UN Chief: World Suffering From Lack of Empathy
World Economy

UN Chief: World Suffering From Lack of Empathy

Speaking at the opening session of the high-level debate of the UN General Assembly Monday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said a politically troubled world is suffering from a lack of empathy.
“One hundred million people require immediate humanitarian assistance,” he told delegates, pointing out that at least 60 million people have been forced to flee their homes or their countries, IPS reported.
The United Nations has asked for nearly $20 billion to meet this year’s needs–six times the level of a decade ago. But demands continue to dwarf funding, although member states have been generous, he said.
Still, he lamented, the global humanitarian system is not broken; “it is broke.”
“We are not receiving enough money to save enough lives. We have about half of what we need to help the people of Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen–and just a third for Syria.”
In Yemen, 21 million people—80% of the population—need humanitarian assistance.
The UN’s response plan for Ukraine is just 39% funded while the appeal for Gambia, where one in four children suffers from stunting, has been met with silence.
Still, he pointed out, the world continues to squander trillions in wasteful military spending.
“Why is it easier to find the money to destroy people and planet than it is to protect them?” he asked delegates, who include five of the world’s major military powers: the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain.
Speaking of the UN's track record over the last 70 years, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff listed some of the world body’s successes and failures.
She said the United Nations has broadened its initiatives, incorporating the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, incorporating issues related to the environment, poverty eradication, social development and access to quality services.
Matters such as urban challenges and gender and race issues have become a priority.

End Poverty
The UN’s much-ballyhooed Sustainable Development Goals, unanimously adopted by over 150 world leaders at a three-day summit meeting, which concluded Sep. 27, has been touted as the biggest single contribution to humanity since the invention of sliced bread.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Summit, Ban Ki-moon described the 17 SDGs as an integral part of a post-2015 development agenda to end poverty in all its forms.
“The true test of commitment to Agenda 2030 will be implementation. We need action from everyone, everywhere. Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals are our guide. They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success,” said Ban.
But what does it really take to ensure the SDGs are implemented over the next 15 years so that the world will witness a radical transformation of global society, including the elimination of poverty, hunger, gender discrimination, spreading diseases and environmental degradation—all by the year 2030.
Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya, one of the co-facilitators of the SDGs inter-governmental consultative process, told reporters last month the implementation of the agenda could cost a staggering $3.5 trillion to $5 trillion per year.

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