Monday’s Daily Brief: biodiversity and forests, labour and road safety, women’s rights, and fallen UN staff remembered

© FAO/Zinyange Auntony A bee collecting pollen and nectar sit on a Eucalyptus flower at Chesa Forest Research Station in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Bees foraging on Eucalyptus plants produce light colored and scented honey.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


This Monday, we cover: how one million species face extinction; the importance of safeguarding forests; a look at labour inequalities worldwide; efforts to tackle road safety; a new intergenerational campaign for the realization of women’s rights; and a memorial service honouring fallen UN staff.

World is ‘on notice’ as major UN report shows one million species face extinction

A hard-hitting report into the impact of humans on nature shows that nearly one million species risk becoming extinct within decades, while current efforts to conserve the earth’s resources will likely fail without radical action, UN biodiversity experts said on Monday.

Speaking in Paris at the launch of the Global Assessment study – the first such report since 2005 – UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said that its findings put the world “on notice”.

Find our full story here.

UN Forum works to safeguard world’s forests

The global community gathered at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday, to take action on behalf of the world’s forests.

With an estimated 1.6 billion people – or one quarter of the overall population – dependent on forests for subsistence, livelihood, jobs and income, they are essential for human well-being, and play a vital role in promoting economic growth. They are also increasingly important to combat climate change.

The 14th session of UN Forum on Forests runs until Friday and will take stock of progress in implementing the UN Strategic Plan for Forests, which provides a blueprint for including them in the 2030 Agenda and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Strategic plan and its associated targets provide a global framework for sustainably managing all types of forests and trees, halting and reversing deforestation and forest degradation, and increasing forest area by 2030.

Labour report shows half of workers frequently exposed to physical risks

A UN study based on 1.2 billion people has found stark differences in the number of hours that many of us spend earning a living.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), one-sixth of workers in the European Union (EU) toil away for more than 48 hours per week, but more than half of all employees in Chile, the Republic of Korea and Turkey, put in the same long hours.

Jobs involving tight deadlines and stress, apply to one in three people in the EU, rising to one in two in the United States, Turkey, El Salvador and Uruguay.

Physical risks are also “frequent”, the report finds, with more than half of workers exposed to repetitive hand and arm movements, and about one-in-four, to high temperatures.

Among the study’s other findings are that while 70 per cent of workers were positive about their managers, up to 12 per cent said they faced abuse, including bullying, unwanted sexual attention and harassment. And while up to 84 per cent of staff in the EU, Uruguay and the US said they learn new things while they’re working, only 30 per cent of workers agreed with this in the Republic of Korea, and just 55 per cent in China.

Regardless of the country, least-educated workers are less likely to develop their skills, the report says, highlighting also that good working conditions “contribute to the well-being of workers and the success of enterprises”.

Finally, across all 41 countries covered in the joint ILO-Eurofound report, women were found to earn significantly less than men – and they are also “over-represented” at the lowest end of the salary scale.

Advocates, UN, speak up for road safety

Despite progress, road traffic deaths continue to rise, with an annual 1.35 million fatalities. Road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of children and young people aged 5-29 years. The warning comes from the World Health Organization (WHO), in the context of the Fifth UN Global Road Safety Week which started on Monday.

During the week, thousands of safety advocates from around the world are expected to highlight the need for more effective leadership for road safety, through the #SpeakUp campaign.

Calling for a “world free from road traffic deaths and injuries”, WHO’s Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, described a world in which all people benefit from universal health coverage, rehabilitation and psychological support.

Pedestrians and cyclists account for 26 per cent of all road deaths, while motorcycle riders and passengers account for 28 per cent.

WHO’s Director, Dr. Etienne Krug, called on governments and their partners to “accelerate action to save lives by implementing solutions that work”.

General Equality: a new campaign for the realization of women’s rights

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, considered the blueprint on women’s rights and empowerment, gender agency UN Women announced on Monday a new multigenerational campaign, titled “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future”.

In 2020, it will be 25 years since 189 Governments committed to taking bold actions in 12 critical areas of concern regarding gender equality: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms, human rights, media, environment, and the girl child.

“Today, the reality is that not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Despite some progress, real change has been too slow for most women and girls in the world, and we see significant pushback in many places against their leadership and agency,” said UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The Generation Equality campaign will bring together several generations of women’s rights activists to galvanize attention and action on key issues including equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women and girls, health-care services that respond to their needs, and their equal participation in economic and political life and decision-making in all areas of life.

UN honours fallen colleagues and friends who ‘risk all to promote peace’

The lives of 115 colleagues who lost their lives between the beginning of last year and the end of March, serving the United Nations, were honoured on Monday at the annual Memorial Service for Fallen Staff, in New York.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that it was a “sad reminder of the often-perilous nature of our work” but also “testament to the commitment of the thousands of women and men from around the globe who are prepared to risk all to promote peace and provide assistance to some of the world’s most vulnerable and needy people.”

Read our full coverage of the ceremony here.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

International community agrees on a road map for resolving the tax challenges arising from digitalisation of the economy

‘Crimes against humanity,’ ‘war crimes’ and risk of new ethnic violence in DR Congo, warn UN experts

Statement by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría on the outcome of COP 25

‘Maintain calm’ and ‘exercise patience’ UN envoy urges, as Nigeria heads to polls

The refugee crisis seen through the eyes of a young doctor from Turkey

Cleantech innovation is being stifled. Here’s how to unlock it

Basel III rules relaxed: Banks got it all but become more prone to crisis

These are the world’s 10 most innovative economies

4 myths about corruption

How to reimagine our cities as hubs for biodiversity, conservation and climate resilience

OECD and European Commission join forces to further support structural reforms in European countries

3 ways to protect LGBTI rights across the world

Commission disburses €14 billion under SURE to nine Member States

Protecting refugees in Europe: UNHCR calls for a ‘year of change’

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

GSMA Announces First Keynote Speakers for 2019 “MWC Los Angeles, in Partnership with CTIA”

Palliative Care: A Gap to fill in healthcare service

5G will redefine entire business models. Here’s how

‘Catastrophic’ healthcare costs put mothers and newborns at risk

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

How to talk about climate change: 5 tips from the front lines

Global Cooperation for Local Action: Fighting antimicrobial resistance

The future of crypto-assets, from opportunities to policy implications

This is what different countries are doing to stop coronavirus from spreading

Future-proofing the European banking market – removing the obstacles to exit

Why trade wars have no winners

Ηealth’s foundation is falling apart: what can we do about it?

European Commission and European Investment Fund launch €75 million BlueInvest Fund

Trade war or not New York bankers will have it their way

How building renovations can speed up the electric vehicle revolution

European Youth Capital 2018 : Cascais

Central African Republic: Guterres says UN mission committed to protecting civilians, helping stabilize country, as violence flares

Turkey needs to step up investment in renewables to curb emissions

Commissioner for Crisis Management in Kabul: EU steps up humanitarian assistance with €32 million

Senior UN children’s advocate says they ‘should never be targeted by violence’

A Sting Exclusive, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger writes for the Sting on “EU Industry: a major energizer”

Chart of the day: These are the cities where the World Cup threatens productivity the most

Wash your hands, but keep your mind clean

Human rights breaches in Bangladesh, Cuba and Vietnam

New UN-supported farming app is cream of crop in tackling Sahel pest

Privatisation and public health: a question of Human Rights

Can this billion-dollar initiative save the world’s tropical forests?

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

‘These are very dark times for Yemen’: senior UN official on air strike mass casualties

Why and how did ISIS and Muslim fundamentalism gain momentum this year?

Brexit: when the hubris of one man can set the UK, the EU and the entire world on fire

Warmongers ready to chew what is left of social protection spending

State aid: Commission refers United Kingdom to European Court for failure to fully recover illegal tax exemption aid of up to around €100 million in Gibraltar

Youth Forum calls on Parliament to ease entry into Europe for young people

Better sanitation for India is in the pipeline

Why transparency in drug pricing is more complicated than it seems

COVID-19: faster authorisation for vaccines adapted to variants

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

DiscoverEU: 20,000 more young people will explore Europe in 2020

‘Undersea gardeners’ are restoring Jamaica’s lost coral reefs

The global response to the coronavirus pandemic must not be undermined by bribery

Banks must take bold action to fight climate change. This is how they can do it

COVID-19 threatens the developing world’s small businesses. This is how to save them

Chronic illnesses: UN stands up to stop 41 million avoidable deaths per year

Mediterranean migrant drownings should spur greater action by European countries, urge UN agencies

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s