Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, is urging participants at the upcoming UN climate summit to commit to protect and restore natural areas in their climate action pledges, noting that biodiversity and climate issues cannot be addressed separately. "Climate change is becoming an increasingly serious driver of biodiversity loss and ecosystems degradation - and that loss threatens to worsen climate change," Mrema says.
United Nations member countries should back Taiwan's efforts to participate in UN systems, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says, arguing that Taiwan's exclusion undermines UN efforts. A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the US has rejected Blinken's claims, warning that only China has the authority to represent Taiwan in UN forums.
Only 15% of the COVID-19 vaccines promised by wealthy countries to the World Health Organization's COVAX initiative have been delivered, says WHO Health Emergencies Program Executive Director Dr. Mike Ryan, warning that "you can't stick pledges in people's arms." The WHO emergency committee has agreed the virus still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, warning the pandemic is far from being over.
Recent updates to climate commitments from countries around the world only reduce expected emissions levels in 2030 by 7.5% over earlier pledges, putting the world on track for a 2.7 degrees Celsius global temperature increase this century, according to an annual report from the United Nations Environment Programme titled "The Heat is On. "[T]he leadership we need is off," says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, urging countries to step up action against climate change.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok of Sudan has been permitted to return to his home after being detained as the military seized power in the country amid its transition to civilian rule. The United Nations Security Council met on Tuesday to discuss the crisis, calling for a halt to violence in Sudan but stopping short of condemning military action as a coup.
Noeleen Heyzer, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, will take over as the Secretary-General's special envoy on Myanmar next week as Christine Schraner Burgener steps down from the role. Schraner Burgener has urged the international community to maintain pressure on Myanmar's junta, warning that acknowledging the military as an official government would not end violence in the country.