Press Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

Preview Language:   English
18-Mar-2021 00:34:39
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General expressed his sadness following the death of H.E. Mr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of Tanzania.  He extends his deepest condolences to the President’s family and to the Government and the people of Tanzania.

The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Christine Schraner Burgener, is seeking to visit Myanmar, as the Security Council has encouraged and as the Secretary-General has urged, as part of her efforts to calm the situation and set the stage for dialogue and return to democracy in Myanmar.

The UN Mission in South Sudan has concluded a forum this week to help community reconciliation and promote sustainable peace in Wau, in the state of Western Bahr el Ghazal.

The Secretary-General spoke with President Luis Arce of Bolivia this morning. In his conversation, the Secretary-General underscored the need to respect human rights and due process, which constitute a fundamental basis to the consolidation of democracy.

Vaccines from COVAX arrived last night in Tunisia and Ecuador. More than 93,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in Tunis. Ecuador meanwhile received 84,000 doses last night, with more on the way.

A report released today by the UN Conference on Trade and Development said the global economy is set to grow by 4.7% this year, faster than predicted in September, when the prediction was 4.3% for 2021. This is thanks in part to a stronger recovery in the United States, where progress in distributing vaccines and a fresh fiscal stimulus are expected to boost consumer spending.

On the SAFER tanker, the UN is still discussing several logistical issues that have been delaying the mission with the Houthi -Ansar Allah - de facto authorities. 

The Secretary-General has appointed Jean Arnault of France as his Personal Envoy on Afghanistan and Regional Issues.

Today, the United Nations released a report on ageism, showing that every second person in the world is believed to hold ageist attitudes. This leads to poorer physical and mental health and reduced quality of life for older persons, costing societies billions of dollars each year.

The Spokesman added a clarification to an answer he provided yesterday in response to a question about the UK strategic review, particularly regarding article 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. While the United Kingdom continues to support the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and many efforts to achieve it, the UN feels this announcement is not consistent with the disarmament commitments all nuclear-weapon States have undertaken.

The virtual guests at the noon briefing today were experts from the Food and Agricultural Organization. Maximo Torero, the FAO’s Chief Economist, and Dominique Burgeon, the FAO’s Director of the Geneva Office and the Director, ad interim, of the Office of Emergencies and Resilience, briefed reporters on the latest report from FAO on the impact of natural disasters and crises on agriculture and food insecurity.

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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