Country Report No. 20/47
Country Report No. 20/46
More than two years after the defeat of ISIL in Iraq, some children in areas formerly controlled by the terrorist group still cannot access school or get the necessary documentation required for enrollment, a UN report published on Monday finds.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres attended a High-Level Conference on 40 years of Afghan refugees in Pakistan on Monday 17 February 2020. Forty years of conflict have trapped millions of Afghans in exile. 2.7 million Afghans are registered as refugees worldwide, with just over half (1.4 million) in Pakistan. Their needs, and those of the communities hosting them, are the focus of the two-day conference in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Speakers also include UN Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. This is the UN Chief's second day in Pakistan. His visit is expected to wrap up on Tuesday 18 February. More here: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/02/1057541
New Road Safety Observatory for Asia and Pacific Region: Fighting Road Fatalities and Injuries with Better Data
The establishment of the first regional Road Safety Observatory in the Asia-Pacific region was announced in Stockholm today on the eve of the 3rd UN Global Ministerial Conference of Road Safety. The UN conference gathers ministers...
As north-west Syria violence reaches ‘horrifying’ new level, UN relief chief says ceasefire is only option
The crisis in north-west Syria has reached a “horrifying new level”, the UN Humanitarian Affairs chief warned on Monday.
Pakistan’s solidarity and compassion for hosting Afghan refugees is a remarkable blueprint that the rest of the world should follow.
Briefing by Eri Kaneko, Associate Spokeswoman for the Secretary-General. Highlights: - Secretary-General in Pakistan - Syria - Yemen - Yemen Humanitarian - Iraq - COVID-19 - South Sudan - Myanmar - Dominican Republic - Financial Contributions SECRETARY-GENERAL IN PAKISTAN The Secretary-General spoke today at the International Conference on 40 Years of Hosting Afghan Refugees, which took place in Islamabad, and he called the Afghan refugees’ experience in Pakistan a remarkable story of solidarity and compassion. The Secretary-General said that he hopes the signals of a possible pathway for peace will lead to a better future for the people of Afghanistan. At the same time, he said about the refugees, Afghanistan and its people cannot be abandoned. Now is the time for the international community to act and deliver. Our ability to succeed, he said, will be a litmus test for the Global Compact on Refugees – its promise of greater responsibility-sharing with countries that have shouldered the burden until now. The Secretary-General also met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and he informed the Prime Minister that he continues to follow the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and appeals for maximum restraint and full respect for human rights. The Secretary-General reiterated his readiness to exercise his good offices if both sides agree. In a press conference with Pakistan’s foreign minister yesterday, the Secretary-General said that his visit aims to recognize Pakistan’s outstanding generosity and solidarity over many decades and to highlight its place in confronting some of the biggest global challenges our world faces today. He added that he was grateful for the work of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), and that he was happy that he inaugurated the new premises of their headquarters. The Secretary-General also spoke out yesterday on development and climate change, expressing his dismay that after the success of the Paris conference in 2015, our momentum has stalled. He said that our planet is burning but too many decision makers continue to fiddle. The only answer is decisive climate action – by governments, businesses and investors, mayors and governors, and citizens everywhere. All of his speeches and press encounters are online. SYRIA Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said in a statement today that the crisis there has reached a horrifyingly new level, stressing that the only option is a ceasefire. He says that, since December 1st, 900,000 people – the vast majority of them women and children – have been displaced. Mr. Lowcock said that these people are traumatized and forced to sleep outside in freezing temperatures because camps are full. He stressed that the violence in northwest Syria is indiscriminate, with health facilities, schools, residential areas, mosques and markets having been hit. The Under-Secretary-General said there are now reports that settlements for displaced people are being hit, resulting in deaths, injuries and further displacement. A huge relief operation, across the border from Turkey is underway, but it is overwhelmed. Mr. Lowcock underscored that the biggest humanitarian horror story of the 21st century will only be avoided if Security Council members and those with influence overcome individual interests and put a collective stake in humanity first. Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=17%20February%202020
Amid global ‘learning crisis’, Parliaments can ensure adequate resources for education, says UN Assembly President
Education is the “great equalizer” and Parliaments have a major role to play in scaling up action to ensure that adequate financial resources are allocated to education, girls’ education and technical and vocational training throughout in national budgetary processes, the President of the UN General Assembly said on Monday.
Many animals – including birds, fish and mammals – migrate along set routes in search of food or breeding grounds. How best to protect them in a rapidly changing world is the focus of a major UN wildlife meeting which opened in Gandhinagar, India, on Monday.
Speakers: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO; Dr Michael J Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme; Dr Sylvie Briand, Director, Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, WHO The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Ghebreyesus said it “appears that COVID-19 is not as deadly as other coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS” adding that more than 80 per cent of patients have “mild disease and will recover.” Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (17 Feb), Tedros said new data coming from China “addresses some of the gaps in our understanding, but others remain.” He said the international team of experts now on the ground in China was working with Chinese counterparts to “better understand those gaps and improve out an understanding of the outbreak.” Earlier today, China published a paper with detailed data on more than 44,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which appear to show a decline in new cases. Tedros said it is too early to tell if this reported decline will continue. The data also indicated that more than 80 per cent of the patients have a mild form of the disease and will recover. In about 14 per cent of the cases, the virus causes severe disease, while in two per cent of the reported cases, the virus is fatal. WHO continues to help countries prepare by sending testing kits to laboratories around the world. They are also training health workers, sending them personal protective equipment, and working with manufacturers to ensure available supply. Tedros reiterated that there is a window of opportunity and that resources are needed now to ensure countries are prepared. He called on the international community to fund the USD 675 million appeal to support the countries' preparations. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO): “But we have not seen the urgency in funding that we need. As I keep saying, we have a window of opportunity now. We need resources now to ensure countries are prepared now. We don't know how long this window of opportunity will remain open. Let's not squander it.” Michael Ryan, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme stressed the need to be “extremely cautious in using the term pandemic.” He said, “We had lots of controversies during the H1N1 situation around when it was pandemic and when it wasn't pandemic. And I think we need to be careful. The real issue here is whether we're seeing efficient community transmission outside of China, and at the present time, we are not observing that.” In response to questions, Ryan it wasn’t WHO’s job to go after the people who release misinformation, rather it is to “put out good information and give people the best information.” He said WHO encourages openness and transparency at all levels as “the best way for public health to do its job.” Ryan said there must be a balance between “the public and common good against the rights of the individual” adding that, sometimes, “that's a very difficult balance to strike.” The Executive Director of the Health Emergencies Programme asked, “If we're going to disrupt every cruise ship in the world on the off chance that there might be some potential contact with some potential pathogen, and where do we stop? We shut down the buses around the world? And what happens when other countries are affected? Do we take the same measures in that case?” He stressed that everything done to step the outbreak of COVID-19 must be “extremely measured” based on public health and evidence. He said it needs to be based on a principle that “there's no such thing as a zero risk.” WHO’s Director of Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, Sylvie Briand said for the general public, “very often, pandemic is really the worst-case scenario.” She said before qualifying the COVID-19 outbreak as a worst-case scenario, “we need a lot more evidence and a lot more data.” That is why, she said, WHO needed to be cautious because She belived that it could “really create panic unnecessarily because what is important currently is that we all agree on the risk assessment so that we can all tackle the virus the same way."
World merchandise trade growth is likely to remain weak in early 2020, according to the WTO Goods Trade Barometer released on 17 February. The real-time measure of trade trends now reads 95.5 — less than the 96.6 recorded last November and well below the index’s baseline value of 100. This below-trend performance could be reduced further by a new global health threat.