HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
FRIDAY, 21 APRIL 2017
 
SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS PRESIDENT TRUMP AND U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR

  • The Secretary-General met today with US National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster at the White House. Following that meeting, he also had an opportunity to meet with President Trump.
  • The Secretary-General and the President agreed to meet again in the near future.
  • In his meetings at the White House, the Secretary-General felt he had an interesting and constructive discussion on cooperation between the United States and the United Nations.
AT WORLD BANK MEETING, SECRETARY-GENERAL HIGHLIGHTS NEED TO INVEST IN PREVENTION
  • Following his meetings at the White House, the Secretary-General spoke today at the World Bank Spring Meetings at a panel discussion entitled ‘Financing for Peace: Innovations to Tackle Fragility’, along with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
  • The Secretary-General stressed that the best and most necessary investment is an investment in prevention and in addressing the problems of fragility before it turns into conflict.
  • “It is absolutely essential to find a way to divert the massive use of resources in managing crises to what is necessary to do to prevent them and to build the capacity of societies to solve their own problems,” he said.
  • He added that the international community must combine the peace and security approach with the sustainable development and human rights approaches.
  • In addition, he emphasized that because of the scale of the needs, it is crucial to stimulate innovation and fully mobilize the private sector.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ADDRESS WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS PLENARY ASSEMBLY
  • On 23 April, the Secretary-General will attend the opening dinner of the 15th Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress, where he will deliver remarks. That will take place at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York at 6 p.m.
U.N. AGENCY AIR-LIFTS LIFE-SAVING SUPPLIES TO PEOPLE STRUCK BY DROUGHT IN SOMALIA
  • Today, the World Food Programme air-lifted life-saving food supplies to drought-stricken Somalia for the most vulnerable people, particularly children.
  • A Boeing 747 arrived in Mogadishu carrying 47 metric tons of high-energy biscuits – enough to assist 31,000 people for three days – as well as critical medical supplies on behalf of the World Health Organization.
VIOLENCE IN KASAI FORCES 11,000 CONGOLESE TO FLEE TO ANGOLA – U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY
  • The current spike of violence in the Kasai Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has forced over 11,000 refugees to seek safety in Angola.
  • They reported fleeing attacks from militia groups, who are targeting police, military officials, and civilians.
  • Some parents have sent their children across the border, worrying they would be forcibly recruited by the militias if they had stayed in the DRC.
  • UNHCR is currently coordinating the response with the Government, local authorities and partners on the ground but stresses that further aid is urgently needed.
HEAD OF U.N. MISSION COMMENDS LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER FOR COMMITMENT TO CEASEFIRE
  • Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri today paid his first visit to the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), as part of his tour of the UNIFIL area of operations in southern Lebanon.
  • The UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary, received the Prime Minister and his delegation, including the Defense Minister and the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces. Major General Beary commended Prime Minister Hariri for reaffirming Lebanon’s commitment to resolution 1701 and a permanent ceasefire.
SYRIA: U.N., PARTNERS DELIVER AID FOR 33,500 PEOPLE IN HARD-TO-REACH VILLAGES IN HOMS
  • Yesterday, an inter-agency convoy from the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent delivered food and other assistance for 33,500 people in need in several hard-to-reach villages in northern rural Homs. The last inter-agency convoy to this area was on 20 October 2016.
  • Some items (including sanitation and health supplies) were not allowed to be delivered by Government authorities.
  • The UN continues to call for safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to all those in need in Syria, particularly the millions in hard-to-reach and besieged areas.
OVER 150 CHILDREN HAVE DIED CROSSING THE CENTRAL MEDITERRANEAN IN 2017 - UNICEF
  • UNICEF today said more than 150 children have died crossing the Central Mediterranean from North Africa to Italy this year. However, the agency stressed that this number is almost certainly higher since many children are unaccompanied and their deaths go unreported.
  • Since the start of the year, nearly 37,000 refugees and migrants, 13 per cent of whom are children, have reached Italy by sea via the Central Mediterranean – an increase of 42 per cent when compared to the same time period in 2016.
  • UNICEF Regional Director and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe Afshan Khan said this is further evidence that when safe and legal pathways to migration are cut off, desperate children and families will do whatever they can to flee conflict, poverty and depravation.
MOST PEOPLE LIVING WITH HEPATITIS B AND C LACK ACCESS TO TREATMENT – U.N. HEALTH AGENCY
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) issued today its Global hepatitis report, 2017, revealing that 325 million people worldwide are living with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
  • The large majority of these people lack access to life-saving testing and treatment, and as a result, millions are at risk of a slow progression to chronic liver disease, cancer, and death.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMMEMORATES MOTHER EARTH DAY
  • Today in the Trusteeship Council, the General Assembly is having an interactive dialogue on harmony with nature to commemorate International Mother Earth Day, which is observed tomorrow.
  • The theme of the dialogue is “Earth Jurisprudence” and will discuss expert recommendations to improve the relationship between humankind and the Earth in the context of sustainable development.
INDIA AND PORTUGAL PAY FULL U.N. DUES
  • India and Portugal have paid their regular budget dues in full, bringing the total number of Member States that have done so to 87.