Author Archives: cigisurrao

‘Solutions lie in solidarity’ UN chief says on South-South Cooperation Day

In this era of unprecedented challenge and upheaval, “solutions lie in solidarity,” the UN chief said in his message commemorating United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, on Monday. 

South-South cooperation is unity among people and countries of the developing world, known as the global South, which contributes to national well-being, collective self-reliance and achieving the global goals.

“South-South and triangular cooperation are critical for developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate disruption, address the global health crisis, including COVID-19 recovery, and achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” underscored Secretary-General António Guterres. More

Queen Elizabeth II: ‘Reassuring presence’ throughout decades of ‘sweeping change’

Secretary-General António Guterres expressed on Thursday, his deep sadness at the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

As the UK’s longest-lived and longest-reigning Head of State, the 96-year-old Queen was widely admired for her “grace, dignity, and dedication around the world,” he said in a statement.

“She was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the evolution of the Commonwealth”.

Queen Elizabeth II was “a good friend of the United Nations”, he said, recalling that she had visited New York Headquarters twice, more than fifty years apart.

“She was deeply committed to many charitable and environmental causes and spoke movingly to delegates at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow,” recalled the UN chief.  More

Pollution and climate change upsurge the risk of ‘climate penalty’

A rise in the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwaves will not only increase wildfires this century but also worsen air quality – harming human health and ecosystems, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) launched on Wednesday, the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.

“As the globe warms, wildfires and associated air pollution are expected to increase, even under a low emissions scenario,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

“In addition to human health impacts, this will also affect ecosystems as air pollutants settle from the atmosphere to Earth’s surface”. More

Human development falling behind in ninety per cent of countries: UN report

The latest flagship UN report on human development, released on Thursday, warns that multiple crises are halting progress on human development, which is going backwards in the overwhelming majority of countries. Here are five things to look out for in the report.

The 2021/22 Human Development Report (HDR) – which is entitled “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World” – paints a picture of a global society lurching from crisis to crisis, and which risks heading towards increasing deprivation and injustice.

Heading the list of events causing major global disruption are the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which have come on top of sweeping social and economic shifts, dangerous planetary changes, and massive increases in polarization. More

Papua New Guinea: Conflict and election-related violence trigger wave of displacement

Following conflict and election-related violence in Papua New Guinea, more than 15,000 people have been internally displaced in Hela, Southern Highlands and Enga provinces, the International Organization for Migration´s (IOM) said on Tuesday.

From 13 to 30 August, IOM partnered with local authorities in deploying its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) team to track and monitor internal displacement and identify the needs of those most affected in the Highlands region.

As assessments in hard-to-access provinces continue, the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is expected to rise.

IOM, in partnership with the National Disaster Centre, and with support from USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and the Australian Government, will deliver emergency assistance to the affected and most vulnerable populations including women, persons living with disabilities, and the elderly.

So far, IOM has been able to distribute shelter kits to mostly women and children in 236 affected households in Mendi, Southern Highlands Province. More

Egypt prepares for flagship UN climate conference, in a year of unprecedented global weather shocks

Regional authorities in Egypt, the host country of the 2022 UN climate conference (COP27), are ramping up initiatives designed to improve the country’s environmental credentials, and speed up its transition to a low carbon economy. The event will begin on 4 November, in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Several COP27-related initiatives are underway in Egypt: they include projects related to sustainable transport, waste recycling, women’s health, the transition to clean energy, sustainable cities, adaptation measures in the water and agriculture sector, and the links between peace and climate.

In preparation for the Climate Summit, the regional authorities in the Red Sea Governorate, in cooperation with a number of other state organizations, is holding a series of events aimed at raising awareness of environmental and sustainability concerns. These workshops will continue through to November, and the opening of the Conference. More

Police in the field embody ‘promise, hope and optimism’ of whole UN: Guterres

Police officers from more than 90 countries who serve at UN operations around the world represent “multilateralism in action”, Secretary-General António Guterres said in New York on Thursday. 

Mr. Guterres was delivering remarks to the third UN Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS), which brought together ministers, police chiefs, and senior representatives of regional and professional policing organizations.

“Since the first deployment of United Nations Police in 1960, they have continued to embody the promise, hope and optimism of our Organization,” he said.

Mr. Guterres thanked the policing officials for providing their best officers to the UN, particularly women officers, which has helped the Organization to surpass gender parity targets and ensure policing is gender responsive.

He also urged countries to increase their technological support so that UN Police can keep pace with needs, both now and in the future.  More

Pakistan: $160 million UN emergency plan launched, as ‘monsoon on steroids’ continues

$160 million emergency plan to help Pakistan deal with devastating flooding has been launched by the United Nations, aiming to reach “5.2 million of the most vulnerable people in the country”.

An estimated 33 million people have been affected by the “worst flooding in decades “and more than 1,000 people, mostly children”, have died since mid-June when heavy rains began pounding the country, Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN humanitarian coordination office, OCHA, said on Tuesday.

“Pakistan is awash in suffering,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video message to launch the six-month appeal in Islamabad and Geneva. More

UN relief chief stresses need to stay and deliver for all Afghans

Humanitarians have stayed and delivered in Afghanistan in the year since the Taliban takeover, and it is imperative that the international community continues to do the same while the de facto authorities must also do their part, the Security Council heard on Monday. 

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths, who briefed ambassadors, reported on the ongoing hardships and uncertainty facing Afghans, nearly half of whom – 24 million people – require aid relief to survive.

“Afghanistan’s crisis is a humanitarian crisis, but it’s not only that. It’s an economic crisis. It’s a climate crisis. It’s a hunger crisis. It’s a financial crisis. But it’s not a hopeless crisis,” he said.  More

UN chief disappointed nuclear treaty conference ends without consensus

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has highlighted the need for dialogue to reduce the nuclear threat after countries failed to reach consensus at a conference to review the landmark Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), his Spokesperson said on Saturday.

Following four weeks of intense discussions at UN Headquarters in New York, the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT ended late on Friday without an outcome document because Russia objected to text about its control over Ukrainian nuclear facilities.

The Secretary-General expressed disappointment that countries were unable to reach consensus on a “substantive outcome”, and to capitalize on the opportunity to strengthen the 52-year-old treaty and advance its goals, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said in​​ a statement. More