Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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07-Feb-2018 00:27:14
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General arrived in Seoul a few hours ago for the start of his official visit to the Republic of Korea. On Wednesday evening, he was hosted for an informal welcome dinner by the Korean Foreign Minister Mrs. Kang Kyung-wha at her official residence.

The Security Council met this morning to discuss the situation in Kosovo, and heard a briefing by Zahir Tanin, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative there.

The UN Mission in South Sudan said today that more than 300 child soldiers have been released by armed groups in Yambio. A total of 700 children have been screened and registered for release in phases - 563 from the South Sudan National Liberation Movement and 137 associated with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army In-Opposition. 87 of the children released today are girls.

The UN mission in the Central African Republic reports that yesterday in Bria, in Haute-Kotto prefecture, anti-Balaka combatants fired gunshots into the air within the PK 3 internally displaced people camp. No casualties were reported. The UN mission reinforced its positions to enhance security in and around the camp. A cordon and search operation is also being carried out in response to the shooting.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it is concerned for the safety and protection of two million men, women and children living in Syria’s Idleb Governorate, where airstrikes and shelling continue to be reported daily, resulting in civilian deaths and injuries, as well as the destruction of civilian infrastructure.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said today that the declaration of the State of Emergency in the Maldives by President Abdulla Yameen and the resulting suspension of constitutional guarantees have swept away the checks and balances and separation of powers necessary in any functioning democracy. He warned that could potentially lead to a greater number of violations of the rights of people in the Maldives.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, today ended his official visit to Indonesia. Speaking to the press, he said that there are some dark clouds on the horizon but that he is encouraged by the positive momentum and he hopes the common sense and strong tradition of tolerance of the Indonesian people will prevail over populism and political opportunism.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the World Urban Forum opened today. The event, which is convened by UN Habitat, gives countries a chance to take stock of progress made towards sustainable urban development.

I have a senior appointment to tell you about. Today, the Secretary General is appointing Dereje Wordofa of Ethiopia as a Deputy Executive Director of the UN Population Fund, known as UNFPA. He will succeed Natalia Kanem of Panama who was recently appointed as Executive Director of UNFPA.

Today, four more countries which have paid their dues in full. They are: the Bahamas, Bulgaria, Germany and Turkmenistan. Thanks to them, the Honour Roll has reached 44.
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