Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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15-Feb-2019 00:12:07
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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On the eve of presidential and parliamentary elections in Nairobi tomorrow, the Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, is encouraging all Nigerians to continue to maintain calm and to exercise patience and restraint throughout the voting process and the announcement of the final results.

A joint report released today by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) warns that although attacks against civilians have decreased significantly since the peace agreement was signed in September 2018, endemic conflict-related sexual violence continues in the northern Unity region.

The Secretary-General spoke at the meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and he said that Israelis and Palestinians continue to suffer from deadly cycles of violence. He said that the leaders have a responsibility to their populations, not least the youth, to reverse this negative trajectory and pave the way toward peace, stability and reconciliation.

The Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, told reporters in Geneva today that during his recent travels, he has addressed all issues related to governance, to the constitutional process, and the need for UN-supervised elections. He also had in-depth discussions on the refugees’ issue, on the situation for internally displaced people, on the humanitarian challenges and on reconstruction.

On 26 February, in Geneva, the UN will convene a high-level pledging event for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, co-hosted by the Governments of Switzerland and Sweden.

The UN refugee agency, the UN migration agency and their partners today launched the 2019 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. The appeal seeks to raise $920 million to meet the needs of more than 900,000 refugees from Myanmar and over 330,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in host communities.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed concerned about the arrest on libel charges of Maria Ressa, CEO of the independent news outlet Rappler, in the Philippines. While Ms. Ressa was released on bail yesterday, the charges are still pending.

Today, the Secretary-General is appointing Major General Mehari Zewde Gebremariam of Ethiopia as Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).

Morocco has paid its regular budget dues in full; this takes the Honour Roll total to 48.

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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