Interviews

COVID-19: Humanitarian air service to fill ‘crucial gap’ in the Pacific

A new humanitarian air service launched on Thursday will boost COVID-19 response in the Pacific, according to Governments and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Julia Dean of the UN Country Team in Australia spoke to Jo Pilgrim, Director of WFP’s Pacific Multi-Country Office, who explained how the flights will fill a “crucial gap” during the pandemic.

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7'43"

Two years in the making, rights experts say what protesters can do - and can’t

It’s widely accepted that peaceful protests are a key tool in democratic societies that allow people to put issues on the public agenda. But what is legal – and what is illegal – when it comes to demonstrations around the world? Can you wear a mask, for example?

That’s a question for Christof Heyns, who led discussions on the issue for the UN Human Rights Committee, with Member States and NGOs.

He spoke to UN News’s Daniel Johnson, and explains what the UN panel’s advice is for protesters.

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9'39"

UN peacekeepers stand with Lebanese in aftermath of Beirut blast

UN peacekeepers in Lebanon has been busy helping the authorities in the aftermath of the devastating explosion in Beirut on Tuesday that’s left dozens dead and thousands injured.

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5'30"

Wisdom of indigenous peoples is being lost, warns UN Latin America chief

In Latin America, indigenous people are being particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alicia Bárcena, the head of ECLAC, the UN body for the region, is concerned by the health risks faced by indigenous people, as well as rising poverty.

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9'52"

Learning can counter COVID-19 crisis and give hope, says UN education partner

In an emergency, education isn’t perhaps the first priority that springs to mind, when it comes to helping people in crisis.

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7'5"

Successes in hepatitis B transmission must be protected, says WHO

It’s never been more important to invest in vaccines to protect against hepatitis – a preventable disease of the liver that kills 1.4 million people a year – the UN health agency has said.

It has also warned that the COVID-19 crisis has distracted Governments from vital vaccination work, including preventing mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B. Infants are especially vulnerable, as about 90 per cent of those infected in their first year will have it for life, as WHO’s Dr Meg Doherty tells UN News’s Daniel Johnson.

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6'26"

‘Unaffordability of healthy diets’ must be overcome

The number of hungry people worldwide continues to rise, according to the latest UN report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.

The joint report by UN agencies gauges whether the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger remains achievable.

Speaking on the need to improve not only the food production system, but also the efficiency of global resources to support it, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Assistant Director General and Chief Economist Maximo Torero, said in an interview that more than three billion people still “can’t even afford the cheapest healthy diet”.

Mr. Torero spoke to FAO’s Charlotta Lomas.

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7'24"

Online learning boosts struggle for equal opportunities in Afghanistan

When you are a girl, growing up surrounded by war and violence in a country like Afghanistan, it’s hard to study and finish your education, due to social barriers and sexual discrimination, one young Afghan has told UN News.

But a new online learning app is helping break through some of those barriers, allowing girls to learn about topics that enable them to feel confident, and to create business models that are more inclusive.

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7'25"

COVID-19 linked to expected glut of stolen art for sale online, warns UN cultural agency

If you were offered the chance to buy a stunning African artefact, apparently with the blessing of the UN, what would you do?

For many people, it’s not obvious that the Organization never endorses or validates in any way, the sale of cultural treasures from any country.

In a warning to art lovers, the UN agency responsible for protecting endangered cultural heritage, UNESCO, has also said that increased pillaging of endangered World Heritage Sites during COVID-19 lockdowns, will likely result in a glut of stolen artefacts appearing online.

The development follows news of a new and sophisticated fraud ring that has been conning victims by using fake UNESCO permits.

In an interview with UN News’s Daniel Johnson, Ernesto Ottone Ramírez, Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, explains how to avoid being taken in by this lucrative scam. 

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7'34"

‘God forbid’ COVID-19 reaches Syria’s camps, warns WHO medic

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Syria are in the low hundreds, but it is only a matter of time before the disease reaches those sheltering in camps in the war-torn country.

That’s according to Dr Akjemal Magtymova, the World Health Organization’srepresentative in Syria, who has just visited a camp in the northeast that is hosting tens of thousands of youngsters caught up in the more than nine-year conflict.

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