HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES

TUESDAY, 28 JUNE 2022

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL
The Secretary-General is on his way back to New York after attending the opening of the UN Ocean Conference in Portugal.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL 
The Deputy Secretary-General remains in Paris, where she is participating virtually in the Transforming Education pre-Summit, which started there today. 
She is participating virtually because she has just tested positive for COVID-19. She is well and said she is grateful to be one of the privileged to have been vaccinated. She is thinking of the millions of people who are still without protection. Ms. Mohammed called for a continued push for vaccines leaving no one behind. 

NUCLEAR WEAPONS 
In a statement yesterday, the Secretary-General congratulated States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on the successful conclusion of their First Meeting.   
The Secretary-General welcomed the adoption of the political declaration and action plan, which will help set the course for the Treaty’s implementation and which are important steps toward our shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. 

LIBYA 
The leaders of the two Chambers of Libya’s government are meeting today and tomorrow in Geneva, at the invitation of Special Adviser Stephanie Williams, to discuss and reach agreement on the measures governing the transitional period leading to elections. 
Stephanie Williams said at the start of today’s meeting “It is now the time to make a final and courageous effort to ensure that this historic compromise takes place, for the sake of Libya, for the sake of the Libyan people and the credibility of its institutions.” 
As you will have seen, Rosemary DiCarlo, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, briefed the Security Council yesterday and said that the UN is firmly convinced that elections are the only path to settle the disagreements over the democratic legitimacy of Libyan institutions, adding it is high time to agree on outstanding issues and make the elections happen.  
Ms. DiCarlo notes that Libya has made significant progress in the last few years toward a more inclusive society.  For the sake of the people of Libya, she said, we should not allow this progress to dissipate. 
 
SECURITY COUNCIL 
This morning, the Security Council is holding an open debate on its working methods. This afternoon, the Council will meet again, this time on the situation in Ukraine. Rosemary di Carlo, the Head of the Department of [Political and Peacebuilding Affairs], will brief Council members on our behalf. We will share those remarks with you as soon as possible. 

SYRIA 
The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Imran Riza, said today that humanitarian needs are unprecedented. Today, 14.6 million men, women and children require aid, which is an increase of 1.2 million people from 2021 and the highest level since the crisis began. 
The rapid rise is driven by a deepening economic crisis, ongoing displacement, continued fighting in some parts of the country and climate shocks. 
More than 90 per cent of Syrians are currently estimated to live in poverty and food insecurity has reached historic levels. 
The UN is responding to meet needs. In 2021, over seven million people were reached with life-saving aid each month.
This includes an average of 4.5 million people in need reached in Government-controlled areas.  
We and our partners have reached another 2.4 million people in north-west Syria through a massive cross-border operation, which we very much hope will continue.
Meanwhile, we have received just under one quarter of the $4.4 billion that are needed for humanitarian operations to continue. 

YEMEN 
In Yemen, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that hunger is now at the highest level in the country since 2015. More than 19 million people are going hungry, including more than 160,000 on the verge of famine. 
Funding cuts are hampering our ability to help people in need. Last December, the World Food Programme (WFP) was forced to reduce food rations for eight million people due to funding gaps and had to introduce another round of cuts last month. Five million people will now receive less than half of their daily requirement, and eight million people will receive less than one-third of their daily requirement. 
More than eight million women and children in Yemen need nutrition help, including more than 500,000 severely malnourished children. By July, UNICEF may have to stop treatment for more than 50,000 severely malnourished children.                                           
Also, by next month, UNICEF will suspend its work on safe water and sanitation for up to 3.6 million people. And by July, the agency will have to cut in half its mine risk education activities, putting two million children and their families at greater risk of mine-related injuries and deaths. 
On health care, the agency will suspend maternal and child health support, which help up to 2.5 million children and 100,000 women, by July. 

MYANMAR 
The UN team in Myanmar says that more than one million men, women and children are now displaced across the country.  
In addition, more than four million children have not accessed education for two full academic years. This disruption to stable schooling is placing children at much higher risk of child labour, trafficking, and early marriage. 
The UN and its partners are staying and delivering despite serious access challenges and funding shortfalls.  We have now reached 2.6 million people during the first quarter of 2022. Our ability to reach the remainder of the 6.2 million people identified in the Humanitarian Response Plan will be dependent on increased funding, improved access and removal of bottlenecks such as visa delays and banking restrictions. 
To date, only 11 per cent of our $826 million humanitarian appeal has been received. 
 
FOOD SECURITY  
The World Food Programme welcomed the announcement by the G7 leaders that they will provide an additional $ 4.5 billion to protect the world’s most vulnerable people from hunger and malnutrition.  
The world is facing a global hunger crisis of unprecedented proportions.
WFP said it is encouraged by the G7 commitment to ensure that trade remains open for food, fuel, and fertilisers, all of which are critical for countries bearing the brunt of the crisis.                                              
 
AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY MARKETS 
The Food and Agriculture Organization today released a report on how reducing trade costs can help drive sustainable development. 
The report aims to guide policy makers to find ways to ensure that trade policies safeguard global food security and nutrition, respect the environment and bolster against shocks such as conflicts, pandemics and extreme weather. 
 
SUDAN\ ETHIOPIA
In response to a question on Ethiopia and Sudan the Spokesman said the Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the renewed clashes between Sudan and Ethiopia along their disputed border that took place on 22 June, and reportedly resulted in the death of seven Sudanese soldiers and one civilian. He urges the two countries to take concrete steps to defuse tensions and to peacefully resolve their differences over the Al-Fashaga border area. The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the families of the victims.