Europe 

Recent Kosovo-Serbia tensions could ‘unravel steady but fragile progress’ 

The warning came from Special Representative and head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Zahir Tanin, in a briefing to the Security Council on Friday.   “[These events] are of deep concern to me and should be a warning to all members of this Council”, Mr. Tanin said, referring to two episodes involving the Kosovo Police.   Escalating events  ‘Steady but fragile progress’ must be protected through sustained dialogue and trust-building, SRSG Tanin tells Security CouncilRead the full statement of the Head of UNMIK to #UNSC and its Albanian and Serbian translations here:https://t.co/IUdwh2CExe — UNMIK (UN Mission in Kosovo) (@UNMIKosovo) October…

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Europe 

Portuguese beaches lead the way during UN, EU clean-up campaign 

Every year, millions of tons of litter end up in the ocean, often having a direct and deadly impact on wildlife, from seabirds to whales, fish to invertebrates.   With that in mind, the UN and the EU campaign has tapped into growing awareness of the issue, aiming to boost ocean activism at the grassroots level, through concrete action.   “The fish can get stuck in plastic, the turtles can eat the glass and other things can poke some of them”, four year old Gustavo Johns.  Launched in 2017, the campaign allows people from around the world to volunteer and contribute to…

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Europe 

Food Hero: Cultivating women farmers in Georgia

Irina Vasilyeva has been chosen as one of 17 Food Heroes by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO), as an example of how access to technical knowledge and innovation can empower smallholder farmers to become agents of change. Food Heroes are recognized for their commitment to provide food for their communities and beyond. She spoke to the UN ahead of World Food Day, marked annually on 16 October. “My name is Irina Vasilyeva, and I live in the ancient village of Vartsikhe, Bagdati municipality in western Georgia. This is an agricultural community…

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Europe 

France focuses on responsibility and solidarity in the face of global challenges

“We have a collective responsibility in maintaining international peace and security.  We have a shared responsibility in tackling today’s major challenges and we have a responsibility to individually each uphold the values that unite us,” he said in a pre-recorded message. “For France, this is what this historic period of turbulence that we’re experiencing calls for. We must all rise to the challenge.” Summit for Security Council ‘P5’ Despite recent attacks, the foundations of the multilateral system have stood sound, he said, though warning against rising risks such as “more…

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Europe 

Alarm bells are ringing over conflict, COVID and climate, ‘now we must respond’, Ireland tells UN Assembly 

“We have heard the alarms. Now we must respond,” said Micheál Martin. “I believe that this is what the General Assembly, our Assembly of Nations, was created to do. Our purpose, our obligation.”  For the Irish leader, “the simple fact” is that the world “cannot succeed in addressing these global challenges without a strong, effective and fair multilateral system.”   COVID-19 response  The Prime Minister also said that “vaccine inequity is a moral test” for the global community.   He pointed to the rapid establishment of COVAX and the ACT Accelerator, saying this represents multilateralism at its best, and the only way to meet the target of a fully vaccinated world by mid-2022. …

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Europe 

Cyprus President determined to get negotiation with Turkey process back on track 

Cyprus has been divided for more than four decades, and leaders from its Greek and Turkish communities last met in 2019 at an UN-facilitated conference in Berlin.  He stressed that there is only one plan: to reach a settlement on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the principles on which the EU is founded.   “A settlement that will lead to a functional and viable State, without the obsolete System of Guarantees, the right of intervention, the presence of foreign troops, or any…

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Europe 

International community must harness momentum created by triple crises and act, says Norway

“All of them call for a coordinated response. All of them underline why we need international cooperation. We need to remind ourselves of our collective strength,” she said in a pre-recorded message.  Remembering that “the United Nations was born out of crisis”, she said “crises have the potential to increase unity and resolve” and the world “must harness the momentum created and take action.”  Ms. Solberg was one of the speakers on the second day of the high-level week of the General Assembly. After being held virtually last year due the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s gathering will feature “hybrid” activities that will include leaders in person…

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Europe 

‘The adolescence of humanity is coming to an end’, declares UK Prime Minister

The human species, said Mr. Johnson, is nearing the end of the adolescent phase of its evolutionary lifespan. He referred to November’s COP26 UN climate conference, which he is hosting in the Scottish city of Glasgow, as the moment to show that mankind is capable of learning and maturing. “Daily, weekly, we are doing such irreversible damage that, long before a million years [of humankind] are up, we will have made this beautiful planet effectively uninhabitable, not just for us but for many other species”, said the Prime Minister. ‘Our…

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Europe 

‘Through the tears, solutions for a better society have sprung up’: Estonian President

Ms. Kaljulaid said that, although many conversations on digital development have been curtailed, online events have continued to provide solutions and fresh ideas to confront the crisis.  “Through the tears we have shed for our lost ones, from the despair and devastation, solutions have sprung which will enable us to become better, more egalitarian societies” she declared.  The Estonian President singled out Kenya’s decision to make court judgements available online and expressed her hope that this could be replicated by all governments, citing the benefits for people from rural areas…

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Europe 

UN agencies shocked by deaths near Belarus-Poland border 

In a joint statement, the agencies expressed their condolences to the families of the deceased, all of whose nationalities have yet to be confirmed, although two of the victims were identified as Iraqi nationals who reportedly died of hypothermia.  EU-Belarus border crisis  In recent months, groups of asylum-seekers and migrants have been transiting through Belarus, to seek asylum in neighbouring EU Member States – Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.  ‼️IOM and UNHCR are deeply saddened by the deaths of four people near the border between Poland and Belarus. We express our condolences to the families of the deceased and call for an immediate…

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