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Source: United Nations (Video News)

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

Highlights:
– Secretary-General/Germany
– Secretary-General/Japan
– Ethiopia/Central Emergency Response Fund
– Security Council/Afghanistan
– Zimbabwe/Appeal
– Central America
– Fiji
– Resident Coordinators
– Tunisia Revolution 10Th Anniversary

SECRETARY-GENERAL/GERMANY
The Secretary-General is in Berlin and he will be addressing members of the Bundestag tomorrow morning. He was invited to speak to them on the occasion of the UN’s 75th anniversary.  
Today he met with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas with whom he discussed the current COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and the need for multilateralism to solve global challenges. They also discussed the situation in Libya, the Sahel, Sudan and Ethiopia.  
In a joint press encounter with the Foreign Minister, the Secretary-General praised Mr. Maas’ dedication and engagement throughout Germany’s membership of the Security Council.  
The Secretary-General also thanked Germany for hosting the Libya Conference at the beginning of the year and its efforts to galvanize the international community’s support for the Libyan people.   
On the subject of Ethiopia, the Secretary-General once again underlined the importance of unfettered access for humanitarian assistance as well as the swift resumption of the rule of law and a secure environment, in full respect for human rights. He added that the UN stands ready to support Ethiopian-led initiatives to encourage inclusive dialogue, reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction.  
Tomorrow the Secretary-General will also meet with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. His meeting with the Chancellor will be followed by a joint press stakeout.
SECRETARY-GENERAL/JAPAN
This morning, the Secretary-General also spoke via a pre-recorded video message to the Japan National Conference for Realizing a Carbon-Neutral Society by 2050. 
Pointing out Prime Minister Suga and the people of Japan’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the Secretary-General said that he believes that Japan has all the necessary tools to achieve this and become a global leader in climate-friendly technology. Mr. Guterres said that now Japan enters the critical phase of implementation. 
The Secretary-General urged the country to identify coherent mid-term targets for 2030, and design and implement policies that are in line with its long-term goal. He underscored that working together, we can end the climate emergency.
ETHIOPIA/CENTRAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND
On Ethiopia, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, has announced an allocation of $35 million for water, sanitation, medical supplies and protection for civilians caught up in the conflict in the Tigray region. 
Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that thousands of people are reportedly displaced in the region, and millions are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Tigray.
In Ethiopia, the UN emergency funds will help health facilities procure medicine, gloves and other supplies to care for the sick and injured. The funds will also go towards providing support in nutrition, as well as drinking water and shelter supplies.  
As we’ve told you, more than 50,000 people – nearly half of them children – have arrived in Sudan since November. The UN funds will be used for shelter, health care and drinking water for the refugees. 
Mr. Lowcock stressed that conflicts like this are hard to stop once they get out of control, the lives they extinguish cannot be brought back, and the grievances they create are long lasting. He called for unfettered access now for humanitarians.

Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=17%20December%202020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpRA_wkDNJE

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