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Source: United Nations (Video News)

Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

– Ethiopia
– Climate
– Secretary-General/Racism
– Central African Republic
– Libya
– Honduras
– Data Protection/COVID-19
– COVID-19/Children
– COVID-19/Iran
– World Toilet Day
– World Philosophy Day
– SG Stakeout

The UN continues to be gravely concerned about the safety of civilians who may be caught up in the conflict and how blocked roads are hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid to those who need it. 
The UN, along with its partners is continuing to identify existing supplies and staff to deploy to the region once access is granted. We urgently call on all parties to the conflict to allow for immediate, free, safe and unhindered humanitarian access. 
Electricity continues to be cut off. Fuel for generators has run out. That leaves 96,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia without clean water. 
UNHCR says that more than 31,000 people have crossed into Sudan, and just to flag that a Humanitarian Preparedness Plan targeting nearly 2 million people has been finalized. The plan seeks $75 million to help people affected by the conflict in Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia until January 2021. 
In addition to the current conflict, there are many humanitarian concerns elsewhere in the country, including displacement, desert locusts, food insecurity and of course, COVID-19. 
This morning, the Secretary-General spoke, in a pre-recorded video message, to the European Council on Foreign Relations. 
He focused on the climate crisis and said that while we may have seen encouraging responses by countries who have pledged carbon neutrality by 2050, we are still running behind in the race against time. 
The Secretary-General said that we need to see more ambitious plans well in advance of COP26 this time next year.  He urged the European Union to commit to reducing emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 in its new Nationally Determined Contribution. 
He also added that it’s essential that the European Union accelerates its transition toward clean energy. “There must be no new coal, and all existing coal in the European Union should be phased out by 2030 in OECD countries, and by 2040 elsewhere,” he said. Adding that, he also called on the European Union to stop the financing of fossil fuels internationally and to promote a shift in taxation from income to carbon. 
In addition, he added that the EU can help developing countries tackle the existing crisis and should lead the way in aligning international trade with achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

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