This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
COVID variants ‘winning the race against vaccines’ warns WHO chief
Variants are “currently winning the race against vaccines” said the World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday, pinning the blame squarely on a lack of equitable vaccine production and distribution.
He added that passing the four millionth recorded death worldwide from COVID-19 was a “tragic milestone” which “likely underestimates the overall toll” of the deadly virus.
Far too many countries are seeing “sharp spikes in cases and hospitalization”, he warned, while rich nations with high inoculation rates, were dropping public health measures “as though the pandemic is already over.”
“At this stage in the pandemic, the fact that millions of health and care workers have still not been vaccinated is abhorrent”, he added.
He said the spread of variants would also threaten the global economic recovery, noting that from a “moral, epidemiological or economic” standpoint, now is the time for the world to come together.
Myanmar: UN expert calls for ‘emergency coalition’ to halt junta abuses
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, called on Wednesday for the formation of an “Emergency Coalition for the People of Myanmar“ to stop what he described as the military junta’s “reign of terror” in the country.
Addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Special Rapporteur said it was time to the end “the failure of those outside of Myanmar to take measures that could help end this nightmare”.
Mr. Andrews said the international community was “failing the people of Myanmar”, describing junta abuses as crimes against humanity.
He said the generals who took power on 1 February overthrowing the elected government, had murdered around 900 people, “forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands, tortured many, including torturing people in custody to death, disappeared untold numbers, and arbitrarily detained nearly 6,000.”
Pathway to jobs in education for refugee graduates
And finally, UN refugee agency UNHCR, and the Teach For All global network, are teaming up to support jobs in education for refugee university graduates through a network of new teaching fellowship programmes.
The partnership will also support the inclusion of refugees in host communities.
Under the partnership, graduates supported by UNHCR’s flagship higher education scholarship programme, DAFI – the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative – will have a pathway to employment through a teaching and leadership development fellowship with Teach For All.
“This exciting partnership with Teach for All will help refugee graduates to transition into the job market and fulfil their immense potential as active members of their host communities,” said Rebecca Telford, UNHCR’s Chief of Education.
Worldwide, only 3 per cent of young refugees are currently enrolled in higher education.
Matt Wells, UN News.