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Climate action essential to cool ‘season of fire and floods’ worldwide: Deputy UN chief

With extreme weather events increasingly impacting countries across the world, the deputy UN chief on Monday underlined the importance of limiting temperature rise to the internationally agreed goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  “The entire planet is going through a season of fire and floods”, Amina Mohammed told a high-level meeting on climate action, primarily hurting fragile and vulnerable populations in rich […]

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COVID-19: Rich countries should donate at least 1 billion vaccine doses, says WHO panel

Rich countries must share their supplies of COVID-19 vaccines quickly, in line with recommendations made earlier this year by an independent panel appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the former co-chairs said on Tuesday. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, and Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, expressed deep concern over […]

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Civilian casualties climb, as UN chief calls on all parties to ‘immediately cease’ fighting in Gaza and Israel

The UN Secretary-General on Friday issued an urgent appeal for all parties involved in this week’s escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian enclave of Gaza, and Israel, to “immediately cease the fighting”, or risk creating an “uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis”.  “The ongoing military escalation has caused great suffering and destruction”, said a statement issued on behalf […]

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Increased cancer risk for petroleum industry workers and people living near plants: New UN study

People working in the petroleum industry or living near petroleum facilities are at increased risk of developing several different cancer types, according to a new report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARCWHO), part of the UN World Health Organization (WHO). The findings add to increasing evidence of the health consequences of air pollution from […]

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UN to launch funding appeal for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines following volcano eruption

The UN is set to launch a funding appeal to support Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where ongoing volcanic “explosions” continue to disrupt life in the Caribbean island nation and nearby countries, a top official in the region said on Wednesday.  Didier Trebucq, UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Caribbean, briefed journalists on response […]

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Japan: UN experts ‘deeply disappointed’ by decision to discharge Fukushima water

Three independent UN human rights experts expressed deep regret on Thursday over Japan’s decision to discharge potentially still radioactive Fukushima nuclear plant water into the ocean, warning that it could impact millions across the Pacific region.  ‘Very concerning’  Given the warnings from environmentalists and some governments that the discharge would affect many people as well […]

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Protect forests for ‘people, planet and prosperity’, Guterres urges on World Wildlife Day

March 3, 2021 – Under increasing threat from the  unsustainable use of forest resources and wildlife trafficking, the UN chief called on Wednesday for people and governments everywhere to step up efforts to protect forests and support forest communities.  “In so doing, we will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for people, planet and prosperity”, Secretary-General […]

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Financial transparency, ‘sound governance and accountability’ essential to reach Global Goals

February 25, 2021 – Financial integrity is “paramount to the success of the 2030 Agenda”, the President of the UN General Assembly said on Thursday, launching a new report that offers a blueprint to address a range of obstacles, particularly surrounding illicit finance flows.  “As an international community committed to addressing inequality and advancing sustainable […]

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‘No place’ for coups in today’s world, UN chief tells Myanmar military

February 22, 2021 – On the opening day of a new UN Human Rights Council session on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated his “full support to the people of Myanmar”, three weeks after the military takeover that has brought thousands out onto the streets in protest.  “Coups have no place in our modern world”, Mr. Guterres said in a pre-recorded video address at the Council’s 46th regular session, his comments coming after the forum held a special session on […]

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New ICC ruling ‘opens the door’ for justice in occupied Palestine – Independent UN expert

February 9, 2021 – The ruling of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that is does have jurisdiction over grave crimes committed in occupied Palestinian territory is a “significant step forward in the quest for justice and accountability”, an independent UN human rights expert said on Tuesday. “This offers profound hope to those who believe that […]

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Stand against antisemitism with the ‘utmost determination’ – German Chancellor Merkel

January 27, 2021 – During the first Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, organized jointly by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the UN and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Angela Merkel added that antisemitism must be thwarted, “be it open or veiled, and against denial or diminishing of the […]

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As COVID deaths pass two million worldwide, Guterres warns against self-defeating ‘vaccinationalism’

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement, Secretary-General António Guterres noted that the absence of a global coordinated effort has worsened the pandemic’s deadly impact. “Behind this staggering […]

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Hong Kong: UN human rights office urges immediate release of arrested activists

January 8, 2021 – The UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Thursday voiced deep concerns over the arrests of over 50 individuals under the new National Security Law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, and called for their immediate release.  Fifty-three political activists, academics, former legislators, current district councillors, and lawyers, were arrested […]

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UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances registers its 1,000th urgent request to locate victims

GENEVA (17 December 2020) – The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) has just registered the 1,000th urgent action request, marking a significant milestone for the mechanism.  Among registered cases, 49% concern disappearances in Iraq and 42% disappearances in Mexico. An urgent action is a request from CED to a State party to immediately take […]

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