HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES

WEDNESDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER 2019

 

Iraq
We issued a statement on Iraq saying that the Secretary-General learned with deep sorrow of the loss of life and injuries that occurred near the Imam Hussein shrine in Karbala, in Iraq.
A large number of worshippers were present on the site to commemorate Ashura, including nationals from Iraq and other countries. The Secretary-General expresses his deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased and wishes a speedy recovery for the injured. The United Nations stands ready to support the Government in dealing with this tragedy.
 
Cameroon SG Statement  
We issued a statement welcoming the announcement made by President Paul Biya of Cameroon on the launch of a national dialogue process in the country. The Secretary-General encourages the Government of Cameroon to ensure that the process is inclusive and addresses the challenges facing the country. He calls on all Cameroonian stakeholders, including the Diaspora, to participate in the effort. The Secretary-General also reiterated the readiness of the United Nations to support the dialogue process.
 
Bahamas
In the Bahamas, our humanitarian colleagues continue to work with the government to identify the most urgent needs to provide support those impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
The World Food Programme today sent two vessels with humanitarian cargo to Marsh Harbour, in Abaco Island. The ships offloaded 13,800 individual ready-to-eat meals and relief material from WFP and its partners including the World Health Organization and the UN Migration Agency.
WFP also said it distributed over 1,500 ready-to-eat meals to people in the hard-to-reach areas in Little Abaco.
For its part, the UN Development Programme has released an initial $200,000 emergency funding grant to support with debris and waste management; housing and building damage assessments and the national recovery strategy.
 
CAR Displacements
Last week, we mentioned that 3,000 people had sought refuge near the UN peacekeeping base, following clashes between armed groups in Birao, a town in the country’s north-east.
A week later, an additional 10,000 people have fled, the great majority of them seeking protection around peacekeeping base. Our humanitarian colleagues report that more people are leaving their homes every day.
And to assist the UN and other humanitarian organizations are providing emergency services, including health, food, water, sanitation as well as non-food items. Water points and latrines are being built, and planning for this new displacement site is ongoing, with humanitarian partners and the UN Mission, which is also providing logistical support for humanitarian actors.
An additional aid supplies are scheduled to be delivered by air in the coming days, as the area is inaccessible by roads.
While the situation remains tense in the city, the UN mission reports no further violence. Peacekeepers continue their work to protect civilians and prevent new clashes, including by patrolling the city and manning check points.
The Peacekeeping mission, regional groups and the Central African Government are continuing their discussions to find a durable solution to the situation there.
 
South Sudan
On South Sudan, despite the slight improvement in the food security situation in recent months, more than half of the country’s population – that’s more than 6 million people – do not know where their next meal will come from.
That’s according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP).
The three agencies stressed that peace can improve access to livelihoods, markets and humanitarian assistance.
The FAO is providing supplies such as crop seeds, agricultural tools and fishing equipment, while UNICEF and other organizations are distributing food for women and children. For its part, WFP and its partners are responding with food and cash.
 
Education in Europe Schools for refugee/migrant children
In a briefing paper published today, 3 UN agencies called on European States to increase resources and practical support to ensure access to quality education for all refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant children.
The UNICEF, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration say the challenges these children face in European school systems include: insufficient school spaces or teachers trained to work with refugee and migrant children, language barriers, a lack of psychosocial support and limited catch-up classes.
Currently, twice as many children and adolescents born outside of Europe leave school early compared to native-born children.
More information online.
 
Noon Briefing guests
In a short while, we will have a guest from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) here to brief you on the 2019 Sustainable Development Goals Report.
The briefers will include Shantanu Mukherjee, Chief of the Integrated Policy and Analysis Branch in DESA; along with the Co-chairs of the report, Peter Messerli, Director of the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, in Switzerland, and Endah Murniningtyas, the former Deputy Planning Minister of Indonesia
 
USA
We confirm that tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. the Secretary-General will receive the credentials from the US Permanent Representative, Ambassador Kelly Craft.
 
Religious sites
Tomorrow at 11 o’clock, the Secretary-General will launch the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites. The Secretary-General and his High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Moratinos, will speak to Member States about the plan.
After that, at approximately 12:30 pm, the Secretary-General and Mr. Moratinos will be speaking to you at the Security Council stakeout.
The stakeout will replace our noon briefing but I understand Monica will be briefing here at noon.
 
Financial contribution
119 Member States who paid their dues in full. We are grateful for our friends in Côte d’Ivoire’s for having done so.