This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Libyan coastal road reopening welcomed by UN chief
The reopening of the coastal road in Libya, an important element of the ceasefire agreed between the warring parties in the country’s civil war, has been welcomed by UN chief António Guterres.
In a statement released on Saturday by the Secretary-General’s Deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq, Mr. Guterres noted that Friday’s reopening of the crucial corridor was “an important and long-awaited development for the people of Libya”.
The UN chief highlighted the efforts of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission, made up of military representatives from both sides of the conflict; the Presidency Council, Libya’s Head of State body which runs the armed forces; and the UN-recognized Government of National Unity.
Mr. Guterres renewed his call to all those involved at a national and international level, to ensure the speedy implementation of the October 2020 Libyan Ceasefire Agreement, and to work together to implement the roadmap towards credible elections, which was agreed by representatives from all sections of Libyan society during UN-convened talks held in 2020.
The coastal road connects the most heavily populated region of Libya and had been cut between the cities of Misrata and Sirte.
The reopening is expected to make a positive difference to the lives of Libyans, allowing trade from both sides to resume.
UN envoy concerned by increased violence in southwest Syria
The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pederson, has expressed his concern about an increase in violence in southwest Syria.
A statement released on Saturday on behalf of Mr. Pedersen, communicated the Special Envoy’s call for all relevant parties to de-escalate, and underlined the principle that civilians must be protected, and international humanitarian law upheld.
Mr. Pedersen noted that the increased tension and violence in the southwest illustrates the need for all sides to agree on a nationwide ceasefire, in line with Security Council resolutions.
In June, the Special Envoy pointed out that progress towards resolving the brutal 10-year war in Syria is unlikely, given the “gulf of mistrust” between the parties, and lamented the lack of political advancement.
During a briefing to the Security Council, Mr. Pedersen called for a new international dialogue to achieve a breakthrough.
UN launches #TheHumanRace against the climate crisis
And finally, the UN is encouraging all of us to get moving and, literally, take part in the race against the climate crisis.
Between August 16 and 31, users are being asked to log 100 minutes of activity, from swimming to running or cycling, on the Strava sports app.
The campaign has been organized by the UN humanitarian office (OCHA), with support from elite athletes, climate activists, and other partners, as a show of solidarity with people in the world’s most disaster-prone countries, and those hardest hit by climate change.
Using the hashtag #TheHumanRace, the campaign has been timed to coincide with World Humanitarian Day, which takes place on August 19.
This year, the Day will highlight the immediate human cost of the climate crisis, and urge world leaders to take meaningful climate action for the world’s most vulnerable people.
“We run every day, for ourselves”, said Brazilian ultramarathon athlete and environmental lawyer Fernanda Maciel, “why not run for something bigger? Everybody should join this campaign because we need compassion. It is time to run together."
Anyone unable to take part physically can also sign up to support the call to action via the campaign website, worldhumanitarianday.org.
Conor Lennon, UN News.