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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

THURSDAY, 3 JULY 2014

 

[U.N. Headquarters in New York will be closed on Friday, 4 July. The noon briefing will resume on Monday, 7 July.]

 

U.N. MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN WELCOMES DECISION TO LAUNCH NEW AUDIT IN SELECTED POLLING STATIONS

  • The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomes the decision of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to launch an additional, ongoing audit of a number of polling stations in the second round of the Presidential election, in which the total number of ballots cast was 599 or higher.
  • The Mission encourages the Election Commission to implement further measures that could enhance the transparency, neutrality and impartiality of the electoral process, and separate and reject fraudulent ballots from valid votes. It also welcomes the re-scheduling of the announcement of the second round’s preliminary results to Monday, 7 July.
  • The UN Mission looks forward to the conclusion of the electoral process in accordance with the relevant laws and mandates of the electoral institutions and the orderly transition to a new administration.

IRAQ: URGENT CARE NEEDED FOR 250,000 WOMEN AND GIRLS

  • The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has warned that an estimated quarter of a million women and girls, including 60,000 pregnant women, affected by the conflict in northern and western Iraq, are in need of urgent care.
  • As health facilities are overstretched, UNFPA expects that the number of unassisted childbirth may rise, jeopardising the lives of mothers and newborns. Moreover, it remains concerned, as in any emergency, about the vulnerability of women and girls to gender-based violence and exploitation.
  • UNFPA’s Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, said that the Fund is redirecting its resources to respond to the crisis. It needs some $6.5 million to meet the needs of more than 200,000 women and girls.
  • UNICEF reported that it has made its first delivery of essential humanitarian supplies to Sinjar, in the western Governorate of Ninevah. The town is now sheltering some 50,000 displaced people, more than half of them children.
  • It has delivered water, hygiene kits, jerry cans as well as safe birthing kits to help displaced families cope with the crisis.

SYRIA: REFUGEE CRISIS FAST BECOMING THE WORLD’S LARGEST DISPLACEMENT

  • The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, says that the Syria refugee crisis is fast becoming the world’s largest displacement. Today, there are close to 3 million Syrian refugees, and the number of those seeking safe haven is increasing by 100,000 every month.
  • For Iraq, the Agency says that the monthly refugee influx from Syria is lower than had been expected.
  • As a result, UNHCR Iraq has revised its planning figures downward for refugee support for the remainder of this year. UNHCR’s current planning projections are that 250,000 Syrians will be seeking humanitarian aid in Iraq at the end of 2014.

SOUTH SUDAN: 100,000 SEEKING PROTECTION IN U.N. MISSION’S BASES

  • The UN Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, says that as of today, nearly 100,000 people are seeking protection in the ten UN bases across the country.
  • It also says that given the security situation and the projected deterioration of the food security situation, the number of displaced persons in UNMISS bases is expected to remain high over the coming months.
  • In a press conference in Juba today, the Mission said that work on improving existing Protection of Civilians sites and building new sites is on-going.
  • In Malakal, for example, two thirds of the displaced – that’s almost 12,000 people -- at the UN base have already moved into a new site.
  • And in Juba, a new site is ready to welcome up to 13,300 people. Relocations to this site have started with 672 displaced moving there so far.
  • The Mission also said it was concerned about the situation in Bentiu, where 100 to 200 displaced people continue to arrive daily. The Mission adds that there are sanitary and health concerns given how crowded the base is.

U.N. ENVOY IN SOMALIA CONDEMNS MURDER OF SOMALI MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has condemned the murder of Mohamed Mohamud Hayd, a member of the Somali Federal Parliament. He expressed his deep concern regarding recent attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, where Mr. Mohamud was killed today.
  • The Special Representative called for peace and reconciliation during the time of Ramadan. He urged Somali authorities to make every effort to bring the perpetrators to justice as quickly as possible.

W.H.O/P.A.H.O: CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS SPREADS OVER THE AMERICAS

  • The Chikungunya virus has continued to spread in the Caribbean region over the past months, with imported cases reported in the United States.
  • The Pan-American Health Organization, known as PAHO, continues to monitor the virus, which is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites.
  • Chikungunya was found for the first time in the Caribbean islands in December 2013 and has now spread to many parts of the region, from Haiti to Puerto Rico, Anguilla, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Barthelemy, and St. Martin.
  • The disease rarely causes death, but joint pain can last months or even years for some people and complications may occur in children under 1 and in people over 65 years of age.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Asked about developments in the Middle East, the Spokesman noted that the Security Council had issued a statement on Wednesday evening about the death of a Palestinian teenager. The Secretary-General has been calling on all sides to avoid taking any action that could escalate the situation.
  • Asked about the passage of unaccompanied minors into the United States, the Spokesman underscored the need for nations to treat all migrants, including minors, with dignity.
  • Asked about the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, the Spokesman said that the United Nations is following the situation, and he noted a ministerial meeting taking place in Accra, Ghana about the outbreak, at which the World Health Organization is participating.
  • Asked about the allegations raised concerning the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), the Spokesman said that the allegations raised are very serious and the Secretary-General wants the United Nations to look more closely at how the Mission has been performing. He will look closely at the results of the study he has called for to determine what the next steps should be.
  • Asked about an incident in Mutarule, in the eastern Congo, the Spokesman said that the Head of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Martin Kobler, has expressed his regrets about the delay in action from UN forces in intervening.
  • Asked about a vote in the General Assembly on the UN peacekeeping budget, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General is very pleased that Member States could come together in a spirit of compromise and cooperation to agree on a peacekeeping budget. As for the delay, he added, we would not expect it to be a precedent.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
5 JULY
– 11 JULY 2014

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

Saturday, 5 July

Today is the International Day of Cooperatives.

Sunday, 6 July

In Italy, the Deputy Secretary-General is expected to deliver the keynote address at the Turin Leadership Forum 2014, which is sponsored by the UN System Staff College and the City of Turin.  

Monday, 7 July

In the morning, the Security Council is expected to hold consultations on the Middle East.

At 10 a.m., in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the Secretary-General will launch the Millennium Development Goals Report 2014 at the opening of the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council.

At 11 a.m., in the press briefing room, there will be a press conference by the lead author of the report, Keiko Osaki-Tomita.

The Deputy Secretary-General will travel to Bologna, Italy, to deliver a lecture at the International Peace and Security Institute’s Annual Bologna Symposium on Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Reconciliation.

In Geneva, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will convene the 111th Session of its Human Rights Committee.

In Geneva, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlström will brief the press on the 1st Session of the Preparatory Committee for 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be held in Japan in 2015.

Tuesday, 8 July

In the morning, the Security Council is expected to meet on the UN Office for West Africa.

At 11 a.m., in the press briefing room, Jeffrey Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; and Laurence Tubiana, the French Ambassador for climate negotiations will speak to reporters about the Deep Decarbonization Pathways report. The Secretary-General will make introductory remarks.

At 6:30 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, there will be special event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the World War I called Learning from War to Build Peace. 

Wednesday, 9 July

In the morning, the Security Council is scheduled to meet on the 1701 (Lebanon) report.

At 3 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will launch the latest World Trends Report on Freedom of Expression and Media Development. 

Thursday, 10 July

In the morning, the Security Council will meet on the 2127 Committee (Central African Republic) and the 751/1907 Committee (Somalia and Eritrea).   

From 10 to 11 July, the General Assembly will hold a high-level meeting on the progress achieved in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. 

At 10 a.m., in Conference Room 3, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs will organize a special event to mark the International Day of Cooperatives (5 July).

At 11 a.m., in the press briefing room, there will be a press conference on the latest figures from the World Urbanization Prospects: the 2014 Revision.

Friday, 11 July

Today is World Population Day.