Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

Preview Language:   English
17-May-2017 00:19:01
Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General addressed the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, today. In his remarks, he stressed that the contribution of the European Union is absolutely essential for the United Nations, from support to peacekeeping to protecting human rights, solving conflicts, advancing Agenda 2030 and fighting climate change. A strong and effective European Union is essential to a strong and effective United Nations, the Secretary-General said, laying out his priorities for reform to make the UN closer to the aspirations of the people the Organization is serving. He also stressed the need for Governments, local authorities, civil society and religious authorities to foster social cohesion, inclusivity and tolerance.

Today, the Secretary-General tweeted in support of the #CultureOfLove campaign launched by the UN Human Rights Office.

In a statement issued last night, the Secretary-General welcomed the return to calm in Côte d’Ivoire following the unacceptable acts of violence committed by soldiers of the Forces Armées de Côte d’Ivoire (FACI) over the past few days. He commends the Government of Côte d’Ivoire for its efforts to address the unrest and restore security.

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Raisedon Zenenga, briefed the Security Council this morning.

The UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) reports clashes between members of the anti-Balaka and the Front populaire pour la renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC) in Bria yesterday. Initial reports suggest five civilians are dead and more than 25 injured. Several homes were also burnt resulting in civilians seeking refuge at a camp for displaced persons as well as at another location near the UN Mission’s compound. UN peacekeepers are deployed in key areas of the town and are conducting robust patrols. The UN Mission also continues to engage with leaders of both armed groups to prevent a further escalation of violence.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Health Minister and the Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the country are undertaking today and tomorrow a first assessment visit to Nambwa, in the Likati zone, the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak declared on 12 May.

In Uganda, the World Food Programme (WFP) is warning that the scale of the refugee crisis in the country is extraordinary, with average daily arrivals of over 2,000 people. The country now hosts the largest refugee population in Africa – over 1.2 million people, with 74 percent from South Sudan.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is concerned by reports of flooding in the western part of Raqqa city in Syria, following the collapse of a sand barrier. The flooding has resulted in an estimated 120 families fleeing their homes towards the western countryside of Raqqa.

In Iraq, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) continues to be concerned for the safety and well-being of civilians remaining in Western Mosul in those areas that are still under the control of Da’esh. Humanitarians estimate that 275,000 people remain in the areas still under Da’esh territorial control inside the city.

The Deputy Secretary-General spoke this morning at the Sustainable Development Goal Action Event on Innovation and Connectivity. The transcript of her remarks will be available later today.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today switched on the solar plant in Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp, making this the first camp to be powered by renewable energy.

The number of refugees in Turkey receiving monthly cash assistance through an innovative relief programme has now reached 500,000 and continues to rise. The EU-funded Emergency Social Safety Net supports the most vulnerable refugee families in Turkey with a debit card to cover basic needs such as food, rent, medicine and clothes.

In response to questions, the Spokesman said that we are deeply concerned over the incident off the coast of Gaza, in which fisherman Mohammad Bakr was shot and killed by Israeli naval forces. We express our sincere condolences to the family of the victim. The circumstances of the fisherman's death must be investigated.
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