Libya : UN Special Representative Ghassan Salame in al-Qubbah and al-Bayda

Warm Reception for UN Special Representative Ghassan Salame in al-Qubbah and al-Bayda

On his second day in Libya, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya Ghassan Salame met with the Libyan House of Representatives’ President Agila Saleh in his residence in al-Qubbah.

“I welcome Dr. Ghassan Salamé here in al-Qubba. He is a substantial addition to the United Nations to resolve the political crisis in Libya, and I am ready to cooperate with him to the satisfaction of the Libyan stakeholders,” said Agila Saleh.

Speaking to the journalists after the meeting, the SRSG described the meeting as fruitful and said, “We have discussed ways to strengthen Libya’s independence and the stability of its institutions, and all means to get the political process out of the whirlpool into which it has slipped. I sensed greater adherence by the President Agila to the Libyan national principles as well as a spirit of openness to other influential actors,” he added.

“There is a window of opportunity now in Libya,” said Dr. Salame. “I have no illusions about the difficulties and challenges ahead. But I am optimistic and hopeful that Libya can emerge from this crisis,” he added.

“Any solution must be Libyan led,” the SRSG told his interlocutors. “The UN is ready to work alongside you, to build on your proposals and national reconciliation efforts, to streamline the multiple initiatives, and to foster and direct consensus in order to assist Libya’s transition to peace and stability,” he added.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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Source:: Warm Reception for UN Special Representative Ghassan Salame in al-Qubbah and al-Bayda

      

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IOM Director General William Lacy Swing returned to Tripoli earlier this week

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing returned to Tripoli earlier this week, where he reiterated that Libya remains IOM’s top priority.

 

Within the framework of the African Union (AU) Ammunition Safety and Security Management Initiative, launched in 2017, the AU is working with the Government of Guinea Bissau on enhancing ammunition management to reduce the risk of unplanned explosions at munitions sites and prevent theft, loss and diversion.

The initiative was launched within the framework of the communique of the 584th meeting of the Peace and Security Council, held on 29 March 2016, which urged Member States to implement effective and sustainable physical security and stockpile management on all government stockpiles in line with international standards and best practices. The Initiative also supports the practical steps outlined in the AU Master Roadmap to Silence the Guns in Africa, adopted by the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union in January 2017.

Over the course of the coming two days, national stakeholders will be sensitized, and consultations among them facilitated, on the application of best practices and standards, including the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG). The inception and consultative meeting will be followed by visits to ammunition storage sites in different regions of the country to assist the national authorities in identifying immediate and medium term enhancements required to improve the safety and security.

In supporting Guinea Bissau, the AU is collaborating with ECOWAS, United Nations, Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), and the HALO Trust.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Peace and Security Department.

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Source:: The African Union extends technical support to Guinea Bissau in the safe and secure management of ammunition

      

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Libya Remains Top Priority for UN Migration Agency: DG Swing in Tripoli

Libya Remains Top Priority for UN Migration Agency: DG Swing in Tripoli

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing returned to Tripoli earlier this week, where he reiterated that Libya remains IOM’s top priority. In what was his second visit to Libya this year, Ambassador Swing along with Vincent Houver, IOM’s Deputy Director of the Department of Operations and Emergencies, Othman Belbeisi, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Libya and other IOM Libya staff met with the Prime Minister Fayez al Serraj.

The IOM delegation also met with several government ministers, as well as representatives of the Libyan Coast Guard and the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM).

“Libya remains IOM’s top priority and it is therefore important for me to be back in Tripoli so soon after my last visit at the end of March,” said Ambassador Swing in Tripoli. “The response from the Libyan authorities has been more than positive and IOM is fully committed to further support and collaborate closely with our Libyan counterparts.”

“This visit contributed to strengthening the way IOM plans and works together with governmental counterparts to ensure the delivery of tangible results in support of the Government’s strategic priorities,” Belbeisi said following the visit.

Whilst IOM’s delocalized structure is built on a strong field presence with IOM staff all across east, south and west of Libya, an increasing number of international staff is anticipated to be back in Libya as soon as possible.

Throughout the Tripoli mission, IOM advocated for the improvement of living conditions in the detention centres and alternatives to detention including open centres and safe spaces for women, children and other vulnerable migrants, registration of migrants following rescue at sea operations and the continuous technical cooperation to support local partners and Libyan officials.

During the visit, Ambassador Swing also met with, and wished 132 stranded migrants a safe flight home to Guinea Conakry. “I appreciate the help provided by IOM and I am so happy to go home, back to my family,” one of the children who received IOM’s family tracing assistance told Ambassador Swing.

In order to reach IOM’s aim to assist up to 12,000 stranded migrants with voluntary humanitarian return assistance in 2017, close cooperation with representatives of the migrants’ countries of origin is key. IOM Libya invited all diplomatic representatives for an open discussion on how to further facilitate consular procedures.

Director General Swing also met with the Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Maria Do Valle Ribeiro, during which they discussed IOM’s scaling up and the continuous close collaboration with the UNSMIL. IOM Libya’s donor countries also received a briefing in Tunis, during which the outcomes of the Libya visit, programme developments and the way forward were presented.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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Source:: Libya Remains Top Priority for UN Migration Agency: DG Swing in Tripoli

      

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New UN Human Rights Office to open in Liberia in early 2018

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour on Friday concluded a three-day visit to Liberia. The main purpose of the visit was to establish a UN Human Rights Office in the country, and an agreement was signed with the Government for the new office to open in early 2018.

“Liberia has progressed dramatically since my last visit just after the brutal civil war,” Gilmour said at the end of his visit. “That is a tribute to the Liberian people and Government, and to the great efforts of the the United Nations Mission in Liberia.” He added, however, that the human rights gains are “still precarious, hence the vital need for the UN to continue our support.”

Gilmour expressed his appreciation to Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara, with whom he signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the new office that will open early next year. This Office will conduct human rights monitoring and reporting, as well as providing technical assistance to State institutions, the Independent National Commission for Human Rights, civil society and other partners. Gilmour highlighted the primary role of the Government in promoting and protecting human rights in Liberia.

“What we have learned in country after country is that neither peace nor development can be properly sustainable unless they are firmly grounded in human rights,” he said.

The Assistant Secretary-General met with the President of Liberia, cabinet ministers, several leaders of civil society organizations, and foreign ambassadors during his visit.

He expressed serious concern about the continued prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the country, and urged the Government to do far more within its power to discourage this and other harmful traditional practices, such as trial by ordeal, accusations of witchcraft and ritualistic killings. He underlined Liberia’s international human rights obligations in this regard.

Gilmour also raised the plight of lesbian, gay and transgender people who are subjected to unbearable discrimination and abuse, which must be confronted. He also raised concerns about the rights of people with disabilities.

He acknowledged efforts by the Government to address sexual violence, but stressed that the appalling frequency of rape in Liberia, including of young girls, is partly due to widespread impunity for this crime.

After visiting Monrovia Central Prison, Gilmour praised the work of the wardens but remarked on the very serious overcrowding and insufficient food. A large part of the problem, it was made clear to him, is the high number of people held in pre-trial detention owing to the slowness of judicial procedures.

At the end of his visit, Gilmour visited the Palava Hut Memorial for victims of the civil war. He expressed the importance of transitional justice for national reconciliation and called for it to be a paramount concern for the new Government following the October elections.

“True peace is never possible if people feel that their desire for justice has not been met. Abominable war crimes were committed in this country, and the perpetrators of the worst crimes should now understand that justice will catch up with them,” Gilmour said.

Gilmour also warned against what some are terming a worrying rise in hate speech as the election season approaches.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Source:: New UN Human Rights Office to open in Liberia in early 2018

      

Categories: AFRICA, African Politics, Liberia | Tags: , | Leave a comment