HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FARHAN HAQ,

DEPUTY SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES

MONDAY, 12 JULY 2021

FOOD SYSTEMS SUMMIT  
In a statement, the Secretary-General says that new, tragic data informs us that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020 – as many as 161 million more than in 2019.  
He says that addressing hunger and malnutrition cannot be done in isolation of other global challenges.  As we recognized through the 2030 Agenda, they are interconnected.  
It is time to keep our promise. In a world of plenty, we have no excuse for billions of people to lack access to a healthy diet. This is unacceptable, the Secretary-General says. 
This is why the Secretary-General is convening a global Food Systems Summit this September. He says we must come together to urgently make a change.  He added that the upcoming Pre-Summit in Rome at the end of this month will help us define the scope of our ambition and work out how we must address hunger, the climate emergency, incredible inequality and conflict, by transforming our food systems. 

ETHIOPIA 
The World Food Programme said that a convoy of 50 trucks arrived in the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle today with 900 metric tons of food as well as other emergency supplies. However, WFP noted that double this number of trucks needs to be moving in every day to meet the vast humanitarian needs in the region. 
With almost 4 million people in need of emergency food assistance in Tigray, WFP requires transporting more than 10,000 metric tons of food and 150,000 litres of fuel every week on behalf of the humanitarian sector. 
This was the first humanitarian convoy to reach Tigray since WFP re-started operations in the Northwest on 2 July following fighting. Since then, it has provided 135,000 people with emergency food. 
Across Ethiopia, WFP aims to reach 11.9 million people in 2021 with food, nutrition, cash support and activities to boost communities’ self-reliance and capacity to be food secure. 
 
BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY 
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat has a new draft Global Biodiversity Framework to guide actions worldwide through 2030 to preserve and protect nature and its essential services to people. 
This draft framework will serve as the basis for negotiations for countries at the Biodiversity Conference, or COP15, on how to reverse the destruction and degradation of nature. That meeting will take place in Kunming, China, in October. 
The new draft document includes calls for protecting 30 per cent of land and sea areas, halving the introduction of invasive alien species, sharply curbing subsidies or incentives that harm nature, and stepping up nature-based solutions. 

ECOSOC 
Today, the High-Level Political Forum of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held a session that explored concrete policy recommendations to catalyse investments in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), within the context of pressing debt sustainability challenges faced by developing countries. 
The morning also began the presentation of the voluntary national reviews, as part of the follow-up and review architecture of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the Forum. 
42 countries are presenting the Voluntary National Reviews at this session, including eight for the first time, 24 for the second time, and 10 for the third time.  Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General, led a discussion on the Reviews this year. 

LATIN AMERICA/COVID-19 
Over the weekend, Honduras received nearly 190,000 vaccine doses. With this shipment, the country has received a total of over 2 million vaccine doses, which amounts to nearly 55 per cent of the total number of vaccines committed through COVAX and will cover 20 per cent of the country's population.  
And on Sunday, Bolivia received over a million doses donated by the US Government through the COVAX Facility. Bolivia is one of 14 countries in the region receiving vaccines donated by the United States through COVAX. With this shipment, the country has now received a total of 1.4 million doses through COVAX. Our team there worked with the governments of Bolivia and the US on the logistical arrangements for the safe arrival of the vaccines. 

MYANMAR 
The UN Country Team in Myanmar said today that, more than five months since the military takeover of the Government, it remains concerned by continued reports of violence across the country.  
This includes explosions in major towns and cities, as well as armed clashes involving the security forces, the people’s defense forces and ethnic armed groups. Civilian deaths and injuries are being reported on an almost daily basis. 
UN colleagues in Myanmar continue to call on all to refrain from violence and speak out against the disproportionate use of force, including the use of live ammunition and the laying of landmines in civilian areas. 

LEBANON  
The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in recent days has provided agricultural equipment, including water pumps, cisterns and trailers to local communities in south-eastern Lebanon.  Those are part of two agricultural projects in the villages of Bani Hayyan and Bourj Al Malouke. The projects aim to improve the livelihoods of local residents during the ongoing socioeconomic crisis. 
 
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA 
Yesterday, the Secretary-General marked the anniversary of the massacres in Srebrenica, saying in a tweet that we will never forget the Srebrenica genocide. 
He added that denial of genocide and war crimes, or the glorification of war criminals, are all unacceptable. The Secretary-General said that we must work for a peaceful future for all. We owe this to the victims, the survivors, and to all. 

WORLD POPULATION DAY 
Yesterday was World Population Day. In his message for the Day, the Secretary-General noted that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend our world, reaching one grim milestone after another.  
The Secretary-General pointed out that in every corner of the world, we are seeing a reversal of hard-won gains and an erosion of women’s reproductive rights, choices and agency. He stressed that these gaps in access to health rights are unacceptable and that women cannot be alone in this fight.