Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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15-May-2017 00:29:37
Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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In a statement, the Secretary-General condemns the launch of another ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The Secretary-General has appointed Ovais Sarmad of India as Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Assistant Secretary-General level.

The Secretary-General spent the weekend in Beijing for the Belt and Road Initiative Forum on International Cooperation. In his remarks to the Forum, the Secretary-General said that for the first time in human history, the world has at its disposal sufficient resources and advanced technologies to end extreme poverty, to reduce inequalities and to place the planet on a sustainable trajectory. In order for countries along the Belt and Road to fully benefit from the potential of enhanced connectivity, it is crucial to strengthen the links between the initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals, he stressed.

The Secretary-General met today in Beijing with H. E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, on the occasion of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

This evening, the Deputy Secretary-General will depart New York for Ottawa, Canada.
She will participate tomorrow in the Global Adolescent Health Conference, as well as have meetings with the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie and other senior Government officials. The Deputy Secretary-General will return to New York later tomorrow.

The Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, spoke to reporters in Geneva today and said that the meeting that starts in Geneva tomorrow will be a preparatory meeting He added that all the invited delegations will be present.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the city of Bangassou in the Central African Republic has been the scene of indiscriminate violence since May 13 when an assault was launched by unidentified gunmen on the Tokoyo district, which is mainly inhabited by the Muslim population. Within hours, intense violence forced more than 3,000 people to flee their homes. At present, nearly 1,000 people are confined in the Mosque compound following threats of an imminent attack, about 1,500 people have sought refuge in the cathedral, while 500 others are in the town’s hospital. An unknown number of people have crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two humanitarian flights are scheduled to fly to Bangassou tomorrow from Bangui to deliver emergency relief items.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, visited Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Saturday to discuss with national authorities and partners ways to mount a rapid response to stop the ongoing Ebola outbreak. The visit follows notification by the Government of the DRC of an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Likati health zone, in the northern part of the country bordering the Central African Republic. As of Saturday, 11 suspected cases had been reported, including 3 deaths.

The UN Refugee Agency and the World Food Programme today urged donors to step up support for desperate refugees fleeing South Sudan. Humanitarian agencies are seeking US$ 1.4 billion to provide life-saving aid to South Sudanese refugees in the six neighbouring countries until the end of 2017. The South Sudanese refugee response plan so far remains only 14 per cent funded.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that an estimated 7.6 million people live in areas at high risk of cholera transmission in Yemen. Inadequate sanitation infrastructure, coupled with displacement, overcrowded shelters and settlements, increase the risk of person-to-person cholera transmission.

The UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is urging parties to take action as the number of child deaths from conflict has hit a new high.

UNICEF said today that at least one in four children – or nearly 30 million children – live in poverty in the Middle East and North Africa.

Today is the International Day of Families. This year’s observance focuses on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of their members.

Today, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) launched its Year of Polar Prediction campaign which seeks to improve predictions of weather, climate and ice conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Swaziland has made its full payment to the regular budget, bringing the number of Member States which have done so to 98.
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