Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

Preview Language:   English
04-May-2017 00:23:21
Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Staffan de Mistura, the Special Envoy for Syria, spoke to reporters in Astana today, saying that he thought we have been able to witness an important promising positive step in the right direction in the process of de-escalation of the conflict.

The Secretary-General’s report on sexual violence in conflict is out as a document, and it highlights patterns of violations, as well as challenges faced and actions taken by States to protect women, girls, men and boys from such violence. While many countries are affected by the threat, occurrence or legacy of conflict-related sexual violence, the present report is focused on 19 countries for which credible information is available.

Boys and girls in north-east Nigeria continue to be brutalized as a result of Boko Haram’s insurgency in the region and the ensuing conflict, which is the conclusion of the Secretary-General’s first report on children and armed conflict in Nigeria, which documents the impact on children of the severe deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the country between January 2013 and December 2016.

On Saturday, May 6, the Secretary-General will travel Columbia, South Carolina, to speak at the commencement ceremony at the University of South Carolina.

The Secretary-General has agreed with the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, to establish a direct partnership between the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee.

Yesterday, the camp of the UN Mission in Mali in Timbuktu was attacked. Preliminary reports indicate that 6 shells landed in the camp. One peacekeeper from Liberia was killed and 9 were wounded. 8 of them were evacuated to Bamako. Peacekeepers have reinforced the camp’s protection and deployed aerial reconnaissance assets to identify the zone from which the shots were fired.

The United Nations in Colombia condemns the kidnapping yesterday in Guaviare of a national staff member of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and demands its immediate release.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, today urged the Government of South Sudan to halt any further military offensives towards Aburoc on the west bank of the River Nile. Civilians in Aburoc are in areas controlled by opposition armed forces, facing a military offensive by Government forces. There are concerns that the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition has positioned itself in close proximity to civilian areas, placing civilians in harm’s way in the event of an attack by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and affiliated forces. Mr. Zeid warned that civilians in Aburoc are at serious and imminent risk of gross human rights violations, inter-ethnic violence and re-displacement. He calls on all parties to comply with international humanitarian law, including taking all feasible precautions to prevent civilian casualties.

Nearly 75,000 refugees and migrants, including an estimated 24,600 children, currently stranded in Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Western Balkans are at risk of psychosocial distress caused by living in a protracted state of limbo, UNICEF warned today.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that it will launch this year a pilot project for prequalifying biosimilar medicines, a step towards making some of the most expensive treatments for cancer more widely available in low- and middle-income countries.

Last month’s Food Price Index of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows that global food commodity prices fell in April amid expectations of ongoing robust supplies of many key staples.
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