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What gives the UN’s top refugee advocate hope?

"I think that there are still positive forces, there are still leaders in the world who think in the right way, but…it's very 50/50." The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has plenty to keep him up at night but when it comes to the fate of refugees in a post-pandemic world, it's not all doom and gloom. The refugee situation in Sudan and South Sudan, he tells Ian Bremmer, is one cause for hope. Their conversation was part of a new episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: UNHCR chief: How the pandemic has upended the lives of refugees

Microsoft announced earlier this year the launch of a new United Nations representation office to deepen their support for the UN's mission and work. Many of the big challenges facing society can only be addressed effectively through multi-stakeholder action. Whether it's public health, environmental sustainability, cybersecurity, terrorist content online or the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, Microsoft has found that progress requires two elements - international cooperation among governments and inclusive initiatives that bring in civil society and private sector organizations to collaborate on solutions. Microsoft provided an update on their mission, activities for the 75th UN General Assembly, and the team. To read the announcement from Microsoft's Vice President of UN Affairs, John Frank, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

More than 32 million COVID shots have now been administered globally, raising hopes that the light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight.

The US has vaccinated 3 percent of its total population, while the UK is nearing a solid 5 percent inoculation rate. In Israel, which has been hailed as a vaccine success story, almost 24 percent of people have already received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

But while many countries are able to glimpse the outlines of a post-COVID world, there is a huge population of people who are being left out entirely. Refugees, as well as displaced, undocumented, and stateless people around the world remain ineligible for inoculations and vulnerable to the coronavirus.

We take a look at three case studies where powerless populations are being left in the lurch.

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Kremlin critic heads home: Leading Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny plans to return to Russia on Sunday from Germany, where he has been recovering from an August 2020 assassination attempt in Russia widely attributed to agents of the Kremlin. The stakes are high: for one thing, the moment he lands, Navalny faces up to 3.5 years in prison for failing to comply with the terms of a suspended prison sentence he received in a 2014 graft trial. But the Kremlin will have to tread carefully. Navalny, a charismatic, nationalistic anti-corruption crusader with a sizable following among Russia's urban elite, has long been a thorn in President Vladimir Putin's side. But jailing him could turn him into a political martyr (as opposed to a literal martyr, which seemed to be the plan back in August) right as Russia heads towards legislative elections this winter. Those elections could prove dicey for the Kremlin: the Russian leader's popularity is near historic lows and the country is reeling from coronavirus. Putin also remembers that it was the rigged elections of 2011 that provoked the largest street protests in Russia's post-Soviet history. Who led them? Alexey Navalny.

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Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on Europe In 60 Seconds:

Why did the Estonian prime minister resign and what happens now?

Well, he had to resign because there were allegations of corruption in connection with a construction issue in in Tallinn. Let's see. I think my best guess is that there will be a new coalition with the new composition of parties and perhaps a more clear-cut commitment to reforms.

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As the world's richest nations struggle will vaccine rollout, a more daunting question looms: When will the world's poorest nations get the COVID-19 vaccine? Of course, some vaccines have already reached the developing world, but World Bank President David Malpass says it may not be until the second half of 2021, or even well into 2022, that distribution becomes widespread. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of an upcoming episode of GZERO World, airing on public television nationwide beginning this Friday, January 15th. Check local listings.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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