Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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11-Dec-2018 00:16:02
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General left Marrakech this morning to go to Rabat. There, he had an audience with His Majesty the King of Morocco. The Secretary-General expressed enormous gratitude to His Majesty and the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting the conference for the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration. He also commended the Kingdom for its contributions to UN peace operations and for its continued support to his initiatives on UN reform. They also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest.

The Secretary-General is on his way to Katowice, in Poland, where the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP24, is taking place. As you know, the Conference of Parties is in its second week and has resumed the high-level segment of the conference.

The Secretary-General is scheduled to hold a series of bilateral meetings tomorrow and to speak at the Talanoa Dialogue, which is a process designed to help countries implement and enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions on climate change by 2020.

Meanwhile, at the COP24 in Katowice, members of the sports industry and the UN today launched the Sports for Climate Action Framework to drive emission reductions of sports operations and engage millions of fans in the efforts.

Among the founding signatories are the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, the International Sailing Federation, the World Surfing League, the Forest Green Rovers Football Club, and the French Tennis Federation, Roland Garros).

The Framework has two overarching objectives: achieving a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change and using sports as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and action among global citizens.

You can find more about it on the UN’s climate change website.

The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, spoke to reporters in Sweden yesterday, updating them on progress made during the intra-Yemeni consultations.

Mr. Griffiths said that the two parties have been discussing the details of re-opening of the airport in Sana’a, the de-escalation measures in both Taiz and Hodeidah, and the implementation of the agreement on the exchange of prisoners, as well as the economic situation.

He noted that tangible agreements will be announced by the end of this round.

The Special Envoy also clarified that the exact date and venue of the next round of consultations are being discussed with the two parties, with early next year being the target date.

He reiterated his encouragement of the positive and serious spirit that the two parties have demonstrated in this round, stressing that he remains ambitious about the outcome of this round.

Lt. Gen. Stefano Del Col, the Force Commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), met today with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri in Beirut and briefed them on developments in connection with tunnels along the Blue Line.

He said in a statement afterwards that this is a serious matter and UNIFIL is working in close coordination with the parties, both at the technical level as well as at the leadership level, to ensure that all related facts are objectively determined and diligently addressed in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

He briefed the President and the Speaker on his recent visit to a location near Metulla, where technical experts from UNIFIL carried out a site inspection to confirm the existence of a tunnel. Yesterday, a UNIFIL technical team led by the Deputy Force Commander verified the existence of a second tunnel north of the previous one in the same general area. UNIFIL is continuing to follow up on this issue in close coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Most importantly, he said, the calm and stability along the Blue Line must be preserved. He is encouraged to hear from both parties that they have no intention to escalate the situation along the Blue Line and they are keen to continue working with UNIFIL to this end. The situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations south of the Litani River remains calm.

Assistant-Secretaries-General for Peacekeeping Operations and Peacebuilding Support Bintou Keita and Oscar Fernandez-Taranco are continuing their visit to Mali.

Following their meeting with signatory groups on Sunday, they met today with the country’s Prime Minister, government ministers, and the Speaker of the National Assembly, as well as with opposition members. In their meetings, Ms. Keita and Mr. Fernandez-Taranco reiterated the UN’s deep commitment to supporting the signatory parties and the Malian people in advancing the implementation of the peace agreement.

They were in Mopti and Gao yesterday, where they met the UN Country Team, visited projects supported by the Peacebuilding Fund, and met with women and youth leaders.

In South Sudan, a series of special projects funded by the United Nations Mission there are improving the lives of communities across the country by providing access to clean water, education and healthcare, safe houses for vulnerable women, and strengthening the justice system to hold perpetrators of sexual violence to account.

There’s a press release with more details.

In a presidential statement issued this morning, the Security Council recalled its request in its resolution 2429 (2018) for the Secretary-General to provide a detailed and clearly benchmarked exit strategy for the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur, UNAMID. The Security Council took note of the Secretary-General's report from October on that topic, including the proposed benchmarks and indicators of achievement. The Security Council acknowledges that progress towards achieving the benchmarks and indicators will contribute towards the successful transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding in Darfur.

That Council meeting was followed by the periodic debate on the International Residual Mechanism on Criminal Tribunals. Judge Theodor Meron, the President of the Mechanism, and Prosecutor Serge Brammertz briefed the Security Council.

Today is International Mountain Day. This year’s theme is “Mountains Matter” and highlights the crucial role they play in providing key ecosystem goods and services to the planet and their vulnerability in the face of climate change.

You can find more about the Day online.
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