Briefing by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
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The Secretary-General expresses his concern regarding the 5 March decision by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Central Council to suspend all forms of security coordination with Israel.

You have just heard from the Executive Director of UN-Women [United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women] about this year’s Women’s Day and the twentieth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. I would just add that in his message for the day, the Secretary-General said that some progress has been made over the past 20 years, with more access to education for girls, more presence in business, Governments and global organizations, as well as progress in maternal health.

From Iraq, the Director General of UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization], Irina Bokova, has condemned in the strongest possible terms the destruction of the archaeological site of Nimrud site in Iraq.

Also on Iraq, our humanitarian colleagues say that small numbers of people continue to arrive in Samarra, according to aid organizations. Displaced families are living in 127 collective shelters, including schools where many families are sharing classrooms. Displaced people are also sheltering in unfinished and abandoned buildings and mosques in and around the city.

Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, is wrapping up her visit to Lebanon, calling for continued international support to help maintain the country’s stability.
The World Food Programme is also flagging a shortage of funding, which has forced it to reduce the number of Syrian refugees it can assist in Turkey. In January, WFP assisted 220,000 refugees in 20 camps throughout the country.

The Security Council has an ongoing debate, open debate on Ukraine. Jefferey Feltman addresses that meeting earlier today.

From Geneva, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights today urged the Indonesian Government to refrain from executing individuals convicted of drug offences by exercising its constitutional authority to grant clemency.

The Human Rights Council in Geneva held a discussion on the potentially devastating impact of climate change on human rights.

And another note in advance of Women’s Day from UNHCR [Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees], which stressed that today women in 27 countries are still not allowed to pass their nationality on to their children on an equal basis with men, creating a cruel cycle of statelessness.

The Secretary-General is announcing the appointment of Yannick Glemarec of France as Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programme for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) at the Assistant Secretary-General level.

On 5 March, Cuba became the fifty-fourth Member State to pay its dues in full.

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