Improving understanding of and response to infodemics during public health emergencies

23 Feb

Following the first global infodemiology conference held in July 2020, WHO and partners coordinated a joint call for papers  with 5 academic journals representing different scientific fields, all related to components of the science behind managing infodemics. This week the first of these academic journals published its special infodemic feature. The research findings contribute to filling the knowledge gap identified through the WHO public health research agenda for managing infodemics released earlier this month.

In the issue published by Health Security, you’ll find original peer-reviewed articles that address practice- and research-based analysis of misinformation during epidemics, characteristics of successful online messaging, disinformation and epidemics in the context of biowarfare, understanding the impact of different news sources on risk perception, and use of community listening and feedback to respond to false information. The commentaries focus on the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of crisis and emergency risk communication, scientific situational awareness, and approaches to social media messaging.

Through research being published, the science of infodemic management will be built on solid and scientifically tested methods and analytics, all of which can contribute to the design of policies and interventions that will help health authorities monitor, evaluate and respond to the current and future infodemics. 

Promoting Accountability for Those Responsible for Violence Against Protestors in Burma

23 Feb

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

The United States stands in solidarity with the people of Burma who came out across the country with courage and determination today to reject the military coup and voice their aspirations for a return to democratic governance, peace, and rule of law.  We condemn the security forces’ brutal attacks on unarmed protesters, which resulted in four deaths and injured over 40 individuals.  We also condemn the ongoing arrests and detentions of hundreds of politicians, human rights defenders, and peaceful protestors.  The United States, in close coordination with our partners and allies, has underscored to the military that violence against the people is unacceptable.

Today, the United States is responding by designating two additional State Administrative Council (SAC) members, Maung Maung Kyaw and Moe Myint Tun.  These designations were made pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(A) of Executive Order (E.O.) 14014, “Blocking Property With Respect to the Situation in Burma.”

We call on the military and police to cease all attacks on peaceful protesters, immediately release all those unjustly detained, stop attacks on and intimidation of journalists and activists, and restore the democratically elected government.  The United States will continue to work with a broad coalition of international partners to promote accountability for coup leaders and those responsible for this violence.  We will not hesitate to take further action against those who perpetrate violence and suppress the will of the people.  We will not waver in our support for the people of Burma.

Security Council ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Amends 92 Entries on Its Sanctions List

23 Feb

On 31 January 2021, the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al‑Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities amended the entries below on the Sanctions List of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2368 (2017) under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.

Climate Change ‘Biggest Threat Modern Humans Have Ever Faced’, World Renowned Naturalist Tells Security Council, Calls for Greater Global Cooperation

23 Feb

Climate change is a “crisis multiplier” that has profound implications for international peace and stability, Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council today, amid calls for deep partnerships within and beyond the United Nations system to blunt its acute effects on food security, natural resources and migration patterns fuelling tensions across countries and regions.

Secretary-General Stresses ‘Non-Traditional Threats’, in Briefing Security Council on Addressing Climate-Related Risks through Mitigation, Building Resilience

23 Feb

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ briefing to the Security Council on “Addressing climate-related security risks to international peace and security through mitigation and resilience building”, today: