Home » General » Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

This afternoon at 3pm, the Secretary-General will speak at the launch of the New Climate Economy report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate Change.

He will stress that, despite some encouraging momentum, climate change is running faster than we are.

The trend is clear, the Secretary-General will say, with the last 19 years included 18 of the warmest years on record.

The Secretary-General will underscore how we need climate action to prevent ever greater crises, calling for all of us to act with greater ambition and urgency.

On Monday, 10 September, the Secretary-General will deliver a major address at UN Headquarters on climate change.

He will speak to an audience of young people, business leaders, journalists and diplomats on the eve of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco and the annual gathering of world leaders for the General Assembly.

In that speech, the Secretary-General will outline the danger, highlight solutions, and emphasize the need for greater ambition and stronger leadership in addressing what he has called “the defining threat of our time”.

In a statement issued yesterday evening, the Secretary-General said that he was informed by the Guatemalan authorities yesterday that they have barred Commissioner Ivan Velasquez of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) from entry into Guatemala. CICIG and its Commissioner play a pivotal role in the fight against impunity in Guatemala. The UN Secretariat has serious concerns about this decision, which it is currently reviewing and which does not appear to be consistent with the Agreement on the establishment of CICIG.

The Secretary-General has asked Mr. Velasquez to continue at the helm of CICIG from outside Guatemala until there is more clarity on the situation. The Secretary-General encourages the Government of Guatemala to continue to search for a solution through dialogue in the framework of article 12 of the Agreement establishing CICIG.

In a statement yesterday evening on Mauritania, the Secretary-General commended the people of the country for the peaceful conduct of parliamentary, regional and municipal elections.

He encourages all parties to continue to act in a peaceful manner during and after the announcement of the results.

The Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, will travel to the Netherlands today to discuss the ongoing reform of the UN development system, development cooperation, and broader efforts to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She will meet with Government ministers, senior officials and representatives of civil society and the private sector.

On Friday and Saturday, the Deputy Secretary General will visit Ireland. While there, she will deliver key remarks and participate in a conference marking the 50th anniversary of Concern Worldwide, a leading non-governmental development and humanitarian organization. She will also meet senior Government officials to discuss a range of matters, including UN development system reform, Ireland’s new development cooperation policy, peacekeeping and migration. The Deputy Secretary-General will also meet with civil society and youth groups to discuss domestic implementation of the SDGs, climate change and gender equality.

The Deputy Secretary-General will return to New York on Saturday.

The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, is wrapping up his visit to Mali today, during which he attended the swearing-in ceremony of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

During a press conference held at our Mission’s Headquarters in Bamako earlier this morning, Mr. Lacroix said that the need for a swift implementation of the Peace Agreement was a priority expressed by the various stakeholders he met – including the national authorities, the signatories of the Peace Agreement and Malians in general – mirroring the Security Council’s preoccupation.

He added that the successful completion of the UN Mission in Mali’s (MINUSMA) mandate lies in a political process that moves forward and he reiterated the United Nations’ “total determination” to help Malians on the road to peace and stability.

During his six-day visit, Mr. Lacroix travelled to the north of the country and met with UN staff as well as with Government officials and other involved in the Malian Peace Agreement.

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) thanked the Libyan parties who accepted the Mission’s invitation for dialogue and congratulates them on reaching a ceasefire agreement to end the fighting afflicting Tripoli since 26 August. The agreement was signed under the auspices of Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Libya, Ghassan Salame.

The agreement – signed by representatives of the Government of National Accord, military commanders, security apparatuses and armed groups present in and around the Capital – comprises an immediate cessation of hostilities and a mechanism to monitor infractions.

The UN Mission will reach out to other parties who expressed interest in joining the ceasefire but were unable to attend and commits to continue facilitation to strengthen the ceasefire and discuss the appropriate security arrangements in the Capital.

Mr. Salame will continue to offer good offices and work with all parties to reach a lasting political agreement acceptable to all to avoid further loss of life and for the benefit of the people of Libya.

The High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, are visiting Afghanistan on a two-day joint mission that began today.

They are scheduled to meet senior government officials, as well as donors, development and humanitarian partners, UN agencies, NGOs, and families affected by the conflict.

Mr. Grandi and Mr. Lowcock will also visit Pakistan on a joint mission.

Today, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Jamie McGoldrick, called for urgent funding for emergency fuel for essential services in the Gaza Strip, as final supplies have depleted.

Final fuel supplies of the United Nations-coordinated emergency operation for backup generators at life-supporting facilities in Gaza are being delivered and exhausted.

Within a week, the first hospital, Al Aqsa Hospital in the Middle Area of the Gaza Strip, may have to shut down. In addition, without fuel, some 300,000 people will potentially be affected by serious public health concerns as sewage could overflow onto streets.

Based on the current electricity deficit in Gaza, a minimum of $4.5 million is required to sustain these essential services until the end of the year. If new funds are not received immediately, we will be facing a potentially catastrophic breakdown in essential service delivery.

A new paper authored by four World Health Organization (WHO) experts shows that more than one in four adults globally – or 1.4 billion people – are physically inactive.

The paper, published in the Lancet, shows that the global level of inactivity in adults remains largely unchanged since 2001. The data highlights the need for all countries to increase the priority given to supporting physical activity and increasing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, to be active every day.

WHO has also launched a new Global Action Plan on Physical Activity that sets the target to reduce physical inactivity by 10 percent by 2025 and 15 percent by 2030.

The Secretary-General has appointed five new members of the Advisory Group of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Established by the General Assembly in 2005, the 19-member Advisory Group provides policy guidance to the Secretary-General and advice on the use and impact of CERF, through Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, who manages the fund on the Secretary-General’s behalf.

Zimbabwe has become the 126th UN Member State to pay its regular budget dues in full., which has paid its regular budget dues in full.