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Syria COVID spread may be much higher than figures suggest, Lowcock tells Security Council

Reports from inside Syria are pointing to a much broader spread of COVID-19 than the number of confirmed cases – currently 3,618 – suggests, the UN’s top humanitarian official says. 

Protect lives, mitigate future shocks and recover better: UN-wide COVID-19 response 

Over the course of 2020 thus far, the coronavirus has taken hundreds of thousands of lives, infected millions of people, and wreaked socio-economic, humanitarian and human rights havoc, the United Nations said in a new report released on Wednesday.

South Sudan: Progress on peace agreement ‘limps along’, UN envoy tells Security Council

Although the transitional government in South Sudan continues to function, with state governors now appointed, among other developments, progress on the 2018 peace agreement “limps along”, the top UN official in the country told a virtual meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday. 

UN chief: COVID-19 vaccine must be affordable and available to all  

The continuing COVID-19 pandemic continues to top a long list of global concerns, the UN chief told journalists on Wednesday, noting that “the grimmest of milestones” is upon us. 

Venezuela abuses amounted to crimes against humanity: UN-appointed panel

Grave rights violations against anti-government protesters in Venezuela, “amounted to crimes against humanity”, UN-appointed rights investigators said in their first report on abuses inside the Latin American nation.

Governments urged to protect poor against modern slavery, step up development financing

Unless governments act now, millions of the world’s most vulnerable people could be pushed into contemporary forms of slavery and other exploitation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a UN independent human rights expert has said. 

 

More research needed into COVID-19 effects on children, says WHO head

More research is needed into factors that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 disease among children and adolescents, the head of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) has said, adding that while children may have largely been spared many of the most severe effects, they have suffered in other ways. 

Ozone treaties ‘inspiring examples’ of political will, UN chief says on International Day

The United Nations commemorated the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, on Wednesday, recognizing the success of landmark global agreements in helping restore the protective layer around Earth. 

New General Assembly underscores ‘necessity of multilateralism’

The 75th session of the UN General Assembly opened on Tuesday with a moment of silence against the unprecedented backdrop of the COVID pandemic, as the new president told delegates that the coronavirus had driven home the value of multilateralism “to address our collective challenges”. 

Famine threat returns to Yemen, amid upsurge in fighting

The spectre of famine has returned to Yemen as donor countries fail to make good on their 2020 pledges, amidst an upsurge in fighting, fresh hurdles for aid deliveries, and ongoing efforts to nail down a nationwide ceasefire, the Security Council heard on Tuesday.