HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
TUESDAY, 9 APRIL 2019
The Secretary-General has strongly condemned the military escalation and fighting in and around Tripoli, including yesterday’s aerial attack by a Libyan National Army (LNA) aircraft against the airport in Tripoli.
The Secretary-General continues to urge the immediate halt of all military operations in order to de-escalate the situation and prevent an all-out conflict, while emphasizing that there is no military solution to the Libya conflict. The Secretary-General said his Special Representative in Libya, Ghassan Salamé, stands ready to facilitate dialogue. In a statement issued from Tripoli today, Mr. Salamé reiterated that he is determined to hold the National Conference at the earliest possible date, as it remains a historic opportunity.
At the same time, he said, we cannot request a Conference against the backdrop of artillery bombardment and air raids, which could compromise the ability of all those who expressed willingness from all over the country to attend, safe and free to voice their opinions.
Mr. Salamé said he would work to the fullest extent of his ability for the Libyan National Conference to take place as soon as possible once success requirements are re-established.
Tthe High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, today joined the Secretary-General in reminding all parties to the conflict in Libya of their obligations under international law to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure. She urged all parties to take measures to ensure civilians do not – once again – bear the brunt of the fighting, highlighting in particular the need to ensure the protection of extremely vulnerable people, including refugees and migrants.
The humanitarian community is also expressing deep concerned about the increasing humanitarian impact of the violence.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), some 4,500 individuals have been displaced from the affected neighbourhoods to comparatively safe areas in Tripoli, Bani Waleed and Tarhuna. Concerns remain for civilians caught in conflict-affected areas, who are unable to leave their homes during the ongoing fighting.
Humanitarians are working to ensure preparedness for potential additional needs. This includes ongoing relocation of vulnerable refugees and migrants from detention facilities in conflict-affected areas. Advocacy continues for the relocation of all refugees and migrants currently in detention facilities in conflict-affected areas.
The World Health Organization (WHO), for its part, reports that among the dead are two doctors who had been providing critically needed services to civilians in Tripoli. The agency reiterates that targeting health care workers and health facilities is against international humanitarian law.
A $202 million appeal for the humanitarian response for Libya this year is just 6 percent funded.
Martin Griffiths, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, said today he was deeply saddened to hear of the tragic deaths of civilians, the majority of whom were young female students attending school, in an area of Sana’a, on 7 April.
He said this loss of life shows the terrible impact that the conflict continues to have on society’s most vulnerable and on the country’s infrastructure as well as essential services.
Mr. Griffiths strongly urged all parties to make every possible effort to put an end to civilian suffering and allow young Yemenis to grow up in peace and safety. He said only an inclusive political solution will end this cycle of violence and destruction.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General said he is following closely the demonstrations in Sudan, and appealed to all actors to exercise utmost restraint and avoid violence.
He called for full respect for human rights, including the freedom of assembly, the freedom of expression, as well as the release of detained protestors. The Secretary-General called on the Government of the Sudan to create a conducive environment for a solution to the current situation and to promote an inclusive dialogue.
He also affirmed that the UN stands ready to support any efforts agreed by the Sudanese to peacefully resolve the crisis.
In Malawi, UN agencies and partners have reached approximately 90,000 households with relief assistance including food, water and sanitation, health, nutrition, shelter and protection.
Assistance has also arrived in the country to support shelter and displacement tracking, coordination, early recovery and logistics.
Approximately $19.3 million of the $45.2 million required for immediate assistance in Malawi has been mobilized so far.
In Mozambique, more than 756,000 people have received food assistance since Cyclone Idai made landfall last month. According to the Government, almost 161,000 people are sheltering in 164 sites.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has deployed nutritionists in the four priority provinces and devised a six-month plan to treat at least 100,000 children and women for moderate acute malnutrition.
At least 593,000 people have received the Oral Cholera Vaccine, representing 73 percent of the total target.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Mozambique Humanitarian Response Plan for Cyclone Idai, which is seeking $282 million, is currently just under 21 percent funded.
ECOSOC YOUTH FORUM
In remarks at the closing session of the ECOSOC Youth Forum this evening, the Secretary-General will reiterate that young people have a partner in the UN, one that shares their concerns about unemployment, climate change, and access to the basic needs such as quality education and healthcare.
He will also highlight the UN Youth Strategy, which launched last September to ensure the Organization responds better to the needs of young people and includes their contributions to making the Sustainable Development Goals available for all.
In particular, he will highlight the UN’s commitment to improve the conditions of young women who are too often discriminated against in every sector, from health and education, to access to the labour force and financing.
And he will also appeal to youth to keep contributing their ideas, energy and creativity and continue engaging with the UN.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL IN LEBANON
Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed is in Lebanon, where she met the President and the Prime Minister of the country and also addressed the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development and met with Resident Coordinators from the region.
The High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, briefed the Security Council this morning. He stressed that today there is an unprecedented stigmatization of refugees and migrants in the media and in politics, and that this should concern us all as it is creating a toxic environment that makes it increasingly difficult to tackle this issue.
Mr. Grandi told members of the Council that they have a critical role in addressing the refugee crisis and urged them to focus on three areas: solving security crises; providing support to countries hosting refugees and removing obstacles and providing solutions for refugees who wish to return to their home countries or start a dignified life elsewhere.
He also emphasized that countries should not take for granted the generosity of host countries and called for more support for countries like Bangladesh, Lebanon, Peru and Colombia, who have received millions of refugees in the past months. He added that this support is key to preserving stability in these regions.
More than 175 million children – around half of the pre-primary-age children globally – are not enrolled in pre-primary education, missing a critical investment opportunity and suffering deep inequalities from the start – that’s according to a new UNICEF, report released today.
The report reveals that children enrolled in at least one year of pre-primary education are more likely to develop the critical skills they need to succeed in schools, less likely to repeat grades or drop out of school, and therefore better able to contribute to peaceful and prosperous societies.
Still on education, the World Bank and UNICEF yesterday announced a new commitment to promote education, skills and training for young people in developing countries with the global goal of boosting their employment prospects.
The partnership will align $1 billion in World Bank investments with Generation Unlimited, a new global initiative currently hosted by UNICEF, which aims to prepare the world’s 1.8 billion young people for the transition to work by connecting secondary-age education to employment and entrepreneurship.
FAREWELL TO PRINT
Starting today, the News and Media Division of the Department of Global Communications (DGC) will no longer print hard copies of press releases. This is part of our ongoing effort to save paper, to go paperless and to save money.