HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
FRIDAY, 27 SEPTEMBER 2019
Helicopter Crash in the Central African Republic
The UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Central African Republic reports with sadness that a Mi-24 helicopter, with four Senegalese crew members on board, has crashed today while attempting an emergency landing due to bad weather near Bouar, located in the West of the Central African Republic.
Three peacekeepers died, while the fourth sustained severe injuries.
The helicopter was providing air support to an ongoing security operation by the UN Mission against an armed group in the Nana-Mambéré prefecture.
The Secretary-General, and the United Nations, extend their heartfelt condolences to the families of the fallen peacekeepers, as well as to the Government and people of Senegal.
A formal statement of the Secretary-General is expected later today.
This morning, the Secretary-General spoke at the High-Level mid-term review of the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action, also known as the Samoa Pathway. He said that climate emergency represents the single biggest threat to the survival of small island States and called on the rest of the world to step up and invest in these communities so they can adapt and mitigate climate change’s impact.
The Secretary-General also addressed the opening ceremony of the 43rd annual meeting of Foreign Ministers of the G77 and China. He stressed that the group’s priorities are the United Nations’ priorities: eradicating poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals ; winning the race against climate change and creating opportunities for young people; achieving gender equality and peace and human rights for all.
This afternoon, the Secretary-General will be speaking at a High-Level Event on Sudan. He is expected to say that the most striking element of the transition is that the drive for change has been led from the beginning by Sudanese men and women, especially young people from all sections of society.
Also in the afternoon, the Secretary-General will attend an unveiling ceremony called “Reaching for the Skies” with the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
And this morning, he also spoke at the opening of the Russian-Byelorussian exhibit in memory of former foreign minister Andrey Gromyko.
The Secretary-General said that the world is unquestionably a safer place thanks to Andrey Gromyko and his diplomatic work.
In a statement issued this morning, the Secretary-General urged all stakeholders to ensure that Afghan voters, women and men, are able to exercise their right to vote.
This is crucial as the country strives to consolidate a democratic and inclusive political system, he said.
The Secretary-General reiterated that any acts of violence against the electoral process are unacceptable, stressing that there is no place for violence, intimidation or fraud.
The Secretary-General called on all key actors to uphold their responsibility to support peaceful, credible, transparent and inclusive elections.
He also reiterated the UN’s commitment to continuing to assist the people of Afghanistan.
A group of 66 vulnerable refugees was evacuated from Libya to Rwanda yesterday evening on a flight chartered by UNHCR.
This was the first group of refugees to be moved under the Emergency Transit Mechanism, which was recently set up by the Government of Rwanda, UNHCR and the African Union.
The entire group had been granted asylum-seeker status, pending an assessment of their refugee claim by UNHCR. Nearly a third of them were children, most of whom were accompanied and traveling without a family member or parent.
A second evacuation flight is expected in the coming weeks as UNHCR continues every effort to get vulnerable refugees in Libya out of harm’s way.
Heavy rainfall has affected over 150,000 people in Niger since the beginning of the month.
According to authorities, 57 people have died as a result of severe flooding, a number that has not changed in the past weeks.
The three hardest hit regions were Zinder, Maradi and Agadez.
The UN and humanitarian organizations are supporting the Government-led response efforts by providing assistance in shelter and non-food items, food security, water, sanitation and hygiene.
The UN Migration Agency is significantly scaling up its support for survivors of Hurricane Dorian by managing shelters, providing essential household items to displaced families, supporting debris removal operations and providing information on the needs of the affected population. The agency is also supporting the government to monitor the missing persons list.
This support is possible thanks to the $1.9 million granted this week by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the US Agency for International Development.
According to the government there are still 600 people missing and tens of thousands of displaced who need help.
UNICEF and the Islamic Development Bank today launched a fund that will open new opportunities for Muslim philanthropy to contribute to emergency response and development programmes.
It is estimated that the annual Zakat contributions alone may reach up to US$ 600 billion, making this a significant potential source of sustainable funding to help achieve the SDGs.
In response to queries on whether the UN has changed its position on China’s representation, in light of the reported participation of an individual from Taiwan at an event at the United Nations, the UN states that:
The individual in question did not participate in an official UN meeting. She was invited by a Member State to attend an event hosted by that Member State. The UN Secretariat has no control over the guestlist for meetings hosted by Member States.
The United Nations abides by General Assembly resolution 2758, adopted in 1971, which recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations.
Zambia has paid its regular budget dues in full, which brings the total number of Member States who have paid in full to 127.