Month: October 2021 (Page 1 of 2)

Joe Biden to meet Pope Francis in Rome ahead of G20 and COP26.

US President Joe Biden has arrived in Rome for an audience with Pope Francis ahead of the G20 summit of world leaders and after that the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

Pope Francis and Joe Biden will discuss tackling COVID-19, climate change and poverty in talks which are a chance for the US president to set the tone for a crucial week.

Joe Biden, only the second Catholic President of the USA after John F Kennedy, spoke of the moment’s significance last month.

I happen to be a practicing Catholic and one of the things I like about my pope today is he’s all about renewal and forgiveness, that’s what that’s what he’s about.

And I look forward to, I hope I get to see him in the not-too-distant future,” Joe Biden said in September.

The coming two weeks of global leaders meeting to save the world begins with a one-on-one between the leader of the planet’s biggest religious denomination and its most powerful superpower…

The G20 Summit will take place 30 and 31 October in Rome.

The United Kingdom will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021.

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UN chief condemns ‘ongoing military coup’ in Sudan.

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres on Monday condemned the “ongoing military coup” in Sudan, saying Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and all other officials, “must be released immediately.”

In a statement, he called for the “immediate reconstitution” of the Government, which is due to guide Sudan through to democratic elections.

Long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was overthrown by the military following months of popular protest in April 2019, and a transitional government was set up comprising both military and civilian leadership, after a power-sharing agreement, that was due to lead to full democratic elections in 2023

Now, according to news agencies, Sudan’s military has dissolved civilian rule, arrested political leaders and declared a state of emergency. 

Protesters have reportedly taken to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and there are reports of gunfire

In a statement posted on Twitter, the UN Secretary-General said that “there must be full respect for the constitutional charter to protect the hard-won political transition.” 

In a full statement issued later in the day, through his Spokesperson, Mr. Guterres said that “Sudanese stakeholders must immediately return to dialogue, and engage in good faith to restore the constitutional order and Sudan’s transitional process“. 

The United Nations reiterates its unwavering commitment and support to the realization of Sudan’s political transition

Any attempts to undermine this transition process puts at risk Sudan’s security, stability and development“. 

He added that the UN “will continue to stand with the people of Sudan as they strive to fulfil their aspirations for a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future“, according UN News

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UN: values of peace, development and human rights ‘have no expiry date’.

At a celebratory concert in New York on Thursday night, marking the anniversary of the foundational UN Charter entering into force, the UN Secretary-General said that the “spirit of solidarity and action” that marks United Nations Day itself, is “wonderfully expressed in the power of music”.  

The actual Day is 24 October, when each year, the UN Organizsation reaffirms the purposes and principles that have guided it for the past 76 years.  

Music reflects the profound diversity and unique contributions of cultures around the world”, said UN chief António Guterres.

At the same time, it is universal.

A language that bridges all divides”. 

As the world begins gradually to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 concert represents a call to strengthen international cooperation in the interest of both nations and peoples, for a more peaceful and prosperous future for all

The last 20 months have been an extraordinarily difficult and even isolating moment for the human family”, said the UN Secretary-General.  

Tonightlet us watch as one, listen as one, and be inspired as one.

And let us commit, once again, to the UN Charter and the values that have brought it to life for the last 76 years, peace, dignity and prosperity for all”, according UN News.

The World Government Movement believes this are positive signs of international cooperation happening at the UN Headquarters in New York.

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China to consider law that would punish parents for their children`s bad behavior.

China‘s parliament will move to consider a law that would punish parents for the crimes or “very bad behavior” of their young children.

The draft bill would shift a portion of blame to parents when their children act up, forcing them to attend family education programs if their child seriously violates school rules.

The legislation also would allow for parents to be punished by authorities if their children committed a crime below the legal age, which is 16 years old for most offenses.

There are many reasons for adolescents to misbehave, and the lack of or inappropriate family education is the major cause,” said Zang Tiewei.

Zang Tiewei is the spokesman of the Legislative Affairs Commission under the National People’s Congress (NPC).

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee will review the draft of the law at a session this week

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UN chief ‘deeply concerned’ at reported air strikes on Tigray capital, Ethiopia.

The United Nations has received alarming reports of aerial attacks in the residential areas of Tigray’s capital, Mekelle in Ethiopia, on Monday morning local time.

Speaking to reporters in New York, the UN Spokesperson said the UN Organization was still trying to verify the details, but it is worried about the potential impact on civilians who reside or work in the affected areas. 

According to Stéphane Dujarric, the Secretary-General is “deeply concerned” over the escalation of the conflict in northern Ethiopia.

Fighting erupted in Tigray nearly a year ago between the Ethiopian military and forces of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the main political force in region.

Thousands are feared killed amidst allegations of widespread human rights abuses, with more than two million forced to flee their homes.  

Over the past few months, humanitarian needs have grown, amid killings, looting and destruction of health centres and farming infrastructure, including irrigation systems that are vital to the production effort, according UN News.

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UN Secretary-General: sustainable transport key to green energy shift.

With global transport at a crossroads, government leaders, industry experts, and civil society groups are meeting in Beijing, China.

The leaders gather for a UN conference to chart the way forward to a more sustainable future for the sector, and greater climate action overall. 

The three-day UN Sustainable Transport Conference, which opened on Thursday, will examine how transportation can contribute to climate response, economic growth and sustainable development. 

It is taking place just weeks before the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland

In his remarks to the opening, UN Secretary-General António Guterres underlined what is at stake. 

“The next nine years must see a global shift towards renewable energy. Sustainable transport is central to that transformation,” he said.  

The move to sustainable transport could deliver savings of $70 trillion by 2050, according to the World Bank.   

Better access to roads could help Africa to become self-sufficient in food, and create a regional food market worth $1 trillion by the end of the decade. 

The Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but the door for action is closing, he warned. 

Transport, which accounts for more than one quarter of global greenhouse gases, is key to getting on track.

We must decarbonize all means of transport, in order to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 globally“, according UN News.

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UN chief urges lifesaving transformation of food systems.

World Food Day is not only a reminder of the importance of what we eat to everyone on the planet, but also “a call to action to achieve food security around the world”, the United Nations chief said in his message marking the World Food Day on Friday.

Commemorated annually on 15 October, UN Secretary-General António Guterres pointed out that currently, almost 40 per cent of humanity, some three billion people, can’t afford to eat healthily.

And as hunger, undernourishment, and obesity are on the rise, the economic impacts of COVID-19 “have made a bad situation even worse”, he said.

Noting that the pandemic has left an additional 140 million peopleunable to access the food they need”.

At the same time, the way we produce, consume and waste food is taking a heavy toll on our planet.

It is putting historic pressure on our natural resources, climate and natural environment, and costing us trillions of dollars a year”, warned the UN chief.

Reference this year’s theme that the power to change is in our hands, he spelled out that “our actions are our future”.

Last month, the world took part in the landmark UN Food Systems Summit, which set the stage to transform food systems everywhere to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The UN chief recalled that during the summit: “countries made bold commitments to make healthy diets more affordable and accessible and to make food systems more efficient, resilient and sustainable at every step”.

We can all change how we consume food, and make healthier choices, for ourselves, and our planet”, said the UN Secretary-General.

In our food systems, there is hope”, according UN News.

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UN chief calls for bold action to end ‘suicidal war with nature’

With more than a million species at risk of extinction, countries must work now to achieve a sustainable future for people and the planet.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres told leaders attending the UN Biodiversity Conference, which opened on Monday from Kunming, China.

“We are losing our suicidal war against nature,” Antonio Guterres said in a video message to the meeting, which is mainly being held virtually.

The UN chief warned that “humanity’s reckless interference with nature” will have permanent consequences

Ecosystem collapse looming 

The rate of species loss is tens to hundreds of times higher than the average of the past 10 million years, and accelerating.

Over a million species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates are at risk, many within decades,” he said. 

“Ecosystem collapse could cost almost three trillion US dollars annually by 2030.

Its greatest impact will be on some of the poorest and most highly indebted countries,” he added. 

‘Ceasefire’ with nature 

The conference, known as COP15, will develop a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade. 

COP15 is our chance to call a ceasefire,” said the UN Secretary-General.

Together with COP26 on climate, it should lay the foundations for a permanent peace agreement”, according UN News.

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Pope Francis prays for peace with faith leaders: ‘Demilitarize our hearts!’

Pope Francis attends an International Meeting for Peace with leaders of various religions and confessions at Rome’s Colosseum, and urges everyone to work toward purifying our hearts so that peace might fill our world.

The St. Egidio Community has held a two-day peace meeting in Rome which was attended by numerous faith leaders from across the globe.

The 35th International Meeting for Peace concluded on Thursday evening with a prayer for peace at the Colosseum, which was attended by Pope Francis.

Held under the theme, “Peoples as Brothers, Future Earth“, the event saw the participation of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Hebraism, Buddhism, Tenrikyo, Hinduism, and Sikhism.

Participants from over 40 countries met to discuss how to “start again” in the “Spirit of Assisi”, which is one of friendship and dialogue.

Pope Francis wrapped up the Prayer for Peace meeting at the Colosseum which was attended by hundreds of people from various faith traditions.

Ahead of a moment of silence for the victims of all wars, the Pope offered the concluding address for the event, asking God to “demilitarize the human heart.”

He said the urgent task of religions is “in this delicate historical situation: to demilitarize the human heart.”

As believers it is our responsibility to help eradicate hatred from human hearts and to condemn every form of violence,” he said, according Vatican News.

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United Nations: “Artificial Intelligence can help halve road deaths by 2030”.

Countries and investors need to step up the development and use of Artificial Intelligence to keep roads safe for everyone, three UN Special Envoys said on Thursday, leading a new AI for Road Safety initiative. 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a call for action to halve the annual rate of road deaths globally and ensure access to safe, affordable and sustainable transport for everyone by 2030

According to the newly launched initiative, faster progress on Artificial Intelligence is vital to make this happen, especially in low and middle-income countries, where the most lives are lost on the roads each year. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.3 million people die annually as a result of road traffic crashes. 

Between 20 and 50 million more suffer non-fatal injuries, with many incurring a disability. 

Artificial Intelligence can help in different ways:

  • including better collection and analysis of crash data
  • enhancing road infrastructure
  • increasing the efficiency of post-crash response
  • and inspiring innovation in the regulatory frameworks.  

This approach requires equitable access to data and the ethical use of algorithms, which many countries currently lack, leaving them unable to identify road safety solutions, according UN News.

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