Pandemic brings ‘short-lived’ air quality gains

Lockdowns and travel restrictions resulted in a “dramatic short-lived fall in emissions of key air pollutants” last year, the U.N. weather agency reported.

Organizations turn to airlift for Afghanistan

The U.N. health agency and other international organizations began airlifting emergency supplies to Afghanistan through neighboring Pakistan and its airline.

Extreme climate risks for 1 billion children

Almost half of the world’s 2.2 billion children face an “extremely high” potential for deadly exposure to multiple shocks, according to UNICEF.

Taliban’s grip imperils aid for Afghan civilians

Humanitarian aid agencies and U.N. leaders scrambled to protect civilians in Afghanistan while calling on the Taliban to end fighting and provide assurances.

IPCC warns some warming is locked in

The U.N. chief called a major new report on human-caused global warming ‘a code red for humanity’ though a brief window exists to avoid the worst.

Global coronavirus cases surpass 200 million

Confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide topped 200 million with 4.25 million deaths, amid a surge in highly transmissible Delta variant infections.

Geneva hosts U.S.-Russia security talks

Diplomats from the U.S. and Russia held a new round of discussions in Geneva seeking ways to defuse rising tensions and to avoid a new nuclear arms race.

U.N. rights chief decries reported spyware abuse

Michelle Bachelet said reports of spying with military-grade malware on activists, dissidents and journalists “seem to confirm some of the worst fears.”

WMO’s climate-linked ‘summer of extremes’

Amid devastating floods in Western Europe, the U.N. weather agency stressed the rising frequency of extreme weather due to the climate crisis.

New European carbon cutting plans unveiled

The European Commission adopted a set of proposals to cut net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent from 1990 levels by the end of this decade.

Almost 10% of all people went hungry in 2020

World hunger “shot up” during the pandemic, leaving nearly 1-in-10 people undernourished mostly in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

U.N. extends aid route to rebel-held Syria

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a compromise to keep open Syria’s last non-government controlled border crossing for humanitarian aid.

400,000 face Ethiopia famine

Senior U.N. officials warned that more than 400,000 people are suffering from famine in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, and 1.8 million more are on the verge.

Berlin forum cites ‘progress’ in Libyan unity

Calling it “a new phase for peace in Libya,” Germany and the U.N. ended a conference with diplomats expressing confidence in Libya’s rebuilding.

Bachelet calls pandemic key test for leaders

The U.N. human rights chief opened the Human Rights Council’s summer session urging leaders to correct the many inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.

Guterres re-elected as U.N. chief through 2026

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres was re-elected to lead the world body for the next five years, winning the General Assembly’s unanimous support.

Nearly 3 million more displaced people in 2020

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the global number of people fleeing wars, conflicts or human rights violations rose to almost 82.4 million last year.

Biden and Putin agree to reduce nuclear risks

With U.S.-Russia tensions nearing Cold War-era dimensions, Presidents Biden and Putin used Swiss diplomacy to agree to nuclear talks and other measures.

E.U. and U.S. end Airbus-Boeing dispute

The E.U. and U.S. announced a deal to end the bitter trade dispute between Airbus and Boeing as E.U. leaders and U.S. President Joe Biden met in Brussels.

With Biden, NATO warns on China, Russia

NATO agreed to address China’s military goals along with Russia’s aggressiveness at a summit on threats and challenges “from all strategic directions.”

G-7 takes on pandemic, climate and China’s role

The G-7 summit wrapped up with vows to end the pandemic, fight climate change and incorporate U.S. President Biden’s pledge to “build back better.”