In Mozambique, it’s ‘a matter of the heart’ says Guterres, lauding the cyclone-struck nation’s ‘undeniable moral authority’

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Secretary-General António Guterres receives flowers on arrival in Maputo, capital of Mozambique. 11 July, 2019.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Arriving in Mozambique to express solidarity and see for himself the damage wrought by two back-to-back cyclones earlier this year, UN chief António Guterres on Thursday said “undeniable moral authority” lay with its people, who had borne the brunt of a disaster linked inexorably to climate change, and a warming world.

“For me, visiting Mozambique is a matter of the heart”, he told reporters after meeting President Filipe Nyusi, recalling previous trips as Portugal’s Prime Minister, as High Commissioner for Refugees, and now as Secretary-General, where he “always felt at home” among friends, “I would even say, among brothers.”

It was clear that Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which affected well over two million Mozambicans when they struck with deadly force last March and April, were natural disasters made worse by chaotic extremes of weather: “Despite that, Mozambique does not really contribute to global warming, but it is at the forefront of the victims of global warming”, said Mr. Guterres, who hours earlier, had received a warm welcome on the tarmac of the capital Maputo’s main airport.

The international community must ‘double its efforts’

Mr. Guterres said the vulnerability of the impoverished southern African State gave its people “the right to demand strong solidarity and strong support from the international community both in response to the dramas created by the storms that plagued the country, and in preparing the country for the reconstruction and preparation for future situations.”

UN agencies which have been leading the relief and recovery effort in support of the Government, consider the nation “an absolute priority”, he added. He praised the very effective organization thus far, and “the extraordinary courage” of the people.

With the initial relief and recovery effort now behind them, he said they were now “launching the reconstruction process with what is now called resilience, that is, the ability of communities to be armed to better withstand these catastrophes in the future.”

The UN would be “with the Mozambican people in all these phases. Naturally, asking the international community to support the people of Mozambique, and support Mozambique [to address the] scale of the problems of both response and reconstruction”, he added.

Less than half of the $3.2 billion requested by the Government at a recent pledging conference in Mozambique had been pledged, and a UN appeal for $280 million in aid was also “far from being fully funded.”

“More aid and more support will be needed from the international community in Mozambique to respond effectively”, said the UN chief. “And not just more support, but the swift implementation of that promised support. That is another crucial issue, regarding the solidarity of the international community. We must not only support, but support on time.”

President Nyusi commends UN solidarity

President Nyusi, in his remarks to reporters alongside the UN chief, thanked Mr. Guterres and the UN, saying, they “were the first person and the first institution to join the Mozambicans”, in the aftermath of the natural disaster.

He highlighted the work of several UN agencies, and added that they “worked to save more lives and mitigate the suffering of Mozambicans.”

The President also attributed some of the help the country has received, directly to the UN and Mr. Guterres, saying they were “a result of the appeals that the Secretary-General did personally, but also as an institution.”

Beira visit on Friday, the eye of the storm

Right upon arrival in Maputo on Thursday for his two-day visit, the UN chief was warmly received with a military parade, traditional dances and the presentation of flowers by a group of children.

He has also participated in a meeting about fighting discrimination against persons with albinism. He heard directly from several experts and children living with albinism regarding the issues they have to deal with.

On Friday morning, the UN Secretary-General will visit Mozambique’s second-largest city, Beira, which was most affected by cyclone Idai. The UN estimates that 90 per cent of all of Beira’s infrastructure has been damaged.

In the large coastal city, Mr. Guterres will meet local authorities, visit one of the affected schools, hold a meeting with people with disabilities, a women’s group and also visit a resettlement camp.

Speaking in Portuguese, the UN chief noted that “Mozambique almost does not contribute to global warming, but it is at the forefront of the victims of this global warming.”

“This gives it the right to demand strong solidarity and strong support from the international community, both in the response to the traumas created by the storms that plagued the country and in preparing for the reconstruction and preparation for future situations”, he added.                 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Malaysia has achieved high levels of growth, but must do more to address governance and social challenges

Could implants treat people with brain disease? A young scientist explains

A Sting Exclusive: “The Digital Economy and Industry are no longer opposing terms”, Commissioner Oettinger underlines live from European Business Summit 2015

COP21 Breaking News_10 December:#ParisAgreement: Points that remain in suspense

International tourism arrivals hit record high in 2017, UN agency reports

Portugal: Budget MEPs back €4.66 m in job-search aid for 730 redundant workers

An economist explains how to value the internet

Commission criticised member states on blocking financial transaction tax

More effort needed to improve equity in education

Nearly 180,000 displaced by northeast Syria fighting as needs multiply: UN refugee agency

How smart tech helps cities fight terrorism and crime

Low productivity jobs continue to drive employment growth

These are the countries that eat the most meat

Chart of the day: This is why we need to protect nature’s pollinators

5 surprising ways digital technology is changing childhood

These 5 countries plan to slash their CO2 emissions. But how will they do it?

Multiculturalism, social diversity and tolerance

Will COVID-19 usher in a new culture of outdoor living and dining?

Greece will probably stay in the Eurozone but at what cost?

COVID-19: first go-ahead given to the new Recovery and Resilience Facility

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2015: The power of an individual and how we can awaken Europe’s Youth

FROM THE FIELD: Sailing a traditional and sustainable path in Fiji’s tropical waters

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

More funds needed to counter ‘persistent and multi-faceted humanitarian problems’ in Ethiopia

Budget MEPs approve €34m in EU aid to Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria

The COVID-19 pandemic is not a break for nature – let’s make sure there is one after the crisis

The Parliament accuses core EU countries of exploiting their dominant political position

COVID-19 highlights how caregiving fuels gender inequality

Climate action ‘both a priority and a driver of the decade’: Guterres

Warmer months ahead for many parts of the planet: UN weather agency

Amid COVID-19 constraints, UN women’s commission meets to push gender equality forward

EU budget: Commission proposes most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet

Drawing scenarios for drifting Britain; elections or May’s deadlock?

EU–Canada Summit: strengthening the rules-based international order

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to embrace unlicensed bands and Wi-Fi

The future of work ‘with social justice for all’ tops agenda of centenary UN Labour conference

St. Vincent and the Grenadines breaks a record, as smallest ever Security Council seat holder

Infinite Oath

5 key themes for reforming the EU, as elections loom

These photos show the world of science in stunning detail

The Prime Minister of Spain on climate change, taxes and more

Health Systems and Society: ways to reinforce the human power during the pandemic

These are the challenges facing India’s most sacred river

UN official sees ‘unprecedented opportunities’ to make progress on peace in Afghanistan

Four key challenges for cybersecurity leaders

Commission renews its commitment to strengthen fundamental rights in the EU

Huge areas of the Arctic are on fire – here’s what that means for the planet

EU job-search aid worth €9.9m for 1,858 former Air France workers

Toni Morrison: 10 quotes you should know

Switzerland has the most highly skilled workers in the world. This is why

Mental health and suicide prevention

Eurozone: Uncertain future with unemployment ravaging the South

In a time of rising xenophobia, more important than ever to ratify Genocide Convention

What does reimagining our energy system look like?

Stakeholder capitalism is urgently needed – and the COVID-19 crisis shows us why

Businesses are thriving, societies are not. Time for urgent change

Quantum leap: why the next wave of computers will change the world

If we can build the International Space Station, ‘we can do anything’ – UN Champion for Space

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s