October 2, 2022

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World Refugee Day, Ukraine, Syria, & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (20 June 2022)

4 min read

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

Highlights:
– World Refugee Day 
– Refugees/Food Ration Cuts 
– Ukraine
– Syria 
– Security Council  
– Democratic Republic of The Congo 
– DRC Humanitarian 
– Ethiopia 
– Mali
– Libya
– Afghanistan 
– Viet Nam Resident Coordinator 

WORLD REFUGEE DAY
Today is World Refugee Day, and this year’s theme is “Whoever. Wherever. Whenever. Everyone has the right to seek safety.” In a message for the Day, the Secretary-General notes that today, the global refugee population is at a record high, and that the war in Ukraine has triggered the largest and fastest displacement in Europe since World War II.
The Secretary-General points out that together with the women, children, and men fleeing conflict elsewhere in the world, the total number of forcibly displaced people has reached 100 million – a grim indictment of our times. He stressed that the right to seek asylum is a fundamental human right and that people escaping violence or persecution must be able to cross borders safely.
And as you have seen, this weekend, ahead of World Refugee Day, the Secretary-General visited refugee families from Iraq and Afghanistan who are now living in the New York area. His first stop was in Brooklyn and then he went to Queens.
The Secretary-General recalled that when he led the UN Refugee Agency, there were twice as many resettlement opportunities available for refugees. He urged more States to open their borders to asylum seekers. He called on all to stand together in solidarity and defend the integrity of the international protection regime.
For his part, Filippo Grandi, the High Commissioner for Refugees, emphasized that the world has a choice: either come together to reverse the trend of persecution, violence, and war, or accept that the legacy of the 21st century is one of continued forced displacement. We all know which is the right – and smart – thing to do, Mr. Grandi said.

UKRAINE
From Ukraine, our humanitarian colleagues are telling us that intense hostilities were reported over the weekend, across Government and non-Government-controlled areas of the Donetska and Luhanska oblasts. In Donetska, hostilities and shelling were particularly intense since Friday, and while we could not verify the numbers, our partners on the ground and authorities from both sides indicate that dozens of houses and schools were destroyed in many settlements on both sides of the contact line. As parties to the conflict intensify military operations across Donetska, they are leaving behind dozens of dead or injured civilians, including in areas that had not previously experienced fighting.
The situation is similar in Luhanska oblasts, where shelling, airstrikes and fighting are reportedly continuing to make life extremely difficult for people in Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk and other places in both Government and non-Government controlled areas. Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that people caught up in the fighting are facing urgent needs with access to basic services – particularly water and healthcare – and that those basic services are limited, especially in Sievierodonetsk and Lysuchansk.
Airstrikes and hostilities have also been reported this past weekend in northern and southern regions as well.
As I said last week, the parties to the conflict have an obligation to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. We call on them to make sure that civilians in Ukraine, who have already gone through immense suffering, are not only spared but have the opportunity to receive assistance. We, along with our humanitarian partners, are ready to expand our presence even further, but we need the parties to do their part.

SECURITY COUNCIL
Also in the Security Council this morning Nicholas Haysom, the Head of our peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan, will brief you at the Security Council stakeout – they’re in consultations right now after an open meeting, so we will give you an announcement but he will stop by and take your question which I hope you will ask. And this morning as you may have hears he said that in the coming months, South Sudan will need national leadership, resources and a visible commitment by the country’s leaders to fulfil their responsibilities under the peace agreement and to take the necessary steps for the country to exit the transitional period.
We have shared his full remarks with you – and he will answer your questions at the stakeout.
Also briefing was Ghada Eltahir Mudawi, OCHA’s Director of Operations and Advocacy, who briefed on South Sudan.
She said that against a backdrop of profound economic challenges, the drivers of conflict and climate shocks have resulted in a dire humanitarian situation.
When it gets as bad as in South Sudan, she said, the spectre of severe hunger and even famine results.

Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=20%20June%202022

News Source: United Nations

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