Latest news and Statements

ESCWA: The Arab region faces two scenarios for 2021

    Beirut, 29 December 2020–The Arab region faces two economic scenarios for 2021: an optimistic one projecting a growth rate of 3.5% and one that is less optimistic, limiting growth prospects to 2.8%. The actual path will hinge on the ability of Arab countries to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused losses of about $140 billion for …

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Secretary-General’s message on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected communities and societies at their very core, deepening pre-existing inequalities. Even under normal circumstances, the one billion persons living with disabilities worldwide are less likely to enjoy access to education, healthcare and livelihoods or to participate and be included in the community. They are more likely to live in poverty and experience higher rates of …

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Secretary-General’s Message on World AIDS Day 1 December 2020

With the world’s attention focused on the COVID-19 crisis, World AIDS Day is a reminder of the need to maintain focus on another global pandemic that is still with us nearly 40 years after it emerged. Despite significant successes, the AIDS emergency is not over.  HIV still infects 1.7 million people each year and kills some 690 000.  And inequalities …

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Secretary-General’s Message on Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, 30 November

  More than one hundred years after the first large-scale use of chemical weapons in battle, they continue to inflict terror, suffering and death. Recent years have seen the erosion of the taboo against chemical weapons, threatening the disarmament and non-proliferation regimes. The use of chemical weapons anywhere, by anyone, under any circumstances, is intolerable and a serious violation of …

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Secretary-General’s Message on World Toilet Day 19 November

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the importance of sanitation, safe water and handwashing facilities to stop the spread of infectious diseases. Everyone should have access to hygienic, safe, sustainable sanitation. That is the only way to ensure health for all. But around the world today, 4.2 billion people are without safe sanitation. Two billion of these people …

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UNFPA appeals for USD 131.6 million for its 2021 regional response to the Syria crisis

Amman, Jordan / Cairo, Egypt – 18 November 2020 — UNFPA is appealing for a total of USD 131.6 million to fund its regional response to the Syria crisis, which spans 11.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, in addition to nearly 5.6 million refugees throughout Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt.   The appeal also includes urgent funding required to …

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Despite global COVID-19 crisis, governments uphold support for women’s and girls’ health and rights, one year after historic Summit    

    New York, 12 November 2020 — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on the health and economies of countries around the world, governments, non-governmental organizations, international financial institutions and the private sector are stepping up political, financial and in-kind support for programmes that protect the health and rights of women and girls in developing …

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Message by the Secretary-General on World Cities Day 

31 October 2020   On this World Cities Day, we recognize the extraordinary contribution made by grassroots communities in our cities and towns.    The value of communities has been brought into sharp focus during the response to COVID-19.    Cities have borne the brunt of the pandemic.    Urban areas are already home to 55 per cent of the …

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 THE SECRETARY-GENERAL  — MESSAGE ON WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY 10 October 2020

Around the world, nearly 1 billion people live with a mental disorder.  Every 40 seconds, someone dies from suicide.  And depression is now recognized as a leading cause of illness and disability among children and adolescents.   All of this was true, even before COVID-19.  We are now seeing the consequences of the pandemic on people’s mental well-being, and this …

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