Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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02-Aug-2019 00:08:00
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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This morning the Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the statement, the Council demands safe and unhindered access to humanitarian and medical personnel, highlights the need for a comprehensive and community-based approach and emphasizes the importance of strengthening international support and engagement. The full statement is available online.

The Security Council will be meeting in an open debate on children and armed conflict. In her remarks, Virginia Gamba, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative highlighted that it’s been 20 years since the Council placed this issue on its agenda. And 10 years ago, resolution 1882 made killing and maiming and sexual violence against children triggers for the accountability of the tools devised by the Council.

Gamba noted improvements in the protection of children last year. But, as she mentioned in this room earlier this week, the UN once again verified an increase in the number of children killed and maimed in conflict.

The Special Representative called on the Security Council to support engagement to end and prevent violations against children; and to ensure commitments taken by parties to conflict mean something.

UNICEF’s Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, also pointed out in her remarks that half of last year’s verified violations involved the killing and maiming of children. “We must do better,” she told Members of the Security Council.

She also called for additional support for the reintegration of former child soldiers to meet mental health needs of children affected by armed conflict.

The Secretary-General takes note of the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement by President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique and opposition leader of RENAMO Ossufo Momade. This is a step towards a signing a definitive Peace Agreement next week. The United Nations stands ready to support the people of Mozambique in the implementation of the agreement and in advancing peace, reconciliation and development.

On Syria, the UN welcomes last night’s announcement of a ceasefire in the northwest of the country.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), no airstrikes have been reported since midnight, but there are reports of artillery shelling in northern Hama.

The pause comes after three months of intense hostilities that have resulted in close to 500 civilians killed and the displacement of more than 440,000 people.

The UN reminds all parties to the conflict, and those who have influence over them, of their obligation to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, and the principles of distinction and proportionality enshrined in International Humanitarian Law.

Yesterday a statement was issued on the establishment of the UN Board of Inquiry in northwest Syria.

The Secretary-General is appointing Melissa Fleming of the United States as the next Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications.

She succeeds Alison Smale of the United Kingdom to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her commitment and dedicated service to the Organization.

There was also announced the appointment of Christian Saunders of the United Kingdom as Acting Deputy Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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