WHO welcomes landmark UN declaration on universal health coverage

New York, 23 September

 

Today world leaders adopted a high-level United Nations Political Declaration on universal health coverage (UHC), the most comprehensive set of health commitments ever adopted at this level.
 
“This declaration represents a landmark for global health and development,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General at WHO. “The world has 11 years left to make good on its sustainable development goals. Universal health coverage is key to ensuring that happens.”
 
He added: “Universal health coverage is a political choice: today world leaders have signaled their readiness to make that choice. I congratulate them.”
 
The declaration comes the day after the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners flagged the need to double health coverage between now and 2030 or leave up to 5 billion people unable to access health care.
 
In adopting the declaration, U.N. Member States have committed to advance towards UHC by investing in four major areas around primary health care.
 
These include mechanisms to ensure no one suffers financial hardship because they have had to pay for healthcare out of their own pockets and implementing high-impact health interventions to combat diseases and protect women’s and children’s health.
 
In addition, countries must strengthen health workforce and infrastructure and reinforce governance capacity. They will report back on their progress to the U.N. General Assembly in 2023.
 
“Now that the world has committed to health for all, it is time to get down to the hard work of turning those commitments into results,” said Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
 
“We all have a role to play. Donors and country governments need to move beyond business as usual to bolster the primary health care systems that address the vast majority of people’s needs over their lifetimes,” said Gates.
 
On 24 September, WHO and 11 other multilateral organizations, which collectively channel one third of development assistance for health, will launch their Global Action Plan for health and wellbeing for all. The plan will ensure the 12 partners provide more streamlined support to countries to help deliver universal health coverage and achieve the health-related SDG targets.
 

Website: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/23-09-2019-who-welcomes-landmark-un-declaration-on-universal-health-coverage

Media contact
Sarah Russell, Coordinator, WHO, Mobile: + 41 79 5986823, Email: russellsa@who.int

In the face of worsening climate crisis, UN Summit to deliver new pathways and practical actions to shift global response into higher gear

Summit convened by UN Secretary-General demonstrates surge of engagement to reduce emissions and protect people against increasing impacts of climate change

 

New York, 23 September—Leaders from government, business, and civil society today are to announce potentially far-reaching steps to confront climate change at the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York.

As carbon pollution, temperatures, and climate destruction continue to rise, and public backlash mounts, the Summit is expected to offer a turning point from inertia into momentum, action, and global impact – if everyone gets on board.

The UN estimates that the world would need to increase its efforts between three- and five-fold to contain climate change to the levels dictated by science – a 1.5°C rise at most – and avoid escalating climate damage already taking place around the world.

 

However, the Paris Agreement provides an open-door framework for countries to continuously ratchet up their positive actions, and today’s Summit demonstrates how governments, businesses, and civilians around the world are rising to the challenge.

“The best science, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, tells us that any temperature rise above 1.5 degrees will lead to major and irreversible damage to the ecosystems that support us,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “Science tells us that on our current path, we face at least 3-degrees Celsius of global heating by the end of the century.”

“The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.”

“This is not a climate talk summit. We have had enough talk,” he added. “This is not a climate negotiation summit. You don’t negotiate with nature. This is a climate action summit.”

He said, “Governments are here to show you are serious about enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. Cities and businesses are here showing what leadership looks like, investing in a green future. Financial actors are here to scale-up action and deploy resources in fundamentally new and meaningful ways. Coalitions are here with partnerships and initiatives to move us closer to a resilient, carbon-neutral world by 2050.”

“And young people are here providing solutions, insisting on accountability, demanding urgent action.”

Increased Ambition, Accelerated Action

 

  • The Summit is designed to showcase government, business, and civil society efforts to increase their commitments under the Paris Agreement and work toward reducing emissions to essentially zero by mid-century. Many of the more than 70 key announcements showcase the concrete ways in which countries can better adapt to climate change and cut emissions while getting the necessary technical and financial support many of them need. The Summit participants recognize that to limit climate change to 1.5°C, action needs to start now.

  • Many countries used the Summit to demonstrate next steps on how by 2020 they will update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) with the aim to collectively reduce emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030 and prepare national strategies to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century. President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, announced the “Climate Ambition Alliance,” which Chile hopes to build in the lead-up to COP25 in Santiago. The Alliance brings together nations upscaling action by 2020, as well as those working towards achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. 59 nations have signaled their intention to submit an enhanced climate action plan (or NDC), and an additional 11 nations have started an internal process to boost ambition and have this reflected in their national plans. In terms of the 2050 group, 65 countries and the European Union are joined by 10 regions, 102 cities, 93 businesses and 12 investors – all committed to net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

  • The UN Global Compact demonstrated that business is moving, as companies with a combined market capitalization of more than US$2.3 trillion and annual direct emissions equivalent to 73 coal-fired power plants pledged to take action to align their businesses with science-based targets.

  • Getting out of coal is a priority. The Powering Past Coal Alliance expanded to include 30 countries, 22 states or regions, and 31 corporations committed to stopping the building of new coal power plants in 2020 and rapidly transitioning to renewable energy.

  • The Secretary-General has stated that he, and the entire UN System, will remain engaged in the follow-up of the commitments made today and will work to further scale up and monitor the initiatives to achieve the promised goals and objectives. All initiatives presented to the Secretary-General in the General Assembly Hall will be captured on the UNFCCC Global Climate Action portal. The portal will track the progress of commitments in order to guide the implementation phase of the Paris Agreement post-2020 and towards the global stocktake in 2023.

Climate Finance

  • The Asset Owner Alliance, a group of the world’s largest pension funds and insurers, responsible for directing more than US$2 trillion in investments, is committed to transitioning to carbon-neutral investment portfolios by 2050. The members of the Alliance will immediately start to engage with companies in which they are investing to ensure they decarbonize their business models.
  • The International Development Finance Club (IDFC) – a leading group of 24 national and regional development banks from all over the world, with a majority active in emerging and developing countries – is to announce for the first time a quantitative target of mobilizing US$1 trillion by 2025, with at least $100 million for adaptation. In addition, IDFC will launch a partnership with the Green Climate Fund to promote direct access to international climate finance and a new US$10 million Climate Facility to increase capacity to support its members on climate finance.

Unlocking the Potential of Nature in Climate Action 

 

  • Several countries are to launch the Global Campaign for Nature, which aims to conserve 30 percent of the Earth’s lands and oceans by 2030.
  • A new initiative by Central American countries aims, by 2030, to establish and manage 10 million hectares of “sustainable productive landscapes that are resilient to climate change,” with a goal of no less than 40 percent reduction in emissions from the baseline year of 2010.
  • Launch of a High-Level Panel for the Sustainable Ocean Economy, representing 14 countries that cover approximately 30 percent of the world’s coastlines, 30 percent of the world’s exclusive economic zones, 20 percent of the world’s ocean catch, and 20 percent of the world’s shipping fleet, including a new initiative to build resilience for the ocean and marine-protected areas.
  • The Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) will increase the climate ambition and maintain the forest cover of Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Equatorial Guinea, allowing the Central African rainforest to continue to provide livelihoods of 60 million people and maintain regional rainfall patterns.
  • The One Planet Business for Biodiversity, led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, will protect and nurture biodiversity through commitments structured around scaling up regenerative agriculture practices, providing a more diversified product portfolio to consumers, and supporting the protection and restoration of high-value ecosystems – including forests.
  • More information on Unlocking the Potential of Nature in Climate Action initiatives and announcements can be found here.

Live, Work, and Move Green

 

  • The Zero Carbon Buildings for All Initiative pledges to make new buildings 100 percent net zero carbon by 2030 and existing buildings by 2050. Multilateral development banks and private financial institutions committed to aligning their financing of buildings with the Paris Agreement and national climate policies—a move that could lead to a potential US$1 trillion in “Paris Compliant” buildings investment in developing countries by 2030.
  • Two thousand cities commit to strengthening their capacities in project preparation by 2030, placing climate risk at the center of decision making, planning, and investments. Specifically, they commit to creating 1,000 bankable, climate-smart urban projects, linking 1,000 of such projects to finance by 2030 and creating new, innovative financing mechanisms that are utilized by 100 projects until 2025.
  • The “Action Towards Climate Friendly Transport” initiative includes actions to plan city development to avoid the need to travel, shift from fossil-fueled vehicles to non-motorized and public transport, and improve existing modes of transport through zero-emission technologies.
  • More information on Live, Work, and Move Green initiatives and announcements can be found here.

Assistance for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

 

  • The Climate Investment Platform will seek to directly mobilize US$1 trillion in clean energy investment by 2025 in 20 least developed countries. The platform will provide a menu of services to governments and private sector clients in their efforts to scale-up energy transition and accelerate investments for low carbon, climate-resilient development. It will also enable the delivery of ambitious NDCs.
  • The LIFE-AR initiative, led by least developed countries, will strengthen South-South cooperation, aim to mobilize US$30-40 million, and deliver pathways to climate-resilient development by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

Small Island Developing States

 

  • Small Island Developing States make a collective commitment to raise the ambition of their NDCs by 2020 and move to net zero emissions by 2050, contingent on assistance from the international community. They intend to move to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 and provide support for initiatives that aim to address immediate adaptation needs and the transition to climate resilience.

Cutting GHG Emissions Now with Cooling and Energy Efficiency

 

  • The “Three Percent Club” – a coalition of countries, businesses, and institutions – commit to putting in place more ambitious energy efficiency policies and working to drive a 3 percent annual global increase in energy efficiency, a target necessary to meet global climate goals while enhancing economic prosperity in all countries.
  • The Cool Coalition will address cooling as a “major blind spot” by delivering up to 1 degree on the pathway to a 2050 net zero carbon world. With emissions from air conditioning and refrigeration expected to rise 90 percent from 2017 levels by 2050, the collective platform will set ambitious cooling targets and support cross-sectional national strategies and policies such as National Cooling Action Plans.
  • More information on Cutting GHG Emissions Now with Cooling and Energy Efficiency can be found here.

Toward a Resilient Future, Making People Safer

 

  • A coalition led by the private sector – representing more than 20 institutions with US$8 trillion assets under management – is to launch at the Summit with the goal of developing and piloting the first framework for the pricing of physical climate risks ininfrastructure investing.
  • African Heads of State announce the African Adaptation Initiative to ensure the continent adapts to climate change in the immediate and longer term and supports regional cooperation.
  • In an effort to shield vulnerable populations from the economic burden of climate impacts, the InsureResilience Partnership 2025 is to be announced. This effort by governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector, and civil society will help ensure that 500 million poor people worldwide will be covered against climate shocks by pre-arranged risk finance by 2025.
  • Led by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the United Kingdom, the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership will help communities and businesses to take early action to prevent disaster. The partnership brings together the humanitarian, development, and climate communities aiming to make 1 billion people safer from disaster, and will deliver new and improved early warning systems.
  • Recognizing that traditional ways of life have already shifted dramatically in a changing climate, the Governments of Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, as well as the World Bank and the Gates Foundation, announce a plan to support 300 million small-scale farmers in enhancing their resilience to climate shocks and extreme events, increase household incomes and food security, and reverse ecological decline.
  • More information on Toward a Resilient Future, Making People Safer initiatives and announcements can be found here.

People Centered Action Now

 

  • The International Labor Organization (ILO) and other members of the Summit’s Social and Political Drivers Action Area, co-led by Spain and Peru, launch the “Climate Action for Jobs” initiative, with the goal of developing a framework for countries that considers job creation, social protection, skills development, and technology and knowledge transfer when taking climate action.
  • The Safe Air Initiative will call on governments—both national and at the regional or state level—to commit to achieving air quality that is safe for populations and to align their climate change and air pollution policies by 2030, backed up by commitments from financial institutions and funds.
  • Thirty-two national governments commit to implementing gender-responsive climate change action plans, policies, and strategies and empowering women as leaders of climate action.
  • More information on People Centered Action Now initiatives and announcements can be found here.

The Economy Moving from Grey to Green

 

  • A coalition of public and private entities working on the heavy industry transition towards net zero emissions by mid-century set out pathways for carbon intensive sectors to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
  • The shipping industry is to launch the Getting to Zero Coalition, bringing together decision makers from across the shipping value chain to reduce GHG emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 and make the transition to full decarbonization possible. The coalition will develop and deliver a roadmap with tangible steps to accelerate the deployment of zero emissions vehicles.
  • More information on The Economy Moving from Grey to Green initiatives and announcements can be found here.

A full list of the announcements and commitments made at the Climate Action Summit can be found atwww.un.org/climatechange

For further information, please contact Dan Shepard, UN Department of Global Communications, 1 212 963 9495, cell. 1 646 675 3286 emailshepard@un.org, or Matthew Coghlan, Climate Action Summit Team, matthew.coghlan@un.org

* * *

 

MEDIA ADVISORY – ANNOUNCEMENTS, REPORTS, EVENTS – SUNDAY 22 SEPTEMBER

Private Sector Steps Up Pace of Transition to Clean & Green Economy
Major corporations, one-third of global banking sector, development banks, energy sector, cities
New report from top scientific bodies showing scale of global climate crisis

Announcements, events and reports over the course of the day demonstrate a surge in momentum and action across the private sector. Collectively, these developments show a growing consensus that the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy is under way, gathering pace and irreversible.
Today, the UN Global Compact has announced that companies —with a combined market capitalization more than US$2.3 trillion and annual direct emissions equivalent to 73 coal-fired power plants —are taking action to align their businesses with what scientists say is needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change.
The companies from 28 sectors are headquartered in 27 countries. They have committed to set climate targets across their operations and value chains aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.
This action comes against a backdrop of increasing urgency as the World Metrological Organization’s chief scientific body introduces an assessment of the growing climate emergency.
Key reports, event and announcements for Sunday 22 September are below.
“Accelerating Ambitious Carbon Financing” Panel
Where: United Nations Headquarters, 405 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, Room 5
When: 10:00 – 11:30 AM EDT
Who: Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, World Bank Group
Details: High-level representatives from the World Bank, the Office of the United Nations
Secretary General, the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, the Global Commission on
the Economy and Climate, Colombia, Germany, Korea and Singapore will discuss and
highlight concrete actions for governments, private sector actors and other stakeholders
to undertake to fully implement carbon pricing measures. The event will also provide an
opportunity for the announcement of support or calls for action by key stakeholders
relating to the importance of carbon pricing to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas
emissions by 2050. More details here.
Media Contact: Isabel Saldarriaga A. | isaldarriaga@worldbankgroup.org | +1 (202) 812 1533

International Development Finance Club (IDFC) Announcement
Where: Press Briefing Room
When: 1:30PM EDT
Who: Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Chairman Rémy Rioux; Development Bank of
Southern Africa (DBSA) CEO Patrick Dlamini; Executive President and Secretary General
of CAF Development Bank of Latin America Victor Rico; and KfW Head, Climate Change,
Peter Hiliges.
Details: The International Development Finance Club (IDFC) will present on its contributions to
the Climate Action Summit, demonstrating the efforts of national development banks to
accelerate climate action by mobilizing unprecedented climate finance ($1 trillion USD
by 2025), aligning its financial flows with the Paris Agreement and supporting
collaboration with the Green Climate Fund.
Media Contact: Charlotte Cristofari | cristofaricf@afd.fr | +33 1 53 44 63 75

Official High-Level Signing by Bank CEOs of the Principles for Responsible Banking
Where: United Nations Headquarters, Trusteeship Council Chamber
When: 1:50 to 3:30 PM EDT
Who: United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres; United Nations Environment
Executive Director Inger Andersen; Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres; ING CEO Ralph Hamers;
CEO Standard Bank Group Africa Sola David-Borha
Details: 130 banks collectively representing a third of the global banking sector with US$ 47
trillion in assets, will jointly launch the Principles for Responsible Banking with UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. By signing the Principles for Responsible Banking,
the banks commit to strategically align their businesses with the Paris Agreement and
Sustainable Development Goals and will massively scale up their contribution to the
achievement of both.
Media Contact: Nader Rahman | (nader.rahman@un.org) or Simone Dettling |
(simone.dettling@un.org)

United in Science Report Release to Inform Climate Action Summit
Where: United Nations Headquarters, Press Briefing Room (S-237)
When: Report release at 10:00AM EDT, Event at 2:00 PM EDT
Who: Science Advisory Group to the UN Secretary-General
Details: The world’s leading climate science organizations have joined forces to produce a
landmark new report to inform the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit.

Together, the package of reports highlight the urgency and the potential of ambitious
climate action in order to limit potentially irreversible impacts.
The synthesis report consists of short summaries from contributing agencies: the World
Meteorological Organization (WMO), Global Atmosphere Watch, the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Carbon Project, the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC), Future Earth, Earth League and the Global Framework for
Climate Services.
Media Contact: Clare Nullis | cnullis@wmo.int | +41797091397

Coalition for Urban Transitions, “Seizing the Urban Opportunity”
Where: United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room One
When: 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Who: Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change; Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research
Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Details: The launch of the Coalition for Urban Transitions’ 2019 Global Report, in partnership
with the UK, German and Swedish governments and the Global Covenant of Mayors for
Climate and Energy. The report demonstrates how national governments can secure
shared economic prosperity and avert climate catastrophe by transforming cities. This
event will bring together leaders from national and local governments, industry, finance,
and the urban and climate communities to accelerate ambition in the face of the climate
emergency.
Media Contact: Georgina Short | georgina.short@newclimateeconomy.net

Energy Action Forum: “Accelerating the Energy Transition on the Road to 2020 and Beyond”
Where: Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice
When: 2:00 – 6:00 PM
Who: Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations; Mette Frederiksen,
Prime Minister of Denmark; and Sahle-Work Zewde, President of the Federal
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the UN
Secretary-General, CEO of SEforALL, among others.
Details: The event will convene nearly 200 Head of States, Business CEOs, Ministers, UN
representatives, entrepreneurs and investors, demonstrating a leap in collective
ambition to accelerate action towards sustainable energy systems in order to secure
sufficient and sustainable energy to support economic growth, remove energy poverty
and reduce GHG emissions.
Media Contact: Beth Woodthorpe-Evans | Beth@SEforALL.org | +1 (202) 390 1042

About the Climate Action Summit
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is hosting the Climate Action Summit in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly. The Secretary-General is calling on all leaders – governments, the private sector, civil society, local authorities and other international organizations – to come with concrete, realistic plans that will boost ambition and rapidly accelerate action to implement the Paris Agreement.

Media Opportunity
For more information on the Climate Action Summit, please contact Dan Shepard, UN Department of Global Communications, at shepard@un.org, tel. 1 212 963-9495.

More information is at https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/un-climate-summit-2019.shtml

بيان صادر عن المبعوث الخاص الى اليمن حول إعلان أنصار الله

نيويورك ، 21 أيلول/سبتمبر 2019

يرحب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة الى اليمن، مارتن غريفيث، بالمبادرة التي أعلنها أنصار الله في 20 أيلول/سبتمبر، بشأن وقف الأعمال العدائية العسكرية ضد المملكة العربية السعودية. كما يرحب بالتعبيرعن المزيد من الانفتاح تجاه تنفيذ اتفاق تبادل الأسرى والمعتقلين والرغبة في حل سياسي لإنهاء الصراع.

يشدد المبعوث الخاص على أهمية الاستفادة من هذه الفرصة واحراز تقدّم في الخطوات اللازمة للحدّ من العنف والتصعيد العسكري والخطاب غير المساعد.

إن تنفيذ هذه المبادرة التي أطلقها أنصار الله، بحسن نية، يمكن أن يكون رسالة قوية حول الإرادة لإنهاء الحرب.

ويكرر المبعوث الخاص دعوته لجميع الأطراف لاحترام القانون الإنساني الدولي، وضبط النفس، وتجنيب اليمن الانجرار إلى توترات إقليمية، لما فيه صالح الشعب اليمني”.

Statement by Special Envoy for Yemen on the Ansar Allah announcement

New York, 21 September 2019

The Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, welcomes the initiative announced by Ansar Allah on 20 September, on the cessation of hostile military acts against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He also welcomes the expression of further opennesstowards the implementation of the Prisoner Exchange Agreement and the desire for a political solution to end the conflict.

The Special Envoy stresses the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity and moving forward with all necessary steps to reduce violence, military escalation and unhelpful rhetoric.

The implementation of this initiative by Ansar Allah in good faith could send a powerful message of the will to end the war.

“The Special Envoy reiterates his call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, exercise restraint, and to spare Yemen from being drawn further into regional tensions, for the benefit of the Yemeni people.”

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — REMARKS TO YOUTH CLIMATE SUMMIT

New York, 21 September 2019

I have been more times a keynote speaker than a listener. That is one of the problems of world leaders: they talk too much and they listen too little.

And, it is listening – it is in listening that we learn.

It is in giving the possibility for all those that represent today’s world to speak and to have their voices be part of decision-making processes that we can move forward.

I am really very enthusiastic about the leadership and the dynamism of the youth movement for climate action today in the world.

When I started two years and something ago, I must say I felt very, very discouraged in relation to the prospects of climate action.

We are already facing a climate emergency. We are seeing, and I’m not going to enter into technical details about it, but we are seeing this multiplication of natural disasters becoming more and more intense, more andmore dramatic with worse consequences.

We are seeing drought in Africa. Namely, in some circumstances, not only making communities unable to survive, but being affected by conflict like in the Sahel, where the lack of water resources is making farmers and others fight each other and because of that, facilitating the emergency of conflicts and even the spread of terrorism.

We were seeing the glaciers melting, the ice caps disappearing, the corals bleaching, biodiversity being threatened, the heatwaves everywhere.

There was always in the last few years, since I started, clearly this perspective, there is a climate urgency. Things are getting worse. The worst forecasts that were made are being proven wrong, not because they weretoo dramatic, but because they were not enough dramatic in relation to the reality.

At the same time, there was a sense of apathy. It was very difficult to put these things on the table. It was very difficult to make decision makers assume the need to act.

There was a kind of a laissez-faire in the world. All of a sudden, I started to feel that there was momentum that was gaining. This was largely due to the youth movement that started a fantastic, very dynamic impulsearound the world, moving progressively with them, their families, their communities, their societies, and based on the societies moving, and the voice of the societies being heard, starting to have an impact on the way businesses were acting, on the way citieswere acting, and on the way regions were acting.

Finally, we are starting to see electorates being active on these and governments starting to respond.

There is a change. We are not yet there. We are still losing the race. Climate change is still running faster than what we are. We still have subsidies to fossil fuels, we still have coal plants being built, we still have many things that are not happening and should happen, or things that go on happening and should not be happening anymore.

But, there is a change in momentum – I feel there is a change in momentum. Largely this change in momentum was due to your [Greta Thunberg’s] initiative, and to the courage with which you have started this movement and made this movement from a small movement in front of a Parliament to — I believe it was the Swedish Parliament some time ago — into millions around the world, saying clearly, not only that they want change, not only that decision makers must change, but they want them to be accountable. This question of accountability is essential.

Obviously, there are different dimensions on these. There are dimensions related to grassroots movements that at the village level are able to themselves be leaders in climate action. Then, based on that, push their communities, push their societies, push their governments to act. There is the way to participate in an institutional way, in the bodies that are discussing these things.

You mentioned Katowice. I went to Katowice three times. You can’t imagine how difficult it is to make things move when you have 193 countries and we have to have all the countries agreeing with the moves that are absolutely obvious that need to be done, but there is always someone with some doubts or some questions or whatever.

So we really need a very strong impulse and the impulse of the young people organized to push for the institutional decision making processes to move is essential.

Then you have also this fundamental reflection about injustice. We do not live in a fair globalization.

The dramatic thing is, it’s not the African continent, or the small islands in the Pacific or the Caribbean, that contribute more to climate change, but they are the main victims.

It’s not the poorest communities that contribute more to climate change, but they are the main victims. And indeed, there is a question of justice and the question of fairness in the way the global economy is organized, in the way power is distributed. This is also related to climate change.

So, your reflection is also a very important reflection. We need to link climate change to a new model of development, a model with more justice among people, and a fair relation between people and the planet.

When we look into today’s world, I think that is something that is new. We have had conflicts among people for centuries or for millennia since the human race existed. But, for the first time, there is a serious conflictbetween people and nature, between people and the planet.

This could be absolutely destructive for the future of our communities and for the future of all societies. It’s not only a question of glaciers or icecaps, or corals, even if that is extremely important, and biodiversity is a is a vital question in today’s world. But it is more and more about the suffering of people. And this will become worse and worse as time goes by. Lots of people are today dramatically dying and suffering because of the impacts of climate change.

So, we have no time to lose. It does make sense to go on subsidizing fossil fuels. Some people present the subsidies of fossil fuels as a benefit to the population. No, they are done with taxpayers money – with our money. It doesn’t make sense at all money is there to boost hurricanes, or to bleach corals or to destroy communities, like the ones that were mentioned here in Africa. Let’s make sure that taxpayers get their money back and there are no more subsidies to fossil fuels.

When people talk about tax on carbon, that means more costs for the economy. Not necessarily. You can put a tax on carbon, and reduce taxes on people, namely on salaries, and with that you help solve the problems of unemployment, namely youth employment.

So that is a win-win strategy that is possible, if you combine at the same time, climate action with a fair globalization with the Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals and our plans for a more fair and justworld, in which the resources can be better distributed and better used.

I believe that what the youth is doing today, what grassroots movements are doing today is absolutely essential for this to happen. I encourage you to go on some people say it is very dangerous, very complicated, youknow, these young people, be careful. No, I am not careful at all.

I encourage you to go on, I encourage you to keep your initiative, keep your mobilization, and more and more to hold my generation accountable. My generation has largely failed until now to preserve both justice in the world and to preserve the planet.

I have granddaughters. I want my granddaughters to live in a liveable planet. My generation as a huge responsibility. It is your generation that must make us be accountable to make sure that we don’t betray the future of humankind.

Thank you very much.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — REMARKS AT WREATH-LAYING CEREMONY TO COMMEMORATE THE 58TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF SECRETARY-GENERAL DAG HAMMARSKJOLD

New York, 17 September 2019

Today we remember my predecessor, Dag Hammarskjöld, and pay tribute to his life and his supreme sacrifice.

Around the world, Dag Hammarskjöld is rightly revered for his achievements, his dedication and his values.

He shaped the United Nations into an active force in making and keeping peace. He skillfully created and seized opportunities.

He bravely put himself forward for the most difficult challenges.

And he died while he was deeply involved in peace negotiations in the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Dag Hammarskjöld gave his life for peace.

Today, we recognize this as the ultimate act of courage.

In a few weeks, the General Assembly will consider a report by Chief Justice Mohamed Chande Othman, who I appointed in 2017 to examine the circumstances of Dag Hammarskjöld’s death.

I reiterate my personal commitment and recall our shared responsibility to pursue the truth, for Dag Hammarskjöld and those who died with him, their loved ones, the United Nations and the people we serve.

I look forward to engaging with Member States on this.

One of Dag Hammarskjöld’s most important qualities was his ability to take a step back – and to project his vision into the future.

Sixty years ago, he spoke of the world becoming one world, in which the weakness of one was the weakness of all. He spoke of the imperative of global solidarity.

I believe he gained such insight through his deep immersion in culture of all kinds.

Dag Hammarskjöld’s writings are full of a spirit of curiosity and wonder. He sought first to understand, not to judge.

He embodied the values of tolerance, dialogue and mutual respect.

And he always put people first – passionately believing in their common dreams and goals.

As we look forward to the new session of the General Assembly, we pay tribute to Dag Hammarskjöld’s efforts to fulfil the pledge of the United Nations Charter.

We remember his extraordinary contribution and we resolve to build on his achievements.

Thank you.

Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) Joint Press Statement The Sixth Joint RCC Meeting

Hudaydah 09 September 2019

Members of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) held their sixth joint meeting on 8 and 9 September 2019 onboard the UN-flagged vessel in the open waters off Hudaydah.

Reaffirming their commitment to the Hudaydah Agreement and previous understandings, the RCC activated the Ceasefire Enhancement and De-escalation Mechanism that was agreed upon at the last RCC meeting held in July. On this basis, a Joint Operations Centre is being established and activated in the UNMHA facility. The Centre includes Liaison and Coordination Officers from both parties, in addition to UNMHA Liaison and Coordination Officers.

The Joint Operations Centre will work on de-escalation and address incidents that occur in the field by maintaining direct communication with field liaison officers deployed on the fronts of Hudaydah governorate.

RCC members decided to deploy monitoring teams in four locations on the frontlines of Hudaydah as an initial step aimed to sustain the ceasefire and reduce the suffering of and casualties among civilians.

RCC members addressed the technical and practical aspects of the Special Envoy’s proposal on the implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement and its phases, and will present their proposals at a later stage.

البيان الصحفي المشترك الإجتماع المُشترك السادس للجنة تنسيق إعادة الإنتشار

الحُديدة – 9 أيلول/ سبتمبر 2019 : عقد أعضاء لجنة تنسيق إعادة الانتشار (RCC) اجتماعهم المُشترك السادس في الفترة من 8 إلى 9 أيلول/سبتمبر على متن سفينة الأمم المتحدة  في المياه المفتوحة قبالة الحُديدة.

وتأكيدًا لالتزامهم باتفاقية الحُديدة وللتفاهمات السابقة، قامت لجنة تنسيق إعادة الإنتشار بتفعيل آلية التهدئة وتعزيز وقف إطلاق النار التي تم الاتفاق عليها في الاجتماع السابق للجنة خلال شهر يوليو الماضي؛وبناءاً عليه تم إنشاء وتشغيل مركز العمليات المشتركة في مقر البعثة في الحُديدة يضم ضباط أرتباط وتنسيق من الطرفين بالإضافة الى ضباط أرتباط وتنسيق من بعثة الأمم المتحدة .

سيعمل مركز العمليات المُشتركة على الحد من التصعيد ومعالجة الحوادث في الميدان من خلال الاتصال المباشر مع ضباط الأرتباط الميدانيين المنتشرين على جبهات محافظة الحُديدة .

كما قرر أعضاء اللجنة نشر فرق مراقبة في أربعة مواقع على الخطوط الأمامية لمدينة الحُديدة كخطوة أولى من اجل تثبيت وقف إطلاق النار والحد من المعاناة والإصابات بين السكان المدنيين.

كما تناول أعضاء اللجنة الجوانب التقنية والعملية من اقتراح المبعوث الأممي الخاص الى اليمن بشأن تنفيذ اتفاق الحُديدة و مراحله وسيُقدمون مقترحاتهم إزاءها لاحقاً.

Note to Correspondents on the upcoming RCC meeting on Hudaydah Agreement, Yemen

Hudaydah, 8 September 2019 – United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA)

Members of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) for the implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement are holding their sixth joint meeting on 8 and 9 September 2019, aboard a UN vessel in open waters off Hudaydah.

Acting Chair of the RCC General Hany Nakhleh is facilitating discussions on technical steps and operational measures aimed to support progress in the implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement.

Part of the Stockholm Agreement reached in December 2018, the Hudaydah Agreement foresees a ceasefire and the redeployment of forces from the city and ports of Hudaydah, Ras-Issa and Al-Salif on the western coast of Yemen.