*[Enwl-eng] UNSC to meet again as Middle East envoy sounds alarm

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May 12, 2021
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Members of the United Nations Security Council will meet for the second time this week to discuss the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine as the two sides ramp up violence, exchanging rocket attacks and airstrikes. UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland has warned the region is at risk of a "full-scale war" while Israel has reportedly rejected Wennesland's proposal for an immediate cease-fire.
Full Story: Yahoo/Agence France-Presse (5/11),  The Associated Press (5/12),  The Times of Israel (5/12),  Anadolu Agency (Turkey) (5/12) 
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The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs has revised global economic growth predictions for the coming year, noting that recoveries in the US and China will drive stronger-than-expected growth while warning that continued inequities in vaccine distribution could hamper recovery in some regions. "Timely and universal access to COVID-19 vaccinations will mean the difference between ending the pandemic ... or losing many more years of growth, development and opportunities," says UN Chief Economist Elliott Harris.
Full Story: Thomson Reuters Foundation (5/11),  Xinhua News Agency (China) (5/11) 
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Health & Development
The number of new coronavirus cases and deaths around the world has leveled off and started to decline in some regions, but numbers remain unacceptably high and continued safety measures and the equitable distribution of vaccines are key to ending the pandemic, says World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The WHO warns that the highly contagious variant driving India's surging case count has been detected in 49 countries and says it is reviewing virus data in the Seychelles, where authorities report that one-third of new cases in the past week appeared in people already vaccinated.
Full Story: Voice of America (5/10),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (5/12),  Reuters (5/11) 
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Women & Girls
The World Health Organization will cooperate with local authorities and take action against any agency employee convicted of sexual misconduct or abuse, says spokesperson Marcia Poole in the wake of abuse reports from at least 20 women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. WHO officials had previously denied knowledge of staff abusing women, but some reportedly acknowledged the issue internally.
Full Story: Thomson Reuters Foundation (5/12),  The Associated Press (5/11) 
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Climate and Energy
Some 2.7 million Somalis lack adequate food supplies and more than 500,000 are facing acute hunger in the wake of an April drought followed by heavy rains that prompted flash floods in Somalia, the United Nations warns. "Both climate shocks cause displacement, jeopardize access to safe water, increase waterborne diseases and impact people's livelihoods," says Jens Laerke of the UN Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, noting that the agency's funding plan for Somalia is only 19% funded.
Full Story: Voice of America (5/11) 
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Peacekeeping and Security
Increased international action is needed to end the crisis in Myanmar, where military forces continue to use "unnecessary, disproportionate and lethal force" on civilian protestors 100 days after seizing power from the country's government, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warns. The office is urging nearby countries to pressure Myanmar to uphold commitments it made in April at a meeting of Southeast Asian nations.
Full Story: Anadolu Agency (Turkey) (5/12),  Reuters (5/11) 
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UN News
Highlights from the United Nations Department of Global Communications
100 days into Myanmar coup, 'brutal' repression tactics continue
Full Story: UN News (5/11) 
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UN Dispatch
Commentary and coverage on the UN and UN-related issues
"Inside a New Plan To Create a Global Value Chain For Female Garment Factory Workers"
Full Story: UN Dispatch (5/11) 
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Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 8:38 PM
Subject: UNSC to meet again as Middle East envoy sounds alarm

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