During the meeting, UN gave briefings on the current national, regional and global status of the COVID-19 pandemic
The head of the United Nations in South Africa, or the UN Resident Coordinator, Nardos Bekele-Thomas, supported by the heads of UN agencies, today held a successful virtual meeting with members of the diplomatic corps based in South Africa to discuss measures to combat COVID-19 in the country. The virtual meeting was attended by about 100 participants including ambassadors, high commissioners and heads of international financial institutions.
The virtual meeting was attended by about 100 participants including ambassadors, high commissioners and heads of international financial institutions
During the meeting, UN gave briefings on the current national, regional and global status of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included the UN’s coordinated response to the social impact of COVID-19, focusing on: the pandemic’s impact on education and children; its impact on vulnerable groups with focus on people living with HIV and other chronic diseases; and the impact of COVID-19 on youth and adolescents with a specific focus on strengthening the national response through a stronger youth voice in building awareness. Also addressed by the UN was how the organization could support national efforts of responding to the increase in gender-based violence incidents due to mandatory COVID-19 lockdown and the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and the need for emergency short-, medium- and long-term recovery programmes.
Members of the diplomatic corps expressed their appreciation of the overall efforts of the UN in South Africa in leading the international community’s support to national response efforts. They also expressed appreciation of the proactive steps taken by Ms. Bekele-Thomas in convening the meeting. Importantly, several embassies expressed their commitment to contribute to the strengthening of the coordination role of the UN by providing support to the office of the Resident Coordinator.
In their remarks, the diplomats also raised concerns over the impact of the lockdown on their nationals’ loss of income and the impact on their children’s access to education. The UN committed to work with the members of the diplomatic corps in linking foreign nationals to the array of national solutions that are being developed by the Government and partners with the support of the UN. There was overwhelming consensus to continue with response initiatives during the COVID-19 period and beyond.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Information Centre in Pretoria (UNIC).