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Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

The following is a near‑verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary‑General.

**South Sudan

The Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, Ellen Margrethe Løj, has informed the Secretary‑General that she will be stepping down from her role at the end of November, after over two years at the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan.  Ms. Løj was appointed by the Secretary‑General in July 2014 and assumed her duties in Juba in September of that year.  She had planned to retire at the end of her current contract, which expired at the end of August of this year, but chose to remain at the helm of the Mission in the wake of the July crisis and until the situation could stabilize.  She will continue to lead the Mission until the end of November.

The Secretary‑General is deeply appreciative of her lifetime of service to further the cause of peace and development, especially during her distinguished career with UN Peacekeeping having headed both the UN Mission in South Sudan and the Mission in Liberia from 2008 to 2012.  He is particularly thankful to SRSG Løj for her dedication, commitment and important contributions at the helm of UNMISS during extremely challenging times.

**Board of Inquiry

I also have a statement on the Syria Board of Inquiry.  As earlier announced, the Secretary‑General has established an internal and independent UN Headquarters Board of Inquiry into the incident that involved a United Nations — Syrian Arab Red Crescent relief operation in Urum al‑Kubra (Big Orem), Syria, on 19 September 2016.  The Board will be led by Lieutenant General Abhijit Guha and will begin its work on the week of 24 October of this year.  It is to ascertain the facts of the incident and report to the Secretary‑General upon the completion of the work.  The Secretary‑General will review the report and decide what further steps to take.  He urges all parties concerned to extend their full cooperation with this Board of Inquiry.


And also on Syria, our humanitarian colleagues inform us that medical evacuations of sick and injured people could not begin this morning in eastern Aleppo as planned, because the necessary conditions were not in place to ensure safe, secure and voluntary evacuation of the sick and critically wounded people and their families.  The UN humanitarian partners are present in Aleppo and ready to carry out medical evacuations as soon as conditions allow.  We reiterate that the UN is not involved in any way in any of the proposed evacuation of other civilians from eastern Aleppo.  Also, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, condemned the killing of four Palestine refugees on the night of 18 October as they attempted to leave the Khan Eshieh Palestine refugee camp, south of Damascus.


And the Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has welcomed the start of the cessation of hostilities that began on 19 October, and he urges all parties to work to ensure that the terms are fully respected.  He notes that the Cessation of Hostilities is fragile but largely holding and underscores the improvement of the general security situation in Sana'a and several areas in Yemen, despite reported cases of violations in other areas like Taiz and the borders with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The Special Envoy urges the sides to show restraint, avoid further escalation, and strictly follow the 72‑hour ceasefire.  He also is liaising with the parties to agree on an extension of the duration of the Cessation of Hostilities to create a conducive environment for a long lasting peace in the country.  He reminds all parties that the terms and conditions of the cessation of hostilities include commitments for the unhindered access for humanitarian supplies and personnel to all parts of Yemen.

**Central African Republic

The Deputy Secretary‑General, Jan Eliasson, this morning briefed Member States and key partners ahead of the Donors Conference on the Central African Republic which will take place on 17 November in the Belgian capital, Brussels.  He noted that the country had just emerged from one of the worst crises of its history and can now focus on stabilization, reconciliation and reconstruction, while addressing the root causes of the conflict.  He says the international community has invested a lot to get out of there but the task ahead remains daunting.  

Along with the Government of the Central African and its partners, the Deputy Secretary‑General said that the UN has assessed the needs for recovery and peace consolidation to produce a National Recovery Plan, which will be presented in Brussels and be the basis to raise funds.  He also called on the international community to support the Plan.  He said the country is at a turning point, the risk of conflict is high, but the chances of success are very real if we collectively invest in peace and address the root consequences of the conflict, he said.  The remarks are available in my office.


And the […] High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein today called for the protection of civilians to be at the forefront of military planning as the Iraqi Government and associated forces attempt to re‑take Mosul.  He said he was worried about reports that fighters from Da’esh are using civilians as human shields.  The High Commissioner also stressed that the security screening of civilians leaving areas controlled by Da’esh to ensure they are not Da’esh fighters should be carried out only by lawful authorities such as the Iraqi Security Forces and the Iraqi police.

And also on Iraq, our colleagues at OCHA say that the total number of people displaced by the Mosul fighting stands at 4,140.  Since yesterday's briefing, 550 displaced families returned home as villages around Mosul have been secured.  In the early stages of a conflict it’s to be expected that these number will fluctuate with the humanitarian situation remaining fluid, our colleagues on the ground are monitoring closely.

They are providing assistance to families displaced by the fighting, and are conducting assessments and providing assistance in recaptured areas where security conditions allow.  Reports of Da’esh preventing civilians from leaving Mosul are extremely worrying, as are continued reports of violence against the civilian population inside the city.


And from Haiti, we can report that today a convoy of over a dozen trucks with shelter and non‑food items is being sent to Les Cayes and Jérémie while distributions are ongoing in multiple locations around the four most impacted departments.  OCHA notes that 590,000 children are reported to be in need of various types of assistance in four departments in Grand'Anse, South, Nippes, and the northwest.  Many people including children have lost their birth certificates, preventing access to basic services including education.  Addressing this is a priority for protection partners.

Meanwhile, the Peacekeeping Mission continues to support the response to the hurricane.  They are facilitating access and security by clearing roads, providing escorts and security for convoys and aid distribution.  Yesterday, a UN mobile military hospital was deployed to Beaumont, south of Jérémie, to provide further assistance.


And yesterday, also on Haiti, the Secretary‑General met with the Prime Minister of Haiti and the Foreign Minister of Venezuela to discuss the urgent need to ramp up humanitarian aid to Haiti in the aftermath of the hurricane.  The Secretary‑General recalled the heart‑breaking scenes of utter devastation he had witnessed in his visit to Haiti and his address to the General Assembly on the need to summon more support for the Haitian Government.

The Secretary‑General and the Foreign Minister of Venezuela then discussed Venezuela's aid to Haiti and the initiative of President Nicolas Maduro to bolster a support package for Haiti.  They also discussed the forthcoming elections in Haiti.  The Secretary‑General underscored the importance of fair and democratic elections for a return to constitutional order.

**Democratic Republic of the Congo

I want to flag that from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, our human rights colleagues today issued a report on the preliminary investigation into human rights violations and violence perpetrated during demonstrations in Kinshasa last month.  The report finds that Congolese police, armed forces and the Republican Guard used excessive —— including lethal —— force during the demonstrations, when at least 53 people were killed over two days, 143 injured and more than 299 unlawfully arrested.  The preliminary investigation documented 422 victims of human rights violations, including violations of the right to life, physical integrity, the liberty and security of the person, peaceful assembly and expression.  The figures do not reflect the full extent of the violations, as the UN teams were denied access to the official records of a number of key locations.  The Special Representative for the DRC, Maman Sidikou, urged Congolese authorities to conduct prompt and credible investigations into the violations documented by the report.

**Joint Investigative Mechanism

And a number of you have been asking about the latest JIM report, the OPCW‑UN Joint Investigative Mechanism dealing with Syria, is in the process of submitting its fourth report to the Security Council through the Secretary‑General.  The Security Council should receive it sometime this afternoon and is expected to consider it on 27 October.  The report provides assessments and conclusions on the three pending cases, namely Kafr Zita, Qmenas and Binnish.  It also includes overall comments regarding the assessment of the nine cases the Mechanism had to deal with.

**Wonder Woman

And just a few minutes ago, as you will have seen, the UN designated the character of Wonder Woman as an Honorary Ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls as part of a new campaign to raise awareness of Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality.  Speaking at the ceremony, the head of DPI, Cristina Gallach emphasized that while we have achieved progress towards gender equality, in many parts of the world, women and girls continue to suffer from discrimination and violence.  She noted that many girls are still denied access to schooling and that equal pay remains an elusive dream for numerous women.  She also stressed that the achievement of every single Sustainable Development Goal is totally dependent on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

** South Africa

And I know a number of you had asked me about a letter we would have received from South Africa concerning their withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.  I can confirm that the letter has been received and is being processed by the Department of Legal Affairs.  And I would say that the Secretary‑General does regret the decision of the Government of South Africa.  Over the past two decades, the world has made enormous strides towards the development of a global system of international criminal justice, with the ICC as its core.  And the Secretary‑General recalls the significant role played by South Africa in the establishment of the Rome Statutes and the ICC, with in fact, South Africa being one of the first countries to sign on to the Rome Statutes

**Press Conferences

Once we are done here, there will be a briefing by the Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights, Mr. Ben Emmerson.  And at 3 p.m. on Monday, in addition to the briefing, there will be the Special Rapporteur François Crepeau and the Chair of the Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW), José S. Brillantes, who will speak to you after they speak to the Third Committee of the United Nations.

**Questions and Answers

Question:  One question is about the Ambassador Churkin yesterday picked out by name the Secretary‑General, accusing him of being biased regarding the situation in Aleppo and in Syria as a whole.  Beside other UN officials, I wonder whether you have anything to say on that.  And my other question is that the Secretary‑General also is traveling to Morocco for the... to Marrakesh.  Is he going to conduct any bilateral meeting with the Moroccan officials?  And what is still barring the visit of Mr. Christopher Ross to the region?  Thank you. 

Spokesman:  That's one question? 

Correspondent:  Two. 

Spokesman:  Taking it, I think, in the order you asked.  The Secretary‑General gave the assessment on Syria that he believes in.  I don't think he has ever been shy about denouncing the activities of terrorists and extremist groups in Syria, and I think he's always been very clear on it.  The General Assembly meeting was an opportunity also for him and senior officials to hear the opinion of Member States, and he did that.  Your second question, remind me, give me a headline.  Oh, Morocco.  As I said here, I think the fact that the Secretary‑General will attend the COP22 is not a secret, though we haven't officially announced it.  As for any bilateral visit, when we have something to announce, we will.  Your third question?

Question:  Christopher Ross.

Spokesman:  Oh, Christopher Ross.  No, there's no update on Mr. Ross.  As you know, the head of DPKO is also, is in the region, going to Laayoune and other, and other places, as well as Tindouf and other places in Western Sahara, to work on the issues related to the Mission itself.  Mr. Lee? 

Question:  I wanted to ask you about the protest that took place in the ECOSOC Chamber.  UN staff members were told they couldn't bring signs in.  They stood up in the back.  I'm told the photographers in a front booth were told that they couldn't be there, their presence was questioned.  And a staff member has just e‑mailed me and said on the UN webcast, it showed up as a closed meeting even though DC Comics is broadcasting it.  So I wanted to… 

Spokesman:  First of all, the meeting was completely open.  I mean, I watched it on the webcast.  I watched the full proceeding, so…

Question:  Okay.  So my question is:  Given that Ms. Gallach didn't address the people standing in the back with their backs turned toward her and their fists in the air, what… when did this process of choosing a cartoon character as the empowerment ambassador begin?  Who proposed it?  Who made the decision?  What consultations were… were held with staff about the event? 

Spokesman:  I think, Ms. Gallach, I think, addressed, let me… Let me finish.  Well, you were welcome to come and…

Question:  Well, no, you said it was deep background.  Go ahead. 

Spokesman:  Okay.  I think Ms. Gallach addressed some of the concerns that people had in her speech.  I would, you know, I would encourage people to listen to what, to what she said.  I don't think she could, I could say, it with any more passion.  I think it is clear, first of all, the consultations on this were had with UN Women and UNICEF, who were involved in this discussion.  And I think it bears, it bears reminding that the UN has a lot of very strong real‑life women who are Goodwill Ambassadors, from Angelina Jolie to Marta, the Brazilian soccer player, to a number of... to Jane Goodall.  We could go on.  There's a list.  All of them bring something to the table.  All of them appeal to different audiences.  I think no one is saying that this fictional character is to appeal to everyone and is to represent every woman or every man.  It is to appeal to a certain audience, and I think the messages that she brings are very important to that, to that audience.  It's, the character of Wonder Woman is just, just one woman, and I think we are very happy and welcome the fact that others may have a different opinion.  Staff were allowed to protest.  I think, as we say in any country, we support peaceful protests.  Staff were able to protest, whether in the lobby or whether in the event.  But I would encourage people to go back on the webcast, because it is on the webcast, and actually listen to what was said, listen to the messages that were detailed because I think they were very, they were very powerful, and they were very strong.

Question:  She said thank you very much for UN staff for supporting this, when there were dozens of people standing with their backs turned.  So I wanted to ask you:  Was she… or I guess if she's not here, you… were you surprised by this protest, and how did… if you met with UN Women and UNICEF, what mechanism was in place to get a sense from people actually working and doing the day‑to‑day work of the UN…

Spokesman:  Well, I think in my mind, I think UN Women is the UN entity that deals with gender issues.  So I, we have also since this, since we were made aware of other views in the building as expressed by staff, Ms. Gallach has met with gender focal points and other people to explain, and I think people are allowed to have different views. 

Question:  Can I follow that, too?  I want to ask you what kind of a message that this character can send to women in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Middle East, South Africa, when they see this kind of a character with a shirt which has the American flag and almost half naked and appealing to certain segment of the US society and maybe Canada?  How can this character reach out…

Spokesman:  I don't judge women by what they wear.  That's one.  And second…

Correspondent:  But that is to do with culture also.

Spokesman:  And second, second, no one has said that the embodiment of Wonder Woman, the message, is a message that appeals to all audiences.  We are trying to reach every audience.  Look at the bigger picture.  Look at all the women that have spoken on behalf of the UN.  Every, there is a global audience out there.  We welcome dissenting views.

Correspondent:  But this is a precedent.  This is a precedent.  This is a character. 

Spokesman:  I don't, I don't agree with you.  Joe.

Question:  Yeah.  My first question is just to follow up again because you mentioned you received… confirmed you received the letter from South Africa, but as of the last time I asked you, you had not confirmed whether the Secretary‑General, or actually the Deputy Secretary‑General Eliasson, had received the letter from the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding a particular…

Spokesman:  No.  It's, it's on me, and I owe you an answer.

Question:  And I would also like to know what the response is to be.  My other question is:  You mentioned, of course, the attack on the convoy.  I think you said it was 19 September and just now are announcing the formation of this investigatory commission.  Why has it taken so long just to set it up, number one?  And, number two, have the modalities in terms of on‑site investigation of, you know, the Syrian Government allowing the entry of investigators to the site, have these been worked out or do these still have to be negotiated? 

Spokesman:  It's no secret that the UN things do take time.  I'm not going to disagree with that, that point.  The BOI was named because UN property was damaged [inaudible] routinely named in those cases.  Also because there were indications that the convoy may have been, may have been deliberately targeted, which makes this much more important.  Obviously we have briefed the Permanent Mission of Syria.  We will need, we will need their full cooperation.  They have, at this point, said that they would support the work.  We also look forward to the authorities in Syria conducting their own, their own investigation, and the team will start to work on the 24 October.  And we expect the work to take about several weeks.  Yes? 

Question:  Thank you, Stéphane.  Follow up on Wonder Woman.  The issue of her being... sorry, the issue of her being a comic book character aside, she is often a character that is depicted in bondage.  And don't you think… or tied up or restrained.  Don't you think this is the antithesis of female empowerment? 

Spokesman:  You know, I'm not going to run a film critic class here.  I think it's important to look at the art that was, that was put out, look at the movie.  And the messages, again, this is not, they are trying to reach, through this and through a lot of creative projects, trying to reach different audiences, audiences that may not hear about UN goals.  I think, overall, it's clear that she portrays an image of female empowerment, of strength, and of freedom.  Yes? 

Question:  [Inaudible].  I have two questions.  One, does the Secretary‑General have any comment [inaudible] and look to be heading to the Mediterranean?  And, two, not to harp on the Wonder Woman thing, but I saw that Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment are co‑organizers of the event.  They have a movie coming out next summer on Wonder Woman.  Is the Secretary… and also there was a notice of filming on the third floor saying that DC would be filming it and potentially using it in publicity material.  Is the Secretary‑General comfortable with a UN event potentially being used for a promotional material for a movie? 

Spokesman:  You know, in order for the UN to achieve any of the goals that are important to us for sustainable development, we need to partner.  We need to partner with the outside word.  We need to partner with civil society.  We need to partner with the private sector.  We need to partner with entertainment companies when you talk about mass communication.  When you talk about climate, we need to partner with manufacturers and, and energy companies.  I think we go in this eyes wide open.  I think, as I said, this event was fully vetted, and the Secretary‑General fully backs it.  I'll come back to you. 

Question:  Thank you, Stéphane.  A non‑Wonder Woman question.  As… as we speak, there's a major offensive in the city of Kirkuk happening in Iraq.  ISIS launched this surprise offensive against the city last night, killing dozens, and it's still going, it's still happening.  And, you know, being that city, my own hometown, I was just talking to them, it was relatively safe, but this is described by many as a very serious development in Iraq.  Do you have any information from your… additional information about that from the UN, from UNAMI, and any comments? 

Spokesman:  We're obviously, I think, concerned about the, the increased infighting that we've seen, the reports that we've seen around Kirkuk.  All this could add to an already very difficult humanitarian situation.  We're following these as much as we can.  Again, I think, as Lise Grande said, the humanitarian appeal for Iraq is severely underfunded.  In order to meet the needs of the situation on Mosul, we did have to cut back on some other programmes.  So I think this just underscores the need for the international community to support the Government of Iraq and to support the UN in its appeal for more, to fund its programmes.  Edie. 

Question:  Steph, and forgive me if you've answered this previously.  Has the Secretary‑General also received a letter from Burundi and when was that received and what's the status on that? 

Spokesman:  No, it was not.  In fact, I spoke to our colleagues in Legal Affairs less than an hour ago, and it was not in the morning post, the Burundi letter.  So the only one we've received regarding the ICC is from, from South Africa.  Mr. Lee? 

Question:  Sure.  I'm going to ask you about Yemen.  But just as a follow up, when you were talking about the UN needs public partnerships to get its message out, I want to reiterate my request for Ban Ki‑moon's speech that he gave in DC for $100,000 sponsorships…

Spokesman:  I got you.  Yes, in every speech he gives, the Secretary…

Question:  Right.  Can it be made public? 

Spokesman:  What's your next question? 

Question:  Okay.  My question was on Yemen.  You may have seen, there was a report in IRIN, that, to give it full credit, that the Panel of Experts on Yemen has determined that the Saudis targeted the funeral thinking that Ali Saleh was there.  So it was not an accident as they… according to the UN Panel of Experts.  So I guess my question is:  Given the things that have been said, does this now... what does the Secretary‑General or his Envoy believe should take place in terms of investigating an event where UN experts now say that this was an attempted targeted execution?  Doesn't it undermine the ability of the Envoy to talk to these disparate sides if one side is trying to execute the other? 

Spokesman:  You know, in any conflict where there's UN mediation, not every conflict, but in many conflicts, one side is trying to kill the other.  It doesn't mean that the UN has to stop its, its activities, whether it be Yemen or Syria, to put it bluntly.  So, the Special Envoy, who is currently in Saudi Arabia, he will be going to Yemen over the weekend.  He will continue his talks.  Obviously, we would like to see more information and more transparency in terms of what exactly, what exactly happened on the attack on the funeral hall, which I think the Secretary‑General condemned in no uncertain terms.  As for the Panel of Experts, I haven't seen the report.  It may be going to the Security Council.  It may have gone already.

Question:  And on IRIN itself, I'd asked you maybe a couple of days ago about... to look into this Columbia Journalism Review article that begins by saying that the UN ordered its then‑affiliated entities…

Spokesman:  I think if you look… I think if you look at IRIN’s reporting back then, I think they continue to fully report on Syria.  Abdelhamid. 

Question:  Thank you. In fact, Matthew took one of my questions on Yemen, but I have two other questions.  The Human Rights Council this morning was debating a draft resolution to establish a committee to investigate crimes against humanity and war crimes in Aleppo.  Do you have any update on that? 

Spokesman:  No, no.

Question:  If there was a vote or anything? 

Spokesman:  No, I do not.

Question:  And my second question.  Are you aware there is a petition signed by staff against designating Wonder Woman?

Spokesman:  Yes.

Question:  And I received it last night, and it has 560 signatures.  And I'm sure the number is going up.  Would the UN and the Secretary listen, would [he] consider looking into this matter coming from the staff? 

Spokesman:  Well, I think, as I said, we welcome to hear the views, views that may not be in agreement with the project.  As I said, Ms. Gallach has met with gender focal points and others, and we will continue to have a discussion.  So I think there is no, there's a lot of openness in meeting with people who have, who have differing views.  Carla? 

Question:  Thank you, Stéphane.  In all my time here, I have never seen... and certainly UN Women should have an interest in this.  There were very great empowered women in history.  I'm thinking of Madame Curie who won the Nobel Prize for physics twice.  You could think of the writer George Sand who had to dress as a man to get her articles... her books.  There's Cleopatra.  There's, I believe it was Queen Elizabeth, the whole Elizabethan, what was practically a Renaissance.

Spokesman:  Carla, with all due respect, I just need to hear a question.

Question:  The question is:  Why focus on a comic book character when you have role models in history that are phenomenal?  Madame Curie was…

Spokesman:  No one, no one is debating the phenomenal-ness of Marie Curie.  No one.  No one.  I think, and I'm venturing here, I think we like to use, we are using, I think, you know, no one is focusing on Wonder Woman.  The questions are focusing on Wonder Woman which is your, which is your right.  But, again, if you look at the broad array of women Goodwill Ambassadors that are currently serving and speaking on behalf of the UN, whether it's Emma Watson, whether it's Malala, whether it's Angelina Jolie.  We had Wangari Maathai, who did amazing work on behalf of UNEP.  It is a palette of people, of strong, powerful women who come from different countries, different ethnicities, different professional backgrounds, who all bring something to the table in order to push our messages forward.  Yes, sir? 

Question:  I don't believe you answered an earlier one I asked.  What the Secretary‑General thinks of the Russian ships?

Spokesman:  No, no particular comment.  We have no particular information on naval movements.  Yes? 

Question:  Did anyone reach out to Gloria Steinem to see if she was available? 

Spokesman:  I'm not aware.  Mr. Klein.

Correspondent:  I hate to do this, but…

Spokesman:  No, you don't.  No, you don't. 

Question:  I'm going to ask you more of a legal question related to this Wonder Woman issue which is, and I think it was broached earlier, to the extent that Warner Brothers and the distributors, producers, of the movie are going to be allowed to use the UN's logo, trademark, which I know the UN tries to protect, is there, number one, an agreement, a license agreement, allowing that for which there's been any compensation back to the UN or restrictions imposed on how they advertise using the UN logo?  And second, more broadly, is there a concern, at least a perception, that the UN's goodwill is being put up for sale?  I understand your issue about, your statement about partnerships, but doesn't there come a point where the UN's… the symbolism of the UN and its logo is maybe devalued if it becomes commercialized? 

Spokesman:  It's not about the UN logo, and I may be corrected soon after the briefing.  While there was the UN logo on the invitations, the UN logo will not be part of the campaign.  What is important are the messages.  What is important is that those who produce mass entertainment are made aware of the messages contained within the Sustainable Development Goals.  Through our colleagues at DPI, we have worked with writers for different films to try to bring some reality into it.  So it's not about selling the logo.  Nobody is selling anything.  It's about sharing the Goals and sharing the messages that are contained in the Sustainable Development Goals.  The agreement between Warner Brothers, DC Entertainment, and the UN, I'm sure went through all the legal vetting, but it's not about, you know, selling Wonder Woman costumes with the UN logo on it.  That will not happen.  Yes, ma'am? 

Question:  Hi.  So what happens next in this Wonder Woman‑UN campaign relationship?  I mean, is it going to die until the movie comes out in July, or is there another event lined up?  Thanks. 

Spokesman:  I think part of it is to ensure that in the, you know, in the promotion that they do for the movie and the discussions around Wonder Woman that there is talk about gender, gender empowerment, about the messages in the SDGs that will be out in their communications on the film.  And obviously the character, the fictional character, because I am well aware we're talking about a fictional character, may be called upon to speak to different audiences.  Maybe I'll bring her here.

Question:  Oh, here at the UN in the media briefing room?  Will it be made public? 

Spokesman:  I think we are not the right audience.  Yes, Mr. Lee, let me get my chin so you don't get my double chin if you're going to Periscope me.  Go ahead.  No, no.  I don't want to hurt your wrist.  Matthew, ask your question.  Ask your question.  Ask your question.  All right.  Good.  Just ask your question, Matthew. 

Question:  Okay, I'm going to.  First, just to follow up on your announcement about South Sudan, is this in any way related to this Terrain Cammaert Report that's supposed to come out?  It seems like it's an extraordinary time to announce that a person is leaving right before the report on who bears responsibility.  And the second is, will the Secretary‑General, in fact, be picking a new one, or will he delegate that or defer that to the incoming Secretary‑General, given how close it is in time and that it's a major post to be given out? 

Spokesman:  The, the timing, I think you'll have to draw your own conclusions.  As we stressed, her contract had ended over the summer, so she had planned to leave over the summer.  She decided to stay on because of the lack of stability in the country.  On the Cammaert, sorry, what were you asking about the Cammaert? 

Correspondent:  I was saying that…

Spokesman:  The replace... the replacement, excuse me, I don't think the replacement will be chosen right away.  If one is chosen before December 31st, I have no doubt there will be consultations with the Secretary‑General-designate’s office.

Question:  And the other question I wanted to ask you is, in this room before the Wonder Woman situation, unrelated to it or maybe related, David Kaye, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, who, in his report, has included a letter from Cristina Gallach responding to his inquiry about her decision to throw a media out for being in the room.  Her letter says that the media… that the press trespassed in this room.  So I wanted to know what he, he raised concerns about due process.  Given that you've worked in that system, what do you learn from the inquiry from David Kaye and Michel Forst asking about it and the comments made today about, about the UN not…

Question:  I mean, I think it's about you, and I think your case has been adjudicated.

Spokesman:  Abdelhamid.

Question:  Thank you.  Do we expect that more characters be added to this designation, such as Batman or Superman or maybe Tom and Jerry? 

Spokesman:  Next question. 

Question:  I'm sorry, with respect to your point of view that comic book characters are used to further outreach, UNICEF was not allowed to use the United Nations' logo or signage or trademarks, as Joe pointed out, for their UN‑based comics called Comics Uniting Nations, which actually support the SDGs and are based on…

Spokesman:  I don't know.  If UNICEF has a question, they're welcome to ask me.  Have a good day.

For information media. Not an official record.