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News in Brief 07 September 2023

News in Brief 07 September 2023

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

UN chief hails SE Asia for vital role ‘building bridges of understanding’

Amid rising geopolitical tension, Southeast Asia is fulfilling a “vital role in building bridges of understanding” the UN chief said on Thursday.

António Guterres was speaking in Jakarta, Indonesia, at the opening of ASEAN-United Nations Summit, and declared the partnership was “more important than ever.”

From the climate emergency to the global cost-of-living crisis, the world faces tests as far as the eye can see, he told delegates from the 10-nation bloc.

With the risk of what he has often called a Great Fracture growing, he said ASEAN’s bridge building role was needed more than ever.

He said it was a vital forum for addressing regional and global issues:

 “And we need it in a world that is increasingly multipolar but requires strong multilateral institutions to go with it – based on equity, solidarity, and universality. I am grateful for your steadfast support for multilateral solutions and your contribution of over 5,000 peacekeepers from ASEAN countries.”

‘Act together’ for clean air, Guterres urges

And marking Thursday’s International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, the UN Secretary-General issued a powerful call for increased international cooperation to address the “global emergency” of worsening air pollution. 

According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), 99 per cent of the world’s population today breathes polluted air, with the exposure significantly worse in low and middle-income countries. 

This year’s theme, Together for Clean Air, addresses the urgent need for stronger partnerships, incrceased investment, and a greater sense of collective responsibility to cut air pollution. 

“Global problems require global solutions. We must act together for clean air,” said Mr. Guterres.

Children migrating through Latin America and Caribbean ‘in record numbers’

Children are migrating through the Latin America and Caribbean region in record numbers, according to a new alert from UN Children’s Fund UNICEF on Thursday.

They now account for a larger share of the migrant population than in any other region of the world.

UNICEF says the whole migration process has “changed dramatically” in the last decade, due to increased gang violence, political instability, poverty and climate change.

Regional Director Garry Conille said more and more young children are on the move, often alone and from a more diverse range of home countries.

Some hail from Africa and Asia and their epic journeys increase the risk of disease, injury, separation and abuse.

Some 21,000 children made the perilous Darien Gap crossing in 2021, rising to 40,000 last year, and in just the first seven months of 2023, the figure stands at 60.000 – a record number, said UNICEF.

In the first seven months of 2023, more than 83,000 children have entered the United States according to the US border agency.

Matt Wells, UN News.

  • Southeast Asia: ASEAN bloc has vital bridge building role says UN chief
  • Time to act together to slash deadly air pollution: Guterres
  • UNICEF: Children moving across Latin America, Caribbean, in record numbers
Audio Credit
Matt Wells, UN News - New York
Audio Duration
Photo Credit
UN Indonesia/Lufty Ferdiansyah