Myanmar: Timely support and action by Security Council ‘paramount’.

The UN Special Envoy for Myanmar said on Friday she has called for timely action from the Security Council in response to the ongoing crisis in the Southeast Asian country stemming from the military coup in February.

Speaking to journalists following her closed-door briefing to the Council,
Christine Schraner Burgener described the situation in Myanmar as “very worrisome” and “very bad”.

Alarming, on the ground
Some 600 people have been killed in the nearly five months since the coup, she said, and 6,000 arrested, with 5,000 still in detention.  Around 100 people have “disappeared” without trace.

The crisis has uprooted some 175,000 people, which has added to internal displacement that existed before the military seized power and detained political leaders, including President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Roughly 10,000 refugees have fled to India and Thailand.

Survey Finds 52% of People Living with HIV Would Take the COVID-19 Vaccine

A recent study on COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among people living with HIV and key populations has found 52% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) would take the COVID-19 vaccine when it is made available to them. Despite cases continuing to climb, just 25% of survey respondents thought getting the vaccine would protect others in their community from being infected with COVID-19.

Vaccine acceptability was highest among younger respondents, with 56% of survey respondents 20 and under keen to take the vaccine, compared to just 32% over the age of 51.

The survey was conducted by leading HIV group KP Advocacy Consortium PNG with assistance from UNAIDS, The Global Fund, FHI 360 and the National Department of Health. The survey asked respondents whether they would get the vaccine as well as questions vaccine safety and misinformation. Continue reading

Restoring nature ‘the test of our generation’: UN General Assembly President

Stepping up global efforts to combat land degradation is the only way to safeguard food and water security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ward against future threats to health and the environment, the UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir told ambassadors at a high-level dialogue on desertification, land degradation and drought meeting in New York on Monday.

By 2050, global crop yields are estimated to fall by 10%, with some suffering up to a 50% reduction.  This will lead to a sharp 30% rise in world food prices, threatening progress on hunger and nutrition, as well as a myriad of associated development goals.

Restoring nature is the test of our generation and indeed of this multilateral institution. This is the challenge the UN was born to meet,” he stated. “If we upscale land action today we can safeguard global food and water security, reduce emissions, conserve biodiversity and guard against future systemic health and environmental risks. Put simply, soil is the solution.” More

Landmark G7 agreement pledges 870 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

“Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines represents the clearest pathway out of this pandemic for all of us — children included, and commitments announced by G7 members…are an important step in this direction”, the Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Henrietta Fore, said in a statement, on Sunday, at the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations’ commitment to immediately share at least 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, supporting global access and helping to end the acute phase of the pandemic.

Building on the momentum of the G20 Global Health Summit and the Gavi COVAX AMC Summit, in a landmark agreement at the G7 Summit – underway in Cornwall, United Kingdom – the global leaders made the pledge, with the aim of delivering at least half by the end of 2021

The G-7 leaders also reaffirmed their support for the UN-led equitable vaccine distribution initiative COVAX, calling it “the primary route for providing vaccines to the poorest countries”. More

Ocean-driven security challenges in the Pacific

To address the ocean-driven and climate security challenges in the Pacific, the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF)-funded Climate Security in the Pacific project is taking decisive climate actions to build resilience and secure a sustainable future.

Implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the initiative is focusing on empowering low-lying atoll nations, in particular Tuvalu, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Kiribati.

A collaborative action to improve and understand ocean-driven security challenges, promote sustainable development and management practices, and maintain good ocean health, are essential for the wellbeing of the planet. More

New WHO guidance aims to stamp out rights violations in mental health services

Globally, mental health care mainly continues to be provided in psychiatric hospitals, and rights abuses and coercive practices remain all too common, according to the new guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), published on Thursday, calls for providing mental health care that respects human rights and focuses on recovery.

The guidance recommends that mental health provision should be located in the community and include support for daily living, such as facilitating access to accommodation, as well as education and employment services.  More

Security Council urged to bring multilateralism ‘alive’, to tackle serious global challenges

Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that without “global cooperation based on agreed rules” we risk “the law of the jungle, where problems don’t get solved”.

“Every day we see the cost of the absence of multilateral action: reduced access to vaccines, insufficient climate action, peace and security crises that fester”, he said.

Climate change and biodiversity loss have reached existential levels, the EU envoy pointed out.  He called UN Summits in Kunming and Glasgow, later this year, “a real test of the multilateral system”, underscoring the need that they produce “real outcomes, in line with the scale and urgency of the problem”.

To give impetus to the success of the Summits, he hoped the Council would pass a resolution on the increasingly evident link between climate change and growing insecurity.  More

Secretary General’s message for the 100-day countdown to International day of Peace 2021 – “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”

Every year on 21 September, the United Nations invites people around the world to celebrate peace by observing 24 hours of ceasefire and non-violence.

As we strive to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic and reimagine a better future for people and planet, this year’s theme is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.”

Peace is the foundation of that recovery. The global vaccination effort cannot advance amidst armed conflict.

Nor can we build a sustainable, resilient, peaceful world while we are at war with nature. Recovery efforts offer an opportunity to transform our relationship with our planet and our environment. Continue reading

Sustaining Papua New Guinea’s Blue Economy

Papua New Guinea’s marine environment is vast and diverse, covering approximately 1.6 million square kilometres. It lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle, with the highest coral diversity in the world. Papua New Guinea’s abundant ocean resources contain significant potential to catalyse new economic opportunities for nearly ten percent of the population that live within one kilometre of the sea.

For 2021, World Ocean Day on 8 June – and Coral Triangle Day on 9 June – is raising awareness and support for the global movement to protect at least 30% of the world’s lands, waters, and ocean by 2030.

Coastal populations are growing rapidly, placing pressure on coastal and marine resources which are essential for income, food, medicines, cultural values, and physical protection from severe weather,” said UNDP Resident Representative for Papua New Guinea, Mr Dirk Wagener. More

UNFPA launches survivor-centred response to gender-based violence survivors in Papua New Guinea

Through the financial support of Zonta International, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Papua New Guinea Country Office in coordination with Milne Bay Provincial Health Authority (PHA) – launched the project “Strengthening national health sector capacity to deliver survivor-centred response to gender-based violence survivors in Papua New Guinea”.

The two-year project was launched at Alotau Provincial Hospital on June 2, 2021 and is aimed at providing quality essential services including long term recovery for women and girls who experience violence in Papua New Guinea. 

The project is expected to directly benefit over 150,000 people in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and in Milne Bay provinces of Papua New Guinea. More