Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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23-Jan-2019 00:14:06
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General arrived in Davos, Switzerland, earlier today to attend the World Economic Forum. In his meetings there, he will reiterate his call for a fair globalization that benefits those who need it the most. Inequality is rising, and economic growth is not reaching those who need it most, he will stress.

The focus of his participation will be the keynote address he will deliver tomorrow, entitled “An Integrated Response to a Disintegrating Global Order.” You can watch the address on the UN Webcast page, as well as other platforms.

Today, the Secretary-General had a series of bilateral meetings, including with President Petro Poreshenko of Ukraine; Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium; the Chair of Alibaba, Jack Ma; and Klaus Schwab, the CEO of the World Economic Forum.

This morning the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, briefed Security Council members for the first time.

He told them that last week’s car bombing on a police academy is a reminder of the urgent need to end the violence and persevere in efforts to ensure peace. Across Colombia, marches were held which demonstrated a broad consensus around the rejection of violence. This consensus must be nurtured, he stressed.

Mr. Massieu said that in his discussions with government officials, FARC leaders, and civil society, he has seen a strong commitment to the peace process, and a desire of former combatants to work and find their place in society. The challenge however is to accelerate reintegration efforts and to define the status of the 24 Territorial Areas, where thousands of former FARC-EP members live. This he said, will require the participation of local governments and the private sector.

Mr. Massieu also warned of the recent wave of killings of social leaders and said he has called on the Government to ensure it has a broad presence to prevent more of these incidents from happening. He also called on Council members to continue supporting Colombia as it consolidates peace.

Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy for Yemen, and Patrick Cammaert, the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), have started their discussions with the political leadership of both parties regarding the RCC Chair’s suggestions for a proposal on the redeployment of forces, as agreed in Stockholm.

These suggestions are to be discussed by the RCC representatives of both parties when that body holds its next joint meeting.

Mr. Griffiths and Gen. Cammaert are in Riyadh today to meet Government of Yemen officials.

On the Central African Republic, the UN Mission there, MINUSCA, reports that it is continuing its operations in Bambari in Ouaka prefecture.

The Mission says it has established new check posts and resumed patrolling in Muslim neighbourhoods, in addition to conducting robust day and night patrols in the other areas of the town.

The Mission has also been engaging with the local community to sensitize them on the objectives of the operation -- which are to protect them against armed groups, dismantle barricades and posts erected by the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic

(l'Union pour la Paix en Centrafrique—UPC), and to ensure that Bambari is a city without armed groups and weapons.

To the west, in Mambéré-Kadéï prefecture, the Mission has intensified patrols and reinforced its peacekeeping force presence in Carnot and Zaoro Songou villages – that’s north of the town of Berberati -- following a series of confrontations between armed herders and suspected anti-Balaka members.

Just to flag that the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, is currently undertaking a pre-electoral mission in Nigeria. This is part of the UN’s sustained efforts to support the consolidation of democracy and good governance in Nigeria in line with the UN Secretary-General’s focus on conflict prevention.

Mr. Chambas, in coordination with the UN country team in Nigeria and in close collaboration with the National Peace Committee (NPC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the National Human Rights Commission, will participate in state-wide confidence-building fora in Benue State; Kaduna State, Kano State and Rivers State.

During his mission, Mr. Chambas will also meet with Nigerian stakeholders to ensure that necessary measures are being taken by the entities involved in the organization of the elections to reinforce the cooperation and synergy towards a successful, violence-free, inclusive, credible and transparent outcome in 2019.

Our colleagues at UNICEF are stressing the need for children to be protected following reports that children were reportedly killed and injured in ongoing turmoil that broke out last month in Sudan.

In recent months, as Sudan has witnessed an unprecedented hike in the cost of living and shortages in bread and fuel, poverty among children and their families has increased, forcing some families to keep their children out of school. According to reports received by UNICEF, more children now require health and nutrition care.

UNICEF calls on the authorities in Sudan to prioritize the protection of children and safeguard their rights to education and health in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

I want to flag that this morning, the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Inga Rhonda King, convened an informal briefing on “Getting to know the ECOSOC system in the SDG era”.

During the briefing, the President shared her vision for the Council’s work during the year. She called on Member States to strengthen the ECOSOC and harness the energy and enthusiasm of the High-level Political Forum to promote sustainable development. She said: “It is imperative that the HLPF Summit in September is successful in meeting high expectations around it and gives renewed momentum to achieving the SDGs. Our political declaration should focus on global solidarity and address key critical areas where collective actions are needed.”

In Singapore, representatives from more than 40 countries are meeting at the Forum of Ministers of Environment Authorities of Asia and the Pacific, which is held under the auspices of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Forum brings together governments, businesses, civil society and UN agencies, who will discuss environmental issues in the world’s fastest-growing region and identify key priorities and solutions.
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