Daily Archives: February 16, 2017

Security Council 1988 Sanctions Committee Deletes One Individual from Its Sanctions List

On 16 February 2017, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1988 (2011) deleted the entry specified below from its List (the 1988 List) of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2255 (2015) adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.

Therefore, the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2255 (2015) no longer apply to the names set out below.

A. Individual

TAi.081  Name: 1: AHMADULLAH 2: na 3: na 4: na
Name (original script): احمد الله
Title: Qari Designation: Minister of Security (Intelligence) under the Taliban regime DOB: a) Approximately 1975 b) Approximately 1965 POB: a) Khogyani area, Qarabagh District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan b) Andar District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan Good quality a.k.a.: a) Ahmadulla b) Mohammad Ahmadullah Low quality a.k.a.: na Nationality: Afghan Passport no.: na National identification no.: na Address: na Listed on: 25 Jan. 2001 (amended on 3 Sep. 2003, 18 Jul. 2007, 21 Sep. 2007, 12 Apr. 2010, 29 Nov. 2011 ) Other information: Reportedly deceased in Dec. 2001. Belonged to Khogyani tribe. Review pursuant to Security Council resolution 1822 (2008) was concluded on 20 Jul. 2010.

The names of individuals and entities removed from the 1988 List pursuant to a decision by the Committee may be found in the “Press Release” section on the Committee’s website.  Other information about delisting may be found on the Committee’s website at www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/1988/materials/procedures_delisting.

The Consolidated United Nations Security Council Sanctions List is also updated following all changes made to the 1988 List.  An updated version of the Consolidated List is accessible via the following URL:  www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/un-sc-consolidated-list.

United Nations Conference to Negotiate Ban on Nuclear Weapons Holds First Organizational Meeting, Adopts Agenda for 2017 Substantive Session

The United Nations Conference to negotiate a nuclear-weapon ban elected its president today, and adopted — as orally revised — the draft provisional agenda for its four-week substantive session, to begin in March.

Holding its first organizational meeting, delegates decided that the substantive session of the United Nations Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination, would be held in New York from 27 to 31 March, and from 15 June to 7 July.

“This rapid pace is quite unprecedented and reflects the urgency that Member States attach to the need to realize progress in the area of nuclear disarmament,” said Thomas Markram, Secretary-General of the Conference.  In passing resolution 72/258 in December 2016, the General Assembly decided to convene such a conference in 2017.

Newly-elected Conference President Elayne Whyte Gómez (Costa Rica) asked delegates to be flexible given the length of the substantive session, adding that she was committed to leading inclusive, constructive discussions to shape a binding nuclear weapons convention.  Indeed, the Conference had resulted from a long struggle at the United Nations to establish a nuclear-weapon-free world, she said, stressing that resolution 71/258 had demonstrated the Organization’s commitment to that goal.

She appealed to delegates to commence work with a spirit of dialogue and flexibility in taking forward the mandate of that resolution to achieve as soon as possible a legally binding instrument, which would serve to strengthen the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Turning to the draft rules of procedure, the Conference considered a number of oral revisions.  Prior to holding informal consultations on the rules as a whole, it adopted a decision, as orally revised, on the participation of non-governmental organizations in the substantive session, whereby those groups wishing to participate should request to do so with the Conference President.  Delegates also took note of the draft timetable for the substantive session in March.

During the meeting, speakers, including India’s representative, expressed an overarching need to rid the world of nuclear weapons.  Thailand’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that as long as nuclear weapons remained, they posed a threat.  Their complete elimination was the only guarantee of their non-use, he said, reiterating his support for the Conference, which should be open to all States and civil society.  Summing up a general view, Guatemala’s delegate said “we have never been as close to negotiating such an instrument as we are now”.

Also speaking today were representatives of Iran, Netherlands, Egypt, Switzerland, Ecuador, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Syria, Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Malaysia, Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Venezuela, Algeria, Nicaragua and Bangladesh, as well as the State of Palestine.

The Conference will reconvene on 27 March to begin its substantive session.

News in Brief 16 February 2016 (PM)

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Fall army worm new pest affecting crops in Southern Africa. Photo © FAO/ Obert Maminimini

African countries unite to tackle crop pest infestation

Sixteen countries in east and southern Africa have agreed on taking action to boost their ability to manage emerging crop pests and livestock diseases.

That was the outcome of a three-day emergency meeting organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which wrapped up in Zimbabwe on Thursday.

It was held in response to a major infestation of fall armyworm, a type of caterpillar, that has affected at least seven countries.

FAO said the insect, mostly associated with the Americas, is a new threat in Southern Africa.

For example, nearly 90,000 hectares of maize in Zambia have been affected, forcing farmers to replant their crops.

Countries also stressed the need to deal with emerging transboundary livestock diseases such as bird flu, which could have a devastating impact on poultry production.

They have agreed to coordinate and manage preparedness and response activities, among other measures.

EU contribution supports WFP food and nutrition project in Tanzania

The European Union (EU) has contributed €9.5 million to support a food security and nutrition project in central Tanzania operated by the World Food Programme (WFP).

The project targets 40,000 people and also aims to reduce malnutrition rates.

WFP will use the funding for what it calls “an innovative programme” to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, especially young children during their key growth phase: that is, the period from conception to age two.

The project aims to improve knowledge on nutrition, dietary diversity and water, sanitation and hygiene practices.

Raising small-scale livestock will also be promoted, together with planting diverse crops and mobilizing villages to start small savings and loan groups.

Iraqi police complete mine action training

Fifteen Iraqi police officers have successfully completed a basic training course on mitigating the threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The four-week course and follow-up mentoring supports efforts to tackle this problem in areas of the country that have been retaken from extremists.

It was organized by the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and Iraq’s Ministry of Interior and funded by a contribution from the Japanese government.

UNMAS has trained 45 people in Iraq since last year.

The head of the training department in the country’s Interior Ministry, Major General Abdulkarim Hatim, said these courses “are contributing to the return of displaced families to their homes paving the way for necessary reconstruction and development projects.”

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’49”

South and Central Asia: Sri Lanka National Day Reception

(As Prepared for Delivery)

Thank you, Ambassador Kariyawasam, for that kind introduction, and for all the great work that you’ve done during your tenure as Ambassador in Washington to strengthen the ties between our two countries.

It’s my great honor to be here tonight to celebrate Sri Lanka’s National Day with such a fine gathering of friends and colleagues.

On National Day, Sri Lanka and its friends around the world commemorate the country’s peaceful path to independence just 69 years ago. And while Sri Lanka may be relatively young – as nations go – the United States and Sri Lanka are old friends.

In fact, American seafarers sailed to Ceylon as early as 1789. Through the early 1800s, American ships transported ice from New England to Galle harbor, where we established formal diplomatic and trade relations in 1850 with the appointment of John Black as our first commercial agent. During our civil war, Ceylon exported graphite that the Union used in foundry crucibles to make steel, and later for the pencils that schoolchildren used in their grammar books.

Today, Sri Lanka has the potential to become the next Asian Tiger. It boasts one of the most strategic maritime locations in the entire Indo-Pacific: at the nautical crossroads of Africa, South Asia, and East Asia, with the Strait of Hormuz to its west and the Strait of Malacca to its east. Forty percent of all seaborne oil passes through the former and half the world’s merchant fleet capacity sails through the latter, making the sea lanes off of Sri Lanka’s southern coast some of the world’s most important economic arteries.

In the 21st century, a country’s most important economic asset is its people, and Sri Lanka can harness its ambitious and entrepreneurial population to achieve great things. That’s why the United States is supporting Sri Lanka’s small- and medium-sized enterprises, helping to create jobs, promote investment, and improve the business climate. And this work isn’t just good for Sri Lanka; it’s also good for our economy here, because a larger and wealthier Sri Lankan middle class means more customers for U.S. products and services.

Those efforts are buttressed by our work with Sri Lanka’s economic ministries to promote competitive and transparent procurement and with Sri Lanka’s law enforcement agencies to help root out corruption. We also launched the Partnership Dialogue last year, which allows us to cooperate like never before on issues such as governance, human rights, economic development, women’s empowerment, clean energy, security, and the environment.

All of this cooperation wouldn’t be possible without the democratic progress Sri Lanka has made and its renewed commitment to reconciliation, accountable government, and freedom of expression.

The United States will continue to stand with you as your friend and your partner. While our level of cooperation today is unprecedented, there is always more progress to be made. Sri Lanka can become a leader in contributing to peacekeeping operations across the globe, promoting human rights abroad, and ensuring maritime security throughout the region.

On that last point, I’d like to conclude with a couple of quick stories that demonstrate how quickly our strengthened bonds have paid off, to real benefit.

Last September, a sailor on the USS Hopper, one of our guided-missile destroyers, needed emergency medical attention – but the Hopper was over 160 miles from shore and had no air assets available. Our ship requested assistance from the Sri Lankan navy and began sailing toward the island as fast as possible. Two Sri Lankan Navy fast patrol boats met the Hopper offshore and sped the sailor to the mainland for treatment. The Hopper’s commanding officer reported that the “trust and interoperability” between our navies, established through exercises and exchanges, had saved a sailor’s life. For that, we are most grateful.

Coincidentally, the second story also involves the USS Hopper, which last month sailed into Colombo for a five-day port visit. Sailors from the Hopper and the Sri Lankan Navy shared tactical training for rescue operations and ship inspections at sea – and also enjoyed a few games of soccer. But before the sailors left, they traveled up to Galle and visited an old graveyard, where they cleaned up the newly-discovered gravesite of none other than John Black – who over 160 years ago became the first U.S. official to represent the United States in Sri Lanka.

As the friendship between our nations continues to grow, I have no doubt there will be many more such stories that show how our relationship helps us pursue not just our common interests in trade and security, but also our common values of democracy and liberty. Thank you, and I wish all our Sri Lankan friends a very happy and memorable National Day.

Written question – Bird flu epidemic in Europe – E-000485/2017

The number of cases of bird flu reported in various EU Member States has risen in recent months. Fourteen countries are now affected and reporting infection in domestic poultry and the wild bird population.

Specifically, the strain of bird flu spreading in farms in the south of France and Hungary, in particular, is subtype H5N8.

In Germany, approximately 7 000 turkeys have been slaughtered in recent weeks and the virus has been found in around 500 wild birds.

The virus has also spread rapidly in poultry farms in countries outside the EU, such as Nigeria where 3.5 million chickens have fallen prey to the virus.

1.What action will the Commission take to restrict as far as possible infection with the H5N8 virus;

2.What action will it take concerning controls on meat imported into EU Member States.