Secretary-General in New Zealand & other topics - Daily Briefing (13 May 2019)

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Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
Daily Press Briefing:
- Secretary-General in New Zealand,
- Yemen,
- Syria,
- Libya,
- Afghanistan,
- Burkina Faso,
- South Sudan,
- Budget

SECRETARY-GENERAL IN NEW ZEALAND
The Secretary-General had breakfast in Auckland, New Zealand, this morning with Māori and Pasifika young climate activists. After the breakfast, which was hosted by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, the Secretary-General and Mr. Shaw spoke to the press, and the Secretary-General stressed, that to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, more ambitious political will is needed. He emphasized that countries need to shift taxes from salaries to carbon. “We must tax pollution, not people,” he said.
He also stressed the need to stop subsidies to fossil fuels, adding that taxpayers’ money should not be used to boost hurricanes, to spread drought and heatwaves, to bleach corals or to melt glaciers. And he called for halting the construction of new coal plants by 2020. “We want a green economy, not a grey economy, in the world,” he said.  The statement and the Secretary-General’s remarks have been sent to you.
Today, the Secretary-General also participated in a roundtable with Pacific Community Organizations and International NGOs, where he heard their concerns about climate change, and he talked to students at the Auckland University of Technology and answered their questions. The Secretary-General focused his talk on the need to take climate action and to ensure that new technologies are a force for good that do not put mankind in danger.
In the afternoon, the Secretary-General visited the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. All refugees resettled in New Zealand spend the first six weeks at the Centre, where they receive mental health, English language and cultural orientation programmes. The Secretary-General had the chance to see the renovated facilities and to speak to families there coming from all parts of the world – including Syria, Colombia, Myanmar and Eritrea. The Secretary-General heard from families who have escaped very difficult circumstances and now have hope to establish a new home in New Zealand.
On Sunday, he was welcomed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. In remarks to the press, the Secretary-General said his visit was one of solidarity and gratitude – solidarity with the victims of Christchurch, their families and the people of New Zealand, and gratitude for the country’s leadership on climate change. He praised the Prime Minister’s efforts to curb violent extremism on social media and her visionary leadership on the global climate emergency, which he called a model of urgent climate action for all countries to follow.

YEMEN
Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee in Yemen, said yesterday that the first day of the redeployment of Ansar Allah forces from the three ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras-Issa went in accordance with established plans on Saturday. All three ports were monitored simultaneously by United Nations teams as the military forces left the ports and the Coast Guard took over responsibility for security. In the following days, activities are expected to focus on removal of military manifestations and demining. The formal verification by the United Nations of this first redeployment will take place at the three ports on Tuesday.
General Lollesgaard stresses that this initial step is to be seen as the first part of the agreed concept for phase 1 of the broader redeployments in Hudaydah, in accordance with the Stockholm Agreement. The Government of Yemen has expressed commitment to deliver their part of phase 1 when requested so by the United Nations. Consultations with the parties on commencement of these next steps are ongoing.
On Friday, General Lollesgaard said that the redeployment is a first practical step on the ground since the conclusion of the Hudaydah Agreement, but stressed that it must be followed by the committed, transparent and sustained actions of the parties to fully deliver on their obligations.
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