Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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17-Feb-2020 00:10:01
Briefing by Eri Kaneko, Associate Spokeswoman for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General spoke today at the International Conference on 40 Years of Hosting Afghan Refugees, which took place in Islamabad, and he called the Afghan refugees’ experience in Pakistan a remarkable story of solidarity and compassion.

Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said in a statement today that the crisis there has reached a horrifyingly new level, stressing that the only option is a ceasefire.

On Yemen, a detailed plan to complete the first official large-scale exchange of prisoners since the beginning of the conflict there was agreed yesterday in Amman, Jordan.

Also on Yemen, the Humanitarian Coordinator for that country, Lise Grande has called “terrible” the strikes on February15th, in which more than 30 civilians were killed and 12 others injured in the Al Hayjah area in Al Jawf Governorate.

On Iraq, The UN Assistance Mission there continues to receive credible allegations of peaceful protesters targeted by “hunting guns” on the road between Al Tahrir Square and Al Khilani Square in Baghdad during the last several evenings, injuring at least 50 people.

And this morning, the World Health Organization's Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that as more data comes in from China, they are starting to get a clearer picture of the COVID-19 outbreak.

On South Sudan, The UN Mission welcomed the announcement by the Presidency of South Sudan to return to 10 states, an important compromise to enable the timely formation of the transitional government as promised to the citizens of South Sudan.

On Myanmar, the UN is alarmed by reports of an artillery shell explosion, which injured up to 17 children, at a school in Rakhine state last Thursday.

We are aware of the decision of the Dominican Republic's Central Electoral Board to suspend yesterday's municipal elections after the vote started, due to technical problems and is following the situation with concern.

Our thanks today go to Cyprus and Mongolia. Both have paid their regular budget dues in full, thus taking the total of fully-paid up Member States to 50.

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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