Volatile situation in Ethiopia & other topics – Daily Briefing (6 November 2020)

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    Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Highlights: – Secretary-General/Myanmar, – Chief Executives Board, – Ethiopia, – Kosovo, – Measles/Polio, – COVID-19/Kenya, – Report/Famine, – Migrants/Mauritania, – Environment, – Climate, – Climate/Kids, – Press Briefing on Monday. SECRETARY-GENERAL/MYANMAR In a statement on Myanmar, the Secretary-General said that he will follow the upcoming general elections on 8 November. He notes that the holding of peaceful, orderly and credible elections is an important opportunity to help advance inclusive sustainable development, humanitarian action, human rights and democratic reforms, including civilian control over the military. He hopes they will also help pave the way for refugee returns in dignity and safety.  The Secretary-General renews his appeal for a ceasefire across the country to allow all to focus on combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. He remains concerned about armed conflict in many areas of Myanmar, especially the intensifying clashes in Rakhine and Chin states, which continue to take a heavy toll on vulnerable civilians.  The Secretary-General urges all parties to the armed conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. Unimpeded humanitarian access for the United Nations and its partners is crucial.  Also, at this critical juncture for the people of Myanmar, the Secretary-General reaffirms the support of the United Nations in their pursuit of lives in dignity and peace. CHIEF EXECUTIVES BOARD The Secretary-General this morning began a virtual meeting of the Chief Executives Board, the body that brings together the heads of the UN system organizations.    The purpose of this session is to reflect on the main characteristics of a post-pandemic world and brainstorm on possible key elements of a Common Agenda report that the Secretary-General has been asked to submit to the General Assembly.    The Secretary-General will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on the risks for human rights, global economic prospects, deepening inequalities and climate action. And among other topics, he will also discuss the key priority of combatting sexual exploitation and abuse within the United Nations and across the UN system. ETHIOPIA The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, today called on all relevant actors in Ethiopia to de-escalate the volatile situation in the Tigray region and to engage in an inclusive dialogue to resolve grievances without resorting to violence. She urged all sides to halt the violence, to avoid additional loss of life, mass displacement and further destabilization.  Ms. Bachelet expressed concern about the restrictions imposed on the people of Tigray, including on the rights to freedom of movement and freedom of expression, and added that she is concerned at reports of armed assailants assaulting members of the Amhara ethnic group in the Oromia region on Sunday. For his part, the Secretary-General has spoken on the phone with the Chairperson of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the Prime Minister of Sudan, Mr. Abdalla Hamdok, in his capacity as the head of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). He has also spoken to his envoys, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, who is the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, as well as Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, his Special Representative to the African Union. Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=06%20November%202020

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