Int'l Day against Nuclear Tests & Other Topics Daily Briefing (9 September 2019)

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Daily Press Briefing: International Day against Nuclear Tests, Russia/Ukraine, Desertification, Bahamas, Security Council, Yemen, South Sudan, Human Rights Council, UNICEF, Contributions
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTS
During an event to mark the International Day against Nuclear Tests, the Secretary-General called upon all States to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, otherwise known as the CTBT.
In the 21st century, nuclear testing is simply not acceptable, he said.
It is not acceptable to destroy and contaminate the environment, or for local populations to suffer from radioactive fallout and other nuclear byproducts.
The Secretary-General reminded Member States that, despite wide support, the Treaty has not yet entered into force.
It is not acceptable to prevent the treaty’s entry into force, he said, and to withhold a valuable restraint on the qualitative and quantitative proliferation of nuclear weapons and a practical step towards their total elimination. 
Let us join together to make the most of this occasion to renew our commitment to outlaw all nuclear tests, for all time in all places, the Secretary-General said.

RUSSIA/UKRAINE
In a statement issued over the weekend, the Secretary-General welcomed the exchange of prisoners and detainees that took place between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on 7 September and commended all those who brought this to fruition, including President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Vladimir Putin. He hopes that this important humanitarian act could serve as a positive step towards strengthening confidence among all, enabling regular and constructive dialogue at all levels with a view to paving the way to an eventual settlement of the conflict in the eastern part of the country.
The Secretary-General urges all relevant parties to take further measures in this spirit, to ensure continued momentum in the ongoing peace efforts by the Normandy Four, the Trilateral Contact Group, the OSCE and other actors, including by ensuring a durable ceasefire, easing humanitarian conditions along the contact line, and enabling progress in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

DESERTIFICATION
The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, is on her way back to New York after speaking at the opening plenary of the 14th Conference of Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification, which took place today in New Delhi, India.
She told the delegates that the scientific data shows that the massive effort to fight desertification and land degradation is painfully overdue. She added that a quarter of our greenhouse emissions comes from land degradation, while a million species face extinction, threatening ecosystems that provide everything we eat, drink and breathe. The lives of half of the people on this planet are affected by desertification, land degradation and drought, she warned.
What’s worse, the Deputy Secretary-General said, is that the unhealthier our land becomes, the more dangerous the side effects will be. The efforts to combat this problem will be massive, she added, but together we can get it done.
Speaking at a luncheon on climate change afterwards, she said that citizens around the world are demanding that we as leaders take bolder action to address the climate emergency. Young women and men are imploring us to lead and deliver on our promises of a clean and just transition towards a greener future. We cannot let them down, she said.
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