HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
TUESDAY, 21 JANUARY 2020
The Secretary-General will arrive in Davos, on Thursday morning to attend this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF).
The Secretary-General will deliver a special address on the State of the World on Thursday afternoon.
While in Davos, he will take part in an event in which he will ask young global shapers for their solutions to global challenges. This event, which will be livestreamed, kicks off the UN's 75th anniversary initiative, which will see people from all walks of life join the biggest-ever global conversation on how to build a better future for all.
The Secretary-General will also attend the launch of a scheme by the Global Compact, which encourages businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, to bolster ambition to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
He will also hold a number of bilateral meetings with world leaders on the margins of the World Economic Forum.
And we expect the Secretary-General back in New York on Friday night.
This afternoon, at 1:15pm, the Secretary-General will speak at the opening of an exhibit commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
He is expected to reflect on his own visit to Yad Vashem two years ago, where he said he was shocked once again by the ability of antisemitism to reinvent itself and re-emerge time and again, over millenia.
The Secretary-General will pay tribute to Zoltan Matyash, a Holocaust survivor who will attend the opening of the exhibit.
As survivors grow older, the Secretary-General will stress, it is essential that we keep their memories alive and carry their testimony forward in new ways for new generations.
This afternoon, the Deputy Secretary-General will be travelling to Cambridge, Massachusetts to deliver a keynote speech on “Africa Rising: the Role of Business and Entrepreneurship in overcoming the Complexities of the Continent”. Her remarks will be delivered at the Harvard Business School.
Rosemary DiCarlo, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, briefed the Security Council this morning on the situation in the Middle East. She told council members that the Secretary-General has been clear in calling on all leaders to exercise maximum restraint and has emphasized that the world cannot afford another conflict. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she said, is not immune to tensions in the region. At the same time, the effects of its persistence are felt far beyond Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Ms. DiCarlo said that the UN has continued its engagement with all Palestinian factions on the holding of long-overdue presidential and legislative elections and expressed the Secretary-General’s hope that the Palestinian elections will be scheduled. She reiterated that all settlements are illegal under international law, noting that the annexation of some or all of Area C would deal a devastating blow to the potential of reviving negotiations and advancing peace.
Ms. DiCarlo emphasized the continued urgency of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of United Nations resolutions. She stressed the crucial necessity of dialogue and diplomacy in the region.
Also briefing was Ursula Mueller, the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and she briefed the Council on her recent six-day trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. And we briefed you extensively on that trip yesterday.
The UN and its humanitarian agencies are supporting the Government-led response efforts to the heavy rain, snowfall and avalanches in Pakistan. The UN and its partners are providing food items, winterized tents and warm clothing, blankets and non-food items, in addition to heavy machinery to clear snow, dewatering pumps and power generators. Authorities also have sought support from the humanitarian agencies for rescue and relief operations.
As of yesterday, 105 people have been reportedly killed as a result of the weather conditions in northern and south-western Pakistan and nearly 1,300 houses were reportedly damaged.
Rescue efforts are ongoing and major highways and roads are being cleared in the affected provinces; however, access to remote areas and villages is extremely limited.
Similarly, heavy snowfall, flooding and avalanches impacted 11 of 34 provinces in Afghanistan last week. The UN and humanitarian agencies are supporting the Government-led response and assessment in the impacted areas.
Many areas are still inaccessible, so the scale of the impact is not fully clear yet. In accessible areas, emergency shelter, warm clothing, food and non-food items as well as hygiene kits are urgently needed.
WFP Hunger Map
Today, the World Food Programme unveiled the “HungerMap LIVE”, a new tool that monitors food security in more than 90 countries and that also issues predictions for areas where data is limited.
The HungerMap presents data collected on a continuous basis, along with metrics on conflict, climate shocks, population and weather.
WFP’s goal is to present food security assessments that are cheaper, faster and, more importantly, that help its staff, partners and global policymakers deliver better services to the people who need them.
This is also another tool to achieve SDG #2 – Zero hunger by 2030.
In Geneva tomorrow, the World Health Organization’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros, will convene an Emergency Committee meeting on the coronavirus.
The Committee will ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern and what recommendations should be taken to manage this.