#YemenWar; #ChildrenKilledOrMaimed; #UNICEF; #UNPeaceAndSecurity
New York/Canadian-Media: Another “shameful milestone” has been reached in the conflict in Yemen with 10,000 children killed or maimed since fighting started in March 2015, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.
Message: A doctor checks a young boy’s artificial limbs at a hospital in Aden, Yemen. Image credit: © UNICEF Yemen
That’s the equivalent of four children every day, UNICEF spokesperson James Elder said. Urging all parties to the conflict to stop the fighting, he added,
According to UNICEF, more than 11 million children, (four in five) are in need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen. Some 400,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition, more than two million are out of school and two-thirds of teachers, (more than 170,000), have not received a regular salary for more than four years.
Some 1.7 million children are also now internally displaced and 15 million people (more than half of whom are children) do not have access to safe water, sanitation, or hygiene.
“At current funding levels and without an end to the fighting, UNICEF simply cannot reach all these children. There's no way to say this simply without international support, more children, those who bear absolutely no responsibility for this conflict will die,” Mr. Elder warned.
$235 million needed
UNICEF “urgently needs $235 million to continue its lifesaving work” until mid-2022, Mr. Elder said, while emphasizing that the organization has made a positive impact.
It has supported the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in 4,000 primary health care facilities and 130 therapeutic feeding centers; provided emergency cash transfers to 1.5 million households every quarter – benefitting around nine million - and provided safe drinking water to more than five million.
It has also delivered COVID vaccines through the UN-partnered COVAX initiative, provided psychosocial support, mine risk education and direct assistance for the most vulnerable children, and trained and deployed thousands of community health workers.
This year alone it has helped 620,000 children access formal and non-formal education and provided vaccines for preventable diseases - including a polio campaign that reached more than five million children.
However, Mr. Elder reiterated the severity of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, where the economy is in a critical condition and GDP has dropped by 40 per cent since 2015.
“Huge numbers of people have lost their jobs, and those who are still working quite frequently go unpaid,” he said.
Displacement and the destruction of schools have meant classrooms can have as many as 200 children in them. Despite this, unpaid teachers, are “turning up to those classrooms day after day,” he said.
One doctor’s story
Emphasizing the “selfless commitment of everyday Yemenis” the UNICEF spokesperson said he had met a paediatrician caring for severely malnourished babies: “She was treating a child whose life was hanging in the balance just a week earlier.
With UNICEF supplies, this paediatrician saved the little girl’s life. The pediatrician had studied for a decade, including earning a master’s degree, and practiced medicine for eight years.
“She had not been paid once in 2021. Yet she continues to serve her community” he stated. According to Mr. Elder, “people are out of options, which means they are forced to sell everything from jewellery to cooking pots, just to feed their own children”.
Children sit in front of a house damaged by an air strike, inside the old city of Sana'a, Yemen. (file). Image credit: © UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi
Children the ‘biggest losers’
The bottom line is that “children in Yemen are not starving because of a lack of food. They are starving because their families cannot afford food".
“They are starving because adults continue to wage a war in which children are the biggest losers”, he stated.
Funding is critical and donor support is clearly in line with lives saved. However, without more funding, UNICEF will have to stop or scale down its emergency assistance, Mr. Elder made clear.
#DisarmamentAffairs; #PeaceOperations; #ChildrenAndNewTechnologies; #CASA; #RECSA
New York/Canadian-Media: The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs told the Security Council on Wednesday that Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), in the context of peacekeeping operations, are a "threat" that can "exacerbate conflict, render arms embargoes ineffective, endanger ‘blue helmets’, humanitarian workers and local populations, and complicate peace agreements."
Small arms and light weapons are collected and sorted for destruction at a facility in Serbia in 2017. Image credit: UNDP/SEESAC
Izumi Nakamitsu was briefing the Security Council on the threat posed by illicit flows of small arms and light weapons in the context of UN peacekeeping operations.
According to her, these arms “remain a defining factor in undermining peace and security” and have “deeply aggravated situations for vulnerable populations already suffering from conflict.”
Ms. Nakamitsu pointed to a growing number of resolutions that take account of weapons and ammunition management, saying it “is indicative of the UN’s role in supporting to the control of those weapons to build and sustain peace.”
She highlighted the threat of inadequately maintained stockpiles, saying they constitute “serious humanitarian hazards and are a known source of weapons diversion”.
The High Representative also encouraged the Council to include this issue as part of conflict prevention measures.
Children and new technologies
Ms. Nakamitsu told Council Members that “children continue to bear the brunt of armed conflict”, often enabled and prolonged by the widespread availability of weapons.
Emerging technologies that allow the production of small arms “may pose novel challenges and opportunities to the effectiveness of small arms control measures”, she said, and “should be seriously considered”.
She pointed to a shift in arms purchases, in particular their parts and components, through the so-called Darknet and online platforms, resulting in a significant increase in the use of postal and courier services, making detection and criminal investigations more difficult.
In her briefing, Ms. Nakamitsu highlighted two initiatives launched by the United Nations.
Firstly, partners of the UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) group, that are developing guidance on country-level approaches. Second, the Saving Lives Entity (SALIENT), that has begun allocating grants to address the issue.
She assured that the UN will continue to advocate for the universalization of the Firearms Protocol and the Arms Trade Treaty, and the full implementation of instruments such as the Programme of Action on Small Arms and the International Tracing Instrument.
The Executive Secretary of the Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA), Lieutenant General Badreldin Elamin Abdelgadir, and the Senior Researcher at the Small Arms Survey, David Lochhead, also briefed the Council.
#ILO; #Vilenece, #Harassment; #Convention; #Covid19Pandemic
Geneva/Canadia-Media:The International Labour Organization (ILO) is launching a global campaign to promote the ratification and implementation of Convention No. 190 on violence and harassment in the workplace, ILO reported.
The campaign aims to explain in simple terms what the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190) is, the issues it covers and how it seeks to address violence and harassment in the world of work.
The public can take part by downloading assets from the ILO campaign hub and sharing them on social media.
The global campaign will also reach out to governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, civil society and private sector companies, as well as policy makers, businesses and partners. Celebrities will also lend their voices to amplify the campaign messages.
Violence and harassment at work takes a range of forms and leads to physical, psychological, sexual and economic harm. Since the Convention was adopted the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the issue further, with many forms of work-related violence and harassment being reported across countries since the outbreak began, particularly against women and vulnerable groups.
Together with Recommendation No. 206 , Convention No. 190 recognizes the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, and provides a common framework for action. It provides the first internationally-accepted definition of violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment.
#CentralAfrica; #PeaceAndSecurity; #humanitarianCrisis; #AsymmetricWar
New York/Canadian-Media: Defense forces, soldiers from nearby countries and other security personnel have been fighting an “asymmetric war” against armed groups, sparking an “unprecedented humanitarian crisis”, the top UN official in the country told the Security Council on Wednesday.
UN peacekeepers patrol Bakouma in the Central African Republic.
Image credit: MINUSCA/Herve Cyriauqe Serefio
Mankeur Ndiaye, CAR Special Representative and Head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA) voiced his concern over a military counter-offensive against the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) – an alliance of armed groups that launched attacks against forces loyal to the Government ahead of the presidential vote in December, which returned incumbent Faustin-Archange Touadéra to power on 4 January.
“The result has been an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with new waves of displacement and 57 per cent of the population in need of humanitarian assistance”, he said, addressing ambassadors in French, inside the Council chamber.
Widespread rights abuses
The Special Representative underscored that recent widespread rights abuses committed by State forces embolden armed groups, exacerbate fears of radicalization and compromise any chance of establishing trust between citizens and their leaders.
“This is a new trend that, if not careful, will ruin the meagre progress that has been hard won in the quest for social cohesion and national reconciliation”, he warned, adding that bilateral forces would be useful only if they contributed to protecting civilians from armed groups and creating an environment conducive to a lasting political solution.
Mr. Ndiaye also reported that conflict-related sexual violence in the first quarter of this year is five times higher than that of the last quarter of 2020.
Noting the development of a special investigative commission on abuses committed by CAR State forces and their partners, he said that MINUSCA intends to continue documenting rights violations to be reported publicly, to “preserve a framework for frank, transparent and constructive dialogue” with the authorities.
‘Scourge’ of IEDs
The looting and militarization of civilian infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals, hinder already inadequate access to basic services, and undermine the protection of civilians and humanitarian assistance, and peace and stability efforts, the MINUSCA chief said.
He also drew the Council’s attention to the frequency of explosive devices being deployed, which have restricted peacekeepers’ movement, hindered economic activities and reduce the mobility of MINUSCA and humanitarian actors.
“We have shared our concerns with the relevant national authorities and have encouraged the ratification of the relevant international conventions to have a mechanism for preventing and combating this scourge”, Mr. Ndiaye said.
The Mission’s mission
Pointing to the presence of international forces along with MINUSCA as diminishing the mission’s effectiveness, the UN official said that with the Council’s support, he would take “immediate measures” to create the optimal conditions to improve efficiency and enhance the performance of UN ‘blue helmets’.
He told Ambassadors that MINUSCA had received assurances that the President had instructed CAR military leaders to explore new ways of working with the mission.
Meanwhile, citing incidents against peacekeepers on 30 May and 19 June, the MINUSCA chief underscored that the safety of UN troops and personnel remains “an imperative”.
He also noted that hate speech and incitement to violence against MINUSCA and CAR partners have become “increasingly strident the past few months”.
“Today more than ever, we need the Council's support”, he said, stressing that multifaceted threats endanger MINUSCA’s mandate and put peacekeepers and UN personnel at greater risk.
Mr. Ndiaye thanked the Security Council, Angola, the African Union (AU) and other international partners for their support and appealed for financial assistance to fill an estimated $9 million gap for local elections, early in 2022.
Noting that those elections should contribute significantly to decentralized governance, local development and the participation of many more citizens in political life, he said that President Touadéra and others in the political process have committed to complete the electoral cycle.
“We must seize this new opportunity to harmonize regional initiatives and encourage the new Government to mobilize the support of all international partners for the success of the inclusive political dialogue”, concluded the Special Representative.
#ProPalestinianDemonstrations, #GazaViolence; #Israel, #CIJA; #HolocaustSurvivors; #Ottawa
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: A virtual event was hosted on Sunday by a prominent Canadian Jewish advocacy group amid continued violence between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Gaza,
Image: Gaza violence. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) said that the event was attended by almost 1,000 people with prayers from students and Holocaust survivors as well as remarks from Ohad Kaynar, the deputy head of mission at Israel's embassy in Canada.
Large crowds were seen on Saturday particularly in Canada's cities including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver amid a weekend of pro-Palestinian demonstrations.
According to the Palestinian medics, Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City on Sunday flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people.
#Myanmar; #EconomicCollapse; #Covid19Pandemic; #FoodInsecurity
The turmoil following the military coup in Myanmar, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 could result in up to 25 million people – nearly half of the country’s population, living in poverty by early next year, a United Nations report said on Friday.
That level of impoverishment has not been seen in the country since 2005, and the economy is facing significant risks of a collapse, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said in its report, COVID-19, Coup d’état and Poverty: Compounding Negative Shocks and their Impact on Human Development in Myanmar.
“In the space of 12 years, from 2005 to 2017, Myanmar managed to nearly halve the number of people living in poverty. However, the challenges of the past 12 months have put all of these hard-won development gains at risk,” Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, said.
The study also noted that as economic, health and political crises affect people and communities differently, vulnerable groups are more likely to suffer, a fact particularly relevant for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and ethnic minorities, in particular, the Rohingya community.
According to the report, by the end of 2020, 83 per cent of Myanmar’s households reported that their incomes had been, on average, slashed almost in half due to the pandemic. As a result, the number of people living below the poverty line was estimated to have increased by 11 per cent points.
The situation worsened further with the 1 February military takeover and the ensuing security and human rights crisis, with projections indicating a further 12 per cent point increase in poverty as a result.
In the nearly three months since, over 750 people – including children – are reported to have been killed by security forces in a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests, countless more have been wounded and thousands arrested.
Furthermore, clashes between Myanmar serity forces and regional armed groups have resulted in fresh displacements in several parts of the country, as well as forcing many to seek refuge outside its borders.
Prior to the latest crises, nearly a million people in Myanmar (identified at the start of 2021) are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection
#UN; #WFP; #DRC
UN/Canadian-Media: The World Food Program (WFP) has provided further information on the deadly convoy attack in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Monday in which Italy’s Ambassador to the country, his bodyguard, and a WFP driver were killed.
Goma, capital of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Image credit: MONUSCO/Abel Kavanagh
UN’s Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) will be leading a detailed review into the incident, the agency said in an update on Tuesday.
Forced to disembark Ambassador Luca Attanasio and his security escort, Vittorio Iacovacci, were among seven people travelling in two WFP vehicles from Goma, capital of North Kivu province, to visit one of the agency’s school feeding programmes in Rutshuru, approximately 40 kilometres away.
The group left Goma at approximately 9:00 AM, local time, on Monday. An armed group stopped the vehicles around 10:15 AM, forcing all the passengers to disembark. One of the drivers, Mustapha Milambo, was killed at this time.
“The remaining six passengers were then forced into the surrounding bush at gunpoint where there was an exchange of fire”, WFP said.
“During the exchange of fire, the Italian Ambassador, Luca Attanasio and his security escort, Vittorio Iacovacci, were mortally injured and subsequently died.”
The other passengers, all WFP staff, are safe and accounted for. They include the agency’s Deputy Country Director, Rocco Leone; School Feeding Programme Assistant, Fidele Zabandora; Security Officer, Mansour Rwagaza, and the second driver, Claude Mukata.
Tribute to a brave staff member Mr. Milambo, the WFP driver, was buried on Tuesday, according to the agency’s Executive Director, David Beasley, who commemorated the murdered staff member in a post on Twitter.
“Mustapha was laid to rest today in DRC, following yesterday's attack that took his life”, he wrote. “For 16 years, he served with commitment, dedication and bravery as a @WFP driver. He will be greatly missed by us all. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers”.
The UN Secretary-General has strongly condemned the attack and has called on the Congolese authorities to swiftly investigate this “heinous targeting” of a UN joint field mission, according to a statement issued on Monday by his Spokesperson.
#ChallengingHistories; #Slvery; #BeyondLongShadow
UN/Canadian-Media: On Holocaust Remembrance Day Department of Global Communications presents Live Discussion Series.
Beyond the long shadow: engaging with difficult histories is a live discussion series organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications.
The series is organized by the Remember Slavery Programme, the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, and the Outreach Programme on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the United Nations.
The aim of the collaborative series is to develop a deeper understanding of the legacies of these painful histories – and through examining the past, consider how best to build a world that is just, where all can live in dignity and peace.
Left to right: Shackles that bound the enslaved - a tragic reminder of the transatlantic slave trade (UN Photo/Mark Garten) Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Extermination and Death Camp (UN Photo/Evan Schneider) Survivor Innocente Nyirahabimana, she was 12 when her family was murdered during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda Image credit: (Photo: Myriam Abdelaziz)
Remember Slavery Program
For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history.
Every year on 25 March, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to honor and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. The International Day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.
In order to more permanently honour the victims, a memorial has been erected at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The unveiling took place on 25 March 2015. The winning design for the memorial, The Ark of Return by Rodney Leon, an American architect of Haitian descent, was selected through an international competition and announced in September 2013.
The Ark of Return, the Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, located at the Visitors' Plaza of UN Headquarters in New York. Image credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
utreach Program on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the United Nations 2020 marks the 26th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, one of the darkest chapters in human history. More than one million people – overwhelmingly Tutsi, but also moderate Hutu, Twa and others who opposed the genocide – were systematically killed in less than three months. On this Day, we honour those who were murdered and reflect on the suffering of those who survived.
26th Anniversary Commemoration
"We must say no to hate speech and xenophobia, and reject the forces of polarization, nationalism and protectionism. Only by recognizing that we are all one human family sharing the same planet will we be able to rise to the many global challenges that confront us – from COVID-19 to climate change, " said Secretary General in his message.
Due to COVID-19, the traditional commemorative meeting of the General Assembly to mark the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda was postponed. However, the public is invited to reflect on 7 April on one of the darkest chapters in human history when more than one million people – overwhelmingly Tutsi, but also moderate Hutu, Twa and others who opposed the genocide – were systematically killed in less than three months and to honour those who were murdered and reflect on the suffering of those who survived.
The public is also encouraged to join the virtual observance on 7 April, featuring messages by the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly, and to share United Nations social media cards along with their own messages of solidarity.
#UN; #HolocaustRecovery; #HolocaustReconstruction; #antisemitism; #Disinformation
UN/Canadian-Media: This year’s International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust (27 Jan) focuses on the measures taken in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust to begin the recovery and reconstitution of individuals, community, and systems of justice. Against a global context of rising antisemitism and increasing levels of disinformation and hate speech, Holocaust education and remembrance is even more urgent, as is the development of an historical literacy to counter repeated attempts to deny and distort the history of the Holocaust, UN reports said.
Image credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Secretary-General António Guterres visited the exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage for the commemoration of the 81st Anniversary of Kristallnacht.
Outreach Program on the Holocaust
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was established 15 years ago by United Nations Assembly Resolution 60/7, with a simple and stark aim: to remind the world of the perspective that the Holocaust provides relevant to preventing future genocides.
Over the years the Program has established a global network of partners and developed versatile initiatives including educational resources, professional development programs, a file series, panel discussions and exhibitions.
#UN; #GlobalCeasefire; #PoliticalStressTest; #CovidRepurcussions
UN/Canadian-Media: Since September, the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened, infecting close to 100 million people, costing more than $3 trillion in lost wages and intensifying obstacles for peace and security around the world, the UN political chief told the Security Council on Monday.
A woman and her daughter walk past the remains of destroyed homes during the March 2019 attack on Ogossagou village by armed Dogon men in which over 150 civilians were killed. Image credit: © UNICEF/Seyba Keïta
And while the pandemic has “hindered diplomatic action and complicated our peacemaking efforts”, Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs said via videoconference that it has “amplified the prevention challenge” and aggravated underlying dynamics of armed conflicts.
Moreover, “new strains of the virus are poised to unleash more severe waves of infection at a time when health systems and social safety networks are already on the brink”, she told the meeting on the implementation of the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire.
The pandemic’s impact on peace and security is a “pressing concern”, Ms. DiCarlo said.
By upending lives and economies, challenging community relations and undermining trust in the institutions meant to address its fallout, she maintained that “the pandemic has exacerbated inequality and corruption; bred misinformation, stigmatization, and hate speech; and created new flashpoints for tension and increased risks of instability”.
The situation is especially precarious for women, youth and marginalized populations, who are particularly vulnerable to income loss and escalating gender-based and domestic violence.
Global ceasefire call
In pointing to the momentum generated by the global ceasefire so nations can focus instead on fighting COVID-19, Ms. DiCarlo cited Libya as an example of how sustained political engagement, more unified support from the international community and commitment by the parties can lead to tangible progress.
She also spoke about the opportunity it has brought about for Afghan peace negotiations to “end decades of instability and conflict”, disarmament efforts underway in Mozambique, and hope for peace in eastern Ukraine.
Notwithstanding these positive developments, some situations have witnessed dangerous escalation, such as clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus.
‘Political stress test’
“One thing is clear: The pandemic has served as a political stress test as much as a structural and public health one. It has laid bare where acute crisis is seen as an opportunity to gain advantage on the battlefield or as a pretext to perpetuate or entrench oppressive practices”, said Ms. DiCarlo.
But she added, “it has also confirmed that where there is real political will to make and sustain peace, almost no barrier is insurmountable, especially if there is support from the global community”.
The pandemic has served as a political stress -- UN political chief
‘Tip of the iceberg’
To date, close to 99 million people are confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus around the world, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures. Almost a quarter of them live in countries facing humanitarian or refugee crises, Humanitarian Affairst chief Mark Lowcock, said in his update.
“As the tip of the iceberg, most cases are still not in the figures”, he stated, noting that many poor countries are amidst a dangerous second wave and new and more infectious variants will make the situation worse.
Acknowledging that while vaccines “show the way out”, he said that “no one is safe until everyone is safe, and the risk that the most fragile countries are at the end of a long, slow moving queue for the vaccine imperils us all”.
Lethal secondary consequences
In assessing the economic effects of the pandemic, Mr. Lowcock highlighted a bleak picture for the most vulnerable, estimating that 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection, “almost entirely down to COVID”.
He painted a grim picture of the worst global economic contraction in 90 years; a decade of lost per capita income growth; looming sovereign debt defaults; extreme poverty rising for the first time in 20 years, triggering a steep upsurge in food insecurity and multiple famines; and disappearing public services.
“In more than 20 countries in which my office is present, disruption in routine immunization campaigns leaves millions of children vulnerable to killer diseases like measles and cholera”.
An appeal to the Council
While the humanitarian community has managed to scale up assistance, the effort has been outpaced by the growing scale of this crisis, according to Mr. Lowcock.
He appealed to the UN Ambassadors for $35 billion to support the Global Humanitarian Overview, which aims to reach 160 million people; strengthen international financial institutes that provide for their most vulnerable; and action for equitable vaccine distribution.
Today’s decisions will determine our course for years to come -- UN Humanitarian Coordinator
“The next six months will be crucial. Today’s decisions will determine our course for years to come”, he concluded.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, head of Peace Operations, told ambassadors that already complex political situations have continued to feel the strain of COVID-19 – delaying the peace process in South Sudan, limiting contacts between the two communities in Cyprus, exacerbating the political and economic situation in Lebanon and being used as a pretext to establish an unconstitutional presidential transition in the Central African Republic.
He noted that backlogs in peacekeeper rotations, due in large part to the pandemic, are now being loosened and described how UN peacekeeping has adapted to COVID, including during the drawdown in Sudan’s Darfur operation, patrols in Mali as well as in supporting host States.
Testing collective resolve
COVID-19 has also “put a spotlight on the importance of women’s leadership during crises”, said the UN peacekeeping chief, reminding that they are on the frontlines, coping with the fallout and helping to mitigate the political risk associated with the pandemic.
“The pandemic presents a test to our collective commitment to international peace and security”, spelled out Mr. Lacroix, as he saluted the “courage and tenacity” of the women and men serving in peace operations and the Council’s “strong and steadfast” support in addressing the “unprecedented challenges” to peace.
Meanwhile, Atul Khare, Under-Secretary for Operational Support, stressed the need to ensure that the necessary equipment and training modules to address COVID threats are made readily available for peacekeeping operations.
He lauded the States that have provided the capacity for “medical evacuations” and advocated for inclusive discussions on how to ensure that peacekeepers and UN police can receive COVID vaccinations in a timely manner.