Press Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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19-Mar-2021 00:20:53
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General strongly condemns the continuing brutal violence by the military in Myanmar. The killing of peaceful demonstrators and arbitrary arrests, including journalists, is utterly unacceptable.

Also on Myanmar, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Save the Children said today in a joint statement that the occupation of schools across the country by security forces is a serious violation of children’s rights.

Ahead of Sunday’s presidential election in the Republic of the Congo the Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders in the country to work towards a peaceful electoral process. He stresses the need to respect civil and political rights, notably the right to vote.

This morning, the Secretary-General spoke at the General Assembly commemorative meeting for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is marked this Sunday.

The Secretary-General’s report on “Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse” is out today as a document. This is the annual update, looking back at 2020, on the UN’s efforts to prevent and respond to this scourge in line with the Secretary-General’s strategy on this.

In Syria, the UN is saddened by reports of the killing of a humanitarian worker in Idleb Governorate yesterday after being caught up in the crossfire between two armed individuals. This killing brings to at least 15 the number of documented cases of aid worker killings in northwest Syria in the last 14 months.

The Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, will arrive in Dakar, Senegal on Sunday. He will be there until 23 March.

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) continues its multifaceted support following last Sunday’s legislative elections.

Today, the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) launched its annual report on Women, Peace and Security. It is entitled “Leaders and Changemakers - Women Transforming Peace and Security amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

The UN team in Paraguay is proud to have supported the arrival this afternoon of a batch of 36,000 doses of vaccine from COVAX. Some 4 million doses are expected to arrive this year in Paraguay.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today said that globally, more than 3 billion people are at risk of disease because the water quality of their rivers, lakes and groundwater is unknown, due to a lack of data.

Today, the UN Children’s Fund, Henrietta Fore, said in a statement that UNICEF remains deeply concerned about the continuing crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia, and its worrying implications for children and their access to basic social services.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) today said that over the last year, more than one million Afghan migrants have returned or been deported to Afghanistan from neighbouring Pakistan and Iran as COVID-19 continues to deprive many of employment and health care.

Sunday is the International Day of Forests. This year’s theme is "Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being."

This weekend will also mark the International Day of Happiness; French Language Day.

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