Stories written by Samira Sadeque
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COVID-19 – China Tells World Health Assembly They Did their Best

This week’s 73rd World Health Assembly had member states adopt a resolution to review the global response to the coronavirus pandemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) will also undergo  an evaluation for its response to the outbreak.

Change is Coming for Youth-led Ocean Activism

The youth’s role in environmental action remains crucial and leaders must ensure that they are given proper access under current circumstances to carry out that work, activists said at a online meeting held this week. 

On the Agenda of Iraq’s New Government: An Empty Treasury, Low Revenue, and COVID-19

Iraq’s newly-announced leader has brought hope to a country embroiled in a 17-year-long conflict, but authorities must ensure that issues such as swift and rapid response to COVID-19, security concerns, and corruption among others are addressed with urgency, experts said on Tuesday. 

COVID-19: The Digital Divide Grows Wider Amid Global Lockdown

The digital divide has become more pronounced than ever amid the global coronavirus lockdown, but experts are concerned that in the current circumstances this divide, where over 46 percent of the world's population remain without technology or internet access, could grow wider -- particularly among women.  

Enforced Disappearances, Arbitrary Detentions, Hate Speech & Attacks on Civilians – ICC Report on Libya

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday highlighted crimes against humanity and grave mismanagement of the law in Libya during a release of their latest report on the North African nation. 

Q&A: COVID-19 Means we Must Innovate Data Collection, Especially on Gender

The current coronavirus pandemic can offer insight into how to shake-up traditional methods of data collection, and might provide an opportunity to do it in more innovative ways, in turn enhancing progress towards gender equality.

Governments Cautioned Not to Use COVID-19 Lockdown to Cause Harm

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is calling on governments and leaders around the world to ensure that their respective lockdown measurements don’t end up causing harm to people by those enforcing the lockdowns.  

Children under Lockdown get a ‘Learning Passport’

Soon schools in Timor-Leste, Ukraine, and Kosovo, where some 6.5 million children are currently at home, will hopefully start teaching their children once again -- albeit online. 

Q&A: Continued Social Distancing and Hundreds of Millions More in Poverty – A New Normal for the World?

With much of the global economy stalled amid an unprecedented lockdown of nations grappling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the author of a new United Nations report on the disease’s impact on poverty told IPS that hundreds of millions more could be pushed into poverty and we can expect to see social unrest.

Global Leaders Must Prioritise Children’s Wellbeing amid Coronavirus Pandemic – UN

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres on Thursday pleaded with global leaders and families to ensure the protection of the world's children, millions of whom he says are vulnerable to a myriad of threats as a result of the shutdown arising from the global coronavirus pandemic. 

Concerns for the Nearly 400 Rohingya Refugees Rescued off the Coast of Bangladesh

Nearly 400 Rohingya refugees have been rescued in Bangladesh after being at sea for two months. 

Q&A: How to #BeActive during COVID-19 Lockdown

Growing up in Ramallah in Palestine, Maher Nasser, Director of Outreach Division at the United Nations Department of Global Communications, never really liked running. "I only ran when I needed to: to catch a bus or to run from soldiers," he tells IPS. But now with three marathons under his belt -- which raised thousands for scholarships for Palestinian women’s education -- Nasser is still running, albeit on his balcony.

**Correction**How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

A little over half of women across the globe are able to freely make choices about their sexual and reproductive health, according to a latest report based on data from 57 countries.  However, as much of the world has gone into lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, with countries implementing social distancing and restricting the free movement of people, experts are concerned that even this small gain in sexual and reproductive health may suffer negatively.

U.N. Releases Report on Socio-economic Effects of Coronavirus

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, concerns are simultaneously growing about the current and long-term effects this will have on certain demographics -- specifically, women, the youth, migrant workers, and many employees around the world. 

Slums, Camps, Terrorism: Experts Worry about Coronavirus Hitting South Asia

As coronavirus makes its way through different continents, countries, and communities around the world having claimed more than 23,000 lives, experts are ringing alarm bells about the implications of the disease as it hits South Asia, which hosts almost 2 billion of the world’s population

What does U.N. Secretary General’s Call for Ceasefire Mean for Countries in Conflict?

Conflict experts are concerned the the global ceasefire called for by the United Nations amid the coronavirus outbreak may not work and could lead to a rise in violence.

Could the Coronavirus Pandemic have been Avoided if the World Listened to Indigenous Leaders?

Mina Setra remembers the story clearly. As a Dayak Pompakng indigenous person from Indonesia, when  visitors from the city who came into her community; brought bottled water with them because they were worried about the water not being suitable for drinking. 

Q&A: Learning Diplomacy From Flipping Burgers at McDonald’s

It’s a rainy February morning in New York, but inside the walls of her room, it might as well be summer -- bright and warm, much in contrast to the drizzles reluctantly crawling on the window panes of Ambassador Kshenuka Senewiratne's office overlooking Manhattan. 

Q&A: ‘Place Gender Equality at the Heart of our Work’

Ambassador Mona Juul started her role as the Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations in January 2019, and is also the president of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). 

Q&A: Misinformation in the Time of an Uncontainable Virus

Just a month since the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus a public health emergency, it is now taking steps to contain misinformation being spread about the disease. Globally, there have been more than 82,000 cases of Coronavirus, which has claimed 2,800 lives -- the majority being in China, where the disease has been traced to

No Country On Track to Ensuring a Better Future for its Children

There is no country that is on the right path to ensure the safety, health and proper environment for their children, an explosive report has claimed. 

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