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UN Daily News
Monday, 11 April 2016

Issue DH/7134

In the headlines:
• New UN report focuses on green, inclusive

• Yemen: UN officials welcome cessation of hostilities

industrialization in Africa

• Ban highlights need to fight ‘genocide ideology,’ as
UN reflects on 1994 atrocities in Rwanda

on Population and Development told

• UN survey finds displaced Palestinian families in

• UN agencies step up joint response to help

Gaza Strip live in desperate conditions

drought-affected northern Somalia

• At UN peace operations review, Ban urges change
of mindset in response to new challenges

• Violence, use of teargas at Greek border 'matter of
great worry' – UN refugee agency

• PODCAST: actress Gillian Anderson presents film at
UN on human trafficking

• Data 'essential' to 2030 Agenda, UN Commission

• UN food aid reaches besieged Syrian city of Deir
Ezzor by air

• UN envoy urges Libyan House of Representatives
to vote on national unity government

• Yemen: UN official expresses hope warring parties
abide by cessation of hostilities

More stories inside

New UN report focuses on green, inclusive industrialization in
Africa
11 April – Welcoming the launch of the latest economic report on
Africa, a senior United Nations official today highlighted that African
countries should leapfrog “business as usual,” carbon-intensive
methods of growth and instead pursue a pathway to green
industrialization.
“The report strongly illustrates that pursuing green industrialization
would greatly benefit the continent’s economy, identifying ways in
which the use of new business models and green technologies can
galvanize sustainable and inclusive growth, the creation of green jobs,
and greater global competitiveness, all while protecting and increasing
the productivity of Africa’s natural resources,” Maged Abdelaziz, the
Wind turbine farm in Tunisia. Photo: World Bank/Dana Smillie
UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa, said at
the New York launch of the report at an event co-organized by his
Office and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Entitled Greening Africa’s Industrialization, the theme of this year’s report is said to go beyond simply showing the
importance of Africa’s industrialization; it also emphasizes the importance of how Africa industrializes.

For information media not an official record

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“The report’s country case studies provide concrete examples of successful greening activities across key sectors,” Mr.
Abdelaziz explained. “The innovative modelling scenarios used to evaluate the impact of ‘business as usual’ versus the
‘greening’ approach help make clear that green industrialization is the best way forward for the continent’s efforts to achieve
inclusive and sustainable structural economic transformation.”
He also informed delegations that the report provides concrete recommendations of effective policy frameworks and actions
that will enable African Governments to translate these aims into tangible results.
Additionally, the UN official emphasized that one of its greatest strengths is its timing: “2016 marks a particularly important
time in Africa’s development, as the continent embarks on the implementation of the major global and regional development
agendas adopted last year,” he said, referring to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa
Action Agenda on financing for development.
The 2030 Agenda its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for sustainable industrialization, universal access
to sustainable modern energy, ending hunger through sustainable agriculture, urgent action to combat climate change and its
impacts, and the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources.
Mr. Abdelaziz further insisted that the timing of the report is “powerful” because Africa is still in the early stages of its
industrialization: “As such, African countries have the ability to, as the report says, ‘get it right the first time’ by capitalizing
on their current low-carbon position, thus ‘leapfrogging’ past the mistakes made by their predecessors,” he underlined.
Finally, he said the key to achieving green industrialization in Africa lies in investment –investment in green infrastructure,
including sustainable city infrastructure and climate resilient roads, bridges and dams, as well as investment in green
technology and renewable energy, and investment in education at all levels, particularly in science and technology.
For his part, ECA Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes said there is a golden opportunity for Africa. “The cost of producing
energy from renewable sources is now equal in cost to production from fossil fuels,” he said.
In addition, he noted that every other region that industrialized had gone through the fossil fuel route. So another golden
opportunity is that Africa is set to be the continent with the largest demographic expansion; if the types of consumption
partners that are in place are already associated with a green economy, “you will have gain that others will have to go a long
way to catch.”
Meanwhile, at a launch event at UN offices in Ethiopia last week, Abdalla Hamdok, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the
Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said the continent can define and design its own pathway to industrialization
based on its own realities, and learning from history and experiences of other regions.
Addressing close to 200 delegates gathered to witness the launch, Mr. Hamdok said the continent can define and design its
own pathway to industrialization based on its own realities, and learning from history and experiences of other regions.
On 20 April, the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa will be co-organizing, together with the African Union
Commission and the Government of Sweden, a full day High-level Forum on the theme “The Africa We Want in 2030, 2063
and Beyond.” The Forum is expected to focus on the synergies between Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda, as well as the
role of Africa’s development partners in helping the continent achieve the complementary aims of both agendas.

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Ban highlights need to fight ‘genocide ideology,’ as UN reflects
on 1994 atrocities in Rwanda
11 April – At an event marking the International Day of
Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, United Nations
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the only way to prevent
genocide and other “egregious” violations of human rights is to
acknowledge shared responsibility and commit to shared action to
protect those at risk.

Rwandan refugees, who fled the genocide, returning in July 1994 from
Goma, Zaire, (now the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC). UN
Photo/John Isaac

“It is essential that Governments, the judiciary and civil society stand
firm against hate speech and those who incite division and violence,”
Mr. Ban told participants attending the commemoration at the UN
General Assembly, this year focused on “Fighting Genocide
Ideology.”

“The history of Rwanda teaches us an essential lesson,” he continued.
“While the capacity for the deepest evil resides in all societies, so too
do the qualities of understanding, generosity and reconciliation. Let us nurture these hallmarks of our common humanity to
help build a life of dignity and security for all.”
The UN estimates that in 1994 more than 800,000 people were systematically murdered throughout Rwanda. The vast
majority were Tutsi, but moderate Hutu, Twa and others were also targeted.
“In remembering the victims, we should all be inspired by the survivors’ courage,” the UN chief declared. “They have
showed that reconciliation is possible, even after such appalling crimes.”
He paid a special recognition to three survivors attending the event to share their stories and messages, including Frida
Umuhoza, who insisted that more action from the international community is needed to ensure that it stands by its words
when it says “never again” to genocide.

UN agencies step up joint response to help drought-affected
northern Somalia
11 April – The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the
World Food Programme (WFP) are intensifying joint efforts to assist
communities in northern Somalia coping with a severe drought
exacerbated by El Niño conditions.
The two agencies are providing an integrated package of life-saving
humanitarian assistance to halt the deteriorating food security and
rising malnutrition in the affected areas of Somaliland and Puntland,
where 385,000 need immediate assistance, while another 1.3 million
are on the brink of slipping into a deeper crisis if rains continue to fail
and aid is too slow to come.
In Somaliland and Puntland, close to two million people are affected
by the drought amid the El Niño phenomenon. WFP/Petterik Wiggers

UN News Centre • www.un.org/news

The aid package includes food assistance, nutrition programmes, and
health services, as well as support to help communities access safe

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water and improve sanitation and hygiene conditions.
“The communities have lived through four successive poor rainy seasons, and their ability to cope with the drought has been
stretched to the limit,” said UNICEF Representative for Somalia, Steven Lauwerier. “Our concerted efforts are needed now
to save the lives of tens of thousands of children and their families. Any delay from the international community will put
their lives further at risk of hunger and disease,” he added
In addition to increased malnutrition cases and enrolment in nutrition programmes in the most affected areas, malnutritionrelated deaths have been reported in areas such as Awdal region bordering Ethiopia.
In response, UNICEF is strengthening services at community level, deploying joint mobile health and nutrition teams to
reach pastoral and other hard-to-reach groups. Malnourished children will receive an essential package of primary health
care interventions, including emergency immunization. UNICEF is also providing 50,000 households with access to safe
water via vouchers in the affected areas, and have repaired seven boreholes.
For its part, WFP has provided food assistance and nutrition support for 147,000 vulnerable people in the areas worst
affected by the drought, and WFP continues to provide food or cash-based assistance to help families make it through the
dry season.
“The people of Somalia know all too well the dangers of drought, but a drought does not have to mean a disaster – the world
must recognize that we can save lives if we act in time,” said WFP Country Director Laurent Bukera. “It is absolutely
critical that we are able to sustain assistance to the people affected by this crisis, so we can stem the damage of
undernutrition for mothers and children before it has lifelong consequences.”
Together, the two agencies provide specialized nutrition support to prevent and treat malnutrition in pregnant women,
breastfeeding mothers and young children.
Emergency health supplies have also been pre-positioned in regional hospitals, health facilities and with partners to support
the response.
In Puntland, UNICEF pre-positioned nutrition supplies, including 500 cartons of BP-5 – a high energy biscuit. In
Somaliland, 15,000 cartons of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) were provided to the Ministry of Health.
Keep children in schools
With thousands of children at risk of dropping out of school due to the drought, the two agencies are also working together
to keep children and teachers in schools, and prevent exposure of children to the risks of family separation, early marriage,
child labour and abuse. This is particularly pertinent as families continue to be forced into migration, in search of food, aid,
and pasture for their livestock.
The UN has appealed for $105 million to provide humanitarian and livelihood assistance to some 1.7 million people, most
of them pastoralists and agro-pastoralists who make up three quarters of the population in Somaliland and Puntland.

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At UN peace operations review, Ban urges change of mindset in
response to new challenges
11 April – Ensuring that United Nations peace operations effectively
confront and respond to both current and future global peace and
security challenges requires sustained efforts to bolster progress
throughout 2016 and beyond, including the right processes, strong
partnerships and clear political strategies, Secretary-General Ban Kimoon said today.

Speaking this morning at an event at UN Headquarters in New York
on “UN Peace Operations Review,” Mr. Ban stressed that the
sustained attention of Member States will be critical to maintain
momentum and bring about change in how the Organization addresses
peace and security challenges.
“Change will not come overnight,” the UN chief said, urging Member
States to actively consider recommendations directed to them.

UNAMID peacekeepers from Rwanda ready to go on patrol at the
Zam Zam UNAMID base, North Darfur, Sudan. Photo:
UNAMID/Albert Gonzalez Farran

“More than that, I urge your ownership of this entire agenda. We cannot expect to effectively respond to today’s peace and
security challenges with yesterday’s mindset and capacities,” he added.
Stressing that the number of civil wars has tripled in the past 10 years and that humanitarian needs have reached $20 billion,
Mr. Ban said there has also been a qualitative change in the nature of the problems the world faces.
“There is a collective sense that our toolbox has not kept pace with the emerging and increasingly complex challenges we
face in peace and security,” he said. “Conflict is increasingly transnational and difficult to resolve through the traditional
tools at our disposal,” he added.
The Secretary-General noted that Member States have before them a set of “thoughtful and comprehensive” reviews that
point the way towards a more effective UN response to peace and security challenges. These include the report of his Highlevel Independent Panel on Peace Operations, the report of the Advisory Group of Experts on Peacebuilding, and the
Global Study on women, peace and security.
“Our challenge is to bring these proposals to life. That is my responsibility as Secretary-General. It is your responsibility as
Member States and partners, as host or neighbouring countries, as members of the Security Council and as contributors of
troops, police and financing,” Mr. Ban said.
Mr. Ban said that while “good progress” has been made in the past six months, Member States must also be “clear-eyed
about the political, financial and organizational challenges ahead.”
In that regard, he noted that the report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations includes a number of
messages. Among them are placing political solutions at the centre of the work of peace operations, working towards a more
flexible spectrum of peace operations, strengthening partnerships and ensuring more field-focused and people-centred
operations.
Implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations
The UN chief said that in his implementation report of September 2015, he had put forward a practical agenda stressing
three main action areas: a renewed focus on conflict prevention and mediation; more effective partnerships, in particular
with regional organizations; and strengthened planning and conduct of UN peace operations.
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In the six months since the report was issued, almost 90 per cent of the actions put forward were at “various stages of
implementation,” Mr. Ban said. Some of the measures are complex and will require considerable time to implement, while
others, such as proposed restructuring, he will encourage his successor to consider.
“I see progress in efforts to better prioritize mandates and to implement mandates on the protection of civilians,” Mr. Ban
said. “But when the lives of men, women and children lie in the balance, political consensus must be crafted on a case-bycase basis to enable us to respond most effectively.”
Outlining areas which he believes are “critical to success,” the UN chief stressed the importance of revitalizing the
preventive efforts of the UN system and deepening political support from Member States. He noted that he is also
committed to bringing situations of concern to the attention of the Security Council “where swift responses may save lives
as well as resources.”
Deeper engagement with regional partners is also a must, including more regular consultations and more predictable ways of
working together, Mr. Ban said. In that vein, the UN will seek to further enhance dialogue between troop- and policecontributing countries, the Security Council and the Secretariat.
The UN chief also stressed that “rooting out” sexual exploitation and abuse is another priority, and that he will continue to
“shine a spotlight on this scourge.”
“I know you share my horror and disgust at allegations that troops committed unspeakable acts against those they were sent
to protect,” he said.
“My constant and loud advocacy must be matched by Member States who alone have the power to swiftly bring to justice
those who have committed crimes and to impose the strongest possible disciplinary and criminal sanctions. This is essential
to restoring trust in the invaluable institution of peacekeeping, and providing justice and healing to the victims and affected
communities,” he added.
In that regard, he said that the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2272 is an important step in collective efforts to
prevent and combat sexual exploitation and abuse, and the damage it causes.
The Secretary-General also emphasized that greater progress is needed to enhance the participation of women in peace
operations and in mission leadership, and in enhancing uniformed capabilities and performance, and improving field
support. Moreover, he said that political solutions and strategies must be placed at the centre of the Organization’s peace and
security efforts, including the work of UN peace operations.
“These missions need strong political support and backing, built on a united Security Council and strategic engagement with
partners that have influence with the parties,” the UN chief said.
“Peace operations can and have succeeded when they are an expression of strong and unified international political will.
They have failed when they are not. To deploy them in the absence of a political strategy for resolving the conflict is to risk
lives and money in pursuit of a peace that will likely remain elusive,” Mr. Ban said.
The event was co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Ethiopia, Norway and the Republic of Korea, and the
International Peace Institute.

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Violence, use of teargas at Greek border 'matter of great worry'
– UN refugee agency
11 April – The United Nations refugee agency today expressed
concern about yesterday's violence at the border between Greece and
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia near Eidomeni and the
extensive scenes of teargas in use.
Spokesperson Adrian Edwards of the Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) described the development as
“a matter of great worry” to the agency, stressing that it should be
such a matter to all who are concerned with Europe's response to the
situation of refugees and migrants.

Two little boys warm up by a fire outside the camping tent that has
been provided for them by humanitarian organisations in Idomeni,
Greece. Photo: UNICEF/Tomislav Georgiev

“Time and again in recent months we have seen tension unfolding at
various European borders, between security forces on the one hand
and people fleeing war and in need of help on the other,” he said.
“People get hurt and property is damaged. Harm is done to
perceptions of refugees and to Europe's image alike. Everyone loses.”

In recent days, media and public attention has focused on how the European Union-Turkey agreement is being implemented
in the Aegean islands and in Turkey.
“We should not forget the many other refugees and migrants who continue to be affected by the situation, especially the
nearly 46,000 on the Greek mainland who arrived before the agreement took effect,” he said. At Eidomeni, about 11,000
have been sleeping for many weeks now in the open in dismal conditions, fuelling hopelessness and despair, he added.
UNHCR is ready to support the voluntary transfer of people to sites to be put in place by the Greek Government, including
with the necessary services while registration and processing is taking place. “This is urgent,” he said.
In the meantime, in Eidomeni, UNHCR together with the Greek Government, Greek non-governmental organizations, and
other partners are providing food, medical support, help for persons with specific needs, and prevention and response to
sexual and gender based violence.
A wider solution, namely to relocate those who may qualify for international protection to other European States, has been
agreed for many months. “It needs action,” the spokesperson said.
“Violence is wrong whatever the circumstances,” he stressed, expressing hope that Europe will take the necessary steps
now, as UNHCR stands ready to help Governments further in fulfilling their obligations to refugees.

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PODCAST: actress Gillian Anderson presents film at UN on
human trafficking
11 April – “Film can change the world,” said actress Gillian Anderson
in a recent interview at the United Nations about the movie SOLD, the
story of a 13-year-old Nepalese girl's journey into sexual slavery and
eventual emancipation.
In the latest episode of the UN Radio podcast series The Lid is On,
Ms. Anderson – best-known for her role in the television's X-Files –
said the project is a shining example of the impact film can have.

Actress Gillian Anderson speaking to Matt Wells of UN Radio at UN
Headquarters for the podcast series: The Lid is On. Photo: UN Radio

“When I started working on this I had no idea what the truth of the
situation as it stands right now globally, the amount of children that
are trafficked, the amount of humans that are trafficked into slavery, I
was completely naïve about it and I was also shocked by the degree of
my naivety as somebody who is quite active in various organizations
and charities and has been for many years,” Ms. Anderson told UN

Radio producer Matthew Wells.
She added that combating sex trafficking of young women and girls has now become her number one priority when it comes
to advocacy.
“The message is bigger than the film itself,” she insisted. “Getting involved with the campaign around the film and seeing
the impact that the right kind of campaigning can have on a movement and a broader conversation and a degree of activism
is really remarkable and quite unique, and very inspiring.”
The podcast also features an interview with a 19-year-old trafficking survivor from the United States, as well as with the
film’s director Jeffrey Brown and author Patricia McCormick, who wrote the bestseller on which the film is based.

Yemen: UN officials welcome cessation of hostilities
11 April – The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen has
welcomed the start of the cessation of hostilities that began at
midnight, 10 April, urging all parties to work to ensure that the terms
are fully respected and create a conducive environment for the peace
talks scheduled to resume next week.
In a statement, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy, Ismail
Ould Cheikh Ahmed, highlighted that the terms and conditions for the
cessation of hostilities include commitments for the unhindered access
for humanitarian supplies and personnel to all parts of Yemen.
“Both sides have committed to adhere to the Terms and Conditions
for the cessation of hostilities which I presented,” said the Special
Envoy. “I ask all the parties and the international community to
remain steadfast in support for this cessation of hostilities to be a first
step in Yemen's return to peace. This is critical, urgent and much
needed. Yemen cannot afford the loss of more lives.”
UN News Centre • www.un.org/news

Boy playing on piece of exploded artillery shell which landed near his
home, in the village of Al Mahjar, a suburb of Sana’a, Yemen. Photo:
UNICEF/Mohamed Hamoud

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Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed noted that the De-escalation and Co-ordination Committee has been reconvened in Kuwait and
will work to bolster adherence to the cessation of hostilities. The Committee, comprising military representatives from both
sides, recently concluded a capacity-building exercise conducted by experts from the European Union, he said.
“Much work lies ahead to ensure full respect of the cessation of hostilities and the resumption of peace talks in Kuwait. Now
is the time to step back from the brink. The progress made represents a real opportunity to rebuild a country that has suffered
far too much violence for far too long,” added the Special Envoy. “A positive outcome will require difficult compromises
from all sides, courage and determination to reach an agreement.”
Preparations are currently well under way for the start of the intra-Yemeni peace talks, to be held under the auspices of the
UN. The talks will focus on five main areas: the withdrawal of militias and armed groups; the handover of heavy weapons to
the State; interim security arrangements; the restoration of state institutions and the resumption of inclusive political
dialogue; and the creation of a special committee for prisoners and detainees.
In related news today, Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict,
and Peter Salama, Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF),
expressed hope that the cessation of hostilities and peace talks will bring an end to the conflict in Yemen.
“We call on all parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, to commit to
releasing children who have been recruited and used in the fighting, and to end all grave violations against boys and girls.
Parties should take every possible measure to protect schools and hospitals, and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian
assistance to children and all those in need,” the officials said in a statement.
Noting that the children of Yemen are “bearing the brunt of a brutal conflict,” Ms. Zerrougui and Mr. Salama said the
cessation of hostilities is an opportunity for parties to take action to improve their protection.
The officials highlighted that the UN has verified a significant increase in grave violations against children by all parties to
the conflict in Yemen. According to recent figures, 900 children were killed, a seven-fold increase compared with 2014.
Child recruitment increased five times, with 848 cases verified.
Meanwhile, attacks on schools and hospitals have doubled, bringing the total number to more than 115. The disruption in the
delivery of basic services has deprived thousands of children of their fundamental rights to education and health, the
officials said.
They also emphasized that the incidents that the UN was able to verify represent “the tip of the iceberg,” but reveal some
“very concerning trends.” Among the trends is the estimation that children represent about one third of all civilians killed
and close to a quarter of those injured.
Another trend is that attacks on civilian infrastructure, especially schools and health clinics, have become commonplace. In
addition, children are now playing a more active role in combat and manning checkpoints, including on the front-lines, the
officials said.
“Taken together these data represent a disturbing pattern of flagrant disregard for international humanitarian law and the
rights of children in Yemen. These patterns have far-reaching implications for the stability of Yemen and the future of its
children,” the officials said.

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Data 'essential' to 2030 Agenda, UN Commission on Population
and Development told
11 April – Addressing the opening of the 2016 session of the
Commission on Population and Development, United Nations
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today underscored the importance of
that body's role in advancing the new global development agenda.
“This Commission has a proud tradition of focusing on people,” he
said, stressing that the body addresses issues related to the timeless
opening words of the UN Charter: 'We the Peoples.'

A family in Docordó, Colombia. Photo: UNFPA/Daniel Baldotto

Above all, people are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development, he said of the 15-year vision
unanimously adopted last year by UN Member States.

Mr. Ban highlighted the importance of understanding demographic
trends, a pillar of the Commission's work, in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
When people are not counted, they are excluded
“We all understand that people can never be reduced to mere numbers,” he said. “At the same time, statistics are essential
for tracking progress. When people are not counted, they are excluded. To live up to the commitment to 'leave no one
behind,' we have to make sure everyone is counted.”
Governments will have to gather census data and use it to understand demographic change because that will help them
develop effective plans, he said.
“When I was born, my parents didn't record the date of my birth,” Mr. Ban said, noting that families were understandably
worried that babies would not survive, and waited until they were sure that their babies were able to survive.
That's why his and his wife's passport dates of birth are actually different from their real ones, he said, expressing concern
that in some countries, that kind of practice still persists. He urged all countries to have archives of these records and
guarantee the rights of citizenship and identity to all.
Data is also critical to providing optimal public health services and to ending inequalities, he added.
Reproductive rights
Sustainable development demands securing sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, gender equality and the
empowerment of women and young people, Mr. Ban said.
Many countries have empowered women and men to make their own decisions about the timing and spacing of their
children. Where this leads to lower birth rates, countries can benefit from a demographic dividend by providing education
and other opportunities, especially for youth, he said.
In some countries, very low fertility levels are causing population decline. Rural areas are being de-populated, and losing
their economic vitality. In other countries, where reproductive health care is lacking, fertility rates remain high. These
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countries struggle to match the pace of population growth with an expansion of economic output, infrastructure and services.
Older persons and youth
Elsewhere, countries struggle to provide health care and pensions, with their workforce ageing and the number of retirees
increasing. Some governments have responded by raising the retirement age and expanding opportunities for older persons
to have an active life.
The world now has the largest generation of young people in history, and to unleash their potential, there is a need to invest
more in education, opportunities and services for youth, he said.
“The United Nations is proud to support efforts to put all people at the heart of development. This is the spirit of the 2030
Agenda,” he said.
Mass displacement
He, however, warned that “one of the most dramatic population trends of our times is mass displacement, noting that the
numbers are astronomical with some 60 million people displaced either within countries or internationally, and thousands of
desperate migrants dying on dangerous journeys.
The World Humanitarian Summit next month in Istanbul will bring leaders together to agree on a core set of actions that
will chart a course for real progress, and then on September 19th, just one day before the general debate, the General
Assembly will hold a high-level meeting to address the challenges of large population movements, he said.
Demographic data 'essential'
Mwaba Patricia Kasese-Bota, Commission Chair, said 2016 was a crucial year as the UN was being reshaped to deliver on
its promise of assisting Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda.
At the same time, the Commission continued with its mandate to support the implementation of the Programme of Action
of International Conference on Population and Development that was adopted in Cairo in 1994.
As both agendas placed a strong emphasis on the importance of data, the Commission's session would focus on the
demographic evidence base, which was built on a foundation of data, she said.
The availability of reliable and timely demographic data was essential for planning and implementing interventions to
achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to monitor progress towards their achievement. The 2030 Agenda was of
the people, by the people and for the people, she said.

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UN survey finds displaced Palestinian families in Gaza Strip live
in desperate conditions
11 April – More than 75,000 Palestinian families internally displaced
in the Gaza Strip as a result of the 2014 escalation of hostilities
continue to live in fraught conditions and are in need of homes, the
United Nations relief coordination wing for the Occupied Palestinian
Territory reported today.
In a press release, the UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it conducted an “unprecedented
profiling exercise” of Palestinian families internally displaced in the
Gaza Strip.
“After hearing from over 16,000 displaced families in the Gaza Strip,
it is clear that most continue to live in desperate conditions,” said
Robert Piper, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and
Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory.
“International support to end this situation is urgently needed,” he said.
A major survey on internally displaced persons in the Gaza Strip
finds that 75,000 are still in need of homes. Photo: OCHA

According to the survey, more than 80 per cent of families borrowed money to get by in the past year, more than 85 per cent
purchased most of their food on credit, and more than 40 per cent have decreased their consumption of food.
In addition, some 62.5 per cent of internally displaced households reported that they are renting living space, including from
extended family members, and nearly 50 per cent fear being evicted from their accommodations.
The situation of women and girls is of particular concern, OCHA said. Many families report living in shelter conditions that
are lacking in safety, dignity and privacy, including living in tents, makeshift shelters, destroyed houses, or the open air.
“Funding is needed more than ever. We face a funding gap to reconstruct some 6,600 houses, or about 37 per cent of the
overall caseload. Without this support, thousands of Palestinians will see no end to their displacement,” said Mr. Piper.
“But this support must go hand in hand with significant changes at the policy level, including a lifting of the blockade and
progress towards Palestinian reconciliation. Without such action, coping capacities of exhausted and vulnerable households
risk being depleted altogether,” he concluded.

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UN food aid reaches besieged Syrian city of Deir Ezzor by air
10 April – In a boost to international humanitarian efforts in Syria, the
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today delivered aid by
air for hungry people trapped in the besieged eastern city of Deir
Ezzor, an area controlled by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL/Da'esh).
WFP food assistance has reached besieged parts of the city for the
first time since March 2014. A total of 20 metric tons of urgently
needed food supplies – mainly beans, chickpeas and rice, and enough
to feed 2,500 people for one month – were dropped from high altitude
by a WFP-chartered aircraft, the agency said in a press release.
A WFP air drop. Photo: WFP (file)

Out of 26 pallets loaded with food contained in platforms attached to
high altitude parachutes – 22 pallets were collected by the Syrian
Arab Red Crescent (SARC), WFP's partner in the city. WFP is working to find out what happened to the four other pallets.
Over 200,000 people have been living under siege in Deir Ezzor since March 2014 in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
Critical food shortages have been reported.
WFP is working closely with partners on the ground organizing food distributions, which should take place immediately
after every drop. More airdrops are planned for the coming days to meet food and other humanitarian needs for the besieged
population.
The aircraft flew from Marka airport in Jordan. Airdrops are always a last resort, as land access is easier and the most costeffective way of delivering food, the agency said.
On 24 February, WFP carried out its first high-altitude airdrop ever, dropping 21 tons of food assistance on Deir Ezzor. But
technical problems meant some of the pallets missed the drop zone and some were damaged as their parachutes failed to
function properly.
Across Syria, WFP provides food to more than 4 million people every month and remains very concerned about the
suffering of all Syrians living in hard-to-reach areas across the country.

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11 April 2016

UN envoy urges Libyan House of Representatives to vote on
national unity government
9 April – Welcoming yesterday's executive meeting of the House of
Representatives, the United Nations envoy for Libya today called on
the House to convene in the Libyan port city of Tobruk over the
coming days to vote on the national unity government.
In a statement, Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the
Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Support Mission in
Libya (UNSMIL), welcomed the meeting that took place in Cairo
yesterday between House of Representative President Agila Saleh and
senior House officials, including First Vice President Emhamed
Shoeib and Second Vice President Ihmeid Houma.
He also commended the House executives for showing leadership and
determination at this critical juncture in the political process to unite
ranks and fully assume its responsibilities towards the Libyan people.

Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya
(UNSMIL) Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Manuel Elías

“The House of Representatives remains central to the political process and to the implementation of the Libyan Political
Agreement. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind about this,” stated Mr. Kobler.
Effecting a peaceful and orderly transfer of executive authority will be a key step towards turning a new page in the
transition process and ending institutional division at state level.
In this regard, Mr. Kobler called on the House presidency as well as members of the House to take immediate steps to
convene in Tobruk over the coming days to vote on the Government of National Accord.
“A positive endorsement by the House will be key to facilitating a peaceful and orderly transfer of executive authority,” he
noted.

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11 April 2016

Yemen: UN official expresses hope warring parties abide by
cessation of hostilities
9 April – Ahead of a cessation of hostilities set to start on 10 April,
the senior United Nations relief official for Yemen today expressed
hope that all parties to the conflict in that country abide by the
ceasefire agreement, noting that only a political solution can bring the
lasting peace Yemenis deserve and are demanding.
“I am encouraged by the prospect of a cessation of hostilities set to
start on 10 April. If respected, the agreement will provide men,
women and children in Yemen a much needed respite from the
increased violence they have been facing, on a daily basis, for over a
year now,” said Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie Mcgoldrick.
Faj Attan, a neighbourhood of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, is regularly
hit by airstrikes. Most of the population has left. Photo:
OCHA/Charlotte Cans

Large-scale relief operations are already under way in Yemen. During
this period, humanitarians will continue doing their best to deliver
assistance to those in need and negotiate sustained access to hard-toreach areas.

“Regardless of the outcome of the peace talks, the United Nations and our humanitarian partners will continue responding to
the humanitarian needs of people, wherever they may be found and despite the great obstacles faced,” he said.
He reminded parties to the conflict of the rules of war that require them to protect civilians and civilian premise and to
ensure humanitarians have safe, unhindered, and sustained access to those in need.

UN experts urges Honduras to end impunity in murder of
human rights defender
11 April – More than a month after the killing of Berta Cáceres, a
female human rights defender, eight United Nations experts have
jointly reiterated their appeal to the Government of Honduras to
provide justice and reveal the truth in her murder, and to ensure the
security and protection of all people defending the environment and
human rights in the country.
Berta Cáceres, founder of the Civic Council of Popular and
Indigenous Organizations Honduras (COPINH), was shot to death on
3 March 2016 in spite of the 2009 decision by the Inter-American
Commission of Human Rights requiring Honduras to protect her.
Despite repeated acts of intimidation, including gender-specific
attacks, arrests and violence that she suffered over the years, she
continued to defend the rights of the Lenca community of Rio Blanco, denouncing and opposing the exploitation of
indigenous natural resources, especially via the hydroelectric project of ‘Agua Zarca.’
View of a prison in Honduras. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

“The murder of Berta Cáceres, which is believed to be directly linked to her work and to the fact that she was a woman and
indigenous, sadly illustrates an appalling backlash against women human rights defenders and, especially against
environmental activists,” the joint appeal stated.
Women human rights defenders are generally further exposed to retaliation, harassment and violence as they usually
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11 April 2016

challenge the patriarchal culture and deep-rooted gender stereotypes about the role of women in society.
“Honduras must intensify its efforts to end the persistent climate of impunity and insecurity for women human rights
defenders, indigenous leaders and ecologists,” it said.
The UN experts were pleased to see the Honduran Government’s decision to finally allow the return of Gustavo Castro Soto
to Mexico. They also noted the arrest of a suspect in the murder of another member of COPINH, Nelson García, and
recalled the necessity to investigate who ordered this crime.
They expressed hope that those responsible for Berta Cáceres’ murder will be shortly brought to justice.
“We reiterate our call for a fully independent, impartial, transparent investigation of Berta Cáceres' assassination and in this
regard we support the request made by the relatives of the victim that a group of experts be established under the authority
of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,” they recommended.
The UN human rights experts welcomed the decision of the investors of the ‘Agua Zarca’ dam project to suspend their
funding after the recent murders and attacks.
The experts are Eleonora Zielinska, Chairperson of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law
and in practice, and seven Special Rapporteurs; Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, on the rights of indigenous peoples; Michel Forst, on
the situation of human rights defenders; and Maina Kiai, on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association;
David Kaye, on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Dubravka Šimonovic, on
violence against women, its causes and consequences; John Knox, on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the
enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment; and Baskut Tuncak, on the implications for human rights
of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes.
Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report
back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff,
nor are they paid for their work.

The UN Daily News is prepared at UN Headquarters in New York by the News Services Section
of the News and Media Division, Department of Public Information (DPI)