HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY ERI KANEKO,
ASSOCIATE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
THURSDAY, 15 JULY 2021
Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative for Libya, briefed the Security Council today and discussed the process towards holding elections in the country on 24th of December of this year.
He said that the constitutional basis for elections should have been clarified by now. Regrettably, he added, the House of Representatives, the mandated body to do so in consultation with the High Council of State, has not delivered yet. And he noted the inability of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum to decide on the issue.
Because of these failures, Mr. Kubiš said, the situation in Libya is getting more difficult, confrontational, and tense.
He added that in line with Security Council resolution 2570, preparations are ongoing for the deployment of an UNSMIL ceasefire monitoring component in support of the Libyan-led, Libyan-owned ceasefire monitoring mechanism.
The Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, Atul Khare, has wrapped up a visit to Sudan, where he held talks on the completion of the drawdown of the African Union-United Nations hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Mr. Khare held talks with the Chairperson of the Sovereign Council; the Minister of the Interior; the Coordinator of the National Committee for the new UN Mission in Sudan in the Prime Minister’s Office; the Governor of the Darfur Region; and the newly appointed North Darfur Wali.
All of the Sudanese officials he met with extended their support. They thanked the United Nations for a timely, transparent and efficient drawdown.
In Darfur, there are more than 600 UN personnel at the El Fasher Logistics Base. While there, Mr. Khare discussed the drawdown and the mechanisms that have been put in place for the current liquidation period.
In South Sudan, the UN Mission (UNMISS) has launched a new Peace Fellows program today to increase participation in the peace process and accelerate the implementation of the Peace agreement.
The program was launched in the capital, Juba, by the head of the UN Mission, Nicholas Haysom, and South Sudan’s Vice President, Rebecca Garang. The Program is also supported by the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, better known as IGAD.
The 1-year initiative will bring together representatives from all 10 states and three administrative areas. They will focus on education. They will share information about the peace agreement, and they will also work to improve interactions between citizens and the government.
The program will also aim to galvanize grass-roots support for reconciliation and peace efforts in the country.
Haiti - COVID
Haiti has received 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, donated by the United States through the COVAX Facility. This is Haiti’s first shipment of COVID vaccines.
The Pan-American Health Organization in Haiti has worked with the U.S. and Haitian authorities, as well as with the COVAX Facility to ensure that these vaccines arrived promptly and are ready for deployment as soon as possible.
To speed up the vaccination campaign, UNICEF has been working to enhance transportation, increase mass communication and strengthen the cold chain across the country.
COVID – WHO
The World Health Organization said today that deaths linked to COVID-19 in Africa have increased by 43 per cent in the past week, compared to the previous week.
Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia accounted for 83 per cent of the new deaths recorded in the past week.
This COVID-19 surge is the fastest the continent has seen, and it comes amid inadequate vaccine supplies. The continent has vaccinated 52 million people so far, which is less than 2 per cent of the total number of people vaccinated worldwide.
Also today, the World Health Organization and UN Children’s Fund published new data showing that 23 million children missed out on basic vaccines through routine immunization services in 2020. This is 3.7 million children more than in 2019.
WHO and UNICEF said that most of these – up to 17 million children – likely did not receive a single vaccine during the year, widening already immense inequities in vaccine access.
Algeria is enacting stricter prevention measures and stepping up its vaccination efforts as the number of cases and deaths climb to their highest since December of 2020.
The UN team, led by the Resident Coordinator, Eric Overvest, has been supporting authorities on a multifaceted response while COVAX has delivered 1 million vaccine doses so far.
The UN is working with its partners to procure testing and medical equipment and we are also training health workers.
Our team has helped to create an Internet platform for vaccinations to manage appointments, keep track of statistics, and provide reminders to people on when to get their next dose.
The UN is also helping vulnerable groups, including refugees and migrants, and is also conducting awareness-raising campaigns.
The Economic and Social Council High-Level Political Forum concluded its presentations today with a large slate of voluntary national reviews, including from Japan, Germany, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Cyprus, Indonesia, Iraq, Madagascar, Bhutan, Namibia, Spain, and Zimbabwe. All these countries were reporting for the second time, except for Indonesia, which was reporting for the third time.
In the afternoon, the Deputy Secretary-General and the President of the Economic and Social Council will provide closing remarks for the current session of the Forum.
The UN Population Fund today announced in a virtual ceremony the winners of this year’s UN Population Award. Commissaire Hassane Haousseize Zouera from Niger’s police force was named the individual laureate and the General Directorate of Population of Oaxaca in Mexico was named the institutional laureate.
The annual Award, which honours an individual and an institution for their outstanding contributions to population, development and reproductive health, recognized Commissaire Zouera as a leader in addressing gender-based violence and for her contributions in making Niger a safer place for women and girls. It also recognizes the Directorate in Oaxaca for its pioneering work on reproductive health and other issues affecting indigenous people in Mexico.
WORLD YOUTH SKILLS DAY
Today is World Youth Skills Day. In his message for the Day, the Secretary-General noted that young people were already facing disproportionate levels of unemployment and under-employment before the pandemic and that the COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated this troubling situation.
The Secretary-General stressed that to recover better, we must address the longstanding disparities and challenges faced by young people. He added that young people drive solutions and must have a seat at the table, including in policy-making processes at the local, national, and global levels.