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COVID-19 worsening gender-based violence, trafficking risk, for women and girls

UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly was speaking during a virtual event to strengthen global commitment at a time when women and girls are locked down and locked in, rendering them further exposed to violence and harassment, or at greater risk of being trafficked. 

“In every part of the world, we are seeing that COVID has worsened the plight of at-risk women and girls, while also hindering criminal justice responses and reducing support to victims,” she said. 

A ‘shadow pandemic’ surfaces 

Women and girls were already being exposed to different forms of violence before the pandemic.  

Most female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners or other family members, according to UNODC, while women and girls make up more than 60 per cent of all victims of human trafficking.  

However, lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and other measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to what the UN has called a “shadow pandemic” of rising gender-based violence. 

Women’s economic inequality also increases their vulnerability to trafficking and sexual violence, according to UN Women, which supports countries in their efforts to achieve gender equality. 

‘Business is booming’  

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the UN Women Executive Director, reported that most female survivors, or nearly 80 per cent, are trafficked for sexual exploitation. 

“There are socioeconomic consequences when these crimes happen, but in times of pandemic, the socioeconomic impact is even deeper,” she said.  

“Forty-seven million more women and girls will be pushed to extreme poverty because of COVID-19, but business is booming for traffickers.” 

Meanwhile, as already scant resources allocated for prevention, rescue and rehabilitation wear thin, women’s health is being put on the line, said Nobel laureate Nadia Murad, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador and a survivor of ISIL terrors in Iraq. 

“It is now difficult for many women to access psychological support, healthcare and safe shelter. They live in a constant state of vulnerability. For communities affected by conflict and displacement, these effects are often compounded,” she told the gathering. 

Answering the call 

In April, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appealed for a worldwide domestic violence “ceasefire”, urging governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the crisis. 

So far, nearly 150 countries have answered the Secretary-General’s call, pledging to make prevention and redress of gender-based violence a key part of their pandemic response. 

UNODC, alongside UN Women and other partners, are also backing the appeal. 

They are working together to promote action in four key areas: funding essential services, prevention, improving police and justice action, and collecting data. 

Coronavirus Portal & News Updates

Readers can find information and guidance on the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from the UN, World Health Organization and UN agencies here. For daily news updates from UN News, click here.

Recommendations for recovery 

Ms. Wady, the UNODC chief, emphasized the need to recover better after the pandemic. “Girls need to be able to go back to school and have equal opportunities. Women need decent jobs and social protection,” she said. 

Her colleague, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka at UN Women, pointed to the Secretary-General’s report on trafficking, which outlines additional recommendations. 

They include providing women with universal access to social protection as well as income protection, and designating programmes for trafficking survivors as essential services. 

The report further calls for long-term investment, including to address “toxic masculinity”, and to engage men and boys in programmes aimed at shifting norms and attitudes surrounding violence against women. 

FROM THE FIELD: Answering the call for help in Thailand

According to UN data, one in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence mostly at the hands of an intimate partner. In 2019, 243 million women and girls, aged between 19 and 49, were affected by sexual and/or physical violence by an intimate partner. 

UNICEF/Mawa | Members of a NGO working for women and girls participate
in a rally on ending gender-based violence.

The problem only worsened with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, with sharp rises in domestic violence globally. Countries that managed some degree of success against COVID-19, were not left untouched by the accompanying scourge of domestic violence. 

Naiyapak Chaipan, works for the 1300 Hotline in Thailand, helping women looking to extricate themselves from abusive and violent relationships. Her work became more critical during the COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions, which left many women confined with their abusers at home. 

The 1300 Hotline, managed by the Thai Ministry of Social Development, is supported through a United Nations-European Union partnership and implemented by a number of UN agencies, including UN-Women, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  

As the UN marks 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, find out more about her important work, here.

New COVID-19 infections fall globally for first time since September; WHO chief urges ‘extreme caution’

Updating reporters during his regular briefing from Geneva, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the global decline as fragile: brought on by falling cases in Europe, thanks to the difficult but necessary measures countries put in place in recent weeks.

“Gains can easily be lost,” the agency chief said, noting that COVID-19 is still on the rise in most other world regions, with an attendant increase in deaths.

Holidays – no time for complacency

He cautioned against complacency, especially with the holiday season approaching in many cultures and countries. Being with family and friends is not worth placing anyone at risk. “We all need to consider whose life we might be gambling with in the decisions we make.”

To be sure, the pandemic will change the way people celebrate, Tedros said. It will be important to follow local and national guidelines. For many, this is a season for staying home, avoiding crowded shopping centres, or ideally, making use of online shopping if possible. “Avoid gatherings with many different households and families coming together,” he said.

If travelling is essential, take precautions, he said: maintain distance from others and wear a mask in airports and train stations, as well as on planes, trains and buses. Cary hand sanitiser or wash hands frequently with soap and water. If feeling unwell, “don’t travel,” he insisted.

Disrupted services, increased risks for people living with HIV

For millions, COVID-19 is only one health they face, he said. People living with HIV also may have an increased risk of severe disease or death from COVID-19, he said.

A record 26 million people are on antiretroviral treatment – but the pace of increase has slowed, leaving 12 million people who are living with HIV without treatment. “12 million is big,” he assured.

A WHO survey of 127 countries earlier this year found that more than one quarter reported partial disruption to antiretroviral treatment.

However, with support from WHO, the number of countries reporting disruptions in HIV services has declined by almost 75 per cent since June. Only nine still report disruptions and only 12 report a critically low stock of antiretroviral medicines.

Such successes are mainly due to countries implementing WHO guidelines, he said, including providing longer antiretroviral prescriptions for 3 to 6 months, so patients can avoid health facilities. WHO also has worked closely with manufacturers and partners to ensure adequate supply of treatment.

Innovation, Innovation, Innovation

Moreover, he said countries also have introduced adaptations and innovations during COVID-19.  In Africa, for example, many have built their testing system for COVID-19 on the existing lab infrastructure for HIV and tuberculosis. In Thailand, the Government has maintained pre-exposure prophylaxis services and tele-health counselling for men who have sex with men. And many countries have introduced more self-testing for HIV to support self-care.

WHO is urging all countries to maintain these innovations as part of the “new normal”, Tedros said, and to help expand testing and treatment.

With Worlds AIDS Day approaching on 1 December, he called for preserving the “incredible” gains made over the past 10 years: New HIV infections have declined by 23 per cent since 2010, and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 39 per cent.

Hope above all

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that in the face of an urgent health threat, the world can come together in new ways to defeat it,” he assured.

The world can defeat the pandemic using existing tools and the vaccines now in the pipeline. “The most important thing is, we need to have hope,” he said. And solidarity to work together.

Consign chemical weapons to history, UN chief urges, honouring victims

In a message commemorating the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, on Monday, Secretary-General António Guterres said that the use of such weapons anywhere, by anyone, under any circumstances, “is intolerable and a serious violation of international law.” 

“There can be no justification for the use of these abhorrent weapons. We must remain united and determined in preventing their use, or the threat of their use. We cannot allow ourselves to become inured.” 

He also underscored that impunity for use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. 

“It is imperative that those who use, or have used, chemical weapons are identified and held accountable. That is the only way to meet our moral responsibility to the victims of chemical warfare,” the UN chief added. 

‘Assess our progress’ 

In his message, the Secretary-General said that the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is an occasion to pay tribute to the victims of the inhumane weapons, to assess our progress in preventing any future use, and to renew our determination to eliminate them from the world. 

“Today, let us renew our unequivocal commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention and our support to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),” urged Mr. Guterres. 

“Let us honour the victims of chemical warfare by pledging to consign these dreadful weapons to the pages of history.” 

The Day of Remembrance 

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is observed each year on 30 November or, when appropriate, the first day of the regular session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention.  

In addition to paying tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, the Day urges countries to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons through the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention 

According to the OPCW, the implementing body of the Convention, over 98 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. 

The race to zero emissions, and why the world depends on it

What is net zero and why is it important?

Put simply, net zero means we are not adding new emissions to the atmosphere. Emissions will continue, but will be balanced by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.

Practically every country has joined the Paris Agreement on climate change, which calls for keeping the global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial era levels. If we continue to pump out the emissions that cause climate change, however, temperatures will continue to rise well beyond 1.5, to levels that threaten the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere.

This is why a growing number of countries are making commitments to achieve carbon neutrality, or “net zero” emissions within the next few decades. It’s a big task, requiring ambitious actions starting right now.

Net zero by 2050 is the goal. But countries also need to demonstrate how they will get there. Efforts to reach net-zero must be complemented with adaptation and resilience measures, and the mobilization of climate financing for developing countries.

Unsplash/Appolinary Kalashnikova
Clean energy, like wind power, is a key element in reaching net zero emissions. is wind farm in Montenegro.

So how can the world move toward net zero?

The good news is that the technology exists to reach net zero – and it is affordable.

A key element is powering economies with clean energy, replacing polluting coal – and gas and oil-fired power stations – with renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar farms. This would dramatically reduce carbon emissions. Plus, renewable energy is now not only cleaner, but often cheaper than fossil fuels.

A wholesale switch to electric transport, powered by renewable energy, would also play a huge role in lowering emissions, with the added bonus of slashing air pollution in the world’s major cities. Electric vehicles are rapidly becoming cheaper and more efficient, and many countries, including those committed to net zero, have proposed plans to phase out the sale of fossil-fuel powered cars.

Other harmful emissions come from agriculture (livestock produce significant levels of methane, a greenhouse gas). These could be reduced drastically if we eat less meat and more plant-based foods. Here again, the signs are promising, such as the rising popularity of “plant-based meats” now being sold in major international fast-food chains.

Unsplash/Marc Heckner
An electric hybrid vehicle at a charging station in Germany.

What will happen to remaining emissions?

Reducing emissions is extremely important. To get to net zero, we also need to find ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere. Here again, solutions are at hand. The most important have existed in nature for thousands of years.

 These “nature-based solutions” include forests, peatbogs, mangroves, soil and even underground seaweed forests, which are all highly efficient at absorbing carbon. This is why huge efforts are being made around the world to save forests, plant trees, and rehabilitate peat and mangrove areas, as well as to improve farming techniques.

Who is responsible for getting to net zero?

We are all responsible as individuals, in terms of changing our habits and living in a way which is more sustainable, and which does less harm to the planet, making the kind of lifestyle changes which are highlighted in the UN’s Act Now campaign.

The private sector also needs to get in on the act and it is doing so through the UN Global Compact, which helps businesses to align with the UN’s environmental and societal goals.

It’s clear, however, that the main driving force for change will be made at a national government level, such as through legislation and regulations to reduce emissions.

Many governments are now moving in the right direction. By early 2021, countries representing more than 65 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions and more than 70 per cent of the world economy, will have made ambitious commitments to carbon neutrality. 

The European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea, together with more than 110 other countries, have pledged carbon neutrality by 2050; China says it will do so before 2060.

 

Some climate facts:

  • The earth is now 1.1°C warmer than it was at the start of the industrial revolution. We are not on track to meet agreed targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which stipulated keeping global temperature increase well below 2 °C or at 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.
  • 2010-2019 is the warmest decade on record. On the current path of carbon dioxide emissions, the global temperature is expected to increase by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of century.

    To avoid the worst of warming (maximum 1.5°C rise), the world will need to decrease fossil fuel production by roughly 6 per cent per year between 2020 and 2030. Countries are instead planning and projecting an average annual increase of 2 per cent.

  • Climate action is not a budget buster or economy-wrecker: In fact, shifting to a green economy will add jobs. It could yield a direct economic gain of US$26 trillion through to 2030 compared with business-as-usual. And this is likely to be a conservative estimate.

UNDP
Restoring natural habitats as pictured here in Cuba will help to slow down climate change

Are these commitments any more than just political statements?

These commitments are important signals of good intentions to reach the goal, but must be backed by rapid and ambitious action. One important step is to provide detailed plans for action in nationally determined contributions or NDCs. These define targets and actions to reduce emissions within the next 5 to 10 years. They are critical to guide the right investments and attract enough finance.

So far, 186 parties to the Paris Agreement have developed NDCs. This year, they are expected to submit new or updated plans demonstrating higher ambition and action. Click here to see the NDC registry.

Is net zero realistic?

Yes! Especially if every country, city, financial institution and company adopts realistic plans for transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050.

The COVID-19 pandemic recovery could be an important and positive turning point. When economic stimulus packages kick in, there will be a genuine opportunity to promote renewable energy investments, smart buildings, green and public transport, and a whole range of other interventions that will help to slow climate change.

But not all countries are in the same position to affect change, are they?

That’s absolutely true. Major emitters, such as the G20 countries, which generate 80 per cent of carbon emissions, in particular, need to significantly increase their present levels of ambition and action.

Also, keep in mind that far greater efforts are needed to build resilience in vulnerable countries and for the most vulnerable people; they do the least to cause

climate change but bear the worst impacts. Resilience and adaptation action do not get the funding they need, however.

Even as they pursue net zero, developed countries must deliver on their commitment to provide $100 billion dollars a year for mitigation, adaptation and resilience in developing countries.

Unsplash/Daniel Moqvist
National governments are the main drivers of change to reduce harmful emissions.

What is the UN doing promote climate action? 

  • It supports a broader process of global consensus on climate goals through the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • It is a leading source of scientific findings and research on climate change.
  • Within developing countries, it assists governments with the practicalities of establishing and monitoring NDCs, and taking measures to adapt to climate change, such as by reducing disaster risks and establishing climate-smart agriculture.

COVID-19 threatens global progress against malaria, warns UN health agency

According to the World Malaria Report, released on Monday, the situation is particularly concerning in high-burden countries in Africa. 

The UN health agency urged nations and health partners to step up the fight against malaria, with better targeting of interventions, new tools and increased funding. 

“It is time for leaders across Africa – and the world – to rise once again to the challenge of malaria, just as they did when they laid the foundation for the progress made since the beginning of this century,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. 

“Through joint action, and a commitment to leaving no one behind, we can achieve our shared vision of a world free of malaria.” 

Though preventable and curable, malaria continues to claim hundreds of thousands of lives each year. According to WHO, nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of the disease and most cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.  

Malaria is transmitted through the bites of female Anopheles mosquitoes and controlling the vector – such as by using mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying – can help prevent and reduce transmission of the disease. 

A plateau ‘in progress’ 

The WHO report found that in 2019, malaria cases globally numbered about 229 million, an annual estimate that has remained virtually unchanged over the last four years. Last year, the disease claimed about 409,000 lives, compared to 411,000 in 2018. 

As in past years, the African region accounted for more than 90 per cent of the overall disease burden. The region has made much progress since 2000, reducing its malaria death toll by 44 per cent – from an estimated 680,000 to 384,000 – but the pace has slowed in recent years, particularly in countries with a high disease burden. 

A funding shortfall at both the international and domestic levels poses a “significant threat” to future gains, according to WHO. In 2019, total funding reached $3 billion, far short of the global target of $5.6 billion, resulting in critical gaps in access to proven malaria control tools. 

UNICEF/Bagla
A worker sprays insecticide on the surfaces of a shelter to control the spread of mosquitoes. Vector control is highly effective in preventing malaria, and a vital component of strategies to control and eliminate the disease.

Sustain, expand programmes 

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic emerged as an additional challenge for essential health services worldwide. Though most malaria prevention campaigns were able to move forward without major delays, WHO voiced concerns that even “moderate disruptions” in access to treatment could lead to a considerable loss of life. 

For instance, a 10 per cent disruption in access to effective antimalarial treatment in sub-Saharan Africa could lead to 19,000 additional deaths, while disruptions of 25-50 per cent in the region could result in an additional 46,000 and 100,000 deaths, respectively. 

According to WHO, ensuring access to malaria prevention, such as insecticide-treated nets and preventive medicines for children, also supported the response to COVID-19 by reducing the number of malaria infections and, in turn, easing the strain on health systems. 

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, underlined the need to ensure that malaria programmes are sustained and expanded. 

“COVID-19 threatens to further derail our efforts to overcome malaria, particularly treating people with the disease. Despite the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on African economies, international partners and countries need to do more to ensure that the resources are there to expand malaria programmes which are making such a difference in people’s lives,” she said. 

Growing potatoes in the air: agricultural innovation in Rwanda

Aeroponic agriculture could be the key to increasing food production sustainably in Rwanda., by © FAO/Teopista Mutesi

No soil, barely any water, a controlled environment: for Apollinaire Karegeya, the advantages of aeroponics are clear. This is a sustainable technique for growing vegetables, in which the roots are suspended in the air, and sprayed with a water and nutrient solution.

Born into a family of potato farmers, Mr. Karegeya is a champion for this sustainable form of agriculture which, he says, prevents disease and increases productivity.

His business, supported by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has been highly successful, leading many other Rwandan farmers to follow his lead, and attracting more young people with this exciting vision of a new, profitable way to cultivate crops.

Read more here about how Mr. Karegeya is growing air potatoes.

UN refugee agency appeals for $147 million to support thousands of Ethiopians fleeing to Sudan

More than 43,000 people have fled across the border to escape fighting in Ethiopia in recent weeks, almost half of them children. Mr. Grandi said in a statement that Sudan’s welcome of the refugees was an example to the international community and called for international support to bolster its effort.

“The Government of Sudan has kept the border open in the best tradition of African and Sudanese hospitality and I want to commend it as an example to the international community. But the government of Sudan needs a lot of help,” he said during a four-day visit to the region.

In its appeal document, UNHCR said its current planning scenario was for an anticipated increase in refugee numbers, with a total of 100,000 by April 2021, but the worst-case scenario was for an influx of 200,000.

UNHCRsaid on Friday it had begun airlifting aid to the refugees, sending the first of four planeloads of supplies to Khartoum, with a second flight due to bring 100 tonnes from Dubai on Monday, including blankets, solar lamps, mosquito nets, plastic sheets, tents and prefabricated warehouses.

The appeal for $147 million aims to fund UNHCR, the UN and humanitarian community to help Sudan manage the crisis over the next six months.

During his trip, Mr. Grandi met Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other Government officials in Khartoum, and he spoke to refugees at the hot and dusty frontier where they are coming across, many of whom said they wanted to return home as soon as it was safe, according to UNHCR.

Mr. Grandi also said he was worried about the situation facing almost 100,000 refugees from Eritrea who are hosted by Ethiopia in the Tigray region.

“Ethiopia is a very hospitable country for refugees, but now they are caught in this conflict, we don’t have access to them”, he said.

In a separate report, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said lack of funding had forced it to cut rations for refugees in East Africa, and WFP Ethiopia urgently needed $209 million to assist 6.2 million beneficiaries from December 2020 to May 2021. 

It said the fighting between the Ethiopian National Defence Forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation front had displaced more than 100,000 civilians, including those who had fled into eastern Sudan since 4 November.

UN human rights office worried by killings in Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua

“We are disturbed by escalating violence over the past weeks and months in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua and the increased risk of renewed tension and violence”, Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said in a statement.

She said OHCHR was concerned by reports that reinforced military and security forces and nationalist militias had been involved in the violence in the region, where there had been repeated reports of extra-judicial killings, excessive use of force, arrest and continuous harassment and intimidation of protesters and human rights defenders.

“In one incident on 22 November, a 17-year-old was shot dead and another 17-year-old injured in an alleged police shootout, with the bodies found at the Limbaga Mountain, Gome District in West Papua.”

The violence and arrests are part of a trend that began when armed Papuan elements killed 19 people working on the Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga regency in December 2018, and which escalated in August 2019 when anti-racism protests and widespread violence erupted following the detention and discriminatory treatment of Papuan students in Java.

In September and October this year at least eight people were killed, including two members of the security forces and activists and church workers, Ms. Shamdasani said.

“An investigation by the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) found one church worker, Rev. Yerimia Zanambani, a pastor of the Protestant Evangelical Church, may have been killed by members of the security forces, and that his killing was just one ‘of a series of violence occurring across the regency throughout this year.’”, she said.

There had also been numerous reports of arrests. A well-known human rights defender and seven of his colleagues were among at least 84 people arrested and detained on 17 November as they prepared to hold a public consultation on the implementation of the ‘Special Autonomy Law’ in Papua and West Papua provinces, Ms. Shamdasani said.

Ms. Shamdasani said Indonesian authorities should pursue thorough, independent and impartial investigations into all acts of violence, in particular killings, and ensure all perpetrators were held to account, regardless of their affiliation.

“We urge the Government of Indonesia to uphold people’s rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association in line with its international obligations, particularly ahead of 1 December, when there are often protests, tensions and arrests”, she said.

UN chief calls for greater inclusion of persons with disabilities

The UN chief was addressing countries that are party to the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which he stressed can only be fully implemented by tackling the obstacles, injustices and discrimination that this population experiences. 

“Realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is crucial to fulfilling the core promise of the 2030 Agenda: to leave no one behind,” he said, referring to the global action plan to bring about a more just and sustainable world. 

“In all our actions, our goal is clear: a world in which all persons can enjoy equal opportunities, participate in decision-making and truly benefit from economic, social, political and cultural life. That is a goal worth fighting for.” 

Pandemic widens inequalities 

The 13th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention (COSP13) is taking place ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, commemorated annually on 3 December. 

Like most UN events this year, it is being held in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, with participants meeting both in person and online. 

The pandemic has deepened pre-existing inequalities affecting the world’s one billion persons with disabilities, the Secretary-General said.  Even under normal circumstances they were already less likely to access education, healthcare and jobs, or to be included in their communities. 

A long way to go 

The Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities echoed this assessment. Danlami Umaru Basharu was concerned that structural barriers, exclusion and discrimination have worsened during the crisis. 

“While I celebrate that there now 182 parties to the Convention, the pandemic has made evident that there is still a long way to go in fully understanding the human rights model of disability enshrined in the Convention, and therefore in fully implementing its provisions,” he said in a video message. 

In May, the Secretary-General issued a policy brief highlighting the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on persons with disabilities. 

An inclusive future 

He has called for pandemic response and recovery to be more disability inclusive, starting with recognizing and protecting the human rights of persons with disabilities.  

“We must also ensure that the vision and aspirations of persons with disabilities are included and accounted for in a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world,” he said. 

The Secretary-General further emphasized that securing the rights of persons with disabilities is necessary for upholding the values and principles that underlie the UN. 

Last year, Mr. Guterres launched a UN-wide Disability Inclusion Strategy, aimed at bringing about lasting and transformative change across the Organization and its operations. 

The strategy also reflects how the UN is working to lead by example, he added, as the global body wants to be an employer of choice for persons with disabilities. 

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