enclaves [par voies terrestre et maritime]. Cette année, plus de 5 000 personnes ont déjà réussi à franchir la frontière, y compris 2 000 personnes qui fuyaient le conflit en Syrie [dont 70% sont des femmes et des enfants].

    En réponse à cet afflux, le Gouvernement espagnol a proposé un amendement à la loi actuelle qui serait appliqué exclusivement aux frontières de Ceuta et Melilla. La proposition introduit la notion de « renvoi à la frontière » et vise à légaliser la pratique actuelle de refoulements. Cette pratique ne prévoit aucune possibilité de déposer une demande d'asile de la part des personnes qui fuient les persécutions et les conflits.

    Dans ce contexte, le HCR souligne l'importance de permettre l'accès au territoire afin de donner la possibilité aux arrivants de demander une protection internationale. Le HCR comprend la complexité engendrée par la gestion des frontières à Ceuta et Melilla. Toutefois, le gouvernement devrait veiller à ce que toute initiative juridique soit conforme à ses obligations internationales, notamment selon la Convention de 1951.

    Le HCR est également préoccupé par le recours croissant à la violence à la frontière pour dissuader les migrants et les demandeurs d'asile d'entrer. Cette année, plusieurs incidents violents ont été signalés ainsi qu'une hausse des refoulements depuis les enclaves.

    Plus récemment, le 15 octobre dernier, des photos ont montré les gardes-frontières ayant recours à la violence envers quelque 200 personnes qui tentaient franchir les grillages frontaliers pour entrer à Melilla. Le HCR appelle les autorités espagnoles à assurer qu'aucune violence ne soit exercée aux frontières espagnoles qui doivent être gérées dans le plein respect des droits humains et du droit des réfugiés. Le HCR se tient prêt à appuyer les autorités espagnoles.


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    Source: UN General Assembly
    Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Sudan, World, South Sudan

    GA/SPD/567
    Sixty-ninth session,
    15th Meeting (AM)
    GENERAL ASSEMBLY
    MEETINGS COVERAGE

    The “remarkable” scale of United Nations peacekeeping operations, where personnel often operated in remote areas, across massive distances and in increasingly hostile environments, came alive today in the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) during briefings by senior Secretariat officials, as that body began its annual comprehensive review of the subject.

    Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told Member States that the “scale of peacekeeping is matched by its complexity; missions support sensitive political processes and work to shore up weak State institutions. They reach out to local communities caught in violence and conflict, and do so with commitment and courage.”

    Some two thirds of peacekeeping personnel today were deployed in the midst of ongoing conflict, he said, where peace agreements or elements were shaky or absent. Conflicts today were also increasingly intensive, involving determined armed groups with access to sophisticated armaments and techniques, as well as transnational criminal networks and terrorist organizations, he added.

    There were three interlinked challenges that must be addressed through the world’s collective efforts: safety and security of personnel; willingness and ability to effectively protect civilians across missions; and the imperative to help advance political dialogue and create the condition for reconciliation. Ultimately, peacekeeping was a political instrument, Mr. Ladsous said, which depended upon the political support of the international community.

    Each year, for the past six years, more than 100 peacekeepers had died while serving war-torn countries, he said, expressing his condolences to the families and deepest gratitude for those who had given their lives to bring a better future to the 175 million men, women and children living where peacekeepers served.

    Also briefing, Ameerah Haq, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, recalled that, 15 years ago, mission support was a simple derivative of the substantive components of a mission; few questions were asked about how to make it timelier or improve its quality. Since then, she said, the Department of Field Support had initiated a new process through the Global Field Support Strategy aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness.

    All must ask themselves how fit peacekeeping operations were, given the changes in mandate, deployment and environment, she said, adding that through regular reviews of staffing, her Department was able to contain civilian personnel costs and had eliminated more than 3,000 support jobs. As a result, spending per deployed peacekeeper dropped 16 per cent in five years. Her Department remained fully committed to addressing misconduct by those deployed in field operations, bearing in mind the zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.

    In sum, she said the Department must focus on immediate priorities, including improving safety and security, enabling faster deployment, encouraging the use of appropriate technology and strengthening internal processes.

    The Committee then began its general debate, during which speakers, representing the major groups, underscored various aspects of peacekeeping, such as adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter, respect for national sovereignty, establishment of achievable mandates, greater consultations with countries contributing personnel, a proper reimbursement mechanism, and gender mainstreaming.

    Also speaking today were representatives of Morocco (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Thailand (on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Costa Rica (on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) and Australia (also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand). A representative of the European Union Delegation also spoke.

    The Committee will meet at 10 a.m., Wednesday, 29 October, to continue its comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations.

    Briefings

    HERVÉ LADSOUS, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said his Department, together with that of Field Service, had introduced new technologies, established periodic reviews of missions, worked to broaden the contributors’ base, and created a new Office for Peacekeeping Strategic Partnership.

    The scale of United Nations peacekeeping operations was remarkable, and those often operated in remote areas, across massive distances and in increasingly hostile environments. The scale of peacekeeping was matched by its complexity; missions supported sensitive political processes and worked to shore up weak State institutions. They reached out to local communities caught in violence and conflict, and did so with commitment and courage.

    Today’s conflicts, while fewer in number, were deeply rooted, Mr. Ladsous said. Some, such as those in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur and South Sudan, were in a second or third wave of conflict. Many were complicated by regional dimensions that hindered their resolution. In fact, some two thirds of peacekeeping personnel today were deployed in the midst of ongoing conflict, where peace agreements or elements were shaky or absent. Conflicts today were also increasingly intensive, involving determined armed groups with access to sophisticated armaments and techniques, as well as transnational criminal networks and terrorist organizations.

    In the past year, the world saw the outbreak of the devastating Ebola virus, which might have enduring security, economic and social impacts, he said. It was critical that all stakeholders worked together to fight Ebola and preserve the hard-won peace in West Africa.

    The Security Council, he said, had continued to turn to United Nations peacekeeping, approving comprehensive and, at times, robust mandates. The Council had also mandated re-hatting of African Union forces in Mali and the Central African Republic, which indicated a shift in how peacekeeping generated forces and capabilities. Work had been done to provide enhanced capabilities to meet those challenges. The 117,000 military, police and civilian personnel serving in 16 missions faced constantly evolving challenges. It was essential that the diverse Member States who contributed personnel, authorized and financed the operations came together to find creative solutions.

    In that respect, the Secretary General’s review of peace operations was timely, he said, noting that the Secretary-General would soon appoint his high-level panel. By necessity, that body must work closely with troop- and police-contributing countries and other key stakeholders to shape “impactful” recommendations. The United Nations would also work to ensure synergies with the review of the peacebuilding architecture and the high-level review on Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. Once the panel issued its report, the Secretary-General would then prepare one for consideration by the General Assembly and the Security Council before the 2015 Assembly session. The review would examine all United Nations peace operations, including special political missions.

    He said there were three interlinked challenges that must be addressed by the panel, but also through the world’s collective efforts, in the year ahead. The first was safety and security. In Mali, terrorist groups targeted peacekeepers; they had driven vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti checkpoints and laid mines on the way to water points and airstrips. In the past year, there were carjackings in Darfur, kidnappings in the Golan Heights, and a recent fatal ambush in the capital city of the Central African Republic. In the first two weeks of October alone, 15 peacekeeping personnel had been lost to hostile attacks. He strongly condemned all such attacks, and called on host authorities to fully investigate and bring to justice those responsible. He meanwhile acknowledged missions’ efforts to respond swiftly to increasingly dangerous situations, and noted that solutions had been found in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force to secure the release of all detained peacekeepers. Additionally, the Force’s posture had been adjusted in response to the new threats.

    Safety and security were a shared responsibility of host Governments, the United Nations and Member States, he said, urging the United Nations to update its policies, tactics, techniques and procedures to address new types of threats, including improvised explosive devices and challenges in asymmetric environments. Vehicles must be hardened and compounds must be reinforced, which had resource implications. The United Nations would work with troop- and police-contributing countries to adapt predeployment training to those new environments.

    The second challenge was having the willingness and ability to effectively protect civilians across missions, which must be understood as the most important obligation. The international community must come with the determination, capability and resources required. However, protection by presence alone could not be the default approach to addressing threats against civilians. In South Sudan, for example, flexibility and timely decision-making saved countless lives.

    In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he went on, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo had demonstrated its resolve to not back down when confronted by those who would threaten the most vulnerable. The Mission’s posture had also opened new opportunities to extend State authority into areas previously controlled by lawless armed groups. In the Central African Republic, the Bangui Task Force was an innovative cooperation arrangement aimed at stabilizing the capital. There should be a change in expectations of the civilian protection mandate and a proactive posture focused on anticipating, to the degree possible, threats to civilians. Despite best efforts, it was not possible for peacekeepers to protect everyone. To implement mandates, including civilian protection, missions must receive all necessary funds and means, including mobility, monitoring and surveillance tools.

    His third point was the imperative to help advance political dialogue and create the condition for reconciliation. Historically, peacekeeping operations had been able to assist and even accelerate peace processes and stability, and early peacebuilding efforts. Yet, when there was no viable road map, the challenge was tremendous. In Darfur, the Security Council deployed a peacekeeping operation to address tremendous human suffering; however, the political conditions to permit genuine reconciliation had not been found. As the crisis in South Sudan showed, the delay of a host Government or the lack of political will to advance the peace process remained an important obstacle for effective mandate implementation. Reconciliation was the enduring path towards both the protection of civilians and safety and security for peacekeepers, he added.

    Given the current challenges, Mr. Ladsous set out several critical priorities. Among them were strengthened capabilities of peacekeepers. The two Departments had recently developed a strategic agenda for uniformed capability development over the medium-term, with a focus on, among others, rapid deployment; standing capabilities; increased mobility of all units in-theatre, including aviation support; enhanced medical support; improvised explosive devices-survivability measures; improved information and analysis; expertise to address transnational threats such as organized crime; and planning and implementation.

    The uniformed capability development agenda complemented the ongoing work on United Nations standards for military units, he said, noting that, in an innovative and transparent way, more than 45 Member States had supported the effort. Once approved, an implementation plan should begin early in 2015. The Office for the Peacekeeping Strategic Partnership was now fully operational, helping to identify gaps in achieving mandates, recommending ways to enhance the safety, security and welfare of uniformed personnel, and incorporating lessons learned.

    He said that the ongoing implementation of revisions to the troop reimbursement frameworks would also help ensure that peacekeepers were properly equipped. Among other measures, there was a new premium for quick deployment of enabling capabilities, involving the provision of critical force multipliers such as helicopters, medical units, and engineering support. A new provision for the rotation of ageing contingent-owned equipment was also in play, as was a new premium for exceptional performance in situations of risk. Technology was another critical tool. By introducing unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations had shown its ability to modernize and use the latest technologies to monitor movements of armed groups and thus better protect vulnerable populations. The two Departments had set up a high-level Panel on Technology and Innovation, which should be ready to share its findings soon.

    To ensure appropriate capabilities, the base of major contributors to peacekeeping must be expanded, while deepening the engagement of existing contributors. A related priority was rapid deployment of specialized expertise through Standing Police Capacity, Justice and Corrections Standing Capacity and Mine Action Rapid Response. However, with regard to peacekeepers, enabling capacities such as engineering, air and ground transport and medical support remained “choke points”. Work was under way to improve internal processes. It would be helpful for Member States to prepare troops for peacekeeping missions in advance of a Security Council resolution. A related priority was cooperation with regional organizations and parallel missions in crisis response.

    The focus was also on improved intelligence and situational awareness, he said, adding that collection and analysis of a range of intelligence sources needed to be enhanced and informed decisions taken at the tactical operation and strategic levels. In that regard, technology was a powerful enabler. In Mali, when the All Sources Intelligence Fusion Unit was fully online, there would be unprecedented ability to gather and analyse information relating to threats to peacekeeping personnel and the local population. Performance was also critical, he said, noting that the Organization was held to an increasingly high standard by the international community and citizens where it was deployed. The Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on misconduct and sexual abuse by civilian, military and police peacekeepers continued to be implemented. In addition, policies had been introduced that set clear and non-negotiable thresholds for personal conduct. The Human Rights Due Diligence Policy and the Policy on Human Rights Screening of United Nations Personnel were distinct yet complementary, and full implementation of both required continued engagement and cooperation with Member States.

    Finally, he said, it was vital to help to extend State authority in the form of police, courts, prisons and local authorities so that countries could build and sustain peace themselves, for which common funding pools could be useful. Ultimately, he added, lasting peace in any country required functioning and legitimate local State institutions, which could protect their own citizens and provide basic services. In that connection, notable progress had been made through the Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections. In the Central African Republic, for example, joint teams were being established within the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic structure to support a single rule of law framework. In Liberia, to support the rule of law aspects of Ebola, the Global Focal Point was funding a joint project covering police justice and corrections.

    In pursuing innovation, strong and effective stewardship must be demonstrated regarding the resources entrusted to peacekeeping. The Organization was working to improve effectiveness and a process had been put in place for periodic reviews of all missions, to align their civilian components to their evolving mandates.

    Ultimately, he said, peacekeeping was a political instrument, which depended upon the political support of the international community. With such a diverse set of stakeholders, however, systemic change was a challenge. Meanwhile, the demands on the ground do not heed the pace of multilateral institutions. Each year, for the past six years, more than 100 peacekeepers had died while serving war-torn countries. The scale of human suffering in the countries where the United Nations operated was immense and demanded a collective response from all.

    In closing, he said when the Organization spoke in one voice, peacekeeping was renewed and strengthened for the advancement of world peace and security in an increasingly complex and challenging world. He recognized all the brave men and women who served peacekeeping every day, and recalled with sorrow all those — too many — who had paid the ultimate price. The United Nations honoured their memory and would continue to work towards the cause for which they sacrificed.

    AMEERAH HAQ, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, said that peacekeeping relied on the professionalism of all men and women who served, and its success depended on the support of all Member States. She paid tribute to the peacekeepers in the field, serving far from home, in extreme circumstances, to guard fragile peace processes. Already 104 lives had been lost this year. She recognized the commitments made at the Summit on Strengthening International Peace Operations and the trilateral cooperation efforts involving troop contributors, the United Nations and the providers of equipment and training.

    Offering a brief review of the Secretary General’s review of peace operations, she recalled that, 15 years ago, mission support was a simple derivative of the substantive components of a mission; few questions were asked about how to make it timelier or improve its quality. Since then, the Department of Field Support had initiated a new process through the Global Field Support Strategy aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness. During the review, all must ask themselves how fit peacekeeping operations were, given the changes in mandate, deployment and environment. Her Department supported both the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Political Affairs. It also led a number of missions or otherwise supported them, including the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-United Nations joint mission and the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER).

    As outlined by Under-Secretary-General Ladsous, the conditions for peacekeeping had grown more complex and difficult with increasingly demanding tasks. Peacekeepers were now at the forefront of action taken to prevent human rights violations, but all too often, the United Nations itself was seen as a target. Such dangerous operating environments posed new challenges. Presently, peacekeeping operations deployed 2.5 times more uniformed personnel than at the time of the Brahimi report; her Department supported some 127,000 deployed personnel in more than 30 countries. In 2014, the Department of Safety and Security assessed that more than 40 per cent of operations were “highly dangerous”. The threats had grown more diverse and included terrorism, transnational crime, natural disaster, and epidemics.

    This past month, she went on, had been one of the most difficult in terms of peacekeepers lost. That high-risk environment increased the need for fast and flexible support. Reconciling the need for speed with that of procedural compliance would take determination and creative thinking, she added. The Department’s focus on innovation and improvement had enabled significant progress in field support. Through regular reviews of mission staffing, the Department was able to contain civilian personnel costs and had eliminated more than 3,000 support jobs. As a result, spending per deployed peacekeeper dropped 16 per cent in five years.

    Regarding personnel and institutional accountability, her Department remained fully committed to addressing misconduct by those deployed in field operations, bearing in mind the zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. She and Mr. Ladsous had issued joint statements to uniformed and non-uniformed personnel to reiterate the zero-tolerance policy.

    Looking ahead, the Department must focus on immediate priorities, including improving safety and security, enabling faster deployment, encouraging the use of appropriate technology and strengthening internal processes, she added. Both Departments were working together to ensure the safety of peacekeepers, whose capabilities must match the challenges they faced. Additionally, the two Departments had embarked on a capability development agenda, for peacekeepers to be trained and equipped for improvised explosive devices and terrorist threats, as well as for natural disasters and epidemics. Too often, the imperative to deploy took priority without due regard for equipment and other capabilities needed to catalyse troops’ effective functioning. The Department had learned from experiences in Mali and the Central African Republic, among others, which had been useful in planning for UNMEER. Regional organizations also played an important role in ensuring rapid deployment. While re-hatting regional forces as Blue Helmets could become a more regular feature of missions, much had to be done to ensure a smooth process, she said.

    She welcomed Member States’ support to troop- and police-contributing countries and encouraged triangular partnerships between the United Nations and Member States able to provide troops or training. Noting the need to better use technology, she said that applied appropriately, that could help peacekeepers do their jobs more effectively, in what she called “smarter” peacekeeping. She was also committed to explore with Mr. Ladsous technologies that could improve safety for peacekeepers and civilians.

    Key decisions by the General Assembly had come into effect, reflecting an ongoing evolution of the framework for troop and police reimbursement. All members should be aware of the importance of the agreement on the new rate of reimbursement for personnel, she said, noting that the membership had agreed on several measures to allow a better response by the Department to peacekeeping challenges. She was confident that the new regime agreed upon by the General Assembly to meet costs of the transport of United Nations contingent-owned equipment system to replace aging items, which would help with the challenge in the field of maintaining capabilities in the face of harsh conditions.

    Also concerning reforms, she drew attention to the Enterprise Resource Planning System, or Umoja, which helped to improve mission planning and management. She also stressed the importance of delegated authority, which empowered mission leadership. The degree to which authorities, accountabilities and responsibilities were aligned impacted the Organization’s ability to deliver its political and operational commitments, and she hoped that the Peace Operations Review Panel would look at that challenge.

    She thanked the delegates for their strong support throughout her decade-long affiliation with United Nations peacekeeping, and extended her gratitude to Mr. Ladsous. In closing, she repeated her strong belief that, “when our peacekeeping partnership has the necessary resources to deliver in the field, when it is empowered by its Member States to be flexible and responsive and when it is energized by political will, United Nations peacekeeping has proven to be and will continue to be a powerful tool for conflict management and peace consolidations”.

    Statements

    OMAR HILALE (Morocco), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, thanked the United Nations officials for their presentations, and said peacekeeping was passing a crucial juncture as a result of the increased demand, and the expansion and complexity of its tasks and mandates. It was dealing with responsibilities beyond the nature of its political and military roles, and implementation, therefore, was challenging. Peacekeeping operations should neither be used as an alternative to addressing the root causes of conflict nor managing them. Rather, they should be based on a comprehensive and coherent vision to be implemented through political, social and developmental tools, aimed at achieving and securing smooth transition to lasting peace.

    He emphasized that the establishment of a peacekeeping operation or extension of a mandate should strictly observe the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. They should be based on consensus among Member States, and policy development should ensure that only those ideas and approaches that had been adopted by Member States collectively would be implemented. Missions should receive all necessary support including financial, human resource and military and civilian capabilities. The Security Council should provide a strong commitment to drafting clear and achievable mandates, based on an objective assessment. Troop-contributing countries should have full participation in policy formulation and decision-making, he said, stressing the need for further consultations with Member States on ways to protect missions from breaches of personnel safety.

    ORGROB AMARACHGUL (Thailand), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping operations demonstrated the collective effort of the Member States in securing peace in the most difficult parts of the world. ASEAN was satisfied with the report in addressing the new challenges. From the spread of Ebola to the targeted attacks by extremist groups, peacekeepers’ safety was a pressing issue. All must ensure that field missions remained effective and adequately supported with access to modern technology. ASEAN also welcomed the overdue agreement on increased reimbursements. Consultations between the Security Council, the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries were crucial for the success of peacekeeping operations, he said, noting that almost 4,000 ASEAN peacekeepers were taking part in various peacekeeping missions.

    Speaking in his national capacity, he said that Thailand had sent peacekeepers to serve in more than 20 missions. The country’s approach to peacekeeping was based on its view that peace, security, human rights, and development were interlinked. In light of past experience, Thailand firmly believed that women were instrumental to the success of peacekeeping in post-conflict resolution. ASEAN reiterated its commitment to support the operations.

    JUAN CARLOS MENDOZA-GARCÍA (Costa Rica), speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said a thorough and systematic analysis was required to improve the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations and to maintain the credibility of the Organization. When establishing any peacekeeping operation or extending the mandate of existing ones, the purposes and principles of the Charter should be strictly observed, especially respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and non-interference in internal affairs of States, as well as the guiding principles of those operations.

    Stressing the importance of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations as the unique and irreplaceable intergovernmental body, he called for increased participation by troop- and police-contributing countries in the process of policy drafting and decision-making. CELAC believed it was essential to assure the highest level of ethical conduct of peacekeeping personnel, he said, stressing the need to promote women’s full participation in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. There could be no sustainable peace without efforts to fight poverty, hunger and inequality. For that reason, coordination was essential between peacekeeping operations and the Organization’s peacebuilding architecture.

    ALAN GRIFFIN (Australia), also speaking on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, called for consistent standards and adequate guidance in order to generate properly prepared forces. The group strongly supported the development of United Nations Military Units Manuals, and urged that effective oversight mechanisms be in place. The evolution of modern peacekeeping had led to an increased demand for United Nations police, and he proposed the adoption by the Security Council of a resolution focused on practical steps to increase the effectiveness of police components. Training peacekeepers in line with the Organization’s standards, particularly at the predeployment phase, was also critical.

    Touching on other points of importance to the Group, he said recent crises in Nigeria, Syria, Iraq and South Sudan had demonstrated that sexual violence in conflict remained a “dreadful” reality, but he noted some progress had been made in connection with the Security Council’s resolve to combat it. He welcomed the reimbursement rate for troop contributors and the Assembly’s consensus decision on the 2014-2015 peacekeeping budget. Protecting civilians remained central to the credibility and effectiveness of multidimensional peacekeeping missions. The expectations of a Chapter VII mission was clear: intervene without hesitation when civilians were under attack, using force when necessary. Civilian protection mandates must have proactive and preventative strategies and a common understanding of obligations, both for prevention and for intervention.

    Finally, he encouraged further analysis on flexible mission-wide early-warning capabilities and on support to host Governments in exercising their responsibilities. Additionally, he called for more innovative approaches to contemporary operational challenges. As the safety of United Nations field personnel was, more than ever, threatened by insurrection, insurgency, and terrorists, weapons proliferation affected the peacekeepers’ ability to provide security for themselves and for civilians. He thus encouraged further support to assist peacekeepers in tracking and managing illicit weapons flows and in implementing arms embargoes.

    IOANNIS VRAILAS, representative of the European Union Delegation, recognized the demanding conditions in which peacekeepers carried out their work, and paid tribute to those who had lost their lives. From the traditional military models to ceasefire observation, operations were more proactive and multidimensional involving civilian and political aspects. Reiterating his appreciation for the Secretary General’s Rights up Front initiative — a key element to prevent atrocities against civilians — he said that in cases where atrocities were committed, accountability was crucial. He encouraged the integration of a gender perspective in military training, and welcomed United Nations resolve in preventing sexual exploitation and abuse. Regarding the assessment of peacekeeping operations, resources must be used effectively, in an accountable and transparent manner. The use of modern technology must be encouraged and additional efforts should be undertaken to ensure peacekeepers’ security. The European Union remained a loyal partner of the Organization’s peacekeeping operations in its framework Common Security and Defence Policy.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Central African Republic, Mali, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    MADRID, España, 28 de octubre de 2014 (ACNUR) - La Agencia de la ONU para los Refugiados expresa su preocupación ante la propuesta de España de legalizar las devoluciones automáticas de las personas que tratan de cruzar las vallas fronterizas en las ciudades autónomas de Ceuta y Melilla. Según esta iniciativa, una persona que intenta acceder a Ceuta o Melilla de forma irregular y sin la documentación requerida, sería rechazada automáticamente y no tendría derecho a las garantías legales previstas en la legislación nacional y de la Unión Europea, como el derecho a solicitar asilo.

    Ambas ciudades españolas son las únicas fronteras terrestres entre la Unión Europea y África. Desde 2013 se ha registrado un aumento en el número de personas que llegan de forma irregular a través de esta ruta. A su vez también ha habido un incremento en la proporción de las personas que vienen de países asolados por la guerra, la violencia y la persecución, como Siria, la República Centroafricana o Malí. En 2013, unas 4.200 personas entraron en las dos ciudades autónomas de forma irregular (por tierra y mar). En lo que va de año, más de 5.000 personas han llegado a Ceuta y Melilla, entre ellas 2.000 personas que han huido del conflicto en Siria, el 70% de las cuales son mujeres y niños.

    Como respuesta a estas llegadas, el Gobierno español ha propuesto una enmienda a la actual ley de extranjería, que sería aplicada exclusivamente a las fronteras de Ceuta y Melilla. Esta propuesta introduce el concepto de "rechazo en frontera" y tiene como objetivo la legalización de la práctica actual de devoluciones inmediatas. Esta práctica no daría la oportunidad de pedir asilo a quienes huyen de la persecución y los conflictos.

    ACNUR subraya la importancia de que se permita el acceso al territorio para aquellas personas en necesidad de protección internacional. La Agencia de la ONU para los Refugiados entiende la complejidad de la gestión de las fronteras de Ceuta y Melilla, sin embargo destaca que el Gobierno debería garantizar que cualquier iniciativa legal cumple con sus obligaciones internacionales, en particular con la Convención de Ginebra sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados de 1951, de la que España es parte.

    Además, ACNUR reitera su preocupación por el creciente uso de la violencia en la frontera para disuadir la entrada de inmigrantes y solicitantes de asilo. Este año se han documentado varios incidentes violentos y se ha incrementado el número de informes sobre devoluciones automáticas en las ciudades autónomas. El más reciente tuvo lugar el pasado 15 de octubre en la valla de Melilla durante el intento de entrada de unas 200 personas, en el que las imágenes grabadas mostraban el uso de violencia por parte de las autoridades fronterizas.

    ACNUR hace un llamamiento a las autoridades españolas al objeto de que garanticen que no se ejerce la violencia en las fronteras y que éstas son gestionadas respetando plenamente los derechos humanos y la legislación en materia de refugiados. ACNUR ofrece su apoyo a las autoridades españolas en eta tarea.

    ACNUR


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo

    DAKAR, 29 October 2014 (IRIN) - Food security and malnutrition rates across the Sahel are deteriorating, due in large part to ongoing conflict and instability in the Central African Republic (CAR), northern Mali, and northeast Nigeria, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    Nearly five million more people have joined the ranks of the food insecure since the beginning of the year, bringing the estimated total in need of food aid to 24.7 million - more than double the number in 2013, says OCHA.

    "The dramatic rise in insecurity across the region over the last year has generated a tremendous number of people that need to be fed and housed and given health care, because they've been ripped from their livelihoods, as well as their homes," said Robert Piper, the UN regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel. "It has also, of course, had an impact on the market and some food prices."

    Negative coping mechanisms

    Some 6.5 million people have crossed the emergency threshold from being moderately food insecure to facing an acute food and livelihood crisis. This is four million more people in this category than in January.

    "There's a big difference between Phase 2 [moderately food insecure], where you are food insecure but using coping mechanisms to deal with it, and Phase 3 [acute food and livelihood crisis], where you have started to use negative coping mechanisms that have potentially very long-term negative consequences," Piper said.

    Negative coping mechanisms include taking out a loan that must be repaid from profits from the following year's harvest, eating seeds that should be saved for next year's planting season, and reducing the number of daily meals from three down to two, or even one.

    "It becomes a very slippery slide, and one that is of great concern to us," Piper said.

    Food production

    Experts say it is still too early to determine what the final crop output will look like this year, but late and erratic rains across much of the region meant many seeds were lost before they had a chance to sprout. Others never had the chance to finish their growth cycles, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

    "We are still monitoring the situation, as there are many variables [such as how long the rains will last and who managed to produce what crops] that need to be monitored to see what the future will hold in terms of harvest at the end of this agricultural season," said Patrick David, FAO's deputy coordinator for food security analysis for West Africa and the Sahel. "But the trend is worrying in some areas."

    A preliminary joint assessment by the World Food Programme (WFP) and FAO in late August found that record rainfall deficits, which were recorded along the Atlantic Coast - from southern Mauritania south to Guinea Bissau, as well as northern Ghana, Benin and Togo - negatively affected agricultural activities.

    In some areas, such as Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Niger, the rain fell heavily, causing crop and flood damage.

    In others, the rains came early, lasted briefly, and then disappeared for a long time. Those farmers who had the means to reseed did, but many others, who did not, could not.

    While most crops are expected to reach full maturity across much of the region following the start of steady rains across the region at the end of July, overall production is expected to be less than the five-year average in Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania, according to WFP.

    CAR is also expected to have below-average food production this year due to ongoing civil conflict, which has interrupted agricultural activities in many areas, says the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).

    Food Prices

    Average food prices across the region, with the exception of meat, fell for the fifth consecutive month in August, according to the latest data from FAO's food price index. Cereal prices averaged 11.7 percent below the average in August 2013.

    The WFP says, however, that prices in some markets in Mali, Chad and Senegal, are higher than average due to a longer than usual lean season this year. Market prices have also risen in Niger's Diffa region, due to the continued arrival of refugees from Nigeria.

    "This [increased food prices] is certainly having an impact on many households, and can really affect the food security of the most vulnerable households," David said.

    While the Ebola outbreak has not yet directly affected food prices in the Sahel, border closings and movement restrictions have impacted trade flows, particularly along Senegal's border with Guinea, where the closure of 16 markets have reduced trade volume by up to 50 percent, WFP says.

    Pastoralists

    Due to the late onset of rains in areas such as Mauritania, northern Niger, Chad, Senegal and northern Cameroon, pastoralists had a much longer lean season than usual in 2014.

    "They were waiting for their pasture, because as soon as the rains come, of course the fodder starts to grow, and then animals get fed and there is a supply of drinking water," Piper said. "But they had to wait a very, very long time this year."

    Some of the animals died. Others never became large or healthy enough to sell for a decent profit.

    "We've now left the period of hardship for the pastoralists and this situation has improved some," David said. "But they passed a very difficult time in certain zones and it's possible that this will affect the incomes of those that were most vulnerable."

    The security situation in CAR - a key frontier for the movement of animals into and out of the Sahel and northern Nigeria, and a key market for buying and selling animals - also meant that many pastoralists were unable to follow their normal trade routes.

    Nutrition

    There are now more than 6.4 million acutely malnourished children under the age of five in the Sahel, including 1.6 million who are severely malnourished and 4.8 million who are moderately malnourished, according to OCHA.

    "Malnutrition is stubbornly high and remains high in all the countries, but has deteriorated significantly at the moderate levels in northeast Nigeria," Piper said, adding that around 1.4 million more children have become malnourished since the beginning of the year.

    The majority of this increase comes from northeastern Nigeria, where ongoing violence and conflict between Boko Haram, Nigerian security forces and civilian militias continues to displace people in considerable numbers. There are now an estimated 1.5 million displaced people in Nigeria, according to OCHA - mostly women and children.

    Funding shortfall

    More than US$1.9 billion is needed to meet humanitarian needs in the Sahel this year, up from 1.7 billion in 2013 and 1.6 billion in 2012, OCHA reports.

    As of 17 October, OCHA's Strategic Response Plan (SRP) appeal was just 39 percent funded. An additional $300 million has been pledged outside the SRP towards Sahel projects, bringing the total funded appeal to an estimated 50 percent.

    "Over a billion dollars has been committed towards the Sahel thus far, but the bottom line is, the numbers keep going up and so our budget keeps going up as result," Piper said. "It is clearly insufficient for the task this year and has forced us to make some severe cuts in some parts of some programmes," Piper said.

    This includes reducing rations to refugee groups, suspending assistance to pregnant and lactating mothers in certain countries, and making choices between urgent lifesaving measures and important, but often overlooked preventive long-term needs, such as investment in water and sanitation programmes.

    "There is a growing body of people across the region that are so acutely vulnerable, that it only takes a small push for them to go from just coping to crisis," Piper said. "This represents a humanitarian crisis but also a governance crisis and also much more profound structural development challenges. So it's these issues that need to be addressed successfully in order to start turning these trends around."

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Niger, Nigeria
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    FAITS SAILLANTS

    • 192 cas de choléra dont 4 décès ont été enregistrés dans la région entre le 18 septembre et le 19 octobre 2014 selon les autorités sanitaires régionales.

    • Du 1er août au 16 octobre, 50 097 personnes déplacées sont arrivées à Diffa, selon les chiffres publiés par l’ONG IRC.

    • Les résultats provisoires du dénombrement effectué par l’OIM sur un échantillon de 3 000 ménages en août et septembre 2014 indiquent que 78 pour cent des personnes déplacées enquêtées sont des retournés nigériens.

    • Malgré l’assistance en cours, des besoins non couverts persistent dans plusieurs secteurs dont les vivres, les abris, la santé, la protection ainsi que l’eau, l’hygiène et l’assainissement.

    • Le taux de malnutrition aiguë globale (MAG) de la région est passé de 12,3 en 2013 à 13,8 en 2014, selon les résultats de l’enquête nutritionnelle conduite entre le 27 juin et le 8 août 2014.

    Aperçu de la situation

    L’insécurité au nord du Nigeria continue d’entrainer des déplacements de personnes vers le Niger. L’ONG IRC estime à 50 097 personnes, le nombre de personnes arrivées à Diffa entre le 1er août et le 16 octobre. Ce chiffre représente près de 65 pour cent des personnes déplacées identifiées du 8 janvier au 16 octobre 20143 . Avec l’augmentation continue du nombre des personnes déplacées et l’amenuisement des capacités de prise en charge des familles, il est crucial de renforcer l’aide humanitaire ainsi que les moyens de subsistances des familles dans les zones d’accueil. Les autorités, en collaboration avec les acteurs humanitaires, étudient les options les plus appropriées pour améliorer l’accueil et l’installation des personnes déplacées.

    L’exercice de profilage lancé par l’OIM à Diffa depuis août 2014 se poursuit. En fin septembre, 3 000 chefs de ménages vulnérables, y compris des familles déplacées et des familles d’accueil, avaient déjà été recensés. Les résultats préliminaires indiquent que les retournés d’origine nigérienne représentent 78 pour cent et les réfugiés nigérians 18 pour cent. Une minorité de ressortissants du Mali et du Tchad a été comptée parmi les arrivants.
    Selon ces résultats, la plupart des déplacés voyagent en famille, comptant une moyenne de sept personnes, dont plus de 40 pour cent sont des mineurs. Moins de 1 pour cent des chefs de ménages profilés ont l’intention de rentrer au Nigeria après la crise; néanmoins, d’importants mouvements pendulaires sont observés dans la région.
    Ils sont liés au fait que la majorité des personnes déplacées retournent au Nigeria pour vendre des biens abandonnés lors des départs précipités.

    Depuis la déclaration du premier cas de choléra le 19 septembre 2014 dans le district sanitaire de Diffa, la situation a très vite évolué avec l’apparition d’autres foyers dans les districts de Bosso et N’Guigmi. A la date du 19 octobre 2014, la Direction Régionale de la Santé Publique (DRSP) a rapporté 192 cas dont 4 décès sur l’ensemble de la région. Aucun nouveau cas n’a été signalé depuis cette date. Un plan régional de riposte d’urgence au choléra a été adopté et a pour objectif général de réduire la morbidité et la mortalité liées à la maladie.

    Les résultats de l’enquête nutritionnelle SMART chez les enfants de 0-59 mois conduite du 27 juin au 8 août montrent que le taux de malnutrition aiguë globale (MAG) est passé de 12,3 pour cent en 2013 à 13,8 pour cent en 2014, dépassant le taux d’alerte de 10 pour cent. Toutefois, on observe une amélioration du taux de malnutrition aiguë sévère (MAS) qui est passé de 3,9 pour cent4 en 2013 à 1,8 pour cent en 2014.


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    Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Country: Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, South Sudan
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    • Another week of poorly distributed rains across the Greater Horn has led to strengthening deficits in southern Somalia.

    • In southern Africa, a delayed start of monsoonal rains observed in parts of Angola and South Africa.

    1) As the rainfall season ends across Senegal and harvesting begins, impacts from poorly distributed rains during the summer months and a delayed onset to the rainfall season in July which resulted in deteriorated conditions could impact crop yields.

    2) Consistent, above-average rains across parts of eastern Ethiopia have led to downstream flooding along the Jubba and Shabelle River basins in southern Somalia. Continued shower activity is expected to worsen hydrological conditions.


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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal

    Key messages

    • The food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel continues. People are facing a triple crisis : limited access to food , erosion of resilience due to recurrent crises and weak social services, and region- wide ramifications of conflicts in the region.

    • As one of the largest providers of humanitarian assistance to the Sahel, the European Commission’s humanitarian aid and civil protection department (ECHO) is helping to ensure appropriate assistance for 1.7 million extremely food insecure people and 580 000 severely malnourished children in 2014. This represents respectively a quarter and half of all people targeted to receive assistance.

    • The food and nutrition prospects are unlikely to improve significantly in 2015. This past year has seen average harvests, high food prices as well as conflict and insecurity. There are particular concerns due to erratic rain fall in Senegal, Mauritania and Gambia and as a result of the expanding conflict in northern Nigeria.

    • Emergency needs in the Sahel will persist unless the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition are addressed and the resilience of the poorest people is strengthened. The European Commission has been instrumental in the creation of AGIR , a global alliance to strengthen resilience in West Africa which has set itself a ‘zero hunger’ goal by 2032 .

    • The Ebola outbreak in the coastal states of West Africa requires preparedness and contingency plans on the part of the Sahel countries and ECHO’s humanitarian partners. People are very mobile in this part of the world, increasing the likelihood of the virus spreading further.

    ECHO Factsheet Sahel: Food and Nutrition Crisis


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Malawi
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    KEY MESSAGES

    • Most rural households are consuming food from their 2013/14 production and have an adequate amount of income for food purchases for the remainder of the consumption year.

    • Localized food and cash crop production shortfalls due to dryness during the 2013/14 main season has limited food and income access for very poor and poor households in parts of southern and northern Malawi.

    • Poor households in three livelihood zones spanning the northern and southern region are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October-December. Humanitarian assistance to food insecure households is planned for areas in the north from January-March, while assistance for areas in the south is planned for December-March. Acute food insecurity outcomes in these areas of concern will be Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) from January to March.


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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Niger, United States of America

    Adolescents gain practical knowledge in “safe spaces”

    “I've always said that if I had my choice, I'd be in school, not a housewife, and this has attracted much attention of many girls.”

    Oct. 2014—In Niger, it is common for girls to get married as young as 14 years old and miss out on the opportunity to attend school and learn essential life skills. They grow up lacking knowledge of proper health, nutrition and pregnancy practices, leading to high rates of chronic malnutrition and related pregnancy complications affecting them and their future offspring.

    That is beginning to change for girls in the Maradi and Zinder regions. Over 2,400 adolescent girls are learning proper health and nutrition practices through a unique activity called “safe spaces,” introduced by Mercy Corps. In safe spaces, adolescent girls meet regularly to discuss early marriage, nutrition and livelihood practices, and reproductive health, and are taught by female mentors selected by their communities as positive role models.

    Baaratou*, 20 years old, is one female mentor who was chosen by her community in April 2013 to lead a safe spaces group. “I've always said that if I had my choice, I'd be in school, not a housewife, and this has attracted much attention of many girls,” she said.

    Mentors like Baaratou learn to create a safe and supportive environment for girls to discuss sensitive issues such as early marriage and pregnancy as well as to promote teamwork and improved confidence in speaking to groups. By focusing on adolescent girls, safe spaces educate girls on important issues at a crucial time before many of them become mothers.

    Baaratou shared her own experiences with pregnancy in her safe spaces group and is confident she has fostered awareness among her girls. “I suffered a lot during my first pregnancy and delivery at 16 and the second two years later,” she said. “I assure you, many girls are aware and do not hesitate to refuse a marriage at 14 years, 15 years and even 16 years.”

    Safe spaces is part of a larger food security project implemented by USAID and Mercy Corps that tackles chronic malnutrition and improves the livelihoods of over 106,000 beneficiaries.

    “The activity takes a unique approach by combining health capacity building, behavior change messaging and food assistance to improve health and nutrition among girls,” explains USAID’s Food for Peace Officer Ahmadou N’Diade.

    Hannatou Sani is one 14-year old who refused her family’s request to get married last year. “There are many consequences associated with getting married early,” she said. With Baaratou’s help in discussing the issue with her parents, Hannatou now can wait another year until getting married.

    To complement safe spaces, the project also convenes young men through “husband schools” to openly discuss family planning and the need to delay marriage. While many serious cultural and institutional challenges still exist, Mercy Corps is working with influential local and religious leaders to gain support for safe space activities and create an enabling environment for behavioral change.

    Since the initiative began in early 2013, over 2,400 girls have participated in safe space groups across 56 different communities in the Maradi and Zinder regions. Due to its popularity among girls, Mercy Corps plans to expand and build upon the activity, adding lessons on literacy and money management and a savings and lending component. One group at a time, safe spaces is improving educational prospects and livelihoods among girls by helping them gain the confidence to advocate for themselves and work toward a more positive future.

    This five-year, $24 million food assistance project funded by USAID aims to reduce chronic malnutrition among pregnant and lactating women and children under 5 and increase households’ access to food.

    *Full name not available.


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    Source: World Food Programme, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Zimbabwe
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    The Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) was conducted over the period from February until June 2014 with the aim of obtaining a better understanding of the situation, needs, risks, capacities and vulnerabilities of asylum seekers and refugees with regards to their food and nutrition security as well as livelihood opportunities, and providing recommendations for the next 6 to 12 months. This JAM report aims to provide information for programming through the design of a joint -programme cycle for UN agencies and their partners under the coordination of the Government of Zimbabwe.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, World
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    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Disasters between July and September affected 2.3 million people.

    • Drought exacerbates the risk of food insecurity for 1.7 million people. The most affected countries are Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

    • About 68,500 unaccompanied children have been arrested in the US from October 2013 to September 2014.

    • Humanitarian partners continue to show interest in participating in consultations ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit (Turkey, 2016).

    More than 1.7 million people affected by drought

    Drought has risen to the foreground in the disasters plaguing Latin America and the Caribbean, with the number of drought-affected people since late 2013 surpassing the number affected by floods.
    Compared to the second quarter of 2014 (April to June), the number of people affected by drought has increased by half a million, while over the same period in 2013, these numbers did not exceed 100,000.
    Alarmingly, more than 1.7 million people have been affected by drought this year.

    Next to drought, the impact of epidemics is a serious concern. Chikungunya and dengue are present in 44 countries and states in the Americas and have affected 240,000 people during the period of July to September.

    During the same period, flooding affected almost 100,000 people. Other events that have had an impact include earthquakes, cold waves, volcanic activity and the migration of unaccompanied children and adolescents.

    All these emergencies share the common feature of having multiple and varied impacts across numerous sectors. The consequences of drought cannot be contemplated without considering its impact on the health sector, on nutrition or even on migration flows in the region. Similarly, chikungunya and dengue cannot be tackled without involving education, water and sanitation and communication sectors, among others.

    The commitment and active support of all partners is critical to minimize the impact of these disasters and to respond in an effective and timely manner.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, World
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    DESTACADOS

     Los desastres ocurridos en el segundo trimestre (julio-septiembre) afectaron a 2.3 millones de personas.

    • La sequía mantiene en riesgo por inseguridad alimentaria a más de 1.7 millones de personas. Los países más afectados son Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador y Nicaragua.

    • Unos 68,500 niños, niñas y adolescentes migrantes no acompañados han sido detenidos en EEUU de octubre 2013 a septiembre 2014.

    • Los socios humanitarios continúan mostrando interés en participar en las consultas de cara a la Cumbre Mundial Humanitaria (Turquía, 2016).

    Más de 1.7 millones de personas afectadas por sequía

    Desde finales del año 2013 la sequía es el principal desastre - en número de personas afectadas – en América Latina y el Caribe. En un año, la sequía ha desplazado a las inundaciones como el desastre con impacto en un mayor número de afectados. Aunque la cantidad de inundaciones no ha variado, los afectados han disminuido; mientras que la sequía ha aumentado en número de afectados. En comparación con el segundo trimestre de 2014 (abril a junio), el incremento de afectados por sequía es de medio millón de personas; mientras que en el mismo periodo de 2013, los afectados por sequía no pasaban de 100,000.

    Las epidemias son el segundo desastre por número de afectados. El chikungunya y el dengue están presentes en 44 países y estados de las Américas, con cerca de 240 mil afectados para el periodo julio - septiembre. Durante el periodo de este reporte, 100,000 personas han sido afectadas por inundaciones. Otras situaciones han generado un gran impacto como terremotos, olas de frío, actividad volcánica y migración de niños, niñas y adolescentes no acompañados.

    Todos estos desastres comparten una misma característica. Cada uno de ellos tiene impacto, aunque en diferente medida, en varios sectores. No podemos hablar de las consecuencias de la sequía sin tener en cuenta su impacto en el sector salud, en nutrición o incluso su impacto en el flujo migratorio de nuestra región. Así como no podemos hacer frente al dengue o chikungunya sin involucrar al sector de educación, agua y saneamiento o comunicación, entre otros.

    Por lo tanto, el compromiso y el apoyo activo de todos los socios serán elementos claves tanto para minimizar el impacto de estos desastres como para responder de forma eficaz y oportuna a los mismos.


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    Source: Government of Guatemala
    Country: Guatemala

    Written by Donis Figueroa/AGN

    Guatemala, 29 oct (AGN).- A pocos días de concluir la primera entrega de alimentos a las más de 295.000 familias que perdieron su cosecha a consecuencia de la canícula prolongada, miembros del Consejo Nacional de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional (Conasan) conocieron hoy los avances en la distribución de la asistencia alimentaria, informó una fuente oficial.

    La reunión se realizó en el Salón Banderas del Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, en el Centro Histórico capitalino, y fue presidida por la vicegobernante de Guatemala, Roxana Baldetti, quien manifestó sentirse satisfecha con el trabajo que han hecho las instituciones involucradas en la ejecución del programa “Operación Oportunidad”.

    “El próximo viernes 31 de octubre terminamos el proceso de la primera entrega a todas las familias que fueron tomadas en cuenta de acuerdo al barrido que se hizo, estoy contenta porque esas familias beneficiadas se están dando cuenta de que para el próximo año van a tener dónde sembrar y los trabajos que hagan en sus tierras les van a servir para alimentar a su familia”, refirió.

    La vicemandataria guatemalteca resaltó que como resultado de las intervenciones del Estado se han logrado disminuir los casos de desnutrición aguda en Camotán y Jocotán, municipios del oriental departamento de Chiquimula, señalando que en el 2013 se tuvo un registro de 1.385 casos y que durante el presente año los casos identificados suman 761 en menores de cinco años.

    “Si dijéramos que tenemos el cien por ciento cubierto sería mentir, pero que hemos intervenido y hemos logrado detener no solo la desnutrición sino que además hemos logrado empezar a generar otro tipo de actitud por parte de las personas, eso sí es verdad”, dijo la vicegobernante.

    Verificación de corresponsabilidad

    Por su parte, Elmer López, ministro de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación, detalló a los integrantes de Conasan que conjuntamente con las instituciones involucradas en el programa Operación Oportunidad, están haciendo las verificaciones de las corresponsabilidades con los beneficiarios.

    El funcionario agregó que se está capacitando a las familias afectadas por la sequía prolongada en la implementación de acequias (zanjas), localización de pozos de infiltración y conservación de suelos para garantizar la producción durante la segunda cosecha del año.

    La distribución de la asistencia alimentaria, que se inició el 1 de octubre pasado, se realizará por seis meses y los afectados recibirán cada 30 días 100 libras de maíz, 30 de frijol, 17,5 de harina de soya con vitaminas y nutrientes, además de un alimento terapéutico para evitar la desnutrición crónica infantil.

    La inversión de la administración actual para apoyar a los afectados por la canícula prolongada es de aproximadamente 700 millones de quetzales.


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo

    DAKAR, 30 octobre 2014 (IRIN) - Les taux d'insécurité alimentaire et de malnutrition se détériorent au Sahel. Selon le bureau de la coordination des affaires humanitaires des Nations Unies (OCHA), cela se doit en partie au conflit et à l'instabilité en République centrafricaine (RCA), dans le nord du Mali et dans le nord-est du Nigeria.

    Le nombre de personnes en situation d'insécurité alimentaire a augmenté de près de cinq millions depuis le début de l'année, soit un total de 24,7 millions - plus du double par rapport à 2013, a estimé OCHA.

    « La forte hausse de l'insécurité dans la région au cours de l'année passée a fait grimper en flèche le nombre de personnes nécessitant de l'aide alimentaire, un hébergement et des soins de santé, car on leur a arraché leurs moyens de subsistance et leurs maisons », a dit Robert Piper, coordinateur humanitaire régional des Nations Unies pour le Sahel. « Cela a bien sûr également eu un impact sur les marchés et les prix de certains aliments. »

    Des mécanismes d'adaptations négatifs

    Environ 6,5 millions de personnes ont franchi le seuil d'urgence, passant d'une insécurité alimentaire modérée à une crise alimentaire et des moyens de subsistance aiguë. Cela représente quatre millions de personnes de plus dans cette catégorie par rapport au mois de janvier.

    « Il y a une grande différence entre la phase 2 [insécurité alimentaire modérée], dans laquelle vous êtes en insécurité alimentaire mais où vous réagissez par des mécanismes d'adaptation, et la phase 3 [crise alimentaire et des moyens de subsistance aiguë], dans laquelle vous commencez à avoir recours à des mécanismes d'adaptation négatifs qui peuvent avoir des conséquences à long terme très négatives », a dit M. Piper.

    Les mécanismes d'adaptation négatifs sont par exemple le fait de faire un emprunt devant être remboursé grâce aux profits de la récolte de l'année suivante, ou de manger les semences qui devraient plutôt être mises de côté pour la saison des semailles à venir, ou encore de réduire le nombre de repas quotidiens de trois à deux, voire un seul.

    « La situation s'aggrave dangereusement et cela nous préoccupe beaucoup », a dit M. Piper.

    Une production alimentaire préoccupante

    Selon les experts, il est encore trop tôt pour déterminer quel sera le rendement final des cultures cette année, mais les précipitations tardives et irrégulières dans une bonne partie de la région ont causé de nombreuses pertes de semences avant même que celles-ci aient eu le temps de germer. Selon l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture (FAO), d'autres plantes n'ont pas pu arriver au terme de leur cycle de croissance.

    « Nous continuons de surveiller la situation, car de nombreuses variables [combien de temps vont durer les précipitations, par exemple, ou qui à réussi à produire quelles plantes] doivent être prises en compte pour savoir ce que l'avenir réserve en matière de récoltes à la fin de cette saison agricole », a dit Patrick David, coordinateur adjoint de la FAO pour l'analyse de la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique de l'Ouest et au Sahel. « Mais la tendance est préoccupante dans certaines zones. »

    Fin août, une évaluation conjointe préliminaire du Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) et de la FAO a révélé que le déficit pluviométrique record enregistré le long de la côte atlantique - du sud de la Mauritanie jusqu'en Guinée-Bissau en passant par le nord du Ghana, du Bénin et du Togo - avait eu un impact négatif sur les activités agricoles.

    Dans certaines régions comme la Côte d'Ivoire, le Mali et le Niger, les pluies ont été abondantes, ont endommagé les récoltes et ont entraîné des inondations.

    Dans d'autres régions, les précipitations ont commencé tôt, mais ont peu duré et ne sont pas réapparues avant longtemps. Les fermiers qui avaient les moyens de ressemer l'ont fait, mais ce n'était pas le cas de tout le monde.

    Selon le PAM, si l'on s'attendait à ce que la plupart des cultures atteignent leur pleine maturité dans une grande partie de la région fin juillet après le début des précipitations constantes, il était prévu que la production totale reste inférieure à la moyenne sur cinq ans en Guinée-Bissau, en Gambie, au Sénégal et en Mauritanie.

    Selon le Réseau de systèmes d'alerte précoce contre la famine (FEWS NET), la RCA devrait aussi avoir une production alimentaire inférieure à la moyenne cette année, à cause de la guerre civile qui a interrompu les activités agricoles dans de nombreuses régions.

    Des prix des denrées alimentaires variables

    Selon les derniers chiffres de l'indice FAO des prix des produits alimentaires, à l'exception de la viande, les prix moyens des denrées alimentaires dans la région ont baissé en août pour le cinquième mois consécutif. Le prix moyen des céréales était de 11,7 pour cent inférieur à la moyenne d'août 2013.

    Selon le PAM, pourtant, les prix sur certains marchés maliens, tchadiens et sénégalais sont supérieurs à la moyenne à cause de la période de soudure qui a été plus longue que d'habitude cette année. Les prix ont également augmenté sur les marchés de la région de Diffa, au Niger, en raison de l'arrivée ininterrompue de réfugiés du Nigeria.

    « Cette [hausse des prix alimentaires] a certainement un impact pour de nombreux foyers et peut véritablement mettre en péril la sécurité alimentaire des foyers les plus vulnérables », a dit M. David.

    Si l'épidémie d'Ebola n'a pas encore directement affecté les prix des produits alimentaires au Sahel, les fermetures de frontières et les restrictions concernant les déplacements ont eu un impact sur les flux commerciaux, notamment le long de la frontière entre le Sénégal et la Guinée, où la fermeture de 16 marchés a réduit le volume commercial de près de 50 pour cent, selon le PAM.

    Le cas des éleveurs pastoraux

    En raison de l'arrivée tardive des précipitations dans des régions comme la Mauritanie, le nord du Niger, le Tchad, le Sénégal et le nord du Cameroun, les éleveurs pastoraux ont connu en 2014 une période de soudure bien plus longue qu'à l'accoutumée.

    « Ils attendaient leurs pâturages, car dès que les pluies arrivent, bien sûr, le fourrage commence à pousser et les bêtes sont nourries et il y a de l'eau pour boire », a dit M. Piper. « Mais ils ont dû attendre très très longtemps cette année. »

    Certaines bêtes sont mortes. D'autres sont cependant devenues suffisamment grosses et vigoureuses pour être vendues à un prix convenable.

    « Nous sommes maintenant sortis de la période difficile pour les éleveurs pastoraux et la situation s'est quelque peu améliorée », a dit M. David. « Mais ils ont traversé une période de grandes difficultés dans certaines zones et il est possible que cela ait des conséquences sur les revenus des plus vulnérables. »

    En RCA, frontière clé dans les déplacements de bétail depuis et vers le Sahel et le nord du Nigeria et marché de premier plan pour l'achat et la vente de bêtes, la situation sécuritaire a empêché de nombreux éleveurs pastoraux de suivre leurs itinéraires commerciaux habituels.

    Des problèmes de nutrition

    Selon OCHA, on compte maintenant plus de 6,4 millions d'enfants de moins de cinq ans souffrant de malnutrition aiguë au Sahel, dont 1,6 million sont atteints de malnutrition sévère et 4,8 millions de malnutrition modérée.

    « La malnutrition demeure obstinément élevée dans tous les pays, mais elle s'est aggravée de manière significative au niveau modéré dans le nord-est du Nigeria », a dit M. Pipier, ajoutant qu'environ 1,4 million d'enfants de plus étaient atteints de malnutrition depuis le début de l'année.

    Cette hausse est majoritairement due à la situation dans le nord-est du Nigeria, où la violence et le conflit entre Boko Haram, les forces de sécurité nigérianes et les milices civiles continuent de déplacer un nombre considérable de personnes. Selon OCHA, on estime à 1,5 million le nombre de déplacés au Nigeria, principalement des femmes et des enfants.

    Un déficit de financement

    Plus de 1,9 milliard de dollars sont nécessaires pour répondre aux besoins humanitaires au Sahel cette année. On comptait 1,7 milliard en 2013 et 1,6 milliard en 2012, selon OCHA.

    Au 17 octobre, l'appel pour le plan de réponse stratégique (PRS) d'OCHA n'était financé qu'à 39 pour cent. Trois cents millions de dollars ont en outre été promis en dehors du PRS pour des projets au Sahel, portant le total du financement de l'appel à 50 pour cent.

    « Jusqu'à présent, plus d'un milliard de dollars ont été engagés pour le Sahel, mais au bout du compte, les chiffres continuent d'augmenter et notre budget continue donc lui aussi de monter », a dit M. Piper. « Il est manifestement insuffisant pour la tâche [qui doit être menée] cette année et nous a obligés à effectuer des coupures dans certains programmes », a-t-il ajouté.

    Cela comprend notamment la réduction des rations pour les groupes de réfugiés, la suspension de l'aide aux femmes enceintes et allaitantes dans certains pays et des choix entre des mesures urgentes visant à sauver des vies et des besoins préventifs à long terme, importants mais souvent négligés, tels que l'investissement dans des programmes d'eau et d'assainissement.

    « Dans toute la région, de plus en plus de personnes sont tellement vulnérables qu'il ne faut presque rien pour qu'elles passent d'une situation d'adaptation à une situation de crise », a dit M. Piper. « Cela constitue une crise humanitaire, mais aussi une crise de gouvernance et des difficultés de développement structurel bien plus profondes. Ce sont donc ces problèmes qui doivent être résolus afin de renverser ces tendances. »

    jl/cb-ld/amz

    [FIN]


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    Source: Department for International Development, REACH
    Country: Chad
    preview


    The Lake Fitri Drainage basin in Eastern Chad is home almost two million people, whose lives are affected by floods and droughts every year. In an area already affected by conflict and rebellion, these extreme weather events are severely impacting the resilience of the local communities. The BRACED project, funded by the UK Department for International Development, DfID, seeks to strengthen people’s capacity to respond to flooding and drought in the Sahel belt, but significant information gaps exist about reality of climatic extremes and coping mechanisms in this area.

    REACH conducted an assessment of the impact of floods and droughts in the Lake Fitri area, in partnership with ACTED and Chora, a Chadian NGO. The project examined the capacity of local authorities to monitor and effectively respond to climatic shocks, as well as the coping strategies of local communities. By gaining a better understanding of how communities are currently responding to floods and droughts and identifying areas that need improvement, the report contributes to the aims of the BRACED project: to strengthen the capacity of at least 335, 000 people living along river banks in the Chadian Sahelian belt to better withstand flooding and drought.

    Using the findings of this report, under the remit of the BRACED project, ACTED and its partners aim to address these gaps and assist in building people’s capacity to respond to these crises at both the national, regional and local levels.


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    Source: Human Rights Watch
    Country: Central African Republic, Mali, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    (Madrid, October 31, 2014) – The Spanish government should immediately drop its plans to provide a legal basis for summary returns from its enclaves in North Africa, 13 human rights groups said today.

    The Spanish and international organizations wrote to the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of migrants, François Crépeau, and the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights, Nils Muižnieks, urging them to press the Spanish government to withdraw a proposed amendment to Spain’s immigration law.

    “On the spot, or ‘summary’ returns prevent asylum seekers from seeking the protection they need and deny all migrants a range of rights,” the groups wrote. “Sending people straight back to Morocco without any procedural safeguards is a clear breach of European and international human rights law.”

    The letters were made public on October 30, 2014, as Anne Brasseur, the president of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, began a two-day visit to Spain. Brasseur should urge Spanish authorities to abandon this deplorable effort to formalize an abusive practice and instead ensure full respect for migrants’ and asylum seekers’ rights at its borders, the groups said.

    Spain’s ruling Popular Party is seeking to use an amendment on public security to introduce provisions into Spain’s immigration law that allow for rejections at the border in Ceuta and Melilla. Introducing the amendment at this stage means there will be no assessment of the human rights impact from the new amendment.

    The proposed change would carve out an exception for border officials in the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla to deny migrants and asylum seekers the safeguards they are guaranteed under current law. If adopted, the amendment would formalize an ongoing but unlawful practice of summarily returning migrants and asylum seekers to Morocco even after they have reached Spanish territory. In some cases, Spanish Civil Guards have also used excessive force to return people.

    Automatic returns of this kind violate European law, as well as international human rights and refugee law obligations undertaken by Spain. In particular, it could lead to violations of the right to asylum, the prohibition against torture and other forms of ill-treatment, the non-refoulement obligation not to send migrants back to the risk of persecution, the right to an effective remedy and reparation for victims of human rights violations, and the prohibition on collective expulsions. The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled that Italy’s practice of summary returns from Italy to Greece deprived individuals of access to the asylum procedure, exposed them to the risk of inhuman or degrading treatment, and violated their rights to an effective remedy and protection against collective expulsions.

    The UN High commissioner for refugees has expressed concern about the Spanish government’s plans, noting that many of those arriving in the enclaves are fleeing war, violence, and persecution in countries like Syria, the Central African Republic, and Mali.

    These groups signed the letters: Alianza por la Solidaridad, Amnesty International, Andalucía Acoge, Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía, Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado, European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Federación de Asociaciones de S.O.S Racismo del Estado español, Fundación Abogacía Española, Human Rights Watch, Jueces para la Democracia, Prodein, Red Acoge, and Rights International Spain.

    For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Spain, please visit:
    http://www.hrw.org/europecentral-asia/spain


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Mali

    The market place in Ségou, a town located in a region with the same name in central Mali, abounds in cereals, fruits and vegetables. People in Ségou region rely mainly on agriculture for their livelihood. Yet, this region has one of the highest malnutrition rates in the country: nearly one child out of six is severely malnourished. This condition affects children’s ability to grow and puts their life at risk.

    Read the full story on the OCHA website.


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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department
    Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea, Iraq, Liberia, Mali, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

    Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

    Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid1 ("the Humanitarian Aid Regulation"), and in particular Article 2, notably 2 (c), Article 4 and Article 15(2) and (3) thereof,

    Having regard to Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union ("Overseas Association Decision")2 , and in particular Article 79 thereof,

    Having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Financial Regulation')3 , and in particular Article 84(2) thereof,

    Whereas:

    (1) Commission Decision C(2013)9533 adopted on 3 January 2014 provides for the financing of humanitarian aid operational priorities from the 2014 general budget of the European Union for a total amount of EUR 758 276 000 from budget articles 23 02 01 and 23 02 02. The implementation period of this Decision runs from 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2015.

    (2) The Commission is committed to providing a humanitarian response in those areas where there are the greatest humanitarian needs. Accordingly, the humanitarian response may be subject to reorientation or scaling-up in the course of the implementation of actions when required by changing circumstances in the field which might affect existing humanitarian needs or generate new needs.

    (3) The global humanitarian context has been characterised by an increase in humanitarian needs in locations such as Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Horn of Africa, Iraq, Ivorian Crisis, Mali, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, as well as related to epidemics, in particular the Ebola epidemic crisis, and the EU Children of Peace initiative. Budgetary allocations within the specific objective should be revised accordingly, without prejudice to the flexibility for non-substantial changes to be adopted by the delegated authorising officer.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Afghanistan, Botswana, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, World, South Sudan
    preview


    Rainy season begins slowly in southern Africa, dryness widens in Haiti

    Africa Weather Hazards

    1. As the rainy season in Senegal comes to an end and harvesting begins, reduced crop yields due to this summer’s poorly distributed rainfall and delayed onset of the rainy season in July could become evident.

    2. Consistently above-average rains across parts of eastern Ethiopia have caused flooding downstream along the Juba and Shabelle River Basins in southern Somalia. Continued rainfall is expected to result in additional flooding.


    0 0

    Source: UN General Assembly
    Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Sudan, World, South Sudan

    GA/SPD/569
    Sixty-ninth session,
    17th Meeting (AM)
    General Assembly
    Meetings Coverage

    As more than half of all United Nations peacekeepers were serving in Africa, the Organization should mount greater partnership with regional and subregional organizations across the continent, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) heard today, as issues of personnel security, clear mandates, use of new technologies and gender mainstreaming also informed debate.

    As the Committee continued its comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations, the representative of Senegal noted the role played by the African Union in several peacekeeping operations, and stressed the need to strengthen its relationship with the United Nations. The delegate from China echoed that call, noting that more than half of all peacekeepers were serving in the continent.

    Along similar lines, the representative of Burkina Faso said that the upsurge of conflicts around the world presented new challenges to the management of peacekeeping operations, including in the areas of protection of civilians and respect for human rights. Thus, constant attention should be paid to mandates, concerns of troop- and police-contributing countries, and security of personnel.

    In view of the complex nature of conflicts across Africa, said Kenya’s representative, regionally arranged or multinational models for peacekeeping were unlikely to change. In those conflicts sound multinational support should be provided through interagency interaction, taking into account political, economic and socio-cultural or security challenges. Future missions might need to consider counter-terrorism and/or asymmetric warfare as an alternative peacekeeping model.

    Welcoming, along with several speakers, the Secretary-General’s plan to conduct a comprehensive review of peace-keeping operations, the representative of Liberia said the exercise was necessary to look back on achievements and strategize ways of deploying new tools to meet new challenges.

    On safety, the representative of Singapore said peacekeepers must have the capacity to protect themselves through the provision of better training, technology, equipment, intelligence and information. Along those lines, the representative of Ukraine encouraged the Secretariat to make the best use of the Special Committee’s recommendations, including to enhance legal mechanisms to investigate and prosecute crimes committed against United Nations peacekeepers.

    With regard to the use of new technologies, the delegate of Argentina said drones could prove useful provided they were used on a case-by-case basis in line with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

    Speakers also underlined the importance of mainstreaming gender into peacekeeper operations, with Norway welcoming the joint gender forward-looking strategy of the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support and the appointment of the first United Nations female commander.

    Also speaking today were the representatives of Switzerland, Sudan, Mali, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Congo, Viet Nam, Rwanda, Israel, Japan, Sierra Leone, Chad, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, and Iran.

    The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Friday, 31 October, to conclude its comprehensive review of peacekeeping in all its aspects.

    Background

    The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) met this morning to continue its comprehensive review of peacekeeping in all its aspects. For background, see Press Release GA/SPD/568 of 29 October.

    Statements

    MAY-ELIN STENER (Norway) said that reports of brutal killings, serious violations of human right, and deliberate attacks on peacekeepers were very worrying. The United Nations struggled to recruit personnel and mobilise resources to respond to increasingly demanding mandates. However, she was encouraged by the broad consensus to make peace operation more effective. She welcomed the review panel, and hoped it would focus on the following points: mandates should be more strategic and should not seek to compensate for political inaction; the implementation of key tasks such as the protection of civilian must be based on the situation on the ground. Training was vital to ensure a uniform approach and for the protection of civilians and the safety of United Nations personnel. She praised All Sources Information Fusion Unit of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which had strengthened the Mission’s capacity to protect civilians. The use of unmanned aerial system in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) enabled peacekeepers to respond to a wider range of threats. Partnerships with regional organizations were crucial and priority should be given to the African Union. The United Nations should also continue to engage with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union and other relevant partners. On the question of gender perspective, Norway welcomed the joint gender forward-looking strategy of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations/Department of Field Support (DPKO/DFS) and the appointment of the United Nations first female commander.

    PAUL SEGER (Switzerland) welcomed the Secretary-General’s intention to include special political missions in the upcoming review of peacekeeping operations, noting that they had increasingly become a crucial form of the Organization’s engagement in the field. Looking at peacekeeping operations alone would not give the whole picture. A review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture was scheduled for 2015 as well. The simultaneity of the two reviews should be mutually enriching, create synergies and utilize complementary expertise. The high-level panel on the peacekeeping review should also look beyond the peace and security agenda and consider how the Organization delivered as one in integrated missions involving humanitarian and development activities. In that context, current discussions on the post-2015 development agenda and the protection of civilians were relevant to the peacekeeping review. He also welcomed the establishment of DPKO’s Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation as the introduction of modern technologies came with challenges but held enormous promises.

    MACHARIA KAMAU (Kenya) said the current models of peacekeeping operations would continue to be sustained, particularly for ongoing missions. In view of the complex nature of conflicts across Africa, regionally arranged or multinational models for peacekeeping were unlikely to change. In those conflicts sound multinational support should be provided through interagency interaction, taking into account political, economic and socio-cultural or security challenges. Future missions may need to consider counter-terrorism and/or asymmetric warfare as an alternative peacekeeping model. The emergence of private military companies and private security companies and their impact on the different aspects of peace support would also need to be addressed. Contingent pre-deployment training should cover human rights, child protection, sexual and gender-based violence and there should be a deliberate effort to implement Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) to fully incorporate the gender aspect in peacekeeping operations. The lack of participation of Western nations in African peacekeeping and peace enforcement must be addressed, he said, expressing appreciation for the recent upward review of troop reimbursement. However, troops deployed for peacekeeping could only be efficient if complemented with operationally appropriate resources. The consent of a host Government for peacebuilding operations could not be taken for granted.

    YURIY VITRENKO (Ukraine) aligning with the European Union, expressed concern over the declining attention paid to safety and security during the procurement of commercial helicopters. He encouraged the Secretariat to make the best use of the recommendations included in the C-34 report, including the enhancement of legal mechanisms to investigate and prosecute crimes committed against deployed United Nations peacekeepers. In addition, expanded political backing was needed for the participation of United Nations Police assistance in post-conflict settings. Ukraine fully supported a Member States-led Group of Friends of United Nations Police. Ukraine was encouraged by the outcome of the recent United Nations Summit on Peacekeeping and was ready to contribute to the follow-up, which he hoped would reconvene in one year around the Assembly’s 2015 session. Ukraine had begun its third decade of peacekeeping engagement by participating in more than 20 missions under the United Nations mandate and had contributed more than 34,000 “Blue Helmets” to peacekeeping efforts around the world.

    LIM MING JING (Singapore), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said her country might be small, but would always contribute in niche areas. Its armed forces and police had served in 15 peacekeeping and observer missions since 1989. Singapore was the seventh country to sign up for the Combined Task Force 151, which aimed to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea. It was currently chairing the Maritime Working Group for the United Nations Military Unit’s initiative to develop peacekeeping manuals and participating in the Aviation and Engineer Working Groups as well. A major challenge for peacekeeping operations was to ensure the safety of personnel, who must have the capacity to protect themselves through the provision of better training, technology, equipment, intelligence and information. Another challenge was to ensure that peace and security were sustainable. Peacekeeping operations were not meant to be permanent. Host countries or regions should develop a sense of ownership for their long-term peace and security.

    ELHAFIZ EISA ABDALLA ADAM (Sudan), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, underscored his country’s unprecedented cooperation with African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). The United Nations must aid the return and reintegration of internally displaced persons and refugees. Despite the fact that rebel groups in Darfur continued to terrorize population, his country had been able to conduct an inclusive dialogue and foster the peaceful movements of people, introducing solutions to the nation’s problems. Sudan had adopted cooperation and agreements with South Sudan for the transfer of humanitarian assistance across their joint border. He reaffirmed his support for peacekeeping operations and reiterated the need to respect the Governments of the countries hosting such operations and to not intervene in those States’ affairs. Sudan reserved the right to defend itself. Settling conflicts peacefully required a better understanding of the problems in the field.

    WANG MIN (China) said that, while 66 years of United Nations peacekeeping operations had brought gratifying results, new complexities now brought new challenges. Welcoming the Secretary-General’s recently announced review, he stressed the need for broad consensus that would bring effective results. The Hammarskjold principles of peacekeeping must be adhered to. The sovereignty of the host country must be respected and its concerns addressed. Mandates should be practical and should specify priority tasks and efficiency should be enhanced by strengthening cooperation and coordination among all stakeholders. Capacities of peacekeeping operations should be strengthened through training centres, improved security and application of new technologies. Cooperation with regional and subregional organizations should be strengthened. As more than half of all peacekeepers were serving in Africa, there should be greater partnership with the African Union. Detailing China’s contributions to peacekeeping operations, including in response to the recent Ebola outbreak, he reaffirmed his country’s continuing commitment and support.

    DIANGUINA DIT YAYA DOUCOURÉ (Mali), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that peacekeeping operations had become more complex and were operating in increasingly difficult environments. Implementation of mandates to protect civilian populations as well as the safety of the United Nations personnel was a big challenge. In the case of MINUSMA, deliberate attacks on contingents had become a daily reality. With that in mind, peacekeeping missions should be authorized to carry out offensive operations in order to protect themselves and civilians. In MINUSMA should receive the human, financial, and equipment support required to address challenges on the ground. He reiterated his country’s commitment to work with the international community to end attacks against peacekeepers and human rights violation. He thanked all countries that had contributed troops and paid tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty.

    RAMADHAN MWINYI (United Republic of Tanzania), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that peacekeeping cost more than $8 billion a year, but the amount was a fraction of the annual defense expenditure of the Western world. It thus followed that peacekeeping was an extremely cost-effective technique to seek peace. Most of the 16 active missions now were under Chapter VII, possibly allowing peacekeepers to dispense with their protection mandates more ably than they would have done much earlier than the mid-1990s. That reality required more political will and coherent guidance. Africa hosted nine of those 16. The enormous cost in precious human life associated with the conflicts remained incomparable. It was imperative, he said, to debunk altruism beginning to appear in the peacekeeping debate.

    The use of force under Chapter VII was neither a new thing nor simply related to turning peacekeeping into a war-fighting enterprise, he said. The United Nations Operation in Congo (ONUC) from 1960 to 1964 was the first mission to see the application of a peace enforcement mandate, and was instrumental in preventing the disintegration of a fragile, newly independent country emerging out of colonial domination that was known today as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the three times that the United Nations deployed in that country, the mission always began with Chapter VI-and-a-Half mandates, only to see them becoming more Chapter VII mandates later. Given the circumstances, the decision to deploy to MONUSCO a force intervention brigade was therefore both appropriate and feasible.

    HAMADE BAMBARA (Burkina Faso) said the upsurge of crises and conflicts around the world had posed new challenges in the management of peacekeeping operations, including in the areas of protection of civilians and respect for human rights. Constant attention needed to be paid to mandates, concerns of troop- and police-contributing countries, and security of personnel. The African Union and regional organizations had made remarkable contributions to peacekeeping in the continent, which underscored the need for further coordination with the United Nations. With 2,000 troops, Burkina Faso ranked sixteenth among contributor nations, he said, adding that the country had been contributing to training of penitentiary personnel.

    GASTON KIMPOLO (Congo) said that the Committee was the appropriate framework to discuss current and future challenges of peacekeeping operations, such as the need to focus on the safety of peacekeepers and civilian populations, discuss the management of post-conflict situation and increase the reimbursement rate for troop-contributing countries. Troop contributors should be involved in the preparation, planning, decision-making and evaluation of the missions in which they served. Congo had demonstrated its commitment to peace by its participation in MINUSCA and by hosting reconciliation talks on the crisis in the Central African Republic. He reiterated his country's commitment to work with the Committee for the implementation of peace worldwide.

    NGUYEN PHUONG NGA (Viet Nam), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement and ASEAN, said her country had joined the community of troop-contributed countries last June by sending two peacekeepers to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The Viet Nam Peacekeeping Centre had been established to coordinate the training, preparation and deployment of future peacekeepers. In the face of the evolving nature of conflicts, peacekeeping operations had constantly expanded in size, mandates and complexity. Their success required strict adherence to the purposes and principles of the Charter and universally recognized guidelines, including respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference. Sustainable peace and stability could be best achieved by addressing the root causes of conflict on the basis of dialogue, reconciliation and peaceful settlement of disputes. Stressing that new risks were emerging with complex and multifaceted dimensions, she said Viet Nam looked forward to the upcoming comprehensive review announced by the Secretary-General.

    OLIVIER NDUHUNGIREHE (Rwanda) associating with the Non-aligned Movement, said that as the fifth-largest troop contributor and the largest provider of female peacekeepers, Rwanda had a vested interest in the safety of the women and men in the field. The scale of United Nations peacekeeping today was enormous; peacekeepers faced complex, modern threats such as armed groups, transnational crime, and terrorist organizations. As a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the last two years, his country had shared its experience as a troop-contributing country. Witnessing first-hand how a United Nations Mission had failed to protect civilians, he reiterated that nothing mattered more that the protection of innocent lives. Proper equipment and pre-deployment training had a significant role in ensuring the safety and security of peacekeepers. It was critical to remedy delayed reimbursement of funds due troop- contributing countries. Rapid deployment and cooperation with regional organizations was crucial to peacekeepers’ ability to respond to crises. Given that the majority of the peacekeeping budget went towards addressing conflicts in Africa, Rwanda was determined to do its part to build up the continent’s capacity to respond to volatile crisis.

    MATEO ESTREME (Argentina), associating with Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said peacekeeping operations were constantly facing new challenges to which the United Nations had been adapting. The reality of peacekeeping operations today demonstrated the need for continuous deliberation on ways of improving efficiency. Welcoming the Secretary-General’s announcement of a comprehensive review, Argentina was awaiting the scope, terms and mandate, on which the effectiveness of the recommendations would rely. Diagnosing challenges was easier than identifying solutions, he said, adding that one of the key issues was that of use of force. Multinational forces should be devised based on consultations among all Member States in an effort to boost operational efficiency and safety. On use of new technologies, he said drones could prove useful provided they were used on a case-by-case basis in line with the principles of the Charter. If Member States were truly committed to strengthening peacekeeping operations, they should then also provide the financial resources required.

    IBRAHIMA SORY SYLLA (Senegal), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the work carried out by Blue Helmets deserved to be recognized for its true value. The traditional principles of peacekeeping operations — impartiality and the non-use of force — became inoperable in the current context of intra-State conflicts, non-state Actors, and violence that spared no one. Senegal’s contribution to peacekeeping was impressive, with more than 2,800 personnel deployed. Recognizing the important role of women in peacekeeping operations, he emphasized that their participation should be at all levels, while also welcoming the initiative to prevent and condemn sexual violence. Cooperation with troop contributing countries was essential, he said, noting the need to have robust and clearly defined mandates. Strengthen relations between the United Nations and the African Union, to support African peacekeeping operations, were also critical. Senegal appreciated the progress made in the reimbursement rates of troop contributing countries.

    ISRAEL NITZAN (Israel) said the global security landscape had shifted dramatically, especially in the Middle East, where violent extremists had waged a brutal war to challenge the existing regional and world order. As the violence in Syria sent shockwaves throughout the region, Israel, guided by its commitment to the United Nations mission, opened its gate and provided the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) safe harbour. He thanked the troop contributing countries that stepped forward and took part in maintaining the Organization’s strategic presence despite recurrent attacks on soldiers. Israel and the Jewish people had suffered too much in the past to be indifferent to the suffering of another people today, he said, adding that his country was one of the few providing direct humanitarian aid to victims of Syria’s civil war. Israel valued the efforts of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) as a stabilizing line, he said, adding that the relative calm in south Lebanon was deceptive while Hezbollah challenged resolution 1701 (2006).

    Raising a point of order, the representative of Syria said the Israeli speaker’s allegations had nothing to do with the issue of peacekeeping under discussion.

    The representative of Israel stated that since UNDOF was deployed in the area, his comments were relevant.

    Raising a point of order a second time, the representative of Syria stated that Israel’s representative was wasting the Committee’s time by persisting in irrelevant comments.

    To that, Israel’s representative said he was merely responding to comments made yesterday by Syria’s representative.

    ANTHONY BOSAH (Nigeria), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping operations needed to embrace innovative tools to deal with new challenges. The use of un-manned aerial vehicles was an innovation that could limit peacekeepers’ risks while expanding their capability to protect civilians in conflict zones. He supported the establishment of the expert panel on technology and innovation to look at areas where peacekeeping could use technology and encouraged more discussion among relevant United Nations bodies and troop and police contributing countries. The successes of women deployed in peacekeeping demonstrated the unique experiences and capability they brought to field operations. Yet women peacekeepers made up only 3 per cent of military peacekeepers and 9 per cent of United Nations police component. There was a need to go beyond isolated approaches by increasing women’s participation and integrating them into leadership positions. Nigeria welcomed Assembly resolution 68/281, which authorized an increase in troop reimbursement rates.

    HIROSHI ISHIKAWA (Japan) said that the United Nations peacekeeping tasks had evolved as contemporary operations became multidimensional. Reshaping the configuration of the elements within peacekeeping operations, special political missions, and United Nations country teams, as well as regional and bilateral support functions based on specific situations, would help achieve a better allocation of the limited financial and human resources. On strengthening peacekeeping operations, his country supported the ongoing initiative on military capability standards manuals. The need to become more active in training peacekeepers through bilateral, regional and triangular settings was important. The rapid deployment of military enablers was an urgent challenge; he also added that the lack of synchronicity between deployment and enablers had endangered several missions. His county was committed to providing support on operational training and promoting triangular partnership, and supported the United States-led initiative and the African peacekeeping rapid response partnership.

    ALHUSINE MOHAMMED SESAY (Sierra Leone), aligning with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the Blue Helmets underscored the world’s collective will and efforts to promote peace and stability. The Brahimi Report of 2000 provided a valuable assessment of peacekeeping operations of that period and its practical recommendations led to the improvements in such areas as justice, security sector reform and local institutional building. However, the nature and characteristics of crises continued to change amid challenges posed by organized crime, illegal trade in small arms and light weapons, human and drug trafficking and maritime piracy. He commended the Secretary-General’s responsive action to those evolving circumstances and expressed hope that the review would attend to the need for clear and realistic mandates and the provision of timely and adequate resources, as well as the enhancement of troop capabilities. The speedy response to the Ebola emergency, if maintained in future threats, gave hope and promise for the future of peacekeeping.

    AHMAT ALI ADOUM (Chad), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, and speaking in his national capacity, said peacekeeping operations had changed from traditional mission to multi-dimensional operations with increasingly complex tasks. His country welcomed the development of offensive operations such as MONUSCO and the rapid intervention brigade. Those initiatives had shown their effectiveness in the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the fight against M23. He added that peacekeeping operations of the African Union should have a mandate to impose peace and provide the Government in place with the support needed to maintain territorial integrity.

    In settling crises, he encouraged a deeper commitment between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, as well as a strong partnership with the African Union. The United Nations should take into account the demands of financing for African Union peacekeeping operations. The safety and security of all personal deployed was critical to effectively carrying out mandates. The need to strengthen peacekeeping operation to fight asymmetric threats was crucial, and he encouraged MINUSMA to find ways to protect its troops from such threats.

    MARJON V. KAMARA (Liberia), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said peacekeeping, since its inception, had contributed immensely to the maintenance of international peace and security. A comprehensive review was necessary to look back on achievements and strategize ways of deploying new tools to meet new challenges. In the event of inability by States to protect their people, the international community had a responsibility to do so. However, peacekeepers faced various threats, and there was a need for proper training and reimbursement, among other things. Continued interaction with regional organizations and within the United Nations was necessary in view of the emerging challenges. As a beneficiary of United Nations peacekeeping, Liberia remained grateful to the Organization and to all countries that provided personnel. In a small but important way, Liberia had contributed to peacekeeping by sending troops to Mali.

    NURAN NIYAZALIEV (Kyrgyzstan) said that experience had shown that peacekeeping operations had made a large contribution towards achieving lasting peace. He reiterated the importance of the principles of the Charter such as State sovereignty, non-interference and non-use of force.

    He welcomed the use of new technologies, but added that it needed to be studied further to ensure that it would be used in a balanced manner. Peacekeeping operations should be carried out to facilitate peace during a post-conflict period and lead to sustainable development. His country noted that protecting peacekeeping staff was crucial, and underscored the importance to maintain the highest medical standards to protect those in the field from diseases. His country would continue to work closely with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support.

    AISHATH SHAHULA (Maldives) said that, in its continuing its engagement with United Nations, her country had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May on Contributions to the United Nations Stand-by Arrangement System. That emphasized Maldives’ global commitment to peace and security as well as cooperation within the United Nations system. Over the next two years, military observers, as well as infantry from the Maldives, would be wearing the blue helmets abroad. The country’s defence force had longstanding experience in the protection and surveillance of its vast, open sea borders and would be a valued addition to the United Nations. The Maldives viewed peacekeeping as an integral part of the United Nations mandate, she said.

    HOSSEIN MALEKI (Iran), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said his country accorded priority to the safety and security of United Nations peacekeepers in the field in light of the worsening security situation prevailing in many field missions and condemned all attacks on personnel. The General Assembly had the primary role within the United Nations system in formulating concepts, policies and budgetary matters related to peacekeeping operations. The Committee on Peacekeeping Operations was the only forum mandated to review comprehensively the whole situation, discuss issues and policies, and make the best contribution in forming tailored responses to emerging issues. Emphasizing the importance of adherence to the Charter, he acknowledged the necessity of adopting new concepts and ideas to address emerging needs and demands. Those should be consistent with principles, guidelines and terminology governing the peacekeeping operations and agreed upon in the relevant intergovernmental negotiating process. Troop and police contributing countries should be given a greater role in the decision-making process, and peacekeeping should not be turned into peace enforcement. The use of force in a mission must under no circumstances jeopardize the strategic relations between the host country and the mission.


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