Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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12-Feb-2018 00:21:47
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General will travel on Tuesday to Kuwait, where on Wednesday he will speak at the opening session of the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq. Prior to the start of the conference, the Secretary-General will meet with the Emir of Kuwait, who is hosting the event. The Secretary-General will encourage international support for Iraq’s reconstruction and expects to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other leaders gathered for the occasion.

The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) has received four allegations of misconduct, including three allegations of sexual exploitation. These allegations involve military peacekeepers from South Africa.

Ali al-Za’tari, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, said today that the situation in the country has worsened since we had issued a call for a cessation of hostilities in 6 February. He said that we are witnessing some of the worst fighting of the entire conflict, with reports of hundreds of civilian deaths and injuries, massive displacement and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, including medical facilities.

The Secretary-General, in a statement yesterday on the death of human rights advocate Asma Jahangir, said that we have lost a human rights giant. He said that she was a tireless advocate for inalienable rights of all people and for equality – whether in her capacity as a Pakistani lawyer in the domestic justice system, as a global civil society activist, or as a Special Rapporteur. The Secretary-General said that Asma was brilliant, deeply principled, courageous and kind, and that she will not be forgotten.

Today, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, concluded a twelve-day visit to the Western Balkans – including Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Today is the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers. In a statement, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba said that last year, more than 5,000 children were released from armed groups and reintegrated in to society, but she stressed that tens of thousands more children remain.

The United Nations continues to be very concerned about the unfolding situation. The Organization is getting more information about the recent events, including the reported house arrest of the Sustainable Development Goals youth leader Safaath Ahmad. The UN reiterates its calls for the lifting of the state of emergency and a dialogue to solve the current crisis.

Over the weekend, a statement was issued in which the Secretary-General expressed deep sadness over the tragic plane accident today in the Moscow region, in which all passengers and crew reportedly lost their lives.

Matthew Nimetz, Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General, will meet jointly with H.E. Mr. Nikos Kotzias, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece, and H.E. Mr. Nikola Dimitrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, at the United Nations Office at Vienna on 13 February 2018. The meeting is part of United Nations efforts to assist the sides in finding a mutually acceptable solution to the “name” issue.

Today, Sweden paid its dues in full. The Honour Roll now totals 48.
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