Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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01-Jul-2019 00:29:49
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Secretary-General is on his way back to New York from Abu Dhabi. The Secretary-General will be in St. Lucia on the 3rd July and 4th July, where he will be speaking at the opening of the 40th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, otherwise as known as CARICOM. There, the Secretary-General will meet with St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, as well as other heads of State attending the meeting. He will also meet the local population to see how they are tackling the challenges posed by climate change and extreme weather. This is part of the Secretary-General’s ongoing efforts, to advance the September Climate Action Summit, to highlight the impact of climate change and extreme weather on some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

He will be back in New York on Thursday evening.

And then on July 9th, he will arrive in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is scheduled to speak at the opening session of the African Regional High-level Conference on Counter Terrorism and Prevention of Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism. While in Nairobi, he will meet with the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and participate in a town hall meeting with youth involved in programs to prevent violent extremism.

The following day, the Secretary-General will go to Mozambique to take stock of the recovery efforts in the areas impacted by cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which hit just a few weeks apart earlier this year. According to the World Meteorological Organization, there is no historical record of two storms of such intensity ever striking Mozambique at the same season.

The Secretary-General will start his visit in the capital, Maputo, where he will meet with President Filipe Nyusi and other senior authorities.

On July 12th, in Beira, the Secretary-General will meet with survivors, local authorities, the UN Country Team and civil society organizations who have been supporting the cyclone recovery response. One the ground, he will also visit a resettlement site for families displaced by the cyclone.

As I mentioned he’s back, on his way back to New York where he will arrive in a few hours, he will be back in Headquarters. He was in Abu Dhabi, where he took part yesterday in the Climate Summit Preparatory Meeting ahead of the September gathering. The Secretary-General spoke in the opening of the Preparatory Meeting, stressing that climate disruption is happening now, he called to people to seize the opportunity to take bold climate action.

The Secretary-General emphasized the need for post carbon economy, a resilient society and a climate smart development path that that can provide sustainable development for all in a healthy planet.

He added that the goal can only be achieved if we all pull together, governments, businesses and civil societies. Those remarks are online.

While in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, he also met with country senior officials and flew over the new Abu Dhabi solar plant which is currently the world’s largest of its kind.

On Saturday, the Secretary-General continued his visit to Osaka, in Japan, where he attended the G20 Summit, he took part in trilateral climate change meeting with the foreign Ministers of China and France. Speaking to the press afterwards, the Secretary-General underlined the importance of ambition and mitigation, adaptation and finance. He also met with the leaders of the UK, Vietnam, Egypt and Turkey.

The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, continues to be in Abu Dhabi, where she spoke at the climate summit meeting. She said today that, in our climate efforts we will not succeed in transforming our economies and societies without the necessary finance.

She also said that he needs to emerge at the end of today with a clear idea of where we are on track, where there are gaps, and what actions we need to take away with us to address those gaps. Her remarks have been distributed.

Today the International Labour Organization (ILO) said the increasing heat stress related to climate change is projected to lead to losses in global productivity equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs in the year 2030.

In a new report, the ILO said these projections were based on a global temperature rise of 1.5°C by the end of this century. The report warns this is a conservative estimate because it assumes that the global mean temperature rise will not exceed 1.5°C.

The sector expected to be worst impacted is agriculture with 60 per cent of global working hours lost due to heat stress by the 2030. The construction sector will also be severely impacted as well as refuse collection, emergency, repair work, transport, tourism, and some type of industrial work.

On Syria, this weekend, the United Nations has signed its first action plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children in Syria.

This action plan signed with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of armed opposition groups, is the result of months of engagement. A dialogue was initiated following the listing by the Secretary-General of one of their members, the People’s Protection Unit (most commonly known as the YPG/YPJ).

Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, signed the action plan on behalf of the UN.

“It is an important day for the protection of children in Syria,” she said. She added that the commitment marks the beginning of a process to ensure that no child is recruited and used by any entity operating under the umbrella of the SDF.

Through this Action Plan, the SDF has committed to ending and preventing the recruitment; identify and release boys and girls currently within its ranks and to put in place preventative, protection and disciplinary measures related to child recruitment and use.

The Special Representative Ms. Gamba commended the crucial work of child protection partners on the ground, noting the situation in Syria remains one of the direst amongst the countries on her agenda, with appalling consequences for children.

In a statement that will be releasing now, she urges all parties to work towards a political solution to bring sustainable peace to the country. This remains the best option to prevent grave violations against children, she said.

Also on Syria, we remain very concerned about the conditions in Rukban in southeastern Syria along the border with Jordan, where some 26,000 displaced people are living in dire conditions, with limited or no access to healthcare, basic food and other humanitarian assistance.

The UN is doing everything it can to provide humanitarian assistance and is currently awaiting approval for access to Rukban from the Government of Syria.

Meanwhile, nearly 15,600 people have left Rukban since March, or nearly 40 per cent of the estimated total population who had been there at that time. People leaving Rukban are taken to temporary collective shelters in Homs for a 24-hour stay, where they receive basic assistance, including shelter, blankets, mattresses, solar lamps, sleeping mats, food parcels, nutrition supplies before proceeding to their areas of choice, mostly towards southern and eastern Homs.

The UN continues to advocate and call for safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to Rukban, as well as to all those in need throughout Syria.

The UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is appalled by taliban-claimed attack in civilian area in Kabul. Initial findings indicate that dozens of civilian casualties.

In its Twitter account, UNAMA stated that the UN is deeply saddened by credible reports of many injured children in nearby schools and demands the end to indiscriminate blasts in civilian parts of the country.Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN mission reiterated UN’s efforts related to the upcoming presidential elections and the work to create an initial peace framework in the country.

Both processes are top priorities for the UN, he said.

The Secretary-General welcomes the meeting in involving the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and the United States, particularly the announcement that the DPRK and the United States will resume working level dialogue. The Secretary-General fully supports the efforts by the parties to establish new relations towards sustainable peace, security and completely verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

More than 1.4 million refugees residing in over 60 refugee hosting countries will be in need of resettlement next year. This is according to data presented by the UN Refugee agency at an annual resettlement forum in Geneva.

According to the report titled Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2020, those most at risk and in need of resettlement include Syrian refugees (40 per cent); South Sudanese refugees (14 per cent of the total) and refugees from the DRC (11 per cent of the total).

The Security Council, this morning, this been the first of the month, agreed on its program of work of July and the Council President for this month, Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadro of Peru will be here at 3 pm to chat with you. And over the weekend the members of the Security Council visit the city of Kuwait and for the first time the Republic of Irak in a mission called by the State of Kuwait and the US. And there’s a statement that came out.

Lastly, I’ve been asked about the Secretary-General phone call last week with the President of Sri Lanka. And I can say regarding that call the Secretary-General’s position, both in public and in private, against the imposition of the death penalty is the same. He continues to urge all member-states to abide by the moratorium on capital punishment and progressive abolition of the death penalty.

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