The United Nations: World Humanitarian Day, Niger, Mali & other topics – Daily Press Briefing

Source The United Nations



Media – Noon Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Highlights:

-World Humanitarian Day -Niger -Niger/Human rights -Mali -Cyprus -Ethiopia -Democratic Republic of the Congo -Haiti -Ukraine -Security Council/Ukraine -Lebanon-Yemen -Senior personnel appointment

WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY Saad Hermiz Abona, Reham Al-Farra, Emaad Ahmed Salman Al-Jobory, Raid Shaker Mustafa Al-Mahdawi, Omar Kahtan Mohamed Al-Orfali, Leen Assad Al-Quadi, Ranilo Buenaventura, Gillian Clark, Manuel Martin-Oar Fernandez-Heredia, Arthur Helton, Rick Hooper, Reza Hosseini, Ihssan Taha Husain, Jean-Selim Kanaan, Christopher Klein-Beekman, Khidir Saleem Sahir, Alya Ahmad Sousa, Martha Teas, Basim Mahmood Utaiwi, Sergio Vieira de Mello, Fiona Watson, and Nadia Younes.

Those are the names of 22 UN colleagues murdered 20 years ago by the terrorists who attacked the UN headquarters at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad. Since 2009, every 19 August – which is tomorrow – has been designated World Humanitarian Day. Earlier today, the Under-Secretary-General Atul Khare led a remembrance ceremony at UN Headquarters, in front of the UN flag that flew on top of the Canal Hotel which is now displayed in the General Assembly visitors’ lobby.

In his message for the day, the Secretary-General said that this tragedy marked a change in the way humanitarians operate, adding that this year, global humanitarian operations aim to get life-saving aid to 250 million people in 69 countries – ten times more than at the time of the bombing. He saluted the courage and dedication of humanitarian aid workers everywhere.

Today we remember those 22 colleagues who were killed, and we honor all those who survived that horrific attack – many of whom returned to humanitarian work, and some even returned to Iraq to continue to serve the Iraqi people under the auspices of the United Nations. In the words of Kofi Annan – and today marks the fifth anniversary of his passing: “The service of the United Nations is not simply a job. It is a calling, and those who have attacked us will not deflect us from it.”

And we salute and honor all of the humanitarian workers who continue to be targeted around the world we salute their dedication.

NIGER: A lot of you have been asking me regularly about where the Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Leonardo Santos Simão, is, and I can tell you that he is expected to arrive in Niamey, Niger, shortly. He is planning to meet with the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, CNSP in the French acronym, the leadership of the CNSP, and other stakeholders. As part of his efforts, Mr. Simão remains in contact with the Member States of ECOWAS, stakeholders in Niger, and other concerned parties to facilitate a swift and peaceful resolution to the crisis in Niger.

Before traveling to Niamey, Mr. Simão concluded a two-day visit to Mauritania as part of his regional familiarization tour since his appointment. Discussions revolved around the humanitarian and security situation at both national and regional levels, including the political and institutional crisis in Niger.

MALI: In Mali, our head of Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, continues his visit to the country. Today he met with members of the UN Country Team in Bamako and discussed progress over the handover of the tasks of MINUSMA in light of the Mission’s withdrawal. The UN Country Team will continue to oversee programs and activities that were initiated by the peacekeeping mission.

Later this afternoon, he has meetings scheduled with senior Government officials, including the ministers of foreign affairs and defense. He will thank the Malian authorities for their continued cooperation, which remains critical in ensuring an orderly and safe withdrawal in a short timeline and a very challenging environment as we’ve been letting you know.

Discussions will also revolve around the handover of key Mission tasks to the Malian state, which has expressed its readiness to take them over. Mr. Lacroix will head out of Bamako tomorrow.

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