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Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan & other topics - Daily…

Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan & other topics - Daily Press Briefing

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Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
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The Secretary-General met today in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin and, earlier, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The meeting with President Putin is just about to wrap up, right now. Also on Ukraine, our humanitarian colleagues continued to receive reports of damage to houses and other critical civilian infrastructure due to intense shelling and fighting reported over the last couple of days in southern and central regions of the country, including Odeska, Poltavska, Vinnytska and Zaporizka oblasts.  On Pakistan, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Julien Harneis, strongly condemned today's attack in Karachi University and is deeply saddened by the resulting loss of life. Our colleagues in the peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) have intensified their security and protection activities in Ménaka and in the surrounding areas. This has been done in response to the marked deterioration of the security situation observed there in recent weeks. They are working in close cooperation with local Malian authorities. We have received a clarification from our peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO), regarding a number of reports in Moroccan media outlets suggesting that Special Representative Alexander Ivanko stated that an air strike had hit a Frente Polisario convoy of vehicles that was transporting armaments. The Special Representative did not say this. Geir Pedersen, the Special Envoy for Syria, will brief the Security Council this afternoon on the situation in that country.  He'll be speaking by VTC from Geneva. Joyce Msuya, the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, is also scheduled to brief on the humanitarian situation in Syria.  From Comoros, our UN team, led by Resident Coordinator François Batalingaya, supported the delivery of the first batch of over 108,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Government of the United States, through COVAX. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today released a report which says that sand must be recognized as a strategic resource and its extraction and use need to be rethought. UNEP said that sand is the world's second most exploited resource, with 50 billion tons of sand and gravel being used each year. Today is International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day and World Intellectual Property Day.  Our colleagues at the UN Outreach Programme on the Holocaust want to invite you to a book signing and discussion with Menachem Z. Rosensaft, author of "Poems Born in Bergen-Belsen". He will be at the UN Bookshop tomorrow, at 1 p.m. Our friends in London have paid their regular budget dues in full. An even 88 Member States are now fully paid up. At 1:30 p.m., there will be a hybrid briefing here on the forthcoming 55th Session of the UN Commission on Population and Development. Speakers will include Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo, the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations and Chair of the fifty-fifth session of the Commission on Population and Development.  The guest at today's Noon Briefing was Ms. Mami Mizutori, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). She spoke to reporters about the the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction for 2022.
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