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Daily Press Briefing by the Workplace of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

We have been asked recently concerning the new Government in Israel, and we can say the next:   The Secretary-General appears forward to continuing to operate closely with the new Authorities of Israel to advance the task of the United Nations.   He or she reiterates the United Nations’ commitment to supporting Israelis and Palestinians to achieve a sustainable peace and return to the path towards a negotiated two-State solution, based on related United Nations resolutions, international legislation and prior agreements. Question :   And so, would you say that these statements from the Israeli Excellent Minister are that kind of rhetoric that makes the task more difficult? Question :   Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns The ussr that… warns that Russian federation is planning a prolonged assault with Iranian Shahed Drones.   And he says 80  drones shot down in Ukraine during the first 2 days of  2023.   What is the Secretary-General’s reaction to that?   And also, how’s that group of the experts coming together to be sent to Ukraine to check into the drones that came from Iran? And we will have the Permanent Representative of Japan, Ambassador Ishikane Kinihoro, brief all of us on the programme of work with this month at 1  p. m.   with this room.   That’s it from me.   Any kind of questions? Deputy Spokesman :   Our Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, has been dealing with this and the acting Special Consultant on the ground right now, Markus Potzel, has been discussing with professionals from the de facto program the need again to reverse the discriminatory policies which were announced recently by the Taliban.   We are going to continue with this, and of course regarding the comments that you simply mentioned, this is something all of us completely disagree with.   No society, anywhere, may move ahead without the contribution of women.   Yes? ** Questions and Answers ** Ukraine Question :   Can I ask you a couple of The african continent questions, as well? What is the UN’s reaction to that sentence in Mali of the 46  soldiers from [Côte d’Ivoire], who had been given 20  years in prison; given those soldiers were not part of your EL mission, but they were in some way affiliated to it, in the sense that they were guarding other peacekeepers is my understanding? Deputy Spokesman :   Happy New Calendar year. Deputy Spokesman :   Well, we have repeatedly wanted the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to come back to talks on the relaxing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and we continue to call on these to do so and to avoid any actions that would run table to that effort. Issue :   No Paulina? Good mid-day and Happy New Year, everyone.   From Ukraine, our humanitarian colleagues tell us that attacks intensified throughout the New Year holiday, causing multiple civilian casualties, including among children and media, in several parts of the country.   Ukrainian authorities reported more than 50  civilian casualties on 31  December  2022 alone.   In the capital, Kyiv, a hotel, residential homes and many education facilities, including the university, were damaged in the latest attacks.   Additionally, two children were hurt due to hostilities in Khersonska oblast on 31  December  2022.   One of them — a 13-year-old boy — was evacuated to the children’s hospital in Kherson, which itself was shelled within the early hours of 1  January, according to the Governor. ** Syria Issue :   Farhan, nevertheless on Ukraine first.   You have one of the deadliest attacks of the war that’s occurred in recent hours.   Arguments about exactly how several Russian soldiers have died, targeted by the Ukrainians, can be the Secretary-General’s reaction? In response to questions we have been receiving, we are able to confirm that on 31  December  (2022), the United Nations Temporary Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Maritime Task Force aided the Lebanese Armed Forces-Navy with a search-and-rescue operation relating to a boat in stress off the northern coast, in between Beirut and Tripoli.   Despite the challenging conditions, the Maritime Task Force as well as the Lebanese Navy were able to save 232  people although, unfortunately, one child and a female died. Deputy Spokesman :   Properly at this stage, there’s nothing to declare about this.   If something develops, we’ll certainly tell you.   Yes? Deputy Spokesman :   Well, you yourself have described what all those sentiments are.   What I want to make sure is that that every one of the parties continue to be willing to move forward towards a two-State solution that sees the creation of both Israel and [Palestine], residing side by side, with peace and security for all.   Michelle? Question :   Just a fast follow-up.   Can you explain to us as to what sort of discussions the UN or the Secretary-General have been having with the North Koreans? Deputy Speaker :   Well, the hope is for and extension to go through.   You will have noticed the statement that the heads of our humanitarian agencies publish yesterday, and the crucial importance of this particular cross-border arrangement can not be overstated.   It’s been vital to the lives of thousands of people in terms of being able to get this across.   In terms of the penholders, this is something… as you know, in the beginning of every year, the Security Council agrees to who will be in charge of the various bureaus, so we let them handle might you will be hearing from the Chief executive of the Security Council within a little bit less than an hour.   Yes, Mariam? ** Press Conference ** International Telecommunication Partnership Deputy Spokesman :   Well on that, what I would like to reiterate is that the Secretary-General provides always stressed the importance of upholding the status quo in the Holy Websites, in line with the special role from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.   The Secretary-General calls on all to avoid steps that could escalate stress in and around the Holy Sites. Query :   Thank you Farhan.   The Taliban Training Minister said today that will approximately 40  million Afghan people, 20  million are men; if they get educated and work, there’s no requirement for women to work or obtain educated.   My issue is do you have any updates on the negotiations that the UN has with the… or UNAMA [United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan] has with the Taliban and how’s it coming along? Issue :   And one more, this time, moving across the edge to Burkina Faso.   Bodies of 28  individuals shot dead have been present in a north-western town.   What’s the UN’s reaction to that?   And what’s the UN’s reaction to the particular authorities who were… in Burkina Faso who were expelling the French Ambassador? Mouthpiece Spokesman :   I got no details that I can disclose to you.   In my opinion that they used a similar system to one that had been used before to allow for Iranian payments to the budget.   Yes, Mariam? Question :   Hi, we’ve met briefly last week.   Really my first briefing.   Yvonne [inaudible].   I wanted to ask about the Syrian humanitarian file.   Who will be the co-penholders in the years ahead, taking over from Norway plus Ireland?   And do you anticipate for the six-month extension to endure next week? Deputy Spokesman :   Well again, as I said earlier, we want to encourage the particular parties to continue on the path towards resuming talks towards a two-State solution and to avoid any rhetoric that would make that task more challenging. Question :   I know, but this individual suggested that the SG host this at the UN.   So , I was just asking yourself if he… has he or she written a letter towards the SG about this? Deputy Spokesman :   Again this underscores the significance of bringing an end to the discord.   We hope that the parties will over time be willing to discuss with each other how to provide this conflict to an end, and we want that to take place.   Until then, all of us certainly want them to stick to the rules and the norms associated with warfare, including avoiding assaulting, of course , civilian areas. Question :   Well, another thing that perhaps could escalate tensions.   Have you seen the comments through the new Israeli Prime Ressortchef (umgangssprachlich)?  [Benjamin] Netanyahu has tweeted:   “The Jewish people have an exclusive and unquestionable right to all areas of the land of Israel.   The Government will promote plus develop settlement in all areas of the land of Israel — in Galilee, Negev, the Golan, Judea and Samaria. ”   I mean that goes completely against UN Security Council promises on settlements and suggesting that the Jewish people have an exclusive right seems to be not permitting any room for Palestinians. Mouthpiece Spokesman :   Hey there. Deputy Spokesman :   Yeah, what I can say is that we take note of recent developments regarding the situation of the 46  Ivorian soldiers.   We are following the situation as it develops and remain ready to provide any necessary support to ensure that the detained soldiers return home. We have been asked for a comment on the sentencing of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and I can say that the Secretary-General expresses his deep concern over the last verdicts and sentencing of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and reiterates his calls for her instant release and that of Leader Win Myint and of every arbitrarily detained prisoners in Myanmar.   The General Declaration of Human Legal rights enshrines the principles of equality before the law, the particular presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair and general public hearing by an independent plus impartial tribunal, with all the guarantees necessary for a person’s protection. Mouthpiece Spokesman :   In your latter question, that’s a zwei staaten betreffend issue, so I wouldn’t possess anything to say about that.   On the first, of course , we are alarmed by these reviews and hope that this is going to be thoroughly investigated.   I believe there’s a question online from Maggie. And I just want to flag that the International Telecommunication Union  (ITU) has a new senior leadership team which got office on 1 The month of january.   Doreen Bogdan-Martin from the United States became the ITU’s twelfth Secretary-General.   She is also the first woman to head the organization since its establishment in  1865.   She comes to the position through ITU Telecommunication Development Agency, where she had served as director since  2019.   More information on her biography is on the ITU’s website. In a statement issued recently, UN humanitarian leaders urged Security Council members to preserve the cross-border aid lifeline to north-west Syria, warning that without it, millions of people, especially those displaced for a long time and multiple times, will not have entry to food and shelter.   UN Security Council resolution  2642  (2022), which allows for help to be delivered to north-west Syria from across the Turkish edge, is set to expire next week.   In  2022, EL agencies and partners shipped aid from across the Turkish edge, reaching an average of 2 . 7  million people every month. Deputy Speaker :   Well, at this stage I don’t have any recent high-level contacts to tell you.   We have been in touch with all the parties in the Korean Peninsula anytime there are issues, including missile tests and of course you will have noticed the statements that we have issued concerning the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] during its current last missile activity.   Yes? ** Colombia While we had no briefings last week, we still received some payments to the regular budget.   4 payments came from Brazil, Costa Rica, Grenada and the Islamic Republic of Iran.   We all thank them all very much to take us up to 146 completely paid-up Member States for your year. Question :   Farhan do you have any more information on how Iran paid their dues?   I appear to recall there was either a previous situation where they were likely to put money maybe via a South Korean bank or something, there were… due to sanctions and such.   Techniques you have any details on… in what currency and how those dues were paid and the amount, perhaps? Question :   You will find.   Can I push you a bit on Israel, new Israeli Government, because you gave us a sort of rather dreary statement of your overall place but there have been some rather important developments, including the National Security Minister, [Itamar] Ben-Gvir, going to the Temple Mount.   What is the UN’s reaction to that? Correspondent :   Hi, Happy New Yr. Deputy Spokesman :   There’s no Paulina at the moment that I can see.   Okay. Deputy Spokesman :   Well, I got no updates to share at this point.   You will have seen what the Secretary-General said about the query of the drones in his final report on this topic.   And I don’t have anything new to say beyond that.   Okay, have a good mid-day.   Come back at 1  p. m. for the Long term Representative of Japan. The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Over the weekend, we issued a statement in which the Secretary-General welcomed the announcement by President of Colombia of the six-month ceasefire with equipped groups, a development that will brings renewed hope for comprehensive peace to the Colombian individuals as the New Year dawns.   The Secretary-General mentioned he trusts that adherence to these commitments will reduce violence and the suffering associated with conflict-affected communities, while assisting to build confidence in continuing dialogues.   We furthermore issued statements on the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and the gas tanker explosion in Bokburg, South Africa . Deputy Spokesman :   This really is something ultimately you will have to check with the others.   This is not something which the United Nations is arranging but… Question :   Sorry, just a follow-up from something that occurred I think possibly over the Xmas weekend, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, I think, was recommending a possible peace summit here at the UN in a handful of months’ time.   Has got the Secretary-General received any communication from Ukraine about this potential peace summit? ** Lebanon Rigorous fighting also continues in eastern Donetska and Luhanska oblasts, with civilian casualties and civilian infrastructure harm reported on both sides from the front line.   Despite continued attacks we, along with our humanitarian partners, carry on and deliver support to the individuals in need in the most impacted communities.   Upon 28  December  2022, a good inter-agency convoy delivered foods, water, blankets, emergency protection kits and other supplies from your International Organization for Immigration (IOM), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees  (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund  (UNICEF) and the World Foods Programme  (WFP) to the front-line towns of Lyman and Sviatohirsk in Donetska oblast.   Both communities are exposed to heavy fighting, which destroyed houses and vital infrastructure and decimated access to basic services.   People who still live in these areas are mostly the elderly and people with limited mobility. Question :   Farhan? ** Financial Efforts ** Israel Question :   Thanks Farhan, and joyful New Year.   A question on North Korea.   There were some remarks simply by Kim Jong-un about contacting for the development of a new intercontinental ballistic missile and a larger nuclear arsenal to counter-top what he called US-led threats; does the SG have any comment on that will? ** Myanmar

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