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 Milestones

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

We underestimate the power of data at our peril. This is why

EU to Turkey: No other ties than €3+3bn to upkeep refugees

Bank resolutions set to remain a national affair

Stop illegal trade in cats and dogs, say MEPs

Sustainable fishing staying afloat in developed world, sinking in poorer regions

5G networks: to slice or not to slice?

UN space-based tool opens new horizons to track land-use on Earth’s surface

UN agriculture agency digs in to help forests and farms build resilience to climate change

Stateless Rohingya refugee children living in ‘untenable situation’, UNICEF chief

Mental Health: In Times of COVID-19

Access to health and guarantee of sexual and reproductive rights as a way of eradicating HIV

How health privatization increases health inequities

4 bold new ways New York is going clean and green

Is there a de facto impossibility for the Brexit to kick-start?

Challenges facing the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Concorde is a reminder that the only way for innovation is up

Indoor air pollution is deadly. Here’s an unconventional solution

Rule of law in Slovenia: MEPs conclude their first mission to the country

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Commission statement on the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of GrandVision by EssilorLuxottica

2018 Sakharov laureate Oleg Sentsov receives his award

‘Amid stormy global seas, UN charter remains our moral anchor’, says Guterres on United Nations Day

3 ways to rebuild trust in how we regulate technology

Higher education becoming again a privilege of the wealthy?

Why do medical students need to go abroad to become a doctor in 2017?

Can India reduce deaths on one hazardous road to zero? This group is trying

It’s time for global businesses to accept local responsibility

Draghi rehabs ECB into a tool to support growth and employment; a departure from Teutonic orthodoxy

COVID-19: How the pandemic has made football’s structural problems worse

What’s a logarithmic graph and how does it help explain the spread of COVID-19?

European Commission issues first emission of EU SURE social bonds

Indonesia wants to reach net-zero plastic pollution by 2040. Do you have a big idea to help them do it?

Here’s how one social entrepreneur became a first responder to the Indian COVID crisis

The racial wealth gap in the US is affecting its citizens and its economy – this is how

The water where baby fish are outnumbered 7 to 1 by plastic

Medical students, climate change and health: an unorthodox combination

Celebrating Multilingualism Day at the EP – where 24 languages meet

Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with CureVac to ensure access to a potential vaccine

Female directors reached record highs in 2019 Hollywood

State aid: Commission approves €1.74 billion Danish scheme to support mink farmers and related businesses in context of coronavirus outbreak

Act now to end violence, Zeid urges Nicaraguan authorities

Fight against climate change and poverty will fail without overhaul of global financial system, says major UN report

As many as 330,000 displaced by heavy fighting in south-west Syria – UN agency

Virus Coronavirus: No time to die

What companies can do to build more inclusive AI

A Sting Exclusive: “Consumer expectations for the 2015 UN summit on climate change”, Director General of BEUC Monique Goyens outlines from Brussels

These EU countries have the most government debt

European Parliament approves more transparency and efficiency in its internal rules

What we take for granted: The EU is not perfect

This school-in-a-bag helps educate the most remote areas

Climate change is speeding up. Our response needs to be even faster

Situation in central Mali ‘deteriorating’ as violence, impunity rise, UN rights expert warns

MEPs debate Brexit and relations with China following EU spring summit

As COP25 goes into the night, Guterres calls for more climate ambition

EU’s judicial cooperation arm, Eurojust, to become more effective with new rules

Preparing Africa for ravages of climate change ‘cannot be an afterthought’ – COP24

Hungary: people born in the 2020s won’t have legal rights any more to buy tobacco

De-escalate now, to steer Yemen off ‘precarious path’, UN Security Council hears

Over 85% of European bathing sites rated as excellent for water quality

More Stings?

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

%d bloggers like this: