Author Archives: United Nations Information Office

MESSAGE ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1994 GENOCIDE AGAINST THE TUTSI IN RWANDA

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

7 April 2020

Today, we recall the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda — when more than one million people were systematically murdered in just 100 days.

The victims were overwhelmingly Tutsi, but also included Hutu and others who opposed the genocide.

On this Day, we honour those who were killed.

And we gain inspiration from the capacity of those who survived for reconciliation and restoration.

We must never again let such an atrocity occur.

We must say no to hate speech and xenophobia, and reject the forces of polarization, nationalism and protectionism.

Only by recognizing that we are all one human family sharing the same planet will we be able to rise to the many global challenges that confront us – from COVID-19 to climate change.

Since the genocide, Rwanda has demonstrated that it is possible to rise from the ashes, to heal and to rebuild a stronger, more sustainable society.

As we look ahead to accelerating efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, let us take inspiration from the ongoing lesson of Rwanda.

COVID-19: Looming crisis in developing countries threatens to devastate economies and ramp up inequality

UNDP seeking unprecedented COVID-19 support for vulnerable countries

 

New York – The growing COVID-19 crisis threatens to disproportionately hit developing countries, not only as a health crisis in the short term but as a devastating social and economic crisis over the months and years to come.

 

Income losses are expected to exceed $220 billion in developing countries, and nearly half of all jobs in Africa could be lost. With an estimated 55 per cent of the global population having no access to social protection, these losses will reverberate across societies, impacting education, human rights and, in the most severe cases, basic food security and nutrition.

 

Under-resourced hospitals and fragile health systems are likely to be overwhelmed. This may be further exacerbated by a spike in cases, as up to 75 per cent of people in least developed countries lack access to soap and water.

 

Additional social conditions, such as poor urban planning and overpopulation in some cities, weak waste disposal services, and even traffic congestion impeding access to healthcare facilities, may all add to the caseload.

 

“This pandemic is a health crisis. But not just a health crisis. For vast swathes of the globe, the pandemic will leave deep, deep scars,” noted Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “Without support from the international community, we risk a massive reversal of gains made over the last two decades, and an entire generation lost, if not in lives then in rights, opportunities and dignity.”

 

Working in close coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNDP is helping countries to prepare for, respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing particularly on the most vulnerable.

 

UNDP is already working to support health systems in countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Nigeria, Paraguay, Panama, Serbia, Ukraine and Vietnam.

 

A UNDP-led COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility has already been launched, funded by existing resources and capitalized with an initial US$20 million. This facility is disbursing through a fast-track mechanism enabling UNDP teams to offer immediate assistance to countries for their national response. UNDP anticipates a minimum $500 million need to support 100 countries.

 

Call to action

 

UNDP has made a call to action to the international community to think beyond the immediate impact of COVID-19. The organization has emphasized the need for three priority actions: resources to help stop the spread of the virus, support to respond during the outbreak itself, and resources to prevent the economic collapse of developing countries.

 

As an immediate response, UNDP is building on the support it has been providing to China and other Asian countries to help strengthen their health systems. This includes helping them procure much-needed medical supplies, leverage digital technologies and ensuring health workers are paid.

 

At the same time, UNDP will support countries to slow the spread of the virus and to provide social protection for vulnerable populations, promoting a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response to complement efforts in the health sector.

 

In the longer term, UNDP will work with countries to assess the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 and take urgent recovery measures to minimize long-term impact, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized groups, and to help societies to recover better.

 

Tackling COVID-19 and its impacts will require partners who can work across systems and sectors and in contexts that are both complex and uncertain. With years of experience on the frontlines, this is what UNDP is designed to do. UNDP is fully operational in 170 countries and territories and focused on its COVID-19 response, mobilizing all its assets to respond to this unprecedented challenge.


###  ###  ###

 

For more information and media interviews, contact Sabina Mendybayeva, UNDP Communications and Advocacy Officer: sabina.mendybayeva@undp.org.

MESSAGE ON WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY 2 April 2020

On World Autism Awareness Day, we recognize and celebrate the rights of persons with autism. This year’s observance takes place in the midst of a public health crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes — a crisis that places persons with autism at disproportionate risk as a result of the coronavirus and its impact on society.

Persons with autism have the right to self-determination, independence and autonomy, as well as the right to education and employment on an equal basis with others. But the breakdown of vital support systems and networks as a result of COVID-19 exacerbates the obstacles that persons with autism face in exercising these rights. We must ensure that a prolonged disruption caused by the emergency does not result in rollbacks of the rights that persons with autism and their representative organizations have worked so hard to advance.

Universal human rights, including the rights of persons with disabilities, must not be infringed upon in the time of a pandemic. Governments have a responsibility to ensure that their response includes persons with autism. Persons with autism should never face discrimination when seeking medical care. They must continue to have access to the support systems required to remain in their homes and communities through times of crisis, instead of facing the prospect of forced institutionalization.

We all have a role to play in ensuring that the needs of people who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 are met during this difficult period. Information about precautionary measures must be provided in accessible formats. We must also recognize that when schools employ online teaching, students with non-standard ways of learning may be at a disadvantage. The same applies to the workplace and working remotely. Even in these unpredictable times, we must commit to consulting persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, and ensuring that our non-traditional ways of working, learning, and engaging with each other, as well as our global response to the coronavirus, are inclusive of and accessible to all people, including persons with autism.

The rights of persons with autism must be taken into account in the formulation of all responses to the COVID-19 virus. On World Autism Awareness Day, let us stand together, support each other and show solidarity with persons with autism.

Stay Home, Be Safe

View this post on Instagram

🇺🇳 Достар! Қазақстандағы БҰҰ ұжымы атынан баршаңызды қауіпсіздік ережелерін сақтап, #үйденшықпа 🏡 науқанына шақырамыз! Қазіргі 🦠 қауіпті індетті өзара ынтымақтастық арқылы бірге жеңеміз! 🇺🇳 Друзья! Соблюдая меры профилактики, вы вносите свой вклад в борьбу с опасной инфекцией! Пожалуйста, оставайтесь дома 🏡 , так вы помогаете врачам работать эффективнее и сдерживаете дальнейшее распространение вируса 🦠 ООН призывает к всеобщей солидарности и сплоченности ❤️🙏🏻 #birgemiz #uninkz #covid19 #stayhome @minzdrav_rkz @birtanovyelzhan @akordapress

A post shared by United Nations in Kazakhstan (@uninkazakhstan) on