Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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24-May-2017 00:20:20
Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the Secretary-General spoke this morning at a wreath-laying ceremony honouring fallen peacekeepers. He said that our mission for peace will never succeed without courageous people willing to put their lives on the line and that we owe them an enormous debt. He added that peacekeepers continue to come under attack from armed groups, spoilers and increasingly by terrorists, but the closure of our operations in Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia over the coming months reminds us that the contributions, investments and sacrifices of UN peacekeepers have contributed to the transformation of these countries from battlefields to peaceful states.

In a statement issued yesterday evening, the Secretary-General strongly condemned the attack against a MINUSMA patrol that killed two Chadian peacekeepers and injured one on 23 May in Kidal region. The Secretary-General extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Chad. He wishes a speedy and full recovery to the wounded peacekeepers.

Yesterday, the Secretary-General congratulated Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for his election as Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a statement, the Secretary-General thanks Ms. Kyung-wha Kang for her many years of service to the United Nations system where she is widely recognized for her advocacy of human rights, humanitarian principles, gender equality and women's empowerment.

Tomorrow evening, the Secretary-General will be leaving New York for Italy to attend the G7 meeting.

The head of the Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, briefed the Security Council this morning on the situation in the country. He said that as rains have arrived in South Sudan, we are seeing the last push to position forces before roads become impassable. While rains may bring a respite to large-scale military manoeuvres, they also greatly complicate the humanitarian response.

The Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, met today with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in Nicosia.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, expressed serious concern today as the mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons entered its 38th day without resolution, and the health of hundreds of participating prisoners began to deteriorate significantly.

The Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said today that cholera is spreading at an unprecedented rate throughout Yemen.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that a floating bridge has been put in place by the Iraqi Security Forces north of Mosul’s Old City area, re-connecting west and east Mosul, after military operations had largely severed bridges in the city.

Conflict is threatening the lives of more than 24 million children in Yemen, Syria, the Gaza Strip, Iraq, Libya and Sudan, according to UNICEF, which says that children are having difficulties accessing essential health care, water and sanitation services and nutritious food.

Yesterday evening, countries taking part in the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up agreed on a series measures to accelerate the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to finance and support the Sustainable Development Goals.

To mark the Holy Month of Ramadan this year, ShareTheMeal, the official app of the World Food Programme (WFP), is launching two simultaneous fundraising campaigns: one to help prevent famine in Yemen and another supporting Syrian refugee children and Lebanese children in Lebanon.

In response to questions, the Spokesman said that this afternoon in Bhimber District, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, military observers from the UN Military Observer Group.
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