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Economic and Social Council turns 75; President reaffirms mandate to tackle pandemic, development challenges

Marking its 75th anniversary amid the most serious economic and health crisis the UN& has ever faced, the Organization’s Economic and Social Council “has the mandate and the responsibility to respond to these challenges,” the body’s President, Munir Akram, said on Saturday.

Healthier world means ‘safer America’ Tedros stresses, as UN-led vaccine initiative announces deal for 40 million doses 

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday announced the signing of an advance purchase agreement securing up to 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine, under the UN-led COVAX equitable vaccine supply programme. 

Mali in transition: UN peacekeeping chief takes stock of political and security developments

Against the backdrop of a rapidly deteriorating security situation in Mali and the wider Sahel region, the UN peacekeeping chief concluded a visit to the restive northwest African nation on Thursday. 

Pandemic will not end for anyone, ‘until it ends for everyone’ 

The COVID-19 pandemic “will not end for anyone, until it ends for everyone”, an independent UN human rights expert said on Friday, advocating for an equitable and globally-coordinated vaccine distribution programme. 

Sudan: 250 killed, over 100,000 displaced as violence surges in Darfur

A sharp uptick in intercommunal violence in Sudan’s Darfur region has forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes in search of safety, including many into neighbouring Chad, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported on Friday.

Guterres hails entry into force of treaty banning nuclear weapons

The first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than two decades, came into force just after midnight on Friday, hailed by the UN Secretary-General as “an important step towards a world free of nuclear weapons”.

Colombia: Criminal elements use violence and intimidation to ‘stamp out’ leaders’ voices

Illegally-armed groups and criminal organizations in Colombia are determined to “drive out State institutions and stamp out the voice of social leaders” through violence and intimidation, the head of the UN mission in the country told the Security Council on Thursday.
 

Iraq: UN chief condemns ‘horrific’ double suicide bombing at Baghdad market

Perpetrators behind twin deadly suicide bombings at a busy market in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Thursday must be prosecuted, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement strongly condemning the attacks. 

COVID ‘vaccine hoarding’ putting Africa at risk: WHO

Africa is in danger of being left behind in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines as countries in other regions strike bilateral deals, thus driving up prices, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Thursday. 

Senior panel probing violations in Syria, examining new measures to safeguard humanitarians

The UN chief announced on Thursday that he has set up an independent Senior Advisory Panel on strengthening the mechanism whereby humanitarian workers and sites are better protected from attack in Syria, according to a statement released by his spokesperson.