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UN Security Council Nominates Guterres For Second Term as UN Chief

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Security Council Nominates Guterres For Second Term as UN Chief

The United Nations Security Council has formally selected the current Secretary-General António Guterres as its nominee to serve a second five-year term for the UN top job.

The recommendation, made in a resolution adopted by acclamation in a private meeting, now goes to the 193-member General Assembly for formal approval.

In a statement on Tuesday, Guterres said it was a great honour to be selected and thanked ambassadors serving on the Security Council for placing their trust in him.

“My gratitude also extends to Portugal, for having nominated me again; it has been an immense privilege to be at the service the peoples.

“To be at service of the peoples and at the helm of the amazing women and men of this organisation for the past four and a half years, when we have been facing so many complex challenges.

“I would be deeply humbled if the General Assembly were to entrust me with the responsibilities of a second mandate,’’ the UN chief said.

READ ALSO: We Have Not Been Petitioned Over Shootings At Lekki – Nigeria Army

Under procedures for appointing the world body’s new chief, after the recommendation is transmitted from the Security Council to the General Assembly, a draft resolution is issued for the Assembly to take action.

After appropriate consultations with Member States, the Assembly President fixes a date for the draft to be taken up.

Guterres circulated his vision statement for a second five-year term in March, and in early May he took part in an informal interactive dialogue at UN Headquarters.

The informal dialogues were introduced during the last selection process in the UN General Assembly, with the idea of allowing candidates to present their views and take questions from a wide range of representatives of the global community, including civil society, establishing a new standard of transparency.

READ ALSO: UN At 75: Secretary-General Guterres Calls For Global Ceasefire

The last six proceedings for selecting the Secretaries-General were appointed by the Assembly through a resolution adopted by consensus.

A vote will take place only if a Member State requests it and a simple majority of those voting would be required for the Assembly to adopt the resolution.

But the Assembly could decide that the decision requires a two-thirds majority. If a vote is taken, it will be by secret ballot.

Health & Wellness

COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be ‘Global Public Goods’ – Guterres

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COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be ‘Global Public Goods’ – Guterres
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday that lifesaving Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines should be considered “global public goods” and a way of defecting the pandemic.

Guterres told journalists at the G7 Summit of leading industrialized nations taking place in Cornwall, United Kingdom via video link.

The UN chief said there was no other way of defeating a virus “which spreads” across developing countries “like wildfire” and “risks mutating” other than through equitable, mass vaccination.

READ ALSO: UN Security Council Nominates Guterres For Second Term as UN Chief

He said that shots needed to be available and affordable to all, “that is not only a matter of fairness and justice but it’s also a question of efficiency.

“It is a question of efficiency that mutations abide by Darwin’s laws of evolution, meaning that the worst viruses tend to survive, multiply and eventually disable the vaccines.

“Vaccination programs so far, have been unequal and very unfair,’’ the top UN official said.

Guterres said he was encouraged by the announcement made ahead of the G7, by the International Monetary Fund together with the World Bank, World Health Organisation (WHO), and World Trade Organisation.

He said he was encouraged regarding a 50 billion dollar program to support vaccination delivery in developing countries.

The UN chief was also heartened by the recent announcements of the United States and the United Kingdom to donate more than half a billion doses to nations least able to afford them.

Guterres welcomed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that he expected the G7 to provide a billion pledged doses by the end of the summit.

“We are at war” with the coronavirus, he said, that continues to cause “tremendous suffering” and destroy the global economy.

To defeat the virus, we must “boost our weapons,” he added, calling for a “global vaccination plan”.

The secretary-general spoke of his proposal for vaccine-producing countries to come together in an emergency task force supported by WHO, the vaccine alliance GAVI, and international financial institutions to define and implement a plan.

“We need really those who have the power to organize an effective response to COVID and the only way to be effective in guaranteeing that everybody will be vaccinated sooner rather than later,” he said.

The UN chief said climate action was his other priority for the first in-person G7 meeting since the pandemic began.

The secretary-general, therefore, expressed hope that the G7 meeting would help pave the way for new and important decisions in the future.

“I think it is absolutely essential to guarantee that through the COP 26 (UN climate conference) in Glasgow,” he said, warning that it might prove to be “the last opportunity” to make the right decisions. 

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World News

WASH Projects: USAID Offers $9.98 Mn Support To Nigeria

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WASH Projects: USAID Offers $9.98 Mn Support To Nigeria

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported Nigeria with 9.98 million dollars to improve Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) projects.

This is contained in a statement issued by USAID Mission Director, Dr. Anne Patterson in Kaduna.

Patterson said USAID gave the support through UNICEF to improve WASH services in Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara states for the next three years.

READ ALSO: SURWASH: Nigeria Gets $700m Credit From WorldBank

She said the funds would provide lifesaving WASH services to more than 300,000 people in need of assistance.

According to her, the assistance will help to build community-centered approaches to deliver, operate and manage sustainable WASH services in rural areas and foster resilience in communities.

“It will also help rebuild dilapidated infrastructure and support community efforts to increase access to proper sanitation, adopt good hygiene practices and improve water quality.

“This new activity with UNICEF will help reduce waterborne diseases to keep more people, especially children, healthy.

“USAID is dedicated to ensuring clean water for more Nigerians.”

She pointed out that the 2019 National Outcome Routine Mapping of WASH projects showed that 30 percent of Nigerians lacked access to basic water services and less than 10 percent had access to safely managed water services.

She added that the mapping also showed that while 44 percent of Nigerians had access to basic sanitation services, 23 percent, representing 46 million people that lack access to proper sanitation.

“Sokoto and Kebbi have the lowest levels of access to basic water services at 38 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

“Similarly, access to basic sanitation is also low in Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto state at 35 percent, 38 percent, and 41 percent respectively.

“Only five percent of people in Sokoto and one percent in Kebbi have access to safely managed water services.

“This severe shortage of clean water supply, toilets, and handwashing facilities in households across Nigeria present a formidable challenge,” she said.

On his part, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins said poor access to WASH projects was the major cause of diarrhea morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.

Hawkins added that poor access to WASH services was associated with at least 70,000 deaths in children under five each year.

He said that lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic had also reinforced the importance of adequate and safe water, basic sanitation, and proper hygiene practices to stem the spread of the disease in Nigeria.

“We are extremely grateful for the timely and much-needed WASH support from the U.S. Government.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with prevailing challenges and gaps in WASH services in North-West Nigeria is detrimental to the development of children and rural communities.

“This assistance is a testament to USAID’s commitment to the children and people of Nigeria,” Hawkins said.

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General News

Tegina Students: UN Secretary-General Condemns Abduction

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Tegina Students: UN Secretary-General Condemns Abduction

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the recent abduction of students from an Islamic School in Tegina town, Niger State.

A spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, at a press briefing at the UN headquarters in New York, said Guterres was disturbed by the act.

On Sunday, a police spokesman in Niger said in a statement that gunmen on motorcycles attacked the town of Tegina, in the Rafi local government area of the state.

READ ALSO: Tegina Students: Buhari Demands Fast Response From Security Agencies

The attackers were shooting indiscriminately and abducted a yet to be ascertained number of children at the Salihu Tanko Islamic school.

According to Dujarric, Guterres is disturbed by the development.

“I can tell you that the Secretary-General strongly condemns the abduction of students from the Islamic School in Tegina town, in Nigeria’s Niger State, that took place on Sunday, May 30.

“He is disturbed by the frequency of abductions for the ransom of children from schools by extremist groups and criminal networks.

“This is developing into an “abhorrent pattern” with serious impact on the children’s well-being and development, as well as for teachers and families.’’

The Secretary-General reiterated that this constituted a violation of the rights of children to education and underscores the need to hold perpetrators accountable.

Similarly, on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the kidnapping of children from the school and urged security agencies to do their utmost to rescue the kidnapped kids.

A statement from the State House said Buhari had ordered the nation’s security and intelligence agencies to expedite efforts towards the recovery of the kidnapped school children.

“He also directed that the concerned government agencies extend possible support to the families of the kidnapped children,” the statement said. 

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