This is the News In Brief from the United Nations
Cancer “a growing global threat”, UN cancer agency
More than 18 million new cases of cancer are expected this year and it’s estimated that 9.6 million people will die from various forms of the disease in 2018.
These are some of the findings of the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report, released on Wednesday.
The report shows that cancer cases and deaths are a growing global threat, with figures for new cases and deaths higher than in previous reports published in 2012 and 2008.
Nearly half of the new cases and deaths this year will be seen in Asia, partly because this region now accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s population.
The overall increase is attributed to many factors, including population growth and ageing.
The IARC has called for the urgent implementation of efficient prevention and early detection policies in order to control the disease.
Stronger response needed to threats against peacekeepers: UN peacekeeping chief
In the face of complex and evolving challenges, there needs to be heightened vigilance and a more robust response to threats against both peacekeepers and those they defend.
That was the message Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the UN’s peacekeeping chief, delivered to the Security Council on Wednesday.
He also spoke of improvement in gender parity in peacekeeping operations – both at Headquarters and in the field – where representation of women has slightly improved:
“More women in peacekeeping simply makes peacekeeping more effective. We need to significantly enhance the number of female peacekeepers at all levels and within uniformed as well as civilian components. We must also ensure that they are able to meaningfully participate in our work. Women are only 21% of our personnel. We must do better. The policies that we have promoted can only be achieved through the active involvement of Members States. I therefore welcome the efforts undertaken by a number of Member States, and I call on all of you to further these initiatives and significantly increase your contributions of women peacekeepers.”
Exposing workers to toxic substances a “vicious form of exploitation”: UN expert
Exposure of workers to toxic substances can and should be considered a form of exploitation and is a global health crisis, says a UN expert.
Baskut Tuncak, UN Special Rapporteur on hazardous substances and wastes, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday that governments and companies must strengthen workers protection from any exposure to toxic chemicals.
One worker dies approximately every 30 seconds from exposure to toxic chemicals, pesticides, radiation and other hazardous substances, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Mr Tuncak said that poverty, gender, age, ethnicity and migration are among the themes that frequently recur in cases of workers and toxic harms.
In his report, Mr. Tuncak writes that every worker has a right to dignity, to be treated ethically, with respect and without being subjected to conditions of work that are dehumanizing or degrading.
Conor Lennon, UN News.