Tag «Sheaden»

Expanding role of UN Office in Somalia will require increased investment Security

Laying out a series of proposals, Atul Khare said such changes meant redefining the Support Office’s clients as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the Somalia National Army. Medical support infrastructure would be extended on a limited basis to provide medical evacuation assistance to the Somali National Police in areas where AMISOM operated. While the Secretariat would do its part, critical support would need to come from the Council, the General Assembly, Member States and the African Union.A three-month strategic review of the Support Office, from July to September, had found that its resources had not kept pace with the “dramatic expansion of its tasks,” which now included support to both high-intensity military operations, as well as highly mobile political engagement in Somalia and beyond. The clients had grown from one to five, and the number of personnel it supported from 8,000 to 33,000 – all in an area that had expanded from 100 square kilometres to more than 400,000.“UNSOA is working in a significantly non-permissive environment with the backdrop of the scourge of Al Shabaab, and a continuing humanitarian crisis,” he explained, recalling that fatalities in AMISOM last year exceeded the combined fatalities from malicious acts in all UN peacekeeping operations combined. In the last 18 months, UN personnel and facilities had been attacked an average of once every 10 weeks.The logistical enabling environment is also weak, Mr. Khare continued, affected by insecurity in the major supply routes, where three quarters of all improvised explosive device attacks against AMISOM occur. While proud of what UNSOA has achieved with its comparatively small and restricted resource base, he said that has come at the expense of effective service delivery in critical areas of maintenance services, field defence supplies, tentage, mobility and construction.As such, future efforts would also be refocused on “surge support”, he said, to address critical gaps, strengthening human rights due diligence policy and sexual exploitation and abuse compliance, coordination and joint decision-making frameworks, and environmental stewardship.The Council would need to strengthen the Support Office’s accountability framework, he said, through a single, clear mandate focused on the delivery of support to – but operationally separate from – its clients. That would require a stronger reporting relationship with the Council; a leadership function headed by an Assistant Secretary-General and a new name.Clear roles for the delivery of logistical support had been agreed with the African Union Mission. Encouraged by the Union’s efforts to generate the enabling units authorized as part of AMISOM, he said that, in parallel, UNSOA would support the establishment of those units in all sectors of the Union’s operations to support the opening of the main supply routes.He hoped to present proposals to the General Assembly for strengthening the Support Office, he said, which would likely represent a $60 million annual increase and a one-time cost of $13 million in investment.He would send Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support Anthony Nathan Banbury to Somalia from 18 to 20 October to follow up on the Council’s guidance. During Mr. Banbury’s visit, on 19 October, he would also address the Support Office staff. read more

UN ends probe into Irans past nuclear activities moving international accord closer

“My final assessment gives clear answers to two very important questions: did Iran engage in activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device? And, if it did, is it still doing so?” UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano told the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna before it adopted a resolution closing the long running investigation.“The Agency assesses that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003,” he said, stressing that while the IAEA could not reconstruct all details of Iran’s past activities, it could clarify enough to assess the whole picture.“The Agency also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities. The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”In July Iran and a group of six countries – China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to resolve the nuclear issue, entrusting the IAEA with verifying and monitoring Iran’s commitments.Iran’s nuclear programme – which it states is for peaceful purposes of energy production, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions – has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that it concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).Under the JCPOA Iran pledged never under any circumstances to seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons, and the UN Security Council is to consider ending sanctions imposed for its NPT violations once it receives IAEA’s report on verification.“JCPOA Implementation Day will occur when the Agency has verified that Iran has implemented measures specified in that agreement,” Mr. Amano said today. “I will inform the Board promptly when the Agency has verified that the preparatory steps have been completed.”He also called for addressing the issue of funding the additional IAEA activities in Iran under the JCPOA, noting that verification and monitoring require predictable funding.“Significant progress has been made on the Iran nuclear issue, but now is not the time to relax,” Mr. Amano concluded. “This issue has a long and complex history, and the legacy of mistrust between Iran and the international community must be overcome.”“Much work lies ahead of us. All parties must fully implement their commitments under the JCPOA. Considerable effort was required in order to reach this agreement. A similar and sustained effort will be required to implement it,” he stressed. read more