Where global solutions are shaped for you | News & Media | REGULAR PRESS BRIEFING BY THE INFORMATION SERVICE

ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe


8 November 2019

Alessandra Vellucci, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, chaired the briefing, which was attended by spokespersons for the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Food Programme, the International Organization for Migration, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Refugee Agency and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in addition to the Permanent Representative of the International Organization of La Francophonie to the United Nations in Geneva.


Jenifer Fenton, for the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria, said that the Special Envoy for Syria, Geir O. Pedersen, would provide an update on the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee at a press conference to be held that afternoon.

Ms. Fenton also said that the Syria Humanitarian Task Force had convened in Geneva the previous day with the Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Najat Rochdi, who had noted that the safety and protection of hundreds of thousands of civilians affected by the recent escalation of hostilities in north-east Syria remained a grave concern. While the intensity and scope of the violence had declined in recent weeks, localized heavy fighting continued. Of the more than 200,000 people who had fled the fighting in recent weeks, close to 100,000 people had not yet been able to return home and were dispersed across improvised camps and collective shelters. Ms. Rochdi had urged all parties to do more to facilitate guaranteed, safe, unimpeded and sustained access for the United Nations and its humanitarian partners. The situation in Rukban had also been discussed. Since late March, more than 18,300 people had departed from the area. The United Nations stood ready to further support voluntary and informed departures, and to continue its provision of essential humanitarian assistance. The United Nations had received positive signals from relevant parties that the necessary security guarantees and authorizations would be forthcoming. It had also requested authorizations to access collective shelters in Homs to support those who had already departed from Rukban. The increasing violence in north-west Syria, in particular airstrikes on a nearly daily basis that continued to impact civilians and civilian infrastructure, remained alarming. The previous month, the United Nations had begun its winterization campaign, which aimed to reach 900,000 people. Plummeting temperatures had made life in tents and make-shift shelters extremely harsh and precarious, especially for the most vulnerable, such as children, the elderly and the sick.

Marixie Mercado, for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), read the following statement:

“With just eight weeks left to go in the year, UNICEF’s emergency operations in Syria are just over half – 53 per cent – funded. Of the USD 295 million required in 2019, we have received just USD 138 million.

Despite the massive security, access and capacity challenges we face, this funding shortfall now represents the most serious obstacle to reaching children who need help urgently.

In north-east Syria – home to some of the most vulnerable children in the country, UNICEF’s work in 2019 has included vaccinating over half a million children, providing nearly 150,000 children with psychosocial support and enabling over 100,000 children to enrol in formal education.

Without additional funding, implications for UNICEF’s response in the north-east include:

· Not giving over 1,700 children the specialized care they need after they lived through extremely brutal experiences – this includes children who were either associated with, or lived in areas controlled by armed groups.

· Not reaching 170,000 people at risk with mine risk education. One in two Syrians is at risk of unexploded ordnance, children especially, and in this part of the country in particular.

· Not providing emergency water, sanitation and hygiene support to over 100,000 people, nor improving poor water supplies to 300,000 more.

· Not providing 55,000 children with routine immunization, and nearly 140,000 women and children with health and nutrition consultation.

· Not reaching 70,000 children non-formal education support, including learning spaces and supplies.

Across the country, 5.5 million children require assistance.

With temperatures dropping quickly, UNICEF’s aim is to provide 578,000 children aged 0-14 years in camps, collective shelters, host communities and areas of acute need with crucial winter clothing. At this point, we have funds for 356,000 children – without additional funding, 222,000 children will go without.

We face many obstacles in delivering lifesaving support. Funding should not be one of them. We appeal to donors’ generosity.”

Jens Laerke, for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Syria, which required nearly USD 3.3 billion, was currently 52 per cent funded overall. Of the various sectors within the Plan, some were particularly underfunded, including health; education; water, sanitation and hygiene; shelter and non-food items; protection; and early recovery and livelihoods. Humanitarians urged donors to consider increasing their funding with any resources that might still be available for 2019.

Rupert Colville, for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), read the following statement:

“Civilians continue to pay a very high price in the ongoing hostilities in Syria. Dozens have been killed and injured in the largely separate situations occurring simultaneously in north-eastern and north-western Syria, from a variety of causes including airstrikes and ground-based strikes, and increasingly as a result of what appears to be an indiscriminate use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in populated areas, including in local markets.

Since the launch of the Turkish-led military offensive in north-eastern Syria on 9 October, we have verified incidents which – as of 5 November – have resulted in the deaths of a total of at least 92 civilians in northern and north-eastern Syria.

Of these, 49 were victims of airstrikes, ground-based strikes, sniper fire, and executions carried out by opposing Turkish-affiliated armed groups and Kurdish armed groups. In addition, during the same period, we have verified the deaths of a further 31 civilians killed by IEDs, or explosive remnants of war, within the geographic area of Turkey’s military offensive i.e. in Al-Hassakeh, Ar-Raqqa and parts of Aleppo Governorate. And we have recorded the killing of another 12 civilians over the same period as a result of attacks with IEDs or ground-based strikes by Kurdish armed groups, and other unidentified perpetrators, in areas beyond the scope of the Turkish military operation, such as Afrin, Jarablus, al-Bab, and Azaz.

Attacks with improvised explosive devices have noticeably escalated in recent days, mainly in areas under the control of Turkish-affiliated armed groups, which suggests they have most likely been carried out by groups opposing the Turkish military offensive.

We are very concerned about the increasing number of civilians being killed and injured as a result of the use of IEDs in populated areas. The indiscriminate use of such weapons is a clear violation of international humanitarian law. We remind all parties to the conflict of their responsibility to protect civilians and to comply with their obligations under international law.

Another issue of concern in the north-east, relates to people recently displaced during the military offensive who have subsequently been subjected to arbitrary detention, in addition to enforced disappearances, after returning to their homes. This is occurring both in areas controlled by Turkish forces and Turkish-affiliated armed groups, and in areas controlled by Kurdish armed groups. We remind all parties of the urgent need to facilitate immediate and safe return of displaced civilians who wish to go back to their homes, in accordance with international humanitarian principles. And all people held in custody, regardless of the reason, must be treated humanely and be accounted for.

Separately, while much of the international attention is on north-eastern Syria, in the north-western part of the country, after the lull in hostilities in Idlib Governorate during October, there has been a recent upsurge in airstrikes and ground-based strikes, mostly in parts of southern and western Idlib, including yet more attacks affecting medical facilities. Despite the focus placed on such attacks by the UN and others, and the establishment of a Board of Inquiry by the Secretary-General, health facilities continue to be directly hit or significantly damaged whenever there is a military escalation in Idlib.

Four separate facilities were damaged on 4 and 6 November, taking the total number of health facilities we have recorded being hit since 29 April to 61. The Kafr Nobol hospital, which was hit on 6 November, had already been repeatedly struck and damaged in May and July. On the same day at around 1.30 a.m., three civilian medics were injured as a result of several alleged airstrikes by Government-affiliated forces. Two of the airstrikes directly hit the hospital of al-Ikhlas in the village of Shanan in Jabal al-Zawya area in southern rural Idlib, putting it out of service.

We repeat yet again that all parties must ensure that hospital and medical services, including medical staff, are respected and protected in all circumstances.

We stress that the figures are not comprehensive, as we are not able to track all casualties. Nor are we able to verify every single incident. Instead, we are attempting primarily to monitor patterns of hostilities with a particular emphasis on emblematic incidents that we are able to verify in order to identify such patterns.”

Responding to questions from journalists, Mr. Colville said that he was not in a position to state whether OHCHR had confirmed that three medical personnel had been summarily executed in October. The 61 strikes against health facilities since 29 April 2019 had happened all in Idlib Governorate. He would have to check whether they were all on the deconfliction list. Some facilities had been hit multiple times. There had recently been a lull in hostilities, with the result that, in October, very few, if any, health facilities had been damaged.

Asked whether the United Nations continued to give the coordinates of medical facilities to Russian and Syrian forces, Mr. Colville said that OHCHR was not involved in the provision of coordinates. While OHCHR was not able to determine whether every single attack was deliberate, the large scale of the attacks and the fact that they occurred every time that there was a military escalation strongly suggested that the Government-affiliated forces responsible for them were deliberately striking health facilities, which would constitute a war crime. However, it would be for the Board of Inquiry to determine such matters.

Asked to comment on the situation of detainees in Syria and on whether OHCHR was in contact with the authorities there, Mr. Colville said that OHCHR had limited contact with the authorities and had not been able to enter the country since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic established by the Human Rights Council periodically addressed the situation of detainees.

Of particular concern to OHCHR were allegations that relatives of some of the thousands of persons detained or forcibly disappeared in Government-run detention facilities had received death notifications from the government authorities. Such notifications tended not to include details, such as where the body had been buried. There had also been reports of individuals being detained after returning to Syria in response to the granting of a partial amnesty by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He did not have information, including statistics, on the total number of death notifications received, on the number and location of confirmed summary executions, or on the persons responsible for them. He recalled, however, that there was video footage that appeared to show the executions of three Kurdish captives by Ahrar al-Sharqiya fighters on 12 October 2019.

Asked when the Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Najat Rochdi, would hold a press conference, Ms. Fenton said that Ms. Rochdi had recently returned from Damascus and would not be in Geneva the following week. Efforts were being made to arrange a date; once that was done, all relevant stakeholders would be informed. Details of whom Ms. Rochdi had met during her visit to Syria and what topics had been discussed would also be shared in due course. Asked to confirm reports that there were some 11,000 detainees in Syria, including 2,000 foreigners from 50 different countries, she said that the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria did not confirm figures. Asked whether the International Syria Support Group's Ceasefire Task Force would agree to brief journalists, she said that the Task Force’s meetings were closed, but that she would pass on any information that became available.

Asked which sectors of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) were currently best funded, Mr. Laerke said that food security, which required USD 1.1 billion, was one of the best-funded sectors with USD 574 million, or 53 per cent. Other sectors included nutrition, at 54 per cent, and emergency telecommunications, at 66 per cent.

Iraq - Protests and continued reports of deaths and injuries

Alessandra Vellucci, for the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, said that the previous day, the UN Secretary-General had expressed serious concern over the rising number of deaths and injuries during the ongoing demonstrations in Iraq. He had urged all actors to refrain from violence and to investigate all acts of violence seriously, and had renewed his appeal for meaningful dialogue between the Government and demonstrators.

Rupert Colville, for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), read the following statement:

“We are gravely concerned about continuing reports of deaths and injuries resulting from the use of force by security forces against demonstrators, as well as deliberate killings by armed elements in Iraq. Between 1 October and last night, the Human Rights Office for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq has documented 269 deaths in the context of demonstrations across the country. At least 8,000 others have reportedly been injured, including members of the Iraqi security forces. The exact casualty figures may be much higher. The majority of the casualties have resulted from the use of live ammunition by security forces and armed elements, described by many as private militia groups, as well as the unnecessary, disproportionate or improper use of less-lethal weapons such as tear gas.

Protests have continued this week in Baghdad, and deaths and injuries have been documented during demonstrations in Baghdad, Basra, Dhi Qar and Karbala. Just this morning, we received reports of five protesters killed during demonstrations in front of the Governorate building in Basra last night. On Wednesday this week, a civil society activist was shot and killed, and another injured by armed elements on the way home from a demonstration in Missan. We are also following up on reports of multiple arrests of demonstrators and activists, as well as bloggers and social media commentators, but there has been a lack of transparency, making these reports difficult to follow up on.

We are alarmed by reports of the abduction, by unknown perpetrators, of protesters or volunteers providing assistance in the demonstrations. These allegations should be promptly investigated, the whereabouts of those missing clarified and those responsible held to account.

We are disturbed by the statement by the High Judicial Council in Iraq that the Federal Anti-Terrorism Law would be applicable against those resorting to violence, sabotaging public property and using firearms against security forces – these are acts of terrorism that may be punishable by death.

We urge the Iraqi Government to ensure it complies with its obligation to protect the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly. This means taking preventive steps to protect demonstrators from armed elements, as well as issuing clear instructions to security forces to abide by international norms and standards on the use of force, including for example, an explicit prohibition on the shooting of tear gas canisters directly at demonstrators.

Immediate steps must be taken to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these killings, and justice and truth should be provided for the victims and their families. It is crucial that terrorism charges are not used against demonstrators.

We call on the authorities to take firm steps towards a meaningful dialogue in Iraq, to take stock of the many grievances and work with a broad range of actors towards a sustainable resolution to the many challenges Iraq faces. We stand ready to assist.”

Responding to questions from journalists, Mr. Colville said that, as far as OHCHR was aware, the Government of Iraq had made no public promise to engage in a meaningful dialogue and had not launched any investigations into alleged human rights abuses. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, had indicated her readiness to act as a mediator in potential talks, but had received no concrete response. He drew attention to the UN human rights reports on the protests in Iraq since October 1, which were available at: http://www.uniraq.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=11995:human-rights-violations-ongoing-un-second-special-report-on-protests-in-iraq&Itemid=605&lang=en

Asked to elaborate on the situation in Iraq, Mr. Colville said that tensions were high in many cities. There needed to be a sustained effort from the Government to resolve the situation, including through dialogue. The failure by the security forces to abide by international guidelines on the use of force had created a vicious cycle, despite the friendly atmosphere that reigned at many protests. He did not have further information on the five protesters killed during demonstrations in front of the Governorate building in Basra the previous night, or statistics on the number of people charged under anti-terrorism legislation. It was incumbent on the Government to maintain law and order in the country, and to identify those responsible for attacks against demonstrators.

Mauritania – Rape conviction

Rupert Colville, for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), read the following statement:

“We welcome the conviction and sentencing of a 30-year-old Mauritanian man for having raped a 15-year-old girl in Kaedi, in southern Mauritania. The man was sentenced to 5 years in prison. This is an encouraging step for a country where gender-based violence, and specifically rape, has in the past gone unpunished in almost all cases. We call on the Government of Mauritania to ensure gender-sensitive and age-sensitive reparations for the victim, including compensation.

Mauritania does not have a law to prevent gender-based violence. On two occasions, a draft law presented to the Parliament has been rejected. We urge the Mauritanian Parliament to urgently relaunch the discussion on the draft bill and to adopt as soon as possible legislation that complies with human rights standards, including a clear definition of rape and other forms of sexual violence.

We also call on the Government to take all necessary measures to advance the legislation and, once enacted, to implement a comprehensive, well-resourced plan of action to tackle a serious and widespread problem in Mauritania.

In this context, we would like to highlight that this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence focuses on rape. The campaign, which is a grassroots initiative supported by the United Nations, runs from 25 November, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, until 10 December, Human Rights Day.”

In response to questions from a journalist, Mr. Colville said that, since rape was not even defined in domestic legislation, it was hard to find accurate reporting on cases. The conviction that he had mentioned was the first that OHCHR had heard about since it had opened its Country Office in Nouakchott in 2009. Prosecutors had called for a 10-year sentence for the perpetrator. The victim, who had been made pregnant by the rape, had been provided with shelter and some socio-economic support, but OHCHR urged the Government to ensure that she received full reparation, including compensation.

East Africa floods

Hervé Verhoosel, for the World Food Programme (WFP), read the following statement:

“Nearly 1 million people are affected by flooding in South Sudan, which has devastated lives and livelihoods. The country, with a population of nearly 11 million, is the hardest hit in terms of the number of people affected.

Even before the recent flooding it was estimated 4.5 million people would not know where their next meal will come from between September and the end of the year. The number in need was forecast to increase by another million in the new year, but even this total might rise again because of the downpours.

The floods come at the start of what should be the dry season – meaning the farming season has been ruined for many – putting vulnerable families at real risk. Early indications are that some 40,000 acres of cropland has been destroyed, leading to the loss of 20,000 metric tons of food – while many livestock have perished.

WFP has deployed a fleet of five helicopters to reach remote areas, in addition to boats and canoes, to deliver food and other humanitarian assistance to areas that are cut off.

In some places, people are stuck on the roofs of their homes or on what little higher ground they could find. WFP has also brought amphibious All-Terrain Vehicles – also known as SHERPs – into the flood zones to ensure assistance reaches further and gets to those who are cut off.

At least 755,000 people require food and nutrition assistance right now because of the floods. WFP was already assisting 265,000 people in the now flood-affected areas. More than 19,000 metric tons of food are required to assist people for the next three months.

WFP needs USD 40 million to mount an effective flood response for the upcoming three-month period, an amount which might increase as the full extent of the damage caused by the floods becomes clearer, and as flooding continues over the next 4 to 6 weeks. Of this, WFP needs USD 1.4 million for the UN Humanitarian Air Service, managed by WFP, to support activities by the whole humanitarian community.

In Somalia, a country of 15 million people, more than half a million people have been affected by floods, and WFP is stepping up its operations to deliver lifesaving assistance to flood-affected families.

A WFP helicopter is supporting the response. WFP has so far airlifted nearly 12 metric tons of vital medicine and shelter material on behalf of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the International Organization or Migration and other aid agencies.”

Paul Dillon, for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), read the following statement:

“The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has scaled up efforts to meet the needs of internally displaced people, refugees and host communities in response to devastating floods that have affected over 900,000 people in South Sudan.

"It was distressing to witness the level of destruction and suffering that the floods have caused," IOM Chief of Mission in South Sudan, Jean-Philippe Chauzy said following a recent visit to flooded areas in Jonglei region.

"I spoke to one elderly displaced resident who had sought refuge in an overcrowded church standing on a small patch of dry ground in the middle of an insalubrious quagmire. She told me she cannot remember floods of this magnitude."

More than three months of unprecedented rainfall has submerged entire communities resulting in the temporary mass displacement of people and the disruption of basic services. Thousands of homes and shelters have been destroyed, crops that sustain local livelihoods wiped out, and there are fears the
contaminated water will spark an outbreak of disease.

Prior to the flooding, nearly two-thirds of the affected areas reported critical levels of malnutrition primarily affecting children and pregnant women.

On 26 October, the Government of South Sudan declared a state of emergency in 32 counties in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Warrap, Eastern Equatoria and Northern Bahr el Ghazal regions, a development that was commended by humanitarian partners in the country.”

In response to questions from journalists, Mr. Verhoosel said that the floods had affected between 900,000 and 1 million people in South Sudan. Further assessments were under way, but access remained a major problem. It was estimated that an additional 1 million people would be in need of assistance by the beginning of 2020.

Responding to other requests for information, Mr. Dillon said that IOM had produced a set of maps providing geo-referenced analysis of more than 250 locations affected by the flooding. According to experts, 63 per cent of individuals in flood-affected areas had been suffering from critical levels of malnutrition prior to the start of the floods in July. A lot of farming land was currently under water, which raised major concerns about food security in the first and second quarters of 2020, when IOM’s resources would be seriously stretched.


In response to a question from a journalist, Hervé Verhoosel, for the World Food Programme (WFP), said that rising prices, socio-economic unrest and a drop in agricultural production had led to an increase in food insecurity in Haiti in 2019. More than one in three people needed urgent assistance to meet their daily food needs according to the latest food security analysis conducted in October 2019. That was nearly 3.7 million people, of whom 1 million were in “emergency” (IPC phase 4). Amid worsening conditions, the security situation in Haiti had hampered efforts by WFP and other humanitarian organizations to reach people in need over the previous seven weeks. WFP’s school feeding programme had been badly affected, and many deliveries had had to be postponed. WFP had also postponed food distributions through cash-based transfers, which was affecting some of the most vulnerable communities in Haiti who were counting on the assistance to provide food to their families. Despite challenges, WFP was doing its utmost to ensure the continuity of its programmes and continued to organize new distributions and deliveries, each time the security situation permitted. In October, WFP had been able to make successful deliveries to 200 additional schools in and around the capital. WFP was ready to set up air and maritime transport operations in order to provide reliable transport services for the whole humanitarian community. To do that, WFP required USD 2.9 million. WFP was also ready to scale up its food assistance operations, provided more funding was available, and if logistical conditions allowed. According to the most recent IPC report, food insecurity in rural areas had gone up by 15 per cent since December 2018. In Port-au-Prince, 850,000 people were suffering from food insecurity, of whom 200,000 were in “emergency” (IPC phase 4). The situation could deteriorate further — by March 2020, the number of people requiring urgent assistance to meet their daily food needs could stand at more than 4 million.

Protest outside the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Pretoria

In response to a question from a journalist, Elizabeth Throssell, for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), said that UNHCR was committed to engaging constructively with refugees in South Africa, and had, on multiple occasions, communicated to them its mandate and what support it could provide. Many of the refugees involved in local protest were asking to be resettled, which UNCHR did not believe could happen on a large scale, as resettlement was reserved for small numbers of people who met strict criteria set by resettlement countries.

Joint training workshop for Francophone negotiators

Henri Monceau, the Permanent Representative of the International Organization of La Francophonie to the United Nations in Geneva, said that, from 13 to 15 November 2019, a joint training workshop would be held in Room I of the Palais des Nations for Francophone negotiators in the fields of climate, trade and digital technology. The workshop would be delivered in French and had been organized in partnership with several agencies. It was aimed at raising awareness of issues pertaining to each of the three fields and at encouraging the adoption of a cross-cutting approach. Observers would be welcome. The workshop would be attended by negotiators from Benin, the Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali and Morocco. The seven countries had been chosen in accordance with a needs-based analysis. It was hoped that further workshops would be held in 2020 with negotiators from at least 10 other countries.

WHO update

Tarik Jašareviæ, for the World Health Organization (WHO), said that WHO would hold two press conferences the following week. The first, at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, 13 November in Press Room 1, had been arranged to mark World Diabetes Day and would include a discussion of a WHO initiative to expand access to affordable insulin. The second, at 2 p.m. on Thursday, 14 November, would include a discussion of an innovative nuclear technique designed to sterilize male mosquitoes.

Investment policy reviews for Chad and Armenia

Catherine Huissoud, for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said that, during the session of the Investment, Enterprise and Development Commission to be held in Geneva from 11 to 15 November 2019, UNCTAD would present two investment policy reviews, for Chad and Armenia. Press releases would be published on Tuesday, 12 November to accompany each review.

In response to a question from a journalist, Ms. Huissoud said that she did not have information to hand on when the process of designation of the next Secretary-General of UNCTAD, to replace Mukhisa Kituyi of Kenya, would start.

Geneva announcements

Alessandra Vellucci, for the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, said that
the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women would close its seventy-fourth session that afternoon and issue its concluding observations on the reports of the seven States parties reviewed during the session: Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and Seychelles.

Ms. Vellucci also said that, on the morning of Monday, 11 November 2019, the Committee against Torture would open its sixty-eighth session, during which it would review reports from Burkina Faso, Cyprus, Latvia, the Niger, Portugal and Uzbekistan.

Ms. Vellucci further said that the Human Rights Council had reviewed, that morning, the human rights situation in Iran in the context of the Universal Periodic Review process.

Press conferences

Friday, 8 November 2019 at 1.15 p.m. in Room III

Office of the Special Envoy for Syria (OSE)

Press conference on the meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee


· Geir O. Pedersen, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria


· Interpretation English-Arabic will be provided.
· Live webcast will be available on http://webtv.un.org. A live broadcast signal will be made available by UNTV.

The press conference by the Special Envoy would be immediately followed by two press conferences led by, respectively:

· Syrian Constitutional Committee co-chair Ahmad Kuzbari
· Head of the Syrian Negotiations Committee (SNC) Nasr al-Hariri
· Syrian Constitutional Committee co-chair Hadi Albahra

Monday, 11 November 2019 at 10.30 a.m. in Press Room 1


World Intellectual Property Report 2019: The Global Geography of Innovation: Local Hotspots, Global Networks

· Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General
· Carsten Fink, Chief Economist, WIPO

Monday, 11 November 2019 at 1.30 p.m. in Press Room 1

OHCHR / Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

74th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

· Hilary Gbedemah, Chair, CEDAW
· Gladys Acosta Vargas, Vice-Chair, CEDAW
· Gunnar Bergby, Member, CEDAW

* * *

The webcast for this briefing is available here: http://bit.ly/unog081119

Listen / Download