Global Development Update: October 2017

FEATURED STORY

10 million people at risk of death annually due to antibiotic resistance
According to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) report on this issue, the world is running out of new antibiotics to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Most of the drugs currently in the clinical pipeline are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions.

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE

U.N. team collecting evidence of ISIS crimes in Iraq
The United Nations Security Council recently approved the creation of a U.N. investigative team to collect, preserve and store evidence in Iraq of acts by Islamic State that may be war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. According to the resolution, evidence would be for primary use by Iraqi authorities, followed by “competent national-level courts.” 

Forgetting the “nuclear nightmare”
Escalating threats between North Korea and the United States run the risk of overshadowing the devastation that would be caused by the use of just one nuclear bomb in a major city. The blast, fire, and radiation could kill thousands and might render the surrounding areas uninhabitable for years.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Sexual identity a target in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia 
Authorities in Azerbaijan, Egypt and Indonesia are under scrutiny from the United Nations for coordinating mass arrests of gay and transgender people. The roundups occurred in the past few weeks, with 80 people detained in Azerbaijan, 50 in Egypt and 50 in Indonesia. These actions are not related, but demonstrate a pattern of discrimination that the UN says could violate international law.

GENDER EQUITY

International Safe Abortion Day
September 28 is International Safe Abortion Day. In recognition of that day, a group of United Nations human rights experts issued a statement calling on member states to repeal laws that criminalize and unduly restrict abortion under the premise that denying women access to necessary health care is inherently discriminatory and a violation of their human rights.

Women’s healthcare in the U.S. a surprise for some refugees
For many refugees resettled in the United States, the concept of preventative medicine can come as a shock. For example, pap smears are uncommon in much of the developing world, and US physicians who treat refugee women say it’s not uncommon to find undiagnosed cervical cancer, sexually transmitted diseases or chronic pelvic pain.

ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Sharp increase in renewables worldwide
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world’s renewable electricity capacity is set to expand by 43% from today’s levels over the course of five years. This forecast is largely driven by increasing expansion of solar energy in China and India.

New FAO program will conserve wildlife
The FAO has launched a €45 million multi-partner program to halt unsustainable wildlife hunting, conserve the natural heritage of endangered species, and strengthen people’s livelihoods and food security. The program will take place over seven years and is funded by the European Commission.

GLOBAL GOVERNANCE & CONNECTIVITY

Tech companies receive blowback for unilateral online influence
The world’s largest tech companies face increasing scrutiny for the tremendous power they wield over human behavior online. And while tech giants such as Facebook and Google may have been known for solving problems in the past, the majority of the attention they are receiving today focuses on the problems generated a by a singular focus on the monetization of information. 

POVERTY REDUCTION & INCOME INEQUALITY

Investments needed to meet health-related SDGs
According to a study published in September in The Lancet, fewer than five per cent of all countries are likely to meet the health-related UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. However, over 60 per cent of the countries were on track to meet targets on malaria, child mortality and neonatal and maternal death rates.

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