Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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24-Oct-2019 00:21:23
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Happy UN Day to you all! Today marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of its founding document by the majority of its signatories, the UN officially came into being 74 years ago. 24 October has been celebrated as UN Day since 1948.

To mark the Day, the Secretary-General is delivering remarks at the UN Day Concert. This year, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra will play in the General Assembly Hall. He is expected to highlight that, at a time when inequality, discrimination and dehumanization are growing around the world, celebrating our diversity and recognizing how much we share with our fellow women and men is more important than ever.

Next year’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the UN will feature a large and inclusive global conversation on the role of global cooperation in building the future we want.

Starting in January 2020, the United Nations will hold dialogues around the world and across borders, sectors and generations. The aim is to reach the global public; to listen to their hopes and fears; and to learn from their experiences.

Today, the Secretary-General also thanked countries who made new pledges to the Green Climate Fund, which now stands at $7.4 billion.

In a video message to the Green Climate Fund Pledging Conference in Paris, the Secretary-General also appealed to participants to provide resources for developing countries, especially those which are on the front lines of climate change. An ambitious replenishment will enable the Fund to continue to promote adaptation, resilience and carbon-neutral development in developing countries.

The Secretary-General also sent a message to the Sustainable Development Forum taking place in Beijing in which he stressed the need to act quickly to achieve the SDGs and to focus on helping those who are most vulnerable.

Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, is continuing his visit to Nigeria. Today, he represented the Secretary-General at the official handover of the UN house in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

During the two-day visit to Nigeria, Mr. Lowcock is also discussing the humanitarian situation in the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. The UN and its humanitarian partners, in support of the Government of Nigeria, are working together to provide assistance to reach 6.2 million people in those places.

Security Council members met on Sudan and South Sudan, as well as the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).

Briefing Council members, the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, said the continuing partnership between Sudan and South Sudan, notwithstanding the recent change of government in Khartoum, presents a unique opportunity to move the political process forward on the border issues.

However, he noted that such positive developments have not been extended to the settlement of the final status of Abyei, with no meetings of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee having taken place in nearly two years.

Also speaking at today’s meeting by videoconference was the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, who provided an update on the encouraging signs of progress on the relations between Khartoum and Juba.

This afternoon, the Council will hold an open meeting followed by consultations on Syria.

Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that heavy rainfall this month has reportedly displaced more than 200,000 people in Ethiopia, most of them in the country’s Somali region.

Humanitarian partners are supporting the Government, but damaged infrastructure is obstructing access to those in need.

Nearly 8 million people in Ethiopia will continue to need humanitarian assistance for the remainder of the year, but the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for $1 billion is only 61 per cent funded.

The Government of Ethiopia and aid partners are facing the triple challenges posed by drought in the eastern and south-eastern parts of the country; flooding; and the significant humanitarian and recovery needs of internally displaced people, returnees and host communities.

In Sri Lanka today, countries adopted the Colombo Declaration on Sustainable Nitrogen Management, which seeks to halve nitrogen waste by 2030.

While nitrogen is an essential element for the survival of all living things, its overuse has negative impacts on the planet, biodiversity and is a contributor to the climate crisis.

As part of the Declaration, which was developed with the support of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), environment ministers of more than 30 countries also endorsed UN plans for a campaign on sustainable nitrogen management called “Nitrogen for Life” to raise awareness of the issue.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) launched a four-year Global Strategy for Sustainable Energy. The strategy promotes the transition to clean, renewable energy at refugee camps and hosting sites, including for individual households, communal areas and support facilities.

According to UNHCR, [more than] 90 per cent of refugees in camps have limited access to electricity, making it difficult for them to cook, keep warm, learn, work or find their way around at night, while also exposing them to various protection and health risks.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) today called governments to protect radio frequencies allocated to Earth observation services which are vital for weather forecasts and long-term climate change monitoring.

WMO says there is growing alarm within the meteorological community that the increasing competition for bandwidth, including from the next-generation mobile phone data service, like 5G, may be at the detriment of established applications relating to Earth observation satellites, radiosondes, aircraft, radar and other observing systems.

Timely weather warnings have led to a reduction of the loss of life during recent decades. These improvements are directly related to the use of radio frequency feeding directly into weather prediction systems.

The call is being made ahead of the World Radiocommunication Conference, which starts on Monday. The conference, held every three to four years under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), reviews the regulations which govern the use of radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.

Today is, not only UN Day, we also mark World Development Information Day, established to draw the attention of the world to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.

It is also the beginning of Disarmament Week, which calls for abandoning the use of force in international relations and seek security in disarmament.

Finally, Global Media and Information Literacy Week begins today. Led by UNESCO, the week will be marked by events around the world under the theme “Citizens Informed, engaged and Empowered.”

We say thank you to our friends in Benin who have paid their budget dues in full, which brings us to 133 Member States who have done so.

For further details please see SOURCE below.
Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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