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NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS ON YEMEN

New York, 13 August 2019

In answers to questions asked about the situation in Yemen, the Spokesman said the following:

We are closely following the developments on the ground in Aden. We are particularly concerned by the impact of the violence on civilians. According to the United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, preliminary reports indicate that as many as 40 people have been killed and 260 injured.

We continue to urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to adhere to international humanitarian law and international human rights law. We welcome the initiative by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to convene a meeting in Jeddah between the relevant stakeholders to resolve their differences through dialogue.

It is critical that all parties work to ensure that the events of the past days do not lead to further instability in Aden or elsewhere inYemen. We emphasize that the conflict in Yemen can only be resolved through an inclusive political process.

Full transcript of Secretary-General’s press encounter

1 August 2019

Good afternoon.

First August. It is the middle of summer in the northern hemisphere.

We are witnessing not only record global warming but global political tensions are also heating up.

Both are dangerous and both are avoidable.

Let me begin with the climate emergency.

We have always lived through hot summers.  But this is not the summer of our youth.

This is not your grandfather’s summer.

According to the very latest data from the World Meteorological Organization and its climate centre– – the month of July at least equaled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history.

This follows the hottest June ever.

This is even more significant because the previous hottest month, July 2016, occurred during one of the strongest El Niño’s ever.  That is not the case this year.

All of this means we are on track for the period from 2015 to 2019 to be the five hottest years on record.

This year alone we have seen temperature records shatter from New Delhi to Anchorage – from Paris to Santiago – from Adelaide to the Arctic Circle.

If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg.

And that iceberg is also rapidly melting.

Indeed, the heatwave which affected Europe in the last month has now raised temperatures in the Arctic and Greenland by 10-15 degrees Celsius.

This at a time when Arctic Sea ice is already near record low levels.

Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race ofour lives and for our lives.

It is a race we can – and must — win.

The urgent need for climate action is precisely why I am convening the Climate Action Summit on September 23rd.

This will be preceded by a Youth Climate Summit on September 21st.  I look forward to welcoming young leaders like Greta Thunberg and so many others.

I have told leaders — from governments, businesses and civil society – that the ticket to entry is bold action and much greater ambition.

The world’s leading scientists tell us we must limit temperature increases to 1.5C if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

We need to cut greenhouse emissions by 45% by 2030.

We need carbon neutrality by 2050.

And we need to mainstream climate change risks across all decisions to drive resilient growth, reduce vulnerability and avoid investments that could cause greater damage.

That is why I am telling leaders don’t come to the Summit with beautiful speeches.

Come with concrete plans – clear steps to enhance nationally determined contributions by 2020 – and strategies for carbon neutrality by 2050.

There is fortunately some good news.

Around the world, governments, businesses and citizens are mobilizing to confront the climate crisis.

Technology is on our side — delivering renewable energy at far lower cost than the fossil-fuel driven economy.

Solar and onshore wind are now the cheapest sources of new power in virtually all major economies.

Norway’s Parliament has voted to divest the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund – worth $1 trillion – from fossil fuels.

Many countries — from Chile to Finland, and from the United Kingdom to the Marshall Islands — have concrete and credible plans to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century.

And many others — from Ethiopia to New Zealand to Fiji to Pakistan — are planting hundreds of millions of trees to reverse deforestation, buttress climate resilience, and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Credit ratings agencies are moving to better account for the widespread perils of climate disruption — and more banks and financial institutions are pricing carbon risks into financial decisions.

Asset managers representing nearly half the world’s invested capital – some $34 trillion – are demanding urgent climate action, calling on global leaders in a letter recently published and I quote “to phase out fossil fuel subsidies … and thermal coal power worldwide”, and “put a meaningful price on carbon”.

Leading businesses around the world are also recognizing that moving early from the grey to the green economy will deliver competitive advantages, while delaying will lead to huge losses.

Here at the United Nations, the Global Compact has launched a campaign calling on businesses to join the fight to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C.

Already, businesses with a combined value of more than $1.3 trillion are on board and that number is growing fast.

We need rapid and deep change in how we do business, generate power, build cities and feed the world.

And – having endured what is possibly the hottest month in recorded history – we need action now.

In addition to heat waves, we are also confronting many political hot spots.

Allow me to touch on three.

First, I am worried about rising tensions in the Persian Gulf.

A minor miscalculation could lead to a major confrontation.

I stress the need to respect the rights and duties relating to navigation through the Strait of Hormuz and its adjacent waters in accordance with international law.

I have consistently conveyed a clear message to leaders both publicly and privately in numerous meetings andcalls.

That message can be boiled down to two words: maximum restraint.

I once again urge all parties to refrain from any actions that will escalate tensions further.

The last thing the world needs is a major confrontation in the Gulf that will have devastating implications on global security and the global economy.

Second, I am troubled by growing friction among the two largest global economies.  We need to learn the lessons of the Cold War and avoid a new one.

Looking into the not so distant future, I see the possibility of the emergence of two competing blocs — each with their own dominant currency, trade and financial rules, their own internet and artificial intelligence strategy, and their own contradictory geopolitical and military views.

We still have time to avoid this.

As I said in my address to the General Assembly last year, with leadership committed to strategic cooperation and to managing competing interests, we can steer the world onto a safer path.

Third, I am concerned about rising tensions between nuclear-armed States.

The Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty — the INF — is a landmark agreement that helped stabilize Europe and end the Cold War.

When it expires tomorrow, the world will lose an invaluable brake on nuclear war.  This will likely heighten, not reduce, the threat posed by ballistic missiles.

Regardless of what transpires, the parties should avoid destabilizing developments and urgently seek agreement on a new common path for international arms control.

I strongly encourage the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the so-called ‘New Start’ agreement to provide stability and the time to negotiate future arms control measures.

I also call on all State Parties to work together at the 2020 Review of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to ensure the NPT remains able to fulfil its fundamental goals – preventing nuclear war and facilitating the elimination of nuclear weapons.

In the context of non-proliferation, I also reiterate that any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent and impunity for their use is inexcusable. It is imperative to identify and hold accountable all those who have used chemical weapons.

The heating of the global political atmosphere complicates all our efforts to resolve troubling situations – from Libya to Syria, from Yemen to Palestine and beyond.

We will do everything to intensify our surge in diplomacy for peace.

We will never give up our efforts to secure peace, reduce human suffering and build a sustainable world for people and planet.

Thank you.

Question:  Hi, Secretary-General. My question is about your call for maximum restraint in the Persian Gulf. Yesterday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced new sanctions against Iran’s Foreign Minister, [Javad] Zarif, a man whom you met in your office up on the 38th floor as recently as July 19th, where he raised concerns about Washington’s maximum pressure campaign against his country.  Do you believe that the United States’ action against Iran’s top diplomat is getting us closer to a diplomatic solution in the Persian Gulf? And if not, what can you do about it?

Secretary-General:  When I ask for maximum restraint, I ask for maximum restraint at all levels.

Question:  Thank you, very much Secretary-General. Betul Yuruk with the Turkish News Agency. I would like to ask about Syria.  You have repeatedly called for an end to the fighting in Syria, and yet, those calls have fallen on deaf ears. Has the Idlib memorandum collapsed, failed? And what is your message to the guarantor countries of the memorandum?

And a second question, a Syria-related question. The Turkish defence minister has said Turkey would have to form a safe zone in the northeast of Syria if it cannot reach a common ground with the United States by itself. Where does the UN stand on that? What do you have to say? Thank you.

Secretary-General:  Well, first of all, I hope that the agreements that were celebrated in relation to Idlib will be able to hold, and I hope that the present dramatic situation that is taking place will end.  You know that I have decided to appoint a board of inquiry in relation to recent developments in premises and other entities that are supported by the UN or part of UN efforts of [deconfliction].  On the other hand, we really encourage all parties to come to an agreement in order to avoid new forms of confrontation that might emerge in the eastern parts of the city.

Question:  Thank you, Secretary-General. Just a quick follow-up on Syria.  Russia just criticized your decision to form this board of inquiry, and they said it is a mistake, and it is a deplorable action by the Secretary-General. I want your comment.

But my other question is about UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees). It seems today, you’ve started to take actions regarding the leaked confidential documents about what’s going on in UNRWA, but the investigation is still ongoing. Why you started to take action? And when do you expect these results, that everybody wants them out, to clarify the situation and to take the appropriate action regarding what’s going on? Thank you.

Secretary-General:  Well, first of all, I fully respect the rights of Russian Federation to disagree with me, as I also respect the position of ten other members of the Security Council that had the opposite opinion. I believe that this inquiry can produce an important result, and I can guarantee that everything will be done to make sure that this board of inquiry acts with full objectivity, not to prove anything, but to simply say what the truth is.

On the other hand, we need to look into different aspects. I have been acting quite significantly to make sure that we strengthen UNRWA and UNRWA’s capacity to deliver. I’ve been appealing for the support to UNRWA to all countries of the world as I think we should not… we should distinguish what are the revelations made, or accusations made, in relation to members of the management of UNRWA from the needs to preserve UNRWA, to support UNRWA, and to make UNRWA effective in the very important action in relation to the Palestine refugees, and I’ve been acting consistently to support that.

As you know in the present situation, the deputy of UNRWA has resigned, and so I decided that it would be important to immediately appoint a new deputy as acting deputy and, as I said, in relation to any intervention that might [be] justified, I will wait, according to due process, for the results of the inquiry and, based on the results of the inquiry, I will act accordingly.

Correspondent:  [off mic, inaudible] … for the time being, I know you can’t…

Secretary-General:  As I said, I am in favour of due process. In relation to any additional action that I might take, it will be based on the results of the investigation that is taking place.

Question:  Mr. Secretary-General, it’s Pamela Falk from CBS news. On your climate numbers, you gave some daunting statistics today from the WMO that July will be 1.2 centigrade degrees warmer than the pre-Industrial Era. You said the time… it cannot… the time is right to make this change.  What is your timetable in which the… with the time to make a change and all of the changes you’re calling for would be irreversible. Is it ten years, is it 20 years? What do you think is the timetable for climate action?

Secretary-General:  Well, I think the timetable is now. There are many things that need to be done now. There are many things that are being done now, but there is a very important moment in 2020.  In 2020, the countries will review their Nationally Determined Contributions, which means the commitments they made in Paris in relation to climate action. Now with the present Nationally Determined Contributions, the present commitments, we would have an increase of temperature at the end of the century clearly above 3 degrees Centigrade, which would be a devastating situation.  So not only we need what was promised in Paris to be implemented, and we are not yet there… several countries are lagging behind… but we need to recognise that those commitments are not enough, and we need to strongly enhance our ambition in relation to climate action, both reduction of emissions and adaptation.

The objective of this summit is exactly to encourage countries to make sure that they assume the need to [reach] carbon neutrality in 2030, and that Nationally Determined Contributions of next year, they will be able to announce the measures necessary to also reduce emissions by 45 per cent in 2030. These are the targets that we consider necessary in order, according to the scientific community, to get to the end of the century with no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius in relation to pre-Industrial Eras.

Question:  Is there a message to the United States, since the US pulled out of the Paris climate agreement?

Secretary-General:  There is a message to all countries in the world: that it is absolutely essential not only to implement the Paris agreement, but to do so with an enhanced ambition.

Spokesman:  Thank you very much.

Secretary-General:  Thank you.

Note to Correspondents United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) Statement by the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee

Hudaydah, 14 July 2019

The members of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) will hold their fifth joint meeting on 14 and 15 July aboard a UN vessel on the high seas.

The Chair of the RCC, Lieutenant General Michael A. Lollesgaard, will facilitate a discussion on steps to implement the Hudaydah Agreement.

The Hudaydah Agreement was reached by the parties in Stockholm on 13 December 2018.

UN SPECIAL ENVOY MEETS WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF YEMEN IN RIYADH TO ADVANCE THE PEACE PROCESS IN YEMEN

 

Riyadh, 26 June 2019 

The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths met today in Riyadh with Yemeni Vice-President Ali Mohsen.   

The meeting discussed steps needed to move forward with the peace process in Yemen and reiterated the importance of achieving substantial and speedy progress in implementing the Stockholm Agreement.

“I had very productive meetings with Vice-President Ali Mohsen. I was encouraged by the openness and flexibility of the Government of Yemen and its continued commitment towards achieving peace. I am determined to advance the peace process, based on the National Dialogue Outcome, the GCC initiative and related security council resolutions and restart soonest possible consultations with the parties”, Griffiths said.

The Special Envoy reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to continue working with the parties for a comprehensive Yemeni-led peace agreement in Yemen,and urged all parties to create a conducive environment to make this a reality.

خطاب الكراهية نار سارية في الهشيم

تجتاح الكراهيةُ جميع أنحاء العالم في مسيرة زاحفة.

         وتستهدف موجةٌ خطيرة من التعصب والعنف القائم على الكراهية معتنقي الكثير من الديانات في أرجاء المعمورة. ومما يثير الأسف – والقلق – أن هذه الحوادث الأثيمة باتت مألوفة إلى حد بعيد.

         ففي الأشهر الأخيرة، لقي مصلون يهود مصرعهم في المعابد وشُوِّهت شواهد قبور يهودية برموز الصليب المعقوف؛ وقُتل مسلمون في المساجد برصاص حصد أرواحهم وخُرّبت مواقعهم الدينية؛ وأزهِقت أرواح مسيحيين وهم مستغرقون في صلواتهم وأحرِقت كنائسهم.

         وبخلاف هذه الهجمات المروعة، يتعالى خطابٌ بغيض موجّه لا للمجموعات الدينية فحسب بل ونحو الأقليات والمهاجرين واللاجئين والنساء وكلِّ من يُزعم أنه ”آخر“ أيضا.

         وفي حين تنتشر الكراهية كالنار في الهشيم، يستغل المتعصبون وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي لبث سمومهم. وتتنامى حركات النازيين الجدد والمؤمنين بتفوق العرق الأبيض. ويتحوّل الخطاب المؤجِّج للمشاعر إلى سلاح لتحقيق مكاسب سياسية.

         وتزحف الكراهية مقتحمةً التيارَ الغالب سواء في الديمقراطيات الليبرالية أو في الأنظمة الاستبدادية – فتلقِي بظلال قاتمة على إنسانيتنا المشتركة.

         ولطالما عملت الأمم المتحدة على حشد قوى العالم في مواجهة الكراهية بجميع أنواعها، وقد استعانت في عملها هذا بإجراءات شديدة التنوع قصد الدفاع عن حقوق الإنسان والنهوض بسيادة القانون.

         والحق أن هوية المنظمة ذاتها وأسبابَ نشأتها لها جذور راسخة في ذلك الكابوس الذي يتسلط على العالم عندما تعيث البغضاء في الأرض فساداً لأمد طويل دونما حسيب أو رقيب.

         إننا نعتبر خطاب الكراهية هجوماً على التسامح والإدماج والتنوع، وسهماً مسدَّدا إلى صميم القواعد والمبادئ التي نعتمدها فيما يتعلق بحقوق الإنسان.

         وبشكل أعم، يقوّض خطابُ الكراهية التماسكَ الاجتماعي وينال من القِيَم المشتركة، ويمكن أن يكون نقطة الارتكاز التي ينطلق منها العنف، مما يصيب قضية السلام والاستقرار والتنمية المستدامة والكرامة الإنسانية بانتكاسة.

         وفي العقود الأخيرة، كان خطاب الكراهية هو النذير بقرب وقوع الفظائع، بما في ذلك الإبادة الجماعية، من رواندا إلى البوسنة وانتهاء بكمبوديا.

         وإنني أخشى أن يكون العالم اليوم على شفا لحظة حرجة أخرى في معركته مع شيطان الكراهية.

         ولهذا السبب، أطلقتُ مبادرتين للأمم المتحدة لرد هذا الخطر.

         فقد أزحتُ للتو النقابَ، أولا، عن استراتيجية وخطة عمل مناهضتين لخطاب الكراهية يراد بهما تنسيق الجهود المبذولة على نطاق منظومة الأمم المتحدة بأسرها، وتعملان على معالجة الأسباب الجذرية لذلك الخطاب وجعل استجابتنا له أكثر فعالية.

         ونحن عاكفون، ثانيا، على وضع خطة عمل للأمم المتحدة لكي تشارك مشاركةً كاملةً في الجهود الرامية إلى دعم حماية المواقع الدينية وضمان سلامة دور العبادة.

         ولأولئك الذين يصرون على استغلال الخوف لغرس بذور الفرقة في المجتمعات، لا بد لنا أن نقول: إن التنوع ثروة، وما كان قَطّ تهديدا.

         والإيمان العميق والثابت بالاحترام المتبادل وتقبُّل الآخر كفيل بأن يسمو بنا عما يأتي في عشرات النشرات والتغريدات التي تُطلق في أجزاء من الثانية. ويجب ألا ننسى أبداً أن كل واحد منّا هو في نهاية الأمر ”آخر“ بالنسبة إلى شخص ما في مكان ما. ولن يكون أيّ إحساس بالأمان إلا وهماً ما دامت الكراهية تعُمّ.

         إن الواجب يحتم علينا، ونحن جزء من نسيج الإنسانية الواحد، أن يرعى بعضنا بعضاً.

         ولا بد، بطبيعة الحال، أن يكون كلّ ما يُتخذ من إجراءات للتصدي لخطاب الكراهية ومجابهته متسقاً مع حقوق الإنسان الأساسية.

         فالتصدي لخطاب الكراهية لا يعني تقييد حرية التعبير أو حظرها. بل هو يعني منع تصعيد خطاب الكراهية بحيث يتحول إلى ما هو أشد خطورة، وخاصة إذا بلغ مستوى التحريض على التمييز والعدوانية والعنف، وهو أمر يحظره القانون الدولي.

         إننا بحاجة إلى التعامل مع خطاب الكراهية كتعاملنا مع كل عمل خبيث: فلنُدِنه، ولنرفضْ توسيع أصدائه، ولنجابِهه بالحقيقة ونحث الجاني على تغيير سلوكه.

         وقد آن الأوان لتكثيف الجهود بغية القضاء على معاداة السامية وكراهية المسلمين واضطهاد المسيحيين وسائر أشكال العنصرية وكراهية الأجانب وما يتصل بذلك من تعصب.

         وعلى الحكومات والمجتمع المدني والقطاع الخاص ووسائل الإعلام جميعاً أدوار هامة ينبغي القيام بها. كما تتحمل القيادات السياسية والدينية مسؤوليةً خاصة عن تشجيع التعايش السلمي.

         إن الكراهية خطرٌ محدق بالجميع – ولذلك لا بد أن تكون محاربتها فرضاً على الجميع.

         فمعاً، يمكننا أن نخمد الكراهيةَ السارية كالنار في الهشيم وأن نصون القِيم التي تجمعنا كأسرةٍ إنسانية واحدة.

The Wildfire of Hate Speech

Around the world, hate is on the march.  

A menacing wave of intolerance and hate-based violence is targeting worshippers of many faiths across the globe.  Sadly – and disturbingly – such vicious incidents are becoming all too familiar.  

In recent months, we have seen Jews murdered in synagogues, their gravestones defaced with swastikas; Muslims gunned down in mosques, their religious sites vandalized; Christians killed at prayer, their churches torched.

Beyond these horrific attacks, increasingly loathsome rhetoric is being aimed not only at religious groups but also minorities, migrants, refugees, women and any so-called “other”.  

As the wildfire of hate spreads, social media is being exploited for bigotry. Neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements are growing.  And incendiary rhetoric is being weaponized for political gain.

Hate is moving into the mainstream in liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes alike – and casting a shadow over our common humanity.

The United Nations has a long history of mobilizing the world against hatred of all kinds through wide-ranging action to defend human rights and advance the rule of law.  

Indeed, the very identity and establishment of the Organization are rooted in the nightmare that ensues when virulent hatred is left unopposed for too long.  

We recognize hate speech as an attack on tolerance, inclusion, diversity and the very essence of our human rights norms and principles.

More broadly, it undermines social cohesion, erodes shared values, and can lay the foundation for violence, setting back the cause of peace, stability, sustainable development and human dignity.

In recent decades, hate speech has been a precursor to atrocity crimes, including genocide, from Rwanda to Bosnia to Cambodia.

I fear that the world is reaching another acute moment in battling the demon of hate.

That is why I have launched two United Nations initiatives in response.

First, I have just unveiled a Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech to coordinate efforts across the whole United Nations system, addressing the root causes and making our response more effective.

Second, we are developing an Action Plan for the UN to be fully engaged in efforts to support safeguard religious sites and ensure the safety of houses of worship.

To those who insist on using fear to divide communities, we must say: diversity is a richness, never a threat.

A deep and sustained spirit of mutual respect and receptivity can transcend posts and tweets fired off in a split second.  We must never forget, after all, that each of us is an “other” to someone, somewhere. There can be no illusion of safety when hate is widespread.

As part of one humanity, it is our duty to look after each other.

Of course, all action aimed at addressing and confronting hate speech must be consistent with fundamental human rights. 

Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law.

We need to treat hate speech as we treat every malicious act: by condemning it, refusing to amplify it, countering it with the truth, and encouraging the perpetrators to change their behaviour.

Now is the time to step up to stamp out anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred, persecution of Christians and all other forms of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance.

Governments, civil society, the private sector and the media all have important roles to play. Political and religious leaders have a special responsibility to promote peaceful coexistence.

Hatred is a danger to everyone – and so fighting it must be a job for everyone.

Together, we can put out the wildfire of hate and uphold the values that bind us together as a single human family.  

Tackling climate change, one bite at a time, UN enlists chefs to lead in campaign for sustainable food

New York, 18 June

Chefs from around the world will help the United Nations kick-off a new campaign today – Sustainable Gastronomy Day – that aims to engage people in the global effort to tackle climate change through healthy and sustainable food choices.   

Leading chefs will spearhead the challenge and provide inspiration by presenting their own creations which will be featured on the United Nations’ platforms to create a global wave of culinary creativity as people share their favorite recipes and photos.

The UN’s ActNow campaign aims to generate momentum towards the Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on 23 September 2019, where leaders from governments, business and civil society will demonstrate large-scale plans to significantly reduce emissions and build climate resilience and adaptation.   

“It is clear that since 2015, progress has been made across a number of the Sustainable Development Goals.  The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change have inspired an impressive early response from Governments, the private sector, local authorities, civil society, the scientific community and many more.  But it is also clear that we must move much further and much faster to achieve our Goals by 2030’” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed. “We can achieve the SDGs by 2030.  We can win the race against climate change.  But individuals have a big role to play, and through the ActNow Campaign, we aim to bring all people into the collective effort to limit climate change and build a sustainable world.”

Joining the campaign is the Copenhagen-based non-profit MAD, founded by Chef René Redzepi of world-renowned restaurant noma, working to transform our food system by giving chefs and restaurateurs the skills, community, time and space to create real and sustainable change. Alongside MAD, will be the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the SDG2 Advocacy Hub, and Kitchen Connection, which are working to engage chefs in the sustainable food movement.

With agriculture contributing to about one-fifth of global emissions, largely through food waste and meat consumption, the UN’s ActNow campaign will showcase the efforts and recipes of renowned chefs who are cooking with ingredients that can help reduce greenhouse gases and damage to the environment.  

Food consumption is impacting the climate in many ways. The destruction of rainforests to create land for agriculture, along with growing demand for meat, are major contributors to increasing greenhouse gases. And one-third of the food that is produced in the world each year – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes at an economic cost of $940 billion to farmers, companies, and consumers – is lost or wasted, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Wasted food is responsible for roughly 8 per cent of global emissions – if food waste were a country, it would have the third largest emissions in the world.    

As more and more chefs and other food suppliers are focusing on local and organic produce and shifting away from meat-heavy meals and fast food, the UN’s ActNow campaign aims to inspire even more people to enjoy sustainable, climate-conscious and delicious food.

Melina Shannon-DiPietro, Executive Director of MAD, says: “At MAD, and in speaking with chefs from around the globe, I’m reminded over and over again that the restaurant world is driven by a sense of creativity, care, and hospitality. Their commitment to the environment is driven by that same values, and the UN’s ActNow campaign gives our restaurant community the opportunity to share their best practices and most creative discoveries with one another and the public.”

“All ingredients are blessings from nature – vegetables, fruits, seafood – these are all affected by climate change,” said Chef Katsuhiro Nakamura, FAO National Goodwill Ambassador for Japan. “That is a huge loss for us. We have to preserve nature. Disgracing nature ties in with climate change, and ultimately, affects what we eat.”  

Climate change is affecting some of the essential ingredients used in the main meal of the day, said Italian celebrity chef Carlo Cracco. “My work with IFAD and farmers in Cambodia and Morocco shows that these family farmers need to adapt to climate change impacts now, and that working with IFAD adaptation to climate change can actually increase food security and income.”

In addition to the chefs, the ActNow campaign is inviting people around the world to make their individual contribution to sustainable food consumption. The challenge is to cook up dishes that are not only delicious but also good for the planet and good for us – reducing meat and emphasizing diverse vegetarian ingredients instead.  

New York-based Chef Grace Ramirez said, “Confronting the climate crisis can feel overwhelming, but the ActNow food challenge offers a simple place to start — your plate. With a few green hacks and tips on how to cook and entertain more sustainably, we can all make decisions that have less harmful effects on the environment.”

ActNow is the United Nations’ global call to individual action on climate change. The campaign is a critical part of the UN’s coordinated effort to raise awareness, ambition, and action for climate change and accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The campaign began at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2018, when Sir David Attenborough launched the ActNow.bot. Taking advantage of technical innovation, the campaign harnesses advances in Artificial Intelligence to spur behavior change. The ActNow.bot recommends everyday actions to reduce our carbon footprints – like traveling more sustainably, saving energy or eating less meat.

Additional information can be found at un.org/actnow

Hashtags: #ActNow #ClimateAction

For further information, please contact Tolu Olubunmi, ActNow Campaign Manager, UN Department of Global Communications, tolu.olubunmi@un.org  | +1 240 505 5921   

BRIEFING OF THE UN SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR YEMEN TO THE OPEN SESSION OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL

17 June 2019

 

Thank you very much Mr. President, and thank you to the members of this Council.

Thank you for this opportunity to brief the Council on the latest developments in the Yemeni peace process. With this Council’s steadfast support, I have continued to work with both the Government of Yemen and Ansar Allah on the implementation of the Stockholm agreement and the way forward to a comprehensive political solution to the conflict based on the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism, the National Dialogue Conference outcomes and all relevant Security Council resolutions including in particular 2216.

In Hudaydah, the parties have sustained the reduction in violence across the governorate for the six full months since the agreement entered into force in the middle of last December. This has continued despite the delays in the implementation of the agreement due to a number of challenges and the frustrations we have all experienced associated with those challenges. During the five months prior to the ceasefire, the fighting resulted in more than 1,300 civilian casualties in the governorate. In the five months following the initiation of the ceasefire, the number of civilian casualties was reduced by 68%. I nevertheless of course remain deeply concerned by continued violence and civilian casualties. However, it is clear that the overall de-escalation continues to benefit the people of the city and the opportunities for effective humanitarian response.

The Redeployment Coordination Committee set up by that agreement and their members from both parties have continued to engage constructively with my colleague General Michael Lollesgaard on the plans for the first and second phases of the redeployments during the past months. He remains positive that an agreement on both phases of the redeployments can be achieved in line with what the parties agreed in Stockholm, including in particular with regard to the tripartite monitoring mechanism. Once outstanding issues are resolved, joint implementation can commence. Joint implementation will allow for the parties to fully verify all elements of the redeployments including those previously executed.  I commend General Michael Lollesgaard for his efforts to build relationships and confidence relentlessly between the parties to ensure the effectiveness of the RCC throughout his engagements amid challenging logistical and political circumstances.

The economic aspects of the Hudaydah agreement regarding the revenues of the ports as outlined in that agreement and also are the forefront of our attention. I hope that achieving consensus on these aspects will enable the payment of public sector salaries in Hudaydah governorate and then across all Yemen. This would be a significant step forward for the benefit of the Yemeni people. And we have had very positive exchanges with the Government of Yemen on this matter. I hope to build on last month’s Amman meeting and convene further discussions with both parties in the near future.

I thank the Council for your continued support, which has been instrumental in the implementation to date of the Stockholm Agreement since its inception. Parties should take the necessary next steps to ensure the full implementation of the Stockholm Agreement in its entirety while ensuring full respect for Yemen’s sovereignty. And I note the Government of Yemen’s flexibility and continued support to the agreement in its entirety and their continued constructive engagement in this regard. I look forward to continue my close engagement with President Hadi, the Government of Yemen and Ansar Allah to advance implementation of the agreement.

 

Mr. President,

 

If I may, allow me to brief you on where the parties stand with the remaining aspects of those agreements agreed in Stockholm last December.

We all hoped that the Statement of Understanding on Taiz agreed in Stockholm would open the door for the parties to work together on a way forward for the city and to alleviate the suffering of its citizens. The military and political situation in the city is extremely complex and fragile, to the detriment of the population. And I continue to work with the parties to convene a meeting of the joint committee agreed in Stockholm, to identify a way out of the current situation.  The benefits of a de-escalation of tensions and improved access for humanitarian aid would be tangible, immediate and visible.

I am also disappointed by the lack of progress on the implementation of the exchanges of prisoners and detainees as agreed indeed before the Stockholm sessions. This is in essence a humanitarian issue which would provide relief for the prisoners and detainees, and reunite them with their loved ones and their families. As I have informed this Council previously, the parties have held productive sessions on the details on exchanges in recent months. With greater flexibility, I believe that they can translate these discussions into actions on the ground.

I believe passionately that more than any other issue, tangible progress on the exchange of prisoners would indicate seriousness by the parties to build confidence in a significant humanitarian gesture of good faith. This has yet to happen despite the continued efforts of ICRC with whom my Office works very closely. I call on the parties to prioritize the implementation of the exchange of prisoners in good faith and to demonstrate the required flexibility to make it a reality, for the sake of peace and perhaps even more importantly for the sake of thousands of Yemeni families who long to be reunited and are extremely disappointed that this has not yet happened.

 

Mr. President,

 

This Council has recently expressed concern at re-escalating violence across Yemen and at the attacks on civilian infrastructure in Southern Saudi Arabia. I must echo these concerns, including the recent drone attacks on Abha airport. I have repeatedly warned that war can take peace off the table, and in the context of wider regional tensions, the risks to the political process have never looked more stark. Naturally, I call for steps to be taken to de-escalate tensions for the benefit of the Yemeni people as well as for regional security.

The Government of Yemen and Ansar Allah have consistently affirmed to me and continue to do so that a political solution is the only solution to this conflict. The longer the conflict goes on, the more challenges and the greater difficulties we will face in resolving it and reversing its terrible effect on the people of Yemen. The continued dialogue between the parties to implement the Stockholm agreement is significant, but it is not enough for the Yemeni people. They want their suffering to end now and not tomorrow.

And finally I would like to take this opportunity, Mr. President if I may, to reaffirm my personal commitment and that of the United Nations to pursue an impartial and inclusive political process based on national ownership in full respect to Yemen’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity as underscored by this Council on numerous occasions.

Ending the conflict in Yemen can only be achieved through a comprehensive political solution. Opportunities for compromise are still readily available for the parties. And with the support of this Council, Mr. President, I remain confident that the parties can yet reach a comprehensive and peaceful settlement to the conflict in Yemen.

 

Thank you very much.

 

بعثة الأمم المتحدة لدعم اتفاق الحُديدة (أونمــها) بيــــان من رئيس لجنة تنسيق اعادة الانتشار

الحُديدة، اليمن – 12 حزيران/يونيو 2019:قــــــــــام رئيس لجنة تنسيق إعادة الانتشار (RCC)ورئيس بعثة الأمم المتحدة لدعم اتفاقية الحُديدة(أونمها)، الفريق مايكل لوليسجارد، بإرسال رسائل متطابقة اليوم إلى ممثلي حكومة اليمن وأنصار الله (الحوثيين) في لجنة تنسيق اعادة الانتشار (RCC)،قدمت معلوماتٍ مُحدثة بشأن حالة إعادة الانتشار الأولية التي قام بها أنصار الله (الحوثيين) من موانئ البحر الأحمر الثلاثة الحُديدة والصليف ورأس عيسى في الأيام 11-14 أيار/ مايو 2019.

لاحظ الجنرال لوليسجارد أنه منذ يوم 14 أيار/ مايو، لم تلاحظ دويات المراقبة المنتظمة التي تقوم بها بعثة الأمم المتحدة لدعم اتفاق الحُديدة (أونمها) أي وجود عسكري للحوثيين في الموانئ.  وأوضح أنه قد تم ملاحظة أمن الموانئ الثلاثة لاحقاً وأنه يجري توفيره من قبل قوات خفر السواحل، بيد انه، أشار أيضًا إلى أنه يتعين على بعثة الأمم المتحدة لدعم اتفاق الحُديدة (أونمها) التأكد من حجم قوة خفر السواحل المتُفق عليها (450 فردًا). وفيما يتعلق بإزالة المظاهرالعسكرية، لاحظ الجنرال لوليسجارد أن المظاهر في مينائي الصليف ورأس عيسى قد تمت إزالتها، لكنها ما برحت موجودة في ميناء الحُديدة إلى حد كبير. ودعا الجنرال لوليسجارد أنصار الله (الحوثيين) إلى إكمال عملية إزالة جميع المظاهر العسكرية بسرعة، بمافي ذلك الخنادق كجزء من التزامهم بالعملية.

وأكــَد الجنرال لوليسجارد مُجدداً أن عمليات إعادة الانتشار الأولية من الموانئ كانت مهمة، ليس فقط كونها جزءٌ أولي من عمليات إعادة الانتشار الأوسع في الحُديدة، وإنما أيضًا لأنها حولت الموانئ إلى “حيـــزٍ مدني” سهّلَ عمل مؤسسة موانئ البحر الأحمر اليمنية،بدعم من الأمم المتحدة.

وإذ يلاحظ استمرار التزام الأطراف باتفاق الحديدة، فإن الجنرال لوليسجارد يحثهم على الانتهاء من المفاوضات المُعلقة للسماح بالتنفيذ الكامل للمرحلتين الأولى والثانية.

 تواصل بعثة الأمم المتحدة لدعم اتفاق الحُديدة (أونمها) حاليًا مراقبة الموانئ الثلاثة بفعالية للتحقق من استمرار خلوها من المظاهر العسكرية ومتابعة الأمور المُعلقة المتعلقة بحقول الألغام والمتفجرات من مخلفات الحرب والمظاهر العسكرية.

Note to Correspondents United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA)

Statement by the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee

Hudaydah, Yemen – 12 June 2019

The Chairman of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and Head of the United Nations Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA), Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, transmitted identical letters today to the Government of Yemen and Ansar Allah (Houthi) representatives tothe RCC, which provided a status update on the initial redeployment undertaken byAnsar Allah (Houthi) from the three Red Sea ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Isa on 11-14 May 2019.

General Lollesgaard noted that since 14 May the Houthi military presence was not detected in the ports by regular verification patrols by UNMHA. He outlined that security of the three ports was observed as subsequently being provided by coast guard forces, however, he further noted that the agreed-upon strength of the coast guard (450 personnel) has yet to be confirmed by UNMHA. Regarding the removal of military manifestations, General Lollesgaard observed that manifestations in Salif and Ras Isa have been removed, but that in Hudaydah port these manifestations largely remained. He called on the Ansar Allah (Houthi) to expeditiously complete the removal of all military manifestations, including trenches as part of their commitment to the process.

General Lollesgaard reiterated that the initial redeployments from the ports were significant, not only as the first part of the broader redeployments in Hudaydah, but also as it transformed the ports into “civilian space” that facilitated the work of the Yemen Red Sea Ports Corporation, supported by the United Nations.

Noting the continued commitment of the parties to the Hudaydah Agreement, General Lollesgaard urges them to finalize the outstanding negotiations to allow for a full implementation of Phases 1 and 2.

Currently UNMHA continues to actively monitor the three ports to verify their sustained demilitarization and to follow up on pending matters related to minefields, explosive remnants of war and military manifestations.