Author Archives: UN Insider
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his concern at the devastation and increasing death toll left by Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh.
Media reports say that more than 2,000 people have been reported killed as a result of Cyclone Sidr, which struck the southwest coast of Bangladesh late on Thursday local time, bringing winds of more than 240 kilometres per hour and a water surge that created waves up to five metres high. The death toll is expected to climb further.
Thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed, large tracts of cropland have been wiped and hundreds of thousands of people have had to evacuate their home villages and towns and now depend on aid for basic necessities.
Ban expressed “his profound condolences to the people and Government of Bangladesh for the many deaths and the destruction involved, and the full solidarity of the UN system at this time of crisis.”
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is sending relief in the wake of Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh—the organization is sending food to feed 400,000 people in the affected areas.
“We have to move as quickly as possible to get food to the most vulnerable,” said WFP Bangladesh Representative Douglas Broderick, pointing out that the biscuits are critical “when there is a scarcity of clean water for drinking and cooking.”
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has nominated Belgian criminologist Serge Brammertz as the new chief prosecutor at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
Mr. Brammertz’s candidacy became known informally this summer, but he had to complete his mandate as the head of the United Nations inquiry into the killing in 2005 of Rafik Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon. Mr. Ban also nominated Daniel Bellemare, a Canadian prosecutor, to take over the Lebanon investigation. Both appointments require the approval of the Security Council, which is likely.
The second meeting of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum in Rio de Janeiro tackled internet resources, access, how to use the internet to assist in development.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “The United Nations does not have a role in managing the Internet…But we do embrace the opportunity to provide, through this Forum, a platform that helps to ensure the Internet’s global reach.”
During Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Antarctica, the UN Secretary General said warming temperatures on the continent mark dangers of climate change.
“It is here where our work, together, comes into focus…We see Antarctica’s beauty – and the danger global warming represents, and the urgency that we do something about it.”
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is sending aid to 70,000 people affected by floods in the Mexican state of Tabasco.
“We are moving as swiftly as possible to bring critical help to the people of Tabasco, who are suffering the worst crisis in their recent history,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.
SG: The SG briefed the SC today from Ramallah where he reiterated his message from today’s earlier press conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to: “Stop fighting. Start talking. And take on the root causes of the conflict.” The SG will continue travelling this week to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
SG: The SG arrived in Cairo today where he will meet with the Foreign Minister, President el-Sisi and US Secretary of State Kerry to promote the Egypt-initiated ceasefire in the Middle East. Spokesman Dujarric told reporters today that “the overriding messages that [the SG] brings is, first, that the violence must stop, and needs to stop now.”
Middle East: The SG welcomed the humanitarian pause negotiated by Special Coordinator Serry to allow civilians in Gaza to begin repairs on electrical and water infrastructure. WFP used the five-hour pause to deliver emergency food assistance to Gaza. The SG hopes the pause will lead to peace and a sustainable ceasefire.