UN / LOWCOCK EXIT INTERVIEW

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16-Jun-2021 00:03:15
As he prepares to leave office on Friday, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said, “the last four years have been an unusually difficult time,” marked by protracted and emerging conflicts, the rising impacts of climate change, and the toll of diseases such as Ebola and now COVID-19, bringing the number of people requiring assistance and protection to unprecedented levels. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / LOWCOCK EXIT INTERVIEW
TRT: 03:15
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

11 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“The last four years have been an unusually difficult time. First, we have had an expansion of conflict in many places; a failure to resolve long-standing conflicts, like in Syria or in Yemen, and new ones too, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and a variety of other places. Secondly, we have seen the growing impacts of climate change. Climate change is now a huge cause of humanitarian suffering around the world.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

3. Wide shot, flags outside UN headquarters

11 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“You know, there have been new conflicts that have emerged during the 15 months since the pandemic took hold; Nagorno-Karabakh, places in Mozambique, what we’ve seen in Ethiopia. And, you know, to some degree unfortunately that is the result of malign interests taking advantage of a moment where the rest of the world is focused on a big problem and pursuing undesirable objectives, harmful objectives.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

5. Wide shot, flags outside UN headquarters

11 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“It is clear that there is a real challenge to compliance with the laws that should protect aid workers from being caught up and being injured, or killed, or abducted, or interrogated, or abused when they are doing their job reaching innocent people. That system is under huge strain.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

7. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

11 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“There’s been far too much behaviour by state military organizations which has further alienated local people who are the victims of the extremists, and then become victims of state military trying to deal with extremists.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

9. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

11 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

10. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“The system we have for humanitarian action in the UN, unlike say for peacekeeping or for paying the general bills of the UN, is a voluntary system. The humanitarian space is a voluntary system. And in recent years 70 percent of the bill has voluntarily been met by just four sources. The United States, Germany, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. I don’t think that is a viable, sustainable approach into the future. So, I think it would be very, very good if more countries played a bigger role in financing the collective efforts; if there was less free riding, frankly.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

11. Wide shot, flags outside UN headquarters

11 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

12. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“Until the world gets better at dealing with the underlying causes, resolving those problems, humanitarian need will be very high. I haven’t seen much sign of improvement on that yet, but I’m hopeful that maybe, particularly because of the new posture being adopted by the Biden administration, that could change bovver the next few years, and that would make a huge difference.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

13. Close up, UN flag

11 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

14. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“As I leave office, we have now got a huge famine problem in northern Ethiopia. There is still time to avoid the worst, but not if the men with guns and bombs and their political masters fail to change their behaviour.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

15. Wide shot, UN flag outside UN headquarters

STORYLINE:

As he prepares to leave office on Friday (18 Jun), Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said, “the last four years have been an unusually difficult time,” marked by protracted and emerging conflicts, the rising impacts of climate change, and the toll of diseases such as Ebola and now COVID-19, bringing the number of people requiring assistance and protection to unprecedented levels.

Lowcock said “first, we have had an expansion of conflict in many places; a failure to resolve long-standing conflicts, like in Syria or in Yemen, and new ones too, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and a variety of other places. Secondly, we have seen the growing impacts of climate change. Climate change is now a huge cause of humanitarian suffering around the world.”

The outgoing humanitarian chief said new conflicts that have emerged during the 15 months since the pandemic took hold are “to some degree unfortunately that is the result of malign interests taking advantage of a moment where the rest of the world is focused on a big problem and pursuing undesirable objectives, harmful objectives.”

Discussing what action is needed now in the humanitarian space, particularly in the face of new extremist threats, he said, “it is clear that there is a real challenge to compliance with the laws that should protect aid workers from being caught up and being injured, or killed, or abducted, or interrogated, or abused when they are doing their job reaching innocent people. That system is under huge strain.”

He said, “there’s been far too much behaviour by state military organizations which has further alienated local people who are the victims of the extremists, and then become victims of state military trying to deal with extremists.”

On funding for humanitarian operations, Lowcock explained, “the system we have for humanitarian action in the UN, unlike say for peacekeeping or for paying the general bills of the UN, is a voluntary system. The humanitarian space is a voluntary system. And in recent years 70 percent of the bill has voluntarily been met by just four sources. The United States, Germany, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. I don’t think that is a viable, sustainable approach into the future. So, I think it would be very, very good if more countries played a bigger role in financing the collective efforts; if there was less free riding, frankly.”

He said, “until the world gets better at dealing with the underlying causes, resolving those problems, humanitarian need will be very high. I haven’t seen much sign of improvement on that yet, but I’m hopeful that maybe, particularly because of the new posture being adopted by the Biden administration, that could change bovver the next few years, and that would make a huge difference.”

“As I leave office,” the former top British civil servant said, “we have now got a huge famine problem in northern Ethiopia. There is still time to avoid the worst, but not if the men with guns and bombs and their political masters fail to change their behaviour.”

Lowcock will be succeeded by Martin Griffiths, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen. Both men gave their final briefings to the Security Council, in their current roles, a day ago.
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