Ukraine/Humanitarian, Moldova, International Women's Day & other topics- Daily Press Briefing

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08-Mar-2022 00:31:36
Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The situation in the eastern and north-eastern part of Ukraine remains volatile with reports from UN teams and open sources of heavy fighting, including in and around Mariupol, Chuhuiv, Kharkiv, Izyum, Chernihiv, Sumy and Sievierodonetsk.

Our UN team in neighbouring Moldova says 250,000 refugees have crossed the Ukrainian border in less than two weeks.

Yesterday afternoon, the Security Council held a meeting on Ukraine. Briefing Council Members were the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, and the new head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director, Catherine Russell.

I’ve been getting quite a lot of questions following a news report and I just wanted to correct the mistaken impression that UN staff were told to avoid using certain words to describe the situation in Ukraine. It is simply not the case that there was some sort of global instructions to all UN staff not to use words like “war” or “invasion” to describe the situation. UN staff, like journalists, are all very passionate, but we all work for an Organization and have to uphold the rules and regulations of the Organization in our role as international civil servants.

Today, as you all know, is International Women’s Day. This morning, the Secretary-General took part in the UN virtual observance for the Day.

Pegged to International Women’s Day, this morning, the Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, spoke to the Security Council on the topic of Women, Peace and Security. She said it is clear that we need another model of leadership on peace and security issues, one that features women’s inclusion in economic recovery as an essential element in our pursuit of peace.

Turning to Mali, the Secretary-General has condemned yesterday’s attack perpetrated yesterday against a logistics convoy of our colleagues at the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali.

The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, is in Costa Rica, where she commemorated International Women's Day with girls at the historic Escuela de Señoritas, where the fight for women rights started 99 years ago.

On the drought in the Horn of Africa, some 175,000 people in Ethiopia have now been displaced from their homes due to the drought, and more than 1.5 million cows and other livestock are estimated to have died due to lack of food and water.

Lastly, Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said today he was deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

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