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Austria, Sustainable Development Group, Yemen…

Austria, Sustainable Development Group, Yemen & other topics - Daily Press Briefing
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Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

This morning, the Secretary-General met with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen at the President’s office in Vienna. Tomorrow, he will open the meeting of the UN Chief Executives Board, hosted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Also, in Vienna today, the UN Sustainable Development Group met to assess the impacts and challenges of the global effects of the war in Ukraine. 

The Secretary-General delivered a video message to the pledging event taking place today in The Hague to fund the plan to deal with the FSO Safer, which threatens to spill more than one million barrels of oil into the Red Sea if it is not addressed.

Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, strongly condemned the killing of Al-Jazeera’s reporter, Shireen Abu Aqla, who was shot with live fire this morning while covering an Israeli operation in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank. 

I was asked yesterday about our contacts with the Taliban following their latest proposals concerning women’s rights, and I can confirm that our Special Representative in Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, has held meetings with senior Taliban officials this week in order to raise the issue of women’s and girl’s rights.

The UN Mission in the Central African Republic is telling us that, following two separate attacks on Monday in Bokolobo, in the Ouaka prefecture, they deployed peacekeepers to the area. 

Our colleagues at the peacekeeping mission in Mali report that they have provided counselling and free health care this week to people in the village of Kabara, in the Timbuktu region. 

The Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, will be in Kenya on May 12th and 13th.

Today, the International Labour Organization (ILO) released a new brief showing that an estimated 4.8 million jobs have been lost in Ukraine since the start of the Russian aggression. 

The Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, Atul Khare, will make an official visit to Japan beginning May 16th. 
The 54th session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development begins today in Dakar, Senegal. The hybrid event, held under the theme “Financing Africa’s Recovery”, is jointly organized by our colleagues at the Economic Commission for Africa and the Government of Senegal.

The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, in partnership with The Body Shop, today launched a campaign which seeks to have more young voices in the halls of power. The campaign, “Be Seen, Be Heard,” seeks to create long-term structural changes to decision-making to be more inclusive of young people and their political participation. 

And some happy news to end our briefing: We thank our friends in Castries for paying Saint Lucia’s UN regular budget dues for 2022. We are now at 99 fully paid-up nations.