Tackling poverty, inequality and climate change: ‘We need more money’
There is a multi-trillion-dollar gap between the ambitions of the UN for a global economy that benefits all, and the amount of money offered up so far by individual countries.
This was the message from UN chief António Guterres on Monday, at the opening of the 2019 Financing for Development Forum, held in the Economic and Social Council hall at UN Headquarters in New York.
Mr. Guterres told delegates that the tools already exist - along with international agreements - to tackle poverty, inequality and climate change, but more money is needed to implement the UN’s ambitious 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
He went on to express his hope and expectation, that the conference leads to a faster implementation of the sustainable development targets set by the international community:
"Most people live in countries where inequality is growing. In some countries, the gender equality gap is widening. These developments are cause for great concern. We are here today as part of an effort to coordinate an urgent global response to reverse these trends."
‘We are living in the middle of a global measles crisis’ WHO chief
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, has declared that we are living in the middle of a global measles crisis.
In the first three months of this year, the number of recorded cases was almost 300 per cent higher than in 2018. Although the WHO’s data is provisional, the organization says that it indicates a clear trend, with many countries in the midst of a sizeable measles outbreak.
Even countries with high overall vaccination coverage, such as Israel, Thailand and the US, have seen spikes in case numbers. In the past week, New York City declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn, due to the rapid spread of measles.
The disease is almost entirely preventable, through two doses of a safe and effective vaccine, but global coverage with the first dose, has stalled at 85 per cent of the population, leaving many people at risk.
Mr. Ghebreyesus said that there is no debate to be had about the profound benefits of vaccines, and that children are paying the price for complacency.
‘Yemen bleeds’ as fighting worsens, UN Special Envoy tells Security Council
The situation for the people of Yemen has, if anything, worsened over the past year.
In a briefing to the Security Council on Monday, Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, said that, in the months since a fragile UN-backed ceasefire began in the region around the key port of Hudaydah, civilian casualties have significantly reduced, and people are beginning to return to their homes.
However, outside the area, violence has escalated, and the economic situation in the country as a whole remains extremely fragile.
Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, also briefed that many regions are seeing intense fighting , and dozens of casualties, including children.
In a passionate appeal, Mr. Griffiths told the Security Council that “Yemen bleeds. Its people go hungry. Its children have not seen the inside of a classroom. It is a tragic place.”