Global perspective, human stories
As conflict escalates in Sudan, the need for humanitarian support keeps growing as people “die and suffer”, a senior UN aid official has said.Edem Wosornu, Director of the Operations and Advocacy Division at UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, recently visited the country and neighbouring Chad.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than two-thirds of hospitals in Sudan remain out of service amid increasing reports of attacks on health facilities.Ms. Wosornu spoke to UN News's Abdelmonem Makki about the humanitarian efforts underway in Sudan and ongoing operations in Niger, in the wake of the attempted coup.
The continuing battle for control of Sudan between rival militaries has had a destabilizing effect on the contested area of Abyei claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan, for both the UN mission there, UNIFSA, and the civilians they are mandated to protect.That's according to Major General Benjamin Sawyerr, acting head and Force Commander for UNIFSA, who said the months-long clashes have seen close to 6,000 flee into Abyei and forced the mission to switch all its supply routes to South Sudan, increasing costs and logistical challenges.
Climate-related court cases around the world are growing fast, and on Thursday the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) together with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, highlighted the trend in their new Global Climate Litigation Report. Andrew Raine, Head of the Frontiers in Environmental Law Unit of UNEP, spoke to UN News's Anton Uspensky about the report's findings, which show cases are surging in the Global South with human rights emerging as a powerful driver behind climate litigation.
As the UN weather agency WMO declared on Thursday that July is likely to be the hottest on record, UN News reporter Katy Dartford had other problems on her mind: filing her news bulletin from Greece, where forest fires have been raging.Speaking from Corfu - where the wildfires have thankfully calmed down a bit since Monday – Katy puts the WMO's announcement into context.Here she is now, talking to Daniel Johnson.
As technology becomes increasingly accessible across the globe, more must be done to ensure its use in education remains equitable, scalable, and sustainable.That's according to Manos Antoninis, Director of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, produced by the UN agency specializing in education, science and culture, UNESCO.In an interview for UN News, he's been outlining the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in education, how to improve safety online, the future of artificial intelligence (AI), and describing how online education resources can be tailored to a more diverse, global audience.Jordan Larrabee spoke with Mr. Antoninis just ahead of the launch of this year's GEM Report in Uruguay on Wednesday.
Climate-induced disasters in Asia and the Pacific have become increasingly frequent and severe, resulting in loss of lives and livelihoods, hampering the post-pandemic recovery and potentially derailing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The effects of devastating floods, severe droughts and rising sea levels are not confined within national borders; they have international implications too, including for trade, communal tensions and forced migration. Climate change is only making things worse. Against this backdrop, Vibhu Mishra from UN News spoke to Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), who outlined how countries can reduce disaster risk, and strengthen climate action.
Artificial Intelligence may be the buzzword of the day, but before we know it, two new concepts may soon steal the limelight: Disruptive-tech and Artificial General Intelligence. That's according to Janet Adams, chief operating officer of AI experts SingularityNet, who maintains that these up-and-coming technologies have massive potential to combat inequality, in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda. To find out more, UN News's Elma Okic caught up with Ms. Adams at the AI For Good Summit in Geneva earlier this month.
Nelson Mandela was a giant of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the country's first democratically elected President, but he also had a wonderful sense of humour.That is just one of the recollections of American politician and activist Andrew Young, a former US Ambassador to the UN and friend of the man who was affectionately known as Madiba, his Xhosa clan name.Mr. Young was US Ambassador in the late 1970s, when Mr. Mandela was still serving out a lifetime sentence for treason before being released in 1990 after 27 years in prison.Mr. Young, 91, was back at the UN on Thursday for the official commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day. He spoke to UN News's Dianne Penn.
The artificial sweetener aspartame that's widely used in fizzy drinks has just been classified as “possibly” cancer-causing by UN scientists - but there's no cause for alarm.That's the key message from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), whose assessment of aspartame was carried out on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO), by an expert panel of nutritional epidemiology and nutritional toxicology scientists.With more details on what these findings mean for all of us, UN News's Daniel Johnson spoke to IARC's Mary Schubauer-Berigan, who's head of the agency's Monographs Programme.
As the deadline to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 approaches, urgent action is needed to accelerate efforts.The latest report by UNAIDS highlights the critical role of strong political leadership, and a comprehensive response, to address emerging challenges and ensure progress towards achieving this ambitious global goal.UN News's Anshu Sharma in India spoke to Eamonn Murphy, UNAIDS Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.Warning against complacency, he said countries must leverage innovative solutions that are now available, and modernize their response, to target the people most at risk today.
Fresh allegations of crimes against humanity in Sudan's Darfur are the latest indication that the world is failing to live up to the promise of “never again” forged in the ashes of the Second World War.Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, sat down with UN News's Sandra Miller to warn against risk factors for atrocity crimes in a rising number of countries, including Sudan, as the brutal conflict between rival militaries continues there.She also described the framework of analysis for atrocity crimes which allows the UN to assess situations and sound the alarm, with hate speech as both a key indicator and trigger of genocide.
A new publication released today by UNAIDS shows that bringing the pandemic to a close by 2030, is possible, provided governments make the right political and financial choices.The Path that Ends AIDS, contains data and case studies which highlight the way out, and shows that countries and leaders who have committed to the fight, are achieving extraordinary results.For more insight on the new report and how governments and communities can collaborate to end the disease once and for all, UN News's Pauline Batista spoke to Dr. Angeli Achrekar, Deputy Executive Director for the Programme Branch at UNAIDS.
Sudan crisis: Thousands continue to flee Darfurs seeking safety in Chad, warn UN aid teams Financial distress affects eight in 10 of Ukraine's displaced, warns UN migration agencyUN rights chief calls for respect as States gather to discuss Quran burning stunt
Average global temperatures reached record levels on land and sea last month, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday.The WMO announcement follows a report from the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service declaring record global temperatures that extended into the first week of July, breaking the previous record set in August 2016.There's little doubt among UN scientists that higher-than-normal temperatures will come at a cost, with negative impacts expected in fishing grounds and knock-on climate emergencies, such as hurricanes, tropical cyclones, heavy rains and drought. For more insight on the global temperature spike and a look ahead to weather trends for the rest of the year, UN News's Nancy Sarkis spoke to Dr. Omar Baddour, who's Chief of Climate Monitoring at WMO in Geneva.
Joan Baez needs no introduction. The legendary artist and peace icon has been inspiring generations of activists for decades to stand up against war, poverty and injustice.While at the UN in Geneva, she sat down with UN News's Daniel Johnson to talk about her earliest encounter with the UN and which of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) resonates the most with her. She pointed to the climate crisis as today's most pressing struggle, warning that “if we don't get it, it's going to get us”.The performer famous for her era-defining rendition of the protest song “We Shall Overcome” also spoke about why in the face of conflict and despair, she continues to choose action and “do her part”.
Universal access to safer water, sanitation and hygiene could save 1.4 million lives: WHOUN-brokered grain and fertilizer accord vital to help alleviate crippling cost-of-living crisis: UNCTAD chief12-month extension of Syria cross-border aid corridor ‘a critical step' UN relief chief
The cost-of-living crisis continues to affect the world's poorest families, which is all the more reason to redouble efforts to push for grain and fertilizer to leave key Black Sea ports, top UN economist Rebeca Grynspan said on Tuesday.Ms. Grynspan, who is Secretary-General of the UN trade and development body UNCTAD, said although “there are things that are very difficult to solve… the UN will not spare any effort in trying to make this continue working for the future”. Before 18 July – when a 60-day extension of the Black Sea Initiative by Russia is set to expire – Ms. Grynspan told UN News's Daniel Johnson she'd likely head to Moscow to continue negotiations.
In 2020 alone, over 30 million people were displaced from their homes due to weather-related events, mainly devastating droughts. But those who cross national borders to flee climate change-related disasters are not recognized as refugees under international law.The first-ever UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the context of climate change, Ian Fry, sat down with UN News's Dominika Tomaszewska-Mortimer as he prepared to present his report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva this week. He talked about his call for full legal protection for people displaced by the climate crisis and how the private sector could help finance a “loss and damage fund” to support countries buckling under the effects of our warming planet. Special Rapporteurs and other independent rights experts are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. They are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work.