Secretary-General’s annual report reveals world being tested “to the limit” |
“The health, social, economic and human rights crises triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic have underscored the importance of multilateral cooperation – and put it to the test,” Secretary-General António Guterres said.
From saving people and jobs to helping governments ensure a sustainable and equitable recovery, the UN has played a central role in the response to the pandemic.
It has helped some 160 countries fight the health, humanitarian, social and economic impacts of the virus and has helped more than 260 million students access distance learning.
At the same time, to demystify misinformation about COVID-19, the UN Verified initiative has released more than 1,000 pieces of digital content in at least 50 languages.
Protect people around the world
Because human rights are central to the work of the United Nations to promote peace and security, social stability, public health and a healthy environment, the organization has supported 8,594 victims of contemporary forms of slavery in 23 countries, in partnership with 89 states to reform discriminatory laws and assisted 40,000 victims of torture in 78 countries.
In the report, UN Head of Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo described the pandemic as “a test of political stress”, which “also confirmed that political will to make and maintain peace can overcome no any obstacle, especially if there is support from the world community. ”
The UN has also helped 81,000 stateless people to acquire or confirm their identity and supported 82.5 million people fleeing war, famine and persecution.
The head of UN peacekeeping, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, stressed the importance of “our collective dedication”, saying that the people “who depend on us expect no less”.
The Organization continued to promote evidence-based policies that help states recover from the pandemic while advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UN has helped five million people find jobs in 28 crisis-affected countries, helped 1.2 million vulnerable people in 13 states with secure tenure, and helped 24 million people access financial services in 22 countries.
And on the ground, resident coordinators and United Nations country teams have assisted more than 240 million people with essential services, 36 million with essential water and sanitation supplies, and 120 million with social protection programs.
Its rapid and integrated support to Africa’s COVID response focused on health and humanitarian responses as well as socio-economic assistance to protect vulnerable populations.
The Organization also provided early policy guidance and launched the Africa Knowledge Center on COVID-19 and Africa Dashboard Digital One-Stop Shops for verified information and data.
By mobilizing global climate action, from scientific reports to public advocacy and private negotiation, the UN has helped create a growing coalition for net zero emissions by mid-century and educate the investment community on makes fossil fuels riskier and more expensive. than renewable energies.
In addition, the Ambition Climate Summit last December delivered plans and commitments from 75 countries on their intentions to reduce global emissions by 45% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, in accordance with the Paris Agreement. .
Fight against crime
The pandemic has also amplified global exposure to crime, corruption, drugs and terrorism, with stay-at-home orders heightening the risks of domestic violence and online sexual exploitation.
Greater inclusion and better access to justice have become more vital than ever over the past year.
The UN has helped achieve this goal by contributing to COVID-19 preparedness in detention centers, which has improved detention conditions and basic services for detainees and increased its activities in line to strengthen support for cybercrime, with a focus on online child sexual abuse and exploitation.