Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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08-Nov-2019 00:10:49
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General will be travelling to Paris where on Monday 11 November he will address the Paris Peace Forum. The Forum, in its second year, intends to generate innovative and cooperative solutions to improve global governance and foster peace.

In his remarks, he is expected to emphasize the importance of multilateralism to solve today’s challenges and foster sustainable development. He will also call on the international community to use the UN’ 75th anniversary as an opportunity to renew its commitment to collective action.

Following his presentation at the forum, the Secretary-General is scheduled to have a bilateral with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

On Tuesday, he will deliver remarks at UNESCO, ahead of its General Conference. He will highlight UNESCO’s important role to promote multilateralism and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, he will also put a particular emphasis on the role of youth as key partners and agents of change.

The Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, briefed the press in Geneva earlier today on the work of the Constitutional Committee and its Small Body and he said he had witnessed very positive discussions and lots of courage from all parties to genuinely listened to each other.

Now, he said, the groups are going back to their constituencies to reflect on proposals that have been made. They will reconvene in Geneva in two weeks, on 25 November.

The Special Envoy said the success of this first meeting was in the ability for the participants to discuss very difficult subjects respectfully, and he hoped that they will continue to do so in the next meeting. He told the press that they would have been surprised at how much the parties agreed upon.

Mr. Pedersen added that the UN continues to call for a ceasefire and all the other issues, such as detainees, to be solved.

According to preliminary reports, in Al Mukha, in Taizz Governorate on the western coast of the country, a hospital has been badly damaged by airstrikes on 6 November.

The hospital, which is run by Doctors without Borders, has been forced to close, and a large warehouse of medical supplies has been destroyed.

The Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Lise Grande, said that hundreds of thousands of people who need emergency assistance, including hundreds who need life-saving surgeries each month, will not get the help because of these airstrikes.

The Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, today called for $61.5 million to save lives and help people in the midst of heaving flooding, which has devastated one third of all counties in the country.

To that end, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, will allocate up to $15 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to urgently scale up responses to flooding.

The funds will be used to help the 620,000 people most affected by providing emergency shelter, health care, food, water, hygiene and sanitation, as well as other support.

In addition, $10 million is being allocated from South Sudan’s Humanitarian Fund for immediate assistance in the worst-hit area.

In Budapest, Hungary, the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) has concluded its fifth regional conference, focusing this time on Prevention of Radicalization to Terrorism and looking at Regional Policy Responses and Risk Mitigation.

The conference, co-organized with the Government of Hungary, brought together over 200 participants who discussed ways to address terrorist narratives, the risks posed by returning foreign terrorist fighters and engaging youth in preventing and countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism.

A report published by UNICEF and UNHCR says that an estimated 60,000 young refugees and migrants, who arrived in Italy between 2014 and 2018 as unaccompanied children, still require support to ensure their successful transition into adulthood.

The report, which is also co-authored by the International Organization for Migration, says that as these children turn 18, the potential loss of support - due to an artificial, age-based distinction - will put them at additional risk of social isolation, violence, abuse and an uncertain future.

The report includes a set of recommendations for the Italian authorities and the European Commission to better [assist] these young men and women by increasing services promoting social inclusion, protection, access to psycho-social support, health care and education, among others.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is aiding flood-hit populations across Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

The impact of successive storms, cyclones and heavy rains has been severe this year, and in the wake of heavy flooding, the agency is upping disease surveillance actions and providing critical supplies to hard-hit populations.

According to WHO, over a million people have been affected by floods in Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

In response to questions on the issues discussed in the Secretary-General’s meeting with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister yesterday, the Spokesman said the Secretary-General is pleased that there’s been progress in the cooperation between the Venezuelan authorities and the United Nations on humanitarian issues. It is important to note that there are very real humanitarian problems and that the UN is focused on solving these problems.

The Secretary-General also supports the work and the statements of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Venezuela.

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