Financing for Development, Myanmar, Nigeria & other topics – Daily Briefing (12 April 2021)

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

– Secretary-General/Financing for Development
-ST. Vincent and the Grenadines
-Security, Council/Great Lakes
-International Day Of Human

This morning, the Secretary-General spoke in person this morning at the opening of the Economic and Social Council’s 2021 Forum on Financing for Development.
He noted that, since the pandemic began one year ago, no element of our multilateral response has gone as it should, with some 120 million people having fallen back into extreme poverty.
He warned that the crisis is far from over, with the speed of infections now increasing.
Mr. Guterres said that many governments face an impossible choice between servicing debt or saving lives, but he stressed that, in reality, there is just one choice: to take action to avert a global debt crisis.
The Secretary-General called for urgent action in six areas:
First, to make vaccines available to all countries in need; second, to reverse the fall in concessional financing; third, to make sure that funds go where they are needed most; fourth, to address the debt crisis with debt suspension, relief, and liquidity for countries that need it; fifth, to invest in people through a new social contract based on solidarity; and, lastly, to relaunch economies in a sustainable and equitable manner, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Turning to Myanmar, I can tell you that the Secretary-General reiterates his deep concern about the developments in that country. The most recent reports of violence and killings by security forces are appalling.
The Security Council has clearly called for a stop to the violence and invited the parties to pursue dialogue and reconciliation. The Secretary-General encourages all Member States to use their influence to impress on the parties the need to stop this escalation and to take steps that will facilitate the return to civilian rule. He emphasizes the key role that the region can and must play in advising the national actors to take steps towards the return of peace and stability in Myanmar.
The United Nations Special Envoy, Christine Schraner Burgener, is currently in the region, where she is meeting with key interlocutors in order to promote an effective international response based on a unified regional effort. She remains ready to visit Myanmar at the earliest opportunity.
From Myanmar, our colleagues there said they are appalled by the violence since Friday in which some 93 protestors were reportedly killed, many of them in the city of Bago. The UN team in Myanmar says it is particularly concerned over reports of the use of heavy artillery against protestors.
The UN Human Rights Office says that, as of today, credible reports show at least 707 people have been killed since the military seized control of the Government more than two months ago. It is believed this may be significantly higher. Since 1 February, thousands of people have been injured, many of them seriously.

On Nigeria, the Secretary-General strongly condemns the reported attack by militants in Damasak town in Borno State that took place on 11 April, which resulted in five civilian deaths and the destruction of three humanitarian facilities. He expresses his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured. He calls on the Nigerian authorities to spare no efforts in identifying and swiftly bringing the perpetrators to justice.
For his part, Edward Kallon, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, said that humanitarian aid operations and facilities are the lifeline for people affected by violence and conflict in north-east Nigeria.
He said that these operations in Damasak will be reduced due to the violent attack. This will impact the support to 8,800 internally displaced people and 76,000 people in the host communities receiving humanitarian assistance and protection.
He called on armed parties to observe and commit to international humanitarian law and human rights law, and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian property, and personnel.

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