This is the News in Brief from the United Nations
‘Relative calm’ in Yemen port cities following UN-backed ceasefire agreement
The UN-backed Yemeni agreement to cease fighting around the country’s main ports, signed in Stockholm, Sweden, last December, has led to a “significant decrease in hostilities,” with both sides determined to find a comprehensive resolution to the conflict.
This was the message from Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Yemen, addressing the Security Council on Wednesday.
He said that, although there has been some violence in the city and governorate of Hudaydah, it is very limited compared with levels before the summit in Sweden, and he expressed his hope for improved security in Hudaydah, and the opening of humanitarian routes:
“I am grateful for the commitment and patience that both parties have shown since Stockholm. Progress on some of the issues has been gradual and indeed it’s somewhat tentative, but there is a tangible contribution to peace. There are, no doubt, many hurdles to be overcome in the days, weeks and months ahead, but I would say here that the parties must not be diverted from their commitments.”
Mr Griffiths added that he was “under no illusions” concerning the challenges Yemenis face due to the war, which continues to have a terrible impact on the economy and overall humanitarian situation.
‘Storm clouds brewing for global economy’: World Bank
The World Bank’s New Year’s message is not a cheery one. The Organization warned on Wednesday that “storm clouds” are brewing for the global economy, with its January Global Economic Prospects report ominously titled “Darkening Skies.”
The study shows that international trade and investment have softened, trade tensions remain high and growth in emerging and developing economies is expected to remain flat in 2019. In addition, global growth risks being even weaker than anticipated.
Governments are advised to increase support for central bank independence, ensure that their debt is sustainable and maintain adequate buffers to ride out economic downturns.
ILO celebrates 100 years of advancing social justice
100 years ago, in a world struggling to deal with the aftermath of a devastating global conflict, life in industrialized countries was marked by high levels of poverty, inequality and discrimination.
Demands for improved working conditions led to concerns that the social situation was explosive enough to lead to widespread revolution in Europe.
These fears led to the creation of the International Labour Organization, or ILO, which is celebrating its centenary year with a new interactive, multimedia Website unveiled on Wednesday. It takes users on a journey through the achievements of the organization from 1919 onwards, advancing social justice and promoting decent work.
You can see the first chapter, explaining the tripartite principle of uniting governments, workers and employers, at www.ilo.org/100
Conor Lennon, UN News.