Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
Daily Press Briefing:
– Senior Personnel Appointments
– Indigenous Issues
SENIOR PERSONNEL APPOINTMENTS
Two senior appointments to share with you today. The Secretary-General is announcing the appointment of Volker Türk of Austria as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in his Executive Office.
Mr. Türk will succeed Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond of Chile who is today being appointed as Special Adviser of the Secretary-General for the Preparations of the Commemoration of the UN’s 75th Anniversary.
Reporting to the Chef de Cabinet, Mr. Türk will ensure coherence in the strategic analysis provided to the Secretary-General by the political, peacekeeping, sustainable development, humanitarian, human rights and rule of law portfolios in the Executive Office.
For his part, Mr. Hochschild will support the Secretary-General in coordinating the preparation for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the UN in 2020, through a system-wide process of consultations and reflections on the role of the UN in advancing international co-operation and in supporting Member States’ ability to respond to emerging challenges and frontier issues.
The effective handover will take place mid-July.
Turning to Libya, the Secretary-General is closely following developments in Libya, where airstrikes and sporadic clashes continue in southern Tripoli.
The UN team in Tripoli is actively helping in the evacuation of civilians from conflict-affected areas wherever possible, encouraging even limited humanitarian truces to allow for evacuations of civilians and wounded as an immediate priority. The number of civilian casualties, and attacks on civilian property and infrastructure, are worryingly on the rise.
The United Nations is also deeply concerned about reports of clashes between the two parties at the Tamanhint airbase [near] Sabha in southern Libya and the potential for widening confrontations in other areas of the country.
This afternoon, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Ghassan Salame, will be briefing the Security Council in closed consultations on the latest developments on the ground.
On the humanitarian front, we have allocated million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to provide life-saving assistance to civilians caught up in the escalating fighting. And that’s a decision made by Mark Lowcock, our humanitarian chief.
Those monies will help hospitals get the surgical and trauma kits they need, as well as provide food and other items to people uprooted by the fighting. They will also help safely relocate vulnerable migrants and refugees from detention centres in areas where airstrikes have been reported.
Mr. Lowcock urged all parties to meet their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians, civilian infrastructure and allow unimpeded access for humanitarian workers. He stressed that there is an urgent need to evacuate more of the most vulnerable people.
We are also told that 25 civilian casualties, including four fatalities, have been verified, as a result of the indiscriminate shelling in the neighbourhoods of Tripoli earlier this week.
In total, 79 civilian casualties – including 18 deaths – have now been verified since the start of this recent round of violence. Since these are only the cases that could be verified, we think there could be more casualties.
Moving civilians out of conflict-affected areas remains a challenge, with nearly all main roads reportedly blocked and there being a high risk of being hit in crossfire. Nearly all local trade has also ceased in these areas.
Aid workers continue to provide assistance where they have access, and have helped 6,000 people since the start of the present crisis.
Full highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=18%20April%202019