Noon briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Today, the Secretary-General took part in the online High-Level Dialogue on Press Freedom and Tackling Disinformation in the COVID-19 pandemic Context. That was hosted by UNESCO.
He said that the media has come under increasing pressure in recent years, with many journalists currently facing threats, harassment and violent attacks.
“When journalists are attacked, societies as a whole pay a price,” he said, adding that no democracy can function without press freedom.
The Secretary-General also said that with the current pandemic we have seen a dangerous outbreak of misinformation, from harmful health advice as well as hate speech to wild conspiracy theories. He stressed that the antidote is a fact-based news and analysis.
Now, more than ever, he said, we need the media to document what is happening; to differentiate between fact and fiction; and hold leaders accountable.
The Secretary-General also spoke today at an online pledging event for the Coronavirus Global Response.
He thanked the European Commission and its partners for hosting the conference, calling it exactly the kind of leadership the world needs today.
The Secretary-General underlined how comprehensive, coordinated public health measures are critical to slow transmission and save lives, but he cautioned that even countries that have taken such steps remain in jeopardy.
He noted that the virus is likely to strike many countries that are least able to cope. In an interconnected world, he stressed that none of us is safe until all of us are safe.
The Secretary-General also underscored that new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines must be treated as global public goods available and affordable for all.
For a world free of COVID-19, it will require the most massive public health effort in history. He added that with today’s pledging event mobilizing resources for this vital endeavour.
The Secretary-General also welcomed the generous contributions announced today towards the initial goal of 7.5 billion Euros, but said that, to reach everyone, everywhere, we will likely need five times this amount.
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa that covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres (105,900 sq mi) and is bordered by Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.
The July 2019 population estimate by the United Nations was 20,321,378. Previously called Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984), it was renamed “Burkina Faso” on 4 August 1984 by President Thomas Sankara. Its citizens are known as Burkinabé, and its capital is Ouagadougou.
Due to French colonialism, the country’s official language of government and business is French, but this language is spoken by approximately only 10-15% of the population. There are 59 native languages spoken in Burkina, with the most common language, Moore, spoken by roughly 50% of Burkinabé.
The Republic of Upper Volta was established on 11 December 1958 as a self-governing colony within the French Community and on 5 August 1960 it gained full independence.
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon, is a country in Central Africa and West Africa.
Cameroon is home to over 250 native languages spoken by nearly 25 million people. Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun. In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent. The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The federation was abandoned in 1972. The country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984.
The official languages of Cameroon are French and English. Its religious population consists of 70.7% Christians and 24.4% Muslims. It is governed as a Unitary presidential republic and has good relations with the major powers of France, the United Kingdom and China.
The largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri River, its economic capital and main seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, and Garoua.
The country is well known for its successful national football team.
Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in the Levant region of Western Asia, and the transcontinental region of the Middle East.
The official language, Arabic, is the most common language spoken by the citizens of Lebanon. Its capital is Beirut.
Lebanon was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 and is a member of the Arab League (1945), the Non-Aligned Movement (1961), Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (1969), and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (1973).
Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres. The population of Mali is 19.1 million. 67% of its population was estimated to be under the age of 25 in 2017. Its capital is Bamako.