Today we’re very fortunate to be joined by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths. He’ll brief from Doha on the situation in Afghanistan. Just before we get to him I wanted to remind you that as we advised in a statement issued on Sunday, at the request of the Secretary-General, Mr. Griffiths was in Kabul, where he met with Mullah Baradar and the leadership of the Taliban to engage with the authorities on humanitarian issues. 
I also want to remind you that, on Friday, the Secretary-General announced that he will travel to Geneva to convene a high-level ministerial humanitarian meeting on 13 September to address the growing needs in the country. 
Over the weekend, on Sunday, the Secretary-General spoke to the Vice-Premier of Qatar - Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. 
The Secretary-General expressed his deep appreciation to Qatar for their support of the UN’s various operational needs of our Afghan operations. He also thanked the Vice-Premier for Qatar’s overall engagement on the situation in Afghanistan. 

The Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamet Saleh Annadif is coordinating with the UN system and is in touch with national actors in Guinea and immediate neighbors. The SRSG has been interacting with the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the Foreign Minister of Ghana, the current ECOWAS Chair, and the President of the AU Commission, in order to ensure a coordinated UN-ECOWAS-AU response. The Special Representative will participate in the ECOWAS extraordinary summit on 8 September and will hold further meetings at ECOWAS headquarters on 9 September. 
On Saturday, in a tweet, the Secretary-General said that he is personally following the situation in Guinea very closely.  
He strongly condemned any takeover of the government by force of the gun and called for the immediate release of President Alpha Conde. 

In South Sudan, following fresh fighting, the UN Mission there is appealing to national and local leaders to resolve tensions in the town of Tambura and in the wider Western Equatorian region. 
Yesterday, there were reports of sporadic shooting between groups in Tambura, endangering the lives of civilians, creating the risk of further displacement, and increasing humanitarian needs. This incident follows rising tension and violence over the past few months. 
Over 40,000 people have been forced to flee their homes.  
The Mission has extended the duration of the temporary base established in Tambura several weeks ago when fighting first broke out. This base allows peacekeepers to carry out day and night patrols and helps provide a protective presence for civilians, including displaced families.  On the justice front, our colleagues are providing technical support and capacity building for rule of law institutions.  
To reduce incidents of hate speech, transmission of UN-operated Radio Miraya has also been established in the area. 
The World Food Programme said that this month it started delivering emergency relief food assistance to communities in regions bordering war-torn Tigray. In coordination with Ethiopia’s Federal and Regional Government authorities, WFP plans to immediately reach 530,000 people in Afar and 250,000 people in Amhara but will scale up as needs increase and if funding is received. 
Meanwhile in Tigray, food security continues to worsen as WFP and its partners struggle to scale up and meet the urgent food needs of 5.2 million people across the region.  
Food stocks held by WFP and partners had been almost entirely depleted until yesterday, when the first convoy for over two weeks entered the region. The WFP-led convoy of more than 100 trucks carried 3,500 metric tons of food and other life-saving cargo – including fuel, health and shelter items. 
According to WFP, across Ethiopia, more than 13.6 million people are estimated to be food insecure due to the prolonged combined effects of drought, flooding, desert locust invasions, market disruptions, high food prices and the COVID-19 pandemic – all aggravated by the recent conflict spreading across northern parts of the country. 
WFP is calling for an additional $426 million to expand its emergency food assistance response over the next six months as well as provide long-term food security solutions for people as they enter the annual hunger season. 

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya has noted the release, on 5 September, of Al-Saadi Qadhafi, along with Ahmed Ramadan and six other officials of the former regime who were detained for seven or more years. Mr. Qadhafi’s release is in compliance with a legal order following his acquittal by a Libyan court in 2019.    
These releases represent a significant step towards respect for the rule of law and human rights and a positive development that can contribute to a rights-based national reconciliation process and further foster national unity.  
In this regard, UNSMIL commends the efforts of the Government of National Unity, the Presidency Council and judicial authorities. The UN Mission reiterates its calls on Libyan authorities to promptly release thousands of persons who remain arbitrarily detained in facilities across Libya. 

We have been asked about the decision of El Salvador’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court to allow the President’s immediate re-election. We note that this decision comes on the heels of the replacement of the Constitutional Chamber’s magistrates on 1 May, which already raised concern regarding the impact on the independence of the judiciary and the exercise of effective checks and balances. 
The Secretary-General reiterates his call for the respect of constitutional provisions, the rule of law and the separation of powers in order to preserve the democratic progress achieved by the Salvadoran people since the signing of the 1992 peace agreements. 
Costa Rica has received nearly half a million doses of COVAX-backed vaccines. Meanwhile, Guatemala received nearly 170,000 doses of vaccines last week. This brings the total number of doses received in Guatemala via COVAX to over half a million. 
While more than 36 million doses of vaccines have been delivered to 32 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through COVAX, our colleagues at the Pan-American Health Organization warn that 75 per cent of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean has yet to be fully vaccinated and more than a third of the countries in the region have yet to vaccinate 20 per cent of their populations. PAHO is accelerating its drive to expand vaccine access throughout the region as are our UN teams on the ground working alongside authorities. 
Our team in Jordan continues to work with authorities to tackle the pandemic and address misinformation and vaccine hesitancy. To address the needs of the vulnerable population - including refugees, migrants and women in rural areas - the UN team, led by UNICEF and WHO, trained 200 colleagues from various agencies and provided them with technical information about the vaccine, behavioural change and communication skills.  
They will complement efforts under the Secretary-General’s Verified initiative, alongside national campaigns to engage in community-level conversations to boost vaccination.  
The UN Refugee Agency has also supported the appointment of six refugee medical specialists in hospitals across the country, and the country team recruited 10 UN Volunteers to boost the national COVID-19 hotline. 

Today is the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. As many as nine out of ten people breathe polluted air, leading to some 7 million premature deaths each year, of whom 600,000 are children. In his message, the Secretary-General says that unless we act decisively, this number could double by 2050. 
He calls on countries to do more to improve air quality through better monitoring, stronger emissions standards on vehicles, power plants, construction and other industries. He also calls to accelerate access to clean cooking and clean heating and to increase investment in renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. 
I have a personnel appointment for you. The Secretary-General is appointing Mr. Christian Ritscher of the Federal Republic of Germany as the Special Adviser and Head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL or UNITAD. You will recall that this post was established by Security Council resolution 2379 in 2017 to support domestic efforts to hold Da’esh accountable by collecting, preserving, and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed.
Mr. Ritscher will succeed Karim Asad Ahmad Khan of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who was the first Special Adviser of UNITAD and held the position from July 2018 until his resignation, effective 15 June 2021. The Secretary-General expresses his gratitude to Mr. Khan for his contributions towards the pursuit of accountability for crimes committed by Da’esh and his efforts with regard to the speedy establishment and full functioning of UNITAD. 
Mr. Ritscher previously served as a Federal Public Prosecutor at the German Federal Court of Justice and he has more than 30 years of professional experience in international and domestic criminal law prosecutions and investigations.
Tomorrow, Alison Davidian, the Deputy Country Representative of UN Women in Afghanistan, will join us virtually from Kabul to brief on the situation on the ground.