The top United Nations official in Syria briefed the Security Council today on the implementation of its recent resolution demanding a ceasefire in that country, noting that, while progress had been made in Duma, more remained to be done to ease the humanitarian crisis and find a political solution to the conflict.
The following statement by UN Secretary‑General António Guterres was issued today:
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is increasingly alarmed at the plight of thousands of Central African refugees who have fled to southern Chad since late 2017. The influx is the biggest since 2014, and is overwhelming the ability of humanitarian agencies to respond.
A United Nations human rights office report issued today states there are strong grounds to believe that some of the people detained in Mexico in the early stages of the investigation into the 2014 disappearance of 43 students were arbitrarily detained and tortured and those serious violations were covered up.
Ending a two-day mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock and Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag called on the international community to urgently tackle the crisis in the country, where over 13 million people need humanitarian aid.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issued protection guidance encouraging States to ensure that Venezuelans seeking asylum had access to territory and refugee procedures. Given the situation in Venezuela, the High Commissioner said it was crucial that people were not deported or forcibly returned.
The Secretary-General told the Security Council today that, despite passing resolution 2401 (2018), there had been no cessation of hostilities in Syria. Violence continued in eastern Ghouta and beyond, and humanitarian aid continued to face blockages, with the humanitarian and human rights situation becoming more desperate by the day.
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks to the Security Council on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2401 (2018), today:
Despite the demands of the Security Council’s resolution for a ceasefire in Syria, humanitarian convoys had not been able to enter eastern Ghouta without impediment, members heard today as the Secretary‑General provided an update on the situation.
The Secretary-General is encouraged by the announcement of an agreement between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to hold a summit meeting by May. He reiterates his support for all efforts towards peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan briefed the Security Council today. He said that Afghanistan had successfully hosted the second conference of the Kabul Process for peace and security, where participants endorsed direct talks between the Government and the Taliban without preconditions.
Our humanitarian colleagues are concerned about the 6.7 magnitude aftershock that struck Papua New Guinea’s highlands area on the evening of 6 March, local time. Preliminary assessments indicate that immediate needs for the population include shelter, food, water and access to medical services.
Humanitarian operations in Iraq are contracting in 2018 versus last year, when 6.2 million people were targeted with assistance. The 2018 humanitarian response plan, launched on 6 March, seeks $569 million to assist 3.4 million highly vulnerable people struggling in the aftermath of the conflict with Da’esh.
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
In Syria, a United Nations‑Syrian Arab Red Crescent‑International Committee of the Red Cross inter‑agency convoy entered Douma, in besieged eastern Ghouta, for the first time since 15 November 2017. Teams delivered food for 27,500 people, along with health and nutrition supplies, while fighting and air strikes continued.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the arrival of migrants in Italy — the most active route for those leaving North Africa for Europe — hit a five-year low: 5,247 for the first two months of 2018, versus some 13,000 for the same period last year. IOM attributed the drop, in part, to voluntary humanitarian returns from detention centres in Libya.
The Food and Agriculture Organization Food Price Index for February found that rising world prices for staple grains and dairy products more than offset lower prices for vegetable oils, leading global food commodity prices up 1.1 per cent. FAO also lowered projections for global wheat harvests this year.
The United Nations Children’s Fund expressed deep sadness over the killing of its colleague, along with five other education workers, on 25 February in the north-western region of the Central African Republic, near Markounda, a remote area close to the Chadian border.
Despite the Security Council’s united call just days ago for a ceasefire in Syria, deadly fighting continued, throwing the body’s credibility into question, members heard today as United Nations political and humanitarian chiefs provided updates on the dismal situation on the ground.
United Nations humanitarian organizations and partners in Libya say they are deeply concerned about the situation faced by Tawergha men, women and children who are unable to return home and are currently living in makeshift-tented settlements in precarious conditions in Qararat al-Qataf and Hwara.
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