Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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19-Jun-2019 00:23:23
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General will be in Geneva this Friday for the closing session of the International Labour Conference. This session also marks the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organization, one of the oldest members of the UN family.

This Sunday, the Secretary-General will attend the World Conference of Youth Ministers in Lisbon, in Portugal, and he will be accompanied by his Youth Envoy, Jayathma Wickramanaye.

Also, on Sunday, the Secretary-General expects to hold a press encounter, along with his Youth Envoy and the Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, and he will be returning, back in New York on Monday.

In a short while, I will be joined by Ninette Kelley, the Director of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in New York. She will be here to brief you on the launch of UNHCR’s Global Trends Report.

For his part, the Secretary-General notes that the findings of this report confirm once again that more and more people are forced to flee from conflict or persecution. He reiterates that the solution to this crisis will not be humanitarian. What we need is the will to work towards political solutions to solve the conflicts that are the source of this displacement.

Our colleagues at the UN peacekeeping mission in Malia report that, late on Monday, unidentified armed individuals attacked the villages of Yoro and Gangafani, in the Mopti region in central Mali, and that’s near the border with Burkina Faso. Initial reports indicate that at least 38 people have been killed and many wounded.

The Malian defense and security forces were deployed to the area to secure the zone and investigate the attacks.

As the Secretary-General has stated repeatedly, the cycle of violence in the centre of Mali must end. Perpetrators of acts of violence must be brought to justice and efforts to promote reconciliation between communities must be accelerated.

Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix has arrived in Mali today for a joint high-level mission with Pedro Serrano, the European Union’s Deputy-Secretary-General for Common Security and Defense Policy and Crisis Response of the European External Action Service.

They will be in Mali until 21 June to exchange with Malian authorities and other key stakeholders on ways to enhance support by the UN and the European Union to accelerate the implementation of the peace agreement and the restoration of State authority in northern and central Mali, as well as to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations in the country.

The delegation will meet with Government authorities at the highest level, signatory armed groups, political representatives, civil society, women groups and international partners.

Our friends at the World Food Programme (WFP) today thanked the Republic of Korea for a donation of 50,000 metric tons of rice and $4.5 million in cash for the humanitarian needs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

WFP estimates that at least 300,000 metric tons of food – valued at $275 million – is needed to help people most affected by significant crop losses over successive seasons.

Back here, the Security Council held an open meeting this morning on Sudan and South Sudan. Council members heard a briefing by Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

In the afternoon, at 3:00 p.m., the Council members will meet on Afghanistan, and will be briefed by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Kabul, Tadamichi Yamamoto.

Yesterday afternoon, you will have seen that Rosemary DiCarlo, the head of the political and peacebuilding department, briefed Council members on Syria and drew attention to the effects of the fighting in Idlib.

Mark Lowcock, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, told Council members that fighting in Idlib has not stopped despite the announcement of a truce on 12 June.

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. This year, the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict aims to draw attention on the importance of a “survivor-centred approach” to provide meaningful assistance to those affected.

“[Survivors] are mostly women and girls, but [also] men and boys, calling for our support to access life-saving health services, justice and reparation,” said the Secretary-General in a message.

The international day was marked this morning here in New York with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence and the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

On a sad note, we wanted to extend our condolences to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the passing of his mother.

Shin Hyun-soon passed away earlier this week at the age of 100. Many of you who were here during the previous administration will remember how his own mother’s life, especially her difficult experience in war-torn Korea, shaped Ban Ki-moon’s work as Secretary-General on behalf of people caught up in conflict, as well as on the need to improve maternal health for women the world over.

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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