UNFPA, Security Council, Ethiopia & other topics – Daily Briefing (14 April 2021)

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  • United Nations published this video item, entitled “UNFPA, Security Council, Ethiopia & other topics – Daily Briefing (14 April 2021)” – below is their description.

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

    – UNFPA

    – Security Council

    – Ethiopia

    – Afghanistan

    – Yemen

    – Libya

    – Democratic Republic Of The Congo

    – Myanmar

    – Covax

    – World Chagas Disease Day

    – Financial Contribution


    Nearly half of women in 57 developing countries are denied the right to decide whether to have sex with their partners, use contraception or seek health care. That’s according to the UN Population Fund’s 2021 flagship State of World Population report, which was released today.  

     “The fact that nearly half of women still cannot make their own decisions about whether or not to have sex, use contraception or seek health care should outrage us all,” said the Executive Director of UNFPA, Dr. Natalia Kanem. “In essence, hundreds of millions of women and girls do not own their bodies and their lives are governed by others.” 

    The report’s findings show that only 55 per cent of women are fully empowered to make decisions over health care, contraception and the ability to say yes or no to sex. In addition, the report adds, only about 80 per cent of countries have laws supporting sexual health and well-being. 

    The report also notes that 20 countries or territories have “marry-your-own-rapist” laws, where a man can escape criminal prosecution if he marries the woman or girl he raped. In addition, 43 countries have no legislation addressing the issue of marital rape. 


    Pramila Patten, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, briefed Security Council members this morning. 

    She presented the findings of her office’s 2020 annual report, which covers 18 country situations and documents over 2,500 UN-verified cases of conflict-related sexual violence.  She called for concerted efforts to ensure that survivors of sexual violence are not obscured beneath the long shadow cast by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    Ms. Patten said the chronic underreporting of wartime sexual violence has been compounded by COVID-19. Proactive measures to help survivors safely come forward and seek redress have become more urgent than ever, she told the Members of the Council. 

    Turning to Tigray and the situation there, Ms. Patten said that women and girls have been subjected to sexual violence with a level of cruelty beyond comprehension. She said the report presented today records allegations of over 100 rape cases since hostilities began in November last year. Her Office has engaged with authorities at the highest-level and will continue to closely monitor the situation, calling for restraint, humanitarian access, service-provision, and effective investigation.  


    In Tigray, despite improvements in access, active conflict continues in some areas restricting the humanitarian response, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.  

    Given the highly fluid displacement situation and access constraints, the actual number of displaced people remains unknown.   

    According to official figures, an estimated 1.7 million people were displaced across the region, as of March 27th. Gross violations and abuses against civilians, including sexual violence, also continue to be reported. 

    Despite challenges, UN humanitarian partners are scaling up the response. At least 1.4 million people have received double allocations of food rations in 12 targeted districts as well as in Mekelle and Shire towns. More than 160,000 newly displaced people have been provided with emergency shelter and vital relief items. More than 630,000 people have accessed clean water through water trucking.  

    But the humanitarian response is still inadequate to reach the estimated 4.5 million people that need lifesaving assistance. The UN urgently needs more funding to scale up the response. 

    Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=14%20April%202021

    United Nations YouTube Channel

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