United Nations

United Nations 4 Mar 2020

Report on violence against women and girls & other topics - Daily Briefing (04 March 2020)

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Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:
- Security Council
- Syria
- Nigeria
- Guinea-Bissau
- Libya
- Girls
- Press Conference Tomorrow

SECURITY COUNCIL
The Security Council met today on South Sudan.
The Secretary-General's Special Representative, David Shearer, highlighted the positive developments that have moved the country further along the road to sustainable peace.
He paid tribute to the political willingness of President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar for putting the interests of their country first in their agreement on a transitional government.
Mr. Shearer added that relief was the overwhelming feeling expressed around the country, with the consensus being that the priority is to form the transitional government so that the peace agreement - and the country - can advance.
He noted that the new government can prompt positive change, with internally displaced people and refugees being able to return. The first joint statement from the new presidency last week
urged people from Protection of Civilian sites and neighbouring countries to return to their homes.
For its part, the UN Mission has stepped up its protective presence to build confidence in the areas of return.

SYRIA
Geir Pedersen, the Special Envoy for Syria, spoke to the foreign ministers of the League of Arab States in Cairo today, and he warned that the immediate danger in that country is one of more escalation, more war and more death and displacement - as we see in Idlib. He said that in northwest Syria, more than 900,000 people have been displaced since 1 December. Women and children together comprise 81 per cent of the newly displaced population.
The Special Envoy noted that tomorrow, Presidents Putin and Erdogan will meet in Moscow, and he urged them to find an immediate diplomatic solution that could spare civilians further suffering and ensure some stability, promote cooperation in Idlib, and create more conducive conditions for a political process.


Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:

CHIEF EXECUTIVES BOARD
Yesterday, the Secretary-General brought together the Principals of 31 UN system entities in a virtual meeting of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board (CEB). This is the longest-standing and highest-level coordination forum of the UN system.
The Secretary-General gave an overview of the state of the world, reflecting on the future of multilateralism, beyond the immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as on the risks brought by the current crisis for human rights, global governance, ethics, and international cooperation.

COVID-19/PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as part of its support to authorities in the Kasai-Central Province, the UN Mission installed containers in the central prison, located in Kananga.
The containers will be used as quarantine quarters for detainees with suspected cases of the virus. The Peacekeeping Mission has also supported the central prison in other ways, including by providing staple food items.
In the Central African Republic, the UN peacekeeping mission have launched a COVID-19 sensitization campaign in Bria. The campaign involves motorcycle taxi drivers, who deliver messages with megaphones.
The UN Mission has also conducted a media training for journalists from local radio stations on coverage of the pandemic. This included tips to help prevent the spread of rumours and disinformation.
The UN Mission in Mali has provided prevention kits that include masks, soap, hand sanitizer and laser thermometers to commanders of the reconstituted Armed Forces.
Radio MIKADO FM, the radio station operated by the Mission, has shared virus prevention messages in local languages and sensitization radio programmes with over 63 local radio stations across the country.
Working in partnership with an International NGO in the Mopti region, our peacekeeping colleagues have also conducted awareness-raising activities and distributed hygiene kits to a school. The Mission also installed a public handwashing station at the school's entrance.

COVID-19/LESOTHO
While Lesotho has only recently registered its first confirmed case of the virus, the UN team on the ground, led by the Resident Coordinator, Salvator Niyonzima, has been supporting the Government's efforts in addressing the pandemic in areas including public health and the economy.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is also helping in setting up systems and guidance for surveillance of COVID-19 cases and contact tracing.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is helping the Government to spread information about the virus over the radio and on social media.
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is focusing on preventing and addressing violence against women and girls, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is redirecting resources to address the immediate socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic with the Government and partners, and that includes the World Bank.
COVID-19 has also resulted in a migration emergency in Lesotho and its neighbours. The UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) is assessing the plight of migrants returning to Lesotho, with many people living on the border with South Africa needing food, shelter, and obviously, medical attention.
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:
- Security Council - Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict
- High-Level Event on Financing for Development
- ECOSOC
- Women's Participation in Peacebuilding
- Afghanistan
- Cyclone Amphan
- Airline Crash
- Africa Day
- Syria
- Peacekeeping Support to COVID-19 Response
- World Meteorological Organization
- ILO
- Joint Statement on 'Key Worker' Designations
- WHO
- International Day of UN Peacekeepers
- Unaffiliated Website
- Budget
- Obituary

SECURITY COUNCIL - PROTECTION OF CILIVIANS IN ARMED CONFLICT  
At the Security Council this morning, the Secretary-General said his latest report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict shows little progress. Last year, more than 20,000 civilians were killed or injured in just ten conflicts, he said, adding that this figure, which is limited to incidents verified by the UN, is just a fraction of the total. 
The report documents millions of people forced from their homes or displaced for a second, third or even fourth time. Again, last year, women and girls were subject to appalling sexual and gender-based violence. Tens of thousands of children were also victims of conflict.  
As the COVID-19 pandemic reaches every corner of the world, the Secretary-General warned that those already weakened by years of armed conflict are particularly vulnerable. The virus is not only spreading sickness and death, he said, it is pushing people into poverty and hunger. In some cases, it is reversing decades of development progress. 
The Secretary-General said he is encouraged by expressions of support for his global ceasefire call. However, he added, this support has not been translated into concrete action. Where armed conflict continues, COVID-19 makes the protection of civilians more challenging than ever - and our support more important than ever. His full remarks have been shared with you.  
Discussions at the Security Council today will be followed by a series of online thematic side events on strengthening the Protection of Civilians in armed conflict from tomorrow until Monday. More details and registration are available on OCHA's website. 

HIGH-LEVEL EVENT ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT
Tomorrow the Secretary-General, along with the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, are convening the High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond.  It seeks to accelerate our global response to the significant economic and human impacts of COVID-19. The Secretary-General will stress that we must respond to the pandemic with unity and solidarity, which is a key aspect of financial support.
The High-Level Event will look at six areas of action to mobilize financing. These include expanding liquidity across the global economy; addressing debt vulnerabilities; stemming illicit financial flows; increasing external finance for inclusive growth and job creation; and strategies for countries to recover better. 
The event will happen starting at 8:00 am and likely end around 1:00 p.m. Following the conclusion of the High-Level Segment, the Secretary-General will be joined by the Prime Ministers of Jamaica and Canada for a virtual press briefing to answer your questions. We expect the press briefing to start about 15 minutes following the end of the official event and the press briefing will of course take the place of our usual noon briefing. And you will be able to watch all of the events on the UN webtv.un.org web platform.
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:
- Yemen
- Libya
- Burundi
- Middle East
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Women and the Global Ceasefire Efforts
- World Health Organization
- Ebola
- Resident Coordinators

YEMEN 
Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will be addressing the opening of a high-level virtual pledging event for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.  Something that we have been flagging here almost on a daily basis That event is co-hosted by the United Nations and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It will start at 9:00am New York time and you will be able to watch it on the un web tv platform. Twenty-four million people - that's 80 per cent of the population in Yemen - need aid and protection. The humanitarian operation assists more than 10 million people every month. However, without additional funding, life-saving programmes will soon be forced to reduce or even close in what is the world's largest humanitarian crisis. 
A press conference will follow the event at 1:10pm, New York time. Media questions should be submitted in advance and up until two hours before the closing of the event on WhatsApp or by email to our OCHA media colleagues.  
LIBYA
Yacoub El-Hillo, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, said over the weekend that he was shocked by the horrific reports about Wednesday's shooting at a smuggling warehouse in Mezda, killing 30 migrants and injuring 11 others.  
He said that authorities with influence on the ground in the area where this incident took place have the responsibility to ensure that human smugglers and traffickers are not allowed to continue their inhuman and degrading acts.  Such heinous and merciless crimes against helpless individuals should be investigated immediately and those responsible have to be brought to justice. 
BURUNDI
The Secretary-General notes that the relative calm that characterized election day continues to prevail in Burundi.
He reiterates his call to all parties to ensure that their words and actions promote peace and harmony among all Burundians. The Secretary-General emphasizes that any electoral dispute should be addressed through established legal and constitutional channels under Burundi law.
The Secretary-General reiterates the support of the United Nations to the people and Government of Burundi.
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:
- Secretary-General/Asia-Pacific
- Deputy Secretary-General/Labour
- Deputy Secretary-General/Financing for Development
- Deputy Secretary-General/BBC/Diversity
- Protection of Civilians Report
- Verified Initiative to Combat COVID-19 Misinformation
- Economic and Social Council
- Security Council/Somalia
- Central African Republic
- Syria
- Yemen
- Lebanon
- Bangladesh
- Migrants/Europe
- Displaced People/COVID-19
- W.H.O.-Smithsonian Guide For Youth on COVID-19
- Venezuela
- International Tea Day

SECRETARY-GENERAL/ASIA-PACIFIC
Today, the 76th session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific was held in a virtual setting.
In a video message sent to the gathering, the Secretary-General noted that governments and leaders are grappling with a wide range of challenges that risk recent progress in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world. He said that, while many countries in the region are charting a solid course toward COVID-19 solutions, millions in the region remain highly vulnerable and at risk.
The Secretary-General stressed he is strongly convinced that we have an opportunity to build back better on the foundations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. He said that means forging common solutions to the climate crisis, economic and social inequalities, and new forms of violence, as well as rapid changes in technology and demography. You can find his message online.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL/LABOUR
This morning, the Deputy Secretary-General and the head of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder, jointly held a virtual conference with the UN's Resident Coordinators who are leading our response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 162 countries and territories.
Ms. Mohammed said that we previously thought we had 10 years to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, but the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the urgency of this cause.
For his part, the ILO Director-General said that the world cannot accept a "new normal" with more inequality and more people left behind.
UN teams around the world are working closely with governments, civil society organizations and the private sector to roll out our framework for the immediate socioeconomic response and recovery. The UN is spotlighting social protection schemes, such as cash transfers, that can help prevent millions of people, especially women and children, from sliding into poverty.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL/FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT
Tomorrow, the Deputy-Secretary-General will be available to brief you, in an embargoed briefing, on the High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond. That is scheduled to take place on 28 May, next Thursday. The event is being convened by the Secretary-General, along with the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica, and will aim to set a definite pathway to concrete and effective solutions on critical sustainable development finance issues that threaten to adversely impact billions of people over the next two months. We will be in touch with you regarding the exact time of that briefing.

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