This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
COP25: Guterres calls for ‘path of resolve, sustainable solutions’
Resolve, sustainable solutions and zero carbon emissions by 2050 are essential to stop the world “sleepwalking past the point of no return”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday.
Speaking at the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Madrid, the UN chief warned that failing to act, risked jeopardizing the health and safety of everyone on this planet.
“In several regions of the world, coal power plants continue to be planned and built in large numbers. Either we stop this addiction to coal or all our efforts to tackle climate change will be doomed... And, the fossil fuel industry is not alone. From agriculture to transportation, from urban planning and construction to cement, steel and other carbon-intensive industries, we are far from a sustainable path. We see some incremental steps towards sustainable business models, but nowhere near the scope and scale required. What we need is not an incremental approach, but a transformational one. We need a rapid and deep change in how we do business, how we generate power, how we build cities, how we move, and how we feed the world. If we don’t urgently change our way of life, we jeopardize life itself.”
$48 billion and counting, the cost of Israeli occupation for Palestinians
To the Middle East now, where according to UN economists, the cost of Israeli occupation for the Palestinian people from 2000 to 2017 is nearly $48 billion in lost revenue.
In a report to Member States in New York, UN trade and development agency UNCTAD warned that the Palestinian economy has been severely stunted, owing to its chronic fiscal and trade deficit and the fact that it’s highly dependent on the Israeli economy.
Of the $47.7 billion in lost earnings, more than $28 billion is interest charges accrued over the years.
Another $6.6 billion is in so-called “leaked” Palestinian revenues to Israel, UNCTAD maintained.
It cited restrictions on the free movement of the people and goods between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, control by Israel of all border crossing points and limits on Palestinians’ free use of land and resources, as reasons for the huge losses.
The study also highlighted economic models indicating that if the lost billions had been injected into the economy, they would have generated around two million jobs over the 18-year period.
AIDS agency worker raises the bar in 24-hour record-breaking challenge
Finally, Sunday was World AIDS day, and to mark that and raise awareness about child sexual abuse linked to HIV, one ironman has raised the bar, literally...
Starting at midday on Sunday in Geneva and finishing 24 hours later, Peter Koopmans completed 1,500 pull-ups, 3,000 press-ups, 4,500 squat thrusts and a 15-mile run – all with a 20lb (or around 10 kilos) weight vest on.
Cheered on by colleagues at UNAIDS, Mr. Koopmans did 15 “Murphs”, as the circuits are known, smashing the previous world record of 13 and raising around $25,000 at the same time.
That’ll help to care for abused youngsters in South Africa, where reported cases of child abuse have increased by 400 per cent in the past nine years, as Mr. Koopmans explained:
“In South Africa there’s a popular belief that if you have sexual contact with a virgin that you are cured with HIV/AIDS. Some people rape even babies of three, four months old, so it’s really gruesome, it’s horrifying, and we thought it was a very noble cause and we wanted to do something for those people, to help those children.”
To hear the full interview, go to UN News’s Audio Hub.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.