Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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13-Nov-2018 00:17:06
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said on Twitter today that the UN is working closely with Egypt and all concerned to ensure that Gaza steps back from the brink.

He warned that the escalation in the past 24 hours is extremely dangerous and reckless. He said that the firing of rockets must stop and that restraint needs to be shown by all, adding that no effort must be spared to reverse the spiral of violence.

In a statement we issued last night, the Secretary-General urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint.

The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, today welcomed reports of the reduction of hostilities in and around Hodeidah city, stressing that this is a crucial step to prevent further humanitarian suffering and to build a more enabling environment for the political process.

He called on all parties to the conflict to show continued restraint, adding that the people of Yemen have suffered enough.

Mr. Griffiths said that he is confident that the parties are ready to work on a political solution. He is encouraged by the constructive engagement received from all sides, noting that the logistical preparations are under way to prepare for the forthcoming round of consultations.

He also reiterated that the UN stands ready to re-engage the parties on a negotiated agreement for Hodeidah which would protect the port and preserve the humanitarian pipeline.

In a separate statement, Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock echoed Mr. Griffiths’ sentiments, asking that the parties implement a cessation of hostilities, not least in and around all the infrastructure and facilities on which the aid operations and commercial imports rely.

This morning, the Security Council held an open meeting on Iraq.

In his final briefing to the Council as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Ján Kubiš said that, while the government formation process has not been without controversy, political blocs have demonstrated a willingness to act in support of incoming Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

Mr. Kubiš said that competition and differences have been largely political and not sectarian, and, in this way, a break from the past.

He also commended the exemplary peaceful transfer of power between the outgoing Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, and the new Prime Minister.

As we have announced, Mr. Kubiš will be succeeded by Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of the Netherlands.

This afternoon, the Security Council will meet on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and will receive a briefing from the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Leila Zerrougui.

Tonight, the Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Warsaw, Poland, to meet with senior Government officials in advance of the Conference of Parties that will take place in Katowice from 3 to 14 December 2018. She will also meet with the UN team based in Warsaw during her visit.

On 14 November, the Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Kathmandu, Nepal, to attend the 6th Global Campaign for Education World Assembly which will be held from 16 to 18 November. She will also meet with senior Government officials and with the UN Country Team during her visit.

On 16 November, the Deputy Secretary-General, on transit in New Delhi, India, will also meet with senior Government officials regarding COP 24, as well as with the UN Country Team.

We continue to receive disturbing reports of ongoing airstrikes in Syria’s Deir Ezzour Governorate.

Yesterday, airstrikes on the town of Al-Sha’fa in eastern rural Deir Ezzour reportedly killed or injured dozens of civilians and damaged several houses.

The airstrikes follow other recent reported attacks during which civilians have been killed and injured and civilian infrastructure damaged.

The United Nations continues to call on all the parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including ensuring the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today called on countries to take faster and more resolute action to help end statelessness.

The High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, urged politicians, governments and legislators around the world to take and support decisive action to eliminate statelessness globally by 2024.

He said, “humanly, ethically and politically it is the right thing to do. Every person on this planet has the right to nationality and the right to say I BELONG.”

Four years ago, UNHCR launched its #IBelong campaign to end statelessness, and since then, more than 166,000 people have acquired or had their nationality confirmed; 20 States have acceded to the Statelessness Conventions; and nine States have established or improved statelessness determination procedures. However, despite these accomplishments, millions of people still live in limbo around the world, with the majority to be found in countries in Asia and Africa.
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