This is the news in brief from the United Nations.
‘Resilience and sustainability’: Necessary investments for global urbanization
Each week, “1.4 million people move to cities,” pointed out United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in his message for World Cities Day, celebrated on Wednesday.
While noting that such massive movements strain local capacities and contribute to increased disaster risks, he stressed that “hazards do not need to become disasters.”
“The answer” he said, “is to build resilience – to storms, floods, earthquakes, fires, pandemics and economic crises.”
Mr. Guterres explained that cities, such as Bangkok, Quito and Johannesburg are doing just that, forging new ways to increase resilience and sustainability.
The UN established World Cities Day to address the challenges of urbanization and contribute to sustainable urban development globally.
This year’s theme, Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities, shines a light on the need to preserve human life and limit damage and destruction while continuing to provide infrastructure and services after a crisis.
One-month goal for UN to re-launch Yemen peace talks
To Yemen now. UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths welcomed on Wednesday recent calls for immediately resuming the political process and measures to end hostilities there.
In a statement, he said "We remain committed to bring the Yemeni parties to the negotiations table within a month."
The UN envoy stated that he would continue to work with all concerned regional parties for an inclusive political settlement to the conflict.
He urged constructive participation toward a framework for political negotiations and confidence-building measures. He pointed specifically to enhancing the capacities of the Central Bank of Yemen, the exchange of prisoners and the re-opening of Sana’a airport.
The Special Envoy said that dialogue remains the only path to reach “an inclusive agreement”.
Mushrooms battle some of humanity’s greatest challenges – UN-backed report
Turning to the environment, mushrooms have a much larger purpose than simply their role in the food chain. A new United Nations-backed report reveals that fungi may help the world deal with its plastic addiction by breaking down polyurethane in a matter of weeks.
According to the first-ever State of the World’s Fungi report, scientists at London’s Kew Gardens reported that these organisms have the potential to disintegrate waste plastic. This is an important advancement in a world questioning these manufactured compounds that are killing marine life and polluting seas around the world.
Noting that there may be as many as 3.8 million fungal species, with only 144,000 named so far, the authors argue that further research into these organisms could provide answers to some of humanity’s greatest challenges.
In the meantime, the Kew Gardens report showcases the kind of pioneering thought that will be at the heart of the fourth UN Environment Assembly next March, on “innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production.”
Liz Scaffidi, UN News.