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World Health Day 2020 - WHO and partners call for urgent investment in nurses and midwives

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7 April 2020 is the day to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy. Nurses and other health workers are at the forefront of COVID-19 response - providing high quality, respectful treatment and care, leading community dialogue to address fears and questions and, in some instances,  collecting data for clinical studies. Quite simply, without nurses, there would be no response.

In this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, World Health Day will highlight the current status of nursing and around the world. WHO and its partners will make a series of recommendations to strengthen of the nursing and midwifery workforce.

This will be vital if we are to achieve national and global targets related to universal health coverage, maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases including mental health, emergency preparedness and response, patient safety and the delivery of integrated,…

Obituary for Martin Khor - an undaunted fighter for the poor and underprivileged, a passionate believer in a more balanced and inclusive multilateralism

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Obituary by Yilmaz Akyüz, Former Director, Globalization and Development Strategies Division, UNCTAD; and Former Chief Economist, South Centre, Geneva.Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Globalization and Development Strategies Division, UNCTAD, Geneva. 

We are greatly saddened by the passing of Martin Khor, a long-time friend and colleague, an undaunted fighter for the poor and underprivileged, a passionate believer in a more balanced and inclusive multilateralism, a rare intellectual and eloquent orator, an icon of the Global South worthy of veneration, greatly respected for his struggle for justice and fairness against the dominance and double-standards of big economic powers.  
Martin was born in 1951 in colonial Malaysia, still under British rule, to a family of journalists. After his primary and secondary education in Malaysia, he left for the UK in 1971 to study at the University of Cambridge, where he obtained his B.A Hons and M.A. in economics, before completing his second Masters…

UNFCCC Press Release: COP Bureau Reschedules Climate Change Discussions for October 2020

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The UNFCCC Bureau agreed with our assessment on the 25th of March that the COP26 should be postponed but that an additional predatory meeting be scheduled for this year. We suggested November they have gone for late September (28th) to October 12th in Bonn. We still expect it to be November.  UNFCCC Press Release Bonn, 1 April 2020 – A decision was taken today by the COP Bureau to postpone the UN Climate Change meetings of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB52) until October 4-12, 2020, at the World Conference Centre in Bonn, Germany. Pre-sessional meetings will take place from September 28 to October 3, 2020.

The decision by the Bureau took into consideration the guidelines from local German health authorities in relation to the global health crisis around COVID-19. It aims to ensure not only full inclusion and participation, but the well-being and safety of all involved. This review was also necessary as the COP Bureau is mandated to inform Parties and Observers at least two months before schedu…

Guest blog: Our universal right to live in health

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By Gabriele Koehler, a development economist searching for gender-just, climate-just and economically-just policy approaches. 
Just out: The Politics of Social Inclusion. Bridging Knowledge and Policies Towards Social Change by Gabriele Koehler, Alberto Cimadamore, Fadia Kiwan and Pedro Manuel Monreal Gonzalez. 
This blog was originally published at IDEAS here.

Acute deaths, chronic deaths 

The COVID19 pandemic is frightening. The staggering number of deaths in just a few months is numbing our minds and breaking our hearts.

Medical disasters such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, or natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, droughts, earthquakes, or man-made disasters such as nuclear power plant implosions affect a large number of people in one incident. They are acute. They are distressing. They ought to not be happening.

At the same time, despite the enormous morbidity and mortality of the Covid-19 virus, year upon year, chronic medical disasters affect far larger numbers…

Is it time to postpone the 2020 Climate Summit?

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By Felix Dodds and Michael Strauss first published on Inter Press Service here. With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the planet and the governments of both wealthy and poorer nations overwhelmed by the demands of managing a response, the scheduling of this year’s critical UN Climate Summit is suddenly in doubt.  COP26 (formally, the 26th annual Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) is planned for Glasgow, Scotland (UK) from 9-20 November. It will be the culmination of five years of negotiations since the historic 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. More than 100 presidents and prime ministers are expected to present their nations’ plans for carrying out the sweeping environmental, economic and energy changes necessary to keep the Earth’s warming to survivable levels. In all, over 30,000 government delegates, intergovernmental officials and stakeholder representatives are preparing to attend. The agenda of COP26 is deep and urgent. Besides reporting how t…

Guest blog:Tourism must Walk and Chew Gum at the same time - The light at the end of the Covid 19 Tunnel

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Guest blog by Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President SUNx Malta
“Letmestartbymakingitclearthattodayandforthecomingmonthseverygovernment and industry action must be focused on a total response, repeat total response, to the global enemy of COVID 19. To health issues: livelihood issues: family issues and business survival issues. It is war. Nothing is more important than coherent national andinternationalresponse,whereco-ordinated,joined-upactionistheonlypathopen.” As the pandemic crisis intensifies, pulling the world economy towards recession it’s clearthat the Travel & Tourism sector is in the centre of the maelstrom. Airlines are slashing flights: Cruise companies are cancelling programs: Hotels are seeing bookings evaporate. And with it the entire Travel Ecosystem of airports, ports, stations, along with meetings, sports events, theme parks, music festivals and all the attendant hospitality services for feeding and entertaining travellers. Some 10% of the global economy, driven dire…