United Nations

United Nations 2 Dec 2019

UN Climate Change Conference & other topics - Daily Briefing (2 December 2019)

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Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:
- Secretary-General/Climate Change
- Senior Appointments
- Deputy-Secretary-General's Travels
- International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
- D.R. Congo
- D.R. Congo/World Health Organization
- Kenya
- Costa Rica
- Ukraine
- Financial Contributions

Secretary-General/Climate Change
The Secretary-General is in Madrid, and today he today spoke at the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP25. He thanked the Governments of Chile and Spain for working together to make COP25 possible.
"Such solidarity and flexibility are what we need to beat the climate crisis," he said. The Secretary-General urged world leaders to listen to the millions of people around the world - particularly young people - who are calling for them to do much more to tackle the climate crisis.  He stressed that this is not just the job of one person, one industry or one government alone. We are all in this together, he said.
He added that the green economy is not one to be feared but an opportunity to be embraced, and stressed that the transition from the grey to the green economy needs to be a fair one, taking into account the people whose jobs and livelihoods are impacted.  "Open your ears to the multitudes who are demanding change. Open your eyes to the imminent threat facing us all. Open your minds to the unanimity of the science." 
The Secretary-General also called on parties at the Conference to achieve progress on key items - namely, achieving success on Article Six and continuing to boost ambition in preparation for new and revised national climate action plans due next year.
A few moments ago, he held a joint press conference with the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, in which he thanked Spain again for their impeccable organization of the Conference of Parties and their cooperation with the Chilean Government.
He also spoke at the Climate Vulnerable Forum in which he reiterated his commitments to small island developing States and Least Developed Countries to keep fighting for increased ambition on climate action.
Also, at the Roundtable of Heads of State and Government, he called on world leaders to lead and not lag behind businesses, youth and local authorities who are already taking bold action and steps to tackle climate change.
Yesterday, you will have seen that the Secretary-General gave a press conference in which he stressed that our war against nature must stop and called particularly on big emitters to step up their ambitions, adding that without their participation we will not be able to reach our goals. All of his remarks have been sent to you.
The Secretary-General is also having a number of bilateral meetings with leaders who are attending the Conference, and tomorrow, he is expected to meet with His Majesty Felipe VI of Spain.

Senior Appointments
The Secretary-General yesterday appointed Mark Carney of Canada as his new Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance.
As Special Envoy, Mr. Carney will focus on implementation of climate action, with special attention to significantly shifting public and private finance markets and mobilizing private finance to the levels needed to achieve the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.
Mr. Carney, who is currently the Governor of the Bank of England, has held numerous positions in finance in both the private and public sectors.
Today, the Secretary-General appointed Bruno Lemarquis of France as his Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). He will also serve as the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti. 
Most recently, Mr. Lemarquis served as Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Crisis Bureau/Global Policy Network, following his role as Deputy Director of the UNDP Crisis Response Unit from 2014 to 2018.


Noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:

- Human Rights Day
- Secretary-General's Travel
- COP25 Update
- Deputy Secretary-General's Travel
- Floods
- U.N./O.S.C.E.
- World Health Organization/Ebola
- Smallpox
- Bangladesh
- Global Refugee Forum
- Western Sahara

Human Rights Day
Youth standing up for human rights is the theme for this year's Human Rights Day.
In an event that began a few minutes ago, the Secretary-General said that throughout history and across the world, young people have been at the forefront of standing up for what is right.
As someone who grew up under a dictatorship, he said, he is deeply inspired by the energy and passion young people bring to the struggle for human rights.
The Secretary-General reiterated that human rights are at the core of the United Nations and inform all of our work.
He highlighted some of the challenges we currently face. Human rights violations, misogyny and exclusion are widespread and systematic, he said. Inequality is growing and hate speech is poisoning public debate. The climate crisis, urbanization and endless conflict, he added, are denying millions of people their fundamental rights and freedoms.
In her own message, Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights said it is particularly fitting that this year, we mark this day during the UN conference in Madrid to uphold climate justice.
She added that the global climate emergency presents perhaps the most profound planet-wide threat to human rights we have seen since World War II. From the right to life, to health, to food, water and shelter, to our rights to be free of discrimination, to development and to self-determination, its impacts are already making themselves felt.

Secretary-General's Travel
Just a reminder that the Secretary-General will be heading back to the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid. Tomorrow, he will take part in several events, including the High-Level Meeting of Caring for Climate organized by the UN Global Compact and the High-Level Event on Global Climate Action. He will be there until the closing of the Conference, which is scheduled to take place on Friday evening.
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:
- COP 25
- International Day of Persons with Disabilities
- Security Council
- South Sudan
- Launch of the 2020 Global Humanitarian Overview
- Libya
- Zimbabwe
- Philippines
- Albania
- Senior Personnel Appointment
- Burkina Faso
- Plant Health

COP 25
Earlier this morning, the Secretary-General met with His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain. The Secretary-General expressed once again his gratitude for Spain's support for hosting the Climate Change Conference in Madrid and the impeccable organization that was achieved in record time.
And on the sidelines of the COP 25, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stressed that 2019 concludes a decade of exceptional global heat, retreating ice and record sea levels driven by greenhouse gases from human activity.
According to a new report released by the agency, average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) periods are almost certain to be the highest on record. The year 2019 is on course to be the second or third warmest year on record.
Also, the World Health Organization warned that safeguarding human health from climate change impacts is more urgent than ever, yet most countries are not acting fully on their own plan to achieve this.
According to the first global snapshot of progress on climate change and health released by WHO, countries are increasingly prioritising climate change and health, but only about 38% have finances in place to even partially implement their national strategy. And fewer than 10% are channeling resources to implement it fully.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The theme for this year: "Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda".
In a special message, the Secretary-General stresses that we still have much to do to secure the rights of people with disabilities.
He recalls that almost all UN Member States have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and urges those who have not yet done so to ratify it without delay.
On this International Day, he also reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to work with people with disabilities to build a sustainable, inclusive and transformative future in which everyone, including women, men, girls and boys with disabilities, can realize their full potential.

Security Council
The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, briefed the Security Council on the situation in that country, including on demonstrations taking place. She said that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis - from all walks of life - have taken to the streets, out of love for their homeland, emphasizing their Iraqi identity. All they are asking for, she added, is a country reaching its full potential for the benefit of all Iraqis.
However, she said that they are paying an unimaginable price for their voices to be heard. Since early October, 400 people have been killed and over 19,000 people have been injured.
The Special Representative told Council Members that we are witnessing an accumulation of frustration for the lack of progress for so many years.  The high loss of life, the many injuries, the violence - combined with this long period of undelivered promises - all resulted in a crisis of confidence.
She once more stressed the importance of guaranteeing fundamental rights - above all the right to life, but also the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Daily Briefing Highlights:

- Secretary-General's Travel
- Secretary-General Trip
- Deputy Secretary-General
- Appointment
- Syria
- Lebanon
- Mozambique and Malawi
- Nigeria, Brazil
- Honour Roll

TRIP ANNOUNCEMENT
The Secretary-General will travel to Buenos Aires, in Argentina, to attend the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation and that will take place on 20 March.
The Secretary-General will deliver remarks at the Conference, which will focus on the theme of ‘Role of South-South cooperation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: challenges and opportunities.'
The Conference will also commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1978 United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries, which was also held in Buenos Aires.
The Secretary-General strongly believes in the importance of South-South Cooperation to generate both new ideas and concrete projects and also as a means to enable voices from the Global South to drive innovation and promote development.
While in the Argentine capital, the Secretary-General is also expected to meet with the country's President, Mauricio Macri. The Secretary-General is expected to be back in New York on 22nd March.

SG TRIP
The Secretary-General is continuing his meetings with US officials in Washington D.C., this time focusing on Capitol Hill.
He had an early meeting with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and he will also meet with other legislators from both parties throughout the day before heading back to New York later tonight.
With all his interlocutors he discussed a wide range of issues.
Yesterday afternoon, the Secretary-General met with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. Among other things they discussed the need for strong cooperation between the United States and the United Nations and addressed several issues of concern, such as Yemen and Venezuela. The Secretary General also provided the status update on the ongoing UN reform efforts and encouraged continuing United States engagement with the United Nations.

DSG
The Deputy Secretary-General is in Nairobi and she spoke this morning at the UN Environment Assembly. She first expressed her condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives in the Ethiopian Airlines crash. She noted that many of the UN staff who were on the flight were heading for the Assembly to pursue their life's work: to ensure we can live in a safe and sustainable planet. She went on to say that we can and must honor their lives by taking their work forward and bring it to light.
Ms. Mohammed said it's time to turn the tide toward ambitious policies that enable strong economies and protect our health and our planet. She also commended the innovative solutions that were being showcased to tackle climate change, stop biodiversity loss and make our consumption patterns more sustainable.
"Inspiring actions by civil society, governments at all levels and corporations show us that we can in fact achieve greater economic benefits from innovative approaches to how we eat, purchase, travel, and discard waste," she said. She warned that we need greater ambition and speed. Ms. Mohammed also spoke at the One Planet Summit.
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Daily Press Briefing:
- Secretary-General's Travel
- Benin
- World Press Freedom Day
- African Union
- Libya
- DPR Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Syria
- Myanmar
- Occupied Palestinian Territory
- Israel/Palestine
- Moncef Kartas
- Afghanistan
- Contributions

SECRETARY-GENERAL'S TRAVEL
On May 12, the Secretary-General will travel to the South Pacific to spotlight the issue of climate change ahead of the Climate Action Summit that he is convening in September in New York. This visit will take him to New Zealand, Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
In each country, the Secretary-General will meet government leaders, civil society representatives and youth groups to hear from those already impacted by climate change and who are also successfully engaging in meaningful climate action.
In Fiji, the Secretary-General will be at the Pacific Island Forum, where he will meet with senior governments officials from each Member State in attendance, as well as with members of civil society.
In New Zealand, the Secretary-General will meet with Muslim leaders in Christchurch to express his solidarity following the 15 March terrorist attack.
Prior to traveling to the Pacific, the Secretary-General will be in Geneva from 8-10 May to attend the spring meeting of the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB). This is one of the semi-annual meetings that brings together, under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General, the executive heads of 31 UN system entities. This session, which will be hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, will focus on the future of work in the digital age. The heads of the UN entities will also look to agree on ambitious and concrete steps to address climate change in advance of the September Climate Summit.
While in Geneva, the Secretary-General will also address a special session of the World Trade Organization's General Council, where he will stress the importance of preserving the multilateral rules-based order - including on trade - for a fair globalization and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

BENIN
In a statement, the Secretary-General said he has been following closely developments in the Republic of Benin in the run-up to and aftermath of the 28 April legislative elections. He deplores the violence witnessed in the post-electoral period. He calls on all Beninese stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint and seek to resolve their differences through dialogue in line with the democratic traditions in the country.
The United Nations, through the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, will work with all concerned parties, in coordination with the Economic Community of West African States and other partners, to support the Beninese stakeholders in their efforts to find a consensual and peaceful solution to their differences.
That statement is available in French as well.

WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY
As you know, today is World Press Freedom Day, and this year's theme is "Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation."
In his message for the Day, the Secretary-General stressed that a free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights.
For her part, Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, said at a time of growing discourse of mistrust and delegitimization of the press and journalism, it is essential that we guarantee freedom of opinion through the free exchange of ideas and information based on factual truths.
A three-day event to mark World Press Freedom Day - jointly organized by UNESCO, the African Union Commission and the Government of Ethiopia - just wrapped up at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. Here in New York, there was an event to mark the Day in Conference Room 1 that wrapped up a short while ago that included a panel discussion.

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