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UN Recap: December 5-10, 2021

https://ift.tt/2fqwRwN is a fast take on what the international community has been up to this past week, as seen from the United Nations perch.

Food theft in Ethiopia

The United Nations said Wednesday that large amounts of food, including items for malnourished children, were looted from their warehouses in northern Ethiopia, leading to the suspension of food distribution in two towns.

UN Food Stocks Looted in N. Ethiopia; Some Aid Distribution Halted 

Hunger in Sahel

The latest U.N. analysis of food security in the Sahel and Western African countries finds a record 38 million people in the region will face severe food shortages next year. It warns that many may not survive without swift and generous international humanitarian assistance.

UN Says Acute Hunger Grips Millions in West and Central Africa 

Reflection on genocide 

Commemorations were held Thursday to mark the International Day of the Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. Following the Holocaust, in 1951, the United Nations declared genocide an international crime.

UN: Genocide Remains Threat, Must Be Prevented 

In brief

— In Mali on Wednesday, seven Togolese peacekeepers were killed and three others seriously injured when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. The peacekeepers were part of a logistics convoy traveling through central Mali when the incident occurred. The mission, known by its acronym MINUSMA, is one of the U.N.’s most dangerous. Since it began in 2013, more than 250 peacekeepers have been killed.

— Catherine Russell of the United States will be the new head of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations said Friday. She will succeed Henrietta Fore, who has served since January 2018. She resigned because of an illness in her family. The post has traditionally been held by an American. Russell comes to UNICEF from the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, where she is an assistant to President Joe Biden. She is a former ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department and has taught at Harvard University. She is due to move into the executive director’s office early next year.

— South Korea hosted a high-level meeting on U.N. peacekeeping this week. Multiple commitments were made for new military and police capabilities, including helicopters, which are always scarce. There were also offers to help U.N. peacekeeping improve its medical capabilities and the use of technology. Additionally, several states pledged to reduce their environmental footprint in missions.

— U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres briefly isolated during the week, after he came into contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. Guterres, 72, exhibited no symptoms and tested negative at least twice during the week, his spokesperson said. Although he had moral hesitations about receiving a COVID-19 booster when so many others have yet to benefit from even a first jab, he did get his booster two weeks ago.

Quote of note

“As I heard again during my visit, the women and girls of Afghanistan want to be able to go to school, work and take part in public life, free of discrimination. The progress that was made in this area must not be erased.” — Rosemary DiCarlo, undersecretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs, following her trip to Afghanistan Tuesday through Thursday.

Next week

On Monday, the U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on a draft resolution penned by Niger and Ireland on the effects of climate change on international peace and security, particularly how it can exacerbate the root causes of conflict. Veto holders China and Russia, as well nonpermanent member India, have expressed reservations about the council’s stepping onto the turf of what some consider the domain of other U.N. organs and bodies, leaving the outcome open as of now.

Author webdesk@voanews.com (Margaret Besheer)
Source : VOA

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