IOM Appeals for Funds to Assist Ethiopian Returnees from Saudi Arabia

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM is appealing for USD 13.1 million to address the needs of a projected 120,000 returning Ethiopian migrants from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The numbers of the returning mi…

UK Minister highlights kidnap threat in Sahel and North Africa

LONDON, United-Kingdom, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — FCO Minister Robertson met travel industry representatives to emphasise the continuing threat of terrorist kidnap in Sahel and North Africa.

Mr Hugh Robertson said:

“Despite the success of military intervention in Mali, there remains a very real threat of kidnap to westerners in areas of the Sahel and North Africa.

“Our travel advice provides a detailed assessment of the threat in individual countries. This allows individuals to make informed decisions about where they travel.

“The British Government takes the threat to British nationals overseas extremely seriously. The Prime Minister has made the security of British nationals in high threat countries a priority. The UK, along with G8 partners, has committed to reducing terrorist groups’ access to funding by rejecting ransom payments. It is a very tough policy to follow, but we believe that this is the only way to prevent further kidnappings.”

During the meeting, Foreign Office officials underlined that the threat makes some areas, which may appear to be attractive destinations, unsafe for tourism.

The threat from groups such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M) and Al Murabitun has been demonstrated by a number of recent attacks including in In Amenas in January this year. Groups like AQ-M rely on kidnap for ransom as their major source of funding and are prepared to go to extreme lengths to secure hostages.

EU commits to funding the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — As the political and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) has progressively deteriorated for more than a year now, the European Commission has continued to mobilise its development aid to help people and improve their security. On 5 December 2013 the Poliitical and Security Committee of the EU endorsed a request from the African Union (dated 21 November 2013) addressed to the European Union for funding of €50 million for the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (AFISM-CAR). “The AFISM-CAR will contribute to the stabilization of the country and the protection of local populations, creating conditions conducive to the provision of humanitarian assistance and the reform of the security and defence sector”, said European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs.

Spindelegger: "Mandela inspired generations and gave them hope" / Vice-Chancellor on the death of Nelson Mandela

VIENNA, Austria, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger expressed his deep grief about Nelson Mandela’s death. “The world has lost a statesman of epochal dimensions and …

Statement by UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres on the death of Nelson Mandela

NEW YORK, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — It is with very great sadness that I have heard the news of the death of Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa.

His extraordinary wisdom, selflessness and compassion not o…

PROFOUNDLY SADDENED BY PASSING OF NELSON MANDELA, SECRETARY-GENERAL PRAISES LEADER AS MAN OF TOWERING ACHIEVEMENT, GIANT FOR JUSTICE

NEW YORK, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s statement on the death of Nelson Mandela, in New York on 5 December:

Nelson Mandela was a singular figure on the global stage — a man of quiet dignity and towering achievement, a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration.

I am profoundly saddened by his passing. On behalf of the United Nations, I extend my deepest condolences to the people of South Africa and especially to Nelson Mandela’s family and loved ones.

Many around the world were greatly influenced by his selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom. He touched our lives in deeply personal ways. At the same time, no one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations.

Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of his people and humanity, and he did so at great personal sacrifice. His principled stance and the moral force that underpinned it were decisive in dismantling the system of apartheid.

Remarkably, he emerged from 27 years of detention without rancor, determined to build a new South Africa based on dialogue and understanding. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission established under his leadership remains a model for achieving justice in societies confronting a legacy of human rights abuses.

In the decades-long fight against apartheid, the United Nations stood side-by-side with Nelson Mandela and all those in South Africa who faced unrelenting racism and discrimination. His 1994 address to the General Assembly as the first democratically elected President of a free South Africa was a defining moment. The Assembly has declared 18 July, his birthday, “Nelson Mandela International Day”, an annual observance on which we recognize and seek to build on his contributions to promoting a culture of peace and freedom around the world.

I was privileged to meet Nelson Mandela in 2009. When I thanked him for his life’s work, he insisted the credit belonged to others. I was very moved by his selflessness and deep sense of shared purpose.

Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world and within each one of us — if we believe, dream and work together. Let us continue each day to be inspired by his lifelong example and his call to never cease working for a better and more just world.

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON NELSON MANDELA

NEW YORK, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gérard Araud ( France):

The members of the Security Council are profoundly saddened to hear of the death of President Nelson Mandela. He was an inspirational leader who transformed the lives of millions of people around the world. The members of the Security Council extend their deepest condolences to his family and to the Government and people of South Africa at this time.

The members of the Security Council express their deepest admiration for the outstanding qualities of moral and political leadership displayed by Nelson Mandela throughout his lifetime. His lifelong fight against racial oppression and his decisive role in shaping the peaceful transition to a united and democratic South Africa are a lasting legacy to his country and to the world.

The members of the Security Council commend the adoption in 2009 of Nelson Mandela International Day, the first ever international day in honour of an individual. The members of the Security Council consider this to be a reflection of the magnitude of Nelson Mandela’s contribution to freedom and justice. Nelson Mandela Day is a celebration of the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, and the ability to make an impact, just as Nelson Mandela did himself.

The members of the Security Council express their solidarity with the people of South Africa at this sad time. President Nelson Mandela will forever be remembered as someone who gave up so much of his life in the struggle for freedom, so that millions could have a brighter future.

Wan E'xiang, Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping to Attend the Celebration Marking the 50th Anniversary of Kenyan Independence

BEIJING, China, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei announces at the regular press conference:

Vice Chairman Wan E’xiang of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress will go to K…

FAO lauds Nelson Mandela as champion of right to food / Director-General of hunger-fighting agency remembers former South African president

ROME, Italy, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — “We have lost one of the world’s passionate defenders of the right to food,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, on learning of the death of Nelson Mandela, former South Africa president.

“As a true champion of human rights, Nelson Mandela understood that the hunger of millions of people was unjust and unsustainable,” said the FAO Director-General.

“At FAO, we have been inspired over the years by Mandela’s repeated calls to address hunger and the many social and economic ills that either led to hunger or resulted from a lack of access to food in a world of relative plenty,” said Graziano da Silva.

“Mandela understood that a hungry man, woman or child could not be truly free. He understood that eliminating hunger was not so much a question of producing more food as it was a matter of making the political commitment to ensure that people had access to the resources and services they needed to buy or produce enough safe and nutritious food.”

Since 2009, the United Nations has recognized July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. Graziano da Silva said it was fitting that the South African government had chosen to highlight food security and nutrition issues in celebrating Mandela’s 95th birthday this year, even though the former president and anti-apartheid activist had been too ill to participate.

“Mandela has been an inspiration to me in 30 years of work to improve food security in the world, and he will continue to inspire our work at FAO,” Graziano da Silva said.

“We owe him a debt of thanks for speaking out on hunger. More importantly, we owe it to the 842 million people in the world who suffer from chronic hunger to redouble our efforts to eliminate hunger in our lifetimes.”

Statement by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on the passing of Nelson Mandela

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — With the death of Nelson Mandela the world has lost a great and visionary leader – a global hero for whom a democratic and free society was “an ideal, which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.

Mandela’s commitment to overcome prejudice and hate inspired not only his determination to break down barriers between different races, but also to eliminate discrimination against those living with HIV, calling on people to give publicity to HIV/AIDS and no longer to hide it.

His belief in the power of truth and reconciliation, his capacity for hope, his unflagging dignity, and his faith in his fellow human beings, were and will continue to be an example to us all. Our thoughts are with his family – and to all in South Africa and around the world whose lives were changed through his courage.