Peacebuilding Commission, Syria, DR Congo & other topics - Daily Press Briefing
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Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
Speaking at a virtual meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission on his Common Agenda Report and the New Agenda for Peace, the Secretary-General said the choices we make today could result in further breakdown, or a breakthrough to a better, more sustainable future. Geir Pedersen, the Special Envoy for Syria, spoke to journalists in Geneva just a few moments ago, and he detailed the agreements reached over the course of the past five days and said that there were ups and downs over the week, and he called today’s discussion a big disappointment in which, he said, “we did not achieve what we hoped to achieve.” Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the head of the UN Peacekeeping Department, is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča today wrapped up a four-day visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our humanitarian colleagues are telling us that between 1 September and 15 October - just a few days ago - we, along with our partners, have provided four million people with food assistance in Afghanistan. We have also reached 790,000 people with primary health care, provided treatment for acute malnutrition to more than 85,000 children and supported more than 27,000 people with psychosocial services. UNICEF says that in Haiti more children and women have been abducted for ransom between January and August this year, than during the entire year in 2020. According to UNICEF estimates, based on official sources, 71 women and 30 children were abducted in the first eight months of this year. Last year, 59 women and 37 children were abducted. UNICEF continues to step up its efforts in Myanmar to help tens of thousands of women and children. Across the country, UNICEF and its partners have reached nearly 47,000 children under the age of five, as well as thousands of pregnant and lactating mothers, with nutritional supplements, including in camps for internally displaced people. The UN team in Iran, led by Resident Coordinator Stefan Priesner, continues to support authorities’ response to the health, humanitarian, and socio-economic needs of those impacted by the pandemic. The Mission in Mali is telling us that its Human Rights and Protection Division concluded a three-day visit to Gao yesterday. Our colleagues were there to assess the deterioration of the security situation and the impact on human rights, with a particular focus on the violations and abuses committed against civilians. Yesterday on the 21st we proceeded with the initial deployment to Tripoli of a small team of UN ceasefire monitors tasked with supporting the Libyan Ceasefire Monitoring Mechanism. And on foreign fighters, following the 8 October agreement of the 5+5 JMC on a comprehensive Action Plan for the gradual, balanced, and sequenced process of the withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces from Libya, and further to the 21 October ministerial meeting chaired by the Foreign Minister in Tripoli, we hope that the international community will offer strong support for the implementation of the Action Plan, including from countries in the region. Sunday is World Development Information Day. The Day aims to draw the attention of the world to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them. Sunday is also the first day of Disarmament Week, as well as the start of the Global Media and Information Literacy Week. October 24th is United Nations Day. In his message for the Day, the Secretary-General highlights that seventy-six years ago, the UN was created as a vehicle of hope for a world emerging from the shadow of catastrophic conflict. Today, he said, the women and men of the UN carry this hope forward around the globe. On Monday, we will have a briefing by the United Nations Development Programme Administrator, Achim Steiner, who will brief on the results of UNDP’s People's Climate Vote, and new insights from G20 countries.