The World Health Organization, the World Food Programme and UNICEF are mobilizing humanitarian assistance to support Beirut in the wake of a deadly blast that damaged five hospitals and the country's primary wheat storage silo while displacing as many as 100,000 children. The United Nations Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting next week to discuss the crisis and the UN High Commission for Human Rights is urging an independent probe into the explosion.
Three more countries -- Ireland, Nigeria and Niue -- ratified the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons this week, bringing the convention closer to the 50 signatures required for it to enter into force. "Seventy-five years is far too long not to have learned that the possession of nuclear weapons diminishes, rather than reinforces, security," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a virtual address marking the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.
The World Health Organization is urging global leaders to cooperate on the development and eventual distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, warning that countries cannot hope to stop the virus if they don't share the vaccine with others. The agency has also voiced alarm over the spread of coronavirus in Africa, where the disease has spread to rural areas and cases have surpassed one million.
Women in Turkey saw their workloads -- both paid and unpaid -- increase dramatically during pandemic-related lockdowns while work for men in the country decreased, a United Nations Development Programme report shows. "The findings are evidence of the stark reality of the incremental burden of unpaid household and care work borne by women, in addition to the jobs they do," says UNDP representative Claudio Tomasi.
Terror groups around the world are exploiting the pandemic to launch attacks, spread hatred and fear and recruit new followers, warns United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov. Cybercriminals are targeting hospitals and health care facilities, and phishing attacks have increased 350% in the first quarter of this year, Voronkov says.
Members of the United Nations Security Council met this week to discuss the situation in Kashmir for the third time since India revoked the region's statehood last year. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres once again urged officials in Pakistan and India to work cooperatively on a peaceful solution, while expressing concerns about continued violence against civilians in the region.
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