Weekly News Update 10-14, 2021

Media Advisory: United Nations to launch latest economic forecast


10 May, New York - The United Nations will launch a mid-year update on the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP), which was released in January 2021 and warned that the devastating socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come unless smart investments in economic, societal and climate resilience ensure a robust and sustainable economic recovery.


The mid-year update, which includes the global economic data from the last quarter of 2020, looks at the performance of the world economy since the start of the pandemic as well as the impact of global policy responses and post-crisis recovery scenarios. It highlights the risks of vaccine inequity as the world continues to struggle with containing the pandemic. Latest numbers from the World Health Organization indicate highest levels of COVID-19 cases across the world since the beginning of the pandemic, at more than 5.7 million new weekly cases and over 93,000 deaths (4 May).


WHAT: Press Conference to launch the World Economic Situation and Prospects Mid-2021 Report


WHO: Mr. Hamid Rashid, Lead Author and Chief, Global Economic Monitoring Branch, Economic Analysis and Policy Division, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Ms. Helena Afonso, Economic Affairs Officer, Global Economic Monitoring Branch, Economic Analysis and Policy Division, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs


WHEN: Approximately at 12:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday 11 May 2021


WHERE: Watch live on webtv.un.org


Contact Devi Palanivelu (palanivelu@un.org) to access the embargoed report.


Media Contacts: Devi Palanivelu palanivelu@un.org | Helen Rosengren rosengrenh@un.orgUN Departments of Global Communications & Economic and Social Affairs


Expert Interview Opportunities


The following UN experts from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs are available for interviews.


GLOBAL OUTLOOK

  • Mr. Elliott Harris, UN Chief Economist (English)

  • Mr. Hamid Rashid, Chief, Global Economic Monitoring Branch (English)

  • Ms. Helena Afonso, Associate Economic Affairs Officer (Portuguese)

  • Mr. Grigor Agabekian, Economic Affairs Officer (Russian)

  • Mr. Ingo Pitterle, Senior Economic Affairs Officer (German)

  • Mr. Sebastian Vergara, Economic Affairs Officer (Spanish)


REGIONAL OUTLOOKS


Africa

  • Mr. Sebastian Vergara, Economic Affairs Officer (English, Spanish)

  • Ms. Helena Afonso, Economic Affairs Officer (English, Portuguese)

North America

  • Mr. Hamid Rashid, Chief, Global Economic Monitoring Branch (English)

  • Mr. Yasuhisa Yamamoto, Economic Affairs Officer (English)

Latin America & the Caribbean

  • Mr. Ingo Pitterle, Senior Economic Affairs Officer (English, German)

Economies in Transition & Commonwealth of Independent States

  • Mr. Grigor Agabekian, Economic Affairs Officer (English, Russian)

South Asia

  • Mr. Julian Slotman, Associate Economic Affairs Officer (English)

East Asia

  • Ms. Poh Lynn Ng, Economic Affairs Officer (English)

Western Asia

  • Mr. Yasuhisa Yamamoto, Economic Affairs Officer (English)

Europe

  • Mr. Matthias Kempf, Economic Affairs Officer (English)


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Urgent to Protect Girls & Education in Conflict Said UN Officials After Deadly Attack in Afghanistan

New York, 12 May 2021 - The Special Representatives of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, and on Violence Against Children, Dr Najat Maalla M’jid, condemn in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack that took place outside a school in Dasht-e-Barchi in Kabul, Afghanistan on 8 May 2021, in which, according to the latest reports, hundreds of civilians have been killed or injured. Furthermore, this attack was clearly targeted at girls and their families as it occurred at the place and hour of ingress and egress of students to school.

“Those responsible for this heinous crime must be held accountable. The recent escalation of violence in Afghanistan repeatedly targeted children and risk to further exacerbate the dire conditions of this highly vulnerable group. We urge positive and cooperative action to ensure the full protection of human rights including the protection of children from violence”, said the Special Representatives. The two UN Officials further call on authorities in Afghanistan to urgently ensure the protection of the right to education in armed conflict, especially girls’ education which is too often overlooked and neglected.

“In many contexts, access to education is particularly harsh for girls for economical and cultural reasons, but also for security reasons of which the recent attack in Afghanistan is only one last tragic example. We must ensure that schools remain protected environments and that girls just like boys are given equal opportunities to pursue their education,” they added.

Afghanistan remains one of the most affected countries by attacks on schools and hospitals as shown in the 2019 Secretary-General Report on Children and Armed Conflict; preliminary data for 2020 show a similar worrying trend, with the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbating the vulnerabilities of children, including girls.

“Girls may not be given the choice to go back to school when they reopen, because they had to work or be married off to support their families. In face of the continuous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, countries must make the strategic decision of prioritizing education, including in armed conflict in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of reaching the furthest behind, ” highlighted the two UN Officials.

The targeting of girls undermines the crucial role that educated girls and women have in the social and economic development in their societies and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Special Representatives underline the urgency of ending the violence in Afghanistan and achieving a peaceful settlement of the conflict. They further expressed their condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Afghanistan and wished a full recovery to those who were injured in the horrific terrorist attack.

###

For additional information, please contact:

Fabienne Vinet, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, New York. Tel: +1 646 537-5066 vinet@un.org

Miguel Caldeira, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Communication Officer, +1-917-367-6132 / +1-917-402- 8971 caldeira1@un.org

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China on Yemen - Media Stakeout (12 May 2021)



UN Chief: Bloodshed must stop immediately


Russia Puts Open Skies Withdrawal Process Into Motion

Russia formally started the process for withdrawing from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty in May, further dampening prospects for the embattled agreement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma May 11 a bill to withdraw Russia from the treaty. With the U.S. withdrawal from the accord last year, “serious damage was inflicted upon treaty compliance and its role in promoting confidence building measures and strengthening transparency,” the bill reads. “A threat to the national security of the Russian Federation has emerged.”

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price later that day said that the Biden administration still has yet to decide on the future of potential U.S. participation in the treaty. “We are at the moment actively reviewing matters related to the treaty,” he told the press. “Importantly, we are consulting with our allies and partners as we always do on these matters.”

At the time of the U.S. withdrawal in November, President Joe Biden had condemned the decision as illustrative of President Donald Trump’s “short-sighted policy of going it alone and abandoning American leadership.”

READ MORE


Israel's Ambassador calls on UN Security Council to condemn the latest terrorist attacks from Gaza and support Israel's right to defend itself


(New York - May 13, 2021) Israel's Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan on Thursday sent an official letter to the United Nations Security Council and to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling on them to strongly condemn the terrorist attacks from Gaza and to support Israel's right to defend itself.


In the letter, Ambassador Erdan writes: “Hamas, an internationally designated terrorist Jihadist group supported by Iran, is responsible for these murderous attacks. The indiscriminate rocket fire constitutes a double war crime: targeting Israel’s civilian population and launching the rockets from within Gaza’s civilian neighborhoods and institutions. Hamas purposely places its terror facilities in the heart of the civilian population, including within multi-story buildings, cynically using the local Palestinian population as human shields. In addition, Hamas is presenting itself as the ‘defender of Jerusalem and the holy sites.’ This is, of course, a lie. It is clear that Hamas premeditated this escalation in violence and terrorism and is happy to pay the price of casualties on both sides in order to strengthen itself politically."


Ambassador Erdan also pointed out that "Israel has taken far reaching de-escalatory steps to prevent any unrest and violence [including] prohibiting the entrance of Jews to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day. Palestinian terrorists responded by ramping up their terror, firing hundreds of rockets and missiles at Jerusalem, as well as other cities across Israel."


The ambassador concludes by stating that "the State of Israel is not interested in an escalation. However, Israel has the right and duty to defend its people and sovereignty and will continue to do so vigorously.”


Since Monday, more than 1500 rockets have been fired by Gaza terrorist groups into Israeli cities and metropolitan areas, including Jerusalem. Seven people have been killed and scores wounded.


Please find Ambassador Erdan's letter attached.

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Daniel Flesch Senior Advisor / Spokesperson Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN T: (212) 499-5570 I M: (847) 814-7009 For all inquiries, please contact me at: amb-adv@newyork.mfa.gov.il





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