Hard Numbers: Greece wants to build a new wall in the sea to deter migrants

Hard Numbers: Greece wants to build a new wall in the sea to deter migrants

10,000: In an attempt to uproot the vast network of jihadist groups in the Sahel region, Mali says it will recruit 10,000 new soldiers in the coming months, increasing the size of its army by 50%. But it's not clear how the government will entice so many people to join an underfunded army whose soldiers are regularly killed in Islamist attacks.


7: The EU has piled new sanctions on seven Russian-backed officials in Crimea for illegally organizing elections in the peninsula last year, raising the number of individuals on the EU blacklist to 177. These people have their assets in the EU frozen and are barred from traveling there.

2.7: Greece's government wants to install a 2.7 km (1.7 mile) floating barrier in the Aegean Sea to deter migrants from reaching the Greek islands from Turkey's coast. A resurgence in the number of migrants arriving at the island of Lesbos from the Middle East and Africa has created severe overcrowding at some refugee camps.

200,000: The Colombian government will grant legal status to some 200,000 Venezuelan refugees in the coming months, and many more will be eligible for new work visas as well. Colombia has absorbed 1.6. million Venezuelan refugees, by far the most of any country, and the government wants to formalize their status in order to discourage criminality and other social problems.

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.

Over the past eight days, the US-China relationship got notably hotter. None of the new developments detailed below is big enough by itself to kill hopes for better relations next year, but collectively they point in a dangerous direction.

US jabs over Hong Kong: On September 14, the US State Department issued a travel warning for the city because of what it calls China's "arbitrary enforcement of local laws" by police. The US is closely monitoring the case of 10 people detained by China while attempting to flee to Taiwan by boat. China's response to US criticism of its new security law in Hong Kong remains muted. That could change if relations deteriorate further.

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Trump is willing to give up Wisconsin for Belarus' democracy? When multilateralism hits the Zoom calls, we can't really tell what's real and what's not. #PUPPETREGIME

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner for McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on how the pandemic has influenced climate action:

Has the pandemic helped or harmed efforts to tackle climate change?

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In a new interview with GZERO World host Ian Bremmer, conducted on the eve of the 2020 General Assembly, UN Secretary-General António Guterres confronts the challenges of leading a multilateral organization in an increasingly nationalistic world. "I am not naïve," he tells Bremmer. "I know this is going to be a very tough ideological battle."

Watch the episode: UN Secretary-General António Guterres: Why we still need the United Nations

How has the pandemic influenced climate action?

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