Virtual Press Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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28-Aug-2020 00:24:03
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Earlier this morning, the Secretary-General delivered the 19th Darbari Seth Memorial Lecture in India. In his remarks, the Secretary-General stressed that clean energy and closing the energy access gap are good business and that they are the ticket to growth and prosperity.

Just an update on the Syria talks, which, as you know, resumed in Geneva yesterday. The Small Body of the Syrian Constitutional Committee met again today and intends to meet again tomorrow.

On the situation in Gaza, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, tweeted today that the situation in and around Gaza is rapidly deteriorating.

In Lebanon, we, along with our humanitarian partners, are now seeking $344 million to help 300,000 people with immediate life-saving needs, as well as to help move the country towards recovery, for the next three months following the Beirut explosions earlier this month.

This evening, at 6:30 p.m., the Security Council is meeting to adopt resolutions on women in peacekeeping, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet today expressed deep concern over a recent death threats directed at the Congolese human rights defender and Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege. Ms. Bachelet called for swift action to investigate who is behind the threats and bring them to justice.

We have updates from our Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and the UN team in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They tell us that the measles outbreak in the country is now under control, with a nearly 90 per cent drop in weekly cases compared to last year.

In Madagascar, the UN Human Rights Office today said it is very concerned by reports of excessive use of force by security forces at a jail recently when 22 inmates were killed and eight injured during a mass escape.

In Myanmar, The UN team there, led by Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ola Almgren, is concerned by the spike in COVID-19 cases in Rakhine state.

In Pakistan, our humanitarian colleagues tell us that heavy monsoon rains and flooding have continued across Sindh province, affecting several districts.

In Ethiopia, heavy rains continue to cause flooding in several parts in the country. Nearly 455,000 people have been impacted by the rains, forcing the displacement of 120,000 people.

This Sunday, 30 August, is the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. In a message for the Day, the Secretary-General said that the crime of enforced disappearance is rife across the world.

Next week, at 10 a.m. on Monday, the Secretary-General will hold a virtual Townhall Meeting with Women’s Civil Society groups in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Last, but not least, we say thank you to our friends in Uganda for their full payment to the regular budget, bringing us up to the magic number of 111 fully paid-up Member States.

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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