July 16, 2020 06:17 (IST)
Follow us:
facebook-white sharing button
twitter-white sharing button
instagram-white sharing button
youtube-white sharing button
Bengal's Covid-19 tally surpasses 34000-mark with highest one-day spike of 1589 cases, death count reaches 1000 | Horse-trading committed, Sachin Pilot was involved: Ashok Gehlot | Mamata Banerjee offers Rs. 10 lakh and govt job to kins of deceased Covid warriors | Amid power-struggle, Congress dissolves all district and block committees in Rajasthan | India’s global strategy is in tatters: Rahul attacks Modi govt after Iran drops India from Chabahar project
Stand in solidarity to preserve Africa’s hard-won progress, urges UN chief

Stand in solidarity to preserve Africa’s hard-won progress, urges UN chief

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 20 May 2020, 07:19 am

New York/IBNS: The coronavirus pandemic threatens the hard-earned gains Africans have made throughout the continent, the UN chief said on Wednesday, urging the world to stand in solidarity with the people, “now, and for recovering better”.

At the virtual launch of a UN briefing paper focusing on the impact of COVID-19 across Africa, Secretary-General António Guterres pointed out that citizens across the continent have done much to advance their own well-being, detailing strong economic growth, an on-going digital revolution, and a bold free-trade area agreement.

But, he added, “the pandemic threatens African progress”.

The UN chief elaborated on the coronavirus’ potential to aggravate long-standing inequalities and heighten hunger, malnutrition and vulnerability to disease, saying “much hangs in the balance”. 

Demand for Africa’s commodities, together with tourism and remittances, are in decline, he observed.  “The opening of the trade zone has been pushed back – and millions could be pushed into extreme poverty”.

Moreover, the virus has taken more than 2,500 African lives: “Vigilance and preparedness are critical”, underscored Mr. Guterres.

‘Spectrum of urgent challenges’

Noting that while UN agencies, country teams, peacekeeping operations and humanitarian workers continue to provide support, “a spectrum of urgent challenges”, require more urgent assistance.

“We are calling for international action to strengthen Africa’s health systems, maintain food supplies, avoid a financial crisis, support education, protect jobs, keep households and businesses afloat, and cushion the continent against lost income and export earnings”, the UN chief spelled out. 

Guterres echoed his call for a global response package amounting to some 10 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product and advocated for “across-the-board debt standstill”, followed by targeted debt relief. 


“It will also be essential for African countries to sustain their efforts to silence the guns and address violent extremism”, he continued, noting that upcoming elections “offer potential milestones for stability and peace”.

Women and youth

The UN chief underscored that as women will be central to every aspect of the response, stimulus packages must prioritize increasing social protection and putting cash in their hands. 

“Many difficult decisions will need to be taken as the pandemic unfolds, and it will be essential to retain the trust and participation of citizens throughout”, Guterres said.Moreover, African youth must be empowered, and human rights respected.

In closing, he asserted that Africa was still in the early days of coronavirus infection, compared with other continents, warning that disruption could escalate quickly. 

“Ending the pandemic in Africa is essential for ending it across the world”, concluded the Secretary-General.

Related Images
World in Photo : July 14 , 2020 15 Jul 2020, 03:24 pm
World in Photos : July 14 , 2020 15 Jul 2020, 02:50 pm
World in Photo : July 14 , 2020 15 Jul 2020, 02:06 pm
Related Videos
View this post on Instagram

Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

A post shared by India Blooms News Service (@indiablooms) on

Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm