Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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ENGLISH 03-Jan-2017 00:32:35
Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
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António Guterres took office as UN Secretary-General on 1 January, and he issued an appeal for peace shortly after the New Year began.

The new Secretary-General spoke to staff as he entered UN Headquarters today and said he was proud to be their colleague once more.

The Secretary-General said that there is no way in which today’s challenges can be solved in a country by country basis and so this is the moment in which we have to assert the value of multilateralism.

There are many accomplishments for which the UN should be proud, he said, adding that we also need to be able to recognize our shortcomings, to recognize our failures and to recognize situations in which we are not able to deliver as we should for the people we care for. He told staff that the only way to be able to achieve our goals is to really work together as a team, and to serve the noble values enshrined in the Charter, which are the values that unite mankind.

The United Nations continues to be concerned with the 116,000 people that have been registered as displaced from formerly non-Government controlled neighbourhoods of eastern Aleppo. The scale of destruction in Aleppo is massive and needs enormous help, including such things as health care, water and sanitation, education systems, housing and shelter, electricity and livelihoods. In the meantime, the UN and its partners are working closely with the Government to respond to the most urgent needs.

We urge donors to provide immediate and long-term support to the more than 100,000 highly vulnerable people in Aleppo, so they can continue to receive life-saving assistance and help.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that military operations to retake the city of Mosul from Da’esh have intensified since 29 December, with the start of an apparent second phase to retake the city causing more than 13,000 people to flee the city in five days.

The average daily displacement numbers have increased by nearly 50 per cent since military operations intensified, from some 1,600 to more than 2,300 displaced per day. In total, nearly 130,000 people are now displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas.

Humanitarian assistance continues to be distributed into newly accessible neighbourhoods in eastern Mosul city. Over 1,000 cubic metres of water are being trucked daily and food and non-food items have reached people in four neighbourhoods which have not been serviced before by international humanitarian partners.

We condemn the assassination of Mr. Emmanuel Niyonkuru, the Burundian Minister of Water, the Environment, and Planning, on 1 January. We express our sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Niyonkuru, the government and people of Burundi.

This act serves as another sad reminder of the urgent need for the Burundian parties to come together in the larger interest of the people of Burundi in the search of a lasting political solution for the crisis in the country.

To that end, the United Nations stands ready to continue working with partners in support of the Facilitation led by the East African Community.

Just before leaving office, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed 15 eminent scientists and experts to draft the Global Sustainable Development Report.

The report is a key component of the mechanism to follow-up and review progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It is intended to provide guidance from a scientific perspective that will support implementation for the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda in ways that integrate economic, environmental and social dimensions. It will be published in 2019.

The UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) has welcomed the renewed commitments reached by regional Presidents Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” of Puntland and Abdikarim Hussein Guled of Galmudug state to build peace and confidence in Gaalkacyo.

Regional Presidents Gaas and Guled agreed to three main points to produce a cessation of hostilities. They also agreed to meet in Gaalkacyo later this month to support the implementation of those commitments.

The UN Special Representative in Somalia, Michael Keating, has called the renewed commitment to peace and confidence building in Gaalkacyo “a critical step”.

Angola has become the 145th United Nations Member State to pay its 2016 regular budget dues in full.
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