As the shocking toll of the earthquake in #Türkiye and #Syria continues to mount, the United Nations and World Health Organization have swung into action, while also grappling with other global crises.
In his briefing this week to the General Assembly on Priorities for 2023, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that we have started 2023 “staring down the barrel of a confluence of challenges unlike any other in our lifetimes”. He said:
Wars grind on. The climate crisis burns on. Extreme wealth and extreme poverty rage on. The gulf between the haves and have nots is cleaving societies, countries and our wider world. Epic geopolitical divisions are undermining global solidarity and trust. This path is a dead end. We need a course correction.
This week’s column charts progress and setbacks globally, nationally, and locally on many pathways, mindful of Guterres’ call for nations to recommit to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (celebrating its 75th anniversary) — “putting human rights and dignity first, with prevention at the heart”.
Don’t miss his powerful speech.
The Federal Government announced on Wednesday that it had accepted advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) that all adults who have not had a COVID-19 booster or a confirmed case in the past six months can now get another booster.
Health Minister Mark Butler’s admitted at a subsequent news conference that Australian governments had some lessons to learn from the most recent COVID wave that began in October 2022.
Read: ATAGI 2023 booster advice, dated 8 February 2023
Read: Media release: All adults now eligible for a 2023 COVID-19 booster dose
Watch: Health Minister Mark Butler and CMO Prof Paul Kelly discuss fifth COVID-19 booster
Read: Transcript of Minister’s media conference
….and no to a coal mine
Global disasters & directions
Read full update from the Director-General of the World Health Organization
Read: Health Policy Watch: WHO Turns 75 and Looks to the Future
Read the WHO’s Pandemic Treaty ‘Zero-Draft’
Read: Global pandemic treaty: what we must learn from climate-change errors
More on COVID
Read: Rethinking COVID hegemony
Read: The Lancet: Co-design effective health-literacy videos
Read: Yes, masks reduce the risk of spreading COVID, despite a review saying they don’t
Read: Smoke and vapours: RACGP warns of Big Tobacco research drive
Read the ANU report: E-cigarettes are harmful and addicting youth
Voice, sovereignty, treaty
Read the Prime Minister’s full speech to the National Press Club
Watch Professor Megan Davis explain The Voice on ABC Insiders
Read Senator Lidia Thorpe’s statement of resignation from the Greens
Read the full Twitter thread from Dr Louis Peachey
Read: Professor Anne Twomey: An Indigenous Voice will not give ‘special rights’ or create a veto
No scope for Voice litigation: ex chief justice
Meanwhile in Aotearoa/New Zealand…..