20211015

Kosovo - Security Council Briefing (15 Oct 2021)


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "Kosovo - Security Council Briefing (15 Oct 2021)"
The topics: Following a series of security incidents in Kosovo, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Zahir Tanin, today (15 Oct) called for dialogue and said, “history in the region has tragically and repeatedly shown that ostensibly small incidents, misreading of intentions, and outright mistakes can trigger an unstable security escalation that puts lives at risk and benefits no-one.” Tanin, who is also the Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), presented the report of the Secretary-General on Kosovo to the Security Council. He described clashes stemming from a police operation in northern Kosovo to enforce a new license plate validity regime in September, as well as further protests and clashes this past Wednesday following the deployment of Kosovo Police Special Police Units in the north, as part of what was described as an anti-smuggling operation. The Foreign Minister of Serbia Nikola Selaković expressed “deep regret and concerns” that the security situation “has been marked by an increasing number of various ethnically motivated attacks and incidents targeting Serbs, which was also stated in the report, that the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina continue to take unilateral steps and refuse to implement the agreements reached in the Brussels Dialogue, and that institutional discrimination against Serbs, attacks on the sites of Serbian Orthodox Church, and the undermining of the economic sustainability of Serb communities in the province, have continued.” For her part, the President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu told the Council that “the Republic of Kosovo today is a free, sovereign, independent country, and an increasingly prosperous country” and said the UN Mission “has not only overstated its mandate, but it is also there in contradiction to the interpretation of the International Court of Justice.” She urged Council members “to put your budget at a better use.”


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Afghanistan, Refugees, Ethiopia & other topics - Daily Press Briefing (15 October 2021)


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "Afghanistan, Refugees, Ethiopia & other topics - Daily Press Briefing (15 October 2021)"
The topics: Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Highlights: -Afghanistan/Attack -Afghanistan/Regugees -Ethiopia -Security Council/Kosovo -Yemen -Venezuela -Migrant Workers -Latin America -Nigeria -International Day of Rural Women -World Food Day -International Day for the Eradication of Poverty -Guest Manday AFGHANISTAN/ATTACK The UN Mission in Afghanistan today said that terrorism continues in the country with at least 30 people killed and scores injured in a suicide attack on Kandahar’s largest Shia mosque. The attack took place during Friday prayers. UNAMA stressed that the UN condemns the latest atrocity targeting a religious institution and worshippers. Those responsible must be brought to justice. AFGHANISTAN/REFUGEES The UN Refugee Agency today urged states to facilitate and expedite family reunification procedures for Afghans whose families are left behind in Afghanistan, or who have been displaced across the region. UNHCR said that recent political developments in Afghanistan have not led to large-scale cross-border displacement. However, many among pre-existing Afghan refugee and asylum seeker populations remain separated from their families owing to the inaccessibility of family reunification procedures. UNHCR stressed that the principle of family unity is protected under international law and in binding regional legal instruments. Domestic legislation in many countries also has this principle. ETHIOPIA The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is greatly concerned about the situation in the north of the country, where they are receiving reports of an intensification of the conflict in multiple locations. Despite extremely challenging circumstances, aid workers continue to deliver assistance to people across the three northern provinces. In Tigray, where more than 90 per cent of the people need aid and an estimated 400,000 people are living in famine-like conditions, aid operations continue to face significant challenges. Although more than 200 trucks of humanitarian supplies arrived in Tigray last week, far more is needed, and the convoys did not receive clearance to carry much-needed fuel or medicine. The lack of cash, fuel and supplies is disrupting the response in multiple areas. Last week, UN’s humanitarian partners were only able to reach 17 per cent of the people who should have received food assistance. Water trucking services in Central and North-western zones have been reduced, and that impacts more than 472,000 men, women and children. Our colleagues say they are particularly concerned that much-needed medical supplies continue to be blocked from entering Tigray. Nine trucks carrying medicine have been awaiting approval to enter Tigray since the beginning of August. In Amhara and Afar, the UN continues to scale up operations so that people impacted by the fighting receive the help they need. Since the beginning of August, 640,000 people in Amhara and 72,000 people in Afar have received food assistance. Again, the UN calls on the parties to the conflict to halt the fighting and ensure that aid workers are able to reach all people in dire need of help. Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=15%20October%202021


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Philippines: Tipping the Scales of Equality - International Day of Rural Women


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "Philippines: Tipping the Scales of Equality - International Day of Rural Women"
The topics: In some areas of the Philippines women are not allowed to attend meetings, or even speak freely or leave their homes. Gender inequality not only hinders women’s empowerment, but affects the economic development of whole communities.Philippine’s businesswoman Ruperta Gagarin is among hundreds of women who are reversing that role. They have received funding and training from The UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development ( IFAD) and the Government of the Philippines through the FISHCoral project.She received funding and training to set up her own fish drying business.“ Now, we are more educated. We are empowered to be more independent." She says.To mark International Day of Rural women IFAD is highlighting the work of rural women around the world, who are standing on their own two feet and making a better life for themselves and their families.


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(ES) Colombia: "Progress towards Peace" - Security Council Media Stakeout


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "(ES) Colombia: "Progress towards Peace" - Security Council Media Stakeout"
The topics: Informal comments to the media by Marta Lucía Ramírez, Vice president and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia, on the situation in the country, and Venezuela, following the Security Council, 8879th meeting.


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(ES/EN) Colombia: Peace Process- Security Council Briefing (14 October 2021)


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "(ES/EN) Colombia: Peace Process- Security Council Briefing (14 October 2021)"
The topics: The Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, said, "Preserving what has been achieved, making headway on the outstanding tasks, and overcoming the challenges of implementation will hinge to a great extent on the parties' ability to implement each and every element" of the peace agreement. Addressing the Security Council today (14 Oct), Ruiz Massieu said, with the 5th anniversary of the peace agreement between the Colombian State and the former FARC-EP approaching, there is an opportunity to reflect on the great deal of achievements in the first third of the 15-year period of implementation, as well as the many things that remain to be achieved. The UN Special Representative said recent events show the potential of the full implementation of the agreement which puts victims at the heart of the process, including the establishment of congressional seats which allow the people in the regions most effected by the conflict to actively participate in the democratic debate and the progress made by the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition. Ruiz Massieu said the progress made is a result of the commitment and the cumulative efforts of the parties, including the civil society and the international community. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia: "Preserving what has been achieved, making headway on the outstanding tasks, and overcoming the challenges of implementation will hinge to a great extent on the parties' ability to implement each and every element of the agreement. Their isolated implementation would fall short. It would not make it possible to eliminate the factors that led to decades of armed conflict and to ensure the transformative potential of the agreement." The Head of Verification Mission said collective efforts to boost reintegration in the early years of the process had been crucial to instil hope among thousands of men and women who continue to bet on peace until this day. However, referencing a female leader of former combatants in Meta, he said many investments may now be in jeopardy, adding that to protect hard fought gains, decisive actions are required on matters such as land, housing, sustainable income generation and security. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia: "As time passes, it is increasingly evident that deeper transformations are required to consolidate the reintegration process and other elements that have been put in motion in these five years, including within the territorial development programmes, and the programme for the substitution of illicit crops. However fruitful the early stages may have been, the long-term success of initial investments is contingent upon the agreement's promise of reshaping rural Colombia by establishing sustainable development opportunities and state services and institutions for communities whose expectations remain unfulfilled." Ruiz Massieu noted that he continued to follow security issues in various regions with utmost concern. He said, to date, 296 men and women who laid down their arms in good faith have lost their lives, mostly through actions of illegal armed groups and criminal organizations. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia: "Conflict-affected communities, former combatants, and social leaders still bear the brunt of the actions of illegal armed actors taking advantage of a limited state presence, poverty, and illicit economies. Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities are being disproportionately affected by all kinds of violence. In this case, from killings of their leaders to displacements and confinements. This situation demands the urgent and simultaneous implementation of all security guarantees provisions of the agreement." The Special Representative said, in light of the formidable threats facing these regions, the government and state entities should make better use of the mechanisms created by the agreement itself, including the National Commission on Security Guarantees. Ruiz Massieu said, in 2018, the end of the conflict with the FARC-EP led to the least violent and most participatory election in Colombia in decades, which is a testament to the undeniable relationship between a strengthened democracy and a lasting peace. He stressed that even in the midst of major challenges, the Colombian peace process continues to show the benefits of ending conflict through a negotiated agreement and putting the rights of victims at the heart of the process.


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20211014

Day for Disaster Risk Reduction - UN Chief Message (13 October 2021)


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "Day for Disaster Risk Reduction - UN Chief Message (13 October 2021)"
The topics: Video Message by Antonio Guterres (UN Secretary-General) on The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. To meet the cascading challenges of the 21st century and safeguard the lives, health and livelihoods of all people, we must reduce systemic risks. Weak governance, growing poverty, biodiversity loss, collapsing ecosystems and unplanned rapid urbanization are all interconnected drivers of disaster risk. Left unaddressed, they aggravate the intensity and frequency of disasters and increase the need for humanitarian assistance. And they stand in the way of our global effort to defeat COVID-19, adapt to climate change, and build forward better. Just 24 hours advance warning of a storm or heatwave could reduce the ensuing damage by 30 per cent. However, many low- and middle-income countries lack adequate early warning systems. And when disaster strikes, weak health systems and infrastructure leave them even more vulnerable. Decades of development gains can be wiped out in an instant. Building resilience to climate change and reducing disaster risk and losses is vital to save lives and livelihoods, eradicate poverty and hunger and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. For Small Island Developing States, it is a question of survival amid warming oceans, rising seas, and intensifying storms. Effective risk reduction relies on international cooperation and global solidarity. It is about ensuring fair and equitable access to vaccines for everyone, everywhere; dramatically increasing funding and support for climate change adaptation and resilience building; and delivering on the Sendai Framework. On this International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, let us commit to cooperate to build a safer and more resilient world.


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Lebanon, Secretary-General/Transport & other topics - Daily Press Briefing (14 October 2021)


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "Lebanon, Secretary-General/Transport & other topics - Daily Press Briefing (14 October 2021)"
The topics: Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Highlights: LEBANON Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the current violence in Beirut, Lebanon. The UN calls on all concerned to immediately cease acts of violence and to refrain from any provocative actions or inflammatory rhetoric. The Secretary-General reiterates the need for an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation into the explosion at the port of Beirut that took place last year. The Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Joanna Wronecka, also responded to the violence today. She condemned the use of armed violence outside of state authority and underscored the need for restraint, for maintaining calm and stability and ensuring the protection of civilians. The Special Coordinator underscored the utmost responsibility of Lebanon’s leaders to place the interests of the country first and foremost at this critical juncture. She said, and I quote: “Now is the time for all sides to support judicial independence in the interest of the people.” SECRETARY-GENERAL/TRANSPORT This morning, the Secretary-General delivered remarks virtually to the Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference that is taking place in Beijing. He said the door is closing for action on climate, nature and pollution, noting that transport, which accounts for more than one quarter of global greenhouse gases, is key to getting this on track. The Secretary-General stressed that we must decarbonize all means of transport, in order to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 globally. We know how to make this happen, he said, pointing to the need to adopt more ambitious and credible targets to decarbonize the entire transport sector. He noted that the current commitments made by Member States to address emissions from shipping and aviation are not aligned with the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement, but rather are more consistent with warming way above 3 degrees Celsius. The Secretary-General said that this Transport Conference is an important opportunity to galvanize action by all, to build the sustainable transport systems we need for a green, inclusive and equitable future. SECRETARY-GENERAL/CLIMATE CHANGE The Secretary-General today spoke via a pre-recorded video message to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund event on “Making Climate Action Count.” He stressed in his remarks that, as COP26 approaches, it is essential for all humanity that we fulfil the promise of the Paris Agreement. But, Mr. Guterres says, we are not there yet. The Secretary-General says he is especially concerned over the lack of progress on public climate finance. He underscored that $100 billion dollars a year from public and private sources for mitigation and adaptation for the developing world is the bare minimum, and that much more will be needed. Mr. Guterres pointed to the essential role of development banks in spearheading the transition of energy systems from fossil fuels to renewables, while also ensuring universal access to energy. These banks, he said, must lead the way in supporting credible and just transition plans and in funding green, resilient, and inclusive recoveries, without worsening the sovereign debt crises that cripple low- and middle-income countries. The Secretary-General also stressed the need for donor countries and multilateral development banks to allocate at least 50 per cent of their climate finance to adaptation and resilience. GENERAL ASSEMBLY This morning, the Secretary-General spoke in person at the General Assembly’s tribute to Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the former President of the General Assembly, and also, of course, former President of Algeria. The Secretary-General reiterated his condolences to the Government of Algeria, and recalled that, as President of the 29th session of the General Assembly, in 1974-75, Mr. Bouteflika was particularly active in the area of decolonization and is remembered for giving a voice to the liberation movements in Africa, Asia and South America. Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=14%20October%202021


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Yemen: Dialogue and compromise ‘only way forward’ - Security Council Briefing (14 October 2021)


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "Yemen: Dialogue and compromise ‘only way forward’ - Security Council Briefing (14 October 2021)"
The topics: Briefing by Hans Grundberg, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen, on the situation in Yemen. “Yemenis, without exception, stressed the necessity to end the war”, he said, highlighting the urgent need to stabilize the economy, improve basic services and facilitate free movement both inside the country and across its borders. The UN official upheld that Yemenis also acknowledged that their country cannot be effectively ruled by one group alone and that “a durable peace will require pluralism”.


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World Food Day 2021 - António Guterres (UN Secretary-General)


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "World Food Day 2021 - António Guterres (UN Secretary-General)"
The topics: Video Message by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on World Food Day 2021. World Food Day is not only a reminder of the importance of food to every person on the planet — it is a call to action to achieve food security around the world. Today, almost 40 per cent of humanity — three billion people — cannot afford a healthy diet. Hunger is on the rise. So too are undernourishment and obesity. The economic impacts of COVID-19 have made a bad situation even worse. The pandemic has left an additional 140 million people unable to access the food they need. At the same time, the way we produce, consume and waste food is taking a heavy toll on our planet. It is putting historic pressure on our natural resources, climate and natural environment — and costing us trillions of dollars a year. As this year’s theme makes clear, the power to change is in our hands. “Our actions are our future.” Last month, the world gathered for the United Nations Food Systems Summit. Countries made bold commitments to transform food systems. To make healthy diets more affordable and accessible. And to make food systems more efficient, resilient and sustainable at every step — from production and processing, to marketing, transportation and delivery. We can all change how we consume food, and make healthier choices — for ourselves, and our planet. In our food systems, there is hope. On this World Food Day, join us as we commit to take transformative action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals through food systems that deliver better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for every person.


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The fight for women’s and girls’ rights in a changing Afghanistan | United Nations | UN Women


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "The fight for women’s and girls’ rights in a changing Afghanistan | United Nations | UN Women"
The topics: UN Women is committed to #StayandDeliver in Afghanistan, where recent rollbacks on women’s rights have evoked fear for Afghan women and girls. UN Women Afghanistan Deputy Representative Alison Davidian breaks down this urgent situation, highlighting key areas for action to support the immediate and long-term needs of Afghan women and girls. ------- On 15 August 2021, the Taliban entered Kabul and took the city, and we knew from that moment that life for women and girls in Afghanistan would change. Over the past month, we have been seeing day by day how the lives of women and girls have been impacted. What we're hearing and seeing from Afghan women and girls is fear. Women remember the 1990s and what it was like to live under Taliban rule, and that fear has been exacerbated by the fact that the Taliban have not been clear about their position on women's rights. They have made broad statements that women's rights will be respected within the framework of Islam, but their actions have not inspired much confidence. Since the Taliban took power, a cabinet has been appointed that has no women. Deputy Ministers were appointed and, again, no women were included. The Ministry for Women's Affairs has been abolished. In some provinces, women are being told not to come to work or not to leave their homes without a male relative. Women protection centers are being attacked, and the people that work in them are being harassed. Safe houses for women human rights defenders, including activists and journalists, are at capacity. The situation for women and girls in the country is bleak, but we continue to see women fighting for their rights and demanding equality. This hasn’t changed, and it will not change. Afghan women have been at the forefront of fighting for their rights for centuries. Afghan women had the right to vote in 1919, before the United States gave women the right to vote. In 1921, the first school for girls was established. The 2004 constitution enshrines gender equality. Throughout the decades, we see how Afghan women's advocacy has been seminal to the country moving forward, in both peace and development. UN Women in Afghanistan is committed to staying and delivering for Afghan women and girls. Firstly, this means engaging in advocacy to ensure that women's rights are protected and promoted and that Afghan women are not just talked about, but that they are heard from directly. The eyes of the world are on Afghanistan now, but that won't last forever. It's a core part of the role of the international community to highlight the situation for women and girls, even when the cameras stop rolling. Advocacy also means ensuring that women's rights defenders have resources and protection—a critical marker of peace and security in any country. Another key part of UN Women’s work is supporting women's civil society and the women's movement in Afghanistan. We know that women's organizations are engines for progress and accountability, but that women's rights organizations only receive less than one per cent of overseas development assistance [1]. We need to counter that trend by strategically and intentionally investing in women's civil society organizations. Learn more: https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2021/10/experts-take-gender-equality-is-critical-for-the-afghanistans-future


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20211013

Yemen, Ethiopia, Afghanistan & other topics - Daily Press Briefing (13 October 2021)


The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "Yemen, Ethiopia, Afghanistan & other topics - Daily Press Briefing (13 October 2021)"
The topics: Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Highlights: - Yemen - Ethiopia - Afghanistan - Secretary-General/Fifth Committee - International Day For Disaster Risk Reduction. YEMEN In Yemen, fierce fighting continues, including in Marib, Shabwah and Al Bayda governorates, where clashes have escalated over recent weeks, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. This escalation is having an increasingly devastating impact on civilians. Nearly 10,000 people were displaced in Marib in September – the highest rate recorded in the governorate in a single month so far this year. The UN is particularly concerned about the situation in Al Abdiyah District, in the south-west of Marib. The district is home to an estimated 35,000 people, including many who had found refuge there after fleeing conflict in neighbouring areas. The area has been encircled by Houthi forces since late September. The UN urges all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law, including ensuring the protection of civilians and providing safe passage for those fleeing conflict areas. We also call on all parties to facilitate safe, timely and sustained humanitarian access in all impacted areas of Yemen. ETHIOPIA The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that the situation in the northern part of Ethiopia continues to be highly unpredictable and volatile. The delivery of humanitarian supplies into Tigray remains heavily constrained through the only road access route from Afar. Between October 6th and 12th, 211 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies arrived in Tigray, compared to 80 trucks a week earlier. While the increase in the number of trucks is a positive development, this is still insufficient, given that 100 trucks a day need to arrive into Tigray to meet humanitarian needs. Since July 12th, nearly 900 trucks have entered Tigray – which is just 14 per cent of what is needed to enter the region. The UN has not been able to get fuel into Tigray since the end of July. Ten fuel tankers are currently sitting in Semera, in Afar province. These tankers have received approval by the Government to proceed, and we hope they will be able to move into Tigray with the next convoy. However, the UN still has not been able to have medicine into Tigray. Several UN partners have significantly reduced or shut down programmes because fuel, cash and supplies have either been depleted or are facing severe shortages. In spite of this, UN partners have continued to respond to some of the most urgent needs in the province. While more than 146,000 people received food last week, at least 870,000 people on average per week need to be reached. In neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions, UN partners are scaling up the response, having reached some 639,000 people with food in Amhara since early August and some 72,000 internally displaced people in Afar. The UN urgently calls on all parties to allow unimpeded and sustained access to all people in Tigray, Amhara and Afar. AFGHANISTAN In Afghanistan, the UN team there continues to support the people of the country to tackle the pandemic. To date, there have been more than 150,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as more than 7,200 deaths. With support from the UN, some 760,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted. Nearly 80 per cent of the 5.2 million vaccine doses that have arrived in Afghanistan came from COVAX. UNICEF helped with vaccine delivery and distribution, as well as the cold chain. As of earlier this month, nearly 2.4 million people have been vaccinated, with more than 1.5 million being fully vaccinated. The UN team has held awareness-raising sessions on preventing COVID-19 and how to treat it. The UN has provided personal protective equipment, medical equipment and medical training. All 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces have allocated isolation wards for COVID-19. Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=13%20October%202021


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Kosovo - Security Council Briefing (15 Oct 2021)

The United Nations of Earth reporting on this issue: "Kosovo - Security Council Briefing (15 Oct 2021)" The topics: Following ...

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