Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : World Falling behind on Environment, Health and Hunger Goals, UN Report Says

 A Palestinian boy watches his portion of food aid ahead of the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday in Khan Younis, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian boy watches his portion of food aid ahead of the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday in Khan Younis, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP)
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World Falling behind on Environment, Health and Hunger Goals, UN Report Says

 A Palestinian boy watches his portion of food aid ahead of the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday in Khan Younis, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian boy watches his portion of food aid ahead of the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday in Khan Younis, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP)

The world is way off track on most of the sustainable development targets agreed in 2015, such as tackling poverty and hunger, says a United Nations report which cites funding shortfalls, geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UN's annual Sustainable Development Report ranks the performance of its 193 member states in implementing 17 wide-ranging "sustainable development goals" (SDGs), which also include improving access to education and health care, providing clean energy and protecting biodiversity.

It found that none of the 17 goals were on course to be met by 2030, with most targets showing "limited or a reversal of progress". It urged countries to address chronic funding shortfalls and also revamp the UN system itself.

"What this report is showing is that even before the pandemic hit, progress was already too slow," said Guillaume Lafortune, Vice President at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and lead author of the report.

"Once the pandemic hit, and other crises - including military conflicts - then it is a story of stagnation."

The report identified the tackling of hunger, the creation of sustainable cities and the protection of biodiversity on land and water as particular areas of weakness. Political goals like press freedom have also seen a "reversal of progress".

It said Finland, Sweden and Denmark ranked at the top of the list of countries, and China has also made faster than average progress, but the world's poorest countries have fallen further behind.

Lafortune said developing countries needed more access to international finance, adding that institutions like credit rating agencies should be encouraged to take a country's long-term environmental and economic wellbeing into consideration, rather than just its short-term liquidity.

The report also assessed countries on their willingness to cooperate globally through UN institutions. The United States was ranked in last place.

"A large majority of countries are supportive of collaborating... but there are a number of great powers that do not play by the rules of the game," said Lafortune.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : North Korea Warns of 'Devastating Consequences' over Leaflets from South

A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
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North Korea Warns of 'Devastating Consequences' over Leaflets from South

A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)

North Korea said on Tuesday that South Korea will face "devastating consequences" over anti-Pyongyang leaflets, state media KCNA said.

Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's powerful sister and a senior party official, said large balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets from South Korea were found in her country, causing inconvenience to residents, Reuters reported.

"The situation seemed to be becoming unacceptable. Again I give you a stern warning," she said in a statement carried by KCNA.