World Environment Day & other topics – Daily Briefing (5 June 2020)

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

– Mediation Board
– COVID-19/Central America
– Security Council/Sahel
– Peacekeeping
– Human Rights/Democratic Republic of the Congo
– COVID-19/Panama
– COVID-19/Afghanistan
– World Environment Day
– International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

The Secretary-General this morning spoke to the High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation. He thanked the members of the Board for their engagement and support, in particular to his global call for a ceasefire. They discussed possible further efforts in that regard.  
The members of the board and the Secretary-General also talked about the impact of COVID-19 on conflict situations and on mediation efforts, as well as some cross-cutting issues such as the role of women and youth leaders.
In a statement we issued late last night, the Secretary-General said that he looks forward to continued close cooperation of the United Nations with the countries and institutions of the Central American Integration System (SICA) to address the profound socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, including on food security, human mobility, gender violence as well as climate change. 
The Central American Integration System remains an important framework for regional collaboration at a time when integration is more necessary than ever to respond to the emergency and recover better.
During a Security Council briefing on Peace and Security in Africa this morning, the head of Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, said that the G5-Sahel Joint Force is on the right track, although there is still a long way to go. The pandemic adds another layer of complexity to the already challenging security situation in the Sahel, he added. 
Terrorists and other groups in the region are attempting to capitalize on the pandemic to undermine State authority and destabilize Governments. Attacks on national and international forces continue unabated and the civilian population continues to bear the brunt of the instability.
The Under-Secretary-General said that strengthening the Joint Force is only one strand in a comprehensive international approach required to tackle the root causes of instability in Mali and the Sahel in the region. 
Improving governance, eradicating poverty and protecting human rights of all citizens, including the most disenfranchised, remain critical.  More needs to be done to ensure that such efforts are given the same weight as military operations.

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