Climate change: WMO urges faster action on transition to clean energy

The UN weather agency issued an urgent appeal on Tuesday for governments everywhere to switch to cleaner forms of energy, such as solar, wind and hydro-electric power.

In its new report the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that in order to limit the global temperature rise which is undermining energy security, electricity tapped from clean energy sources must double over the next eight years. More

Australian Surfers Ride Climate Action Wave

Surfers have an intimate knowledge of the ocean, but have not been seen as leading figures amongst groups leading on climate change solutions. Thanks to groups such as Surfers for Climate in Australia, that perception is starting to change.

The image of the typical, laid-back surfer does not sit easily with the stereotype of earnest environmental campaigners. But elite bodyboarder Chris Kirkman is proof that surfers have a part to play in fighting the climate emergency. More

Climate change heightens threats of violence against women and girls

Climate change and environmental degradation are escalating the risk and prevalence of violence against women and girls across the world, a UN-appointed independent human rights expert warned on Wednesday.

Presenting a report to the General Assembly on its causes and consequences, Reem Alsalem, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls described climate change as “the most consequential threat multiplier for women and girls, with far-reaching impacts on new and existing forms of gendered inequities”. More

UN chief: Countries bound for COP27 must make climate action ‘the top global priority’

As government representatives begin the finalize the agenda for the COP27 climate change conference in Egypt next month, for pre-COP planning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo capital, Kinshasa, Secretary-General António Guterres told journalists in New York that the work ahead is “as immense as the climate impacts we are seeing around the world”. More

The Secretary-General   —  Remarks To Press On Russian Decision On Annexation Of Ukrainian Territory 

29 September

As Delivered

The Kremlin has announced that a ceremony will take place tomorrow in Moscow that will launch a process of annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

In this moment of peril, I must underscore my duty as Secretary-General to uphold the Charter of the United Nations.   

The UN Charter is clear.    

Any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the Principles of the UN Charter and international law.

The United Nations General Assembly is equally clear.

In its landmark Friendly Relations Declaration of 24 October 1970 —repeatedly cited as stating rules of general international law by the International Court of Justice —  the General Assembly declared that “the territory of a State shall not be the object of acquisition by another State resulting from the threat or use of force” and that “no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognised as legal”.

 And I must be clear.

The Russian Federation, as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, shares a particular responsibility to respect the Charter.

Any decision to proceed with the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned.

It cannot be reconciled with the international legal framework.

It stands against everything the international community is meant to stand for.

It flouts the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations.

It is a dangerous escalation.

It has no place in the modern world.

It must not be accepted.

The position of the United Nations is unequivocal: we are fully committed to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.

I want to underscore that the so-called “referenda” in the occupied regions were conducted during active armed conflict, in areas under Russian occupation, and outside Ukraine’s legal and constitutional framework.  

 They cannot be called a genuine expression of the popular will.

Any decision by Russia to go forward will further jeopardize the prospects for peace.

It will prolong the dramatic impacts on the global economy, especially developing countries and hinder our ability to deliver life-saving aid across Ukraine and beyond.

It is high time to step back from the brink.

Now more than ever, we must work together to end this devastating and senseless war and uphold the UN Charter and international law.

Thank you.

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General – on protests in Iran

The Secretary-General has been closely following the ongoing protests in Iran. During their bilateral meeting on 22 September 2022, the Secretary-General stressed to President Raisi the need to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

We are increasingly concerned about reports of rising fatalities, including women and children, related to the protests. The Secretary-General calls on the security forces to refrain from using unnecessary or disproportionate force and appeals to all to exercise utmost restraint to avoid further escalation.

We underline the need for prompt, impartial and effective investigation into Ms. Mahsa Amini’s death by an independent competent authority.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 27 September 2022

Referenda in Russian-controlled Ukraine ‘cannot be regarded as legal’: UN political affairs chief

Recent so-called referenda conducted in four Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine cannot be considered legal under international law, the UN’s political affairs chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the Security Council on Tuesday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also briefed ambassadors, blasting the “sham referenda”, though Russia objected to his participation via videoconference.

The country’s ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said the President should participate in person, in line with the rules.  “The Council should not turn into a forum for political shows or cinema,” he added. More