Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

Preview Language:   English
28-Aug-2019 00:22:25
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Available Language: English
Other Formats
The Secretary-General is in Yokohama, Japan, today, where he took part earlier today in the opening of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, otherwise known as TICAD.

He said he sees Africa as a dynamic continent of opportunities where winds of hope are blowing ever stronger.

The Secretary-General noted that TICAD has played a critical role in focusing international dialogue on Africa, built on the twin principles of African ownership and international partnership.

He also met with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. They discussed Japan’s cooperation with Africa, especially TICAD, which the Secretary-General said was a very important milestone for the continent to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Secretary-General also underlined the importance of Japan’s contribution to climate change.

The Secretary-General also met on the sidelines with President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger. In a Tweet, the Secretary-General said that he expressed his total solidarity with the countries and people of the Sahel, adding that the world cannot afford to lose the battle against terrorism in the region. He underscored that we need a stronger partnership to defeat terrorism and for sustainable and inclusive development.

The Secretary-General will wrap up his visit to Japan tomorrow before heading onwards to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Climate youth activist Greta Thunberg arrives in New York

The Youth climate activist Greta Thunberg is arriving this afternoon in New York. She is scheduled to attend the Secretary-General’s climate summit.

The UN will be there to welcome her with a flotilla of 17 sailboats. Each boat will be branded with a sustainable goal. We welcome Ms. Thunberg and wish her a pleasant stay after a long journey across the seas.

In Syria, the UN remains gravely concerned by the recent escalation of hostilities in the northwest of Syria. Ongoing clashes, shelling and air strikes, including the use of barrel bombs, continue unabated in Idleb, in western Aleppo and northern Hama provinces. Schools, hospitals, and other critical civilian infrastructure have been damaged and humanitarian operations have been hindered as a result.

Satellite imagery shows entire towns and villages have been razed to the ground, while dozens of communities have been emptied.

Since the start of the hostilities in April, over 550 civilians have been killed and over 400,000 people have been displaced from northern Hama and southern Idleb governorates. Many of them have been displaced multiple times, as we have been telling you.

Almost half of the displaced people are living outside camps and reception centres, and they are living in open air areas or under trees.

On Monday, 15 civilians, including three women and three children, were reportedly killed in airstrikes on 7 communities in Idleb governorate. On the same day, two schools, a bakery and a hospital were damaged in Kafr Nobel.

Three-quarters of the nearly 3 million people being impacted by the violence are women and children. Reports indicate that humanitarian needs are deepening, in particular with regards to shelter, food and non-food items.

The United Nations continues to call on all parties to the conflict to do their utmost to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians in the conduct of military operations and to strictly follow international humanitarian law’s principles of distinction and proportionality.

There are concerns in Cameroon about the reports of significant numbers of people leaving the South-West and North-West regions, also known as the Anglophone regions. And these movements are in anticipation of the lockdown called for by non-state armed groups operating in the area.

The humanitarian situation in the two regions continues to deteriorate with 1.3 million people – that is a third of the local population –now in need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict there has displaced over 500,000 people.

Armed fighting and insecurity continue to be the main impediments to the provision of assistance and a barrier for those in need to reach areas where they can receive aid.

Eight out of Cameroon’s ten regions are being impacted by various humanitarian crises, with around 4.3 million people in need of emergency assistance. That is a 30 per cent increase from last year.

The Humanitarian Response Plan for Cameroon seeks US$ 299 million this year to assist 2.3 million people but is only 22 per cent funded so far, making it one of the most underfunded humanitarian appeals globally.

Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator travels to the Central African Republic

Tomorrow, Ursula Mueller will travel to the Central African Republic. The Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator will be there until September 4th to see first-hand the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

This will be her second mission in the country.

During her visit, Ms. Mueller is scheduled to meet with people in need of assistance, senior government officials, humanitarian partners and donors.

She will discuss ways to increase support and access for the ongoing humanitarian response. She will also advocate for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.

In addition to Bangui, she is planning to see the towns of Bria, Alindao and Bangassou.

In the Central African Republic, nearly two-thirds of the population – or almost 3 million people, need humanitarian assistance or protection. More than half of those in need are children.

This year, the humanitarian appeal called for US$431 million to meet the needs of the most impacted, and that appeal is 46 per cent funded.

The Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, arrived in Helsinki, in Finland, today to attend an informal EU defence ministers meeting.

During his two days in Finland, he will update on developments related to UN Peacekeeping and brief on the implementation of the Action for Peacekeeping agenda. The Meeting is an opportunity forward the UN-EU partnership on peace and security matters.

On the sidelines of the ministerial meeting, he will also have bilateral meetings with several ministers and heads of delegations. USG Lacroix’s visit to Finland will also include bilateral discussions with senior Finnish officials, including the foreign and defense ministers and the commander of the Finnish defense forces. He is also expected to meet with former President of Finland and former senior UN official Martti Ahtisaari.

The Security Council was briefed by Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Mission in Iraq.

She explained that due to the continued underfunding Iraq’s post-conflict humanitarian programming is being hindered.

Vital health-care services are being suspended, schools shuttered, and food cycles interrupted, she said.

On the political situation, she underlined the significant progresses made on the Government formation, at the federal and regional levels.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UN-Water sounded the alarm for an urgent increase in investment in strong drinking-water and sanitation systems.

The call came as the international water sector meets this week in Stockholm for its annual conference during the World Water Week.

It is triggered by a new report published by WHO on behalf of UN-Water that reveals that weak government systems and a lack of human resources and funds are jeopardizing the delivery of water and sanitation in the world’s poorest countries. It is also undermining efforts to ensure health for all.

Today, the Secretary-General is appointing Adam Abdelmoula of Sudan - also a national of the U.S. - as his Deputy Special Representative for Somalia. He will also serve as the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia.

He succeeds George Conway of Canada who was Acting Deputy Special Representative since this last April, and to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedication and service in Somalia and to the Somali people.

Mr. Abdelmoula is currently the Director of the UN Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Divisions at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Cambodia has paid its dues in full to the regular budget, which brings us to 113 Member States who have paid in full.

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