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News in Brief 23 October 2020

News in Brief 23 October 2020

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations 

UN welcomes historic Libya ceasefire  

Libya’s warring parties have agreed to a complete permanent ceasefire, the head of the UN’s mission for the country, Stephanie Williams, announced in Geneva on Friday.  

Military representatives from the Government and the rival Libyan National Army met in the Swiss city this week for a fourth round of talks in efforts to end their years-long conflict. 

Speaking in Arabic, Ms. Williams described it as “a moment that will go down in history”. She added that the deal also responds to the UN Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire during the COVID pandemic. 

“I wish to congratulate you on what you have accomplished here. It needed much courage. You have met for the sake of Libya, for your people, in order to take concrete steps to put an end to their suffering.” 

Speaking in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the ceasefire a fundamental step toward peace and stability in Libya

“I appeal to all stakeholders and regional actors to respect the provisions of the ceasefire agreement and ensure its implementation without delay.  And I call on the international community to support Libyans in implementing the ceasefire and in bringing an end to the conflict. …. And I urge the Libyan parties to maintain the current momentum and show the same determination in reaching a political solution to the conflict, resolving economic issues and addressing the humanitarian situation.” 

Step-up efforts for global ceasefire, Secretary-General says in UN Day message 

In more good news: 

Seventy-five years after its founding, the UN’s mission to promote human rights, respect international law, and save humanity from war, is more critical than ever. 

That’s the message from the Secretary-General for United Nations Day, observed on 24 October. 

This year’s landmark anniversary falls during the COVID-19 pandemic, which the Secretary-General has labelled a “common enemy”. 

Mr. Guterres stated that “now is the time for a stepped-up push to achieve a global ceasefire,” adding that “the clock is ticking.” 

UN chief condemns election-related violence in Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire 

And finally, the Secretary-General has called for parties in Guinea to take immediate action to end violence which erupted this week following the presidential election held last Sunday. 

The UN chief was deeply saddened by the loss of life and destruction of property, his Spokesperson said in a statement. 

He also urged all sides to await the announcement of the official results, and to resolve any potential disputes through established legal mechanisms. 

The Secretary-General is also concerned about the tense situation in neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire ahead of the presidential election scheduled for next Saturday, 31 October. 

He has condemned recent violence in some parts of the country, which caused several fatalities. 

Mr. Guterres also reiterated his appeal for political leaders to reject the use of hate speech and the incitement of violence along ethnopolitical lines. 

Dianne Penn, UN News. 

  • Historic Libya ceasefire agreement
  • UN Day highlights need for COVID-19 ceasefire
  • Secretary-General condemns election-related violence in Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire
Audio Credit
Dianne Penn, UN News
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Photo Credit
UN Photo/Violaine Martin