This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Success of Libya talks dependent on compromise, says UN chief Guterres
The success of talks aimed at securing elections in Libya and a peaceful future for the country’s people after years of civil war, will depend on compromise, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday.
In a video message welcoming discussions by the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA), Mr. Guterres appealed to them that their common purpose was to “continue forging a new era of peace and stability”.
The development follows last month’s ceasefire deal by both parties, which comes after the LNA laid siege to GNA-held Tripoli, in April last year.
As the talks continue, each side’s determination “will be tested”, Mr Guterres said, before insisting that compromise was “the only approach that will pave the road to national unity”.
At the meeting in Tunisia, the head of the UN mission in Libya, Stephanie Williams, said that it was a time of rare optimism, a glimmer of hope after many years of crisis.
“The overriding aim of the National Political Program is to renew political legitimacy by holding national elections, within an agreed timeframe”, she explained.
Lifesaving $45 million appeal for Philippines communities hit by super typhoon
A $45.5 million emergency appeal has been launched to help hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines affected by “Super Typhoon” Goni.
Response efforts have been underway since the typhoon made landfall on 1 November, leaving widespread devastation in its wake.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 137,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed.
In addition, 67 health facilities and more than 1,000 schools, including ones housing evacuees, have been affected.
Fully funded, the six-month response will support 260,000 people, many of whom were already living in poverty before the disaster.
Gustavo Gonzalez, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, said that the UN and partners in the Philippines were mobilizing all resources to ensure that no one is left behind.
In addition to Albay province, significant damage has also been reported in Catanduanes, Camarines Sur and Quezon provinces. In all, 32 of 81 provinces have been impacted.
WHO’s Tedros says it is time for the world to heal after years of division
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that efforts to tackle climate change and poverty had been set back by a lack of global unity since major agreements were struck five years ago.
Addressing the World Health Assembly which is being held virtually, he also welcomed the chance to work with the new US administration of president-elect Joe Biden.
Tedros said the world had achieved a “great convergence” in 2015 when governments adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on finance for development.
But since then, “misguided nationalism and isolationism have eroded that sense of common purpose”, he maintained.
Specifically, Tedros said that the Paris Agreement had been “undermined, while commitments made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda had gone largely unfulfilled.
And although there has been progress toward the SDGs to tackle everything from poverty to hunger, the WHO chief said that all 17 objectives would only be achieved “if the international community urgently recaptures the sense of common purpose that gave birth to them”.
In that spirit, Tedros said that “we congratulate president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris”, adding that he looked forward to working very closely with their administration.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.