HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES

FRIDAY, 24 JUNE 2022

SECRETARY-GENERAL/TRIPS   
Next week, the Secretary-General’s focus will be on the environment and biodiversity and how they have both been impacted by climate change.   
He just landed in Lisbon, a few hours ago, which is the site of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference.   
On Sunday, the Secretary-General will address and engage with youths at the UN Ocean Conference Youth and Innovation Forum, alongside the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. He will be present at the Conference opening ceremony which takes place on Monday, and there he will be joined by the leaders of the two co-hosting nations – that is Portugal’s President Sousa and Kenya, the second co-hosting nation. President Uhuru Kenyatta will also be in attendance.    
The Ocean Conference aims to incentivize action to propel much needed science-based innovation solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.  
At the Conference, the Secretary-General will stress that we face an “Ocean Emergency” and that we must turn the tide. He is expected to focus on issues related to the need to invest in sustainable ocean economies for food, renewable energy and livelihoods, and the need to protect the oceans, and the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on them, from the impacts of climate change.   
The Secretary-General is expected back New York on Tuesday 28 June.   
Then on Friday, 1 July, he will head to Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, for the 43rd Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM – the Caribbean Community. The Secretary-General will attend the opening ceremony of the CARICOM summit on July 3rd.  
The Caribbean region is among the world’s hardest hit by worsening climate impacts, despite having contributed among the least to the problem, due to very low emissions.   
In March, the IPCC designated the Caribbean region as highly climate-vulnerable, meaning its people are 15 times more likely to die of climate impacts.   
During the Conference, the Secretary-General will discuss his recent announcement that the UN will work to ensure that all people on Earth are covered by early warning systems within five years, that is up from 6 in 10 people now.  
In the face of severe climate challenges, and with very scarce resources, the Caribbean region is taking vital steps to build climate resilience, which the Secretary-General will observe first-hand during his stay in Suriname. He will visit an indigenous community in the rainforest, to learn more about harnessing indigenous knowledge to help adapt to climate impacts.    
He will also underscore the importance of nature-based climate solutions during a visit to a coastal mangrove site, where he will witness the Suriname coastline’s susceptibility to flooding, which has been heightened by sea level rise and extreme weather events resulting from the climate crisis.    
We expect the Secretary-General back in New York on July 4th.   
 
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL  
The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, continues her stay in Kigali, where she attended the official opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting hosted by Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda. She also attended an interactive event hosted by the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland.     
Ms. Mohammed had a meeting with President [Uhuru]Kenyatta of Kenya during which she updated him on the work of the Global Crisis Response Group and discussed efforts to advance sustainable development and durable peace in the East African region. She also had discussions with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada who is a co-chair of the SDGs Advocates.      
In the afternoon, the Deputy Secretary-General visited the ArtRwanda Ubuhanzi Incubation Center, which is a UN-supported nationwide talent search project aiming at identifying and supporting the young and talented Rwandans within the creative arts industry.     
Tomorrow, she will continue her discussions with the participating leaders, including President Kagame.  
 
GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE  
Earlier this morning, the Secretary-General addressed by pre-recorded video message the ministerial conference on global food security, which is convened by Germany on behalf of the G7.    
In his message he reiterated his concerns that the war in Ukraine has compounded problems that have been brewing for years: climate disruption; the COVID-19 pandemic and the deeply unequal recovery.   
There is a real risk that multiple famines will be declared in 2022, Mr. Guterres said, adding that 2023 could be even worse.   
Humanitarian support is essential – but, he added, this crisis goes beyond food and requires a coordinated multilateral approach, with multi-dimensional solutions.   
The Secretary-General told the Ministers about his efforts to get an agreement to reintegrate Ukraine’s food production, as well as the food and fertilizer produced by Russia, into the world markets.                                 
He also called for action to solve the finance crisis in the developing world.   
Today’s discussions, he concluded, are an opportunity for concrete steps to stabilize global food markets and tackle the volatility of commodity prices.   
 
INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT  
The Secretary-General spoke by video message to the launch event of his Action Agenda on Internal Displacement, the Secretary-General said that our world is facing a crisis with record high numbers of people around the world displaced within their countries by tragedies such as conflict, disasters and the climate crisis.   
Building on the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement, the Action Agenda aims to help internally displaced persons find durable solutions; to better prevent future displacement crises; and to ensure stronger protection and assistance for those currently facing displacement. 

WOMEN IN DIPLOMACY  
Today is the first ever International Day of Women in Diplomacy. It was recently adopted by consensus by the General Assembly. The resolution was introduced by the Maldives whose representative said that women’s participation in decision making is absolutely vital and yet, far too often, as women climb the diplomatic ranks, they are outnumbered by their male peers, including at UN Headquarters, where they represent only one fifth of the permanent representatives.  
The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, said, in a Tweet, that we must all do everything possible to ensure women are at the table, our voices heard, and our contributions valued.  
  
UKRAINE  
As today marks four months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Amin Awad, the Assistant Secretary-General and UN Crisis Coordinator in Ukraine, said that the war has uprooted over 12 million Ukrainians. They need a durable solution to end their displacement. This requires concerted efforts by all.  
The UN has expanded its presence in the country, working closely with the Ukrainian Government as well as with over 300 local civil society partners and international non-governmental organizations, scaling up assistance at unprecedented speed. We are now reaching almost nine million people with essential support.     
In eastern Ukraine, heavy fighting continues with civilians trapped and cut off from food, drinking water and electricity. We continue to call for humanitarian access to these areas to reach civilians requiring urgent assistance.  
Humanitarian partners are already working on an assistance plan to support the Ukrainian people during the forthcoming winter. However, the urgent energy needs go beyond the capacity of humanitarians, requiring concerted efforts by States to support Ukraine.  
 
ETHIOPIA  
The UN is concerned by the situation in Western Ethiopia, where conflict in Oromia, Benishangul-Gumuz and SNNP regions have caused significant displacement, damaged infrastructure, and hampered humanitarian response.  
Overall, more than 500,000 people are estimated to be displaced by conflict in Western Oromia.  
The severe drought is affecting more than 8 million people in Ethiopia, including in some areas affected by the conflict in Southern Oromia and Afar regions.  
Over 4.5 million people have received assistance in drought-affected areas. Across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, at least 18.4 million people are already waking each day to high levels of acute food insecurity and rising malnutrition, as the region faces the impact of four consecutive failed rainy seasons, a climactic event not seen in the last 40 years. Humanitarian partners urgently need additional funding to respond to the rapidly increasing needs in the coming months.  
Across the Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions in the north, some 13 million people now need food and other assistance.  
Since the convoys to the Tigray region resumed at the start of April, the UN and  NGO partners have brought in more than 120,000 tons of food and other supplies, and more than 1.3 million people have received food assistance. However, the pace of distribution remains limited by the availability of fuel. Some 987,000 liters of fuel have been brought into Tigray during this period, but an estimated 2 million liters per month is required to fully distribute the incoming supplies. 
 
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC  
The UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic reports that they supported deployment of a mobile Central African team in charge of the national Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) Programme in the south-east of the country from 13 to 22 June. They conducted operations in the Haut Mbomou Prefecture, which resulted in the disarmament and demobilization of 51 combatants, as well as the collection of weapons and ammunition. In the process, five children were identified, separated from the armed group and referred to a local child protection organization to be reintegrated with their families. 
 
MALI  
The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, today allocated $4 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to respond to the displacement crisis in Ménaka in Mali.  
Since March 2022, armed clashes in the Ménaka region killed hundreds of people and triggered the displacement of an estimated 56,000 people, nearly two thirds of them women and children.  
More than 61 per cent of the displaced people have not received any form of shelter, non-food relief items and water and sanitation assistance. Only half of the displaced communities have been supported with food or cash.  
Displaced people and host populations need food assistance, shelter and non-food assistance and better protection for women and girls.   
Today, a total of 7.5 million people in Mali need humanitarian assistance. 1.8 million people will be acutely food insecure this year because of the insecurity and climate change.  
As of now, only 11 per cent of the humanitarian requirement of US$685.7 million have been received. Only 11 per cent. 
This year, the CERF secretariat already allocated $18 million to Mali to help scale up the response. The latest contribution brings the total funding to almost $100 million, channeled through the CERF to the Sahel response since the beginning of the year.  
 
MICRONESIA  
The UN team in Micronesia, led by Resident Coordinator, Jaap van Hierden, as the team continues to support the Governments of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru and Kiribati in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.   
The World Health Organization (WHO) will continue working with the Government of Nauru to identify areas where support is needed as it has been dealing with its first community transmission after two and a half years of being COVID-free. WHO worked in tandem with the Government to build capacity through training sessions at community health centres. The focus is to enable health professionals to test and treat mild symptoms of COVID-19 through available therapeutics while keeping major hospitals from getting overwhelmed. 
In Palau, the UN has worked closely with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Government to attain one of the highest vaccination coverage rates in the world (almost 100 per cent), prior to its first surge of COVID-19 community transmission in early 2022. This vaccination rate contributed to the effective management of the COVID-19 outbreak in Palau and the low rate of critical cases.   
Meanwhile, to ensure that teaching and learning was not interrupted during the extensive lockdown, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) partnered with Microsoft to support the authorities in Kiribati to develop a learning passport which has benefitted some 9,000 students in Kiribati. 

LIBYA
On 28 and 29 June, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Libya, Stephanie Williams, will facilitate a meeting between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, and the President of the High State Council of State, Khaled Mishri. 
The leaders of the two chambers have agreed to meet at the United Nations Office at Geneva to discuss the draft constitutional framework for elections, taking into account the outcome of the Joint Committee that was held in Cairo from 12 to 20 June 2022.