This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Guterres hails healer and ‘mentor to generations’, Nelson Mandela
The UN chief in his message to mark the International Day in honour of Nelson Mandela on Monday, hailed the first Black President of post-Apartheid South Africa as “a giant of our time”, who remains a “moral compass” for us all.
Secretary-General António Guterres described the racial justice icon who spent nearly three decades in prison resisting the racist Apartheid regime, as “a leader of unparalleled courage and towering achievement; and a man of quiet dignity and deep humanity.”
Nelson Mandela was a “healer of communities and a mentor to generations”, said Mr. Guterres, who “walked the path to freedom and dignity with steely determination – and with compassion and love.”
He demonstrated through his life that everyone has the ability – and responsibility – to build a better future, added the UN chief.
Ghana confirms first outbreak of Marburg virus disease
Ghana has confirmed the country’s first outbreak of Marburg virus disease, following an examination of earlier results, at a World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating laboratory in Senegal.
The Institut Pasteur in Dakar, received samples from each of the two patients from the southern Ashanti region of Ghana – both deceased and unrelated – who showed symptoms including diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting.
The laboratory corroborated results which suggested their illness was due to the Marburg virus. One case was a 26-year-old male, the second was a 51-year-old male - both died at the same hospital within days of each other.
WHO has been supporting a joint national investigative team in the Ashanti Region as well as Ghana’s health authorities by deploying experts, making available personal protective equipment, bolstering disease surveillance, tracing contacts and working with communities on the risks and dangers of the disease.
“Health authorities have responded swiftly, getting a head start preparing for a possible outbreak…Without immediate and decisive action, Marburg can easily get out of hand, said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
More than 90 contacts, including health workers and community members, have been identified and are being monitored.
Climate crisis has left half the world ‘in the danger zone’: UN chief
“Half of humanity is in the danger zone” facing floods drought, extreme storms and wildfires, said the UN chief on Monday, addressing ministers from 40 nations on the state of the climate crisis at a meeting in Germany.
In his video message to the Petersberg Climate Dialogue he said the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, had already been on life support coming out of COP26 last November, and its “pulse has weakened further”.
“Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise and ocean heat have broken new records” said Mr. Guterres, and no nation is immune, yet, “we continue to feed our fossil fuel addiction.”
He said most troubling of all was that facing the climate emergency, the world is failing to work together.
“Nations continue to play the blame game instead of taking responsibility for our collective future”, he declared, calling on countries to rebuild trust, and come together.
Matt Wells, UN News.
- Nelson Mandela honoured as ‘mentor to generations’
- Ghana confirms first outbreak of Marburg virus disease
- Half the world in climate crisis ‘danger zone’ says Guterres