HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STÉPHANE DUJARRIC​,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
MONDAY, 16 MAY 2022

SOMALIA
In a statement issued today, the Secretary-General welcomed the holding of peaceful presidential elections in Somalia on 15 May and congratulated Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on his election as the 10th Federal President of Somalia. He commended outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo” for immediately accepting the results and expressing support to his successor.
The Secretary-General expressed his hope that the new President will move swiftly to form an inclusive Cabinet, and that the new Government and federal member states will work closely together to advance critical national priorities and address the challenges Somalia faces.
The Secretary-General reiterated the continued support of the United Nations to the Government and people of Somalia and said that he looks forward to continuing to closely work with the new administration to advance Somalia’s state-building agenda and address the dire humanitarian situation in the country.

UNITED STATES
In a statement issued last night, the Secretary-General said that he was appalled by the killing of 10 people in a vile act of racist violent extremism in Buffalo, New York, on 14 May. He extended his deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and hopes justice will be served swiftly.
The Secretary-General condemned, in the strongest terms, racism in all its forms and discrimination based on race, religion, belief or national origin. He stressed that we must all work together towards building more peaceful and inclusive societies.   

YEMEN
The United Nations welcome the first commercial international flight from Sana’a airport in six years. The flight took off from Sana’a to Amman today. This is an important element of the truce recently achieved through the mediation efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg. 
The United Nations thank the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for their invaluable support in bringing about this important achievement, and the Government of Yemen for their constructive role in making this possible. The UN urges all parties involved to continue facilitating flights as per the terms of the truce agreement. 
Special Envoy Grundberg is working with the parties to ensure the successful implementation of all terms of the truce, including making progress towards opening roads in Taiz and other governorates to facilitate freedom of movement for Yemenis within their country. He is also engaging the parties to strengthen and extend the truce and build on its momentum towards reaching a comprehensive and sustainable political solution to the conflict.

HORN OF AFRICA
The Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, has wrapped up his visit to Kenya, where he saw the devastating impact of the fourth consecutive failed rainy season in the Horn of Africa. 
During his visit, Mr. Griffiths met with people in the village of Turkana County in Kenya, who told him how this is the worst drought they have endured. He also spoke virtually with displaced people in Doolow in Somalia and in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, who said this crisis is threatening their way of life. 
He also met with Kenyan officials and discussed the Government’s response to the drought, as well as the need for urgent action and support for drought-affected communities to adapt and thrive in the future. 
The drought in the Horn of Africa has already affected more than 18 million people across Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya, including at least 16.7 million people who are severely food insecure. These numbers are expected to rise in the weeks ahead, with the Horn of Africa facing the longest drought in at least four decades. 
Mr. Griffiths stressed that we are now out of time – if new funding to further scale-up aid operations is not received immediately, we face the prospect of significant loss of life in the period ahead.

NIGERIA 
The Secretary-General is closely following developments in Nigeria’s Sokoto State, where tensions are high following the murder of a female Christian student on May 12th for alleged blasphemous statements.  
The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the bereaved family of the young woman.
The Secretary-General strongly condemns this act of violence and welcomes the fact that many religious leaders in the area have also condemned this attack.

ABYEI 
The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) strongly condemns the surge in criminal incidents in the past two weeks. The Mission is engaging with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, and has also reached out to the Paramount Chiefs of Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya Community.  
Despite the Mission’s efforts to maintain peace and security in the region, the violence continues.  The Mission will maintain its work to ensure people’s freedom of movement and set up check points to deter criminals.  

MYANMAR
From Myanmar, the World Food Programme (WFP) says its food and nutrition aid has reached 2.1 million people during the first quarter of this year. WFP hopes to reach at least 4 million of the most food insecure and vulnerable people in the country this year, subject to the availability of resources and access to those in need.  
The agency calls for unimpeded humanitarian access, since access to newly displaced populations, mainly in active conflict zones, remains largely restricted. 
WFP will begin distributing food and other supplies to Kaya State this week, after attempting to gain access to the area since July of 2021.  
In Southern Shan State, WFP is delivering food to internally displaced people and families who fled fighting in Kayah State. 
WFP says that fuel prices have doubled in the past year, driving up food prices. Compared to the same time last year, the average cost of a basic food basket is up 32 per cent.

INTERNATIONAL DAYS 
Today is the Day of Vesak. In his message, the Secretary-General said this year, Vesak arrives at a moment of multiplying crises – from an unequal recovery from COVID-19, to the punishing effects of climate change, to conflicts, divisions and violence. Each crisis reminds us of how far we have fallen away from Lord Buddha’s timeless teachings, he said. 
Today is also the International Day of Light, which celebrates the role light plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, among other fields. 
And finally, it is also the International Day of Living together in peace, which is all about accepting differences and having the ability to listen to, recognize, respect and appreciate others.