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Keep Turkey’s Hagia Sophia ‘a space for meeting of cultures’, UN rights experts urge

The historic Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, designated a mosque once again earlier this month by the Turkish Government, should be maintained as an inter-cultural space “reflecting the diversity and complexity of Turkey and its history”, said two independent human rights experts on Friday.

Health must come before the economy, insists top UN official for Latin America and the Caribbean

In Latin America, where much of the region has dealt with years of sluggish growth, the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing millions more into poverty, says Alicia Bárcena, the head of the UN regional body for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Young people ‘not invincible’ in COVID-19 pandemic: WHO chief

Although older people are among those at highest risk of COVID-19, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has reminded younger generations that they are “not invincible” when it comes to the disease.

Ravages of acute hunger will likely hit six in 10 in Zimbabwe: WFP

The World Food Programme (WFP) is urgently seeking more international support to prevent millions of Zimbabweans plunging deeper into hunger. The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated an already severe hunger crisis in Zimbabwe, UN humanitarians warned on Thursday.

Five things you should know about disposable masks and plastic pollution

The fight against plastic pollution is being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the use of disposable masks, gloves and other protective equipment soars, but UN agencies and partners insist that, if effective measures are put into place, the amount of plastics discarded every year can be significantly cut, or even eliminated.

Revealed: A third of world’s children poisoned by lead, UNICEF analysis finds

Lead poisoning is affecting children on a “massive and previously unknown scale”, according to a ground-breaking new study launched on Thursday by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and international non-profit organization focused on pollution issues, Pure Earth

Security Council: Poverty deepens, along with need, across Syria

Humanitarian operations across war-shattered Syria are reaching 6.8 million people a month, but a worsening economic crisis is deepening poverty and pushing more and more Syrians into humanitarian need, the Security Council heard Wednesday.

Thousands suffer extreme rights abuses journeying to Africa’s Mediterranean coast, say humanitarians

Thousands of refugees and migrants in eastern and western Africa, are dying while others face harrowing abuse in their attempts to reach the continent’s Mediterranean coast in search of a better life, a joint UN/Danish Refugee Council report said on Wednesday.

Asia-Pacific: ‘Call to action’ highlights role of family farmers amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Although hundreds of millions of smallholder family farmers in Asia-Pacific produce a majority of the world’s food, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on their livelihoods, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

How do you define lawful peaceful protest? The UN Human Rights Committee has a clear answer

People have the right to demonstrate peacefully and Governments should respect international law and let them do so, senior UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Wednesday.