Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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ENGLISH 05-Apr-2018 00:19:35
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
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In a statement, the Secretary-General takes note of the announcement by the National Electoral Commission on 4 April of the final results of the presidential run-off election in Sierra Leone. He congratulates Mr. Julius Maada Bio on his election as the next President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and all the candidates for their contributions to the successful outcome of the electoral process. He also applauds the people of Sierra Leone for the sense of responsibility that they have demonstrated in successfully completing the elections in a peaceful manner.

The Secretary-General commends the efforts of the national, regional and international electoral observation teams as well as those of his Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohammed Ibn Chambas.

The Secretary-General appeals for continued calm and stresses the need for all stakeholders to seek redress of any grievances that could arise through established legal means.

The Secretary-General reiterates the support of the United Nations to the new Government in consolidating peace and pursuing sustainable development.

As announced yesterday, the Secretary-General will leave tomorrow for China.

In this regard, the Spokesman clarified that, in Beijing, the Secretary-General will visit the China Peacekeeping Police Training Center, and not the Peacekeeping Military Training Center, as previously mentioned.

Today the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, said he is following with concern the continuing preparations and rhetoric for this Friday’s ‘Great Return March’ in Gaza. He called on Israeli forces to exercise maximum restraint and for Palestinians to avoid friction at the Gaza fence. He added that demonstrations and protests must be allowed to proceed in a peaceful manner. Civilians, particularly children, must not be intentionally put in danger or targeted in any way, he said.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that partners are alerting of a low supply of essential drugs and medical disposables at health facilities in Gaza. There are currently zero stock levels for nearly half of the list of essential drugs and for a quarter of the list of essential disposables in Gaza.

An estimated US$ 1 million is urgently required to support the health system in Gaza for drugs, disposables, equipment, gases and lab materials in the coming 6-8 weeks. Humanitarian partners are working to prioritize urgently required medical items and coordinating the disbursement of supplies in preparation for the expected medical increased needs. Gaza hospitals, already operating at limited capacity as a result of the ongoing electricity crisis and a lack of supply of essential drugs and medical disposables.

Yesterday, in a statement on the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, the Secretary-General said that Dr. King was one of the moral giants of the 20th century, devoting his life to equality, justice, and non-violent social change.

Decades after his death, he continues to inspire all those around the world who are struggling for human rights and human dignity in the face of oppression, discrimination and injustice, the Secretary-General.

Let us build on his legacy, the Secretary-General said.

The Food and Agriculture Organization reports that its Food Price Index rose for the second consecutive month, with wheat and maize prices leading the increase.

In March, the Index was 1.1 percent higher than in February and 0.7 percent above its value a year earlier.

Worldwide cereal production hit a record level in 2017, up 33 million tonnes from 2016, but FAO anticipates this year's world maize and wheat production to decline based on early forecasts.

Tomorrow, at 4.30 in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, Michelle Bachelet, the former President of Chile and former UN Women Executive Director, will be delivering the Rafael M. Salas Memorial Lecture.

The lecture is part of a series that started in 1989 as a tribute to the first Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund.

Ms. Bachelet’s lecture will be on “Investing in Socially Excluded Young Women in order to achieve Sustainable Development by 2030”.
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