Press Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

Preview Language:   English
22-Mar-2021 00:20:23
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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We welcome today’s announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of its intention to undertake a number of measures to help end the conflict in Yemen, which align with the UN’s initiative. We also welcome Saudi support for UN efforts.

I was asked about weekend attacks in Niger, and I can say that the Secretary-General strongly condemns the despicable attacks conducted on 21 March by unidentified gunmen in the Tahoua region of the Republic of Niger, which reportedly killed at least 60 civilians. He expresses his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wishes a swift recovery to the injured.

Turning to Ethiopia: Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that the ongoing conflict in Tigray continues to drive massive displacement across the region. Tens of thousands of people have arrived into Shire, Axum and Adwa in the last couple of weeks, most of them fleeing fighting in Western Tigray.

Now, turning to Syria, we are deeply concerned about ongoing hostilities in the last days and their impact on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

You will have seen that, over the weekend, UN Women issued a statement on Turkey’s withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention.

On Myanmar, the UN Country Team remains deeply concerned over the continued loss of life following the military takeover of the Government on 1 February. At least 224 civilians have been killed at the hands of security forces, according to the UN Human Rights Office, including while in custody. We believe the real figure could be more than 250.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, welcomes and supports a dialogue initiative announced by the President last week. On 18 March, President Faustin Archange Touadera announced the launch of a “republican dialogue” amongst national stakeholders to unite the country and revitalize the peace process, following election-related violence.

The United Nations and IE University have signed an agreement to join forces and leverage new innovative and technological solutions for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Yesterday, Bolivia received more than 220,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility. Health workers and other people at risk will receive the initial doses in this first batch. Nearly 900,000 more doses are expected to arrive by the end of May.

Today is World Water Day. This year’s theme is “Valuing water.”

Finally, we would like to thank our friends in Tunisia for paying their regular budget dues in full, which brings us to a total of 74 Member States who have paid in full.

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