Lebanon, Secretary-General/Transport , Climate Change & other topics - Daily Press Briefing
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the current violence in Beirut, Lebanon. This morning, the Secretary-General delivered remarks virtually to the Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference that is taking place in Beijing. He said the door is closing for action on climate, nature and pollution, noting that transport, which accounts for more than one quarter of global greenhouse gases, is key to getting this on track. The Secretary-General today spoke via a pre-recorded video message to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund event on “Making Climate Action Count.” He stressed in his remarks that, as COP26 approaches, it is essential for all humanity that we fulfil the promise of the Paris Agreement. But, Mr. Guterres says, we are not there yet. This morning, the Secretary-General spoke in person at the General Assembly’s tribute to Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the former President of the General Assembly, and former President of Algeria. The Secretary-General reiterated his condolences to the Government of Algeria, and recalled that, as President of the 29th session of the General Assembly, in 1974-75, Mr. Bouteflika was particularly active in the area of decolonization and is remembered for giving a voice to the liberation movements in Africa, Asia and South America. Today, the World Food Programme (WFP) said that in Herat and around Afghanistan, WFP is working day and night to scale up assistance to reach people in need. The Secretary-General has appointed Daniel Endres of Switzerland as Assistant Secretary-General to serve as Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for East Africa. Hans Grundberg, the Special Envoy for Yemen, briefed the Security Council this morning on his numerous consultations with Yemeni, regional and international actors. In all these discussions, he said, he has focused on the question of how to move toward a sustainable political solution to end the conflict. This afternoon, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, will brief the Security Council on Colombia. In the Central African Republic, the seasonal livestock migration is about to begin. In this context, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) continues to support protection efforts, as well as the reduction of tensions, in cooperation with national authorities and local communities. On COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today that only 14.2 per cent – or one in seven – COVID-19 infections are being detected in Africa. The UN team in Mongolia, led by Resident Coordinator Tapan Mishra, continues to support authorities to respond to the pandemic - addressing health, humanitarian, and socioeconomic needs of Mongolians. Of the 5.4 million vaccine doses that have arrived in the country, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) helped to procure half of those through COVAX and other sources. Guyana received more than 100,000 doses of vaccines donated by the United States through COVAX. The World Food Programme (WFP) today released an analysis showing that a 2°C rise in average global temperature from pre-industrial levels will see a staggering 189 million additional people in the grips of hunger. Yesterday, in a tweet, the Secretary-General said that he was shocked and saddened by the tragic news we saw in Norway. In response to a question, we have received a request from the National Electoral Council for the deployment of a Panel of Electoral Experts, but not for the deployment of an electoral observation mission. The request has been evaluated and we expected a response soon. Also, in response to a question, we are in communication with the Government of Belarus on the issue that they raised in the bilateral meeting with the Secretary-General through appropriate channels. Tomorrow, the noon briefing guest will be Omar Abdi, the Deputy Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). He will brief on the situation in Afghanistan.