HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
THURSDAY, 8 AUGUST 2019
JAMMU AND KASHMIR
The Secretary General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint.
The position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions.
The Secretary-General also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla Agreement, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
The Secretary-General is also concerned over reports of restrictions on the Indian-side of Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region.
The Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Climate change poses a major risk to the world’s food supply, and while better land management can help to combat global warming, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors is essential to keep global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Centigrade.
That’s according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is out today following approval by the world’s governments.
These findings will be a key scientific input into upcoming negotiations, such as the Conference of Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification next month in India and the UN climate action summit during the upcoming General Assembly high level week and the COP25, which is scheduled to take place in Chile in December.
For the Secretary-General, this latest IPCC report is yet another piece of compelling evidence that points to the urgent need for climate action. As he has said, we cannot continue on this current course.
Guterres said that while food security is already at risk from climate change, there are many nature-based solutions that can be taken. Next month’s Climate Action Summit will be a prime opportunity to ensure these solutions are put into practice.
On Syria, Najat Rochdi, the Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the Special Envoy for Syria, said today it is deeply regrettable that the cessation of hostilities that has been announced on Monday collapsed and that a new wave of violence is again threatening the lives of millions of civilians who live in the Idlib area, more than a million of whom are children. During the lull in the fighting, Ms. Rochdi said, many civilians had returned to their homes and are currently in areas where heavy attacks have resumed putting them at even great risk.
She noted that more than 500 innocent civilians have been killed and hundreds more injured, since the escalation of fighting began in late April. Displacement figures also have climbed at an alarming rate, with some 400,000 men, women and children forced to flee, many of them multiple times. Our humanitarian colleagues say that at least 10 people have been killed and dozens injured since hostilities resumed this week after a three-day pause. Despite the hostilities, they add, the UN continues to provide assistance through its humanitarian partners in accessible areas and calls for access to inaccessible areas.
Ms. Rochdi said that parties to the conflict are legally bound to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law, and perpetrators of any violations of international humanitarian law must be held into account. Her full statement is available.
The Secretary-General has appointed Gillian Triggs of Australia as Assistant Secretary-General to serve as Assistant High Commissioner for Protection in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Ms. Triggs will succeed Volker Türk of Austria, who as you know have been appointed as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Secretary-General Executive Office in New York. The Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, are grateful for Mr. Türk’s 30 years of dedicated service to the refugee cause, including four years as Assistant High Commissioner for Protection.
Ms. Triggs, who recently served a five-year term as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, brings to the position several decades of professional experience as academic, lawyer, advocate and public policy expert.