18 October 2017 – Speaking to the press at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, Secretary-General António Guterres announced that he will be travelling to the Central African Republic early next week.
The Secretary-General will be spending United Nations Day with the Organization's Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country, known by its French acronym, MINUSCA, to pay tribute to the work of peacekeepers around the world who show tremendous courage in volatile environments.
The trip, Mr. Guterres added will also draw attention to fragile situation in the country “that is often far from the media spotlight.”
Across the Central African Republic (CAR) there has been a recent increase in communal tensions leading to violence and a deterioration in the humanitarian situation.
Mr. Guterres stressed that more than 600,000 people have been displaced, and the number of refugees in neighbouring countries has surpassed 500,000. Humanitarian workers and UN peacekeepers have also come under attack and this year alone, 12 relief workers and an equal number of peacekeepers lost their lives in hostile acts.
The Secretary-General also told reporters that during the visit, he aims to give impetus to the new UN approach to addressing and preventing sexual exploitation and abuse.
“We know that the good work and tremendous sacrifice of peacekeepers around the world has been tarnished by the appalling acts of some UN personnel who have harmed the people they were meant to serve,” he said.