This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Getting sustainability back on track, only way to save planet: Guterres
UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday urged world leaders to take action to get sustainable development back on track, before it’s too late to change course.
At a meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, he insisted that the road to recovery after COVID was mapped out clearly.
Highlighting several key challenges, the UN chief said that coronavirus vaccine production needed to double, to reach 70 per cent of the world’s population by the middle of next year.
“Bold” investment was also needed in education, welfare protection, healthcare and jobs, Mr. Guterres continued at the SDG Moment event, as he urged an end to tax evasion, money laundering, and illicit financial flows.
The third global challenge was ensuring equal rights for women and girls, including in education everywhere, the UN top official maintained, as leaders heard his call to “put an end to the war being led against the planet”.
The only way to do this is by committing to zero net emissions by 2050, said Mr. Guterres, by dedicating $100 billion a year to climate action, and by saying no to more coal-fired power stations after 2021.
Guterres condemns Yemen executions by Houthis
Staying with António Guterres, who has condemned the executions of nine Yemenis by Houthi forces in the capital, Sana’a.
The nine were put to death at the weekend for allegedly helping to kill a senior Houthi official who died in an airstrike that was carried out by the Saudi-led coalition in 2018.
A statement issued by Mr. Guterres’s Spokesperson on Sunday said the Secretary-General “profoundly regretted” the Houthis’ actions, which claimed nine lives, including a minor, at the time of his arrest.
The judicial proceedings “do not appear to have fulfilled” fair trial and due process norms, said Mr. Guterres, before calling for a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty.
The Secretary-General also raised concerns about a reported airstrike by the international coalition in Shabwa on Sunday, that claimed the lives of least six people from the same family.
Such attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international humanitarian law, Mr. Guterres said.
R&D investment rose in many areas during COVID: UN report
Investment in research and development which is vital for business resilience withstood the disruption caused by COVID-19 – but not all industries fared so well, the UN said on Monday.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index 2021, firms that increased spending on innovation included those involved in software, internet and communications technologies.
So did companies in the electrical equipment industry, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, in contrast to firms hit hard by pandemic containment measures and those whose business models rely on in-person activities – such as transportation and travel.
Based on intellectual property filings and venture capital deals, Switzerland held on to its title as the world’s most innovative country.
Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom followed, while for the first time, the Republic of Korea jumped five places, to fifth.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.