On Monday, the Secretary-General will arrive in Austria for a long-scheduled visit to the attend events to mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Vienna International Centre, the home of a number of United Nations organizations.
He will express his congratulations and thanks to the Vienna-based parts of the United Nations system for their work and call for a renewed commitment to multilateralism and the values of the United Nations Charter.
On 28 May, the Secretary-General will attend the annual meeting of the R20, an organization that brings together leaders from the world of politics, business and the private sectors focused on fighting climate change. The R20 was founded in 2011 by the former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Citing his recent trip to the South Pacific, the Secretary-General will highlight the need for urgent climate action, including by subnational governments, business and civil society leaders. He will appeal for leaders to bring more concrete and ambitions plans to his climate summit in New York in September.
The Secretary-General will then travel to Aachen in Germany, from 29-30 May to receive the International Charlemagne Prize, an honor which has been awarded annually since 1950 for efforts made in the service of European unification.
As part of the two-day event, the Secretary-General will deliver a key note address. He will also meet and engage in a conversation with students at the Aachen University and will also take part in a number of public events at the Charlemagne Prize Open Air Festival.
The Secretary-General will be back in New York on 3 June.
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council by videoconference today on the situation in the region, noting that earlier this month, we witnessed the most intense fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad [in] Gaza since 2014. The Special Coordinator said the escalation was part of a pattern – the closer we get to consolidating an understanding that would relieve the pressure on the people in Gaza and reduce the risk of rocket fire towards Israeli communities across the border, an incident like the last one would appear to undermine our careful and painstaking efforts.
He welcomed Israel’s decision to lift the ban on a fishing zone in Gaza and the reopening of the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings, and also welcomed the renewed commitment by the Palestinian government to engage constructively on addressing the situation in Gaza. Mr. Mladenov reiterated the Secretary-General’s condemnation on the launching of rockets from Gaza and also called on Israel to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from using lethal force against protesters.
The UN Commissioner-General for the Relief and Works Agency, Pierre Krähenbühl, also briefed the Council on Gaza, and he thanked countries who helped UNRWA successfully overcome an unprecedented deficit last year of $446 million. And he drew the Council’s attention to the increasingly desperate situation faced by the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip - of which at least 1.3 million are Palestine refugees.
The UN confirms that Moncef Kartas was released from detention and that he is now at his home in Berlin in Germany. We are pleased to see that Mr. Kartas has been freed and is recovering at home.
We will continue to engage with the Government of Tunisia on any outstanding matters.
The Secretary-General is alarmed by reports of a second consecutive drone attack on an airport in Najran, for which the Houthis have claimed responsibility. He condemns these attacks, as well as any attack targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, which violate international humanitarian law.
He also calls on all the parties to the Yemen conflict to exercise maximum restraint and prevent further escalation amid heightened tensions.
The Secretary-General reminds the parties that a more productive path forward exists – and that is through dialogue. He further calls on all parties to work constructively with his Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, to make more progress in the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement as well as efforts to end the conflict.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that people are still being forced to flee their homes due to ongoing heavy fighting in and around Tripoli, as well as the deteriorating conditions in front-line areas. To date, more than 78,000 people have been displaced, with half of them estimated to be children.
Some 100,000 people remain in immediate frontline areas, with another 400,000 within a one-kilometer radius of the frontlines.
Aid workers are concerned about water and electricity outages, as well as over reports of an increasing degree of lawlessness in conflict areas, including sexual violence perpetrated by combatants, and looting of homes.
People are unable to safely travel to markets, many of which have been closed, resulting in restricting the availability of food and other basic items. The price of fresh produce has also seen a spike.
Humanitarian partners have reached 42,000 people to date with food, hygiene and baby supplies, and psychosocial support.
Emergency medical teams and supplies have been dispatched to health facilities in Tripoli and its surroundings.
The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in the country are appealing for $1.1 billion to help 4.4 million of the most vulnerable people – which is about half of the estimated population in need.
Although the security situation has improved, there is still protracted and new displacement, with 1.9 million displaced people in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Nearly 6 million people are believed to be in crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity, and the situation is exacerbated by spiraling inflation.
The humanitarian response plan for Sudan is currently only 15 per cent funded. The plan will be revised given the current political and economic fluctuations in the country.
Algeria and Argentina have been certified by the World Health Organization as being malaria-free.
Dr. Tedros, the head of WHO said today that Algeria and Argentina have eliminated malaria thanks to the unwavering commitment and perseverance of the people and leaders of both countries. He said their success serves as a model for other countries working to end this disease once and for all.
Today is the International Day of Biodiversity. This year’s theme is “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health.”
In his message, the Secretary-General said that our health and well-being [depend] on the natural world, however, the world’s ecosystems are facing unprecedented threats.
A new report by the International Labour Organization today found that gender diversity improves business outcomes.
The report surveyed some 13,000 companies in 70 countries and found that businesses with gender diversity, particularly at the senior level, see profits increases between 5 and 20 per cent. The report also notes that the benefits begin to accrue when women hold 30 per cent of senior management of leadership positions.
At 1:00 pm today, Ambassador Karen Pierce, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom will brief journalists at the Security Council Stakeout concerning this morning’s discussion in the General Assembly on the Chagos Islands.