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UN Geneva Press Briefing

Alessandra Vellucci, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, chaired the hybrid briefing, which was attended by spokespersons of the United Nations Development Programme and the World Health Organization.


Sarah Bel, for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), informed that on 6 February at 2:30 p.m., there would be a hybrid press conference to launch new UNDP report on violent extremism in Sub-Saharan Africa and Arab States - Journey to and from Extremism: Pathways to Recruitment and Disengagement. Speakers would be Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, and Nirina Kiplagat, main author and Regional Peacebuilding Advisor. The report, the most extensive research on this topic, with some 2,200 interviewees, would be under embargo until 7 February at 6 a.m.. One-on-one interviews with the authors could be organized. Ms. Bel explained that the reported focused on eight countries: Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Chad, Burkina Faso, and Cameroon, in which most incidents of violent extremism were taking place. The report concluded with policy recommendations for countries under threat. A key message was that the money going into prevention was a tiny fraction of overall sums spent to tackle the phenomenon.

Alessandra Vellucci, speaking on behalf of the Human Rights Council (HRC), said that the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was currently reviewing the report of Japan, which was being webcast live. UPR would then review the report of Sri Lanka on 1 February.

Ms. Vellucci, for the United Nations Information Service (UNIS), stated that the Committee on the Rights of the Child would have a meeting with States Parties on 2 February at 3 p.m.. The Committee would then close its session the following day, 3 February, after at 5 p.m..

The Conference on Disarmament was holding this morning a public plenary meeting, still under the presidency of Egypt.

Ms. Vellucci reminded that 1 February would mark the second anniversary of the coup in Myanmar. On that occasion, the statement by the Spokesman of the Secretary-General had been shared with the media. UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Thomas Andrews would hold a press conference today at 8 pm Geneva time, which could be followed at

Finally, Ms. Vellucci informed about the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) High-Level Financing Conference event in Geneva on 16-17 February, which would be hosted by ECW and Switzerland and co-convened with Colombia, Germany, Niger, Norway, and South Sudan. A curtain-raised press conference was foreseen at the Palais des Nations. More information is available here.

Responding to questions, Tarik Jašarević, for the World Health Organization (WHO), said that the IHR Emergency Committee had advised the Director-General that COVID-19 still represented an emergency of international concern. The Director-General had concurred with this recommendation and urged countries to continue with a measured approach to address the pandemic. Numbers around the world had been on the rise again, stressed Mr. Jašarević.

Ms. Vellucci shared the sad news of the untimely passing of a dear UN Geneva colleague, Olga Cheremisina, at the age of 38. Ms. Cheremisina had worked at UNIS for several months and would be fondly remembered by all.