Press Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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08-Apr-2021 00:28:20
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener will travel to the region this week.

Our colleagues on the ground in Myanmar say that they are alarmed by the humanitarian impact of escalating violence in north-eastern and south-eastern parts of the country in recent weeks.

The Security Council held a ministerial virtual debate on Mine Action this morning, the Secretary-General in his remarks, noted progress in the past years that have made significant expanses of land safe to use – from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Cambodia to Colombia.

We along with our partners are closely following with deep concern new reports of violations against civilians in Mozambique, including alleged beheadings and unverified reports of the use of child soldiers, during attacks by non-state armed groups and clashes in Cabo Delgado’s Palma District that have been going on since 24 March.

The Secretary-General noted the announcement made by President Ouattara of Côte d'Ivoire yesterday, in which he indicated that former President Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé are now "free to return to Côte d'Ivoire when they want".

Just to highlight the real impact of when the money no longer flows into our humanitarian appeals, the World Food Programme said today that, due to significant funding gaps, it is cutting food rations for refugees and internally displaced people in the country.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic is telling us that the National Elections Authority announced that the next round of legislative elections, initially scheduled for 2 May, has been postponed until 23 May. This, they said, will give authorities more time for ongoing technical and operational preparations.

Moving on to Yemen, over 5,000 COVID-19 cases have now been confirmed since the start of the pandemic. This number has doubled in just one month, signaling an alarming and dangerous surge in the virus.

Our team in India has been supporting authorities to safely reopen schools, and in some areas to continue remote education, with a focus on reaching children in marginalized and disadvantaged communities.

The Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Maritime Organization today announced that they have partnered with 30 countries to tackle marine litter and clean up the world’s oceans.

Today, the FAO said that global food commodity prices rose in March, marking their tenth consecutive monthly increase. FAO noted that quotations for vegetable oils and dairy products led the rise.

The Secretary-General is encouraged by calls for the extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), which has already provided US$5 billion in savings, which is helping vulnerable countries contribute to the pandemic response.

The Secretary-General sent a message today to the International Romani Union as it marked the 50th anniversary of its first Congress.

Today at 1:30 p.m., there will be a press encounter by the Co-chairs of the Group of Friends on Climate and Security – that is Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, of Germany; Ambassador Margo Dieye, Permanent Representative of Nauru; along with Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield of the United States.

Lastly, we are up to 87 fully paid-up Member States. So we say thank you to our friends in Greece, in Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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