Author Archives: cigisurrao

WFP’s Pacific Humanitarian Air Service flies medical supplies to Vanuatu in support of the Government’s COVID-19 response

As logistics and supply chains remain disrupted across the Pacific region impacting the movement of critical supplies, on 25 March, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) – on behalf of WHO, UNFPA, UNDP, UN in Pacific and the Government of New Zealand – transported approximately 5000 kg of COVID-19 medical cargo, including oxygen concentrators and other vital supplies to Vanuatu.

“We are pleased that our Pacific Humanitarian Air Service continues to be the lifeline filling in the gaps le ft by commercial supply chain disruptions. The impacts of the COVID-19 are still being strongly felt across the Pacific, and with the support of our UN and government partners, we are able to move life-saving medical cargo, when and where it is needed,” said Carlos Veloso, Country Director a.i. of WFP’s Pacific Multi-Country Office. Continue reading

Dimming the lights for a brighter future

Noting that climate disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution threaten lives, jobs and health the world over, the UN chief said on Saturday that it was essential “to make peace with nature.”

“Without nature’s help, we cannot thrive or even survive on this planet Earth”, Secretary-General António Guterres underscored in his message for Earth Hour, commemorated annually on the last Saturday of March.

“It’s time to re-evaluate and reset our relationship with nature,” he continued, describing 2022 as “a year to change course.”

In what he dubbed a “make-or-break” year, the Secretary-General encouraged everyone to let their actions and voices send a clear message to leaders everywhere: “Now is the time to be bold and ambitious”.

Let’s show the world that we are determined to protect the one home we all share,” he concluded. More

UN chief condemns attacks on civilian facilities in Saudi Arabia and Yemen

Recent escalation of the conflict in Yemen drew strong condemnation from Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday.

“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about reports of ongoing airstrikes in Hudaydah city and the targeting of Hudaydah’s ports, which provide a critical humanitarian lifeline for the Yemeni population,” the UN chief’s spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a statement.

Over 23 million Yemenis face hunger, disease, and other life-threatening risks as the country’s basic services and economy are collapsing, the UN Office for Humanitarian Coordination (OCHA) had said. More

Guterres strongly condemns DPR Korea long-range ballistic missile launch

The UN chief on Thursday strongly condemned the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more commonly known as North Korea, its first such long-range test, since 2017. 

In a statement, issued by his Spokesperson, Secretary-General António Guterres called the move “another breach” of DPRK’s 2018 self-imposed moratorium that is in “clear violation of Security Council resolutions.”

North Korea has reportedly conducted 13 weapons launches this year, prompting concern in the United States, that leader Kim Jong-Un, is determined to make progress on developing weapons capable of carrying nuclear warheads to the US mainland.

South Korean and Japanese flight data indicated that the long-range missile flew higher and longer (670 miles, or 1,080 km) than any of North Korea’s previous tests before crashing into the sea west of Japan, according to news reports.

Japanese authorities reportedly indicated that it appeared to involve a “new type” of ballistic missile. More

WFP and The University of the South Pacific join forces to boost market monitoring capacities for food security

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and The University of the South Pacific (USP) have joined forces to strengthen local market monitoring capacities in Fiji and Samoa. This project will be done in coordination with the Ministries of Agriculture in the respective countries.

The Pacific-led project will localise research and contextualise tools for application when collecting market information. Understanding when, where and how households are economically accessing food before and after disasters is essential for the development of response policies to improve the food and nutritional security of the most vulnerable households.

“The partnership with The University of the South Pacific is a critical component of WFP’s research, assessment and monitoring programmes in the Pacific. As disasters get more frequent and intense due to climate change, providing the right support at the right time is crucial, especially to the most vulnerable populations,” said Carlos Veloso, Country Director a.i of WFP’s Pacific Multi-Country Office. More

Ukraine: Competing drafts on humanitarian assistance debated at General Assembly

The UN General Assembly met on Wednesday for its second emergency session on the Ukraine crisis since Russia invaded the country on 24 February, with two similar but different resolutions placed before delegates, addressing the unfolding humanitarian crisis.

The first resolution, put forward by Ukraine and nearly 100 Member States, Humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine, calls out Russia’s assault on Ukraine for creating the “dire” humanitarian situation, pushes for a humanitarian corridor, and demands that fighting stops and troops are withdrawn.

At the same time South Africa has proposed a rival draft text for consideration on Wednesday, entitled Humanitarian situation emanating out of the conflict in Ukraine that makes no reference in its text, to Russia. More

UN chief warns against ‘sleepwalking to climate catastrophe’

The goal to limit future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, highlighted in the Paris Agreement on climate change, and driven home in last November’s COP26, gathering in Glasgow, is now on “life support” and “in intensive care,” the UN chief told the Economist Sustainability Summit on Monday. 

Speaking via video link, Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted some of the progress made at COP 26 last year but pointing to “the enormous emissions gap” conceded that “the main problem was not solved – it was not even properly addressed.”

Keeping 1.5 alive requires a 45 per cent reduction in global emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by mid-century”, he said, highlighting how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatened to become a huge setback for the concerted effort to speed up climate action.

Instead of “hitting the brakes” on decarbonizing the global economy, the Secretary-General urged everyone to “put the pedal to the metal towards a renewable energy future.”  More

Time to negotiate end to ‘unwinnable’ war in Ukraine, Guterres declares

It’s time for a diplomatic solution to be found to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, amidst signs of hope that progress can be made to end an “unwinnable” and “indefensible” war, said the UN chief on Tuesday.

António Guterres briefed journalists outside the Security Council in New York, telling them from his own outreach efforts with “various actors”, “elements of diplomatic progress are coming into view on several key issues.”

“This war is unwinnable”, he said, in a stark message to Russia. “Sooner or later, it will have to move from the battlefield to the peace table. This is inevitable.

“The only question is: How many more lives must be lost?

Early WHO estimates indicate that the war has left 500,000 refugees with a mental disorder and around 30,000 with severe mental disorders, based on the experience of other conflict settings. More

UN prioritizes least developed countries in ‘plans…investments and…actions’ – Guterres

The vulnerabilities of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) may be different today than they were 50 years ago – when the UN created the category – but left unaddressed, the results are the same, the UN chief told a dedicated meeting on Thursday.

“Inequality. Hunger. Poverty. Weak infrastructure. Competition for dwindling resources. Insecurity and conflict,” Secretary-General António Guterres elaborated in his statement to the Fifth LDC (LDC5) Conference in the General Assembly Hall.

“The hopes, dreams, lives and livelihoods of one-eighth of humanity rest between the pages of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA),” he added, zeroing-in on the “lifelines” it provides to help short-term LDC recovery, achieve the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) in the medium term, and “develop and prosper” over the long-term. More

UN SDG Action Awards

The UN SDG Action Awards are back!

The UN SDG Action Campaign is looking for initiatives and individuals from around the world that Flip the script and rethink how we live and what progress and development look like.

Are YOU or is someone you know the next winner? Award-winning initiatives are those that inspire, mobilize and connect people to drive action towards a more sustainable future on a healthy planet. Award-winning individuals are changemakers who inspire and empower others through their actions.

Apply or nominate by 1 May 2022 for a chance to be celebrated at the Awards Ceremony during the Global Week to Act 4 SDGs in September! More