Middle East, Bougainville, Sudan & other topics – Daily Briefing (17 May 2021)

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The UN’s chief administrative officer is the Secretary-General, currently Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres, who began his five year-term on 1 January 2017.


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  • United Nations published this video item, entitled “Middle East, Bougainville, Sudan & other topics – Daily Briefing (17 May 2021)” – below is their description.

    Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.


    – Middle East

    – Bougainville

    – Sudan

    – South Sudan

    – Abyei

    – Myanmar

    – Development Reform

    – Work/Heart Disease

    – Covax

    – Global Road Safety Week

    – Lgbtiq+

    – World Telecommunication And Information Society Day

    – Press Encounters


    Our colleagues on the ground in Gaza have reported continued Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, as well as outgoing rocket and mortar fire by Palestinian groups into Israel.

    We continue to receive reports of significant displacement of Palestinians, with over 38,000 internally displaced people seeking protection in 48 schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) across the Gaza Strip. Over 2,500 people have been made homeless due to the destruction of their homes.

    Forty-one education facilities – including schools, two kindergartens, an UNRWA vocational centre, and a higher education facility – have been damaged, according to our people on the ground.

    The power supply across Gaza has been reduced to six to eight hours per day, on average, with a number of feeder lines not functioning. That, in turn, disrupts the provision of healthcare and other basic services, including water, hygiene and sanitation.

    The Humanitarian Coordinator, our colleague, Lynn Hastings, has appealed to the Israeli authorities and Palestinian armed groups to immediately allow the UN and our humanitarian partners to bring in fuel, food, and medical supplies and to deploy humanitarian personnel in Gaza. All parties must always adhere to international humanitarian and human rights laws, she said.

    The World Food Programme (WFP) has started providing emergency assistance for more than 51,000 people in north Gaza in response to rising humanitarian needs. This is especially strong among families in that area.

    However, the closure of crossings into Gaza may soon cause a dearth of commodities, including food, and this is bound to push up food prices. WFP warns that prices of fresh produce are already on the rise, as farmers are unable to reach their land.

    We continue to actively engage all sides towards an immediate cessation of fire between Israelis and Palestinians.

    Our Special Coordinator, Tor Wennesland, is working tirelessly with all sides to restore calm.

    For his part, the Secretary-General, as you saw in yesterday’s Security Council meeting, continues to urge a halt to fighting, saying, “Fighting must stop.  It must stop immediately.  Rockets and mortars on one side and aerial and artillery bombardments on the other must stop.”

    He said that the hostilities have already caused unconscionable death, immense suffering and damage to vital infrastructure. The Secretary-General added that he was appalled by the increasingly large number of Palestinian civilian casualties, including many women and children, from Israeli strikes into Gaza.  He said he also deplores Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza.


    Turning to Bougainville, the Secretary-General welcomes the beginning, this week, of consultations between the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government. This follows the referendum on the political future of Bougainville that held in late 2019. The consultations are an important step in the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, which the United Nations has consistently supported since its signing in 2001.


    Turning to Sudan, the Secretary-General sent a pre-recorded video message to the International Conference to Support the Sudanese Transition, which was hosted by the Government of France.

    The Secretary-General said that we have a responsibility to help Sudan consolidate its democratic transition, rebuild its economy, and deliver sustainable peace and development for all its diverse society.

    The Secretary-General commended the Government of Sudan for undertaking difficult economic reforms and for its peacemaking efforts with both the signatories and non-signatories of the Juba Peace Agreement.

    Mr. Guterres stressed the importance of donor support to help Sudan turn the page on its economic crisis.

    Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=17%20May%202021

    United Nations YouTube Channel

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