UN / GUTERRES PRESSER

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30-Apr-2020 00:02:37
UN chief António Guterres said that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the United Nations has mobilized fully to save lives, stave off famine, ease the pain and plan for recovery,” adding that “our voice has been clear, calling for solidarity, unity and hope.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / GUTERRES PRESSER
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DATELINE: 30 APRIL 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

30 APRIL 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, press briefing room
3.SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“I am particularly worried about the lack of sufficient solidarity with developing countries -- both in equipping them to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which risks spreading like wildfire, and to address the dramatic economic and social impacts. As the virus rages, the United Nations has mobilized fully to save lives, stave off famine, ease the pain and plan for recovery. Our voice has been clear, calling for solidarity, unity and hope.”
4. Wide shot, press briefing room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“All our efforts depend on strong political backing. It is my hope the Security Council will be able to find unity and adopt decisions that can help to make cease-fires meaningful and real.”
6. Wide shot, press briefing room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The debt moratorium must be extended to all developing countries that are unable to service their debt, including several middle-income countries. That initial debt moratorium must be followed by targeted debt relief, and by a comprehensive approach to structural issues in the international debt architecture, to prevent defaults leading to prolonged financial and economic crises.”
8. Wide shot, press briefing room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Recovery from COVID-19 can help to steer the world onto a safer, healthier, more sustainable and inclusive path. It will be critical to address the fragilities, inequalities and gaps in social protection that have been so painfully exposed, and place women and gender equality front and centre if we are to build resilience to future shocks.”
10. Wide shot, press briefing room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“I am calling on Governments to ensure that spending to revitalize economies should accelerate the decarbonization of all aspects of our economy and privilege the creation of green jobs. Taxpayers’ money should not be used to subsidize fossil fuels or bail out polluting, carbon-intensive industries. Now is the time to put a price on carbon and for polluters to pay for their pollution. Public funds should invest in the future, not the past. Financial institutions and investors must take climate risks fully into account.”
12. Wide shot, Guterres on screen

STORYLINE:

UN chief António Guterres said that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the United Nations has mobilized fully to save lives, stave off famine, ease the pain and plan for recovery,” adding that “our voice has been clear, calling for solidarity, unity and hope.”

Speaking to reporters today (30 Apr), Guterres expressed that he is “particularly worried about the lack of sufficient solidarity with developing countries -- both in equipping them to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which risks spreading like wildfire, and to address the dramatic economic and social impacts.”

He noted that the UN has set out a $2 billion Global Humanitarian Response Plan for the most vulnerable populations, including refugees and internally displaced persons. And donors have generously pledged $1 billion.

With the World Health Organization, the UN also participated in the launch of the ACT Accelerator – a global collaboration to speed up the development, production and equitable access to new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutic and vaccines.

The UN chief also highlighted three key dimensions of the Organization’s efforts in combating the pandemic. First is achieving a global cease-fire. Guterres noted that the cease-fire call has resonated widely, with endorsements from 114 Governments, regional organizations, religious leaders and more than 200 civil society groups spanning all regions. Among them are 16 armed groups.

He reiterated that “all our efforts depend on strong political backing. It is my hope the Security Council will be able to find unity and adopt decisions that can help to make cease-fires meaningful and real.”

Second, the UN chief stated that his Organization is addressing the immediate needs of people facing the most dire economic plight.

He said that he has been consistently urging the issuance of new Special Drawing Rights to increase the financial firepower of the Fund.

Guterres said, “the debt moratorium must be extended to all developing countries that are unable to service their debt, including several middle-income countries. That initial debt moratorium must be followed by targeted debt relief, and by a comprehensive approach to structural issues in the international debt architecture, to prevent defaults leading to prolonged financial and economic crises.”

The third key element goes to an immediate planning for a better recovery. He said, “recovery from COVID-19 can help to steer the world onto a safer, healthier, more sustainable and inclusive path.”

The UN chief continued, “it will be critical to address the fragilities, inequalities and gaps in social protection that have been so painfully exposed, and place women and gender equality front and centre if we are to build resilience to future shocks.”

Guterres also noted that recovery needs to go hand-in-hand with climate action.

He called on Governments to “ensure that spending to revitalize economies should accelerate the decarbonization of all aspects of our economy and privilege the creation of green jobs.”

He said, “taxpayers’ money should not be used to subsidize fossil fuels or bail out polluting, carbon-intensive industries. Now is the time to put a price on carbon and for polluters to pay for their pollution. Public funds should invest in the future, not the past. Financial institutions and investors must take climate risks fully into account.

He asked all countries, especially the big emitters, to present enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions and strategies to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
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