French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a sombre speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 19, denouncing Myanmar’s “ethnic cleansing,” and calling for better protection of refugees around the world.
On September 18 and 19, US President Donald Trump addressed world leaders at the opening of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly in New York.
I am here in a spirit of gratitude and humility for the trust you have placed in me to serve the world’s peoples. “We the peoples”, and our United Nations, face grave challenges. Our world is in trouble. People are hurting and angry. They see insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing.
Not a single month has passed without dreadful disasters triggering desperate migrants to seek refuge in Europe. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 2,247 people have died or are missing after trying to enter Europe via Spain, Italy or Greece in the first half of this year. Last year, 5,096 deaths were recorded.
Two centuries ago, right here in this city soon to emerge as the world’s center of commerce, a coalition of clergy, government officials, business leaders and rescued victims rose to fight the scourge of human slavery.
Since 2000 the continent of Africa has recorded impressive rates of economic growth. This remarkable performance has been largely driven by the prolonged commodity boom and development assistance. While the continent shows great diversity in the socio-economic trajectories of its countries, growth rates have generally masked an underlying lack of structural transformation, which is needed to achieve socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable development.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), by virtue of its position of being the second largest international organization outside the UN system with 57 member countries comprising one fifth of the world population and covering Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, is indeed an important actor in dealing with rapprochement between cultures, in particular rapprochement between the Muslim World and its international partners like the USA.
The United Nations, governments, civil society, business, thought leaders and media will gather in New York on September 17 to celebrate the winners of the Equator Prize 2017. The 15 prize winning communities successfully advance innovative solutions for poverty, environment, and climate challenges.
Fish is big business. The latest figures show that more than 165 million tonnes of fish are either captured or harvested in a year, with each person consuming more than 20kg of fish annually, according to the world average. Roughly US$ 140 billion worth of fish is traded globally per annum, with millions of people relying on jobs in fishing and fish-farming, not to mention the seafood industry which involves processing, transport, retail and restaurants.
When people ask me what rising sea levels and hurricanes have to do with human rights, I tell them about my work trip to the Maldives back in 2008. At the time, the small island nation was undertaking democratic reforms and leading the diplomatic efforts at the UN to portray the human face of climate change. Vivid in my memory is an image of a man piling up sand bags to keep the rising sea from taking his house. Vivid also are the faces of elderly islanders, wracked with despair and disbelief, after huge storm surges had forced people to relocate.
Thanks to globalization and trade liberalization of commodities, services and goods, global trade has reached an unprecedented level. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, world trade in goods was valued at approximately USD 16 trillion. North-North trade generates the highest trade volume at approximately 6 trillion
; trade flows within and between countries of the Global South amounts to 4.6 trillion. Trade between the Global South and the Global North -approximately between 2.5 and 3 trillion - add up to less than the trade flows within the Earth’s two main poles.
Funding developing countries’ climate change mitigation and adaption efforts was never going to be easy. But it has become more uncertain with President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Accord. As a candidate, he threatened not to fulfil the modest US pledge of US$3 billion towards the 2020 target of US$100 billion yearly for the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The reality of daily life is that we try to fix the problems that are staring us in the face. In many ways, the desire for short-term results defines the rhythm of both public and private life. So the idea that decisions today will define where we end up in a couple of decades is difficult to grasp, and may even appear outlandish.
Taken together, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, provide humanity with a masterplan for a sustainable way of life on this planet.
Two years have passed since the world came together to adopt a truly remarkable framework for common progress: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda is transformative and inspiring its own right. That it was agreed at a time of severe political divisions on so many other issues was especially encouraging. Since then there has been very promising momentum around the world.
The worldwide impact cancer has is well known. It is the second leading cause of death globally, and according to the World Health Organization
, was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths are due to cancer and of those deaths approximately 70 percent occur in low and middle-income countries.
The vision of a literate world has guided the United Nations in its efforts to eliminate illiteracy worldwide. According to UNESCO, the world literacy rate
now stands at 91% up from 79% in 1980. In the Arab region, the literacy rate is currently at 86%; a 22% increase from 1980 where the literacy rate stood at 64%. Although world society has witnessed significant progress in eradicating illiteracy, approximately 750 million adults and 264 million children
worldwide are still considered as illiterate. Thus, the cloud of world illiteracy overshadows the geography of world poverty. Nonetheless, the Sustainable Development Goals have translated the vision of a literate world into a concrete action-plan: Sustainable Development Goal 4.6
calls upon all member States of the United Nations to ensure that youth, both men and women, “achieve literacy and numeracy” by 2030. In the words of formerSecretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan
“Ivory is like a drug and you have to be careful with it. If you are serious and desire it, you can get all you want, but you have to be patient and act very carefully,
” a Cameroonian man selling ivory items from a network of shops across Central Africa, told TRAFFIC investigators in 2014.
North Korea’s 5.9 to 6.3 magnitude nuclear test explosion September 3 marks a new and more dangerous era in East Asia.
As we watch disasters unfold – the flooding in Houston, Texas as well as the floods in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal that have killed over 1,200 people – we are grateful for the many humanitarians who risk their lives to help others.
The Business and Sustainable Development Commission has estimated that achievement of Agenda 2030 for the Sustainable Development Goals will require US$2-3 trillion of additional investments annually compared to current world income of around US$115 trillion. This is a conservative estimate; annual investments of up to US$2 trillion yearly will be needed to have a chance of keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C.