This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
UN’s Guterres: Broad climate ‘movement’ has begun
When it comes to the climate emergency, “we have a long way to go. But the movement has begun,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared in a widely-distributed opinion piece on Thursday, reaffirming his concern over the threats posed by a warming world, unless more urgent action is taken.
In his op-ed, published by a consortium of more than 170 news outlets under the banner Covering Climate Now, which has an audience of hundreds of millions, he recalled that “on the eve of the September UN Climate Action Summit, young women and men around the world mobilized by the millions and told global leaders: ‘You are failing us.’”
“They are right,'' he lamented.
At the current rate of global heating, we face an increase of “at least 3 degrees Celsius” in global temperature by the end of the century. “I will not be there, but my granddaughters will”, he said. “I refuse to be an accomplice in the destruction of their one and only home.”
UNMISS: ‘Peace is still fragile’ throughout South Sudan
One year on from the signing of an agreement to end years of fighting across South Sudan, clashes have subsided, however, “peace is still fragile”, the head of the UN Mission there (UNMISS), David Shearer has said, after returning to the capital.
His briefing follows a statement to the Security Council last week, which echoed the message that progress has been made, but critical issues such as unifying armed forces and questions of State boundaries remain unsolved.
UNMISS continues to provide aid on the road to developing the country’s security, including convening peace-building meetings around the country, Mr. Shearer said.
When it comes to civilians on the run from conflict, he said “it is the primary responsibility of the South Sudanese Government to establish the conditions needed for displaced families to return safely and live with dignity.”
UNMISS “as always” will be working alongside present transitional government and South Sudanese people to help secure peace for the country, he said.
Former Assembly President, Professor Freitas do Amaral, dies
Former General Assembly President, Diogo Freitas do Amaral, has died at the age of 78, the Portuguese Government announced on Thursday.
Expressing his condolences following the news, Secretary-General António Guterres, a former Prime Minister of Portugal, remembered Mr. Freitas do Amaral as “a renowned jurist and scholar and a brilliant politician.”
Mr. Guterres recalled the “very close contact” the two UN leaders had following the April Revolution of 1974, which he said allowed him to “fully appreciate Professor Freitas do Amaral’s most valuable contribution to Portuguese democratic life and to our European integration.”
The Secretary-General highlighted that the former top minister and party leader had “wholly dedicated” himself to public service and left behind a powerful legacy of work at the United Nations.
“To his wife and to all his family members, I send my most sincere condolences in this painful moment”, Mr. Guterres said.
Natalie Hutchison, UN News.