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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General






  • The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the announcement by the Cuban government that it will be sending 165 medical personnel to Sierra Leone soon to assist in the response to Ebola. In addition, the African Union has begun to mobilize medical personnel for the response, and the Government of Ghana has agreed to use Accra as a key hub for flights into and out of Monrovia. Offers of cash, equipment and personnel from governments, NGOs and the private sector have also begun to materialize.
  • We are also grateful for the continued support of the US government. Last week, the U.S. Agency for International Development announced plans to make an additional $75 million available. More than 100 experts, most of them from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are deployed to the region in an effort to prevent, detect and halt the virus’s spread.
  • The UK government also announced that British military and humanitarian experts will set up a medical treatment centre for victims of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
  • The Secretary-General welcomes these signs of solidarity, particularly the deployment of skilled medical teams. He calls on more countries and organizations to move swiftly to support the Governments of the countries affected, through the WHO Road Map and a complete overview of requirements, which will be released by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva on 16 September.
    The Secretary-General has held a number of calls with world leaders seeking their support for the countries most affected – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and Nigeria. He continues to reach out to leaders around the world on this issue.
    The Secretary-General also renews his call for countries to refrain from closing their borders to people coming from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and for airlines and shipping companies to maintain transport links. Isolating the countries risks causing more harm and delaying efforts to stop the Ebola virus, rather than preventing its spread.
    On Monday, the Secretary-General activated the UN's crisis response mechanism for managing a system wide crisis, and instructed all Heads of UN Agencies and Departments to give top priority to working together in support of a unified, effective response. And our UN teams on the ground are engaged in active support of the national efforts, providing health services, food, supplies and outreach to communities.
  • Just an update on the figures this week: the total number of probably, confirmed and suspected cases in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone, stands at 4,366 with 2,218 deaths.
  • The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that the impact of the epidemic on children continues to grow. In Liberia, health services for children have been severely disrupted and schools have closed. So far, an estimated 2,000 children have lost their parents due to Ebola. UNICEF also says that many of these children are facing stigma and rejection in their communities as they are seen in their communities as a source of infection, bad luck and trouble. 
  • To date, UNICEF, with support from the World Bank, has flown nearly 248 metric tons of supplies, including protection equipment, hygiene kits, oral rehydration salts and other emergency health supplies. The distribution of chlorine has been the biggest ever in UNICEF’s history.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that Cuban doctors are expected to arrive in Sierra Leone in the first week of October for a period of six months. They are there to provide physicians, nurses, epidemiologists and other specialists. 


  • UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos arrived in Iraq yesterday as part of a four-day mission to the country. Today, Ms. Amos met the President of Iraq in Baghdad and discussed the constraints faced in delivering humanitarian assistance. Later in Erbil, she met with the Kurdish Minister of the Interior. Ms. Amos assured the Minister that the UN will continue to support Iraq’s efforts to help displaced people in the Governorate.  Ms. Amos said that the biggest challenge now is shelter, adding that finding a place for all Iraqis is a top priority, as winter will arrive very soon.
  • Since August, the World Food Programme (WFP) and its local partners have fed more than 264,000 displaced people in Dohuk and Erbil cities, bringing the total number assisted by WFP since the start of the crisis in Mosul to 800,000.
  • Over the past three months, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has distributed 10,000 hygiene kits to internally displaced Iraqi women and 2,500 to female Syrian refugees in different parts of the governorates in Iraq.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO), public health clinics and the Kirkuk General Hospital are preparing for another polio/measles vaccination campaign due to start September 14th.


  • The 45 previously-detained Fijian peacekeepers in the Golan were welcomed back yesterday to the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) Camp Faouar by the Force Commander, Lieutenant General Iqbal Singh Singha, as well as other mission colleagues.
  • The 45 soldiers have undergone a medical assessment.


  • The Secretary-General is announcing the appointment of Mohammed Ibn Chambas of Ghana as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA). Mr. Chambas will succeed Said Djinnit of Algeria to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedication and effective leadership at UNOWA.
  • Mr. Chambas brings to the position extensive experience in both international and governmental forums, most recently as the African Union-United Nations Joint Special Representative for Darfur and Head of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) since December 20th 012.
  • The Secretary-General is also announcing the appointment of Franz Baumann of Germany as Umoja Senior Deployment Coordinator. Umoja will be the United Nations' new central administrative system, replacing multiple and fragmented legacy systems, and is designed to help harmonize the way the UN works, providing a single data repository with reliable, real-time information.
  • Having served since 2009 as Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management (DGACM), Mr. Baumann brings to this position extensive results based management experience within the United Nations. He has been a strong advocate for reform and business transformation using new and improved management and technological skills.


  • The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched its first operation in Ukraine, providing food for people affected by violence in Donetsk and Luhansk, following a request from Ukrainian Government.
  • Since the beginning of September, WFP and its local partners have so far distributed 10,000 daily rations, enough to feed 2,000 people for five days. It plans to scale up its operations before the end of the month.
  • Those being assisted are mainly internally displaced people with serious medical conditions, pregnant women, nursing mothers and the elderly as well as large families.
  • WFP has procured food locally to try to inject money into the local economy. It will launch a food voucher project to allow people to purchase food in their own communities.


  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today expressed its grave concern over the resumption of arrests, detention and deportation of asylum-seekers and refugees in Sri Lanka.
  • The Government restarted an operation on September 3rd, and as of yesterday, 62 Pakistani and 3 Afghan asylum-seekers were arrested and detained, with 40 of them subsequently deported.
  • The Refugee Agency believes there are still more than 100 people of concern to the Agency in detention. It appeals to the Government to refrain from any further arrest and deportations and to uphold its responsibilities under international law.
  • The Agency once again calls on authorities to allow access to the detained so that it can assess their international protection needs.

13 – 19 September 201

(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)

Monday, 15 September

Today is International Day of Democracy.

In the morning, the Security Council will adopt a resolution on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and be briefed on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

At 10:00 a.m., in the press briefing room, officials from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank, will discuss the latest child mortality estimates following the launch of the Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2014 report.

At 11:00 a.m., in the press briefing room, there will be a press conference by Selwin Hart, Director of the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team.

At 12:30 p.m., in the press briefing room, President of the General Assembly, John W. Ashe, will hold a wrap-up press conference highlighting the achievements of the 68th Session, including the post-2015 Development Agenda.

At 12:30 p.m., in Conference Room 9, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Asian Development Bank will hot a symposium on Poverty in Asia: A Deeper Look.

From 15 September to 3 October, in Geneva, the Committee on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities will convene its 12th Session.

From 15 to 26 September, in Geneva, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances will hold its 7th Session. At 9:30 a.m. in Press Room 1 in Geneva, the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will brief the press on the issue.

Tuesday, 16 September

Today is International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

In the morning, the Security Council will hold a briefing on the Middle East.

At 9:00 a.m., in the press briefing room, the former President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, is expected to launch a new Climate Economy Commission report.  

At 10 a.m. in Conference Room 4, the Permanent Mission of Norway holds event on the New Climate Change Report.

At 12:00 p.m. in the press briefing room, the Secretary-General will hold a press conference to discuss his priorities for the 69th Session of the General Assembly.

At 12:35 p.m. in Room III in Geneva, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, and the UN System Senior Coordinator for Ebola, David Nabarro, will brief the press on the Ebola crisis.

At 3 p.m., the General Assembly Hall will open its 69th Session.

Wednesday, 17 September

At 11:00 a.m., in the press briefing room, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Norwegian Refugee Council Secretary-General Jan Egeland will brief reporters on the findings of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre's new report called Global Estimates 2014: People Displaced by Disasters.

The guest at the noon briefing will be Paul Ladd, Head of Team and Lead Adviser on Post-2015 Bureau for Development Policy of UNDP.

Thursday, 18 September

In the morning, the Security Council will hold a debate on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Later in the day, it will hold consultations on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). 

At 11 a.m., in the press briefing room, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) and UNDP will launch the Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force Report 2014.

The noon briefing guest will be Anthony Banbury, the Deputy Ebola Coordinator and Operation Crisis Manager, who will provide an update on the Ebola crisis.

Friday, 19 September

At 2 p.m., the Security Council will hold a debate on the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

At 4:30 p.m. in Room XVII in Geneva, there will be a special event called Let’s talk Peace to commemorate the International Day of Peace (21 September).