‘Our futures are being stolen!’ Youth activists tell COP27 negotiators it’s past time to tackle ‘loss and damage’

Armed with banners, picket signs, megaphones, and especially with heart-wrenching testimonies backed by scientific and economic facts, the youth took over the halls of COP27 on Thursday to demand that negotiators address the issue of loss and damage.

“There are climate catastrophes and destruction, and my country ends up borrowing money from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to deal with the repercussions… Our countries cannot develop because of the costs of the climate crisis,” a young African activist said during one of the many protests that took place today at the Tonino Lamborghini International Conference Centre.

The call from the youth was clear: They want the establishment of a loss and damage finance facility that can provide additional and readily accessible funding to help developing nations adjust to and limit the “irreversible life changing impacts on young people. More

Developing countries at COP27 call for ‘climate justice’ in the form of adaptation and loss and damage funds

The second day of COP27’s Climate Implementation Summit saw world leaders raise their voices for concrete action, particularly on adaptation and the thorny issue of loss and damage.

During a high-level event, the COP27 Presidency launched the Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda to rally global action around 30 outcomes that are needed to address what the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has described as the climate ‘adaptation gap’.

The agenda would enhance resilience for four billion people living in the most climate vulnerable communities by 2030. It has been dubbed the first comprehensive global adaptation-focused plan to rally both governments and non-State actors behind a shared set of actions.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), nearly half the world’s population will be at severe risk of climate change impacts by 2030, even with global warming of just 1.5-degrees. More

New UN weather report ‘a chronicle of chaos’: UN chief

The latest report from the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO), released on Sunday, shows that the last eight years have been the warmest on record, fuelled by ever-rising greenhouse gas concentrations.

The provisional 2022 State of the Global Climate study outlines the increasingly dramatic signs of the climate emergency, which include a doubling of the rate of sea level rise since 1993, to a new record high this year; and indications of unprecedented glacier melting on the European Alps. More

Iconic World Heritage glaciers to disappear by 2050, warns UNESCO

Some of the world’s most iconic glaciers are set to disappear by 2050, according to a new study by UNESCO, which highlights the accelerated melting of glaciers in World Heritage sites.

However, the study outlines that it is still possible to save the other two-thirds, if the rise in global temperatures does not exceed 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era. UNESCO says that this will be a major challenge facing delegates at the upcoming COP27. More

Secretary General’s UN Day message

The United Nations is the product of hope.

The hope — and resolve — following the Second World War to move beyond global conflict to global cooperation.

Today, our organization is being tested like never before.

But the United Nations was made for moments like this.

Now, more than ever, we need to bring to life the values and principles of the UN Charter in every corner of the world.

By giving peace a chance and ending conflicts that jeopardize lives, futures and global progress.

By working to end extreme poverty, reduce inequalities, and rescue the Sustainable Development Goals.

By safeguarding our planet, including by breaking our addiction to fossil fuels and kickstarting the renewable energy revolution.

And by finally balancing the scales of opportunity and freedom for women and girls and ensure human rights for all.

As we mark UN Day, let us renew our hope and conviction in what humanity can achieve when we work as one, in global solidarity.

New York

24 October 2022

Time to get off the couch, WHO warns, as 500 million risk developing chronic illness

Almost 500 million people will develop heart disease, obesity, diabetes or other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) attributable to physical inactivity, between 2020 and 2030, if governments worldwide don’t take urgent action to promote the benefits of exercise, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday.

And the price of inaction and staying on the couch, will be severe, WHO said – around $27 billion every year in extra healthcare costs.

The Global status report on physical activity 2022, measures the extent to which governments are implementing recommendations to increase physical activity across all ages and abilities.

Data from 194 countries show that overall, progress is slow and that countries need to accelerate the development and implementation of policies to increase heart rates and help prevent disease and reduce the burden on already overwhelmed health services. More

Guterres highlights UN partnership with India, as powerhouse for the SDGs

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is in India, and he began his official visit on Wednesday by attending a tribute to the victims of the 2008 terrorist attacks that took place at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai.

Afterwards, he went to the Indian Institute of Technology in India’s business capital, where he delivered a lecture, hailing the partnership between the country and the UN, in celebration of India’s 75th anniversary.

He said India’s upcoming presidency of the G20 – the group of major industrialized nations – will be an important opportunity to bring the values and vision of the developing world to the top table of the global economy, and highlight the Global South overall.

The UN chief also counted on India’s support in mobilizing G20 countries around debt relief. More

Global health: Women and children pay heaviest price for ‘gaping inequities’

A new UN report shows that women’s and children’s health has suffered globally, as the impacts of conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change converge, with devastating effects on prospects for children, young people and women.

Data presented in the report show a clear and critical regression across virtually every major measure of childhood wellbeing, and many key indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since the last Every Woman Every Child Progress Report published in 2020, food insecurity, hunger, child marriage, risks from intimate partner violence, and adolescent depression and anxiety have all increased.

Since the start of the global pandemic, 10.5 million children have lost a parent or caregiver to COVID-19. “At the core of our unkept promise is the failure to address the gaping inequities at the root of global crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to conflicts and the climate emergency”, said UN chief António Guterres. More

‘Undeniable need for accountability’ in Ukraine as violations mount

The Independent Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, presented its first detailed written report to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, which concludes that there are reasonable grounds to believe “an array” of war crimes, violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have been committed.

Set up by the Human Rights Council in March, it presented its initial findings in Geneva at the end of last month.

“Given the gravity of the identified violations, there is an undeniable need for accountability”, the Commission told the General Assembly.

Russian armed forces are responsible for the vast majority of the violations identified, including war crimes. Ukrainian forces have also committed international humanitarian law violations in some cases, including two incidents that qualify as war crimes. More

MEDIA ADVISORY – UN torture prevention body to visit Australia for the first time

GENEVA (13 October 2022) – The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) will visit Australia from 16 to 27 October to advise and assist the State party in meeting its international commitments to prevent torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.

“Our main objective is to assess how the authorities have implemented their obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), including those initiatives about maintaining, designing and setting up one or more visiting bodies to form the National Mechanism for Prevention of Torture in the country,” said Aisha Shujune Muhammad, Head of the Delegation.

“We will also assess the treatment of people deprived of their liberty, and examine the existing protection measures against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” she added.

This is the SPT’s first visit to Australia. The Subcommittee was originally scheduled to visit the country in April 2020, the mission was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More