SDGs

Key economic forum in Russia: New technology a ‘vector of hope’ but also ‘a source of fear’ says Guterres

Technological innovation is continuing to transform the world, with the potential to propel us all towards reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) said the UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday, at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia.

Around 23 million boys have married before reaching 15; ‘we can end this violation’ says UNICEF chief

An estimated 115 million boys and men around the world were married as children, 23 million of them before the age of 15, according to the first-ever analysis on child grooms, launched on Friday by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

World Bank downgrades global growth forecasts, poorest countries hardest hit

The World Bank has lowered its expectations of global economic growth for this year in a new report. It says that, although the picture for poorer countries is expected to stabilize in 2020, economic momentum remains weak.

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Cars have replaced bicycles as the primary means of transport in many Chinese cities but, with air pollution a major problem for the country, the bike is making a comeback, thanks to digital technology, and some 21st Century thinking.

FROM THE FIELD: Watering the parched farmland of São Tomé and Príncipe

Farmers on the island of São Tomé and Príncipe, off the western coast Africa, are being supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to become more resilient in the face of climate fluctuations which have left the land parched and farmers without an income. 

Monday’s Daily Brief: the cost of maternal healthcare, Sudan and Chad updates, sustainability in focus

This Monday, top stories includes: the “catastrophic” cost of maternal healthcare; UN condemnation following violence against protesters in Sudan and the killing of a journalist in Chad; and the urgent need for sustainability highlighted through an exhibit in Geneva and a special event in London.

With a premature death every five seconds, air pollution is violation of human rights, says UN expert

An independent UN expert said on Monday that the failure of governments across the world to ensure clear air, constitutes a “violation of the rights to life, health and well-being, as well as the right to live in a healthy environment.”

From philanthropy to profit: how clean energy is kickstarting sustainable development in East Africa

Until recently, Namacurra district, in the Zambezia province of Mozambique, some 1,500 km from the capital Maputo, did not have any basic services – such as schools, health centres, or even energy – connecting the region to the electricity grid would be extremely time-consuming, and costly. But a new UN-backed clean energy initiative looks set to change the outlook for Namacurra, and, within a matter of months, kickstart sustainable development for the benefit of the thousands of people, relocated to the area following the devastating rains of 2015, and it could herald an improved outlook for other economically disadvantaged parts of Africa.

Don’t let smoking steal life’s breathtaking moments, urges UN health agency

Tobacco use continues to claim around eight million lives a year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, in a call for faster action from governments to tackle smoking and the “enormous” health, social, environmental and economic costs it entails.

‘Ground-breaking innovation’ needed in cities, where battle for sustainable development will be won or lost, says UN agency chief

If the battle to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to be won or lost in cities, then they need to “achieve a lasting impact on communities and to ensure that no one is left behind,” the head of the UN agency dealing with sustainable urban development said on Wednesday.