SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES SUDAN-SOUTH SUDAN SUMMIT, REITERATING CALL FOR URGENT RESUMPTION OF TALKS TO RESOLVE FINAL STATUS OF ABYEI

NEW YORK, October 23, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki‑moon:

The Secretary-General welcomes the holding of a summit between the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan in Juba today, and takes note of the two Presidents’ intent to expedite the establishment of the Abyei Administration, Abyei Council and Abyei Police Service. He also welcomes their decision to accelerate the full establishment of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone by mid‑November.

The Secretary-General calls on both countries to urgently resume their consultations on the implementation of the 2012 African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) proposal to determine the final status of Abyei, and calls on Abyei community leaders to refrain from any unilateral initiatives which could increase tensions in the Abyei area.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Release of United States African Development Foundation Data on the Foreign Assistance Dashboard

WASHINGTON, October 23, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

October 22, 2013

The Department of State and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) are pleased to announce that data for USADF is now available on the Foreign Assistance Dashboard (www.foreignassistance.gov). The addition of USADF budget, obligation, disbursement, and transaction data marks another significant step forward for the U.S. Government’s foreign assistance transparency efforts. The new USADF data is visualized on the site here, can be downloaded in machine-readable format, and is included in the U.S. Government’s data files in the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) format found here.

USADF’s foreign assistance grants promote food security and new economic opportunities for thousands of grassroots enterprises and marginalized populations across Africa. USADF’s African-led and country-managed approach delivers results that improve local food production, increase income levels, create and sustain jobs, and address social needs in sensitive regions across the continent. The data provided by USADF dates back to 2009 and will be updated regularly. For details on the USADF data, review the FAQs on the Dashboard.

The Foreign Assistance Dashboard, a key deliverable of the U.S. Government’s Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, promotes the Administration’s commitment to openness and transparency. The Dashboard serves as a dynamic tool to visualize foreign assistance data. Data on the site can be manually queried, filtered, and downloaded by users for further analysis. The Dashboard has become the U.S. Government’s main tool for improving foreign aid transparency with over 690,000 visitors since its initial launch in December 2010.

The Foreign Assistance Dashboard also contains data for the Department of State, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of the Treasury, in addition to the newly added USADF data. The Dashboard continues to expand with the goal of including detailed foreign assistance budget, financial, and program data from all U.S. Government agencies that fund or implement foreign assistance in accordance with the OMB Bulletin 12-01. As new data is added to the Dashboard, the IATI data files will also be updated to reflect the new data set visualized on the site.

To understand the information presented in the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, users are encouraged to read the supplementary information under the What You Should Know section of the website. Comments, questions, or suggestions can be submitted through the Contact Us form on the site.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Visit to Japan by Ms. Hilde. F. Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Head of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS)

TOKYO, Japan, October 22, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. Ms. Hilde. F. Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Republic of South Sudan, will visit Japan from October 26 to 31.

2. During her stay in Japan, Ms. Johnson will exchange opinions with various senior officials of the Japanese Government who are in charge of PKO-related matters. She will also observe how Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) units undergo training before they are dispatched to UNMISS.

3. The Government of Japan, as a responsible member of the international community, remains committed to making proactive contributions toward the achievement of peace and stability in South Sudan and the region. This visit is expected to further strengthen cooperation between Japan and the United Nations.

[Note] Japan’s contribution to UNMISS

Under the International Peace Cooperation Law, Japan has dispatched SDF personnel to UNMISS since November 2011. Currently, an SDF engineering unit consisting of approximately 330 personnel carries out site development, the restoration of roads and other activities. In addition, approximately 20 personnel stationed at the Coordination Center of Japan perform duties to liaise and coordinate with relevant organizations, and three staff officers stationed at the UNMISS Headquarters perform duties such as logistics, intelligence and engineering.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Aid for 33,000 people in Katanga

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 22, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Armed violence has resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of people who fled their villages in north-central Katanga province. The ICRC and the Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have started a major distribution of emergency aid.

Armed violence in Katanga province has resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of people since last year. “The people who have been driven from their homes have to struggle every day,” said Andrea Drury, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Katanga. “Because of the lack of security they are gripped with constant fear, and they are forced to be forever on the run.”

When incursions are made by armed groups, or fighting takes place between the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and such groups, acts of violence committed against communities or targeting their leaders are frequent, and more and more looting is occurring. “The situation, in terms of security and access to food and other basic necessities, remains worrying,” said Ms Drury. To better respond to the needs of people suffering the effects of violence in the central and northern parts of the province, the ICRC has opened an office in Manono.

With the help of Congolese Red Cross volunteers, the ICRC has just started distributing tarpaulins, sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen utensils, buckets, soap, hoes, plastic containers and hygiene products to some 33,000 displaced people and returnees in north-central Katanga, one of the remotest parts of the province, between Manono, Mitwaba, Malemba Nkulu and Pweto. Over 7,900 people received aid in Kipia and Kizeti, in Malemba Nkulu territory, south of the city of Manono. “Renewed instability over the past few days is prompting us to reassess the situation in the Shamwana area,” said Ms Drury. “As soon as security conditions permit, the distributions will resume in that area in particular.” Few humanitarian organizations are working in this part of the country owing to the distances involved, the logistical challenges and concerns about security conditions.

Complex logistics required to reach remote communities

In a vast area of 20,000 square kilometres and without infrastructure, aid is directed towards isolated areas away from the main roads where people have yet to receive any help. Villagers have to walk for long hours to reach the places where the aid distributions take place. “The distance doesn’t bother me – the help is so welcome,” said Emérance, who had to walk several kilometres from the village of Nonda to receive aid. “I’m happy that our needs are being attended to,” said Jeanine, a widowed mother of three from Kipia.

The condition of the tracks and makeshift bridges is complicating the distribution of aid. “It’s hard to reach certain areas because many of the bridges are too weak to be used by trucks. Some had to be shored up before being used, while others are completely impassable and have to be bypassed, which involves long detours,” said Adrien Mazamba Kambaja, the logistics specialist coordinating the operation.

Twenty-five children reunited with their families

Together with Congolese Red Cross volunteers, the ICRC helps restore contact between family members, in particular children, including former child soldiers, separated from their families by armed violence. In September, for the first time since 2006, the ICRC reunited children (25 in all, who had previously been recruited by armed groups) with their families in Katanga. Another 40 or so who had been recruited by armed forces or armed groups are currently in one of three transit centres in Lubumbashi or in a host family awaiting reunification with their families.

Aid for some 260 detainees

In the context of its visits to various civilian and military detention places in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the ICRC continues to visit four prisons in Katanga province. In Kipushi prison, it has provided temporary food aid for some 260 detainees. At the Buluo detention centre, vegetables grown in the centre’s own garden are improving the diets of around 300 detainees. The ICRC provided seed and monitored the vegetable production. Because the aid is temporary, the ICRC is doing all it can to ensure that the detainees are not subsequently forgotten. The organization is also visiting other permanent and temporary places of detention in the province, and is working closely with the authorities to promote humane treatment and conditions of detention that comply with national legislation and international standards.

Since the beginning of September, in Katanga province, the ICRC has also:

● provided medicines and other support for dispensaries in four prisons;

● raised awareness of international humanitarian law among 57 officers and non-commissioned officers of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

● provided financial support for a disaster-management workshop held by the Congolese Red Cross in the province.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Public Lecture by the Deputy Secretary-General on 24 October 2013

NEW YORK, October 22, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Media invite – Public Lecture by the Deputy Secretary-General on 24 October 2013

What Public Lecture

Who Jan Eliasson , UN Deputy Secretary-General

When 24 October 2013, 6.00 PM – 7.30 PM

Where Conference Room 1

The Deputy Secretary-General will deliver a lecture entitled “The United Nations in the 21st Century: Challenges for Peace Development and Human Rights”.

Mr. Eliasson will be on a visit to Kenya where he will meet with the Kenyan Government representatives and visit the UN headquarters in Africa: The United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). The Deputy Secretary-General will represent the Secretary-General and speak at the opening of the Global South-South Development Expo.

You are all invited to attend, participate and cover the lecture.

Source: APO

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