This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Pacific Islands have ‘moral authority’ to demand climate action: UN chief
Addressing a meeting of Pacific Island leaders in Fiji on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that they have the “moral authority” to tell the world that climate action needs to be reversed.
The Islands are, he said, leading by example, becoming more resilient, and investing in measures to adapt to the changing climate.
The UN chief expressed his admiration for the commitments made by the countries of the region to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and said that they set an example for the most developed economies of the world.
Mr. Guterres ended with words of defiance, and determination to address the issue of climate change, which is not only a problem for the Pacific, but the whole planet.
The UN, he said, is asking for solidarity rather than generosity, and “enlightened self-interest from all decision-makers around the world.”
WHO launches online tool to tackle ‘urgent need’ to combat threats to global health
In a bid to improve the treatment of neglected diseases and threats to global health, the UN health agency WHO launched an online resource on Wednesday, designed to guide research into new health products.
The free-to-use Health Product Profile Directory, which the WHO describes as “an essential tool for realizing universal health coverage,” so far contains research information on 196 products, with a strong focus on infectious diseases.
The Ebola outbreak that began in 2014 in West Africa, highlighted the importance of centralizing information in order to fight neglected diseases, antimicrobial resistance and diseases with the potential to spread pandemics, so that research and development is more effective, and better coordinated.
Nearly a fifth of Somalis at risk from ‘disastrous’ drought
A drought in Somalia described by the UN food agency (FAO) as ‘disastrous’ could hit around 2.2 million people in the country: almost a fifth of the population.
On Wednesday the FAO put out a special alert, warning that the number of hungry people in Somalia is likely to be 40 per cent higher than it was at the beginning of the year, and that there has been a sharp increase of acutely malnourished children being admitted to feeding centres.
People in the country are more vulnerable this year because, on top of the drought itself, they are dealing with increasing conflict, and a reduction in humanitarian aid.
In an effort to stave off the crisis, the FAO is calling for urgent funds for critical livelihood support such as cash assistance, seeds and farming tools.
Conor Lennon, UN News.