The Week Ahead at the United Nations: 1-5 July 2019

Monday 1 July

  • The General Assembly will hold an informal meeting to hear a briefing by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar.
  • Perú serves as President of the Security Council this month. Its Permanent Representative, Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadro, briefs reporters about plans for its presidency.
  • ·Hoesung Lee, who chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is among the speakers at the World Conference of Science Journalists, which begins today in Europe.

 

Tuesday 2 July

  • Agnès Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, discusses her report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. (Brookings)
  • The General Assembly meets to discuss implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for the decade 2014-2024, which focuses on the needs of some 440 million residents in 32 countries who lack direct, territorial access to the sea. Their dependence on other countries contributes to their challenges, including high poverty rates.

Wednesday 3 July

  • There are no events scheduled at UNHQ today.

 

Thursday 4 July

  • In observance of United States of America’s Independence Day, UNHQ will be closed.

Friday 5 July

  • There are no events scheduled at UNHQ today.

 

In case you missed it:

·       For This Week at the UN in 60 Seconds, watch here.

 

 

For more information:

 

World Pride underscores that all people are born ‘free and equal’ in dignity and human rights

30 June 2019

The empowering message straight from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and human rights” resonated on Sunday from UN-GLOBE members who participated in the World Pride parade in New York City.

UN-GLOBE
UN-GLOBE marches in the 2019 World Pride parade in celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people everywhere.

Their signs brought to life UDHR’s stirring words: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security” and “Act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”.

Among other things, the United Nations inter-agency group combats homophobia, biphobia and transphobia throughout the UN system.

According to UN-GLOBE secretary Gabe Scelta, this year’s celebration is “especially important” because it marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which for many represent the beginning of the fight for equality and nondiscrimination for  lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people, “which we are still challenged with today”.

“As a transgender person marching under the banner of UN-GLOBE”, he said “it means our LGBTQI family, especially those facing discrimination all over the world, might see someone like me, someone like themselves, living openly and happily, and feel some hope for the future.”

Mr. Scelta underscored: “Our community faces unparalleled discrimination and violence all over the world, especially directed towards those with intersectional identities”, including trans women of color, black and latinx trans women.

He pointed out that extremely high rates of depression and suicide are experienced “in epidemic proportions” as a natural response to the pressures of being a minority, especially for young people.

“Seeing people like us living our lives with joy, with love and support from friends, allies, and workplaces can be a lifeline”, underscored Mr. Scelta.

All staff in New York were invited by the UN Staff Union and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to march with UN-GLOBE in celebration of World Pride.

And next week in Geneva, Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director of International Trade Centre (ITC) will be walking in solidarity as UN-GLOBE marches in the parade there.

Not everyone is celebrating

While the atmosphere of the day was one of exuberance and pride, the World Bank pointed out that despite advances over the past two decades, LGBTI people continue to face widespread exclusion, discrimination and violence in many countries.

To date, about one-third of UN Member States continue to criminalize homosexuality and there is a deeply entrenched stigma against them that not only negatively impact LGBTI people, but also the communities and economies in which they live, according to the World Bank.

Tackling this plight is especially difficult because a lack of legal protections perpetuate the struggle.

Another major barrier is the absence of data on the lives of LGBTI people, which the World Bank says puts in jeopardy the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and countries’ commitment to the principle of “leaving no one behind” in the effort to end poverty and inequality.

UN chief welcomes possibility of resumed talks between US and North Korea

1 July 2019

As the clicking of cameras and flash of lightbulbs captured on Sunday the first sitting United States President to set foot inside North Korea, Secretary-General António Guterres offered his full support to a potentially reset relationship that may render a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

The UN chief “welcomes the meetings in Panmunjom involving the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea and the United States”, his spokesperson said in a statement, adding “particularly the announcement that the DPRK and the United States will resume working-level dialogue”.

For the first time since their last summit in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, broke down in February, both countries agreed to resume stalled nuclear talks.

Before crossing over, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un posed for photographers in the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone.

“The Secretary-General fully supports the continued efforts of the parties to establish new relations towards sustainable peace, security and complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”, according to the statement.

Nuclear negotiations between the US and North Korea have proceeded in fits and starts for decades, with no sustaining success in halting the North’s atomic weapons programme.

In 2017, Pyongyang launched its sixth and largest nuclear test since it began its programme in 2006, straining further US-North Korean relations during President Trump’s first year in office.

The following year, Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim met in Singapore, signing a joint statement vowing to pursue peace and complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, albeit with few details.

The two met again in February 2018, but disagreements over sanction and denuclearization collapse the summit early, yielding no agreement.

‘Act now with ambition and urgency’ to tackle the world’s ‘grave climate emergency’, UN chief urges UAE meeting

30 June 2019

The world is facing “a grave climate emergency”, Secretary-General António Guterres told a climate meeting in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital of Abu Dhabi on Sunday, urging all participants to “seize this opportunity to take bold climate action”.

“Climate disruption is happening now, and it is happening to all of us”, he warned. “It is progressing even faster than the world’s top scientists have predicted”.

The UN chief lamented that it is “outpacing our efforts to address it” with each week bringing “new climate-related devastation” from floods, droughts, heatwaves, wildfires and superstorms.

Because of climate change, “all around the world, people are losing their homes and being forced to migrate”, he informed the meeting, adding that the situation “will only get worse unless we act now with ambition and urgency”.

Just last week, reports surfaced that “Himalayan glaciers are melting at double the rate since the turn of this century”, threatening water supplies throughout Central, South and East Asia, according to Mr. Guterres.

Moreover, he pointed out that “Arctic permafrost is melting decades earlier than even worst-case scenarios”, threatening to unlock vast amounts of the powerful greenhouse gas methane.

“It is plain to me that we have no time to lose,” Mr. Guterres said.  “Sadly, it is not yet plain to all the decision makers that run our world.”

Even more worrying, he continued, “is that many countries are not even keeping pace with their promises under the Paris Agreement.”

Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees at the end of the century will require “rapid and far-reaching transitions” in how we manage land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities, he stressed. “That is why I am convening the Climate Action Summit in September.”

The Abu Dhabi meeting, which is in preparation for the September Summit, aims to take stock of progress across all the areas that the Summit is looking to promote, from industrial transition to nature-based solutions to climate finance for both mitigation and adaptation.

Climate disruption is happening now, and it is happening to all of us — UN chief

“The Climate Action Summit is an opportunity for political, business and civil society leaders to set an example”, flagged the UN chief, “and here in Abu Dhabi, we are pointing the right direction”.

“Our Summit must be open, inclusive and honest, and the work we take forward must be effective, just and fair – for those on the frontlines of the crisis today and especially for the generations to come”, the Secretary-General concluded.

Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment said: “We are here today, in a region known for its hydrocarbon economy … and yet, through forward-thinking policies, we have now made solar the cheapest source of power.”