Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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ENGLISH 11-Oct-2017 00:13:39
Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
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The Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, concluded a visit to the Central African Republic today. Speaking to the press in Bangui, he warned those responsible for atrocities and those instrumentalising and inciting ethnic and religious hatred that they will be held responsible and will have to face justice.

In addition to visiting Bria, Mr. Dieng met with national authorities, religious and community leaders, representatives of armed groups, civil society and victims. He stressed the need to start a dialogue on urgent measures to end the violence and ease intercommunal tensions. He said that all the victims have expressed the same will to live together in peace with all Central Africans.

Mr. Dieng also expressed concern about the gravity and scope of criminal atrocities committed by armed groups in the hinterland with total impunity.

In their weekly press conference, the UN Mission in the Central African Republic also said it has received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor in Bambari by UN peacekeepers. The alleged victim was immediately referred to our humanitarian partners on the ground for appropriate medical and psychological assistance. The Office of Internal Oversight Services has carried out a verification of information inquiry and preserved evidence which will lead to the matter being referred to the Member State for further investigation and action.

The Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that over 15,000 residents in Libya have been displaced from the city of Sabrata due to clashes and insecurity since 17 September.

Humanitarian workers are supporting the impacted people by providing medical supplies, including trauma kits and body bags to the city’s hospitals. Food and non-food assistance has so far been provided to nearly 2,000 people displaced to surrounding areas. Emergency assistance, including food, bedding, hygiene and baby kits, is also being delivered to areas where migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are being detained, and medical and psychosocial support is being provided.

There are concerns about overcrowding and the conditions of the centres where the migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are being detained. Humanitarian workers are calling on the authorities to find solutions for the group, including alternatives to detention, and are calling for unimpeded access to all those currently held.

A new report by the UN Human Rights Office has found that the brutal attacks against Rohingya in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State have been well-organized, coordinated and systematic, intended to drive the population out of the country and prevent them from returning.

The report is based on interviews a team from the Office conducted in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar with dozens of newly-arrived Rohingya refugees.

The team found human rights violations were carried out by Myanmar security forces, often in concert with armed Rakhine Buddhist individuals.

The new publications also says there is a strategy to instill deep and widespread fear, as well as physical, emotional and psychological trauma, among the Rohingya population.
The Human Rights Office is gravely concerned for the safety of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who remain in northern Rakhine State amid reports the violence is still ongoing, and calls on authorities to immediately allow humanitarian and human rights actors unfettered access to the stricken areas.

In Geneva, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for International Migration, Louise Arbour, spoke at the second multi-stakeholder hearing of the Global Compact for Migration.

She noted that while the process to adopt the Global Compact is led by Member States, the participation of stakeholders is key to ground the debate in reality. She also urged civil society to remain committed to improve all aspects of international migration and help dispel misconceptions about migrants.

And tomorrow, the sixth thematic session will begin in Geneva and will focus on irregular migration, regularly pathways and labour mobility. This is the last thematic session before the Conference on International Migration takes place next year.

Today, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Maman Sidikou briefed the Security Council.

He said that challenges related to the implementation of the 31 December Agreement have unfortunately persisted in recent months, leading to the re-emergence of a climate of political uncertainty and tensions.

He called for the implementation of confidence-building measures towards elections, noting that progress was made with regard to the voter registration process.

Mr. Sidikou said that the security situation deteriorated in several provinces, from the Kasais to the Kivus, impacting the life of civilians and the food security in the country.

Despite the scope of the challenges, the UN Mission continues to adjust its presence to adapt to the circumstances, to maximise efficiency in the context of budget restrictions.
He stressed that the UN’s support was essential but not sufficient. All regional actors have a role to play to bring stability to the DRC, he said.

The World Health Organization is reporting today a ten-fold increase in childhood and adolescent obesity over the last four decades.

According to a new study led with the Imperial College London, the world will have more obese children and adolescents than underweight ones by 2022.

The number of obese five to 19 year olds rose from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in 2016. An additional 213 million were overweight in 2016 but fell below the threshold for obesity.

Obesity rates in children and adolescents have recently plateaued in higher income countries, although they remain unacceptably high. They are continuing to soar in low- and middle-income countries, including in East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In conjunction with the release on these new obesity estimates, WHO is publishing a summary of the Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO) Implementation Plan.

The plan gives countries clear guidance on effective actions to curb childhood and adolescent obesity.

WHO has also released guidelines calling on frontline healthcare workers to actively identify and manage children who are overweight or obese.

Today is the International Day of the Girl Child. This year’s theme is: “Empower Girls: Emergency response and resilience planning” and it seeks to promote the protection of girls from conflict and violence and to strengthen their resilience, while ensuring their full participation in mediation and negotiation processes.


At 3 p.m. at UN Headquarters, the Deputy Secretary-General will be taking part in the fifth annual Girls Speak Out event.

The Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of nine new members to the 21-member Advisory Group of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Established by the General Assembly in 2005, the Advisory Group provides policy guidance and advice on the use and impact of CERF to the Secretary-General through the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, who manages the Fund on behalf of the Secretary-General.
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