On Friday at 12:30, the Secretary-General will do a press stakeout. He will deliver some remarks before he participates on the G20 and then he will take some questions. That will replace the noon briefing.
This morning, the Secretary-General addressed, in a pre-recorded video message, the Youth4Climate virtual event, which was convened by the government of Italy.
The Secretary-General said major and rapid change is what we need in the fight against climate disruption. Change that will make our planet more livable, sustainable and inclusive, and no group is more effective in pushing leaders to change the course than youth.
He urged young people to put their power to work in their schools, workplaces and online communities, and to keep raising their voices and driving forward the ambition we need. “When you march, the world follows,” he told them.
As a reminder, at 10 a.m. NY time tomorrow, the Secretary-General will address the European Council on Foreign Relations, also on the topic of climate. The Secretary-General will urge the European Union to continue to lead on this issue and to commit to reducing emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030.
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Council this morning via videoconference. He warned about active COVID-19 cases again being on the rise in Israel and Palestine. He said that Gaza remains the most immediate and pressing concern, as its crumbling infrastructure, poor living conditions and fragile healthcare system make it ill-equipped to face a major spike in cases.
Mr. Mladenov welcomed the Palestinian Authority’s decision to restart civilian and security coordination with Israel. He expressed his appreciation to Israel for confirming that existing Israeli–Palestinian bilateral agreements continue to govern their relations, particularly in the context of economic, security and civilian coordination.
At the same time, he reiterated the UN’s call on Israeli authorities to cease demolitions, seizures of Palestinian property and efforts to relocate communities in the occupied West Bank. Such actions are contrary to international law and could undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state, he said.
Following that meeting, there will be a virtual stakeout by the Ambassadors of Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland and Norway.
The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Babacar Cisse, and the heads of the UN Refugee Agency, the World Food Programme, the UN Children’s Fund and the UN Population Fund were on a two-day mission to assess the situation in refugee camps in the southeastern regionof Sudan, bordering the Tigray province of Ethiopia.
There are now over 30,000 refugees in Sudan, and families and children are sleeping in the open. The UN team, with the Government of Sudan is working to ensure that people are not in reception centres for more than two days before being transferred to more proper facilities in refugee camps.
Some 4,000 Ethiopians are now arriving daily in Sudan from three different entry points before reaching registration centres.
The mission visited the Hamdayet Reception Centre, which is in itself hosting nearly 16,000 people. They also visited places in Um Raquba camp, which currently hosts 4,440 Ethiopians. It is prepared to accommodate 10,000 people. That reception centre is being expanded to shelter more people crossing the border.
They are also identifying additional sites so that refugees can get away from the border and receive aid and essential services. The UN’s concern right now is with hygiene conditions, as more and more people arrive and that hygiene is focused on trying to prevent the spread of the virus.
In a statement Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, said he is increasingly concerned about the evolving humanitarian situation in the country’s north and in neighbouring areas. He said that, even before the current hostilities, nearly a million people in Tigray and millions more who live in close proximity, were in need of humanitarian assistance. Mr. Lowcock called for full access to reach people in need wherever they are; safe passage for civilians seeking assistance; and the security of aid workers. Aid workers must be able to deliver assistance without fear of attack. Mr. Lowcock said that the UN is engaging with the Government and relevant authorities to facilitate immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access. We are committed to staying and delivering humanitarian assistance, he said, adding that all parties must respect international humanitarian law. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it is concerned that a security vacuum created elsewhere in the country risks further exposing civilians to attacks. They also said that violent incidents have been reported on an almost daily basis, mainly in Western Oromia region.
David Shearer, the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said that the Mission is well underway with planning for its operations during the forthcoming dry season.
Mr. Shearer said that over the coming weeks, in cooperation with the security services, the Mission will begin deploying peacekeepers to places like Manyabol, Likongule, Duk Padiat, Yuai, and Waat to set up temporary bases or to conduct extended long-duration patrols.
He said that UN peacekeepers have a responsibility to protect those who need protection the most. That means, he said, that UNMISS needs to relocate troops and staff to facilitate reconciliation and peacebuilding into areas of tension and address that tensions before conflict erupts.
The International Organization for Migration says tens of thousands of people are continuing to flee insecurity in Cabo Delgado, in northern Mozambique. IOM warned that this is challenging the ability of the government and its humanitarian partners to respond with adequate shelter, food and other assistance.
According to IOM, more than 33,000 people have moved south in the last week. The number of displaced people in the area increased to more than 355,000, from some 88,000 earlier this year.
In cooperation with the Government of Mozambique, IOM is providing immediate humanitarian assistance. But the UN agency says available resources do not cover the extensive humanitarian needs of families who arrive with nothing following their displacement.
Security concerns have also prevented the Organization from reaching several northern and coastal districts.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
The World Health Organization said today marks the end of the 11th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, nearly six months after the first cases were reported in Equateur Province. WHO thanked partners for their support and congratulated responders and all those who tirelessly tracked cases, provided treatment, engaged communities and vaccinated more than 40,000 people at high risk.
At the height of the outbreak there were more than 100 WHO experts on the ground, supporting the government’s response. The World Health Organization noted that while the 11th outbreak is over, there is a need for continued vigilance and strong surveillance as potential flare-ups are possible in the months to come.
The UN Population Fund is appealing for a total of $131.6 million to fund the regional response to the Syria crisis, which spans 11.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, in addition to 5.6 million refugees throughout Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt.
The appeal also includes urgent funding required to address the substantial needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has added yet another layer of complexity to the issue.