Speech: Supporting UNOCA’s efforts to ensure peace in Central Africa

first_imgThank you Mr President and may I also thank our briefers today – Ambassador Fall for your report and also for your team’s work in this challenging region. And also Ambassador Allam-Mi, thank you for your comments, and also welcome to the Security Council. It’s good to see you today sir because regional organizations like yours are essential and we are pleased you’ve been able to demonstrate today the cooperation between the regional group and UNOCA.Mr President, the United Kingdom remains concerned by the security and political situation in Central Africa. Many of those concerns are reflected in the Secretary-General’s report, including the threats from terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and other groups in the Lake Chad Basin, and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central African Republic and DRC. And we note with horror the use of women and girls as suicide bombers by Boko Haram.As we’ve discussed many times before in this Council, both military and non-military action is required to address these threats. We must understand their root causes and the political, economic and humanitarian needs of the population. And it is essential that we take a coherent, “whole of UN” approach to tackle both existing problems and prevent further deterioration in this region.This year, 10 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the Lake Chad Basin. The United Kingdom has committed £300 million to tackling the crisis over the next five years. And we call upon other international donors to help make up funding shortfalls for humanitarian operations across the region.Mr President, we are also concerned by the situation in Cameroon and the number of casualties that have resulted amongst both civilians and Cameroon’s security forces. Citizens have the right of peaceful protest. It is the government’s responsibility to protect demonstrators while also protecting the safety and security of all citizens. We call for all parties to reject violence, pursue dialogue and urgently take action to reduce tensions. Failure to do so will only cause the already concerning situation to deteriorate further. In this regard, we welcome President Biya’s New Year’s announcement to pursue dialogue, decentralisation and restraint. And we strongly encourage the government to take further steps to give effect to this announcement. We commend UNOCA’s support as part of broader international efforts to find a lasting solution to the current crisis, and we would encourage intensification of these efforts and ask that we are kept regularly informed on progress.Mr President, we recognise UNOCA’s efforts elsewhere in the region, including the mobilisation of support for the African Peace Initiative in the Central African Republic with regional partners and we encourage this to continue. UNOCA also has a crucial role supporting states in the subregion to hold timely, transparent and inclusive elections and supporting ECCAS’s efforts to lay the groundwork for structural prevention of election-related violence.We are concerned by the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and we appreciate UNOCA’s reporting on this matter. Further, more detailed reporting on the problem and the work being done to combat it should be carried out, given the heightened and significant threat to international shipping and regional prosperity.In addition to regional governments, regional organisations – including the African Union, ECCAS, CMAC, the Gulf of Guinea Commission and the Lake Chad Basin Commission – are essential to address the challenges to peace and security, promote democratic governance and enhance regional cooperation. Inter-regional cooperation, particularly on issues like the Sahel, are also crucial, and we welcome the announcement that ECCAS and ECOWAS will hold a joint summit in July. We encourage UNOCA and UNOWAS to continue to support this inter-regional approach.Mr President, UNOCA has demonstrated that it can be a valuable partner for regional governments and organisations. In order to make the best use of the resources available, UNOCA should focus on building the capacity of regional entities to deliver crisis prevention work, such as preventative diplomacy, early warning mechanisms and mediation, and support UN agencies in priority thematic areas including gender.Mr President, the United Kingdom appreciates UNOCA’s efforts in the region and we encourage UNOCA to improve its communication of this good work. This will ensure those outside the UN system can better understand UNOCA’s ongoing work and support it whenever possible.Thank you Mr President.last_img read more

Lea Michele in Funny Girl on Broadway! No, Really!

View Comments The TV starlet told Broadway BFF Jonathan Groff in the new issue of Teen Vogue that Glee creator Ryan Murphy has now officially obtained the rights to the show and that “we’re hoping to do that at some point.” Hey, did you know that Lea Michele wants to play Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway? Yeah, we thought so. The Glee star has definitely been vocal about her love of Barbra Streisand and the role that made her a star. She’s sang the show’s songs on the Tony Awards, on her hit Fox show and, well, anywhere she can. And her Glee character, Rachel Berry, is now actually STARRING as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on TV. So what is all of this building up to? You guessed it: Lea Michele is Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on BROADWAY! OK, so it’s not exactly happening tomorrow. But it looks like it’s happening! Congrats, Lea! Dreams do come true. Is this the most perfect thing ever? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below! read more

Rodgers: Balotelli going nowhere

first_img Rodgers said: “It’s not some thing that I have even thought about to be honest. We’ve had a lot of games this season in a lot of competitions. At this moment in time the key for me is trying to keep the squad together.” While Balotelli continues to struggle to find his feet at Anfield since his £16m move from AC Milan in the summer, Rodgers has been forced to juggle his forwards to find a combination which goes some way to fill the void left by the absence of Sturridge and the departed Luis Suarez. Raheem Sterling is currently the latest player leading the line and he performed admirably in that role again against Burnley on Boxing Day. His decisive strike on the hour took him to three goals in his last three matches, and Rodgers believes that he has a lot to offer in a position which he is quickly adapting to. “I think Raheem and anyone with that type of pace will always stretch teams and will always make defenders think,” he said. “He’s a different type and not your natural number nine. For me it’s more about the position than the player. For the team to function well, that pace in the team is very important for us.” Sterling is likely to be supported by both Phillipe Coutinho and Adam Lalanna when Swansea visit Anfield on Sunday. Rodgers was full of praise for the duo and the opportunities they have created for their team-mate -it was an inventive flick from the Brazilian which created the goal at Burnley. “I think that Adam and Philippe are playing in a role that suits them perfectly really. The key is obviously the work rate as well. They press the ball well, they work very, very hard.” Reports in the striker’s homeland have suggested that former club Inter Milan, where Balotelli rose to prominence, may be looking at a loan move for him in the new year in light of his poor start to life at Anfield. But Rodgers insists he has no plans to further weaken a forward line which is already lacking the injured Daniel Sturridge. There will be no route back to Italy for Mario Balotelli this January, according to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. Press Association And Emre Can was another who received praise from Rodgers. “He played centre half in one of the games I took in last year to go and see him. He played at centre half in a 4-2-3-1. He’s got a big future hear at Anfield it’s just been curtailed a little since the summer when he was trying to gain his fitness,” he said. “He had an ankle issue that made him miss training and he was in and out. He’s got great athleticism and you saw in his presence on the pitch yesterday (against Burnley) that he’s an outstanding footballer. “He’s a very young player just acclimatising to the game over here. His favourite position is as a more defensive player even though I’ve played him in a more attack role because I’d like him to do more of that. “But he’s a player that if you asked him his profile it would be to sit and play in that defensive role where he can play and dictate the game and be physical in the duel. “Him coming on against Burnley gave us that assurance in possession and also that physicality when we didn’t have the ball. He’s someone I know can play in a number of positions and someone I know his influence will become greater as the season goes on.” last_img read more