Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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24-Jun-2019 00:15:57
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General is on his way back to New York from Lisbon, Portugal, where he spoke at the World Conference for Ministers Responsible for Youth that took place there yesterday.

He told the young participants that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement, agreed four years ago by all Member States, offer a way to address the serious global challenges we face. But he added that it is clear that without the impatience, the drive, the creativity and the innovation of today’s young people, we will not succeed.

From climate action to plastic pollution, from the clean energy revolution to gender equality, the young generation is stepping up to the challenge, he said.

The Secretary-General said that next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. Global cooperation needs rejuvenation to better tackle the threats to the future, he said, adding that he wants to hear from the youth about how they would like to see the UN improve.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General condemned the killing of the president of the Amhara National Region, the chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defence Force and two other senior civilian and military staff in Ethiopia during the weekend violence. He called on all Ethiopian stakeholders to demonstrate restraint, prevent violence and avoid any action that could undermine the peace and stability of Ethiopia.

The Secretary-General welcomes the commitment of the Prime Minister and Government of Ethiopia to ensure that the perpetrators of these actions are brought to justice.

The United Nations remains committed to supporting the Government of Ethiopia in its efforts to address ongoing challenges.

Yesterday, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), congratulated the Mauritanian people for holding a peaceful presidential election on 22 June.

Mr. Chambas reiterated the appeal of the Secretary-General to Mauritanians to resolve any dispute through the established legal channels.

The Special Representative urged all candidates to be patient and to let the Electoral Commission conduct the electoral process in full compliance with the Constitution and laws in force in Mauritania.

A new report on events that took place in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of La Saline late last year highlights concerns about human rights abuses committed against local residents, and the alleged involvement of some agents of the State.

The report produced by the UN Mission in Haiti and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on authorities to ensure that those suspected of being responsible for the violence, including those with public functions, are brought to justice, in accordance with international standards.

Another conclusion of the report is that living conditions in La Saline have worsened since the attack. Access to drinking water, health care and education is now more difficult.

The report recommends appropriate measures to ensure the safety and dignity of the victims and witnesses who have filed complaints in relation to these events, with special attention for children and victims of sexual violence.

On Sudan, the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur or UNAMID, and the UN Country Team in the country have jointly expressed their deep concern over the looting and destruction of World Food Programme (WFP) and World Vision offices and property in Graida, in South Darfur, last week.

They said these are senseless acts of aggression on aid workers who are in the area to provide relief and support to the most vulnerable people. They urged the Government of Sudan to take immediate action to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that there have been 20 incidents of looting, mostly in Darfur, since April.

In some cases, this has led to the suspension of humanitarian activities due to the looting of critical supplies and to allow time to negotiate for the safety and security of aid workers.

The Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, is on a visit to Southeast Asia.

Today, he was in Singapore, where he met with the Senior Minister of State for Defence.

Mr. Lacroix’s next stop will be Indonesia, where, tomorrow, he will represent the Secretary-General and speak at the opening of the Regional Conference on preparing modern armed forces for peacekeeping operations in the 21st Century.

While in Indonesia, Mr. Lacroix will hold talks with government authorities, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Commander of the Armed Forces and the Chief of National Police, and thank them for the country’s commitment and contributions to UN Peacekeeping. He will also meet with the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives.

This morning in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, spoke at the opening of the 41st session of the Human Rights Council.

She presented an overview of upcoming issues in this new session of the Human rights body.

Ms. Bachelet pointed out the detention of over 55,000 suspected Daesh fighters and their families in Syria and Iraq, held in what she described as deeply sub-standard conditions. She urged authorities to ensure due process for all detainees, and emphasized how “accountability, with fair trials, protects societies from future radicalization and violence.”

She concluded by reminding Member States to “stand for a world based on hope and dignity”.

Yesterday Qu Dongyu of China was elected Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

He will succeed Brazil’s José Graziano da Silva and will start on 1 August 2019.

Qu Dong Yu is currently the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China.

Tomorrow at 11 a.m., there will be a briefing here by UN Women on the launch of their flagship report entitled “Progress of the World’s Women 2019: Families in a Changing World”. Speakers will include UN Women’s Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

And then at around 1p.m., Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), will make remarks at the Security Council Stakeout. He will brief following the meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly for the Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to UNRWA, which takes place at 10 a.m. in the Trusteeship Council.

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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