TUESDAY, 24 MAY 2022

This morning, the Secretary-General delivered a commencement address for the Class of 2022 at Seton Hall University. In his remarks, he told graduates that they were entering a world brimming with peril, with conflicts and division on a scale not seen in decades, and that it now falls to them to use what they have learned to do something about it.
The Secretary-General said that he hopes that the graduates will succeed where his generation failed, adding that they must be the generation that succeeds in addressing the planetary emergency of climate change.
The Secretary-General pointed out that despite mountains of evidence of looming climate catastrophe, we still see mountains of funding for coal and fossil fuels that is killing our planet.  But we know, he said, that investing in fossil fuels is a dead end and no amount of greenwashing or spin can change that. Mr. Guterres stressed that we must put them on notice: accountability is coming for those who liquidate our future. 
The Secretary-General gave the graduates a simple message: Don’t work for climate-wreckers, but use your talents to drive us towards a renewable future.

Also this morning, the Paris Peace Forum presented the conversation recorded yesterday with the Secretary-General, as part of its Spring meeting.   
The discussion, moderated by Trisha Shetty, the President of the Paris Peace Forum Steering Committee, focused on the theme of Preserving global cooperation in times of war. Talking about the war in Ukraine, the Secretary-General reiterated his appeal to find a solution that would allow food produced in Ukraine, as well as food and fertilizers made in Russia, to be available to the international markets. This, he said, would help many developing countries avoid the compounding effects of high food and energy prices.

The Security Council met this morning on Sudan. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Volker Perthes, said the overall situation has remained precarious, with much at stake – including Sudan’s political, social and economic stability. 
He said time is short for the Sudanese to reach a political solution to forge a way out of this crisis.  
Since a “trilateral mechanism” to facilitate Sudan-Sudan talks was set up, the UN, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development have stated that these talks will only succeed in a conducive environment, and that is up to the Sudanese, particularly the authorities.
Mr. Perthes stressed it is time for all violence to end. We have urged the authorities, he said, to reach out to the public, make clear that they are supporting dialogue as the only way to reach a political solution.

Also on Sudan, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today warned that erratic seasonal rains, floods, pests and diseases, and other factors have led to estimates for the upcoming harvest being well below average. The prices of sorghum and millet continued to soar across Sudan, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  
FAO and the World Food Programme (WFP) estimate that the number of people who are acutely food insecure across Sudan is expected to increase from 9.8 million last year to 18 million by this September 2022.   
The UN partners have reached 3.9 million people in Sudan with food and livelihood assistance between January and March of this year.  
The Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, allocated $20 million in April from the Central Emergency Response Fund to support the distribution of seeds for the current planting season.    
On the funding front, only 13 per cent of the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan has been funded to date.

The Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, concluded today a two-day meeting with Yemeni economic experts from diverse backgrounds to consult on priorities for the multitrack peace process. Participants underlined the momentum provided by the truce on economic issues and identified opportunities for incentivizing further progress.
Mr. Grundberg said that addressing the deteriorating Yemeni economy will be central to both alleviating the chronic suffering of Yemeni civilians and reaching a sustainable solution to some of the key drivers of this conflict. He added that it is important to identify those areas where our efforts could prove useful and efficient in helping parties find common ground in addressing the issues that affect all Yemenis across the country.

In Sri Lanka, the UN team led by Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, is addressing urgent needs with food assistance and essential medicine. With a $1.5 million donation from the Government of Japan, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will procure medicines for over 1.2 million people, among them 53,000 pregnant mothers and nearly 122,000 children in immediate need.
The World Food Programme (WFP) will also receive $1.5 million from Japan to provide food assistance to children and families in need of support.
In addition, Australia has made available the equivalent of nearly $ 5 million for food security, essential medicines and women’s health, and nutrition data collection and analysis with several entities working together to address this issue, including UNICEF, WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

A new report released today by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that most wealthy countries are creating unhealthy, dangerous and noxious conditions for children not just within their borders but also across the world. The report looks at indicators such as exposure to harmful pollutants including toxic air, pesticides, damp and lead; access to light, green spaces and safe roads; and countries’ contributions to the climate crisis, consumption of resources, and the dumping of e-waste.
The report states that if everybody in the world consumed resources at the rate people do in European Union countries and those in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the equivalent of 3.3 earths would be needed to keep up with consumption levels.  
The full ranking of countries by overconsumption and their impact on children is available on UNICEF’s website.

The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) today said that fighting between the Congolese armed forces and the M23 armed group has continued yesterday in the areas of Tshanzu and Runyoni, as well as close to Bigenga (20km SE of Rutshuru). Peacekeepers provided aerial and artillery fire support, as well as aerial surveillance support to the Congolese armed forces.
Early this morning, the Congolese armed forces were attacked again by the M23, this time in Ruhunda, which is about 23km NE of Goma.
The mission said that people have fled their homes as a result of the fighting. Some have sought refuge inside the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while others have reportedly crossed the border to Uganda.
The Mission is continuing to engage with political actors at the national, provincial and local level as well as with community leaders and humanitarian actors in Rutshuru to discuss protection and humanitarian needs.
Testerday, the head of the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has condemned these attacks and called on the M23 to lay down their weapons. The mission remains ready to use all necessary means within its mandate to support Congolese efforts to neutralize armed groups and protect civilians. MONUSCO will continue to engage with Congolese national, provincial, and local authorities and community leaders in support of political solutions.

Thursday is UN Peacekeeping Day, and ahead of the ceremonies, the names of the recipients of two prestigious awards have already been announced.  
First, the “Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage” will be awarded to the late Captain Abdelrazakh Hamit Bahar of Chad.   
Captain Abdelrazakh was deployed at the Aguelhok Super Camp in north-east Mali when it was attacked by an armed terrorist group in April of last year. He led a bold counterattack to defend the camp, protect the lives of his colleagues and prevent civilian casualties, but sadly, he was killed during the operations.   
The medal will be presented to his family during a ceremony here on Thursday.    
The second award will go to Military Observer Major Winnet Zharare, from Zimbabwe. She will receive the 2021 UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year award.  
Major Zharare recently completed her assignment with the UN Mission in South Sudan and, while posted in Bentiu, she advocated for gender parity and women’s participation, within her own ranks, among local military counterparts, and in host communities.

Senegal has now paid its regular budget dues, bringing us up to 103 fully paid-up Member States.