Colombia, Afghanistan, ECOSOC & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (13 July 2021)

United Nations published this video item, entitled “Colombia, Afghanistan, ECOSOC & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (13 July 2021)” – below is their description.

Noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:

– Colombia

– UNICEF

– Economic and Social Council

– Central African Republic

– Ethiopia

– Myanmar

– Afghanistan

– COVAX/Moldova

– Post-COVID-19 School Closures

COLOMBIA

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Colombia and Head of the UN Mission there, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, briefed the Security Council this morning on the latest developments in the peace process. He also talked about his recent visit to the country and his meeting with women leaders and victims of violence, and after I’m done, he will join us here in person to tell you more about it. Yesterday afternoon, the Secretary-General met with the Vice-President and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Marta Lucía Ramírez. The Secretary-Generalcolo reaffirmed the UN’s support for peace and sustainable development in Colombia and its pandemic recovery efforts. They discussed the importance of the comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement and the Secretary-General also acknowledged Colombia’s generosity in granting Temporary Protection Status to Venezuelan migrant and refugees. The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, also met with Vice-President Ramírez. They discussed, among other things, Colombia’s leadership in promoting and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. The Deputy Secretary-General welcomed the Vice-President and Foreign Minister’s role in people-focused and green recovery from COVID-19, and in promoting women’s empowerment.

AFGHANISTAN

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today warned of a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as the escalating conflict brings increased human suffering and civilian displacement. According to UNHCR, an estimated 270,000 Afghans have been newly displaced inside the country since January 2021 – primarily due to insecurity and violence. This brings the total uprooted population to more than 3.5 million.

The UN Refugee Agency said that the needs of those who have had to flee suddenly are acute. UNHCR and partners, as part of a coordinated response, are assisting newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health, water and sanitation support and cash assistance, despite challenges in accessing vulnerable groups.

UNHCR warns that a failure to reach a peace agreement in Afghanistan and stem the current violence will lead to further displacement within the country, as well as to neighbouring countries and beyond.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL

The Secretary-General addressed the High-Level Political Forum of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) this morning, and he warned that the pandemic has taken 4 million lives and devastated the global economy, and, while some countries plan for recovery, the pandemic is gathering pace in others.

He noted that global GDP decreased by an estimated 4.6 per cent in 2020 and that the pandemic has pushed a further 124 million people into extreme poverty. Nearly one person in three around the world could not access adequate food in 2020 – an increase of nearly 320 million people in one year, he added.

Rather than progress, the Secretary-General warned, we are moving farther away from our goals. But, he added, that we can and must turn this around.

First, he said, everyone, everywhere, must have access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests, treatments and support. Second, we need urgent, ambitious climate action, including on finance. Third, we must heed the lessons of this crisis and invest in more equal and inclusive societies. Fourth, and underpinning progress in these three areas, is financing for development, he said.

The Secretary-General’s remarks are available online.

Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=13%20July%202021

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