Daily Press Briefing: Russia, Afghanistan, Gaza amp; other topics

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22-Jun-2021 00:59:09
Daily Press Briefing by the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General

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As announced yesterday, the Secretary-General is heading off to Brussels tonight for a series of meetings with European leaders, as well as with Belgian authorities.

The Secretary-General this morning spoke by prerecorded video message today to the 9th Moscow Conference on International Security.

Deborah Lyons, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, briefed the Security Council by video teleconference this morning.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is launching a $164 million humanitarian and early recovery appeal following the hostilities in Gaza in May.

The World Food Programme (WFP) today warned that famine – already present in four countries – could become a reality for millions of people around the world, without urgent funding and access to families cut off by conflict.

As a case in point of the fragility of food systems, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, has warned that a combination of escalating conflict, displacement, and loss of livelihoods due to COVID-19 could heighten the risk of hunger for millions of people in Nigeria’s northeast.

In Mozambique, another forgotten emergency, our humanitarian colleagues say that the clashes in the country’s north are driving one of the world’s fastest-growing displacement crises.

Turning to Myanmar, where nearly five months after the military took over the Government, our colleagues on the ground say they remain deeply concerned over the continued reports of violence being used by security forces, with daily reports of deaths and injuries.

On Sunday, Brazil received more than 840,000 Pfizer doses from COVAX, adding to the more than 5 million doses it has already obtained from COVAX. Brazil will receive a further 4 million additional AstraZeneca doses in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Honduras received more than 200,000 doses through COVAX, bringing the total number it has received so far to more than 450,000.

We were asked about tomorrow’s meeting of the General Assembly that will address the draft resolution calling for the end of the United States blockade against Cuba. While this is a matter for Member States, in the context of the pandemic, the Secretary-General has encouraged Member States to waive sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support.

Our colleagues in the UN Development Coordination Office tell us that we have two new Resident Coordinators. Amakobe Sande of Kenya is our new Resident Coordinator in Eritrea and Susan Ngongi Namondo of Cameroon is taking up her new post as the Resident Coordinator in Uganda, and we congratulate them both.

Tomorrow, my guests will be Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UN Development Programme, who is also Co-Chair of the High-level Dialogue on Energy, as well as Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of the High-level Dialogue on Energy.

Lastly, Mauritius has paid its budget dues and we now have 111 Member States who have paid their budget dues in full.
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