More than two-thirds of the world population – an estimated 5 billion people – will be living in cities by 2030, placing increasing amounts of pressure on housing, services, resources and the environment, according to estimates by UN-Habitat on the occasion of the first-ever World Cities Day on 31 October 2014. Over 60 per cent of urban populations will be under the age of 18.
On the first-ever World Cities Day, the UN highlighted the need for sustainable urban planning to make cities more “liveable.” Shown, street traffic in Kathmandu, Nepal. World Bank/Simone D. McCourtie
As the world’s urban areas inevitably expand, growing both in size and in population, they will also need to transition into better planned and better managed environments or risk exacerbating negative trends, the United Nations warned on 31 October 2014.*
Marking the inaugural edition of World Cities Day, a global event aimed at promoting sustainable urban development in cities and towns around the world, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared humanity’s future to be an urban one as the world’s population will increasingly become city-dwelling.
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The United Nations human rights expert on migrants on 30 October 2014urged British authorities to reconsider a decision not to support search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, saying allowing people to die at Europe’s borders just because of their administrative status “is appalling.”
Asylum-seekers and economic migrants take to the seas, waiting out the dangerous journey in the boat’s cramped cargo space. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato
The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, said in a press release issued in Geneva on 30 October 2014 that “governments that do not support the search and rescue efforts have reduced themselves to the same level as the smugglers.”*
“They are preying on the precariousness of the migrants and asylum seekers, robbing them of their dignity and playing with their lives,” Crépeau said.
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Human Wrongs Watch
By Kat Skeie*, 28 October, 2014 (Greenpeace) – The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalized, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.
What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can we do about it? Using the latest IPCC findings and a few other recent discoveries, here’s our take on what you need to know about climate change and what to do about it.
1. Politicians talk – too little happens
Politicians spend a lot of time talking about reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the planet to heat up. But despite all the chatter, emissions are still growing.
From 2000 to 2010, greenhouse gas emissions grew faster than before. The reason? We keep burning more fossil fuels. The climate scientists’ advice, however, is clear: we need to get rid of man-made carbon emissions entirely.
2. Without action, things will get bad
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Rome/Geneva/New York, 28 October 2014* – A new UNICEF report shows that 2.6 million children have sunk below the poverty line in the world’s most affluent countries since 2008, bringing the total number of children in the developed world living in poverty to an estimated 76.5 million.
Daniela Cojocaru (left) and Chiara Dimastromatteo, both 16, stand next to a graffiti-covered wall in Turin, Italy. Daniela is originally from Moldova. Chiara does not attend school and does not have a job. Photo:UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi
Innocenti Report Card 12, Children of the Recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries, ranks 41 countries in the OECD and the European Union according to whether levels of child poverty have increased or decreased since 2008.
It also tracks the proportion of 15-24 year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). The report includes Gallup World Poll data on people’s perceptions of their economic status and hopes for the future since the recession began.
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Senior officials from the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on 27 October 2014 warned today that an “immense” humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Iraq and called for greater resources from the international community to help with the upcoming winter season, as they concluded a four-day mission to conflict-riven areas in the country.
With rainy season started, and winter on doorstep, UNHCR, together with partners, and support from Kuwait, hurries finishing construction of Khanke camp for displaced people from Sinjar area. Photo: UNHCR Iraq
“We were able to see for ourselves the magnitude of the crisis,” said Rashid Khalikov, Director in Geneva of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in a press briefing at the end of a 20 to 23 October mission to Iraq. “An immense humanitarian emergency is unfolding in front of our eyes,” he added.*
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