Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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27-Jun-2019 00:18:18
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General arrived in Osaka in Japan today, where tomorrow and Saturday, he will take part in a number of meetings related to the G20.

Earlier today, he tweeted out that he is at the G20 Summit because people around the world are demanding immediate action on climate change and inclusive development. He added that the green economy offers countless benefits, but that to reap them, we need rapid transition, deep transformation and of course political will.

Tomorrow morning, he will hold a press conference and take part in G20 sessions on trade and digital innovation.

The Secretary-General today announced is appointing David McLachlan-Karr of Australia as his Deputy Special Representative ad interim at the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he will also serve as UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator.

He succeeds Kim Bolduc of Canada, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her leadership and dedicated commitment in supporting humanitarian and development efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mr. McLachlan-Karr brings 26 years of experience working at the UN, including on various assignments for UNDP and OCHA in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The Secretary-General also recently announced strengthened coordination and support mechanism in the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak in eastern part of the country, and that has been led by David Gressly of the United States of America as UN Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator. Mr. Gressly has more than 20 years of experience with the United Nations system, including as Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel based in Senegal.

In view of Mr. Gressly’s assumption of the role Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator, the Secretary-General also announced today the appointment of François Grignon of France as Deputy Special Representative for Protection and Operations ad interim in the Peace Keeping Mission in the Center-African Republic.

This morning, the Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed spoke at the Forbes 400 SUMMIT on Philanthropy.

She told participants that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals provide an excellent foundation for informing and guiding ambitious philanthropic strategies, priorities and outcomes.


However, she stressed that the clock is ticking and we need to accelerate efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For this, a more collaborative model of donors, governments and businesses working together is needed to address pressing issues.

Ms. Mohammed also issued a call to all present to identify and pursue the most ambitious contribution that philanthropy can make to in achieving the transformation that our planet and its peoples so desperately need. She also reiterated the UN’s commitment to work with them to this end.

Tonight, the Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Abu Dhabi to attend the Climate Meeting in the preparation of the Climate Action Summit that the Secretary-General is convening in September.

She will also travel to Saudi Arabia to engage Senior Government officials and the leadership of the Islamic Development Bank on galvanizing support in the region for the Climate Action Summit and sustainable development high-level meetings in September.

She will be back in New York on 2 July.

Under-Secretary General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, arrived in Ghana today to attend the funeral of Major General Francis Vib-Sanziri, former UNDOF Force Commander, who passed away while in active service on April 2019. General Vib-Sanziri will be laid to rest in Accra tomorrow.

In Ghana, the Under-Secretary-General will also hold bilateral meetings with the President of Ghana and other high-level officials, including the Ministers Defense and Foreign Affairs and senior Military leadership. He will also visit the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre.

He concluded his visit to Indonesia yesterday, where he represented the Secretary-General at the Regional Conference on preparing modern armed forces for peacekeeping operations in the 21st Century.

At the conference's opening session, USG Lacroix highlighted efforts to enhance peacekeeping through the implementation of the A4P initiative. He expressed gratitude for Indonesia’s steadfast participation in peacekeeping operations and explored how to further strengthen cooperation, including training and the role of women in peacekeeping.

While in Jakarta, he held meetings with the Foreign Minister as well as the Commander of the Armed Forces and the Deputy Chief of Police. On 25 June, Mr. Lacroix visited the Peacekeeping Center in Sentul and on 26 June the National Police Headquarters, where he met former peacekeepers as well as the commander of a formed police unit about to be deployed to MINUSCA.

A surge in armed violence is generating unprecedented levels of forced displacements and humanitarian emergencies. In the past year, around 1 million people have fled their homes due to violence and insecurity.

In Burkina Faso, Mali and western Niger, there are five times more displaced people compared to a year ago. The Lake Chad Basin is also witnessing new spike in displacement and attacks.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warns that insecurity has never spread so fast, in such a vast area, and affected so many people. It is also concerned by a growing risk of spill-over beyond the Sahel and into coastal countries.

The violence is disrupting livelihoods and deepening food insecurity, malnutrition and epidemics in affecting communities in Burkina Faso, in the far north of Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger and the north-east Nigeria.

OCHA is calling for additional support to ensure people’s access to basic services, as well as flexible funding to build resilience and address the root causes of the region’s crises.

Geir Pedersen, the Special Envoy for Syria, briefed the Security Council by VTC this morning, he was in Geneva. He told Council members there is a worrying situation in and around the Idlib area. He said that civilians continue to be killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced in the de-escalation areas in the northwest of Syria. All due protection must be afforded to 3 million civilians in Idlib, he said.

The Special Envoy added that both Turkey and Russia have reassured him that they remain committed to the September 2018 memorandum of understanding, but he added that we need to see this implemented on the ground.

Mr. Pedersen provided details of recent dialogue between the two parties and other officials, saying that he looks forward to consultations in Damascus in the near future.

Also today, eleven chiefs of global humanitarian organizations spearheaded the launch of a worldwide campaign in solidarity with civilians under fire in Idlib. “Idlib is on the brink of a humanitarian nightmare unlike anything we have seen this century,” they warned.

Senior humanitarian adviser Najat Rochdi, in a press statement today, also warned of the need to respond to the violence in the de-escalation area in northwestern Syria, saying that actions must be taken to ensure protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure in the midst of military conflict. More than 300 civilians have been killed, including many women and children, she said.


This morning, the Security Council also adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the joint African Union UN Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur until October 31st.

Tadimichi Yamamoto, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, condemned the threat from the Taliban this week to turn media outlets into military targets. He called for it to be rescinded, as words must never be met with violence. The only acceptable challenge to words is to advance a better argument, Mr. Yamamoto said.

Meanwhile, since 16 June, more than 28,000 Afghans have been displaced in province Takhar province, in the northeast, following military operations by the Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan National Army against non-state armed groups in Baharak and Namak-ab districts, that’s according to provincial government authorities.

Initial reports indicate that most of the displaced people are living with host families in the provincial capital and assessment teams have verified 11,000 people as displaced, with assessment continuing.

As of today, humanitarian assistance has been provided to over 5,200 people by the World Food Programme, the UNHCR, the Afghan Red Crescent Society and Concern Worldwide.

The World Health Organization announced sustained progress on the number of trachoma infections. The number of people at risk of the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness has fallen from 1.5 billion in 2002 to just over 142 million in 2019. That’s a reduction of 91% since 2002.

New data presented today also show that the number of people requiring surgery for trachomatous trichiasis, the late, blinding stage of trachoma, has dropped by 68%.

Nevertheless, Trachoma remains endemic in 44 countries and has blinded or visually impaired almost 2 million people worldwide.

The World Health Organization issued a travel-related recommendation to prevent international spread of measles.

The Organization recommends that all travelers check their vaccination status and ensure that have received two doses of the vaccines. You can check all recommendations online.

According to UNICEF, global cases of measles have surged to alarmingly high levels in 2019.

In low and middle-income countries, large numbers of children go unvaccinated mainly because of limited availability of the vaccine and access to services. But in some countries, including developed countries, anti-vaccine groups have effectively exploited social media, creating confusion and stoking fears among parents.

Tomorrow afternoon, UNICEF and the Permanent Mission of Japan will be hosting an event on vaccine hesitancy and online misinformation.

Experts will analyze how to improve stagnating or declining vaccination and champion children’s right to immunization.

[The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reiterated that does not support the use of the death penalty.

UNODC issued a statement in response to enquiries regarding reports from Sri Lanka on the application of the death penalty for four individuals convicted of drug-related offences.

Just last December, more countries than ever before, 121 Member States, supported a General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

UNODC recalls that the three international drug control conventions, which form the foundation of the global drug control system that has been agreed by nearly every country in the world, cannot be used to justify the use of the death penalty for drug-related offences alone.]

Today is Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day. This year’s theme is “Big Money for Small Business: Financing the SDGs” and it focuses on how small businesses can help achieve the goals, in particular, those related to promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all.

Tomorrow at 11:00 o’clock, there will be a briefing here by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with Chairpersons of the Human Rights treaty bodies.

The noon briefing guest will be Frank Laczko, Director of Global Migration Data Analysis Center at IOM. He will brief on the launch of a new report entitled “Fatal Journeys”.

For further details please see SOURCE below.
Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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