This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Climate action vital for good human health, new UN health report finds
Its day four of the crucial United Nations conference on climate action, or COP24, in Poland, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a report highlighting that the cost of stopping global warming will be a lot less than the cost of dealing with its effects.
The COP24 Special Report on Health and Climate Change, produced by partnered health experts and institutions, reveals that air pollution is responsible for approximately 7 million deaths each year, costing some $5.11 trillion, among other findings related to lost hours of labor due to extreme heat, impacts on agriculture, and health services.
Health impacts for countries that emit the most emissions, principally caused by fossil fuel combustion, cost four percent of the countries’ GDP, while actions to meet goals outlined in the Paris Agreement would only cost an estimated one percent of global GDP.
In a statement ahead of the launch, WHO said meeting the mitigation goals of the Agreement would mean saving millions of lives through tackling air pollution alone, by 2050.
The agency’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebryesus said, “the evidence is clear” that climate change is injuring good human health, threatening “basic elements we all need for good health - clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply and safe shelter - and will undermine decades of progress in global health. We can’t afford to delay action any further” he added.
Syrian civilians must be protected amid ISIL executions and airstrikes: Bachelet
Violent extremists in Syria have executed civilians in the country’s east, according to reports; a fresh example of gross human rights violations condemned on Wednesday by the UN’s top rights official, Michelle Bachelet.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights told journalists in Geneva that “at least 7,000” people in Deir-Ez-Zor province were trapped, amid efforts to oust ISIL from one of their last remaining strongholds in Syria.
She said as airstrikes and bombardments intensify again, civilians are stuck in the middle, and prevented from fleeing areas under ISIL’s control.
Ms. Bachelet reminded all parties to the conflict of their obligation under humanitarian international law to protect civilians, highlighting the true universality of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ahead of its 70th anniversary on 10 December. She drew on the the shared wishes of all mothers to underscore the document’s inclusiveness.
“I think for any woman--It doesn’t matter from which region of the world she lives, which ethnic group she pertains, which religion she has or culture she has, doesn’t want its child to be born adequately, to have food, to be warm when it’s cold. So, I believe it’s universal, if you read all the articles, I mean, all of them speak about what people really want for their lives.”
UN labor agency reports migrant workers are 164 million in number
Around the globe, 164 million people are migrant workers, a rise of nine percent since 2013 when they numbered 150 million; that’s according to the latest statistics from the United Nations agency for labor standards, (ILO).
The organization’s Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers shows that some 87 percent of migrant workers are in their prime; that is, between 25 and 64 years old, and the implications for countries of origin could be negative, as they lose the most productive segment of their workforce and potentially suffer slowdown in their economic growth.
Most migrant workers, nearly 61 percent, are found in three sub regions: North America, Northern, Southern and Western Europe, and Arab countries, and while youth and those over 65 are found to be working in lower-income countries, those of prime working age are more likely to choose higher-income countries of destination.
Report authors point to a need for more comprehensive data on migration at the national, regional and global levels, and said the organization plans to produce global estimates on migrant workers regularly, to better inform decision-makers and contribute to safe, orderly migration.
Natalie Hutchison, UN News.