Afghanistan, Nobel Peace Prize & other topics - Daily Press Briefing
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Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.


In a statement issued today, the Secretary-General condemned in the strongest terms today’s horrific attack at a mosque in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan. He noted that this is the third attack against a religious institution in less than a week.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today said that the UN family in the country is deeply concerned by reports of very high casualties in an attack today in a Shia Mosque, in Kunduz. The UN Mission said that initial information indicates that more than 100 people were killed and injured in the suicide blast inside the mosque.

In a statement, the Secretary-General congratulated Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. He said that no society can be free and fair without journalists who are able to investigate wrongdoing, bring information to citizens, hold leaders accountable and speak truth to power.

The national investigation on the sexual exploitation and abuse allegation concerning the Gabonese contingent in the Central African Republic is underway, jointly with the Office of Internal Oversight Services and with the support of the Senior Victims’ Rights Advocate in the country.

On Myanmar, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) today said that it is gravely concerned over the recent substantial deployment of heavy weapons and troops by the Myanmar military in several parts of the country.

The 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) has just concluded a three-day meeting at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. They agreed on, and signed a comprehensive Action Plan, which will be the cornerstone for the gradual, balanced, and sequenced process for the withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces from Libyan territory.

On Libya, the UN Refugee Agency today said that it is increasingly alarmed about the humanitarian situation for asylum seekers and refugees. This comes after a large-scale operation by Libyan authorities in the past week, with arrests and raids targeting areas in Tripoli where asylum seekers and migrants are living.

Earlier today in Geneva, David McLachlan-Karr, the Humanitarian Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), briefed Member States on the situation there. He said that insecurity and outbreaks, such as Ebola, malaria and measles, combined with limited access to basic services continue to have an impact on the humanitarian situation in the DRC, notably in the east.

Tomorrow is World Post Day. In a message for the Day, the Secretary-General says that as we continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the resilience and commitment of postal workers are an inspiration.

Sunday is World Mental Health Day. In a message for the Day, the Secretary-General notes that around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a terrible toll on people’s mental health, and stresses that without determined action, the mental health impact may last far longer than the pandemic itself.

The World Health Organization (WHO) today published its latest edition of the Mental Health Atlas. The report paints a disappointing picture of a worldwide failure to provide people with the mental health services they need, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting a growing need for mental health support.

The World Food Programme (WFP) have announced a new Global Goodwill Ambassador. The Weeknd is teaming up with WFP as an advocate for ending global hunger.