Virgil van Dijk says he does not really care when opposing fans boo him in the wake of jeers from England supporters in the Nations League.The Dutch centre-back was booed every time he touched the ball in the Netherlands’ Nations League semi-final victory over England.That victory pushed the Dutch into the finale, where they fell 1-0 to Portugal on Sunday thanks to a Goncalo Guedes goal. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Van Dijk was again signalled out in Porto as a number of England fans were again in attendance in the hope that they would see their side in action.But he insists it not something that bothers him on the pitch.”I don’t really care, if somebody boos me or boos the team, we’re trying to win the game,” he said following Sunday’s defeat.”We know we have a lot of support behind us anyway and at the end of the day it’s us players who have to do the job, and it doesn’t affect me at all.”Sunday’s defeat was a diffiuclt one for the Dutch, who bounced back from missing the 2018 World Cup by making the finale of the new UEFA tournament.Van Dijk and team-mate Georginio Wijnaldum were hoping to cap off a spectacular season that saw Liverpool lift the Champions League title with yet another trophy on Sunday, but it was not to be as the Netherlands fell short in a tournament final once again.”Well, yeah, obviously we wanted to win, that’s the main thing,” he said.”We have to keep our heads up high, recover from all of this, learn from this whole experience, because we have a young group, and make sure we qualify for the Euros. He added: “It’s a total different team we faced. I think they wait for our mistakes, they sit back a little bit and let us have the ball, and I think the pace of the game was not high, especially the first half, but I don’t think they had too big chances, and were a bit luckier in the end than we were.”Looking ahead, towards Euro 2020 qualification, the defender says he feels the Dutch side is in a better place than it once was, and he believes the Nations League run will be a springboard to bigger and better for this group “I think before this tournament if someone said we would be in the final, we would beat France, Germany, England, then somebody would say you’re crazy, so we have to be proud of ourselves,” he said.”We made big progress as a team, in and out of the pitch, so we have to keep going and make sure we qualify for the Euros.”
Addressing the Security Council alongside CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera, Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous lauded the efforts of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA) in helping to pave the way for the gradual stabilization and restoration of State authority.“As MINUSCA illustrates, when peacekeeping has the right leadership and capabilities, it can play an irreplaceable role in supporting national efforts, and with international partners, promote and support reforms that are essential to the sustainable resolution of a country’s conflict.”Mr. Ladsous noted the security and operational efforts in the city of Bambari have loosened the armed groups’ grip, and led all of the main 14 armed groups to join a national committee on disarmament.The move is important for a nationwide disarmament programme, without which, Mr. Ladsous noted, MINUSCA peacekeepers will be unable to provide security by force in a territory the size of France. To further such progress, the World Bank has said that it would provide $30 million for social reintegration of fighters in a national programme on disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation. Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Central African Republic (CAR), Michel Yao. Photo: OCHA A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Central African Republic. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas “Let us not leave Central African Republic to become a forgotten or neglected crisis by the international community”, said the Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for CAR, Michel Yao, alongside the Minister of Humanitarian, Social Affairs and National Reconciliation, Virginie Baikoua, at a briefing session for donors yesterday in Yaoundé, Cameroon.The UN and its humanitarian partners had appealed for $399.5 million to aid CAR as part of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan. To date, only five per cent of that amount – roughly $19 million – has been raised. Mr. Yao warned that without adequate funding, the country risks plunging into an acute humanitarian crisis.The situation is particularly concerning because aid workers deliver much of the basic social services. For example, more than half of the health infrastructure is managed by the humanitarian community. Among other issues he raised, Mr. Ladsous called on the international community to follow through on $2.2 billion worth of pledges made at the Brussels conference hosted by the European Union in November. Supporting development to build peaceIn addition to peacekeeping efforts, the Council was briefed today on the peace building programs, including the work being coordinated by the UN, the European Union and the World Bank. These three organizations are working to, respectively, support peace, review the social contract between the population and the Government, and promote economic recovery. In his address, Omar Hilale, the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN, who briefed in his capacity as the Chair of the CAR Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, announced that he would visit CAR “soon” to discuss the main challenges and ways to optimize the international community’s support.The Peacebuilding Commission works between the Security Council, the General Assembly, whose membership includes all 193 Member States, and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which works with the 14 specialized UN agencies, to address root causes of conflict in a country and try to stabilize it before conflict breaks out or help it restabilize after fighting.Half of the country in dire need of aidCAR also faces an immediate humanitarian crisis. The upsurge in violence since last September has left roughly 2.2 million people – half of the population – in dire need of aid, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today announced. In addition, the fighting since the upsurge in fighting last September, one in five Central Africans are either displaced or a refugee in a neighbouring country.