Expression of condolences: Egyptair flight MS 804

The Council President and Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu and Dr. Fang Liu, expressed the UN agency’s deepest condolences today for the families and friends of the victims of EgyptAir MS804, a scheduled commercial flight from Paris to Cairo which crashed due to unknown causes on Thursday morning.

The flight was carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew and its wreckage has now been located near Karpathos island, south east of the Greek mainland.

“Any accident or incident resulting in loss of life is always a matter of utmost concern to ICAO and to the entire air transport community,” President Aliu remarked. “ICAO will await the Annex 13 accident investigation Preliminary and Final Reports to learn more about the causes and contributing factors of this event, and ultimately we will work with the global civil aviation community on any associated risk mitigation recommendations appropriate to our role.”

“ICAO stands ready to lend assistance to the aircraft accident investigation, should the State or States with due authority under Annex 13 request us to do so,” noted ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu, who also stressed that the organization does not normally participate in investigations conducted by its Member States. “In those exceptional circumstances, we would normally be requested to serve as an official observer and/or to clarify the technical requirements which must be adhered to.”

The below Fact Sheet explains how accident investigation participating States are determined, as well as the process leading to the issuance of an accident investigation Preliminary Report (within 30 days of the event) and Final Report (asap or within 12 months of the event). Final Reports ultimately provide as much official information as possible on an accident’s contributing causes and factors, as well as any recommendations on how the safety framework should be amended in the future.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

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Converging crises in the Lake Chad basin risk dire humanitarian consequences says un emergency relief coordinator

More than 9 million people affected by the Boko Haram-related conflict across the Lake Chad Basin – 76 per cent of whom are in Nigeria – are grappling with dire conditions that will worsen if immediate humanitarian needs are not met, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, warned as he concluded a four-day visit to Niger and Nigeria.

“The situation in the Lake Chad Basin is unique,” said USG O’Brien, “Environmental degradation, poverty, under-development and violent extremism are converging to create a complex and multi-faceted crisis, and only with comprehensive coordination from humanitarian, development and security actors will we be able to deliver for people who are suffering so terribly.”

In Nigeria’s Borno State, Mr. O’Brien visited a camp in Konduga locality hosting some 1,600 displaced people. Around 20,000 internally displaced persons are living in communities close by. Insecurity in the area means that people are unable to access humanitarian assistance, leaving them in desperate need of food, clean water, basic services and protection. Venturing more than a few km outside the camp to fetch firewood carries the risk of attack or abduction by Boko Haram.

“Eleven months ago the people in this camp were torched out of their homes by Boko Haram. We have to listen to them. We must respond to what they actually need,” said Mr. O’Brien. “Our responsibility as humanitarians is to identify and meet with great urgency the immediate needs of saving lives and protecting civilians. At the same time, we need to make sure that girls and women are protected, and young boys are not taken to camps by factions of the fighting forces. We must make sure that there are opportunities for education, and for families to stay together.”

“It’s not enough to deliver aid today. We must end need tomorrow, as well. To stop Boko Haram and to protect women and children we must first recognize that deradicalization is an essential part of humanitarian work, and part of the platform to effective development.”

As he departed for the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Mr. O’Brien called on global leaders to share the responsibility to prevent and end conflict, and to support countries hosting people forced into displacement. “Aid agencies in Nigeria have appealed for US$248 million for 2016, and of this only $43 million has been received. Investing in humanitarian action now is the best way to spend to save for the future,” he said. “This is the best way to invest in the people of Nigeria, and to save lives and livelihoods today and tomorrow.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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Statement by Minister Dion on crash of EgyptAir flight MS804

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims on board EgyptAir flight MS804, travelling from Paris to Cairo.

“Based on the information currently available, we confirm that two Canadian citizens are among the passengers on this flight. We are providing consular assistance to the families and Canadian officials are working closely with the authorities to confirm whether there were any additional Canadian citizens on board. Consular officials were immediately deployed to the airport and reached out to government agencies to ascertain the facts and provide the most effective support to families. Global Affairs Canada is also working with French and Egyptian counterparts as well as other impacted countries to assess the situation and consider any requests for support.

“Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information about Canadian citizens believed to be on board should contact Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 613-996-8885 or 1-800-387-3124 (toll-free from the U.S. and Canada only) or by sending an email to sos@international.gc.ca. Canadian citizens in Egypt requiring consular assistance should contact the Canadian Embassy in Cairo at +20 2 2461 2200 or call (collect) the Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre at +1 613 996-8885.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Department of Foreign Affairs Canada.

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Statement by the Spokesperson on the appointment of negotiation teams for the peace talks in Mozambique

The steps taken both by the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi and the leader of Renamo, Afonso Dhlakama to restart the peace dialogue is a critical development. It is now essential for both parties to commence preparatory talks at the earliest opportunity. A conducive environment for such peace talks requires the restoration of trust between all stakeholders.

Now is the time for both sides to work resolutely towards a political solution and to abandon all military means. A meaningful peace dialogue remains the only route to durable national reconciliation, a precondition for the Mozambican people to enjoy peace, stability and prosperity.

The European Union will continue to support Mozambique’s political, economic and social development.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of European Union.

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Central African Republic: MSF condemns violent attack and killing of staff member

A staff member of the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was shot and killed yesterday during an ambush on two MSF vehicles in Central African Republic (CAR), the organization said today, condemning the attack in the strongest possible terms.

A well-identified MSF convoy of two vehicles transporting staff members and patients was stopped by armed men in Kouki, 82 kilometers [about 51 miles] north of Bossangoa. The team was forced out of the vehicles and onto the ground and robbed of personal belongings and medication. The slain staff member, who was a driver, was shot and killed during this violent incident, which lasted more than 40 minutes.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that a team of medical workers and their patients were attacked while returning from providing lifesaving medical care,” said Michelle Chouinard, MSF head of mission in CAR. “It is outrageous that one of our staff members was killed during this act of violence. The MSF team and their patients endured prolonged harassment, including bullets shot close to their heads and repeated verbal threats that they would be killed.”

As a result of this act of violence, MSF has been forced to suspend activities in the area until it receives adequate guarantees for the safety of its staff and the acceptance of its medical and humanitarian activities.

“Humanitarian workers should be protected from harm while undertaking their mission in violence-affected areas,” said Chouinard.

MSF is collecting information about the circumstances of the incident and will make no further comment until all details are confirmed. The organization expects a full inquiry by the local police and authorities, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

MSF is shocked and deeply saddened by this serious security incident, and extends its sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of the staff member who was killed.

MSF started providing free medical care in CAR in 1997, at a time when mortality rates in some regions were far above the threshold of a humanitarian emergency. In the years since, CAR has continued to face a situation of chronic and prolonged health emergency. The political crisis and renewed violence that have shaken the country since 2013 have exacerbated the health situation, leaving 72 percent of the country’s health facilities damaged or destroyed. In response to the recent crisis, MSF has doubled the size of its medical response, and now runs 17 projects across the country. Currently, one in five Central Africans are displaced from their homes, either within CAR or living as refugees in neighboring countries.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

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Central African Republic: MSF condemns violent attack and killing of staff member

A staff member of the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was shot and killed yesterday during an ambush on two MSF vehicles in Central African Republic (CAR), the organization said today, condemning the attack in the strongest possible terms.

A well-identified MSF convoy of two vehicles transporting staff members and patients was stopped by armed men in Kouki, 82 kilometers [about 51 miles] north of Bossangoa. The team was forced out of the vehicles and onto the ground and robbed of personal belongings and medication. The slain staff member, who was a driver, was shot and killed during this violent incident, which lasted more than 40 minutes.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that a team of medical workers and their patients were attacked while returning from providing lifesaving medical care,” said Michelle Chouinard, MSF head of mission in CAR. “It is outrageous that one of our staff members was killed during this act of violence. The MSF team and their patients endured prolonged harassment, including bullets shot close to their heads and repeated verbal threats that they would be killed.”

As a result of this act of violence, MSF has been forced to suspend activities in the area until it receives adequate guarantees for the safety of its staff and the acceptance of its medical and humanitarian activities.

“Humanitarian workers should be protected from harm while undertaking their mission in violence-affected areas,” said Chouinard.

MSF is collecting information about the circumstances of the incident and will make no further comment until all details are confirmed. The organization expects a full inquiry by the local police and authorities, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

MSF is shocked and deeply saddened by this serious security incident, and extends its sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of the staff member who was killed.

MSF started providing free medical care in CAR in 1997, at a time when mortality rates in some regions were far above the threshold of a humanitarian emergency. In the years since, CAR has continued to face a situation of chronic and prolonged health emergency. The political crisis and renewed violence that have shaken the country since 2013 have exacerbated the health situation, leaving 72 percent of the country’s health facilities damaged or destroyed. In response to the recent crisis, MSF has doubled the size of its medical response, and now runs 17 projects across the country. Currently, one in five Central Africans are displaced from their homes, either within CAR or living as refugees in neighboring countries.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

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Prince Edward to visit Ghana

We are delighted to confirm that His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO, will be visiting Ghana between 23-26 May as part of his role with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Scheme. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme is associated with the Head of State Awards Scheme in Ghana. The Earl will meet senior Ghanaian officials including His Excellency The President. The Earl and President Mahama will together present Head of State Awards to young Ghanaians who have successfully participated in the scheme over the past few years.

His Royal Highness is the youngest child of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. The Earl supports Her Majesty in her official duties and undertakes public engagements for a large number of his own charities. The Earl has been deeply committed to the work of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award since undertaking his own Award in 1986.

This scheme is available to all 14-24 year olds and is the world’s leading youth achievement award. It equips all young people for life regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills and interests. Doing the Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others; it pushes young people to their personal limits and recognises their achievements consistently. Since its launch 60 years ago, the Award has inspired millions of young people to transform their lives. Through non formal education, the Award can play a critical role in a young person’s personal development and is achievable by any 14-24 year old who wants to take up the challenge. The ambition of the award in Ghana is to grow its participation rate from 0.1% to 2% of Ghana’s youth population by 2020.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of British High Commission Accra.

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First World Humanitarian Summit: African Union is going to Istanbul with its own commitments to the continent and its people

The Head of the Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees and Displaced Persons Division in the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC), Mr. Olabisi Dare, highlights the participation of the AU at the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit scheduled to take place on 23 -24 May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey, during an interview granted to the Directorate of Information and Communication of the AUC, ahead of the event.

According to Mr. Olabisi, the key concerns that the AU will be raising in the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit include the need for redefining the international humanitarian system which includes a reconfiguration of the entire system, “it being understood that the existing system predicated on Resolution 46 182 is not being faithfully implemented”. It is therefore in respect of this that the African Union is going to Istanbul with its own commitments to the continent and its people and has formulated a Common African Position on Humanitarian Effectiveness. One of the key things the commitment will anchor upon is on the primacy of the state, noting that the state has the primary responsibility to its own people – to satisfy their needs and take care of their vulnerabilities.

Mr. Olabisi explained that the African Union feels the state has to play the primary role of coordinating any and all humanitarian action that may take place within its territory. The state has a responsibility to guarantee the safety of both the humanitarian workers and humanitarian infrastructure and must alleviate the needs of its people, as well as maintain humanitarian space. “We note that the state has the capability and capacity in key areas such as the use of military assets in assisting humanitarian action.An example is the use of military forces in Liberia where the military was deployed to serve as the first line of defense to combat the spread of Ebola. We can’t overemphasize the role of the state in ensuring that humanitarian action and relief is dispensed in an effective manner and we see that this in itself will give effect to humanitarian action more readily on the continent” Mr. Olabisi further explained.

Mr. Olabisi indicated that, the African Union will make proposals for the reconfiguration of the International Humanitarian systems during the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS). “We recognize that part of the solutions is the need for governments to play the primary role and a greater coordination role in order to fulfill the attributes of state in terms of its predictive nature and responsive nature and other attributes and this in itself is in of the key recommendations we are taking to the WHS as part of what Africa has committed itself to doing. We are hopeful that these recommendations will feature prominently in the outcomes”. He emphasized.

Mr. Olabisi underlined that the AU is calling for the re-engineering of Resolution 46182 to reflect Africa’s views, and the need to elevate the role of the state primarily to deliver to its people. “When you look at the Common Africa Position (CAP) you find out that the first pillar speaks to the privacy of the state while all the other 9 pillars speak the same in one form or the other” , he noted.

Mr. Olabisi said Africa will be calling for increased domestic and innovative resource mobilization in order to deliver and allocate more resources to humanitarian action. He further noted that, Africa is of course also cognizant of the dwindling resources from traditional donors and moreso, the bleeding of resources from Africa in the form of illicit financial flows and the like.

With regards to the outcome of the WHS, Mr. Olabisi mentioned that, Africa’s commitments goes beyond the WHS “but the summit give us an opportunity to discuss a paradigm shift in terms of the way we do things in the humanitarian field in Africa and to see that we can positively add to

the mitigation and alleviation the sufferings of our people when disasters and displacements occur”. He concluded that “our resolve is to emerge with an outcome that is workable, pragmatic, and empowering. Africa has resolved nonetheless to begin to addressing its own problems using African solutions to African problems”.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Presentation of Credentials Ceremony, 19 May 2016

The following foreign Heads of Mission presented their credentials to President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam in separate ceremonies at the Istana today:
(a) The High Commissioner of the Republic of Mozambique
Her Excellency Maria Gustava

Her Excellency Maria Gustava

Mrs Maria Gustava is a senior career diplomat who joined the Mozambique Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in 1989. She has served various posts in the Ministry, including Head of Department for Multilateral Economic Relations, Deputy Director for International Organisations and Conferences, Deputy Director for Studies Planning and Information and Deputy Head of the Mission in South Africa. She was appointed Ambassador to Indonesia in February 2016. Prior to this appointment, she was the Director General for Asia and Oceania, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
Mrs Gustava graduated from Monash University, Australia, in 1997, with a Master’s Degree in Foreign Affairs and Trade. In 1991, she obtained an Honours Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Higher Institute for International Relations in Mozambique.
She was awarded the Diploma of Honours by the Government of Mozambique for her contribution to the successful preparation of three international summits in Maputo in 2004, namely: New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Summit, World Economic Forum’s Africa Economic Summit and the Africa Caribbean and Pacific Summit. She was also awarded the Diploma of Honours for her contribution to the success of the brainstorming workshops at the President’s Office from 2005 to 2014.
Mrs Gustava is married with 3 children.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Singapore.

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Foreign Secretary statement on EgyptAir flight MS804

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

My thoughts are with the family and friends of all those missing following the disappearance of EgyptAir’s flight MS804. We are in close contact with Egyptian and French authorities and have offered the Egyptian authorities our support in their search and rescue efforts.

We know that one British passport holder boarded the flight in Paris and our staff are providing support and assistance to the family at this difficult time. We will continue to help in any way we can.

Further information

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Foreign Secretary statement on EgyptAir flight MS804

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

My thoughts are with the family and friends of all those missing following the disappearance of EgyptAir’s flight MS804. We are in close contact with Egyptian and French authorities and have offered the Egyptian authorities our support in their search and rescue efforts.

We know that one British passport holder boarded the flight in Paris and our staff are providing support and assistance to the family at this difficult time. We will continue to help in any way we can.

Further information

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Banjul+10: commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the African Youth Charter

INVITATION TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEDIA

What: Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the African Youth Charter

Theme: “10 Years Implementation of the African Youth Charter: Accelerating Youth Development in Africa”

When: 21-25 May 2016

21-22 May: BANJUL+10 side events
23 May: Presentation of the 3-year Strategy and Work Plan towards the end of the Youth Decade Plan of Action
24 May: Official opening ceremony and Ministerial Session
25 May: High Level Roundtable and Intergenerational Dialogue

Who: The African Union Commission in collaboration with the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, and with the support of UNFPA, UNESCO, UNAIDS, IPPF, GESCI, Commonwealth

Where: Banjul, The Gambia

Objectives: The main objective of the Banjul+10 AYC commemoration is to provide a common platform for Member States to conduct a peer review of their investments to “prepare the future” for Africa’s youth;

The specific objectives of the celebration include:

To provide a high-level political forum for intergenerational discourse and advocacy, stakeholders’ interaction, agenda setting and celebration of African youth Initiatives.
To showcase the progress Africa youth are making across all fields of human endeavour surviving against all odds, leading innovation, creativity and public service.
To ensure and facilitate broad based and inclusive consultations that will set the

baseline for assessing progress in the youth development targets of Africa’s growth and development paradigm beyond 2015.

To provide an avenue for discussion on the proposed Africa’s demographic framework that will guide the application of a youth lens at all levels and in the rollout of the AU 2063 Agenda.
Commemoration of the African Liberation Day in Banjul, The Gambia May 2016

Participants:

The Commemoration will be attended by Member States, the African Union Commission, the Pan African Youth Union, Regional Youth Organizations, National Youth Councils, Civil society, Diaspora Youth; Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Partners in Youth Development, Youth Champions and Invited Guests, Media.

Expected outcomes:

Renewed impetus for the implementation of the African Youth Charter, towards Youth Development and Empowerment in Africa.
Banjul+10 declaration and two years action towards accelerated

implementation of the African Youth Decade Plan of Action.

Draft of roadmap of activities for the commemoration of AU 2017 theme on “Harnessing Demographic Dividend through investments in youth”.
Raised awareness for promoting youth employability, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Propose mechanisms for the establishment of the African Union Chairperson’s Envoy on Youth discussed.

Background:

During the Seventh Ordinary Session of the AU Summit in Banjul Gambia, July 2006, African Union Heads of State and Government adopted the African Youth Charter (AYC) – a political and legal document which serves as a strategic framework that gives direction for youth empowerment and development at continental, regional and national levels. The AYC aims to strengthen, reinforce and consolidate efforts to empower young people through meaningful youth participation and equal partnership in driving Africa’s development agenda.

So far, 42 countries have signed the charter, and 38 have ratified it. It was indeed one of the fastest ratified legal instruments of the African Union, for which reason, African countries can congratulate themselves for recognizing and honouring the place of youth. Also, it is important to note that beyond Africa the African Youth Charter is well known and has inspired international youth Forums, organizations, and policies in Europe, South America, UN agencies amongst others.

Ten years later, Africa is taking stock of the progress made as well as the challenges faced, in order to collectively re-strategize and strengthen the momentum towards the implementation of the African Youth Charter and by implication achieving the vision set out in Africa’s Agenda 2063. The commemoration of the tenth year anniversary of the Youth Charter will be under the theme “10 Years Implementation of the African Youth Charter: Accelerating Youth Development in Africa”. As a “rights based” policy framework, it is critical to foreground youth rights in all its facets and as a guideline towards the achievement of the desired developmental outcomes for young people in Africa.

Banjul+10 is an opportunity to advance the agenda of youth empowerment and development in all member states by ensuring, as a mechanism, mutual accountability to the obligations of African Youth Charter and re-affirming commitments in the Decade of Youth 2009 – 2018 and its Plan of Action. The Outcomes of the Banjul+10 will feed into the second AU Specialized Technical Committee (STC) meeting of AU Ministers in Charge of Youth, Culture and Sports, and also serve as roadmap for the 2017 ‘African Year for Harnessing Demographic Dividends for accelerated Youth Empowerment’

Media representatives based in Gambia and the sub-region are invited to cover the event.

Join the Twitter conversations on the 10 year anniversary of the African Youth Charter using our Twitter handle @AUYouthProgram and the hashtag #AUBanjulPlus10.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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