The Secretary-General of these United Nations is in Belgium, and, right now, he is meeting with their Majesties the King and Queen of the Belgians. And his Deputy, Amina Mohammed, is also with him at this meeting.
Earlier today, he met with the Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander de Croo. In remarks to the media, the Secretary-General thanked Belgium for its commitment to multilateralism and its cooperation in several areas, including human rights, sustainable development, climate action, as well as peace and security.
In about an hour, he will join Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, and he will also be speaking to the media.
Discussions will continue tomorrow with the European Union, they will include a broad range of topics, including climate ambition, peace and security, the digital transition, as well as the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the international financial architecture.
**Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
This afternoon, in the Security Council, members will hear from the Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, [Mohamed] Khaled Khiari, who will brief members of the Security Council on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We will share those remarks with you ahead of time.
The Secretary-General strongly condemned the launch of yet another long-range missile using ballistic missile technology by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
He reiterated his calls on the DPRK to fully comply with its international obligations under all relevant Security Council resolutions and to resume dialogue without preconditions leading to the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia briefed the Security Council yesterday afternoon. He told Council members that the implementation of the Peace Agreement is gaining traction and highlighted the numerous peace-related provisions of the National Development Plan, the increased attention to comprehensive rural reform, and the allocation of funding for the Agreement, and the establishment of the Ministry of Equality as examples.
However, he noted that violence continues to hinder the realization of the Agreement and said he hoped that recent improvements regarding security guarantees will soon bear results and help improve the situation in conflict-affected regions.
Turning to Ukraine. Denise Brown, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, condemned today an attack that hit a vehicle of the national NGO called Proliska while the team for Proliska was delivering humanitarian aid to families in a village in the Kharkiv region, which is less than 1 kilometre from the border with the Russian Federation.
Denise Brown said that these attacks underscore the challenges humanitarians in Ukraine are facing to carry out their life-saving work, worsened by the lack of access in areas currently under Russian control. Our humanitarian colleagues pointed out that between January and May of this year, nearly 90 incidents impacting humanitarian operations were reported in Ukraine. More than half of them had a moderate to severe impact on the delivery of assistance.
Volker Türk, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, today condemned with the strongest terms the killing of civilians. This is after the discovery of a mass grave in West Darfur where bodies of at least 87 ethnic Masalit and others were apparently buried there.
The Office of Human Rights said they were allegedly killed last month by Rapid Support Forces and their allied militia. Mr. Türk, called on the Rapid Support Forces and other parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate the prompt searches for bodies, their collection and evacuation.
**Sudan — Humanitarian
West Darfur was one of the most food insecure areas in the country even before the current conflict started. However, our agencies are continuing efforts to reach those who most need. In Central, East, North and South Darfur, the World Food Programme has delivered food to nearly 500,000 men, women and children, and that is since the hostilities began.
To note that the deteriorating security situation and access restrictions by the warring parties is making it extremely challenging for WFP to scale up its assistance.
Also, as a response to the urgency of the ongoing main crop production season in the country, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has kicked off its emergency seed distribution campaign to reach farmers in key regions, ensuring that they have the necessary resources to meet food production needs.
**Democratic Republic of Congo
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an update on our efforts to fight the spread of cholera.
The Central Emergency Response Fund has allocated $750,000 to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and to the World Health Organization, following three weeks of an above-average number of cholera cases in Tanganyika province. This is in the south-east of the country.
So far this year, authorities in the DRC have reported more than 27,000 new cases of cholera, and nearly 180 deaths.
**Federated States of Micronesia
The UN team in [the Federated States of] Micronesia, who launched yesterday a new joint programme to digitally empower small island developing States across the Pacific islands. Financed through a $3.8 million grant from the UN Joint SDG Fund, the new programme will help countries pool resources, expertise, and networks to provide better access to digital services, spur economic activities and strengthen climate change resilience. About seven UN entities are participating and there is more information in the press release.
**UN News — Survey
I just want to flag a message from our good friends at the UN News Centre, who run our very useful news site. They are conducting a survey to see what you, the users, are thinking of the content they are creating, how they distribute it and what can they do to improve and meet your needs. It is all online, takes four minutes, and can be taken in nine languages