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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. 

Mark Lowcock told the Security Council on Wednesday that it won’t be possible to grasp the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in Syria until laboratory testing is stepped up. 

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.

According to the September update of the UN Comprehensive Response to COVID-19, no country has been spared; no population left unscathed. 

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Shortsighted and 'stupid mistake' not to support affordable COVID vaccine for all, says Guterres

The march of COVID-19 which has “put us on our knees”, should be a lesson in humility for world leaders, and a lack of solidarity on the part of some richer nations towards developing countries, means we will all pay a heavy price, the UN chief has told UN News, in an exclusive interview ahead of the new General Assembly session. 

New General Assembly underscores ‘necessity of multilateralism’

The 75th session of the UN General Assembly opened on Monday 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”. 

“The context in which we are working, serves to remind us of the necessity of the multilateralism system”, Volkan Bozkir told delegates sitting distanced apart in the gilded hall at New York Headquarters. 

Syria: Bombshell report reveals ‘no clean hands’ as horrific rights violations continue

Despite a reduction in largescale hostilities since a ceasefire in March, the UN Syrian Commission of Inquiry reported on Monday that armed actors continue to subject civilians to horrific and increasingly targeted abuse.

The Commission’s 25-page report documented continuing violations by nearly every fighting force controlling territory across the country. 
It also highlighted an increase in patterns of targeted abuse, such as assassinations, sexual and gender-based violence, and looting or appropriation of private property.  

UN urges a more equal, inclusive world, marking International Day of Democracy

The United Nations marked the annual International Day of Democracy, on Tuesday, calling on world leaders to build a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world, with full respect for human rights. 

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, UN Secretary-General António Guterres underlined the importance of democracy for ensuring free flow of information, participation in decision-making and accountability for the response to COVID-19