HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STÉPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
TUESDAY, 14 AUGUST 2018
NEW ANNUAL REPORT HIGHLIGHTS PROGRESS MADE BY U.N. IN PEACE AND SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
- Today, the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization was launched.
- This year’s report highlights the importance of multilateralism as the only path to address global challenges and shows the progress made over the last year in maintaining peace and security, protecting human rights, and promoting sustainable development.
- The report also underlines the importance of building partnerships with Member States, regional and international organizations and civil society to “find solutions to global problems that no nation alone can resolve”.
U.N. REGIONAL HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR CONDEMNS ATTACKS AGAINST CIVILIANS IN SYRIA
- In a statement, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Panos Moumtzis, condemned the horrific attacks directed against civilians and civilian infrastructure in northwest Syria, which reportedly killed at least 116 civilians, many of them women and children, in Idleb and Aleppo governorates over the weekend.
- He warned that a military operation in Idleb and surrounding areas similar to what was seen in other parts of Syria will not only endanger many of the more than 3 million civilians in this densely populated area, but will likely severely impact humanitarian partners’ ability to deliver life-saving assistance.
- He added that it is imperative all parties to the conflict and those with influence over them to come to a genuine and inclusive agreement to settle the conflict in Syria in a peaceful manner, to prevent the further suffering of the Syrian people. Civilians should not and must not be a target.
MALI: U.N. CHIEF APPEALS FOR CALM THROUGH CONCLUSION OF ELECTORAL PROCESS
- In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General congratulated the people and Government of Mali for the peaceful atmosphere that prevailed during the second round of the presidential election held on 12 August. He welcomed the measures that were put in place that allowed the vote to occur safely in most of the country, notwithstanding difficult weather and security challenges in some areas.
- The Secretary-General appealed to all parties to remain calm through the conclusion of the electoral process, and to continue to address any grievances in accordance with the laws and constitution of Mali. He called on all political leaders to continue to promote a peaceful atmosphere and avoid incendiary rhetoric.
- The United Nations remains committed to supporting the people and Government of Mali in their efforts to consolidate peace.
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS SIGNING OF CONVENTION ON CASPIAN SEA IS ‘LANDMARK ACHIEVEMENT’
- The Secretary-General welcomed, in a statement issued yesterday, the signing of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.
- This historic document demonstrates the importance of regional cooperation, which is vital for maintaining international peace and security.
- The Secretary-General believes the Convention should prove invaluable in regulating a wide range of longstanding issues among the Caspian Sea littoral states and is a significant step in the easing of regional tensions.
- The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to congratulate the five signatory countries on this landmark achievement of regional cooperation and multilateralism.
ON JOINT VISIT TO NIGER, HEADS OF U.N. FOOD AGENCIES TO HIGHLIGHT NUTRITION SITUATION IN SAHEL
- The heads of the U.N.’s Food Agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP)-- will visit Niger starting tomorrow.
- They will be there to highlight regional efforts to address the critical food and nutrition security situation in the Sahel. They will also underscore joint efforts aimed at addressing poverty, underdevelopment, the impacts of extreme weather events and migration - factors that have all contributed to the region’s critical humanitarian and security situation.
- As the Sahel’s lean season that runs from June to August nears its close, the latest estimates show that nearly 6 million people will have been severely food insecure during this period.
2.3 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE FLED VENEZUELA AS OF JUNE – U.N. RELIEF AGENCY
- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that as of June 2018, an estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans, out of the 32.8 million population, have fled the country mainly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.
- People cite lack of food as their main reason for fleeing, with reportedly 1.3 million people suffering from malnourishment. There are also severe shortages of basic medicines and medical supplies, which have led to a sharp deterioration of the quality of care in hospitals.
- OCHA says that there are more than 100,000 HIV/AIDS patients at risk due to lack of access to necessary medication, and that the formerly eradicated diseases of measles, malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria are present and on the rise.
- The UN and humanitarian partners also said that needs among the migrant population include assistance with legal status, documentation, shelter, access to health care and other basic services.
FALL ARMYWORM COULD THREATEN MILLIONS OF FARMERS IN ASIA – FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ORGANIZATION
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today warned that Fall Armyworm could threaten the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers in Asia as this invasive pest is highly likely to spread further from India.
- South East Asia and South China are most at risk, the agency said. Fall Armyworm was recently detected in India and it’s the first time that it’s been found in Asia. This insect can fly over long distances and can cause severe damage to crops like maize, rice, vegetable and cotton.
- FAO has offered its expertise to farmers and governments in Asia so they can quickly make decisions on how to best manage the pest.
BOTSWANA, EGYPT AND TAJIKISTAN MAKE FULL PAYMENT TO U.N. REGULAR BUDGETPAY
- Today, three new members have been added to the Honour Roll: Botswana, Egypt and Tajikistan all made full payments to the UN regular budget. The total now stands at 121.