News in Brief 18 July 2016 (AM)

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Ronald Kayanja, Director of UNIC Lagos, explains the Sustainable Development Goals to local schoolchildren. Photo: UNIC Lagos

"Accelerate the pace" to meet "monumental task" of SDGs

Countries need to "accelerate the pace" of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, if the world is to meet the "monumental task" of achieving them.

That's according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, addressing government ministers attending the High Level Political Forum on the SDGs on Monday, at UN Headquarters.

The Forum will meet regularly to ensure that ambitious goals agreed last September, that include ending poverty and hunger by 2030, are met.

Mr Eliasson said it would not be easy to keep up with the necessary pace of implementation, and promised the UN would support all countries in their efforts.

"It is essential that no one is left behind, which is a key unifying concept of the 2030 Agenda, and is the commanding theme of this year's Forum. If we work together, both inside and between nations mobilizing all good forces we can achieve a better world of peace, opportunity and dignity for all."

Opposition to trade agreements unfounded: UN labour experts

Opposition to so-called “socially-sustainable” international trade agreements, on the basis that they hinder the development of poorer countries, is unfounded, UN labour experts said Monday.

In a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the agency insists that countries which have committed to such agreements, which ensure minimum benefits and working standards "have seen more economic growth than countries which have not signed such deals.”

The study also finds that labour provisions support greater access to markets on the part of workers, particularly women.

Adding safeguards for workers, brings "larger proportions of both male and female working-age populations into the labour force," according to the study.

National efforts to act against killer diseases need to "speed up"

National efforts to act against the four non-communicable diseases that lead to the largest number of deaths in people under-70, need to be sped up, said the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday.

The new WHO report highlights heart disease, cancers, diabetes and lung diseases as the biggest global killers, and suggests that some countries need to do more to meet national commitments to treat and prevent them.

The survey shows that some countries are making "remarkable progress" in boosting prevention policies involving factors like tobacco and alcohol misuse.

WHO Assistant Director-General, Oleg Chestnov, said that "progress, particularly in low and middle-income countries, is insufficient and uneven."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’09″

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