Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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29-Jun-2018 00:27:40
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General will be travelling to Bangladesh tonight. He will be in Dhaka on Sunday and in Cox’s Bazar on Monday, back in New York Tuesday evening.

This is a joint trip with the President of the World Bank, Jim Kim, and they will also be accompanied by the High Commissioner for Refugees and the Executive Director of UNFPA.

The Deputy Secretary-General will travel this weekend to participate in the 31st African Union Summit taking place in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on 1-2 July.

She will then travel to South Sudan, Chad and Niger, starting 3 July, in a joint visit with the African Union and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallström.

Their visit will highlight women’s participation in peace, security and development in the three countries, with an additional focus on climate security and the Sahel.

In South Sudan on 3-4 July, the Deputy Secretary-General will have bilateral meetings with authorities in Juba. She will visit a protection of civilians site, a hospital that treats victims of gender-based violence and community resilience programmes. She will hold meetings with women’s leaders, religious leaders and civil society groups, among others.

In Chad on 5-6 July, the Deputy Secretary-General will have bilateral meetings with authorities in N’Djamena. She will travel to a project site to meet with communities adapting to climate change and meet with religious, youth and women’s groups.

In Niger on 7-8 July, the Deputy Secretary-General will have bilateral meetings with authorities in Niamey. She will also meet with leaders of women’s groups and visit a women’s health centre.

The AU’s Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Bineta Diop, will join the Deputy Secretary-General in all three countries. Ms. Wallström will join in Chad and Niger.

The Deputy Secretary-General is expected back in New York on 9 July. She is expected to brief the Security Council on the topic of women, peace and security in the Sahel on the following day.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock will visit Haiti and Panama from 3 to 5 July.

In Haiti, Mr. Lowcock is expected to meet with Government officials, humanitarian partners, and people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. He will call for increased international support for the Government-led emergency preparedness efforts for sudden onset disasters, as well as the ongoing response to food insecurity and cholera.

In Panama, Mr. Lowcock plans to meet with the Government and regional development and humanitarian partners, and reiterate support for regional preparedness efforts for sudden onset disasters, as well as principled humanitarian support where required.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, today called on all sides to the conflict in Syria to end the escalating violence in Dara’a Governorate, abide by their obligations under international law and avoid a repetition of the bloodshed and suffering seen earlier this year in Eastern Ghouta.

He said that thousands of people are already reported to have fled their homes but there is also the grave risk that the intensified fighting will see many civilians trapped, caught between Syrian Government forces and their allies on the one hand and armed opposition groups and Da’esh on the other.

He reminds all parties to the conflict that international law requires that they do their utmost to protect civilians, and calls upon them to provide safe passage to those wishing to flee, while those wishing to stay must be protected at all times.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that fighting and shelling have reportedly decreased in Hodeidah Governorate, but airstrikes continue to be reported, especially in southern districts. Families continue to leave their homes and the governorate. Displacement is affecting the capacity of institutions to provide basic social services due to absence of staff.

In Hodeidah City, most shops and commercial activities reportedly remain closed.

Approximately 42,000 people have received emergency assistance. Some 18,000 emergency kits have been pre-positioned in Hodeidah, containing enough food rations for a family for a week, basic hygiene requirements and other essential items.

Partners continue to pre-position additional supplies. About 76,000 metric tonnes of wheat grain have been pre-positioned, sufficient for 988,000 households for one month.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic reports that the anti-Balaka commander Wekanam Crépin (aka “Pépin”, aka “Pino Pino”) and more than 30 associated people were extradited yesterday from the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa, to Bangui in the Central African Republic. The group includes women and juveniles, although it is not yet clear whether they were combatants.

Crépin was arrested by the armed forces of the DRC on 15 May after crossing the border from the CAR into the DRC, along with 33 members of his group. He is suspected of involvement in the attack that led to the death of five UN peacekeepers in Yongofongo in the CAR on 8 May 2017, as well as of attacks against civilians in and around Bangassou, in the country’s southeast.

The UN Mission coordinated the extradition in conjunction with the CAR authorities, and with the support of the Government of the DRC and the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC.

Today, the UN Refugee Agency and the UN Migration Agency released their proposal to the European Union for a regional arrangement to ensure the predictable disembarkation and processing of people rescued at sea.

The proposal stresses that disembarkation should be a shared responsibility across the Mediterranean Basin, with due respect for the safety and dignity of all people on the move. It also notes the need to address the drivers of forced displacement and irregular migration.

Today is the International Day of the Tropics. As you know, the Tropics are the area between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn and host approximately 80 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and much of its language and cultural diversity. The Day celebrates this diversity while highlighting the challenges in the region such a climate change, deforestation and urbanization.

Tomorrow is International Asteroid Day which raises awareness about impact hazard of asteroids and informs the public about the crisis communication actions to be taken at the global level in case of a credible near-Earth object threat.

Tomorrow is also the first time we mark the International Day of Parliamentarism. This Day celebrates the ways in which parliamentary systems of government improve the day-to-day lives of people the world over. It is also an opportunity for parliaments to take stock, identify challenges, and ways to address them effectively.
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