ICYMI: United Nations Newsroom Round-Up 22-28 April

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The UN Newsroom is an invaluable resource in keeping up with the work of the UN’s many projects. Each week, it highlights issues and events of importance to the United Nations, keeping the public informed of work being done. Here are some highlights for the week of 22-28 April 2018.

Disasters could cost Asia-Pacific region $160 billion per year by 2030

Despite economic losses of more than $1.3 trillion during the past 50 years due to disasters, the percent of residents who are insured against such disasters in the Asia-Pacific region remains low, which could lead to increased economic hardship. With annual economic losses attributable to disasters expected to rise to $160 billion per year by 2030, government and businesses will have to find a way to cover these costs. United Nations officials warned about these challenges during the Innovative Financing for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia-Pacific event held 24 April 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. “The time for establishing solutions to these complex emerging challenges is now,” said Shamshad Akhtar, the Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

Vaccines protecting more children than ever, but millions still miss out on routine immunizations

A little girl being vaccinated in the town of Bouaké, in Côte d’Ivoire. Immunization in the country is free for children bellow one year old, but three out of five children do not get vaccinated before their first birthday.

As World Immunization Week began on 24 April, the United Nations celebrated progress on the number of children being immunized against preventable diseases. “Last year, it is estimated that vaccines saved the lives of as many as three million children,” said Robin Nandy, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Chief of Immunization. The United Nations also  cautioned that more than one million children die each year from diseases that would be have preventable with proper immunizations. In 2016 UNICEF estimates that approximately 25 percent of deaths among children under five were from pneumonia, diarrhoea and measles, all diseases that can usually be prevented through vaccination.

At development financing forum, top UN officials urge breakaway from ‘short-termism’

Economic and Social Council 2018 session
3rd Financing for Development Forum.
Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.

During a forum focusing on the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development 2018 Report on 23 April 2018, UN officials urged businesses and governments to take a longer term approach to development in order to build a sustainable future. The forum, sponsored by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), was an opportunity for officials to discuss the report, which is the first such report that provides an assessment of progress in financing for development. “Domestic resource mobilization is fundamental,” said Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. Mohammed also stressed the need to unlock domestic capital and fight tax evasion, money laundering and illicit financial flows that erode domestic resource bases

Unity in Security Council key to recent easing of tensions on Korean Peninsula

Photo: Moa Haeggblom
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, at the start of the Secretary-General’s retreat for the UN Security Council in the country.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, attributed progress in relations between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to unity in the Security Council during comments made on 23 April 2018. “I have no doubt that if we are today on track… for a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, that is due to a number of reasons,” Guterres said at a press conference in Stockholm, following a meeting with Sweden’s Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven. He added that the United States, China and other countries played important roles in the DPRK’s decision to suspend nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. However, Guterres also noted that this unity has not translated into action regarding the Syria, and that more work needs to be done to resolve that crisis.


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