Daily Archives: August 18, 2017

New Permanent Representative of New Zealand Presents Credentials

(Based on information provided by the Protocol and Liaison Service)

The new Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, Craig John Hawke, presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General António Guterres today.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Hawke was Principal Adviser on small island developing States in the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York.

Mr. Hawke held several senior Government positions, including Acting Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington (November 2014 to February 2015); Deputy Secretary for International Development and Head of the New Zealand Aid Programme (April 2013 to November 2014); Chief Operating Officer of the International Development Group (2012 to March 2013); and Director of Partnerships in the Humanitarian and Multilateral Division of the International Development Group (2009 to 2012).

Between September 2003 and 2008, he was Director of the Pacific Group of the New Zealand Agency for International Development, and from August 2001 to November 2003, Deputy Director of the Asia, Africa and Latin America Development Cooperation Division, also within the Foreign Ministry.

Mr. Hawke’s diplomatic career included postings as Deputy High Commissioner in Samoa from June 1998 to October 2001; Private Secretary (Trade) to the Minister for International Trade in the New Zealand Parliament from June 1996 to May 1998; and First Secretary at the New Zealand Embassy in the Republic of Korea from April 1993 to June 1996.

He is the holder of a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and a master’s in social sciences in economics, both from Waikato University in New Zealand.

Mr. Hawke is married and has two children.

Secretary-General Tells Humanitarian Day ‘Stand Together’ Event of His Abiding Shock, as High Commissioner for Refugees, at Rising Targeting of Civilians

It is very difficult for me not to remember at this moment my more than 10 years of work with UNHCR [Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees], one of the central United Nations humanitarian agencies, and to say how shocked I always was when seeing that more and more in the conflicts we were witnessing, trying to protect people fleeing from those conflicts, how more and more civilians were a target.

The protection of civilians was difficult to implement, while more and more international and humanitarian law and human rights law were not observed.  Even worse, how more and more humanitarians became a target, and the United Nations flag was not respected as a symbol of impartiality in the context of those conflicts.

To see United Nations humanitarians, to see NGO humanitarians, to see other organizations, humanitarian workers, targeted is something that was, indeed, horrifying.  And to see some of my colleagues losing their lives in the line of duty has been one of the most horrible experiences I had in my life.

So this symbol — Not A Target — has a very special meaning for me.

We are standing here together to mark World Humanitarian Day, in solidarity with all the civilians around the world who are caught up in conflict.  We are here to tell the world: Civilians in conflict are Not A Target.

Protecting civilians in conflict is a fundamental tenet of international humanitarian law.  Yet in war zones all over the world, parties to conflict are flouting their obligations, routinely killing civilians in direct and indiscriminate attacks, and showing contempt for human life.  Armed conflicts are tearing communities and countries apart, forcing record numbers of people from their homes to rely on humanitarian aid for their survival and protection.

The health of humanitarian workers who set out to aid, heal and protect these people are themselves deliberately targeted for attack.  Staff are killed, wounded and detained; aid and medical supplies are looted and obstructed; health clinics and hospitals are damaged and destroyed.  As war is waged in towns and cities, we see children pulled from the rubble of their bombed schools; families buried in the remains of their homes; markets, places of worship and vital infrastructure reduced to dust.

Women and girls, as well as men and boys, are subjected to horrific sexual violence with no recourse to treatment or to justice.  In Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan and elsewhere, a generation of children have known nothing but conflict for their entire lives.

Every civilian has a right to safety and protection.  We must all do everything we can to deliver on this right.  We must enhance respect for international humanitarian and human rights law.  We must protect humanitarian and medical missions and prioritize the protection of civilians in United Nations peace operations.  And we must prevent forced displacement and respect the rights of people who have fled violence by pursuing durable solutions for all those who have been displaced, both inside their own countries and across borders.

For the millions of people caught in conflict, struggling to find food, water, and safe shelter; who have been driven from their homes with little hope of return; whose schools have been bombed; and who await life-saving medical care — we cannot afford to fail.  As we mark World Humanitarian Day, I invite each of you to stand together in solidarity with civilians in conflict, by lending your voice to our campaign: Civilians are Not A Target.

Thank you.

Security Council Isil (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Adds One Name to Its Sanctions List

On 18 August 2017, the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida approved the addition of the entry specified below to its ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2368 (2017) adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.

A. Individual associated with ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida

QDi.410 Name: 1: SHANE 2: DOMINIC 3: CRAWFORD 4: na

Title: na Designation: na DOB: 22 Feb. 1986 POB: Mount Hope, Trinidad and Tobago Good quality a.k.a.: na Low quality a.k.a.:a) Asadullah b) Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi c) Asad Nationality: Trinidad and Tobago Passport no:a) Trinidad and Tobago number TA959547, issued on 19 Nov. 2013 (issued by Immigration Division of Trinidad and Tobago, expiration date 18 Nov. 2018) b) Trinidad and Tobago number T1071839, issued on 8 Nov. 2004 (issued by Immigration Division of Trinidad and Tobago, expiration date 7 Nov. 2014) National identification no:a) Trinidad and Tobago National Identification Card 19860222007, issued on 16 Jun. 2011 (expiration date 16 Jun. 2016) b) Trinidad and Tobago Birth Certificate B394445, issued on 23 Jan. 2007 c) Trinidad and Tobago Driver’s Permit 892124B, issued on 30 Aug. 2007 (expiration date 30 Aug. 2010) Address:a) Syrian Arab Republic (as at May 2014) b) Reyhanli, Hatay, Turkey (previous location from Nov. 2013 to May 2014) c) 349 Dass Branch Trace, Dass Trace, Enterprise Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago (from birth until 27 Nov. 2013) d) LP# 41 Ballisier Road, Smith Field Lands, Wallerfield, County of St. George East, Trinidad and Tobago (alternative location as at Sep. 2011) Listed on: 18 Aug. 2017 Other information: English language propagandist for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), listed as Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) (QDe.115). Wanted in Trinidad and Tobago for possession of ammunition and firearms and receiving stolen goods. Physical description: eye colour: brown; hair colour: dark; complexion: light brown; build: medium; height: 174cm; weight: 64kg; speaks English, Arabic.

In accordance with paragraph 55 of resolution 2368 (2017), the Committee has made accessible on its website the narrative summary of reasons for listing of the above name, at the following URL: https://www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/1267/aq_sanctions_list/summaries.

The Committee’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List is updated regularly on the basis of relevant information provided by Member States and international and regional organizations.  An updated List is accessible on the Committee’s website at the following URL:  https://www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/1267/aq_sanctions_list.

The Consolidated United Nations Security Council Sanctions List is also updated following all changes made to the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.  An updated version of the Consolidated List is accessible via the following URL: https://www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/un-sc-consolidated-list.

Deplorable, Man-Made Catastrophe Escalating in Yemen, Humanitarian Chief Tells Security Council, Urging Immediate Funding of Cash-Strapped Relief Plan

Iran-backed Rebels Blocking Aid Delivery, Deputy Prime Minister Stresses, Pledging Airport Reopening Provided Government Forces Control Security

The “deplorable, avoidable and completely man-made catastrophe” in Yemen continued to worsen and ravage the lives of millions of people facing famine, the world’s largest ever single-year cholera outbreak, daily deprivation and injustice, the United Nations humanitarian affairs chief told the Security Council today.

Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said it grieved him that in the last two years, despite his best efforts, he had been unable to make any significant improvement in the war-torn country.  “On the contrary, the Yemini people’s suffering has relentlessly intensified,” he added.  Some 17 million Yemenis did not know if and where they would get their next meal, nearly 7 million were facing the threat of famine, and 16 million lacked access to water, he continued, also adding:  “We must remember that these figures represent human faces and enormous suffering.”

Yemen’s catastrophe was the direct result of deliberate policies, tactics, and actions of the parties and their big, powerful proxies, he said.  Only 45 per cent of health facilities remained functioning and some 1.2 million public employees, including health workers and teachers, had been paid erratically or not at all since last October.  “This human tragedy is deliberate,” he stressed.

The war continued to be vicious and brutal, with frequent disregard for international humanitarian law, he said.  In 2017, the number of air strikes per month was three times higher than in 2016, and monthly reports of armed clashes were up by more than 50 per cent.  Earlier this month, an air strike in Sa’ada had killed 12 civilians, including six children in their home.  “Investigations continue, though we know already that only the Saudi coalition has the means to carry out aerial attacks,” he said, stressing that in the absence of accountability mechanisms, the violence continued to intensify.

Expressing concern that the Government and Saudi-led military coalition continued to unilaterally deny or excessively delay entry to vessels carrying essential cargo, he called for the reopening of the Sana’a airport, among other points of entry, and for the safe movement of humanitarian staff.  Despite extraordinary challenges, more than 120 aid partners had assisted 5.9 million people.  The cholera response had established 222 cholera treatment centres and 926 oral rehydration points across the country.  Despite those achievements, partners continued to struggle with funding shortages; only 39 per cent of the revised requirements of $2.3 billion had been met.  He urged Member States and other partners to contribute to the humanitarian response plan, “please and now.”

He called on the Member States to pressure parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and advocated for civil servants across the country to be paid immediately.  Strengthening accountability was essential, he added, welcoming the creation of an independent body to investigate alleged human rights violations.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, said Yemen was going through a critical and agonizing period.  “In brief, death looms for Yemenis by air, land and sea,” he said, including military clashes in several governorates, hostilities along the Yemeni-Saudi border and elsewhere and a Government offensive — backed by the United Arab Emirates and United States special forces — in Shabwa targeting Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula fighters, in addition to uncontrolled migration through the Gulf of Aden and unprecedented levels of disease and epidemics.

Reviewing his recent visits to Egypt, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he said there was still consensus on the need to reach a political solution and to support the United Nations-sponsored peace process.  However, certain parties were still taking advantage of internal divisions and putting personal interests ahead of the need for peace.  With political tensions undermining State institutions, immediate measures were needed to prevent the humanitarian situation from deteriorating and save Yemen from further violence.

He said the parties were being urged to agree to measures that would, among other things, secure the flow of humanitarian aid, payment of salaries to civil servants and control the smuggling of weapons.  The proposal also called for the safe and uninterrupted functioning of Hodeida that would be handed over to a committee of respected Yemeni security and economic figures, working under United Nations oversight and guidance.  In parallel, efforts were afoot to reopen Sana’a airport for commercial flights, he said, adding that roads to Taiz for humanitarian and commercial cargo must be reopened immediately.  He said he met a few days ago with the President of Yemen and received a letter in July from Ansar Allah (Houthis) and the General People’s Congress reaffirming the need to build on what was discussed in the Kuwait talks.  In that regard, he proposed a meeting that would take place in a third country.

International support for a full and comprehensive solution and for the efforts of the United Nations was unwavering, he said.  What was missing was for the parties to the conflict to demonstrate their intention to end the war and put the national interest above personal gains.  Blaming the United Nations or the international community would not secure peace, nor would posturing for the media.  “It is no secret that there are many merchants of war in Yemen who do not want peace,” he said, pledging to continue to work with human rights groups, women’s groups and civil society to secure safety and stability for the Yemeni people.

The representative of Uruguay said parties to the conflict must resume peace talks without delay, knowing that they must make concessions.  Countries with influence on the parties must cooperate as well.  Emphasizing the plight of women and children in Yemen, he said the Council had the means and the power to set up an impartial and transparent investigative mechanism into violations of international humanitarian law.  Recalling the presidential statement issued by the Council on 9 August, he appealed for an immediate cessation of hostilities that would pave the way to humanitarian assistance and political negotiations.

The representative of Bolivia said the situation in Yemen was getting worse in an alarming fashion while the international community remained indifferent.  He expressed alarm at the military targeting of homes and public spaces, as well as the situation of migrants from the Horn of Africa.  Parties involved in the conflict must comply with resolution 2140 (2014) and commit to a sustained dialogue process that would respect Yemen’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, he stressed.

Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Yemen, said the humanitarian and health situation in Yemen was dire and complex, also adding that:  “We have never called for war.  War was imposed on us by a rebel gang.”  Citing his country’s participation in Geneva and Kuwait talks, he said that the participation of “coup masters” was their way to push forward their criminal plot to destabilize Yemen.  Iran sought to destroy the Yemeni Government and replace it with recklessness and chaos but Yemen would continue to reject such tyranny.

The Government had made considerable reconstruction efforts and had improved security and health sectors under the leadership of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he continued.  Food was available in the markets but militia continued to block access and pillage funds from the central bank.  The war had become lucrative for militia while the Yemeni people continued to suffer from famine, die from preventable diseases.  Houthi rebels were earning millions, he stressed, also emphasizing:  “Why would they stop a war they are profiting from?”

Reiterating that it was the Houthi militia that continued to prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid and medical supplies to people in need, he said that he appreciated international appeals to open Sana’a airport.  Despite the many security challenges, Yemen would open the airport on the condition that Government forces would be in control of its security.

The people of Taiz were being shelled, their city destroyed, and its mosques and hospitals obliterated to rubble, he said.  More than 4,000 had been killed in Taiz alone and yet there were no calls from the international community to restore peace.  “It used to be the city of culture, education and love,” he said, appealing to the conscience of the international community and stressing the need to lift the siege on Taiz.

While the Yemeni Government was willing to make concessions however difficult to restore peace, the Security Council and international community had to send a decisive message to the “coup masters” and urge them to participate in negotiations in good faith and with an open mind.  The Houthi coalition rejected the arrangements proposed by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, he added, also emphasizing:  “This gang would not be able to reject such proposals if it was not receiving aid from Iran.”

Yemen’s Government would continue to fight terrorism and combat Al-Qaida militarily, culturally and intellectually, he said.  A minority — one sect — was seeking to control all of Yemen; such marginalization was unacceptable.  The reality was that militias had turned a blind eye to peace.

“We do not accept extortion and rewarding the militia for their crimes,” he emphasized.  Yemen was working to address the humanitarian crisis, the cholera outbreak and facilitate the delivery of treatment and humanitarian aid.  He urged States to fulfil their pledge commitments and stressed the need to address the root causes of the crisis, restore legitimacy and State institutions and save the country from being kidnapped by Tehran militia.  “Stay with us,” he told the Council.

Speakers today also condemned the terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, expressed deepest condolences to the victims’ families and wished speedy recovery to the injured.

The meeting began at 10:12 a.m. and ended at 11:23 a.m.

No One Winning, We’re All Losing, Secretary-General Says in Humanitarian Day Message, Citing Record Number of Civilians Displaced by Crises

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on World Humanitarian Day, to be observed in New York on 19 August:

Every year on World Humanitarian Day, we shine a spotlight on the millions of civilians around the world whose lives have been caught up in conflict.  On this day, we also take a moment to honour the brave health and aid workers who are targeted or obstructed as they set out to help people in need, and pay tribute to the Government employees, members of civil society and representatives of international organizations and agencies who risk their lives to provide humanitarian aid and protection.

Despite our efforts, civilians, including medical and humanitarian workers, continue to bear the brunt of intense conflicts around the world.  Hospitals and supplies are attacked, looted and obstructed by fighting parties.  In cities like Juba and Aleppo, housing, markets, schools and vital civilian infrastructure have been destroyed.

In Yemen, war has turned the country into an incubator for a lethal cholera epidemic that has killed more than 9,000 people.  Health services and water and sanitation infrastructure are collapsing under the strain.  In Iraq, Syria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and elsewhere, thousands of women and girls urgently need protection, support and treatment for traumatic sexual violence and abuse.  The result of these crises is the record number of people — more than 65 million — forced to flee their homes.

No one is winning these wars.  We are all losing.  This year, on World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations and our partners are calling on all global leaders to do everything in their power to protect people caught up in conflict.  Let the world know: Civilians are not a target.

I invite you to stand with us in solidarity with civilians in conflict, and with the health and aid workers who risk their lives to help them.  Get involved with our online campaign at worldhumanitarianday.org.  On World Humanitarian Day, let us commit to doing everything in our power to protect women, girls, men and boys in the line of fire, and to give them hope for a better future.