This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Case of new China coronavirus surfaces in Thailand
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with officials in Thailand and China following the reported confirmation of a new strain of coronavirus in a person in Thailand.
The traveller from Wuhan, China, was identified by Thai officials on 8 January, and hospitalized that day. Officials say the patient is now recovering.
Last month’s newly detected strain of coronavirus – infections transmitted between animals and people – has so far infected more than 40 people in China, seven of whom are in a severe condition.
Initial cases centred around a market in Wuhan which sells live birds, fish and other animals.
The possibility of cases being identified in other countries was not unexpected, said WHO on Monday, and reinforces the call for “on-going active monitoring and preparedness in other countries”, said the UN health agency.
WHO reiterates that it is essential that investigations continue in China to identify the source of the outbreak and those animals carrying the new strain.
Six countries lose voting rights in General Assembly
Six countries are so far behind in paying their dues for 2019, that they will now lose their voting privileges in the General Assembly, the UN Spokesperson has said.
By the end of the year, only 146 Member States had paid their dues in full, and as of last Thursday, 10 Member States were still in arrears, triggering the loss of the voting rights in the world body.
Those countries are Central African Republic, Comoros, Gambia, Lesotho, São Tomé and Principe, Somalia, Tonga, Venezuela and Yemen.
However, in October, the General Assembly decided that three of those — Comoros, São Tomé and Principe and Somalia — can still vote in the General Assembly until the end of the seventy-fourth session next September.
Yemen: Security Council renews mandate for UN Hudaydah Mission
The UN Mission to monitor the Hudaydah Agreement between Yemen’s internationally-recognized Government and Houthi rebels, was renewed for six months by the Security Council on Monday.
The Mission leads and supports the Committee overseeing the ceasefire which came into force early last year, following historic peace talks in Sweden, which led to a major de-escalation in violence around Yemen’s key Red Sea port.
It also works with the parties monitoring the ceasefire, and the local security of the city and ports across the governorate.
Council members called on the Secretary-General to submit a review on the mission within five months. So far around 55 personnel, including military, police and civilian monitors are in place, according to UN figures.
Matt Wells, UN News.