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Photo: President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana gives opening remarks at the ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum, 25 April 2022. Credit: UNDESA/Predrag Vasic

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) — The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which primarily include the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger by 2030, are in deep financial trouble.

The goals have been severely undermined by the cumulative effects of several factors, including the economic fallout from the war in Ukraine and, most importantly, the widespread COVID-19 pandemic which has had a devastating impact on both the world’s rich and poor nations.

Photo Credit: Predrag Vasic/SPCS/OUSG/DESA

By Jamshed Baruah

NEW YORK (IDN) — In the face of dramatic reversals in global progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), urgent action is required by the international community to improve developing countries’ access to affordable finance.

Inaugurating the four-day Forum on Financing for Development (FfD Forum) on April 25, ECOSOC President Mr. Collen V. Kelapile, Botswana's Permanent Representative to the UN said: “…The ambition of sustainable development for all is facing perhaps its greatest threat since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda seven years ago.”

Photo source: Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific for 2022

By Krishan Dutta

BANGKOK (IDN) — With an eye on the continuing uncertainty over the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased global risks, the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific for 2022, has called for anchoring the region’s economic recovery and progress in “a new social contract” of inclusiveness to protect the vulnerable from future shocks.

Photo: (Left) An older woman learning computer skills in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Right) An elderly woman sits outside a health clinic in rural Nepal. Credit: Left: Amer Kapetanovic/UNFPA Bosnia and Herzegovina. Right: © Aisha Faquir/World Bank

Viewpoint by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

The writer is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

BANGKOK (IDN) — The growing number and share of older persons in Asia and the Pacific represent success stories of declining fertility and increasing longevity; the result of advances in social and economic development. This demographic transition is taking place against the backdrop of the accelerating Fourth Industrial Revolution. But COVID-19, with its epicentre now in Asia and the Pacific, has exacerbated the suffering of older persons in vulnerable situations and demonstrated the fragility of this progress.

Photo: Masked staffers at the podium of the UN General Assembly last year. Credit: United Nations

By Thalif Deen

NEW YORK (IDN) — The United Nations, perhaps never in its 76-year history, has held a General Assembly session characterized by risks that could trigger the spread of a deadly disease in a city where Covid-19 Delta variant infections are on the rise.

In a letter to the 192 UN missions, the United States has warned it does not want the upcoming sessions, beginning September 21, where over 110 world leaders, foreign ministers and visiting delegations are expected to participate, to be a “super spreader” of Covid-19.

UN Assembly President Abdulla Shahid Highlights Hope For Billions Around the World

UN News

NEW YORK (IDN) — The incoming President of the General Assembly says that hope is desperately needed for those billions around the world struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, devastation, and strife. In his first major interview, he told UN News that the General Assembly, as the UN’s most representative body, is ideally placed to give shape to that hope.

“The General Assembly is the only body which has the 193 countries represented and this body, when it speaks unanimously, when it decides on a matter, that is the international conscience,” Abdulla Shahid said, ahead of the 76th General Assembly session, which started on 14 September.

Photo: United Nations (UN) General Assembly hall at the UN Headquarters, New York City. CC BY-SA 2.0

By Thalif Deen

NEW YORK (IDN) — The rigid new restrictions imposed by New York city—currently facing a surge in the deadly Delta corona virus variant—have prompted scores of US companies to impose mandatory vaccinations on all employees, mostly returning to work after temporary lockdowns.

The mandate follows the approval on August 23 of the Pfizer vaccination by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after a prolonged study of its effectiveness.

Photo: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

By Caroline Mwanga

NEW YORK (IDN) — The COVID pandemic has pushed no less than 124 million more people into extreme poverty. "Many millions" have been left vulnerable to the scourge. Half of victims in low-income countries are children, noted UN Secretary General António Guterres noted just ahead of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. adding that Most are trafficked for forced labour, added the UN Chief.

Photo: António Guterres (right) takes the oath of office for his second five-year term as Secretary-General of the United Nations. The oath is administered by Volkan Bozkir, President of the seventy-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

By Caroline Mwaga

NEW YORK (IDN) — “We are truly at a crossroads, with consequential choices before us. Paradigms are shifting. Old orthodoxies are being flipped,” António Guterres told ambassadors after being re-appointed on June 18 to a second term as UN Secretary-General. He was the sole candidate from the UN’s 193 Member States to vie for its top job. His first five-year term began in January 2017. He was nominated by his homeland, Portugal, and appointed by acclamation by the General Assembly, following prior endorsement by the UN Security Council, for a second term that runs from January 2022 to December 2026.

Photo: Risk of COVID-19 surge threatens Africa’s health facilities. Credit: WHO Africa

By Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA | BRAZZAVILLE (IDN) — The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of the threat of a third wave of COVID-19 in Africa threatening Africa's health facilities, and advised them to urgently boost critical care capacity to prevent health facilities from being overwhelmed. At the same time, vaccine shipments to the continent are grinding to a near halt.

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