This is the News in Brief from the United Nations
UN official says trade report shows eradication of poverty “unlikely”
The UN’s target of ending poverty by 2030 is “not likely” says a senior UN official as a new trade report was released on Monday, showing the health of the global economy is threatened by numerous risks.
The 2019 World Economic Situation and Prospects report, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, or DESA, shows a “steady” 3.1 growth rate over the last 12 months, but that headline figure masks issues such as accelerating trade tensions, waning support for international cooperation and inequality.
Speaking to UN News, Dawn Holland, Chief of the Global Economic Monitoring Branch of DESA, said that there have been “dramatic improvements” in reducing extreme poverty over the last 20 years, but that current global risks mean that sustainable development targets will be hard to achieve .
"There are four short-term risks that we highlight in the report: rising global trade tensions, building financial fragilities, a withdrawal from support for multilateral approaches and climate risks. We see all four of these having both short-term impacts and potential for doing long-term damage to development prospects. Under our current projections, the prospects for eradicating poverty by 2030 are not likely to be achieved. We need to see dramatic changes, we need to see growth raised to double digit levels – over 10 per cent per annum in many African countries – and we need to see levels of inequality halve from where they presently are."
Urgent need for disarmament in current climate
Cyber security challenges, and the existence of new weapons systems and technologies are not sufficiently addressed or reflected in current arms control regimes.
This was the message from Michael Møller, the Head of the UN in Geneva, at the opening of the first 2019 meeting of the Conference on Disarmament.
The Conference has been deadlocked for 20 years, unable to reach agreement on a range of issues.
In a speech to delegates, Mr. Møller, who acts as the Secretary-General of the Conference, said that the realities of today make a compelling case for a renewed sense of urgency, and a collective commitment and determination in pursuing disarmament.
UN agency dispels refugees disease-spreading myth
The World Health Organization, or WHO, has rejected the idea that refugees and migrants spread exotic diseases as a myth, in a first-of-its-kind study.
The report on the health of refugees and migrants in the WHO European Region also pointed out that European authorities are struggling to meet the needs of irregular migrants and refugees, who have a higher risk of developing ill-health than host populations.
Another myth exposed by the report is that a relatively high proportion of vulnerable people arrive in Europe: whilst international migrants make up around 10 per cent of the European population, refugees account for less than one per cent.
Conor Lennon, UN News