front page Forums British PM Rishi Sunak sets out how he is building a better future for the UK (04/01/2023)


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    Some people think innovation is about gadgets and geekery – a nice to have, peripheral to growth compared to the traditional levers of tax and spend. That’s exactly the mindset we need to change.

    [See the full post at: British PM Rishi Sunak sets out how he is building a better future for the UK (04/01/2023)]


    Prime Minister Rishi Sunak outlines his top five priorities in a speech he made on 4 January 2023

    “As your Prime Minister, you need to know what my focus will be, so you can hold me to account directly for whether it is delivered.

    So I’d like to tell you my five immediate priorities.

    These are the five foundations I know can build a better, more secure, more prosperous future that this country deserves.

    • We will halve inflation this year to ease the cost of living and give people financial security.
    • We will grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country.
    • We will make sure our national debt is falling so that we can secure the future of public services.
    • NHS waiting lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly.
    • We will pass new laws to stop small boats, making sure that if you come to this country illegally, you are detained and swiftly removed.

    These are five pledges to deliver peace of mind, so that you know things are getting better, that they are actually changing.

    That you have a government working in your interests, focused on your priorities, putting your needs first.

    And I fully expect you to hold my government and I to account on delivering those goals”.


    Statement by Fergus Eckersley, UK Political Coordinator at the UN, at the UN Security Council briefing on Chemical Weapons in Syria (5 January 2023)

    Thank you Mr President

    The UK joins others in welcoming you to the Council and assuring you of our full support during your Presidency.

    We would also like to extend a warm welcome to colleagues from Ecuador, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland.

    I’d like to thank Mr Ebo for her briefing and the OPCW Director-General for his monthly report.

    Last year we marked the 25th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention’s entry into force. Each of us has a responsibility to ensure that it is upheld.

    Prior to the start of the conflict in 2011, Syria had an extensive chemical weapons programme. In 2013, after multiple chemical weapons attacks this Council unanimously adopted resolution 2118.

    But it became clear that Syria had retained a chemical weapons capability in contravention of resolution 2118 and the Chemical Weapons Convention – and worse than that, further attacks took place.

    OPCW and joint UN-OPCW investigations confirmed that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sarin, on at least 8 occasions.

    These were shocking attacks by the Syrian regime, designed to inflict mass casualties and extreme suffering on its own people.

    Syria has since done everything possible to deflect and deny OPCW efforts to resolve the many serious gaps and omissions in its chemical weapons declaration.  As we’ve heard, Syria still today shows its contempt for its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and UNSCR 2118.

    Sadly, over the last 9 years, accountability and effective Council action to uphold resolution 2118 has also been consistently blocked in the Council. There has also been a consistent disinformation campaign designed to undermine the OPCW and protect the Syrian regime from accountability for its crimes.

    It is not too late to turn this around. We welcome the Technical Secretariat’s latest initiative to send a reduced team to Syria in January. This is an opportunity, finally, for the Syrian regime to come into compliance with their obligations. The responsibility rests with them.

    President, we are approaching 10 years since the adoption of UNSCR 2118. As a Council we must insist on its full implementation. This means the complete destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile and accountability for their use.

    As Mr Ebo said today, the absence of accountability is a threat to international peace and security and a danger to us all.

    As a Council we cannot turn a blind eye. We too must uphold our responsibilities.

    Thank you.


    The Status Quo governing Jerusalem’s holy sites preserves peace-UK at the Security Council

    Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward

    5 January 2023

    Thank you President,

    I also join others in thanking ASG Khiari for his briefing.

    Firstly, the UK recognises that Jerusalem’s holy sites including Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount hold particular significance for many around the globe, especially the three Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In that context, the visit was made by the Israeli minister for National Security has the potential to increase tensions.

    The United Kingdom strongly supports the historic Status Quo governing Jerusalem’s holy sites, which protects the sites and those who worship there, and preserves peace.

    The UK also recognises and values Jordan’s important role as custodian of the holy sites and urges the importance of cooperation with the Jordanian authorities in this regard. The UK is committed to working with all parties to uphold this Status Quo in Jerusalem. All parties must avoid actions which inflame tensions, undermine the cause of peace, or unilaterally seek to alter the Status Quo.

    Second, our position on the status of Jerusalem is clear and long-standing: it should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, ensuring that Jerusalem is the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states, with access and religious rights of all peoples fully respected.

    Third, the UK reaffirms its support for a Two State Solution, based on 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the shared capital, as the only way to ensure a lasting peace between the parties. We are concerned by levels of violence in the OPTs and Israel. I encourage all parties to avoid actions that undermine the prospects of peace.

    Thank you President.


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