Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (20 December 2021)

United Nations published this video item, entitled “Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (20 December 2021)” – below is their description.

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

Highlights:

– Lebanon

– Lamp of Peace

– Deputy Secretary-General’s Travels

– Syria

– Afghanistan

– Central African Republic

– South Sudan

– Philippines

– COVID-19

– Child Mortality

– International Human Solidarity Day

– Guest Briefing

LEBANON

First off, the Secretary-General met in Beirut today with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and he reiterated his message of solidarity with Lebanon and its people at this difficult time.

The Secretary-General said after the meeting that he was very encouraged in his meetings over the past days with the President, the Speaker and the Prime Minister. There is a clear guarantee that elections will take place in the beginning of May. And he added that he was impressed by the work the Government is doing in relation to the preparation of the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.

He met earlier with the Speaker of the Parliament, Nabih Berri, and told reporters afterward that only Lebanese can solve Lebanese problems, but the international community needs to strengthen its support to Lebanon to overcome the present, difficult circumstances.

Earlier today, the Secretary-General visited the Port of Beirut to pay tribute to the victims that lost their lives and to express his solidarity to all those wounded and to the families. He said that he knows the will of the people to know the truth and to have proper accountability for that tragedy.

Yesterday, the Secretary-General arrived in Beirut and met with President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace. He told reporters after that meeting that his objective is to discuss how we can best support the Lebanese people to overcome the current economic and financial crisis and to promote peace, stability and sustainable development.

Seeing the suffering of the people of Lebanon, he said, Lebanese political leaders do not have the right to be divided and paralyze the country. He added that next year’s elections will be key and Lebanon’s people must be fully engaged in choosing how the country moves forward.

LAMP OF PEACE

On Saturday, the Secretary-General received the Lamp of Peace award, given by the Sacred Convent of Assisi in Italy.

In his remarks, delivered virtually, he noted that Saint Francis of Assisi was a true visionary, whose holistic concept of peace is as relevant today as it was during his lifetime, eight hundred years ago.

Reminding the audience that St. Francis is the patron saint of ecology, the Secretary-General said that our unsustainable production and consumption habits are causing a triple planetary crisis: climate disruption; a catastrophic loss of biodiversity; and levels of pollution that are killing millions every year. Climate action builds peace, he said.

The Secretary-General also called on leaders of all kinds to take responsibility, condemn all acts of violence and hatred, and address the root causes that undermine social cohesion. As societies become multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural, we need greater investment in inclusivity, he added.

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL’S TRAVELS

The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, is currently visiting Costa Rica.

Yesterday, she visited a geothermal project. Some 99 per cent of the population of Costa Rica has access to electricity, and nearly all of its electricity matrix is from renewable sources. The Deputy Secretary-General also met with communities working on mangrove restoration.

Today, she is meeting with President Carlos Alvarado and his Cabinet to discuss social protection, COVID-19 recovery and sustainable development.

The Deputy Secretary-General will return to New York tomorrow.

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

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