This is the News in Brief from the United Nations
Tobacco still killing eight million every year - UN health agency
Tobacco use claims about eight million lives a year, and governments need to do more to tackle smoking and its “enormous” health, social, environmental and economic costs, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
In a press release, WHO said that inhaling tobacco smoke just once, “begins damaging the lungs”, because the structures that sweep mucus and dirt out of our airways are paralysed, allowing poisons in tobacco smoke to make their way into the lungs more easily.
The statement comes ahead of World No Tobacco Day on the 31st of May, which will highlight the damage that tobacco does to smokers and non-smokers alike.
WHO is calling for enhanced public awareness strategies, such as creating more smoke-free indoor public spaces, banning tobacco advertising, and significantly increasing taxes on tobacco products.
China’s ‘remarkable’ creative economy marches ahead
China’s creative economy – which includes books, film, music and video games – is growing faster than other countries, making it the world’s driving force in the field over the past 15 years, says a new UN trade report.
The study from the UN Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, tracks national performance in the trade of creative goods and services between 2002 and 2015, and shows that China is the biggest single exporter and importer, with trade growing “exponentially” over the period.
China’s performance is described in the report as “remarkable”, because of its sustained growth over three decades, its dominance of the world market for creative goods and services, and its role in sustaining the regional and global creative economy.
Speaking to UN News, Amy-Louise Shelver from UNCTAD said the report shows that the view of China as simply “the factory of the world” is now outdated:
I think that’s a one-dimensional view of what’s actually happening in China.
Obviously China’s growth over the past 20 to 30 years has certainly been based on its performance as a factory of the world: that’s what it’s used to kickstart its economy.
Subsequent to that, there’s been a massive broadening of China’s goods and services offering, and it’s important to see it as a multi-dimensional economy, not simply a manufacturing hub.
Family farms are ‘drivers of sustainable development’
Launching the United Nations Decade of Family Farming in Rome on Wednesday, two UN agencies have lauded family-run farms, which account for over 90 per cent of the sector, as “key drivers of sustainable development,” that play a major role in ending hunger and malnutrition.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) also announced a to upgrade support for family farmers, particularly those in developing countries, with detailed guidance for the international community.
Although farmers produce most of our food, they poverty, especially in developing countries, and the plan highlights the need to increase access to social protection for farmers, as well , training and opportunities to generate income.
Conor Lennon, UN News.