Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, and in his message on the occasion, the Secretary-General stressed that the practice denies women and girls their dignity, endangers their health and causes needless pain and suffering, with consequences that last a lifetime.
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the ongoing tensions and intensification of the fighting in eastern Ukraine. He appeals to all parties to fully observe the ceasefire and allow for immediate humanitarian access.
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq briefed the Security Council today noting the progress that had been made by Iraqi forces in Mosul. He said that in the foreseeable future, the liberation operations in Iraq are coming to an end and the days of Da’esh are numbered.
UNICEF launched an appeal today for $3.3 billion to help nearly 50 million children in 48 conflict- or disaster-affected countries. The appeal seeks to provide access to safe water, nutrition, education, health and protection in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, South Sudan and Nigeria, among others.
The Secretary-General, in Addis Ababa for the African Union Summit, expressed profound solidarity, respect and deep sense of gratitude because African countries provide the majority of United Nations peacekeepers, are among the world’s most generous hosts of refugees and include some of the its fastest growing economies.
Marking the Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, the Secretary-General said it would be an error to think that the Holocaust was simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis. On the contrary, it was a culmination of millennia of hatred and discrimination targeting the Jews — what we now call anti-Semitism.
The Secretary-General has issued terms of reference for an impartial, independent mechanism to help investigate and prosecute those responsible for the most serious crimes committed in Syria since March 2011.
The United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) condemned today the coordinated suicide bombing attack at a hotel in Mogadishu. The attack reportedly killed dozens of Somali civilians and soldiers, while wounding many more. The Mission reports that Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a video message to the opening of the 2017 session of the Conference on Disarmament, the Secretary-General described disarmament as an integral element of a peaceful and prosperous world, spotlighting its potentially important role in ending existing conflicts and preventing the outbreak of new strife.
As part of his reform agenda, the Secretary-General has approved a whistle-blower protection policy to have the United Nations function in a more open, transparent and fair manner by enhancing protection for individuals who report possible misconduct or cooperate with duly authorized audits or investigations.