MONDAY, 26 JULY 2021



Today, the Secretary-General spoke in a video message at the Official Ceremony of the Pre-Summit of the Food Systems Summit, which started in Rome. He stressed that we are at a pivotal moment, and we are seriously off track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 
The Secretary-General noted that the pandemic, which still assails us, has highlighted the links between inequality, poverty, food, disease and our planet. He stressed that at the Pre-Summit, we can define the scope of our collective ambition and strengthen our efforts to achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals by transforming our food systems. 
Also in Rome, the Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, this morning spoke at the Opening Plenary of the Pre-Summit for the Food Systems Summit. She said that even as the pandemic has physically pushed us apart, the Food Systems Summit process has brought people together around the simple idea that food can help us accelerate our actions and bring in solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  
The Deputy Secretary-General stressed that there is no one size that fits all and that we must work country by country, region by region, community by community, to ensure that the diversity of needs are addressed. 
The Deputy Secretary-General also spoke to the press along with other officials present at the pre-summit.  Ms. Mohammed stressed that by 2050, the world’s population is expected to grow to almost 10 billion and that we need to ensure that we can feed each person, and that no one goes to bed hungry. She emphasized that we need to find solutions and then face the challenge of implementing them afterwards.  
Later today, the Deputy Secretary-General will attend a televised event with Andrea Bocelli and Food Systems Heroes. Tomorrow, she will participate in the Opening of a Ministerial Roundtable and will hold another series of bilateral meetings. 
The Secretary-General issued a statement following the G20 meeting on environment, climate and energy.  He said that the world urgently needs a clear and unambiguous commitment to the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement from all G20 nations. There is no pathway to this goal without the leadership of the G20, he added. 
Science tells us that in order to meet this ambitious, yet achievable goal, the world must achieve carbon neutrality before 2050 and cut dangerous greenhouse gas emissions by 45 % by 2030 from 2010 levels, the Secretary-General said, adding that we are way off track. 
In the remaining days before COP 26, the Secretary-General urged all G20 and other leaders to commit to net zero by mid-century; present more ambitious 2030 national climate plans and deliver on concrete policies and actions aligned with a net zero future including no new coal after 2021, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and agreeing to a minimum international carbon pricing floor as proposed by the IMF. 
The full statement is online.     

The UN Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, reports that civilian casualties in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 reached record levels, including a particularly sharp increase in killings and injuries since May, when international military forces began their withdrawal and the fighting intensified following the Taliban’s offensive.  
In a new report issued today, the UN Mission says that Afghanistan is on course for 2021 to witness the highest ever number of documented civilian casualties in a single year since UNAMA records began, unless there is a significant de-escalation. 
Much of the battlefield action during the deadliest months of May and June took place outside cities, in areas with comparatively low population levels, the Mission reports. The number of civilian casualties during May and June – 783 killed and 1,609 injured – was the highest for those months since UNAMA began its systematic documentation in 2009. 
Deborah Lyons, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said that the report provides a clear warning that unprecedented numbers of Afghan civilians will perish and be maimed this year if the increasing violence is not stemmed. 

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that heavy rains have hit Yemen over the last few days, causing serious flooding in parts of Hudaydah, Al Jawf and Sana’a. This includes areas hosting internally displaced people who had fled conflict in other locations.   
Humanitarian agencies are working with local authorities to identify needs and to provide initial assistance. Priorities include shelter, food, water, and essential household items.  
More rain and storms are expected in much of the country over the next 24 hours, including medium to heavy rainfall in flood-prone areas, including in Taiz governorate.  
The Spokesman said the UN is disappointed by the recent statements from the Ansar Allah authorities in Sana’a on the SAFER tanker issue.
As said to the Security Council and everyone else many times, the UN is eager to help. Back in November 2020, the UN agreed with Ansar Allah on a mission plan to assess the tanker and, if conditions are safe enough onboard, to do some light maintenance to help minimize the risk of an oil spill.  
From what the UN can understand, the Houthis are demanding advance guarantees that the UN will complete all the potential light maintenance activities in the mission plan.  
The SAFER is a very dangerous site, and advance guarantees – before verifying conditions onboard – are not possible. That is also why the November 2020 agreement explicitly conditions the light maintenance activities on the safety environment we find onboard.  
For a UN-led solution, that starts with an assessment and, if it’s safe enough, some light maintenance that the UN hopes will buy a bit more time for a longer-term solution. We also remain open-minded regarding any other safe, quick solutions to this problem. 
The UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) reports that earlier today, five peacekeepers were injured in Aguelhok (Kidal Region), during an attack involving an improvised explosive device. 
A Quick Reaction Force was immediately dispatched to the site of the incident and the wounded were transported to a hospital for treatment.  
Yesterday, there was an indirect fire attack, also in Aguelhok, this time on Mission premises. There were no reports of casualties or damage.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, Mission assets, including helicopters, dispersed armed combatants before they were able to launch an attack in Bandiougou, in Central Mali. Peacekeepers continue to monitor the situation closely. 

The UN Mission in South Sudan is urging local and national authorities to put an end to extrajudicial executions following the killing of at least 42 people accused of criminal activity who were not given access to a fair trial.  
In some of the cases documented by our colleagues at the Mission’s Human Rights Division, victims in Warrap State were allegedly brought before local officials for “sentencing”. Eyewitnesses reported that some men were taken to remote areas, tied to trees, and executed by firing squad. 
The Mission has raised its concerns directly with local officials, and also asked the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to investigate and prosecute those responsible. 
Our peacekeeping colleagues are helping build the capacity of rule of law institutions across the country. They also facilitated the deployment of mobile courts and are in touch with the Chief Justice of South Sudan to support the deployment of more judges to the area.  
Today, the World Food Programme and UNICEF warned that as the drought worsens in Madagascar, malnutrition rates among children are expected to quadruple in the country’s South. 
At least half a million children under the age of five are expected to be acutely malnourished there. This includes 110,000 boys and girls in severe condition. 
In the worst-affected district -Ambovombe-Androy-, malnutrition rates have reached an alarming 27 per cent. Unless urgent steps are taken, there is a risk of famine, the agencies say. 
WFP and UNICEF have been working closely with the Malagasy government and partners. As the crisis deepens the agencies are in the process of strengthening their emergency nutrition response in the south. But to address this emergency, they call for a robust multi-sectoral prevention and response plan in collaboration with all partners and the national authorities. 
The Security Council held closed consultations this morning on the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia. 
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the Centre, Natalia Gherman, briefed Council members. 
And this afternoon, the Security Council will hold closed consultations on COVID-19 and other matters. 

Honduras recently received more than 1.5 million doses through COVAX, which were donated by the Government of the United States.  
This is the second donation of vaccines from the United States to Honduras through COVAX.  
So far, Honduras has received 3.6 million doses through COVAX. This is 92 per cent of the total vaccines the country is set to receive from COVAX. These doses will cover 20 per cent of the country’s population. 

The UN team in the Philippines has just launched its first national-level joint programme on human rights.  
The three-year programme was developed to implement a Human Rights Council resolution, which was adopted last October 2020.  It outlined how to boost national capacity and technical cooperation to promote and protect human rights in the country.  
The initiative aims to strengthen domestic investigation and accountability mechanisms; boost data gathering on alleged police violations; and enhance engagement with civil society and the Commission on Human Rights.  
The Resident Coordinator, Gustavo Gonzalez, signed the initiative with Filipino authorities and called this new programme a critical milestone to support a wide range of national institutions.