Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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03-Jul-2019 00:15:33
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General is outraged by reports that at least 44 migrants and refugees, including women and children, have been killed and more than 130 injured following airstrikes at the Tajoura migrant detention centre, east of Tripoli. He condemns this horrendous incident in the strongest terms and he expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a quick recovery to those injured.

The Secretary-General calls for an independent investigation of the circumstances of this incident, to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. It is important to note that the United Nations had provided exact coordinates of the detention centre to the parties. The Secretary-General further reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injuries to civilians and damage to civilian objects, and also to refrain from directing attacks against civilians. This incident underscores the urgency to provide all refugees and migrants with safe shelter until their asylum claims can be processed or they can be safely repatriated.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call for an immediate ceasefire in Libya and a return to political dialogue.

This afternoon the Security Council will be holding consultations on Lybia and we expect Under-Secretary-General, Rosemary DiCarlo to brief in close consultations.

The Secretary-General is on his way to St Lucia, where he will be speaking this evening at the 40th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, otherwise known as CARICOM. The Secretary-General is also scheduled to meet today with St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, as well as other heads of State attending the meeting. We will bring you more details of his visit later and he will be here in the office on Friday.

The Secretary-General is appointing Angelique Crumbly of the United States as Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau of Management Services. Ms. Crumbly succeeds Susan McDade of Canada, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her service.

Ms. Crumbly previously served as the Performance Improvement Officer and Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau of Management at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Secretary-General is also appointing Haoliang Xu of the People’s Republic of China as Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau of Policy and Programme Support.

Mr. Xu succeeds Abdoulaye Mar Dieye of Senegal, who the Secretary-General has appointed as Special Adviser to the UNDP Administrator. Mr. Xu served as the Assistant Administrator and Director in UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific since 2013. He has over 25 years of experience in international development, and we have lots more on their bio in my office and we congratulate them both.

On Syria, the Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, is in Moscow today, where he is scheduled to meet with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other senior Russian officials. He has also noted his intentions to travel to meet with the Syrian Government in Damascus in the near future. And also related to Syria the United Nations is aware of reports of close military exchanges between the Syrian Government and the Turkish observation post in the Idlib escalation area, including mortifier which Turkey Defense Ministry indicates as result in Turkish causalities. This incident of grave concern and remind us of the violence in Idlib is not just a humanitarian issue, it also poses a significant risk to regional stability and security. The United Nations reiterates the Secretary-General’s call for urgent de-escalation of the situation in the Northwest Syria and for all parties to recommit fully to the cease-fire arrangements agreed to by Russia and Turkey in September of 2018.

Last night we issued a statement expressing the Secretary-General’s outrage and sadness following a Taliban-claimed complex attack that took place on 1 July in a civilian-populated area of Kabul.

The Secretary-General reiterates that international humanitarian law explicitly prohibits indiscriminate attacks and attacks directed against civilians, and he appeals to all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to uphold their obligations to protect civilians.

Adding her voice was Virginia Gamba, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

She said the attack was the “result of blatant disregard for basic rules of war”.

“Children should be entitled to safety at all time, especially when at school or at home.”

In South Sudan, a new report by the UN peacekeeping mission’s Human Rights Division found that violence continued in the Central Equatorian region, despite the signing of the revitalized peace agreement.

Between September 2018 and April this year, more than 100 civilians were killed, almost the same number of women and girls were raped or were made victims of other forms of sexual violence.

In total, the United Nations documented 95 separate incidents of violations and abuses, which led to the displacement of more than 56,000 civilians within South Sudan. Nearly 20,000 more across the borders to Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

On a positive note, the report notes a significant decrease in conflict-related violations and abuses across the country, following the signing of the peace agreement. However, Central Equatoria Province has been the exception to this trend, particularly in areas surrounding Yei.

In response, the UN peacekeeping mission has intensified patrols within that town and neighboring communities to deter violence and enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid.

The mission is also actively promoting reconciliation and peacebuilding efforts.

And following Sunday’s demonstrations in Sudan, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called on the country’s authorities to lift restrictions on the internet and to launch proper independent investigations into all acts of violence and allegations of excessive use of force, specially attacks on hospitals.

The World Health Organization and UN Children’s Fund are providing technical health support in Papua New Guinea in response to the humanitarian needs of over 13,000 people displaced by recent volcanic activity in the West New Britain Province of the country.

There is also an ongoing measles-rubella and polio vaccination campaign.

UNICEF is distributing Food supplies and conducting malnutrition screening and treatment.

More information online.

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, which is continuing its meeting, has decided to inscribe the Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California, in Mexico, on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

The Committee is concerned about the imminent extinction of the vaquita, porpoise in the Gulf of California.

Mexico has made efforts to protect these threatened species. Despite these measures, only about ten specimens of vaquita remain today, compared to nearly 300 in 2005.

Tomorrow, the International Labour Organization (ILO) will launch a new assessment of labour-generated income and inequality.

According to the Organization, the new information gives the first global estimates of the distribution of labour income and shows that pay inequality remains pervasive in the world of work.

The findings are drawn from a new database which includes national, regional and global data.

As of today, you can contact ILO to get more information.

Tomorrow is a federal holiday in our host country, the United States, as they celebrate their independence. This building will therefore be closed. We will be available on the phone. Friday we will reopen, office will be stuffed. Unless there is an overwhelming demand there will likely not be live briefing but we’ll post highlights.

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