Press Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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28-Apr-2021 00:20:13
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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This morning, the Secretary-General hosted a plenary session of the informal 5+1 talks on the Cyprus issue.

The Secretary-General had a video message for an event this morning entitled “COVID-19: How do we prevent the pandemic from becoming a media extinction event?”

Regarding the current surge in COVID-19 cases in India, our team there, led by Resident Coordinator Renata Lok Dessallien, is supporting the authorities’ response to the pandemic by providing equipment and supplies, including to local governments.

The UN team, led by the Resident Coordinator Tapan Mishra, continues to support the country’s vaccination campaign.

On Burkina Faso, the Secretary-General strongly condemns the killing, on 26 April, of two Spanish journalists and an Irish [national], following an attack by unidentified gunmen on their convoy at the Pama Reserve in eastern Burkina Faso.

Today the Security Council held a meeting to discuss Syria. Geir Pedersen, the Special Envoy for Syria, briefed the Security Council this morning and warned that, despite more than a year of relative calm by Syrian standards, this month reminded us of the potential for the situation to further disintegrate or rapidly deteriorate.

The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Alain Noudéhou of Benin as his new Deputy Special Representative in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali and the Resident Coordinator in Mali. Mr. Noudéhou will also serve as Humanitarian Coordinator.

In a statement released today, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Cesar Arroyo, expressed concerns over mass displacements in Mogadishu. Mr. Arroyo noted that initial estimates indicate that between 60,000 and 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes following an outbreak of violence on 25 April.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the humanitarian situation in the region is worsening fast because of escalating conflict, rising food insecurity and COVID-19. In 2021, almost 29 million people in the Sahel will need assistance and protection, five million more than at the start of 2020.

This morning, the Elsie Initiative, a UN Trust Fund that supports uniformed women’s deployment to peace operations, announced its first five recipients - Liberia, Mexico, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone - during a high-level virtual event.

Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This year, the aim of the Day is to raise awareness and stimulating dialogue on the importance of creating and investing in resilient occupational safety and health systems, drawing on both regional and country examples in mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 at the workplace.

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