Ethiopia, Tonga, Yemen & other topics - Daily Press Briefing
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Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

The Secretary-General has been in contact with a number of world leaders in recent days concerning Ethiopia. Today, he had a telephone conversation with the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, who had recently visited Addis Ababa and Mekelle, the capital of the regional state of Tigray and who briefed the Secretary-General on the recent efforts to resolve the Ethiopia conflict.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that in Tonga, following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano, about 84,000 people – more than 80 per cent of the population - have been impacted by the disaster, with three confirmed fatalities to date. Injuries have also been reported.

The Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, is still in Riyadh today, where he continues his discussions with senior Yemeni and Saudi officials on options for de-escalation.

The International Support Group for Lebanon, which includes the United Nations and concerned Member States and regional bodies, issued a statement today in which it took note of steps to reconvene the Council of Ministers, and pressed for the resumption of its meetings as soon as possible.

Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told the Security Council this morning that violence continues unabated across the occupied Palestinian territory, including settler violence, leading to numerous Palestinian and Israeli casualties and increasing the risk of a broader escalation. Settlement activity, demolitions, and evictions also continue, feeding hopelessness and further diminishing prospects for a negotiated solution, he warned.

In Rwanda the one billionth dose of COVAX-backed vaccines distributed globally landed over the weekend. This was part of a shipment with 1.1 million vaccines for the country, which is enabling authorities to continue rolling out the national vaccination campaign for 9.1 million people aged 12 and above.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) today said that although average global temperatures were temporarily cooled by the 2020-2022 La Niña events, 2021 was still one of the seven warmest years on record. WMO said that global warming and other long-term climate change trends are expected to continue as a result of record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Tomorrow the Noon Briefing guest will be the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, Gustavo Gonzalez. He will join the briefing virtually to give an update on the situation in the country following Typhoon Rai.

On Friday, at 1:30 p.m., there will be a press conference by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, following the remarks on his Priorities for 2022 he will deliver at the General Assembly at 10:00 a.m. on the same day.

Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Netherlands and Switzerland have paid their regular budget dues in full, which takes us to 14 countries on the Honour Roll.