Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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26-Mar-2020 00:17:42
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General addressed the G-20’s virtual summit on the COVID-19 pandemic this morning.

The U.N. is deeply concerned about the potential impact of the virus on millions of people across Syria, and particularly the over 900,000 people who remain displaced due to hostilities since December 1st in the country’s north-west.

The U.N. is very worried by the confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in the country.

In a statement issued today, Leila Zerrougui, the head of the Peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, echoed the Secretary-General's call for a global ceasefire.

The UN Resident Coordinator in India, Renata Dessallien, welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy for a nation-wide 21-day lockdown to curtail the spread of the virus.

In South Sudan, where there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization, the UN team is working with authorities to mobilize the resources to strengthen the national capacity to prepare to respond to COVID-19, including both immediate health priorities and possible social and economic impacts.

In Burkina Faso, as part of the U.N.'s work to support the government’s response to Covid 19, UNICEF has enlisted the singer Smarty, a hip-hop star in the country, to give a boost to prevention efforts.

In a note issued yesterday, you will have seen that we welcomed the temporary ceasefire announced by the Communist Party of the Philippines with the Government of the Philippines on March 24th, following the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire.

In Sudan, on a related note, following the Secretary-General's call for a ceasefire. With peace talks underway, the Joint Special Representative for the UN\African Union Mission, Jeremiah Mamabolo, urged the Sudanese parties to recognize the gravity of the situation and reach a comprehensive peace as soon as possible.

And in response to questions about the temporary ceasefire announced in Cameroon, the spokesman can say the following:
We welcome the temporary ceasefire announced by the Southern Cameroon Defense Forces on March 25th, that also follows the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire. The Secretary-General calls on other armed groups to do likewise.

The President-designate and the Bureau of the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the NPT are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the UN Headquarters.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today launched a global education coalition to support countries in scaling up their distance learning practices and reaching children and youth who are most at risk.

UNICEF also announced today that it will increase support in 145 low and middle-income countries to help children continue their learning while keeping schools safe.

And in a statement yesterday, the Secretary-General condemned the attack on a Sikh-Hindu temple in Kabul.

Today marks the forty-fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the Biological Weapons Convention, the first multilateral treaty to ban an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.

We thank our friends in Nairobi for paying Kenya’s dues to the regular budget, which brings us up to 74 fully paid-up countries.

For further details please see SOURCE below.
Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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2542076
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2542666