UN Geneva Press Briefing - 28 June 2024
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UN Geneva Press Briefing - 28 June 2024


 28 June 2024


Urgent Need for International Solidarity

Cecilia Bailliet, Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), outlined the new revised draft Declaration on the Right to Solidarity, which defines solidarity as an enabling right to focus on trends among civil society and to voice concern for marginalized groups all over the world. Ms. Bailliet stated that the first report on civil society and international solidarity had underscored various measures taken against groups acting in solidarity both in the physical space and in cyberspace.

While Ms. Bailliet’s second report would focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and international solidarity, further reports would address indigenous peoples and solidarities. These would be based on her visits to Inuit communities in Denmark and Greenland, and focus on the impacts of unresolved issues from the age of colonization, the denial of equal rights in private and public spaces, as well as pressures related to natural resource extraction.

Ms. Bailliet announced that the final report would be shared at the United Nations General Assembly and would deal with the infringement of the rights of solidarity actors by corporations that had not established transparent mechanisms of communication.

In answer to a question, Ms. Bailliet stated that the second report focused on AI due to civil society groups' lack of access to infrastructure, and to their marginalization by AI algorithms. This was why the report called for the UN to create a digital solidarity platform, which would serve as a forum enabling civil society groups to exchange solidarity ideas with representatives from governments and business.

David Diaz Martin, for the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), shared an update on the Council’s activities, which was finalizing its second week of its 56th regular session. The Council would hold its full-day discussion on human rights and women that same day, and on Monday, 1 July there would be a panel discussion on human rights and the Olympic ideal. This would include participation of the President of the International Olympic Committee, Mr. Thomas Bach. Also on 1 July, the HRC would include a panel discussion on climate change, featuring the new Special Rapporteur on Climate Change, Ms. Elisa Morgera.

Humanitarian Update from Central Gaza

Louise Wateridge, Senior Communications Officer at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), joined the briefing online from central Gaza and said that she had just returned to the Gaza Strip after four weeks. Ms. Wateridge stated that in that period, conditions had deteriorated significantly, with very limited access to fuel on the ground, restricted movement, and few - if any - waste management services in operation. The living conditions were extremely dire, the weather was extremely hot, with very few resources and limited water. UNRWA was desperately seeking support and looking for help to assist Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip. 

Answering questions, Ms. Wateridge stated that people in Gaza were hungry and malnourished after enduring 8 months of food insecurity. The physical appearance of many colleagues and local people whom Ms. Wateridge knew personally had changed due to a lack of access to sustained, healthy food, fresh fruit and vegetables, she said.

On a question about the US-backed pier, Ms.Wateridge affirmed that UNRWA had always welcomed any aid that entered the Gaza Strip but underscored that UNRWA’s position was for the entry of humanitarian aid trucks through border crossings, stating that this was both safer and more cost-efficient than any air drops or using the pier.

Daniel Johnson, for the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Geneva, reminded reporters of the statement by the spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, on Thursday: that in spite of UN efforts to get fuel into Gaza there was still not enough reaching UN agencies inside the Strip. 

In response to a question on health risks for associated with heat, Tarik Jašarević for the World Health Organization (WHO), stated that summer weather could lead to number of communicable diseases appearing in Gaza for several reasons, including water contamination, food spoilage, mosquitos and flies, dehydration and heatstroke. 

WHO had recorded a number of 470,000 cases of diarrhea since the beginning of the conflict, with a majority due to lack of clean water. Mr. Jašarević emphasized that, for children under the age of 5, this combination of lack of food and water, coupled with diarrhea, could be a lethal combination.

Speaking to questions about amputations, Mr. Jašarević stated that while estimates were not available, an entire system would need to be in place for health workers to be able to save a limb, and adequate conditions were currently unavailable in Gaza with the ongoing hostilities. Consequently, if someone currently suffered an injury, they would not only risk losing their limbs and their capacity to live normally, but quite possibly their lives.

Answering a question on evacuations, Louise Wateridge of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) stated that the situation was as dire as it had ever been and was getting worse every day. She called for the immediate resumption of medical evacuations. In response to the same question, Tarik Jašarević for the World Health Organization (WHO), welcomed the previous day’s evacuation of 21 patients from Gaza. Mr. Jašarević noted that this was the first evacuation since the Rafah crossing’s closure on 7 May, after which it had become difficult logistically to receive approvals and evacuate people,which meant that an estimated 2000 people had not received critical life-saving specialized health care. He echoed Ms. Wateridge’s call, emphasizing that medical evacuations must be facilitated through all possible crossings.

On a question regarding looting, Ms. Wateridge confirmed that it had been on the rise and pointed to factors such as the lack of food and supplies after 8 months of war. She also underlined that money was not being printed or distributed, and most salaries had stopped being distributed. People had nowhere to obtain money, and with limited access to humanitarian aid supplies, they were desperate. She emphasized that because of the siege on the Gaza Strip, it had become a very dangerous and lawless situation on the ground, and the only answer was to provide more aid, more food, more medicine, to the people of Gaza. 


Climate Change Pounding Refugee Communities

Andrew Harper, Special Advisor on Climate Action at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), opened by expressing solidarity with UN colleagues in UNRWA.

Mr. Harper stated that UNHCR had been seeing the latest iteration of climate change and how it impacts those most vulnerable in Brazil. At the same time, what was occurring in Africa, Southeast Asia, and almost every part of the world was demonstrating that extreme weather events and natural disasters were shattering many refugee and other displaced communities worldwide, worsening their plight, and, in some cases, displacing them again.

While Mr. Harper acknowledged that the impacts of climate change were affecting every society, it was often those populations that were the most vulnerable, that lacked the resources to resist, that were suffering the most.

He stressed that, when climate records were being consistently broken, there were no existing models that could accurately anticipate what the world would go through in the future, and that "all the worst-case scenarios need to be reworked." This proved challenging for UNHCR in its operations with millions of people who lived on the peripheries of society and were so reliant on external support, he said. 

Mr. Harper emphasized the importance of the support from host communities, be it in Brazil, Bangladesh, Kenya, or Chad. He highlighted the need to reinforce the support for these countries, particularly as climate challenges become more evident in these areas.

Mr. Harper mentioned the UNHCR climate-resilience fund , established with the aim of finding support for forcibly displaced people fleeing from or living in climate-vulnerable countries. He stated that one displacement was occurring every second, not just due to conflict, but also due to natural disasters.

According to Mr. Harper, it was no use having early warning unless there was early action. Moreover, it was difficult to do what was required at a time when resources were so limited.

Answering questions, Mr. Harper said there had been a transition from El Niño to La Niña. He also pointed to the extremely high numbers of food insecure people in Sudan, estimated at 25 million people. He specified that this is ranked as an IPC3+-level crisis, which meant they were very food insecure, potentially moving towards a famine-type situation, at a time when flooding and other extreme weather events could also occur.

Mr. Harper pointed to the multiplier effect of human emissions causing climate change and stressed that tipping points would likely be crossed. This, coupled with other issues, such as biodiversity loss, impacts on nature, pollution, and the triple planetary crisis, all needed to be taken into account.

The full UNHCR statement is available here.


Daniel Johnson, for the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Geneva, said the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres would be launching The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2024 at 11:30am that morning. The Secretary General would be joined by Yongyi Min, Chief of the SDG Monitoring Section. The report would assess progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, 6 years before the 2030 deadline for their achievement.

On Monday, 1 July at 3:00pm, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) would hold an online launch of a report on innovation trends in the development of generative AI (GenAI). The report would be launched by Daren Tang, Director General of WIPO, and Christopher Harrison, Patent Analytics Manager of WIPO. The report would remain under embargo until Wednesday, 3 July at 10:00am.

Mr. Johnson announced that on 4 July at 2:00pm, there would be a hybrid launch of a joint International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mixed Migration Centre (MMC) and UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) the report entitled “On this journey, nobody cares if you live or die”. Outlining risks faced by refugees and migrants on the Central Mediterranean route, the report would remain embargoed until 5 July at 10:30am.

Mr. Johnson informed that the Human Rights Committee would open its 141st session the following Monday at 10:00am.

The date of the next plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament would be announced at a later stage, under the Presidency of Ireland.

29 June was the International Day of the Tropics; whereas 30 June would celebrate both International Asteroid Day and the International Day of Parliamentarism.










good morning. It is Friday and the shock of the day is today's UNICE
agency briefing.
It's my pleasure to be here with you.
Louise Water,
Andrew Harper, who is the UN special adviser on climate action.
And we are looking forward to hearing his comments on
the climate change affects pounding refugee communities.
But before that my pleasure to introduce Cecilia Bail,
who is the independent expert on human rights and international solidarity,
joining us here after her
intervention at the council
Go over to you.
Thank you. Um, it's a pleasure to be here, and I'm very excited to begin this mandate.
I began in October and we have a brand
new revised draught declaration on the right to solidarity,
which shows solidarity to be an enabling right to,
focus on the trend we see among civil society to voice the
concern for the oppression of marginalised groups all over the world.
Be they refugees or women or the environment or the situation in Gaza.
We've seen students having solidarity marches and needing,
um, the world to protect them against retaliation.
So my first report is on civil society and international solidarity.
And it,
um underscores the various meas measures that
are taken against groups acting in solidarity,
which is not just in the physical space but also in cyberspace.
So we had a whole chapter on digital solidarity
and my next report. Then we focus on a I and international solidarity.
Further reports will address indigenous peoples and solidarity.
And this is because I had my first country visit was in Denmark and Greenland.
So I was able to visit with the
Inuit communities and realise how they were impacted by
unresolved issues. Uh, regarding the age of, uh, colonisation
and, um, the denial of equal rights in, uh, the areas, um,
regarding discrimination both in public places and in private places.
But this led me to understand that there's a need to, um,
see how solidarity is interpreted
by indigenous communities in marginalised areas
and how they relate from the North to the South,
as they're both pressured by companies seeking extraction
of natural resources and a need um,
for attention to these issues and the final report.
I will report, um on in the General Assembly will be on co corporations, BEC,
because we see that many of the rights affecting solidarity.
are infringed by corporations that haven't
created transparent mechanisms of communication.
So these are the key areas I'll be looking at. And I look forward to your questions.
There you go. You heard it. Thank you very much indeed. Cecilia.
I'm looking for questions in the room.
I see one from Robyn.
AFP Good morning.
Good morning. Um, why, uh, why the focus on on a I and, uh And how do you feel?
Uh, where do you feel that solidarity,
Um, plays into this, uh, this quite sort of tech issue. Thank you.
It came because in, uh, the call for information from civil society,
they started complaining,
complaining that they are lacking access to infrastructure
they can't get online.
Or, uh,
algorithms are used against them when they're
trying to send solidarity me messages.
So my report actually calls for the UN to create a digital solidarity platform
where we can bring civil society groups to exchange solidarity ideas and maybe meet
company representatives state representatives in order to have
a safe forum for exchange of those messages.
Thank you. I see no further questions.
So many. Thanks for coming to give us this briefing
and maybe David. You'd like to give us an update on the Council's activities today.
Thank you, Daniel. Thank you, everybody. Good morning.
And thank you for your interest. Also on the work of the council.
Just a quick update on the 56th session on the Council.
We are finishing the second week, and
today the council holds its annual full day discussion on human rights Women.
Uh, we will have two panels. One is already started in the morning
and one in the afternoon. And this year, both panels have an economic theme,
and details have been shared with, uh, with you on the media.
Media daily update, uh, including the name of the Panellist,
the chair of the working group on violence against
Women and girls will continue her interactive dialogue at
noon after after the panel
and at 5 p.m. the council will hear from Gina
the new special rapporteur on the rights of freedom
and peaceful assembly and the rights to association.
After hopefully sunny and restful weekend on Monday.
And as we are at the doors of the of the next summer Olympic Games,
we will begin the week
with a panel discussion on the human rights and the Olympic ideal
with the participation among other speakers, the president of the
International Olympic Committee, Mr Thomas Bach.
And we will conclude Monday with the panel discussion on climate change. We
will hear from the new special Rapporteur on climate change.
You have any questions?
I'm looking. Thank you, David I. I see none
from the room or virtually so. I think that was comprehensive. Thanks so much.
Thank you, Daniel. Thank you. OK, have a good weekend.
Right. So
with luck, we will have Louise water
from the rent Relief.
Excuse me.
You know what it is
who is joining us online
from Central Gaza. There you are. Very good to see you, Louise.
Thanks for sharing your time with us today. I know you have plenty of things to do. So
without further ado,
please give us an update on the
humanitarian situation that you've encountered after arriving
back just yesterday, I believe.
Thank you, Daniel. Yes. I arrived back in the Gaza Strip yesterday.
Um, the last time I was here was four weeks ago, so things had significantly
changed and moved, um, from entering. Um, even you can see we have no access to Rafa
anymore. The last time I was here, we were all based in Rafah.
This is the UN and all NGO S.
Um, everybody was down there, and now there is absolutely
no access at all. It's very limited. Um, movement for us.
There is no fuel on the ground. Um,
today we are in the guest house as well, because
we don't have fuel to be able to go out and do these missions.
I think one of the most shocking things I'm seeing is
just about 100 and 50 metres away from where we're staying.
There's around 100,000 tonnes of waste piling up,
and this is really the case now across the Gaza Strip,
there is no waste distribution.
There is no solution to the waste distribution.
And so it's incredibly difficult for the population of Gaza here to continue.
the living conditions are extremely dire. And, um,
as you can see, you know, perhaps, uh, across even the video. It's extremely
hot here.
There's very few resources.
There's there's a very limited water, so even just the case of a few weeks,
it is significantly deteriorated.
And with the ongoing siege and with the lack of access restrictions,
there seems to be no, um, solution, uh, that we need.
And we are desperate for any kind of,
um, support and any kind of, um,
ability to to do our work because that's why we're here.
And there's, you know, hundreds and thousands of UN and NGO staff here, you know,
wanting to provide treatment, wanting to,
to help the population.
And with the current situation, it's just incredibly difficult.
thank you very much, Louise. You're coming through loud and clear.
Thanks for those opening comments. I see Emma Farge is online.
Unless there any questions in the room, I think. Emma, can you hear me?
If you can, please go ahead.
Uh, thank you.
Um, just wanted to get a little bit more detail on some of the things that you raised.
why don't you have any fuel? Um, and how long has that been the case?
And how can you continue your work without it?
And secondly, O on the sewage. Um, that really sounds awful.
Can you say why it can't be cleaned up and
And what are the consequences of this. Thank you.
Yeah, absolutely. So on the fuel.
This has been a reoccurring issue since the war began.
There has never been enough fuel enough diesel received in the Gaza Strip.
There's always been either access limitations from
the Israeli authorities into fuel and diesel entering
the Gaza Strip. But also we have extreme restrictions.
Once the fuel is received to then distribute it across the Gaza Strip,
there are checkpoints all around.
As you're very well aware,
Rafa is now a very dangerous and highly militarised area,
so receiving and moving fuel in this area is extremely difficult.
I know over the last few days there's been a continued back and forth
to try and receive fuel safely and and get fuel to where it needs.
And we have not done this.
So we really need more co ordination and less access restrictions
to the fuel fuel is part of the reason that we can't
just, um, you know, clear the sanitation.
Because, of course, the trucks, everything that we do here requires fuel.
Whether it's hospital generators,
you know, any kind of distribution we're doing, it all requires fuel.
So without the fuel, the humanitarian response really grinds to a halt.
But in addition to that, there's also access restrictions to the landfill sites.
Our colleagues have, you know, applied almost on a daily basis to have
movement from the Israeli authorities to access the landfill sites
where we can safely remove some of this solid waste.
And these
these are always denied. These movements are denied.
So what we have is temporary landfill sites and this is really among the community.
When I look outside now,
like I said, 100 and 50 metres away,
there is a huge landfill temporary site,
but there are also tents around it.
The the population is living among it and these
are just the temporary sites you have to understand.
They're also between the makeshift shelters. It's not, it's not coherent.
It's not like there's just one place where all this trash is going.
It's among the population and it's building up and without anywhere to go.
It just keeps getting worse. And with the temperatures rising, it's really adding
misery to the living conditions. Here. We can smell
this pile of trash from just a few metres away.
You know, people are living among it, people are living around it.
It's a very,
very difficult situation here right now because of the heat because of the summer.
Also, these makeshift shelters people are living under plastic sheeting.
the temperatures inside the plastic sheeting is even
higher than it is outside the plastic sheeting.
It's it's it's unbearable.
It's really unbearable for people to live in these conditions.
Thank you. I think that answered it. I don't see a follow up from
Emma. Jamie also had his hand up Jamie from a P.
Thank you. Uh, M water. It sounds positively terrible.
the could you just give us an update about
what you're expecting in terms of aid deliveries that,
uh, may be coming in.
Um, what's in the pipeline?
Um and particularly whether or not, uh,
you're expecting any movement from the pier that the US has, uh, has, uh,
put in place, uh, off the off the coast.
Thank you so much.
So the US backed peer.
That's something that I believe the you know,
Other UN agencies have tried to work because, as we've always said,
we will take any aid that can come into the Gaza Strip.
It's very welcome.
at the agency I work for has not been working with or to
this fear.
We continue to insist and to advocate that the best way to
get any aid into the Gaza Strip is through the trucks.
It is absolutely most important that we use the entrances and we
use the borders that we have and that Israel allows and facilitates the
You know,
all of this aid that needs to be distributed
into the Gaza Strip through these border crossings.
It's the safest way for aid to be received. It's far more safe.
It's far more cost efficient than any of the, you know,
airdrops proposed or or the pier that's proposed and we really
advocating now more than ever, we just need to get more aid in. We do
some food,
but the problem that we have when we do receive these supplies, like medicine,
like food,
it's very unpredictable. We don't know when it's going to come.
We don't know how much is going to come. We don't know until it is actually
in our distribution centres.
What we're going to to have to give to the population we cannot plan,
you know, you might think tomorrow we're planning for so
trucks of food to come in, but until they are actually here,
it can be delayed after days after days after weeks.
Um and we just can't plan on that.
So when you have an entire population leading absolutely everything,
it's very difficult without these access.
you know all these access restrictions that we're that we face
for our colleagues to be able to do their jobs?
Thanks, Louise.
And that underscores what the spokesperson
for the secretary general said yesterday.
Very little is coming in in terms of fuel. Generators are running low,
and the Kuwaiti Field Hospital reportedly had to
shut down a generator earlier this week.
So they have to be cut for a number of hours, and it impacts hospitals,
desalination plants,
and the UN is obviously trying to get more fuel in. But
we're not getting enough,
so that is basically the simple truth of it.
A question now from Robyn Millard from
Thank you. Two questions for me. Firstly on the trash
that's building up. What would what would normally happen with that?
What would be the normal procedure?
Where would that normally go and how would it normally be dealt with?
And secondly, you have no access to Rafa
the moment. You said
what does What does that mean for you? Practically What?
What is the difference that makes for you that you not able to go there?
I'll start with the Rafah
question. So, you know, just a few weeks ago,
I arrived in Gaza around May 22nd,
and the entire humanitarian response was being run from Rafa.
The humanitarian agencies were based there for several months.
Rafah is actually a very small area itself.
There was around 200,000, 250,000 people
there before the war.
And as you as you may remember,
it got up to 1.4 million displaced people who
were forcibly displaced and then sheltering in that area.
So already Raqqa was overwhelmed.
But nonetheless the humanitarians were based there.
It was very near the border crossing. There was never enough aid.
Never has there been near enough aid entering the Gaza Strip throughout this war.
But there were systems in place. People were getting food.
People were getting water. There was a daily rhythm to people's survival.
If you go to after May 6th, it became chaos.
It was absolutely chaos.
1.4 million people were forcibly displaced from that area again,
many of them for multiple times and for the humanitarian operation.
You can imagine if we're already set up in this area. Everyone is working out of this
UN R, a health centre.
We have systems in place. We have processes in place.
All of that needs to start again.
All of that moves and your next question may be well, where does that move?
It's a great question.
Gaza Strip is destroyed.
You go back to
Kunis. I was shocked going through
Kunis yesterday because the last time I was in
the buildings are skeletons, if at all. Everything is rubble.
And yet people are living there again.
I've seen nothing like it. When the last I was there, it was a ghost town because
people had fled for their lives from Communist.
There is nothing there. There's no water there.
There's no sanitation, there's no food.
And now people are living back in these
buildings that are empty shells of themselves.
You can see where the walls have been blown out and blasted out
there are, you know, sheets in place.
There's blankets in place, people trying to protect themselves from the sun.
you know,
when you talk about the humanitarian response and and how it's moved from Rafa,
we're in the same position.
Uh, I've learned from my colleagues that in Jabalia
one of the biggest health centres that we had there was completely torched, um,
some months ago,
and now they're already going back in
there trying to rehabilitate the situation and
rehabilitate the facility so that we can once again use it as a health facility.
This health facility was
absolutely scared, you know, rubble everywhere. There's nothing left.
There's a there's hardly any walls.
And so we're also in the desperate situation similar to the population where we are
just trying to move from place to place and make best of what we can,
um, temporary health centres.
You know, when I left, there were there were, you know,
permanent health facilities in Rafa.
Now there are none.
There are more temporary facilities in the middle areas and in other areas,
but emphasis on the word temporary.
These are temporary solutions to a war that keeps changing
and people keep doing whatever they can.
We keep adapting the humanitarian response. But we need, uh, you know, ceasefire.
We need humanitarian pause. We need supplies. We need so many things.
We need safe access. We need all of this to make this happen.
Um, your question on the trash. Before the war, there were sanitation officers.
UNRWA itself, the largest agency in the Gaza Strip had a whole sanitation unit.
We have sanitation workers. We have truck drivers.
We would, you know, clear the all the trash and rubbish from the refugee camps.
And we had a safe process for doing this.
There were landfill sites that we used to have access to remove this trash.
Now, all of that once again, is gone. I went to a sanitation,
uh, in April and the one of the trucks was blasted into the office wall, you know?
So once these trucks are gone, we don't have anything.
There are no supplies coming in.
I talked to my colleagues about the water wells in
Jabalia. There's three now working. We don't have the materials.
We don't have the supplies.
We don't have the mechanical equipment to repair what has been damaged.
Um and all of this really prevents any kind of humanitarian.
Humanitarian response. Excuse me.
Yes, Thanks. That was pretty comprehensive and
plenty of questions Now. Lisa Schlein, voice for America.
Yes. Sorry. Good morning. Morning, Daniel. Good morning.
Don't have your name
any. Anyway, I would like to ask you what, the health impact of having
so much trash all around.
Uh, there must be a lot of, uh, disease, perhaps, which is occurring.
Uh, I know you have, uh, some people from WHO there.
They could perhaps flesh out some of that
afterwards. Uh, in terms of the health impacts,
uh, how many people actually remain in Rafa? A fair number of them have left.
And I'm wondering, uh, how many,
uh, are remaining actually in the area.
And when you say no supplies are getting in,
I assume that means that no food is also getting in.
uh, what is the situation? If if you know, uh, about
people starving, whether people are actually dying, whether,
uh, you're getting closer to a famine if you're not already there.
Thank you.
So there was a recent I PC report that said
96% of the population are actually facing acute food insecurity.
And you're really seeing that you're experiencing that.
You know, this has knock on effects.
If there's no food, if there's very limited food coming in,
people are hungry, people are starving, people are malnourished.
And and this isn't something that's happened overnight.
This is now around eight months of people with food insecurity.
So when you see people, when I see my colleagues, when I see my friends here,
you know they're visibly unrecognisable because having
such unsustained food, uh, access to food for so long, you know, you you start to age.
You you look unhealthy. Your skin changes colour.
Um, so you have an entire population who are suffering from this long term
problem, and this is not something started from the Rafa
Of course, it was heightened by this, but for the entire duration of this war,
it has been very,
very difficult for people to have access to sustained healthy food.
You know, fresh fruit and vegetables, all these things that people need,
um, very, very limited through the borders. Um,
So you'll have to remind me of the the follow up question
I was asking about the health impacts
of having so much trash around. People are at
If I
may, we do have the World Health Organisation online. Maybe Tare
Christian Louise, if you may,
Might you defer to them for the health aspects? Yes. Please go ahead.
Uh, hi. Hi. Thank you. Thank you very much.
I mean, it's, uh it's a really difficult combination of not having, uh,
access to clean water,
having garbage all around and, uh,
and and basically having the the the high temperature.
So So what can it it can lead to to a number of, uh
uh uh of, uh, comic
diseases appearing.
And for several reasons, first is water contamination.
So when you have a hot weather
and you have a lack of, uh uh, clean sanitation,
uh, the water sources can become more easily contaminated.
Uh, and, uh, and that will, uh uh uh uh, uh uh, That will bring more, uh,
diseases like diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea can be, uh uh, uh can be caused by a number of pathogens.
You have also the issue of food that can be spoiled.
Uh uh, much more faster. And that can bring, uh, uh, food borne diseases.
you will have more mosquitoes and
and fly, especially in a in A in a warm weather.
And And mosquitoes and flies obviously can,
uh, can spread disease. And then there is also issue of a heat.
Uh uh. That, uh, brings the dehydration
and and heat stroke.
And then, obviously, uh uh, uh People who are already having a problem of, uh,
accessing, uh um,
accessing food and having a a proper nutrition, uh, having, uh uh uh,
having a heat stroke, Uh, that, uh, that can, uh that can aggravate the situation.
We have recorded,
uh, a number of, uh, of, uh, diarrhoea cases.
There's a 470,000 cases of diarrhoea since since the beginning of the war.
majority, uh, of of of those were happening because of the of the lack of, uh, of, uh,
clean water and sanitation.
Now, when it comes to Children under five, this combination of malnutrition
and lack of, uh uh, uh Proper food together with diarrhoea, uh, can be can be lethal
over for me.
Thank you very much, Derek. I hope that answered your question, Lisa.
So I see that Emma Farge
has a follow up
Thanks. Just a quick one.
Louis, I if you could just clarify the the pile, um,
of waste that you described near you, that was shocking.
Was that human waste or trash or a combination? A. And also
a hybrid question for you and WHO. Um,
is there any update on medical evacuations? I.
I understood some cancer patients finally would be getting out
somehow. Uh, has has anything moved on that really important issue? Uh, this week.
Thank you.
So on the trash, the the pile I can see outside is, uh, visibly trash.
But what I will say is, with all these people, um, all these displaced people moving
back to these areas back to these buildings that are rubble,
there's no bathrooms.
There's absolutely no bathrooms. So
people are relieving themselves anywhere they can in the in the corner of rubbles,
in areas, there's there's no bathrooms available.
Um, the facilities are absolutely unbelievable. Um,
so at this point, um, there's really not a lot you can say about how how awful it is.
I feel like we have been communicating the duration of the war,
how dire the situation is, how it's getting worse
and and, you know, sitting here today, it has to be the worst it's ever been.
And I don't doubt that tomorrow again will be the worst it's ever been.
Every day that we're here, it's the worst it's ever been. It's never getting better.
The situation is never getting better. And the people are suffering.
They're suffering so much, I will defer. To who on the medical evacuations?
Because I believe they were. They were involved in this.
Go ahead, Tarek.
Hi. Hi. Thanks. Uh, so, uh, you've seen the the tweet, uh, from doctor
taters, but also from our regional director. So yesterday there was
evacuation of 21. Uh
uh uh uh
uh uh uh Children with a with a cancer. Uh, this is obviously welcome.
Uh, this, uh, Evo location has been led by san J cancer.
Uh, hospital. Uh, Now,
there are more than 10,000 people who need
to be evacuated and receive medical care outside of
Gaza. Uh,
6000 of them having trauma injuries,
More than 2000 of them also having, uh, having chronic diseases.
And they need this treatment.
Since the closure of Rafa,
we did not have any medical evacuation until yesterday. And these 21
Children with, uh, with cancer. We need
to reopen
and any other border crossing,
Uh uh, to to get these people out. So, uh, the their lives can be saved.
So really, more than 10,000 people are waiting to receive medical care,
and it's not available in Gaza to be evacuated.
Uh uh to Egypt, Uh uh. To West Bank and and elsewhere.
So So we really need to to to advocate, uh, for resumption of, uh,
of a medical evacuations.
This is this is welcome what happened yesterday? Uh, but more needs to be done.
If if I may add to that, um, just to say also,
you know, my colleague Abdullah. He had he was injured in a strike.
He had his legs amputated.
This was at the end of February, and he sat in a medical tent for two months,
two entire months, for two weeks.
He was in Al
Shifa when it was under siege,
and he wasn't evacuated. It took two months for the arranged medical evacuation
and multiple times he very nearly lost his life. This was pre
May 6th, so even before the the border crossing.
Um, you know,
which has changed so much since May 6th and and is not functioning anymore.
But even before this for a for a UN staff member and my UN colleague,
two months sitting, waiting, um,
you know, some days waiting for death. I visited him at the end of April, and
the doctors gave, you know, horrific diagnosis for him.
And my colleague, who was with me who happened to be the same blood type,
donated her blood on the spot to him to keep him alive.
This is the situation that people are facing.
It is it is not acceptable for people to
be experiencing this and be treated like this.
Medical evacuations for these thousands of people need to happen.
They need to happen now.
Thank you, Louise. Thank you very much, Tarek. Indeed.
And yes, it was good news on the medical evacuations.
John Zarak.
John, can you hear me?
I can hear you. Can you hear me? Yes.
Good morning.
Yes. Uh, good morning, Lee.
Uh, thank you for the briefing.
I was wondering if you could, uh, give us some, um,
update on the number of Children
in Gaza that are receiving life saving treatment
because they are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
And secondly, if you have data from,
um your organisation on a number of Children who have been amputated to date.
Uh, the other day Mr Lazzarini was telling us
because of, uh, lack of reliable data they were not collecting, for instance,
amputation of hands, but only of legs.
Thank you.
Yeah. So we currently don't have this data, but I'll be able to get something to you.
I can I can find you in the in the chat for this and and find you the most information
that we have at the time.
Thank you very much, Louise. And
maybe do you have anything,
if I may add, just because this question of amputation is coming,
so we don't have Really we don't have
estimates of amputees amputations that are performed,
uh, in in in Gaza.
But what we know that
we need an entire system
be in place for health workers to save a limb
from a child or from a from an adult and that that really includes ex
expertise, staff supplies, trauma care, really, referral system. So you.
You need to get an injured patient very fast
to the hospital,
and then you need, like, early and proper wound cleaning.
You need initial surgery, then you need a AAA more. Uh uh, A follow up surgery.
Uh, uh uh, that, uh, that that will focus on vascular tissue, soft tissue,
bone reconstruction.
And then obviously you need physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
So none of this is available, uh, in Gaza. So someone who has a a trauma
injury. As Louis just was referring to her colleague.
It's really difficult to get the proper care.
And that's why we need these people to be evacuated and receive the care elsewhere.
people will lose lives. They will lose their capacity to live normally.
They will lose their limbs.
Thank you, Tarek. Uh, I think that's answered John's question.
Adachi, are you with us?
Can you hear me?
Yes, I can Go ahead.
Thank you very much for doing this. Um,
there are reports of increased looting and gangs or criminal activities in Gaza.
So could you talk about this issue and
have you talk about the this problem with Palestinian civil forces?
Thank you.
On the looting What I can tell you is yes, this is increasing.
and this is in direct correlation to there being lack of food supplies, um,
and lack of everything.
Like I said, it's been eight months of war. People really don't have anything.
Um, not only do they not have anything, they don't have any money.
There is no money here because it's not being printed. It's not being distributed.
We go to our health clinics
and the colleagues tell us they haven't received a salary for the entire
duration of the war because there's nowhere to physically get the money.
This is causing desperation. It's causing panic.
Entering the Gaza Strip yesterday, You know,
we saw this firsthand very different from when I entered a few weeks ago,
where the situation was somewhat more stable in Rafah before the incursion.
You know, we entered through the border crossing at the end of it.
Everything was was quite calm. Now it's a very different situation.
There are hundreds of people waiting for the trucks to enter.
they're desperate. People are desperate. These are very desperate times.
People need everything and when very little trucks
and very little amount of aid comes through.
Of course, there's going to be a huge rush from the
to go and get it.
So that is the situation that we're facing now.
And the only answer to that is to provide more aid to provide more food,
to provide more medicine, everything that people need.
If it comes through. This will prevent this situation from happening.
But right now, yes,
it's it's It's a very dangerous and a very lawless situation on
the ground because of the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.
Thank you, Louise,
for sharing your experiences of arriving yesterday through cams
Uh, no follow ups there. Nick Cumming, Booth, New York Times.
Yeah. Thank you. It's it's really a question for Tarik here. Um
uh, I'm trying to figure out where is this discussion on medical evacuations?
I mean, at one point, there were 2000 people waiting to be evacuated.
The number has been creeping up progressively
with the duration of the war. We had briefings from Peter
Cohen in in recent weeks talking about the need for evacuation,
and the discussions were taking place.
Where are these discussions? And we we kind of lost sight of where they are.
Um, why is there no progress? Where are they stuck at what level are they stuck?
Thank you.
Thanks. Uh uh. Thanks, Nick. Uh, well, look,
my understanding that that we need Really, Uh uh,
It's a complex process. We need, uh we need, uh to to get approval. Uh
uh uh from, uh uh, uh uh From from Israeli side, we need, uh uh, uh, approval from, uh,
from Ministry of Health.
There are There are lists of approved.
OK, we need also to find a place where these people, uh, will go.
So now, since the since the border crossing is being closed, it's very difficult,
even logistically,
to get, uh, to get people out. And we also need all all these approvals.
Uh, I will I will check with the with the with the with the doctor Pieper.
Korn, Uh, and see where we are with that, Uh uh uh.
But, uh, but obviously there hasn't been any, uh, any applications, as I have said,
uh, since, uh,
since early
May. And, uh, and that's that that needs that needs to change.
Uh, I'm sure that our colleagues, uh uh, doctor
por and his team are doing their best to to get, uh, to get these, uh, approvals.
But if you don't really have a logistical, uh, uh, possibility to move through, uh,
through that.
it said that it is complicated, obviously.
Thank you, Tare.
John, you have a follow up?
Yes. Uh, good morning, Terry. I'd be grateful if you could give us at least the
estimates that the WHO, uh, health cluster in emergencies
the OPT. Has on the amputations. Whatever estimates you have
if you can share with us and also
the people who were suffering from amputations before the conflict started,
I think was about 1700 from earlier conflicts.
If their, um uh, support and physiotherapy has also ceased because of the conflict.
Thank you.
Uh, thanks. Uh, thanks, John. As I said, we don't really have estimates.
Now, uh, you have heard this from Dr Peppercorn
as well. Uh uh.
Surely we will try to to to get, uh, uh, uh some numbers and we'll come back to you just,
uh, to because you asked the question
on the on the, uh, on the malnutrition.
So currently there are four
stabilisation centres treating malnourished Children
uh, in Gaza and
Kunis. And, uh, these are mad global. Uh,
Kamal Adwan
Hospital I MC Field Hospital and Mac Global
and Patient Friends Hospital and the MS F,
Spain in NASA Hospital.
I don't really have
have an exact number of Children that are being treated right now.
Uh uh uh uh in these in these centres but many
Children have been cut from the treatment for moderate and severe malnutrition
in Southern Gaza and colleagues in UNICEF may may give more on that.
Thank you, Tare.
I see no further questions online, but, uh, Robin from a FP has a follow up
question for Tare
about Dr Tedros
visit to visit to Cyprus.
Will he be travelling further in the in the Middle East region? Will he be,
for example, going to visit the Rafa
If you could just tell us a bit more about his programme. Thank you.
Hi, Robin I.
I don't really have information about the programme of, uh of travels of doctor
tas right now.
Ok, I think that brings to an end this segment. I like to thank Louise water
who joined us live from
Rafa not from
Rafa. Excuse me from central Gaza,
And also Tarek for joining us today. And thanks for your questions.
So now we're going to move on to the
climate and climate shocks the field of Andrew Harper,
who is the
UNHCR refugee agency
special adviser on climate action.
But first, I'll give opening remarks to Olga from the agency, too.
No, just very briefly. I mean, we we are bringing today with us. Uh, Andrew Harper.
He's, uh, as as Daniel was saying, a unit chair, Special adviser on climate change.
He just visited,
uh, Brazil and, uh,
met with communities that have been impacted by the latest floods.
So yeah, over to Andrew.
Thanks, Olga And, um Thanks, Daniel, uh, for the opportunity.
And firstly, I'd just like to express solidarity with our with our colleagues in,
um in ura.
Like what was, uh described then was just horrific.
but again, it also just reflects, um,
like a a growing
ignorance of of, of what is going and what what humanitarian values mean?
Um, as Olga just mentioned, I've just come, um, come back from, um, from Brazil. Um,
we're seeing, uh,
obviously the the the latest iteration of
the climate impacts on those populations,
which are particularly vulnerable.
just as I was preparing for the briefing here, um,
we then get more information in terms of what's happening in East, uh,
East Africa. Uh, what's happening in Bangladesh? What's happening in South Asia?
Uh, what's basically happening in almost every part of the world
what I wanted to do was just again emphasise that, uh,
while we've got the impacts of climate
um, affecting every part of the world and every element of society,
it's those people who are particularly vulnerable, who often lack the
capacity who lack the resources, who lack the assets to, um
to resist.
And this is something which we which we need to take, uh, very much into account.
Um, the other thing, which, which was quite
obvious when I was in, um
uh, Rio Grande Sol in in Brazil
was that when I spoke to one of the meteorologists there, he said that, um,
all the worst case scenarios which have
currently been modelled need to be reworked,
Uh, because they
they don't currently reflect reality.
when you have records after records being broken
there is just no scenarios which are can basically,
um, fully anticipate what the world will be going through in the future.
And so this is particularly challenging for an agency like UN HCR where we
have millions upon millions of people delivering
on living on the peripheries of societies
who are so reliant on,
um, external support.
And so
the engagement of UN HCR, um, in times of worsening climate, um,
challenges is something which is becoming more
and more evident and something which was,
um, seen very much a rear grand of soul.
one thing which, uh, again is particularly important to be noting is that
just the, uh, support from host communities,
uh, whether it be in Brazil whether it be in Bangladesh, whether it be in Kenya,
uh, whether it be in Chad
needs to be reinforced because these populations are also being impacted.
Uh, just over the last, um,
you look, if we look at Rio Grande Sol,
they experienced the worst,
um, storms, um, in living memory.
But at the same time, Brazil's also being impacted by
cyclones. It's being impacted by fires in the pan tunnel.
Um, it's being impacted by drought.
We spoke to the federal government in um in Brasilia,
and they were saying that they were very concerned that
this could be the worst drought in Brazil's history.
the impact on the Amazon is basically unmeasurable because we've never
actually seen the potential collapse of such a huge ecosystem.
And what will be the impact on on other areas?
one example in terms of, um,
the refugees who have been displaced in Port Allegra was that,
uh, I spoke to a woman who
who lost her home,
her she'd been forced to the to escape death by
climbing to the top of the roof of of her shanty.
Basically, it was just a a wooden building which was almost near collapse.
And she was telling her Children
that they were going to live and the Children were saying, We're going to die.
We're going to die.
Um, one of the their pets pets drowned while they were waiting for help.
She was on that
rooftop for two nights waiting for rescue.
And this is almost just epitomises what many refugees are facing around the world.
Uh, they don't know what's going to happen.
Um, they're not receiving the help that's required,
and the situation is just going to deteriorate even even further.
when we when we also again Brazil was an example.
But we're seeing this a again across Afghanistan, Bangladesh, East Africa.
Um, we were also launching an appeal just today,
uh, because
all evidence suggests that the situation in
East Africa is going to deteriorate further.
Uh, we're asking for $40 million but again, that's just touches the, uh
the very
like just the just. It's almost just the facade of what is required.
Uh, just to give you an example, There's,
um What I think is about 9.4 million Sudanese who have been displaced,
uh, six or 700,000 people have gone to Chad.
And for those people who know about, uh, climate terminology,
uh, Chad is rated probably the most, uh, climate vulnerable country in the world,
and it's accepted 6 to 700,000 people
And how much funding has it received in support of that? 10%
like it's just embarrassing
that we're asking countries to continue to open their doors,
uh, provide the protection
and the international community who's doing so much in order to, uh,
look after itself, but not look after the countries that are most in need.
So we've got this, uh, going out in the F, uh, $40 million appeal.
Um, there's also a fund which UN HCR has has established a
a climate resilience fund.
Um, which we're looking for $100 million. Again. This is to
try and provide
support for shelter. Um, provide support,
support for water.
just build the resilience of those communities who are who are being most impacted.
Uh, again,
we're also very much trying to ensure that we've got the funds to keep the field,
to keep our staff in the field who are very much
on the front lines of the climate emergency who are who are
and and from what I saw
in Brazil or W what I see in in Kenya or Somalia or,
uh, elsewhere. Um, they're doing
the impossible with very little.
And it's again, it's not just you and HCR.
It's also our sister agencies who are just struggling to deal with
increasing demands.
Uh, increasing needs, Um, when the the financial resources being reduced.
And if you just look at the recent
figures there's basically one displacement occurring per second.
Uh, it's not just due to conflict, but it's due to, um,
climate change due due to the disasters.
And so just during this one hour panel,
we're almost looking at 3 3600 people being displaced.
And so do we expect the money to, um
to come and commensurate sides. No,
but we have to just try and make keep doing
whatever we we possibly can to provide that protection.
Um, I'll leave it basically at that to, uh to any questions that that you may have. Um,
just that it's nice having early warning. Unless there's early action,
we know floods are gonna be hitting south Sudan.
We know floods are gonna be hitting Sudan.
We know that Chad will continue to receive more people.
Um, but it's very, very difficult to do what is required.
Um, at a time when resources are so limited.
Thank you.
Thanks ever so much.
I saw a fleeting question online, but it seems to have disappeared now
unless I'll just hang on for five seconds in case there is a question.
Yes, You're back. Uh, Yang
Jiang from
Can you hear us? If If so, please ask your question.
Yes, I can hear you.
Uh, my questions go to WMO.
First is, uh could could the WMO comment on this year's extreme weather events,
especially saying this summer across the world.
uh, what are the primary factors contributing to this fact to this weather events?
Uh, is El Nino still in in play?
The the third is how does WMO, uh,
evaluate the role of climate change in this in in the intensity and the
frequency of these extreme weather events? Thanks.
That sounded quite a technical one.
But listen, uh, Andrew Harper, uh, will give it his best shot. I'm sure.
just like in the the the main focus, which I got there was, um Is El Nino still in play?
No. There's been a transition to, uh, Nina.
Um, I think 11 of the major challenges have been that
generally there there is a bit more of a transition period.
But again, I'm not a meteorologist, so I'm just reiterating What, uh,
what I've been told,
Um, and that is the, um, that there's been quite a sharp, um,
transfer transition between, uh, la Nina.
Sorry. Between El Nino and La Nina,
um, which we would then expect.
Um, from the modelling will lead to additional floods in those areas. Um,
in particularly in, um, in East Africa and something which was mentioned to me, um,
again by colleagues just last night
was that
the numbers of people who are food insecure
South Sudan. Sorry. In Sudan, at the moment, it's 25 million people.
And this is, um, like if people again know the food security side,
it's It's I PC three plus, which then means that, um,
they're they're very food insecure,
potentially sort of moving towards famine type situation
in a at in a time
when we're expecting increased flooding.
So again, the, uh, the warnings there, um,
early warning, mid warning, late warning, whatever you want.
But the the funding is not necessary there to,
um, avoid deterioration in the, um in the food security.
what was the other question?
Because I missed it because I thought it was
I'm sorry I didn't catch it myself.
How would I evaluate the role? I didn't hear the rest. I'm sorry.
The final question is How does the human
evaluate the role of the climate change in this
frequency and the intensity of these extreme weather events?
Because I see on the email that Claire and nly from WM
is also available for questions.
No, I'm afraid Claire is away.
She's not available to connect, but she will be back next week. I believe
talk on behalf of WMO.
Um, but we do know, for instance, that, um WM OS reported that the
floods in, um, Southern Brazil were were twice as likely due to climate change. So
there's lots of different figures in relation that, um,
the the multiplier effect of human um um, emissions have caused to, um,
to global warming.
whether it's two
times two or times 10 or whatever,
uh, what we have to see is that there will be,
um, not just a lineal change,
that it's quite possibly there will be tipping points which will be crossed,
uh, which we need to take into a very, very much into account. And
if I dare also move into areas which is sort of may not necessarily be
front and centre on climate change is that.
We've also got to look at the other issues, too.
Uh, biodiversity loss. Uh, what would be the impacts on, uh, nature,
Uh, on pollution, the triple planetary emergencies.
All these elements come into play
are causing increased vulnerability. Um, and increased
human insecurity.
Many thanks. I hope that's answered your question in part.
And I can certainly pass on your queries to Claire
the W,
if that's agreeable to you.
So I see no further questions for Andrew Harper. Many thanks for coming in.
And good luck on your travels and please come back and see us.
Thank you, Olga.
OK, so we are going to wrap this up.
I have a few announcements,
including the fact that the UN chief UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
is going to be giving
the sustainable goals report 2024. Launch a
grade card today.
So he's going to be telling us how successful or not we are
six years from the 2030 deadline to achieve the sustainable development goals.
We have a report for you. You can have under embargo.
You may have received it. If not, please get in touch.
It's embargo till
another hour I believe
so. He'll be joined by Lee,
who's the UN under secretary general for economic and social affairs. Steffan
fest director of the statistics division
from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Yong Yi min, who's the chief of the SDG monitoring unit.
And so that information is going to be available for you
and important, the
SDGs. We do talk about them, the sustainable development goals.
Why are they important?
every country signed up to them in 2015 and we do need to
achieve them if we are going to leave nobody behind from things like climate
action, food and security
and health issues which we've heard plenty about this morning.
I encourage you to read that report press announcements for next week. We have a
WIPO conference
on intellectual property innovation trends in the development of generative A I.
The report
which this press conference will be revealing
on Monday at three,
hosted by
WIPO, not by us. It will be under embargo until Wednesday At 10,
the director General Darren Tang will be speaking as
well as the Patent Analytics manager Christopher Harrison.
So that's about a I at
which you can join online next Monday.
There will also be next Thursday virtual conference with the UN refugee agency,
the UN migration agency I
MC on the launch of risks faced by refugees and migrants
on the central Mediterranean route. And the tagline quote for this is
which sadly we've heard before is on this journey. Nobody cares if you live or die.
More details on that from the
and that report again is embargoed until next Friday.
So day after at 1030 giving you plenty of time to listen to Vincent
Cosel, who is the special envoy for Western and central Mediterranean,
and Lawrence Hart from IOM
and Bram Fro
from the Mixed Migration Centre.
So three excellent speakers to listen to the
very last one before lunchtime. Early lunch
is an update on the Human Rights Council
continuing its third week of this 56th regular session.
There are reports next week on
If I'm Not Mistaken, Belarus on Syria and among others.
The work continues on Monday morning.
The Human Rights Committee will open next Monday at 10
with a review of several countries, including Croatia, Malta,
Honduras, Maldives, Suriname,
and India. So those details will be available from the
OHCHR website, or indeed from Web TV because it will be Webcast.
The date of the next plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament,
I'm told, will be announced at a later stage. The presidency is still with Ireland.
That is pretty much all I have for you this morning.
If there are any questions, I'd be very happy to try to answer them.
I see none.
And so I'm going to wish you a very pleasant weekend
and, um,
stay safe and stay with your loved ones, if you can. Bye.