Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

Preview Language:   English
09-Nov-2018 00:20:19
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Today, the Secretary-General is announcing the appointment of Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico as his Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit.

Mr. de Alba will provide leadership, guidance and strategic direction towards the Climate Summit in 2019. He will be responsible for cooperation with key strategic climate change leaders, including governments and coalitions, to galvanize climate action and leadership for the Summit.

The Summit focuses on building momentum for enhancing national ambition and accelerating implementation of climate action, towards 2020 and beyond as set out in the Paris Agreement. The Summit will bring together Heads of State and Government, business leaders, academics and scientists, young people, civil society representatives, local leaders and the UN system.

Mr. de Alba will work closely with Robert Orr, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Change; with Peter Thomson, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Ocean; with Michael Bloomberg, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Climate Action; and other senior officials across the United Nations System.

The Secretary-General spoke this morning at the Security Council’s open meeting on multilateralism.

In his remarks, he said that it took World War II to trigger the multilateral arrangements we know today, which have had a proven track record in saving lives, generating economic and social progress and avoiding a third descent into world war.

But the Secretary-General noted that there is anxiety, uncertainty and unpredictability across the world, stressing that we need to inspire a return to international cooperation.

Toward that end, he said, we need stronger commitment to a rules-based order, with the United Nations at its centre, with the different institutions and treaties that bring the Charter to life.

The Secretary-General also emphasized the need for cooperation with other international and regional organizations, as well as closer links with civil society and others.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is extremely concerned about the recent intensification of conflict in Yemen’s Hodeidah governorate and its impact on the civilian population as well as on humanitarian aid operations. In October alone, 94 civilians were killed and 95 injured in Hodeidah governorate. There is also damage to civilian infrastructure, including health facilities and houses.

While the number of those remaining in Hodeidah City is difficult to gauge, UNHCR is worried that people needing to flee for safety are unable to do so, trapped by military operations, which are increasingly confining populations and cutting off exit routes.

UNHCR is urgently appealing to parties to the conflict to protect civilians and humanitarian personnel; and to secure humanitarian relief items stored in Hodeidah.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling up dramatically to meet increasing need in Yemen – from 7-8 million people per month to almost 14 million people per month. Most of that increased assistance is with food, but WFP is also using cash-based transfers where it is possible.

Regarding Special Envoy Martin Griffiths’ diplomatic efforts, I would like to clarify that the efforts to re-launch the political process are proceeding as planned. We are in constant consultation with the parties to finalize the arrangements for holding the talks. We are committed to convening the talks as soon as those arrangements are finalized.

The United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent teams completed the delivery of life-saving assistance for 50,000 people in need at the Rukban camp near the Syrian-Jordanian border.

The United Nations would like to thank all partners and other actors, particularly those on the ground, who extended support to our colleagues and were instrumental in its success.

We continue to call on all parties to ensure safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need, in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Yesterday, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, briefed the Security Council on the “fragile but palpable” improvements in Tripoli’s security situation and outlined efforts to support the Libyan authorities in tackling terrorism, overcoming the political stalemate and ending the plunder of the country’s wealth.

Mr. Salamé urged Member States to support efforts to combat foreign terrorist fighters in the south.
The Special Representative also called for a Libyan-led, Libyan-owned National Conference in the first weeks of 2019, with a subsequent electoral process to follow in the spring.

Today, UN Police wrapped up the 13th United Nations Police Week Conference. Since Monday, Heads of Police Components in United Nations Peacekeeping and Special Political Missions gathered to discuss strategic police priorities and operational requirements for approximately 11,000 officers from 88 contributing countries. They highlighted progress in fulfilling the implementation of the commitments in the joint declaration on Action for Peacekeeping.

The Police Chiefs also briefed the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the Security Council on community-oriented policing in Abyei, safety and security in Mali and in the Central African Republic, gender-responsive policing in South Sudan, preventing and addressing organized crime in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and strengthening rule of law in Haiti.

UN Police Adviser Luís Carrilho and Heads of Police Components also called for increased deployment of women police officers in order to improve confidence-building measures with local populations and strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of UN Police operations.

UN Police Week featured other events, such as a photo exhibit highlighting the work of United Nations police in the field, which you may visit at the Conference Building at the Curve Wall in front of the East Lounge.
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