Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
Daily Press Briefing:
– Secretary-General’s Travel
– World Press Freedom Day
– African Union
– DPR Korea
– Sri Lanka
– Occupied Palestinian Territory
– Moncef Kartas
On May 12, the Secretary-General will travel to the South Pacific to spotlight the issue of climate change ahead of the Climate Action Summit that he is convening in September in New York. This visit will take him to New Zealand, Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
In each country, the Secretary-General will meet government leaders, civil society representatives and youth groups to hear from those already impacted by climate change and who are also successfully engaging in meaningful climate action.
In Fiji, the Secretary-General will be at the Pacific Island Forum, where he will meet with senior governments officials from each Member State in attendance, as well as with members of civil society.
In New Zealand, the Secretary-General will meet with Muslim leaders in Christchurch to express his solidarity following the 15 March terrorist attack.
Prior to traveling to the Pacific, the Secretary-General will be in Geneva from 8-10 May to attend the spring meeting of the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB). This is one of the semi-annual meetings that brings together, under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General, the executive heads of 31 UN system entities. This session, which will be hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, will focus on the future of work in the digital age. The heads of the UN entities will also look to agree on ambitious and concrete steps to address climate change in advance of the September Climate Summit.
While in Geneva, the Secretary-General will also address a special session of the World Trade Organization’s General Council, where he will stress the importance of preserving the multilateral rules-based order – including on trade – for a fair globalization and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In a statement, the Secretary-General said he has been following closely developments in the Republic of Benin in the run-up to and aftermath of the 28 April legislative elections. He deplores the violence witnessed in the post-electoral period. He calls on all Beninese stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint and seek to resolve their differences through dialogue in line with the democratic traditions in the country.
The United Nations, through the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, will work with all concerned parties, in coordination with the Economic Community of West African States and other partners, to support the Beninese stakeholders in their efforts to find a consensual and peaceful solution to their differences.
That statement is available in French as well.
WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY
As you know, today is World Press Freedom Day, and this year’s theme is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation.”
In his message for the Day, the Secretary-General stressed that a free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights.
For her part, Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, said at a time of growing discourse of mistrust and delegitimization of the press and journalism, it is essential that we guarantee freedom of opinion through the free exchange of ideas and information based on factual truths.
A three-day event to mark World Press Freedom Day – jointly organized by UNESCO, the African Union Commission and the Government of Ethiopia – just wrapped up at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. Here in New York, there was an event to mark the Day in Conference Room 1 that wrapped up a short while ago that included a panel discussion.