On February 26 this year, 15 South Sudanese children were released from armed groups and handed over to civilian child protection actors, including UNICEF and UNMISS, UN’s peacekeeping operation in South Sudan, who were able to facilitate the children’s safe return to their families.
By now, the impact of COVID19 on our daily lives has been well documented, especially in advanced economies. Anxiety about the future continues to grow everywhere. Much of the corporate news coverage we consume has focused on the toll this pandemic will take on mainland countries. Often neglected, however, is the unique position Pacific Island States find themselves in.
Health systems around the world are prioritising health care services and equipment to treat people diagnosed with Covid-19, which means that many procedures deemed to be elective and non-essential are being suspended or simply not provided. Abortion, for instance, has been categorised
as a non-essential health service by some States, while others have removed certain restrictions to accessing abortion.
For the past few decades, many big corporations and very wealthy individuals have operated according to the myth that they are “self-made”, that their success owed nothing to anyone else.
Between 2002 and 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) faced the first pandemic of the globalized 21st century, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Under the leadership of Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland and through epidemiological, clinical, and logistical coordination, the WHO facilitated a strong and ultimately successful response to the outbreak. Today, the WHO is facing the coronavirus pandemic in an even more globalized and urbanized world, further complicating response and coordination efforts. What similarities do these two pandemics share, and what lessons in leadership might we be able to learn from the past?
Crises make us think smaller. When everything is uncertain, we turn inward: to our families, our communities, the immediate needs around us. We focus on the essential and the immediate; we survive.
A future repetition of the current COVID-19 pandemic is preventable with massive cooperation on international and local levels and by ensuring biological diversity preservation around the world, experts recently said.
Hunger and food insecurity continue to rise. The official 2019 statistics refer to 821 million people suffering from hunger all over the world. According the recently launched Global Report on Food Crises
, there are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. WFP
estimates that due to the impacts of COVID19, additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. This means a total increase of 265 million people. If there will be no appropriate and urgent actions, “we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months
”, said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, addressing the UN Security Council on 21st April.
With well over five million Covid-19 infections worldwide, and deaths exceeding 340,000, the race for an effective vaccine has accelerated since the SARS-Cov-2 virus was first identified as the culprit.
When I was a little girl, my mother told us the story of a woman who escaped from a monster by cooking stones: when the monster fell asleep waiting for his dinner, the woman ran for her life.
Restoring damaged ecosystems is vital to avoid the collapse of nature’s most valuable contributions to people, but International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 should also
be a wake-up call about the importance of addressing our social, economic and systemic values, because it is these that are driving the destruction of nature.
It is easy to generalize about migration. Populist politicians often portray migrants as strangers and ”our” homeland as a stable entity, rooted in an old agricultural society. When they do so they tend to forget that most of us are in fact migrants who have left that traditional farming community far behind and if it was not we who did so, it was our ancestors.
As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions across the globe start to be relaxed, the collective conversation has shifted towards plans for a ‘new normal.’
Fake and bogus cure claims are a longstanding, but neglected public health problem
. Throughout recorded history, plagues have inspired anxiety and desperation. Time and again, this public nervousness has proved a fertile ground for false cures and claimants to thrive. In this sense, recent claims of COVID-19 cures and antidotes are no exception.
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.
Coronavirus outbreaks in China and later across the globe have been unprecedented in both its scale and impacts. In the era of changing world order, this pandemic has drawn the global attention towards the threats posed by the non-traditional security challenges.
As a spiraling financial crisis threatens to undermine the UN’s day-to-day operations worldwide, a proposal being kicked around, outside the empty corridors of the UN, has triggered the question: will senior officials, including the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General (DSG), Under-Secretaries-Generals (USGs), including 60 heads of UN agencies, Funds and Programs, and Assistant Secretaries-Generals (ASGs), volunteer to take salary cuts— even as a symbolic gesture?
When the COVID-19 virus travelled from Wuhan, China halfway across the world through Europe, the Americas and beyond in the space of a few weeks, it gave us proof, if one was ever needed, of how tightly interconnected we all are. Not only are our globalized economies interdepended, but also we ourselves are one with the environment around us, and with one another. We are one humankind sharing one planet. And yet, all too often we seem to forget it, as we carelessly revert to misguiding differences between “us” and “them.” Take, for example, the distinction between rich and poor countries, or as economists put it, between advanced economies and least developed countries. In the face of COVID-19, the only difference that matters is if we are sick or healthy. Other than that, we are all the same, regardless of economic status or geographic location.