Saturday, December 9, 2023

World News: Amidst backdrop of chaos, U.N. embarks on a quest to find harmony.

September 29, 2023 by  
Filed under BM, Business, Health, Money, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Today, the world grapples with many significant challenges requiring the united efforts and insights of our top leaders and thinkers. Challenges like poverty, hunger, migration, and warfare touch millions.

This July, the U.N. released numerous studies highlighting the challenges that the world is facing. Now, more than two months later, as world leaders gather at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78) in New York to engage in general debate, they are presented with an opportunity to do more than just talk—they can find solutions.

World News: Amidst backdrop of chaos, U.N. embarks on a quest to find harmony.

Poverty extends beyond mere financial plights; it encompasses issues in health, education, and overall living conditions. Termed as acute multidimensional poverty, this plight affects 1.1 billion individuals globally, as stated by the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index. Factors like the COVID-19 outbreak, climate shifts, and the Ukrainian conflict have amplified the issue, undermining efforts to alleviate poverty and imbalance.

The U.N. Development Program found that, in recent years, poverty levels in poorer nations have skyrocketed, with an additional 165 million individuals subsisting on less than $3.65 daily. Furthermore, the U.N. projects that by 2030, around 575 million will remain in dire poverty, and 84 million children will be deprived of education.

Hunger poses a significant worldwide challenge that endangers both the dignity and welfare of humanity. A joint investigation conducted by five United Nations agencies uncovered alarming statistics: In 2022, the number of individuals experiencing hunger surged by 122 million to reach a range of 691 to 783 million compared to 2019. Moreover, the study results showed that in 2021, more than 3.1 billion individuals worldwide were unable to afford a nutritious diet. To address this pressing issue, the UNGA passed a resolution, urging the global community to assist nations grappling with food shortages and address the root issues and consequences of this problem.

Immigration is a delicate matter. It forces us to consider human rights, security concerns, and individual hardship. Tragically, countless individuals are driven to abandon their homelands because of war and persecution each year, taking risky voyages to foreign lands with hopes for a safer, brighter future.

On June 14, 2023, tragedy struck when a boat carrying migrants toppled near the Grecian shoreline, resulting in the tragic death of at least 79 individuals. The U.N. Secretary-General expressed his deep dismay over this catastrophe and emphasized the need for safer, structured avenues for migrants and refugees.

War is the ultimate manifestation of violence and injustice that destroys thousands of lives and communities. The war in Ukraine is one of the most dangerous conflicts in the world today. Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022; nearly half a million deaths or injuries have been reported so far. Ukraine’s president Zelensky has been appealing to the world for support and solidarity against Russian aggression. He has accused Russia of weaponizing food, energy, abducted children, and more. He has urged the U.N. and other countries to stand up to Russia and to respect Ukraine’s rights.

The UNGA is not simply a place where leaders work to find solutions to problems. It is also a place where we discover the change-makers: the people in this world who can truly make a difference. I had the privilege of talking to Turkish President Erdo?an, who is one of the most unassuming power players on Earth. He leads 85 million people, yet is often overlooked or criticized by the media. He has a unique perspective on many issues, and he is a leader who deserves more recognition and respect for his work.

Crime poses a worldwide challenge, eroding the foundation of law, endangering our citizens’ safety, and compromising our institutional integrity. Manifesting in various ways, from international crime syndicates and cyber intrusions to illicit narcotics dealings and abductions, it also encompasses the gravest breaches of international law: crimes against humanity. Last year, the UNGA’s Sixth Committee made a significant step by endorsing a resolution to begin drafting a treaty on crimes against humanity. This breakthrough came after three stagnant years, primarily due to resistance from nations like China and Russia, which are often associated with such transgressions.

The fight against crime requires cooperation and innovation among all nations. Criminals do not respect borders, and neither should our response. We need to share intelligence, build capacity, and invest in education and social programs to prevent and combat crime.

In a world defined by complex problems, UNGA 78 shows us the interconnectedness of these problems. As illustrated by the staggering numbers of those trapped in poverty, hunger, and migration crises, or ensnared by the brutal impacts of warfare and international crime, it is evident that isolated efforts are insufficient. Collective action is not just preferable—it’s imperative.

Conversations with influential leaders like President Erdo?an highlight that behind every statistic is a human being. But at the UNGA, there’s a lot of talk. Where will we be in the pursuit of solving these issues next year?

Written by Armstrong Williams

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