— Mark Leon Goldberg, writing at UN Dispatch, outlines “7 Ways That Joe Biden Can Restore America’s Relationship With the United Nations, With the Stroke of a Pen”: restoring U.S. funding to the UN Population Fund; restoring funding for the UN Refugee and Works Agency; signaling U.S. intent to join the UN Human Rights Council; signing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration; making an enhanced Intended Nationally Determined Contribution in addition to rejoining the Paris Climate Accords; rejoining the World Health Organization and joining the COVAX coronavirus vaccine consortium; and paying U.S. arrears to UN Peacekeeping, which total about $900 million.
— According to the New York Times, the European Commission has proposed the creation of a European Health Union “to coordinate a patchwork of Covid-19 measures across the European Union and centralize responses to the pandemic.” The proposal, “which would need to be approved by the European Parliament and member countries, would create an E.U.-wide plan to prepare for future health crises, as well as coordinate Covid-19 testing across the bloc.”
— Member states of the World Health Organization have designated 2021 as the International Year of Health and Care Workers. The WHO says member states “spoke to the critical role of health and care workers in ensuring our health and prosperity. They emphasized the urgency and imperative to address persistent health worker challenges.” They also “expressed commitment to the ethical principles and practices” of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel, “urging prioritization of support and safeguards for the countries with the greatest vulnerability, including greater investment.”
— Members of the European Parliament “hailed the Parliament’s unity in the budget negotiations, which resulted in a deal reached on Tuesday that will bring additional funding for future jobs, competitiveness, and better climate protection — benefiting citizens, young people, researchers and health workers in times of crisis.” EU Commissioner for Budgetary Affairs Johannes Hahn “commended legislators on reaching a ‘good deal,’ showing that ‘Europe is up to the challenge.’ He particularly welcomed the additional funds and ambition that MEPs insisted upon despite the initial cuts proposed by member states, as well as the introduction of the rule of law mechanism and a clear roadmap towards own resources.”
— The Global Parliament of Mayors has named Banjul, Gambia, Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe and Katowice, Poland, Mayor Marcin Krupa to its executive committee. They join mayors “from Mannheim/Germany (Chair), Columbia (SA)/USA (1st Vice Chair), Hoima/Uganda (2nd Vice Chair), Braga/Portugal (Treasurer), Palermo/Italy, Monrovia/Liberia and Vyas/Nepal” on the committee.