Health

The virus that shut down the world: the path to a vaccine

Vaccines that protect against COVID-19 have been developed in record time over the year but, amid fears that people from poorer countries may miss out, the UN has consistently insisted on global solidarity, to ensure that all are protected. In the final part of our series on the ways that the virus has changed the world, we trace the evolution of the COVID-19 vaccines, and how protected we are likely to be in 2021.

After year of ‘trials, tragedies and tears’, UN chief sends message of hope for 2021

As the world enters 2021, after a “year of trials, tragedies and tears”, the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has delivered a message of hope for the new year. 

World must be ready for the next pandemic, UN says on first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

The United Nations is commemorating the first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness on Sunday, underscoring the need to learn lessons from the coronavirus pandemic, and urging greater investments in preparedness, to confront future health emergencies.

New COVID-19 variants under the microscope as travel bans mount over UK mutation

The UN health agency chief said on Monday that scientists have been working to understand new COVID-19 variants that have been reported in South Africa and the United Kingdom. 

Vaccines for all, an ‘acid test’ in COVID-19 battle

Equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines will represent an “acid test” for the international community, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) told journalists on Wednesday, highlighting the importance of global cooperation and solidarity in beating back the disease. 

World must invest in strong health systems that protect everyone — now and into the future

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed just how important it is for all countries to have strong health systems that provide the entire population with quality services when and where they need them, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has stressed.

First Person: COVID education is child’s play for Thai UN volunteer

An innovative initiative to provide child-friendly information about COVID-19 has been launched by a UN volunteer (UNV) in Thailand who recognized that children needed to know more about the dangers of the virus but also have fun learning at home during the lockdown. On International Volunteer Day marked annually on 5 December, UNICEF’s Rasa Pattikasemkul talks about motivation, family loss and keeping children safe.

Contribution of life in soil ‘remains largely underestimated’, says UN agriculture agency 

Even though soil organisms play a crucial role in boosting food production, enhancing nutritious diets, preserving human health, and combating climate change, the real contribution of these tiny life forms remains largely underestimated, the UN agriculture agency (FAO) said on Friday. 

COVID-19: Right decisions now will secure a life of dignity for all

Critical decisions made now to address the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a life of dignity for all people, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said on Friday, addressing the second and final day of the General Assembly’s special session devoted to the crisis. 

COVID-19 recovery, focus of UN General Assembly special session

Nations united on Thursday for a special session of the UN General Assembly to survey the wreckage of the COVID-19 pandemic, reflect on the best response, and forge a path to better days ahead.