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As historic virtual debate wraps, ‘our political leaders demonstrated their commitment to multilateralism,’ says UN Assembly President

For the first time in the history of the United Nations, global leaders were not able to meet in person for the General Assembly’s annual debate, but the 193-Member body’s President said on Tuesday that the precautions forced by the COVID-19 pandemic “did not prevent multilateralism from operating at the highest levels.”

UN Middle East envoy urges sides to engage ‘before it is too late’

Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and their international partners, must urgently resume peace efforts “before it is too late”, UN Middle East envoy Nikolay Mladenov told the Security Council on Tuesday, echoing the Secretary-General. 

“We are again at a pivotal moment in the search for peace as convergence of destabilizing factors threatens to pull Israelis and Palestinians further towards a one-State reality of perpetual occupation and conflict,” he warned, speaking by videoconference from Jerusalem. 

Food loss and waste ‘an ethical outrage’, UN chief says on International Day

New approaches and solutions are needed to address worsening food loss and waste, the UN Secretary-General has said, in a message marking the first ever International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste Reduction. 

Last year, the UN General Assembly designated 29 September as the International Day, recognizing the fundamental role that sustainable food production plays in promoting food security and nutrition and highlighting the essential need to reduce food loss and waste. 

One millionth death from COVID-19 ‘an agonizing milestone’: UN Secretary-General

With over one million lives lost to COVID-19 globally, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that while the “agonizing milestone” is a “mind-numbing figure”, the world must never lose sight of each and every individual life. 

“They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues,” he said in a statement on Monday. 

Ahead of biodiversity summit, UN officials discuss roadmap to preserve the natural world

Top UN officials working to preserve the natural world are urging “action now” ahead of a crucial biodiversity summit this week, where world leaders will reaffirm their commitment to the cause. 

“We have no time to wait. Biodiversity loss, nature loss, it is at an unprecedented level in the history of mankind”, Elizabeth Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, told UN News in the SDG Media Zone. “We’re the most dangerous species in global history.”  

FROM THE FIELD: COVID-19’s ‘deadly layer of complexity’ depicted in photos

The fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic is adding a “deadly layer of complexity” to the global challenge of preventing more people from falling into poverty, a view articulated in a photographic exhibition sponsored by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

One hundred million more people are expected to be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, an unfolding human tragedy which has been captured on film by eight photographers who have travelled across the world to tell the stories of the most vulnerable.

Countries urged to act against COVID-19 ‘infodemic’

The UN and partners have urged countries to take urgent action to address what they have described as the “infodemic” that has surfaced in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the real world and online. 

The pandemic is the first in history in which technology and social media are being used to both inform people and keep them connected, but also to undermine global response to the crisis and jeopardize measures to contain the disease, they explained.