Syria: Civilians continue to suffer in crossfire, UN officials speak out
On Thursday, the spokesperson for Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement expressing the UN chief’s grave concern over resumed fighting in south-west Syria, where up to 325,000 people have been displaced.
Here’s Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric:
“The Secretary-General once again appeals for an immediate suspension of the hostilities and the resumption of negotiations. He calls on all parties to take all necessary measures to safeguard civilian lives, allow freedom of movement, and protect civilian infrastructure, including medical and educational facilities, at all times, in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.”
For his part, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, appealed to Jordan to open its border with south-west Syria, where some 750,000 civilians are “caught in the crossfire.”
Mr. Grandi underscored that the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, is prepared to immediately scale up its assistance inside Syria and to Jordan, emphasizing that “thousands of innocent lives are going to be lost, once again, if urgent action is not taken”.
Yemen’s UN envoy reassured by warring parties’ ‘strong desire’ for peace
Elsewhere in the Middle East, warring parties in Yemen have expressed their “strong desire” to achieve peace, according to the UN envoy for the country, Martin Griffiths, speaking in the capital of Sana’a, before briefing the Security Council on Thursday.
He said he was reassured by the positive and constructive messages he had received during talks, saying that all parties have engaged with him on concrete ideas for achieving peace.
Mr. Griffiths also noted his fruitful discussion on Tuesday with rebel leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi.
The UN envoy said that he hoped to meet President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi soon and was looking forward to continuing negotiations with all parties in the coming days, to find a solution to restore security and stability around the key port city of Hodeidah.
All countries falling short in delivering quality health care, says UN report
A new report issued on Thursday by the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has concluded that every country in the world is falling short in delivering quality health care.
In a statement, the UN health agency said that “inaccurate diagnosis, medication errors, inappropriate or unnecessary treatment, inadequate or unsafe clinical facilities or practices”, are evident “in all countries”.
The challenge is greatest in low- and middle-income nations, where 10 per cent of hospital patients acquire an infection during their stay, compared to 7 per cent elsewhere.
The report underscores that ensuring quality health care for everyone is essential, primarily because it prevents suffering, but also since it helps to boost economic productivity.
In an appeal to Governments for stronger national health-care quality policies, the co-authors of the report emphasized their rejection of the perception that quality health care is a “luxury that only rich countries can afford”.