Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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ENGLISH 19-May-2017 00:21:23
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
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In a statement issued today, the Secretary-General notes the announcement by the Algerian Constitutional Council of the results of the 4 May 2017 elections to the People’s National Assembly. He congratulates the people and Government of Algeria for the peaceful conduct of the elections. The Secretary-General would welcome any further steps the Government and all stakeholders can take to continue to strengthen the democratic process.

In Brussels today, the Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, met with European Union Commissioner Neven Mimica, and afterward, they said in a joint statement that they had a fruitful meeting to discuss how to take the gender equality and women's empowerment agenda further. They added that the meeting had taken place with a view to jointly developing a global EU-UN Gender Initiative with a focus on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

On Sunday, the Deputy Secretary-General will depart New York for Washington, D.C.

The Human Rights Division of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Human Rights Office today issued a new report on the findings of an in-depth investigation into human rights violations and abuses committed in and around Yei town, in Central Equatoria, between July 2016 and January 2017.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, Martin Kobler, today strongly condemned the unprovoked attack on the Brak al-Shati airbase in southern Libya yesterday.

The largest displacement from Mosul in a single day since operations began last 17 October was recorded yesterday, 18 May. According to Iraqi authorities, more than 16,000 people from western Mosul transited through the screening site at Hammam al Alil - the main screening site for civilians displaced from west Mosul – between 4 p.m. on 17 May and 4 p.m. on 18 May. This brings the cumulative number of people displaced from west Mosul alone to nearly 550,000 since the start of the military operations on 19 February 2017.

Robert Piper, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, has urged all parties to come together to reverse the current trajectory towards another major humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Yesterday evening, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, met with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akıncı, after meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, earlier in the day.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that some 30,600 Somali refugees who were in Yemen have now returned to their home country due to the deteriorating humanitarian situation and ongoing conflict in Yemen.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that nearly 3,000 migrants were rescued yesterday, after trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa to Europe.

The World Health Organization (WHO) today released new figures on attacks on health care. The data show that attacks on health facilities, health workers and ambulances continue with alarming frequency. In 2016, there were 302 such attacks across 20 countries. 88 attacks were reported in the first quarter of 2017 alone. These attacks have direct consequences for health service delivery, depriving people of often urgently needed care.

Yesterday afternoon, the Secretary-General welcomed new ratifications to the Minamata Convention on Mercury which will make it possible for the Convention to enter into force on 16 August of this year.
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