Ula declaration, Yemen & other topics - Daily Briefing (6 Jan 2021)
Daily Press Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General.
- Security Council
- Stockholm Initiative
This morning, the Secretary-General spoke to members of the Security Council at the Open Debate on "Challenges of Maintaining Peace and Security in Fragile Contexts."
He said that even before the pandemic, conflicts were already increasingly complex - fueled by greater regionalization, the proliferation of non-State armed groups and their linkages with criminal and terrorist interests. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been pushed into poverty and humanitarian needs have multiplied, reaching the highest levels since the Second World War, he noted.
He also repeated his call for more funding for conflict prevention and peacebuilding, adding that on 26 January he will be co-chairing a replenishment conference for the Peacebuilding Fund. He told Council members that he counted on their support at this critical time.
Yesterday a statement was issued in which the Secretary-General welcomed the al Ula declaration on "solidarity and stability" announced at the Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The declaration recognizes the importance of unity among the GCC states and aims to strengthen regional security, peace, stability and prosperity. The Secretary-General also welcomed the announcement on opening the airspace, land and sea borders between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and the State of Qatar.
The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to those from the region and beyond, including the late Emir of Kuwait and the late Sultan of Oman, who worked tirelessly towards resolving the Gulf rift. He trusts that all countries concerned will continue to act in a positive spirit to strengthen relations.
The Special Envoy for the Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, met earlier today with President Hadi in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Griffiths congratulated President Hadi of Yemen on the formation of the new Cabinet and condemned the horrific attack against the newly formed Government of Yemen last week that aimed at undermining peace efforts.
Mr. Griffiths also conveyed, on behalf of the Secretary-General, condolences to the Government and people of Yemen and reiterated the support and solidarity of the UN and the international community to the country.
The United Nations remains committed to helping Yemen find a way towards a sustainable and comprehensive end of this conflict through a negotiated, political solution.
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
- Secretary-General virtual visit to the United Kingdom
- Security Council
- South Sudan
- Ebola Vaccine Stockpile
SECRETARY-GENERAL VIRTUAL VISIT TO UNITED KINGDOM
The Secretary-General is wrapping up his first virtual visit to the United Kingdom today.
In a few minutes, he will be meeting with Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. The meeting is expected to focus on the issue of climate change.
This morning, the Secretary-General also had bilateral meetings with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, as well as with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who is also a member of the SG's High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation.
And, yesterday, during their meeting, the Secretary-General thanked Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his country's support to the United Nations, as well as for the UK's political and financial leadership in the fight against the pandemic.
Earlier this week, the lawn situated at the front of Queen Elizabeth II Centre, in Westminster, was renamed United Nations Green in commemoration of the 75th anniversary.
This morning, the Security Council held a ministerial-level meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Counter-terrorism Committee, established through resolution 1373.
Vladimir Voronkov, the head of the Counter-terrorism office, began his remarks by noting how quickly the Security Council acted to establish the committee in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Throughout the last two decades, he said, the threat of terrorism has persisted, evolved and spread, causing unspeakable human suffering and loss. Over the years, he added, the Council has provided critical impetus and guidance for Member States, which has led to important successes, helping Member States to bring terrorists to justice and disrupt additional attacks.
Mr. Voronkov said the Security Council's leadership remains critical to ensure a unified front against terrorism, adding it is essential to reinvigorate international counter-terrorism cooperation during and after the pandemic, with a focus on emerging threats and challenges.
Also speaking at this session was Michèle Coninsx, the Executive Director of the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate. She said that the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated an already challenging threat landscape.
She added we must ensure that future counter-terrorism policies respect the rule of law and are both human rights-compliant and gender sensitive. Daily Press Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General.
- London Virtual Trip Announcement
- Noon Briefing Guest Tomorrow
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Food Prices
LONDON VIRTUAL TRIP ANNOUNCEMENT
This Sunday, January 10th, the Secretary-General will begin a virtual visit to the UK to mark the 75th anniversary of the first Session of the UN General Assembly, which took place in London's Central Hall in Westminster.
The visit will begin at noon, New York time (5 p.m. in London), with a commemorative event entitled "We the Peoples", which will also be the main event of the Secretary-General's first virtual official visit.
In his remarks the Secretary-General is expected to highlight the achievements of the UN's 75-year history and will also call for a renewed global partnership to address the many challenges we face. The event aims to reach a global audience, and especially young people and civil society from around the world.
On Monday, the visit will focus on climate change. As you know, the United Kingdom is hosting the next Climate Change Conference (COP26), now scheduled to take place in November in Glascow, in Scotland. The Secretary-General will deliver remarks at the "COP26 Virtual Roundtable on Clean Power Transition". The event is designed to showcase and generate more commitments and action to accelerate the transition to renewable, affordable and resilient power systems in Africa and European countries, as well as the importance of a just transition to ensure green job opportunities. He will be joined by the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, and COP26 incoming President, Alok Sharma, as well as representatives from several countries.
During the virtual visit, the Secretary-General will also have bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, as well as the COP26's Alok Sharma.
In addition to these meetings, the Secretary-General will have a conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who is also, as you know, a member of the Secretary-General's High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation.
All of the public events will be webcast live on UN Web TV.
NOON BRIEFING GUEST TOMORROW
In relation to that, tomorrow, the guest at the noon briefing will be Fabrizio Hochschild, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Preparations for #UN75. He will brief reporters virtually on the commemoration event scheduled on Sunday, as well as on the UN75 final report. And we will try to share that with you either later today or early tomorrow, so you have a chance to look at it before the briefing.
Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy for Yemen has just concluded today a visit to Aden, which included meetings with the Yemeni Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, members of the Cabinet, as well as the Governor of Aden.
During his meeting with Prime Minister Abdulmalik, Mr. Griffiths once again stressed his strong condemnation of the heinous attack on the Cabinet ministers when they arrived at the Aden Airport. As you will recall, that attack killed 25 civilians. He also said the attack was devastating, not only due to the tragically heavy civilian toll, but also because it has political implications that could stir deep distrust.
Mr. Griffiths congratulated the Prime Minister on the formation of the Cabinet and its arrival in Aden and commended the resolve of the Government in the aftermath of this attack. He further expressed hope that the arrival of the ministers will mark the beginning of recovery after a perilous year.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
In the Central African Republic, the peacekeeping mission has increased its patrols in Bossangoa, in the Ouham prefecture, after two Anti-Balaka factions clashed yesterday over the issue of tax collection.
UN peacekeepers are continuing their work to protect civilians and we are maintaining a robust posture, that includes daily patrols, to secure the Bangui-Beloko axis. The Mission's military troops and police are also working in close coordination with national defense and security forces to secure the capital, including through joint patrols. Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
- Senior Personnel Appointments
- Central African Republic
- Bosnia And Herzegovina
- COVID-19 Vaccines For Refugees
In a video message today, the Secretary-General said that our world has reached a heart-wrenching milestone, with the COVID-19 pandemic having claimed two million lives.
The Secretary-General said that, in the memory of those two million souls, the world must act with far greater solidarity, stressing now is the time.
The United Nations is supporting countries to mobilize the largest global immunization effort in history and we are committed to making sure that vaccines are seen as global public good. This, the Secretary-General said, requires full funding for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and its COVAX facility.
He warned that we are seeing a vaccine vacuum. Vaccines are reaching high income countries quickly, while the world's poorest have none at all.
While science is succeeding, the Secretary-General said that solidarity is failing.
He said that our world can only get ahead of this virus one way — together, and that global solidarity will save lives, protect people and help defeat this vicious virus.
SENIOR PERSONNEL APPOINTMENTS
Today, the Secretary-General is appointing Nicholas Haysom of South Africa as his Special Representative for South Sudan. He will lead the UN peacekeeping mission there, otherwise known as UNMISS.
He will succeed David Shearer of New Zealand to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his exemplary leadership of the UN Mission during the time of critical developments and challenges for South Sudan.
Currently the Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Southern Africa, a position he has held since October of last year, Mr. Haysom is a lawyer with a long international career with a focus on democratic governance, constitutional and electoral reforms, reconciliation and peace processes.
The Secretary-General is also announcing the appointment of Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir of Iceland as his new Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance in the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).
Ms. Gísladóttir succeeds Alice Walpole of the United Kingdom, who will complete her assignment at the end of February. The Secretary-General is grateful to Ms. Walpole for her dedicated service since 2017 for the UN in Iraq.
Ms. Gísladóttir brings a wealth of diplomatic and political experience to the position, including from her recent role as the Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and most recently as the Head of its Election Observation Unit.
The UN Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) says there has been significant progress made in the ongoing talks of the Advisory Committee for the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, which is underway in Geneva. The Mission hopes shortly they will be able to narrow down the major differences and reach near consensus on many of the contentious issues concerning the selection mechanism proposals. Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
- Economic Situation Report
- World Economic Forum
- Climate Adaptation Summit
- Saudi Arabia
- Central African Republic
- Security Council
- Education Day
- Honour Roll
ECONOMIC SITUATION REPORT
Mr. Elliot Harris, the UN Chief Economist, briefed journalists earlier about the latest World Economic Situation and Prospects report. The report warns that the devastating socio-economic impact of the pandemic will be felt for years to come unless smart investments ensure a robust and sustainable recovery of the global economy.
WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
The Secretary-General just wrapped up a virtual address to the Davos World Economic Forum. In his remarks, he said that humanity has just endured a year of tragedy and crisis that we never want to repeat. But, the Secretary-General added that the tests to our societies are continuing.
He underscored the world's fragility, pointing to the current COVID-19 emergency, the global economic crisis, the increasing inequalities resulting from the pandemic, among others.
Mr. Guterres said we have reached a moment of truth: In 2021, we must address these fragilities and put the world on track. It is time to change course and take the sustainable path. The Secretary-General once again called for a reinvigorated, inclusive and networked multilateralism.
CLIMATE ADAPTATION SUMMIT
This morning, the Secretary-General also spoke at the Climate Adaptation Summit hosted by The Kingdom of The Netherlands. He said that as unprecedented climate extremes continue to impact people on all continents, we need a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience.
Adaptation cannot be the neglected half of the climate equation, he added, and said that all adaptation efforts must include developing countries, who are particularly vulnerable to climate risks.
The Secretary-General said that donor countries and multilateral, regional and national development banks need to significantly increase the volume and predictability of their finance for adaptation and resilience, and that all budget and investment decisions must be climate resilient. He reiterated that the UN is ready to assist developing countries in these efforts.
Later this evening at 7 p.m. the Secretary-General will address the annual Park East Synagogue Holocaust Commemoration ceremony. The ceremomny can be watched on UN WebTV.