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PRESS BRIEFING BY THE UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION SERVICE

Bi-Weekly Briefing

Alessandra Vellucci, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, chaired the hybrid briefing which was attended by the spokespersons of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Repatriation of Syrian refugees from Lebanon

Responding to a question from a journalist, Shabia Mantoo, for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), reiterated the UNHCR principle that every refugee return had to be voluntary. Syrian refugees across the region were telling UNHCR that they remained concerned about a variety of factors related to repatriation, including instability in Syria and ability to provide for their livelihoods.

Monkeypox

Fadéla Chaib, for the World Health Organization (WHO), replying to questions, confirmed that the WHO was working on renaming the monkeypox disease. Everyone was welcome to propose a new name through an open consultation via an online platform. The goal was to find a name which would not be stigmatizing, cause offense, or expose any human or animal group to danger. For the time being, the focus was on monkeypox, not other diseases.

Announcements

Alessandra Vellucci, for the United Nations Information Service, informed that the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was concluding this morning the review of the report of Azerbaijan. This afternoon, it would begin consideration of the report of Slovakia.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had opened its 27th session on 15 August and would begin the review of the report of China on 17 August.

The Conference on Disarmament, still under the presidency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was having this morning a public plenary meeting.

Regarding the World Humanitarian Day on 19 August, Jens Laerke, for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that there could be interview opportunities. Ms. Vellucci added that the event at the Palais des Nations would be held in Room XX and would be webcast at UNTV.

Fadéla Chaib, for the World Health Organization (WHO), informed about a webinar with Dr. Janet Diaz, WHO's Lead for COVID-19 Clinical Management Response, and other experts. The webinar, which would look into the post-COVID-19 conditions in children, would be held on 17 August from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.

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