Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

The following is a near verbatim transcript of today's noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary General.**Secretary General in ThailandGood afternoon, everyone. Yesterday in Bangkok, the Secretary General attended the tenth Summit of the UN and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and, in his opening remarks to that summit, he underscored that, at a time of great turbulence, he fully appreciates ASEAN's steadfast support for multilateralism…

States Call for Enhanced Arms Control Strategies to Regulate ‘Killer Robots’, Stem Rising Tide of Illegal Weapons, Delegates Tell First Committee

Calling for more control of the flow of small arms and light weapons and enhanced regulations on autonomous weapons systems, delegates highlighted the damage done to communities around the world by a range of legal and illegal weaponry, as the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) concluded its thematic debate on conventional weapons.Delegates condemned the high number of deaths attributed to small arms and light weapons, with some calling for…

‘Unique opportunity’ to resolve border dispute between Sudan, South Sudan

Sudan and neighbouring South Sudan have never been closer to reaching a sustainable peace with each other, and their own internal armed opposition groups, the head of UN peacekeeping told the Security Council on Thursday.The meeting was focused on the disputed, arid, oil-rich border territory of Abyei, where the UN Interim Security Force, UNISFA, has helped to monitor an uneasy peace without formal governance, and protect civilians, since 2011, in…

Sixth Committee Speakers Argue Whether to Codify Texts on Transboundary Harm, Aquifers into Convention, Leave as Draft Articles, Principles

Delegates Finish Consideration of International Trade Commission ReportBeginning its consideration on the prevention of transboundary harm from hazardous activities and the allocation of loss in the case of such harm, as well as the law of transboundary aquifers, the Sixth Committee (Legal) today debated the merits of formalizing the draft articles on the two topics into a binding international convention.Taking up the Secretary General's reports on the prevention of such…

Will Sudanese Accept New Women’s Soccer League?

Twenty-one-year-old Marilyn Zakarya is one of the players in the Sudanese women's football league that launched this week. Zakarya came from South Sudan to follow her dream in Khartoum. But she is worried whether Sudan's conservative society will accept women's football after years of restrictions.Zakarya has been passionate about playing soccer since she was a child. She left her family in South Sudan to pursue the sport in Sudan, where…

Polls Close in Mauritania Election

NOUAKCHOTT - Mauritanian voters went to the polls Saturday in the country's first election without an incumbent presidential candidate since the 2008 coup.Polling stations closed at 7 p.m. across the Sahara Desert nation, and preliminary results are expected late in the evening.Though voters were mobilized for these elections, seen as significant in the country's democratic history, many are wary that the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), which earlier this year…

Sudan: Flash Update No. 7 (17 June 2019)

HIGHLIGHTS At least 1,600 South Sudanese refugees (320 families) have relocated to the Bantiu 'open area' following the 5-6 June attacks on South Sudanese in Omdurman. There is risk of more attacks on South Sudanese refugees in Khartoum, UNHCR said. In East Darfur, a team from the State Ministry of Health carried out last week a rapid needs assessment of an estimated 4,000 people who were displaced to Ed Daein…

Security Council Presidential Statement Expresses Intention to Promote Closer Ties with League of Arab States

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Calls Stronger Cooperation 'Pivotal' in Shared Mission to Prevent, Resolve ConflictWith Middle East crises occupying a significant portion of its agenda, the Security Council today expressed its intention to promote closer cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States in the fields of conflict early warning, prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sustaining peace.In a presidential statement (document S/PRST/2019/5) issued by Kuwait, Council President for…