“Climate change is moving faster than our efforts to address it”
On Thursday, the Secretary-General joined the head of the World Meteorological Organization to launch a startling new report on the state of the global climate. Noting record highs in temperatures, sea levels and greenhouse gas concentrations, as well as higher incidences of extreme weather and growing impacts on public health, the Secretary-General called for greater ambition on climate action. Also that day, the Secretary-General attended a high-level meeting organized by the President of the General Assembly on climate and sustainable development. Looking ahead to the Climate Action Summit that he will convene on 23 September, the Secretary-General said he is telling world leaders: “Don’t come with a speech; come with a plan.”
Remarks at press conference: https://bit.ly/2CH7QZJ
Remarks to General Assembly: https://bit.ly/2uC9k30
Racism commemoration underscores need to combat rising intolerance
On Monday, in the aftermath of the massacre at a mosque in New Zealand, and against the backdrop of a global rise in anti-Muslim hatred, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination, the United Nations marked the International Day for the Elimination of Racism and Racial Discrimination. Recalling his visit the previous Friday to the Islamic Center in New York to express his solidarity, the Secretary-General noted that “hate speech is entering the mainstream, spreading like wildfire through social media and radio”, and appealed for heightened efforts to “repair the fissures and polarization that are so prevalent in our societies today”.
Annual ceremony on slavery highlights “power of the arts for justice”
Describing slavery and the transatlantic slave trade as “among history’s most appalling manifestations of human brutality,” the Secretary-General paid tribute to the “remarkable endurance, resilience and countless contributions” of those who resisted and revolted against abominable cruelty.
Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting seeks to strengthen operations
Continuing his efforts to enable UN peacekeeping operations to keep pace as conflicts become more complex and high-risk, the Secretary-General welcomed ministers of defense and others to the United Nations to build on the results of previous such meetings in London and Vancouver. He thanked the more than 150 governments that have endorsed the Action for Peacekeeping initiative and Statement of Shared Commitments, and stressed the imperative of “making missions stronger and safer… refocusing peacekeeping with more realistic expectations, and mobilizing greater support for political solutions”. In the meeting, the Secretary-General presented the UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award to Lieutenant Commander Marcia Andrade Braga, a Brazilian peacekeeper serving with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The Secretary-General also met with the UN Refugee Agency’s ( UNHCR ) Special Envoy Angelina Jolie who also attended the Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting.
Upsurge in violence in Mali
Days following an apparently premeditated massacre of at least 160 civilians in Mali, the Secretary-General briefed the Security Council on Friday on the latest developments and on the efforts of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, MINUSMA, to deter further attacks, protect civilians and save lives. “The expansion of extremist movements has exacerbated longstanding communal tensions between ethnic groups over access to land and water,” he said. “The proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the arming of ethnically-based self-defence groups have increased violence against civilians. If these concerns are not addressed, there is a high risk of further escalation that could lead to the commission of atrocity crimes.”
Call to support flash appeals for countries devastated by Cyclone Idai
With at least 700 people dead, 3 million affected and $1 billion in infrastructure destroyed as a result of flooding and destruction, the Secretary-General called for strong international support for Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in addressing the impacts of Cyclone Idai. The Secretary-General also noted that Cyclone Idai was an “uncommonly fierce and prolonged storm – yet another alarm bell about the dangers of climate change, especially in vulnerable, at-risk countries.”
Exhibition highlights horrific aftermath of land mines and explosive remnants of war
Opening an exhibition organized by the Permanent Mission of Slovenia, the Secretary-General paid tribute to Slovenia for its long-standing support for mine action, and to the UN Mine Action Service for its bravery in this vital work.
Statements and Messages
Memorial for Peter Sutherland: https://bit.ly/2uyD2pp
Peacebuilding Fund: https://bit.ly/2Uq2snX
International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff: https://bit.ly/2Uj1edQ
Group of Governmental Experts on Emerging Technologies in the area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems: https://bit.ly/2JGExMD
Central African Republic: https://bit.ly/2YIMynU
The Secretary-General departs today for Tunisia to attend the Summit meeting of the League of Arab States; he will also meet university students, women leaders and civil society representatives, and inaugurate the new UN House, la Maison Bleue. The Secretary-General will also travel to Cairo, where he will hold discussions with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and visit the Al Azhar Mosque. The last leg of the trip will be Jordan, where the Secretary-General will attend the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, meet with King Abdullah II and visit the Baqa’a Camp, run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).