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‘Immediate nationwide ceasefire’ needed for all-out effort to counter COVID-19 in Syria

Syria is at “high risk” of being unable to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Special Envoy for the country said on Monday, reiterating calls for a “complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire” to enable an all-out-effort to counter the march of the new coronavirus.

“We need the kind of sustained period of calm that a nationwide ceasefire would ensure because we need cooperation to take place across the front-lines that riddle Syria’s territory – and this is needed not tomorrow, but now”, Geir Pedersen said in a videoconference with Security Council members.

First Person: Humankind’s ‘modern mentality to tame’ the environment: A volcanologist’s view

The 17 goals agreed by the global community to reduce poverty and create a sustainable planet are the responsibility of all people, wherever they are in the world, according to the United Nations. The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs represent a boundary-pushing blueprint for the future of the Earth and it’s anticipated they will be realized by 2030. UN News joined the International Labour Organization on a visit to Hawaii where many people are already living or studying aspects of the goals in their everyday work.

UN staff in Lebanon working round-the-clock to respond to COVID-19

 

One month ago, the first COVID-19 case was detected in Lebanon. Two weeks later, crisis mode was in effect and UN personnel started working remotely. Priorities became clear for all people in Lebanon: Food, health and family, but for UN staff, humanitarian assistance and response must go on especially in times of crisis and emergency. All UN agencies have united under one goal: Helping the country overcome the pandemic.

Critical work of UN ‘largely uninterrupted’, despite unprecedented challenge of COVID-19

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the United Nations to operate in new ways, its vital work worldwide continues largely uninterrupted, heads of UN principal organs assured Member States, during a joint briefing on Friday held online.

In his welcoming remarks, the UN General Assembly President underscored the value of safety and solidarity in the face of a crisis that has affected practically every corner of the globe.

COVID-19: UN donates 250,000 face masks to NYC health workers

 

On behalf of the city, the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, was on hand to receive 250,000 face masks donated by the UN on Saturday, destined for health workers in the metropolis that is home to the Organization’s Headquarters.

In a statement, Mr. Guterres said that the face masks stored in United Nations facilities, werer part of UN stocks, deemed surplus to requirements.

Can I really make a difference? The people of Lebanon have an answer

Do small actions add up to big change? Does what I do really make a difference? These are questions facing people over the world many times a day.

The people of Lebanon have an answer for you. For some of them, it started at an ATM in a bank lobby in Beirut, the capital city, in August 2019.

Customers came in to get cash for the day. They had to go shopping for food, buy a birthday present, or pay for whatever else is on their list.

UN rights chief urges quick action by governments to prevent devastating impact of COVID-19 in places of detention

COVID-19 has begun to strike in prisons, jails and immigration detention centres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned on Wednesday, as she urged Governments “not to forget hose behind bars” and to protect those working in closed facilities in their overall efforts to contain the pandemic

“In many countries, detention facilities are overcrowded, in some cases dangerously so,” Ms. Bachelet said, making physical distancing and self-isolation practically impossible. People are often held in unhygienic conditions.

Ease sanctions against countries fighting COVID-19: UN human rights chief

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday called for an easing of sanctions against countries such as Iran to allow their medical systems to fight the disease and limit its global spread. 

Michelle Bachelet said humanitarian exemptions to sanctions measures should be authorized for essential medical equipment and supplies to avoid the collapse of any national healthcare system.