Sustaining Peace during Pandemics & other topics – Daily Briefing (8 Dec 2020)

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The United Nations (UN) was established after World War II with the aim of preventing future wars. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states.

The UN’s chief administrative officer is the Secretary-General, currently Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres, who began his five year-term on 1 January 2017.


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  • United Nations published this video item, entitled “Sustaining Peace during Pandemics & other topics – Daily Briefing (8 Dec 2020)” – below is their description.

    Daily Press Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General.

    – Secretary-General/Security Council

    – Bolivia

    – Lebanon

    – Unifil

    – Yemen

    – South Sudan

    – Mauritius

    – Democratic Republic of the Congo

    – International Youth Day

    – Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change

    – International Labour Organization

    – Phone Call with Italian Foreign Minister

    – UN Headquarters Ventilation System

    – Financial Contribution


    This morning, the Secretary-General spoke at the Security Council’s open meeting on pandemics and the challenges of sustaining peace. 

    The Secretary-General noted that the COVID-19 pandemic threatens not only hard-won development and peacebuilding gains, but also risks making conflicts worse or fomenting new ones.    

    He stressed that the challenges of this pandemic underscore, like never before, the imperative of coherent, multi-dimensional and cross-pillar responses along with the integrated logic of the Sustainable Development Goals.   

    The Secretary-General pointed to what he called the three key dangers. First, the pandemic can undermine faith in governments and public institutions. Secondly, they can destabilize the global economic order. And lastly, he said, pandemics could weaken the social fabric by, for example, narrowing the civic space and closing avenues for democratic processes. 

    But, the Secretary-General said, in spite of challenges, the pandemic also creates opportunities for peace, pointing to the positive responses to the appeal for a global ceasefire earlier this year. 

    The world, he said, is looking to all leaders – including the Security Council – to address this epic crisis in ways that make concrete, meaningful and positive contributions to the lives of people.    


    Yesterday, in a statement on Bolivia, the Secretary-General said he’s following with concern the recent developments in the country. He called on the organizers of protests there to ensure the safe passage of ambulances, oxygen and medicines, and to allow for the delivery of goods and services essential to the people.  The Secretary-General also welcomed the readiness of the Executive, the Plurinational Legislative Assembly and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, as well as political parties and social organizations, to enter into dialogue in order to resolve the political, social, economic and health challenges facing Bolivia. Furthermore, he urged continued restraint to avoid escalation and called upon all social and political leaders to contribute to the preservation of peace. 


    The United Nations and its partners continue to conduct needs assessments and deliver emergency assistance to people most in need following last week’s blasts in Beirut. The World Food Programme’s Executive Director, David Beasley, announced today that the organization is bringing 17,500 metric tonnes of wheat flour and a three-month supply of wheat into Lebanon to help replenish the country’s food reserves. That is part of a rapid logistics operation that will also involve setting up warehouses and mobile grain storage units. 

    WFP has also prepared 150,000 food parcels for distribution to families affected by the economic crisis and COVID-19 lockdown measures. In addition, the World Food Programme will scale up its cash assistance programme in Lebanon ten-fold to reach up to one million people, including residents directly impacted by the blast.  

    The UN Refugee Agency, for its part, has distributed hot meals to 30,000 people along with food kits for 700. Non-food items and hygiene kits were also provided.  

    And the UN Population Fund’s partners have distributed dignity kits to an estimated [2,000] adolescent girls and women. Forty frontline social workers have also been trained to provide psychosocial support to women affected by the Beirut blast.  

    UNICEF is also supporting 720 children and adults with psychosocial support through face-to-face sessions, phone calls, and door-to-door visits with families. 

    Full Highlights:

    United Nations YouTube Channel

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    The country’s population, estimated at 11 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, Asians and Africans. Spanish is the official and predominant language, although 36 indigenous languages also have official status, of which the most commonly spoken are Guarani, Aymara and Quechua languages.

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