Global perspective Human stories

News in Brief 19 July 2023

News in Brief 19 July 2023

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

UN Secretary-General urges regulation of AI at inaugural security council meeting

The UN Security Council has held its first debate on the future risks and benefits of Artificial Intelligence, or AI – in recognition of the need to address the technology’s potential for harm – and harness its power as a force for good. 

In a meeting convened by the United Kingdom, UN Secretary-General António Guterres was in no doubt about the dangers associated with AI systems: 

“Let’s be clear: the malicious use of AI systems for terrorist, criminal or State purposes could cause horrific levels of death and destruction, widespread trauma and deep psychological damage on an unimaginable scale.”

Although Mr. Guterres said that AI was already being used by the UN to strengthen peacekeeping, mediation and humanitarian efforts, he cautioned that that AI-enabled cyber-attacks were already targeting the Organisation’s peace and relief operations.

The UN chief also urged the creation of a new UN body to help govern the rapidly evolving technology:

“The overarching goal of this body would be to support countries to maximize the benefits of AI for good, to mitigate existing and potential risks, and to establish and administer internationally agreed mechanisms of monitoring and governance.”

Unitaid: Close to one million deaths by 2035 if TB prevention is not implemented

Health agency Unitaid warned on Wednesday that the failure to implement tuberculosis contact tracing and prevention could lead to close to one million deaths by 2035.

The UN agency insisted that implementing a combined strategy of identifying household contacts and providing TB preventive treatment is cost-effective and could cut deaths by 35 per cent among household contacts of patients and people living with HIV in the next 12 years.

The policy is in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendation that TB preventive treatment should be provided to those at the highest risk of infection.

This includes people living with HIV and household contacts of people with TB who account for a significant percentage of the 10.6 million new infections each year – all of which are preventable and curable.

New shorter treatment regimens also mean that TB infections can be cleared up before they develop into an active disease, according to Unitaid, which also highlighted the likely impact on reducing child deaths from TB, as currently only three in ten children with the disease are identified.

UN Women teams up with FIFA to promote gender equality 

UN Women and FIFA are teaming up during the upcoming Women’s World Cup to advance gender equality in football and prevent abuse and discrimination on and off the field

The 2023 tournament, scheduled from 20 July to 20 August in Australia and New Zealand, is slated to be viewed by over two billion people, the largest audience in history for a single women’s sport.

The UN gender equality agency said this offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements in sports and to improve awareness about gender equality. 

In a bid to close the gender gap in football, world governing body FIFA raised the prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup to $150 million - triple the amount in 2019.

The agency’s partnership with FIFA has two key aims: to unite for gender equality and to end violence against women. 

Action on these goals will be promoted physically and digitally throughout the tournament, in partnership with the FIFA-led global movement Football Unites the World and five other UN agencies including UNESCO, UNHCR, the World Food Programme, and the World Health Organization.

Caitlin Kelly, UN News.

  • UN Secretary-General urges regulation of AI at inaugural security council meeting
  • Unitaid: Close to one million deaths by 2035 if TB prevention is not implemented.
  • UN Women team up with FIFA to promote gender equality
Audio Credit
Caitlin Kelly, UN News - Geneva
Audio Duration
Photo Credit
© ITU/D.Woldu