Sunday, 22/7/2018 | 1:16 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire
  • Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

    The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

    **Colombia

    Starting off with an announcement of travel by the Secretary-General:  The Secretary-General will be travelling on 13 January to Bogotá, Colombia, for an official visit to the country to support peace efforts.  On Saturday, his agenda includes meetings with President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and officials of the Government and Armed Forces, as well as with the leadership of the People’s Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC) and the Catholic Church.  While in Bogotá, the Secretary-General will also meet with civil society representatives and with the United Nations Verification Mission and country team working in Colombia.  On Sunday, 14 January, the Secretary-General will travel to the Department of Meta, where his agenda will include, among other activities, a visit to a territorial area for training and reintegration of former FARC combatants.  He will give a press conference at the conclusion of his visit on Sunday evening, and will be back at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday.  If you want more details on the trip, Mathias [Gillmann] in my office will be accompanying the Secretary-General.

    Also on Colombia.  Jean Arnault, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, briefed the Security Council this morning.  He told Council Members that while the building blocks of stabilization are being put in place, we cannot lose sight of the challenges of the socioeconomic reintegration of the 14,000 former combatants.  We must not forget that we are dealing with a large group of former fighters whose level of accumulated frustration with the reintegration process — illustrated by the number of members still in prison — is not easy to overcome, he added.  The Government, UN agencies, the international community and civil society will have to be diligent and thorough in our support to their reintegration and the development of the communities in which they are inserted, he said.  Regarding the process between the Government and the National Liberation Army (ELN), Mr. Arnault stressed that the clamour for the continued suspension of military action has been unanimous, and reiterated the need to preserve the reduction of violence that prevailed during the past three months, while also advocating for a clearer and more reliable ceasefire.

    **Libya

    In Tripoli, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, met with Faiez Serraj, President of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord of Libya.  He also met with the Head of the High Council of State, Mr.  [Abdulrahman] Sewehli, and the diplomatic corps.  As you have seen in the note we issued yesterday, he will be in Libya and Tunisia until Friday.  We will have more updates as they come along.

    **Central African Republic

    From the Central African Republic, an estimated 58,000 people have been displaced to Paoua town in the north-western Ouham-Pendé Prefecture – that is according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  That is up from 25,000 people on 5 January, following fighting between the Revolution Justice and the Mouvement national de la libération de la Centrafrique armed groups.  The security situation remains precarious with fighting reported in villages and five locations surrounding Paoua town, which have been looted and burnt.  The town itself appears to be calm.  Food and the provision of protection, in and around Paoua town, are top priorities.  Some 60 tons of cereals provided by the World Food Programme (WFP) are only sufficient for 10,000 people.  The municipality has provided land to humanitarian workers for the establishment of a settlement site but the capacity of the site is far lower than the expected influx of people.  Meanwhile, insecurity on the roads surrounding Paoua is impeding access to people in need of assistance.  A mission led by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will deploy there tomorrow to further assess the situation and reinforce local efforts.

    **Syria

    Turning to Syria, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, today condemned the upsurge in civilian casualties in Eastern Ghouta in Syria amid the recent escalation in airstrikes and ground-based attacks by Government forces and their allies.  He said that all parties are obliged under international law to distinguish between lawful military targets and civilians and civilian infrastructure.  Meanwhile, we welcome the exceptional delivery of life‑saving humanitarian assistance to an estimated 50,000 Syrian men, women and children stranded at Rukban, near Jordan’s north-eastern border with Syria, earlier this week.  The delivery of humanitarian assistance from Jordan began on Monday, 8 January, and so far, has provided assistance to over 18,000 people.  The operation will continue until all 50,000 people have been reached.  The humanitarian aid includes food, specialized winterization kits and other forms of assistance.

    **Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Turning to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that heavy rains and flooding may exacerbate the country’s ongoing cholera epidemic, the most severe in over 20 years.  The current outbreak, which began last July, is one of the most severe in years.  Health experts fear that the situation in Kinshasa might still considerably worsen, due to a combination of overcrowding and the ongoing rainy season.  WHO reports people in 24 out of 26 provinces have been infected with the disease.  The latest reports find 55,000 cases, including nearly 1,200 deaths, for 2017 alone — double the number of cases from last year.  Cholera response is ongoing in Kasai region and other provinces, but it has been affected by severe cuts in humanitarian funding, diminished response capacities, and a breakdown of pipelines in medical supplies at the local level.

    **Environment

    Today in Nairobi, our colleagues from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and WHO announced a collaboration to curb environmental health risks that cause an estimated 12.6 million deaths a year.  The two agencies agreed to collaborate on initiatives to combat air pollution, climate change and antimicrobial resistance, as well as improve coordination on waste and chemicals management, water quality, and food and nutrition issues.  More information online.

    **Korean Peninsula

    Lastly — almost lastly — you will have seen that we issued a statement yesterday late afternoon, welcoming the progress made during the high-level inter‑Korean talks that took place on 9 January, particularly the agreement to work to ease military tensions, hold military-to-military talks, and reopen the inter-Korean military hotline.  The Secretary-General also seizes this opportunity to acknowledge other efforts that have contributed to reducing tensions, and he hopes such engagement and efforts will contribute to the resumption of sincere dialogue leading to sustainable peace and denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula.

    **Israel

    Lastly, I was asked earlier by one of your colleagues for a reaction on the killing of an Israeli rabbi yesterday.  And I can say the following:  Our position on violence, incitement and terrorism is well known.  There is no justification for terror, nor for those who condone, praise or glorify it.  Such heinous acts only perpetuate the [cycle] of violence, hindering efforts to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.  The perpetrators of yesterday’s attack must be brought to justice.  That’s it.  Rodrigo?

    **Questions and Answers

    Question:  Thank you, Steph.  Prosecutors are seeking charges against two journalists from Reuters in Myanmar.  Does the Secretary‑General have a comment on this new development?

    Spokesman:  I mean, as you know, the Secretary‑General expressed his concern at the situation when he was first asked about it.  I know our colleagues in the UN country team are following the case very closely of the two Reuters journalists.  I think the Secretary‑General has repeated and will continue to repeat his concern at the erosion of press freedom in Myanmar and calling on the international community to do everything to secure the journalists’ release and freedom of the press in Myanmar.  Madame?

    Question:  Stéphane, did the UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process, Mr. [Nickolay] Mladenov, issue any statement since the declaration of Mr. [Donald] Trump… President Trump of moving the embassy to Jerusalem and the killing of 15 Palestinians, most of them… all of them youth and children?  Thank you.

    Spokesman:  I think the Secretary‑General, in his own statement, was very clear on his reaction to the decision announced by the United States, reiterating his call to halt any unilateral actions that would undermine the two‑State solution, reiterating the fact that Jerusalem is… should be considered as a final status issue to be negotiated by the parties.  I think Mr. Mladenov has expressed his concern at the number of civilian deaths that we’ve seen.

    Question:  But… a follow‑up.  But, he didn’t issue any statement regarding the killing of Palestinians, where… at the moment where casualties on the other side… like, yesterday, the killing of the rabbi in the settlement, he immediately issued a statement.  So, the question is, why doesn’t he issue any statement when Palestinians are killed, where he does do this when Israelis are killed?

    Spokesman:  I think whether it’s the Special Coordinator of the UN system, I would refer you back to the monthly briefings, and I think we’ve been very clear in condemning and expressing our sorrow of the loss of lives of civilians on all sides.  Yep?

    Question:  Is there any sympathy or agreement with President Moon’s assertion yesterday that it was the US strategy of max pressure through sanctions that sort of brought the Koreans together to talk?

    Spokesman:  Well, I think it’s not for me to comment on what President Moon [Jae-in] said.  I think the Secretary‑General, in his own statement, noted the contribution of other factors to what has led to the discussions.  I think I would also remind you of the… I think the very important trip that Under‑Secretary‑General Jeff Feltman took to North Korea not too long ago, bringing messages from the Secretary‑General and encouraging dialogue.  And we very much think that that also played a part.  Yep.  Hold on.  Herman, go ahead.

    Question:  Is there any update on the UN action on… to end the slavery in Libya?

    Spokesman:  Our colleagues at UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are working on the ground in places where they can access to help find and to help bring back… repatriate voluntarily migrants from various Sub‑Saharan African countries so they can go home in safety.  And, obviously, we would want to see those criminal elements who are participating in this heinous trade brought to justice.

    Question:  Is there any time frame that we can expect when the…?

    Spokesman:  It’s an ongoing operation.  I think the fact that we have to see in the twenty-first century this… these types of images and this type of treatment of human beings by other human beings, I think, only underscores the need for the international community to come together and agree on a global migration plan.  As you know, the Secretary‑General will address this in the next few days when his report comes out and the need to take the… take away the power of the smugglers and the human traffickers and establish legal pathways and establish protections for humans who are moving and seeking a better life while recognizing their rights and their dignity.  Rodrigo and then Evelyn.

    Question:  Thanks.  You mentioned, on the Secretary‑General’s visit to Colombia, different people he was going to meet.  Is there any plan on maybe reaching out to anything related to the ELN while he’s there?

    Spokesman:  I have no doubt that discussions concerning the… the ELN will come up in discussions.  As you know, there have been… the Government has… was in… there were discussions going on in Ecuador between the ELN and the Government.  I think we’re concerned by the incident that we saw this morning, an attack on an oil pipeline.  We’re, obviously, following those developments very closely, and we’re also keeping the Security Council informed.  Evelyn and then we’ll go back.

    Question:  Speaking of Ecuador, the Government would like to have some kind of an agreement to let… to get Julian Assange out of… out of its embassy.  And in the BBC wrap‑up of this, they mentioned that a UN committee, a UN panel, which is probably a committee, in 2016, said the man should go free.  Do you know which…?

    Spokesman:  It was… if I’m not mistaken, it’s a subsidiary organ of the Human Rights Council, and I think it was a committee on arbitrary detention which operates independently.

    Correspondent:  In Geneva or here…?  Yeah, because that’s a pretty stupid statement.

    Spokesman:  I will let you do the analysis.  Madame?

    Question:  Any updates on Yemen and the blockade and the humanitarian efforts?

    Spokesman:  No.  No good news.  Obviously, I mean, some humanitarian aid is going in, but overall, the suffering of the Yemeni people continues unabated.

    Question:  Where is Mr. [Ismail] Ould Cheikh Ahmed?

    Spokesman:  He is… if I recall, he’s in Amman and continuing his… where he’s based and continuing his contacts.

    Question:  But, I mean, a follow‑up, but which efforts are you… I know you have been trying to talk with the Saudi‑led coalition regarding lifting the blockade.  Are you still in contact?  And which answers are you getting now, why it’s not… I mean, you have been talking about this two months…?

    Spokesman:  We continue to be in constant contact with the coalition to ensure a greater flow of humanitarian aid, but there remain obstacles, the biggest obstacle, obviously, being the continued fighting.  Yes?

    Question:  On North Korea, at the Winter Olympics, the US and the Olympic Committee have both said we need to make sure that the UN sanctions aren’t violated by the participation.  Can you give any kind of indication of what sanctions could be relevant?

    Spokesman:  There are sanctions put in place by the Security Council, including sanctions having to do with the transfer of money and all sorts of financial things.  So, whatever it is incumbent for Member States to respect those sanctions and, obviously, work with the relevant Security Council Sanctions Committee to ensure that the sanctions are not violated or that derogations may be granted, but things need to be done in accordance, obviously, with international law.

    Question:  So does the SG anticipate that it could kind of put a spanner in the works…?

    Spokesman:  We try not to be in the business of anticipating.  Well, we do… we’re in the business of being prepared.  We don’t want to predict.  What is… I think the fact that the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] will be sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics is a positive movement that can only be welcome, and we expect that all the details of that visit will be worked out within the relevant international law and the sanctions, which is dealt with directly by the Security Council and the Sanctions Committee.  Yes, sir?

    Question:  Sorry.  Will the Special Envoy to Syria be attending the Sochi talks?

    Spokesman:  A decision has not yet been made.  A decision will be made in due time, but I think we very much welcome the statements that we’ve seen from the Russian representative here that all of this is being done in… I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but in terms of in coordination and in preparation for Geneva and not in competition with the Geneva process.  Okay.  Thank you very much.

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  • Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

    The following is a near‑verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary‑General.

    Good afternoon, thank you for coming.

    **Mediterranean

    The Secretary‑General will speak to the Security Council this afternoon about the security challenges in the Mediterranean Sea.  He expects to tell the Council that the Mediterranean region faces serious challenges on multiple fronts, including illicit trade in narcotics, weapons and petroleum products; large movements of refugees and migrants; maritime piracy; and human rights violations.  So far this year, at least 2,800 refugees and migrants have perished in the Mediterranean, while countless others died on their way across the desert.  The Secretary‑General will argue that we need a more effective cooperation in cracking down on smugglers and traffickers, while protecting their victims and opening up meaningful opportunities for regular migration.  And right now, as you know Security Council members are holding consultations concerning the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) for Syria.

    **Bangladesh/Myanmar

    Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that approximately 620,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since 25 August.  The refugees are mostly living in makeshift settlements without adequate infrastructure or services.  As of today, the Rohingya Refugee Crisis Response Plan has received nearly $140 million, or just under one third of what is actually needed.  Donors have pledged a total of $360 million for the response, and we urge them to disburse these funds as quickly as possible. For its part, the UNHCR [Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] says that, over the past 10 days, it has received reports of some 30 improvised rafts, carrying more than 1,000 people, arriving in Bangladesh from Myanmar.

    As of today, more than 100 Rohingya refugees are known to have drowned in shipwrecks and boat incidents since the start of the crisis, with recent arrivals telling UNHCR that they had been waiting for more than a month in desperate conditions on Myanmar’ shores.  Also, the Secretary‑General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, wrapped up a visit to Bangladesh.  She said her observations point to a pattern of widespread atrocities, including gang rape and sexual slavery.  Ms. Patten said her office has agreement to develop a framework of cooperation with the Government to strengthen sexual- and gender‑based violence services and programmes.

    **Yemen

    Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that, as the blockade by the Saudi‑Led Coalition on Yemen’s Sana’a airport and the country’s main ports in Hodeidah and Saleef is now in its twelfth day, millions of Yemenis continue to require urgent humanitarian assistance to stave off starvation and disease.  The warring parties are obligated under international humanitarian law to allow and facilitate safe, rapid, unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief to all people in need, through all sea ports and airports and throughout the country.  To prevent a health catastrophe, medical supplies need to be imported to contain a new outbreak of diphtheria, which is putting at risk approximately 1 million children.  In addition, fuel is necessary to provide water, but reports say the lack of fuel imports has resulted in three cities shutting down their clean water and sewage systems.  In ten days, there will be no petrol supplies left in the northern parts of Yemen.

    **Iraq

    Turning to Iraq, our humanitarian colleagues there tell us that preliminary findings of a humanitarian assessment mission to Tal Usquf in Iraq’s Ninewa Governorate have recorded 250 houses as either partially or fully damaged following the military realignment in northern Iraq in the middle of last month.  The primary needs in the area were found to include school rehabilitation, medical equipment, and winterization, such as the supply of heating fuel.  Humanitarian workers continue to struggle with effective access to Tal Usquf, due to the closure of key checkpoints in the area.  Meanwhile, some 4,800 people, who had left in the context of the military realignment, have since returned to the area.  Regarding earthquake recovery near the Iran‑Iraq border, the delivery of humanitarian services and assistance continues, as do assessments in the affected areas.  The Darbandikhan water treatment plant has been found to be operational at only 20 per cent capacity following the quake.  Distribution of water purification tablets and water purifiers is planned to ensure people are not exposed to waterborne diseases.

    **Climate Change

    Today, the Climate Change Conference in Bonn is coming to an end.  Our colleagues there tell us that this evening countries are expected to adopt a series of decisions that will advance the process of implementing the Paris Agreement.  Some of the announcements made today include a Global Alliance by more than 20 countries to phase out coal, the launch of an initiative to promote clean biofuels; the expansion of a G7 initiative to increase insurance coverage for climate‑related disasters; a $59 million commitment by Germany to help developing countries in their adaptation efforts; and a pledge by the EU to make up any shortfall in funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Going forward, countries will discuss progress made through the newly established “Talanoa Dialogue”, a mechanism to facilitate dialogue among the Parties.  More information on the UNFCCC’s [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] website.

    **Cameroon

    Our colleagues at the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) said yesterday in a statement that they are concerned about the increase in the number of security incidents in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon.  The UN, they say, condemns the use of any form of violence by any party and reiterates its call for calm and restraint.  The UN has continuously stated that the best way to address the situation in the two regions is through a genuine and inclusive dialogue.  The Secretary‑General reiterates the availability of his Special Representative, François Louncény Fall, to assist national efforts in the search for a lasting peaceful solution to the crisis.

    **Colombia

    Turning to Colombia, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) there tells us they have noted an increase in murders and threats against human rights defenders and community leaders in the Pacific Coast region.  In most cases, the victims are from indigenous and Afro‑Colombian communities.

    **El Salvador

    Staying in the Southern Hemisphere, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, today wrapped up a visit to El Salvador, the first ever by a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  He said that, 25 years after the end of the civil war, El Salvador has proven itself to be a functioning democracy that honours freedom of expression and the political discourse there is vibrant.  Moreover, by presiding over the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner said the country has demonstrated its willingness to take a leadership role internationally, along with the responsibilities of being on the Council, which is much appreciated.  The High Commissioner thoroughly condemned the violence perpetrated by gangs and organized crime there.  He took note of the Government’s plan to curb and prevent violence, stressing that it needs to be implemented in a comprehensive way, in accordance with international human rights standards.

    **Cambodia

    The High Commissioner has also released a statement expressing his grave concern over the conduct of credible, free and fair elections in Cambodia next year following the Supreme Court’s decision to dissolve the main opposition party.

    **Antimicrobial Resistance

    Our friends at the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] and the World Health Organization (WHO) today released a survey which reveals that countries have stepped up their efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance on farms and in food systems.  The survey found that more than 6.5 billion people — or more than 90 per cent of the world’s population ‑ now live in a country that already has, or is developing a national action plan to tackle the issue.  Nearly all of these plans cover both human and animal health in line with the recommended “one health”, multi‑sectoral approach.

    **Sustainable Development Goals

    A couple of things to flag for you over the weekend and Monday: Over the weekend, in Doha, Qatar, there will be a High‑level Conference to jump‑start 2018 discussions on financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Hosted by Qatar, with the support from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the event will address current challenges in advancing [financing for] the SDGs and implementing the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.  The results of the Conference will be presented during next year’s high‑level political forum [on sustainable development], which will take place here at UN Headquarters.  More information on Department’s website.

    **Children’s Day

    On Monday, our colleagues at UNICEF [United Nations Children’s Fund] will host an event here at Headquarters to mark World Children’s Day.  The Secretary‑General will be in attendance along with high‑profile supporters, special guests, and 150 children representing some of the world’s most vulnerable children to speak out to the international community on issues that matter to them.  Some of the participants include:  singers, songwriters and musicians Chloe and Halle, who will debut a specially penned track to mark the day; Isabela Moner from Transformers:  The Last Knight and Nickelodeon; Logan actress Dafne Keen; Jaden Michael, the star of Wonderstruck; and Zari, the star of the local Afghan version of Sesame Street.  There will be a blue carpet photo call from 9 a.m. in the East Foyer which you are all welcome to attend.

    **Toilet Day

    I also want to flag that Sunday is World Toilet Day.  This year’s theme is wastewater, and it seeks to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.  Today, more than 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste.  As in previous years, there will be a giant inflatable toilet in front of the UN Secretariat on Monday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The toilet is installed by UN Water with the support of the Mission of Singapore.

    **Press Briefings

    Press conferences:  at 9.45 a.m, Monday, you are expected to hear from Danny Danon, the Permanent Representative of Israel.  He will speak to you at the Security Council stakeout.  At 11 a.m. there will be a press briefing right here in this room on the CARICOM [Caribbean Community]‑UN High‑level pledging conference: Building a more Climate‑resilient community.  This is in the aftermath of the terrible hurricanes that struck the Caribbean region.  After I’m done, you will hear from my competitor, Brenden Varma.

    **Questions and Answers

    Question:  Sure.  I was going to start with… with rosewood, but I have to actually ask you about this… this this François [Louncény] Fall statement.  And the reason I’m… I’m asking is that, as you may know and… and… and five experts of Geneva‑based special rapporteurs, including on freedom of expression, defence of human right defenders and others, issued a statement.  I don’t know… I guess I want to ask you about it.  The statement says… is largely focused on abuses by the Government of Anglophones, censorship, turning off social media.  They have a… a… a death figure.  They talk about torture.  And so I’m wondering.  How is it… how is… I know that they’re not part of the UN system.  They do give briefings in this room.  They are appointed by the Human Rights Council.  What’s the relationship between human rights experts saying the Government is killing Anglophones and François Fall saying territory is important and gendarmes have been killed? It seems like they’re two opposing statements.

    Spokesman:  A, I don’t think they’re in contradiction of each other, and everybody has a different role within the wide and varied UN system.  The special rapporteurs, as you do note, are independent from the Secretariat and the Secretary‑General, appointed by the Human Rights Council.  They are an extremely important part of the UN’s human rights mechanism and, as a matter of principle, countries should cooperate with these human rights experts.  I’m not privy to their research or how they get their information.  As I said, they’re independent.  We have over the past months, expressed our concern at the violence.  We’ve expressed our concern at the lack of Internet access.  The basic message that Mr. Fall and that the Secretary‑General have reiterated is the fact that the situation in these two regions will best be addressed by an inclusive and genuine political dialogue.

    Question:  Just… thanks.  I want to ask one follow-up.  And I asked you before, but I think you’ll see the need to… to actually… to answer it now.  Mr. François Fall, in an interview played on UN Radio, said that secessionists are extremists and that federalism, which used to be the status of this area, is off the table.  Number one, that’s why people don’t see him as a credible mediator, but more importantly, the equation of nonviolent secessionists with extremists is exactly the logic that the Government uses to kill people from… from helicopter gunships, so that’s why I’m asking you.  It seems like some of the problems that the human rights experts are criticizing are, in fact… I don’t want to say caused by Mr. Fall’s statement, but in some way resonant with the logic of… of saying that anyone that says we should be independent is an extremist and should be shot at from a helicopter.

    Spokesman:  I don’t agree with your logic, and I don’t think in any way, shape, or form Mr. Fall should be blamed for what is going on in the country.  Yes, sir?

    Question:  On the JIM Mechanism… is… is the Secretary‑General disappointed by yesterday’s vote and what’s the expectations from today’s consultations?

    Spokesman:  Well, our understanding is that there are consultations going on.  We’ve seen the press reports, as you have, of some sort of a draft resolution calling for a technical rollover.  It’s obviously up for the Security Council to decide on the fate of the JIM, which operates under its mandate.  I think the Secretary‑General has been very clear from the beginning about the importance of the work of the JIM, especially in assigning… excuse me, let me take that again.  The importance of the work of the JIM, especially in terms of accountability and setting accountability for the horrendous use of chemical weapons that we have seen in Syria.  But at this very moment, it’s in the hands of the Security Council.  And the shelf life of the JIM, if unchanged, ends at midnight tonight, if I’m not mistaken.  Stefano?

    Question:  Yes, about Libya.  Yesterday, there was the Security Council meeting on Libya, and today, the Italian Foreign Minister, I know, is going to meet also the Secretary‑General.  Just three days ago, the High Commissioner for Human Rights was saying he had… had a very strong critic on the policy of the European Union on… on the agreement that they reached with Libya to hold the migrants, because the situation of those camps, he said that it’s inhumane and the situation is getting worse instead of better.  So there was just a press conference with the Italian Foreign Minister.  I asked the question what is his… what is his reaction to this critic? And he said that… that Italy is doing anything possible.  He’s also helping the UN agency, and then he said… in Italian, he said… “più buona azione e meno lezione.”  Rough translation is, “more good action and less lecture”.  Now, what is the reaction to something like this? I mean, it looks like Italy…

    Spokesman:  Listen, I… my knowledge of Italian is good, but I will not delve into the subtleties of commenting on something I haven’t heard.  I think the UN system has expressed its concern at the fate of the people who are stuck in Libya, migrants and refugees.  We have seen horrendous reports come out.  There’s been talk of slavery and of just horrendous conditions, and these things need to be addressed.

    Question:  Just a quick follow‑up on that specific question.  What do you think about what, for example, Filippo Grandi had to say we are here, but there are not the security conditions yet to be able to run those… those camps? What does the General Secretary think?  Are the conditions of security…

    Spokesman:  We’re not going to second‑guess the High Commissioner for [Refugees] in terms of when he says what the conditions are needed in order for him to deploy more people on the ground.  That’s his call, and it’s up to him to decide.  The Secretary‑General is not going to second-guess him.  Our efforts, through Mr. [Ghassan] Salamé, is on creating a political solution… working with the Libyan parties to move forward on a political solution to create the conditions that will restore peace and stability to the country.  Mr. Lee?

    Question:  Sure.  Actually, just one… first, a follow‑up on the JIM thing.  I don’t know if you’ll answer it or not, but I did notice that between the two resolutions yesterday, you were… you went into the Council, which is obviously your right, well within your rights.  I just wanted… I guess I’m interested.  Was it within the capacity of knowing whether it would pass so the Secretary‑General could… could report on it?  Just in what capacity…?

    Spokesman:  No, I… the Secretary‑General doesn’t rely on his spokesman to find out what’s going on in the Security Council.

    Correspondent:  That’s why I’m asking.  That’s why it was interesting.

    Spokesman:  I go in because I have the privilege to be able to go into the room and once in a while, I like to go into the room and soak up the atmosphere and see what’s going on.

    Question:  Okay.  Fair enough, fair enough.  Yesterday, I had asked you about… about some questions about this rosewood situation, and I want to say that yesterday, there were 46,000 people petitioning for the Secretary‑General.  Now, there’s 62,000.  But you had said to me, go and read Le Monde, so I did read Le Monde, and… and there’s no mention of Cameroon in it, but, in fact, in the report by the Environmental Investigation Agency, there is… and in other reports, there are talk that some of these logs don’t over come from Nigeria, which would make them outright illegal, signing any certificate for their export.  So, I wanted to… this is the kind of thing I would like to ask Amina Mohammed if she did a press conference, just what did she know about… I’m sure there’s answers.  I’m sure there’s many things that could be said.

    Spokesman:  Next time she’s in front of the press, she will be… she has engaged with journalists who have written stories on this and has not been hiding from anything.  Quite to the contrary.  We have said what we’ve had to say.  I think any further questions on how this issue is dealt with should go to the Nigerian Government.

    Correspondent:  But just so you know, the petitioners are not writing to the Nigerian Government.  They’re saying that there’s inconsistencies…

    Spokesman:  I’ve answered the question about the petitioners.

    Question:  This is kind of a related question that you may or may not like, but there’s a lot of interest by… by Greenpeace and other environmental organizations in a… in a… in a move by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to end what’s called an embargo on logging, or an embargo on new, you know, industrial logging concessions.  And so people… I could imagine a UN body or the Secretariat itself, since it relates to climate change, might have a position on this.  Sorry to ask you, but given the 62,000 signatures, would Amina Mohammed, otherwise, you know, responsible for sustainable development on many issues, would she be recused from deciding the Secretariat’s position on logging matters until this logging matter is cleaned up?

    Spokesman:  You’re jumping over conclusions that, I think, that have… over facts that have been an Olympic record.

    Correspondent:  Read the petition.

    Spokesman:  I’m not talking about the petition.  I’m talking about your… the logic within your question.  I think Amina Mohammed has, in her past capacity, in her current capacity, has been a very strong advocate against illegal logging and has shown that through her actions.  Thank you.

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  • Security Council Committee Concerning Libya Renews, Amends Entry of Vessel on Its Sanctions List

    On 31 October 2017, the Committee renewed the listing and enacted the amendments specified with strikethrough and underline in the entry specified below on its List of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and other measures relating to attempts to illicitly export petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, from Libya (the Libya Sanctions List), set out in paragraphs 15 and/or 17 of Security Council resolution 1970 (2011) and/or paragraph 19 of resolution 1973 (2011), or paragraph 10 of resolution 2146 (2014) as extended and modified by paragraph 2 of resolution 2362 (2017), adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.

    B. Entities and Other Groups

    LYe.005 Name: Lynn S
    A.k.a.: na F.k.a.: na Address: na Listed on: 2 Aug. 2017 Other information: IMO: 8706349 Listed pursuant to paragraphs 10(a) and 10 (b) of resolution 2146 (2014), as extended and modified by paragraph 2 of resolution 2362 (2017) (prohibition to load, transport or discharge; prohibition to enter ports). Pursuant to paragraph 11 of resolution 2146, this designation was renewed by the Committee on 31 October 2017 and is valid until 29 January 2018 is valid from 2 August to 2 November 2017, unless terminated earlier by the Committee pursuant to paragraph 12 of resolution 2146. Flag State: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. As of 6 October26 July 2017, the vessel was located in the territorialinternational waters approximately 50 nautical miles southeast of Cyprusof Lebanon, when it set sail heading West.

    The Committee has made accessible on its website the narrative summary of reasons for listing of the above entry, at the following URL:  www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/1970/materials/summaries-0.

    The updated List is accessible on the Committee’s website at the following URL:   www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/1970/materials.

    The Consolidated United Nations Security Council Sanctions List is also updated following all changes made to the Libya Sanctions List. An updated version of the Consolidated List is accessible via the following URL:  www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/un-sc-consolidated-list.

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