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Guterres renews zero-emissions appeal to avoid falling into climate abyss

All countries should commit to zero carbon emissions by 2050 if the world is to avoid a disastrous 2.4 degree Celsius temperature rise by the end of this century, UN Secretary General António Guterres said on Thursday.

155 million faced acute food insecurity in 2020, conflict the key driver

At least 155 million people faced crisis levels of food insecurity in 2020 because of conflict, extreme weather events and economic shocks linked in part to COVID-19, a UN-partnered flagship report said on Wednesday.  

South Asia: ‘Real possibility’ health systems will be strained to a breaking point, UNICEF warns

Impacts of the deadly new surge in COVID-19 cases across South Asia are unlike anything the region has seen before, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said, warning of a “real possibility” that health systems there will be strained to a breaking point, leading to even more loss of life. 

Joy in South Sudan, as schools reopen after 14-month COVID lockdown

The countrywide reopening of schools in South Sudan is a welcome step on the road to “normalcy” for youngsters, two in three of whom need humanitarian assistance, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

Global e-commerce jumps to $26.7 trillion, fuelled by COVID-19

Parts of the online economy have boomed since COVID-19 began, while some pre-pandemic big-hitters have seen a reversal of their fortunes in the last year, amid widespread movement restrictions, UN economists have found.

Free press ‘a cornerstone’ of democratic societies, UN says

The United Nations Secretary-General on Monday urged governments to “do everything in their power” to support free, independent and diverse media, which the UN’s top human rights official highlighted as “a cornerstone of democratic societies”. 

Europe: COVID must spark rethink to prioritize ‘human lives’ over economic policies 

The devastating impact of COVID-19 serves as a stark reminder that the European Union must “put human lives” above economic policy considerations, that privilege competition between EU Member States, an independent UN human rights expert said on Friday. 

Ethiopia: ‘Unpredictable security’ in Tigray, hindering aid delivery

A “complex and unpredictable security situation” in Tigray continues to impede the delivery of life-saving assistance to Ethiopia’s northern region, the Deputy UN Spokesperson told journalists on Thursday.   

Madagascar edges toward famine, UN food agency appeals for assistance

An unrelenting drought in southern Madagascar, an island State off the East African coast in the Indian Ocean, is forcing hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine at a scale “beyond belief”, a senior UN food agency official said on Thursday. 

Revived peace process, lasting calm, and a new constitution needed in Syria 

In addition to the challenges that all Syrians have faced during a 10-year conflict, women have experienced sexual and gender-based violence, early and forced marriage and trafficking, the country’s UN envoy told the Security Council on Wednesday.