Caribbean Current Affairs - 2020

United Nations Security council to meet on COVID-19 first time

On April 2, 2020, the current president of United Nations Security Council, Dominican Republic announced that the world body is to meet over COVID-19 next week. The rotating presidency of the 15-member council was taken by the Caribbean country from the previous president China. China is a permanent member and has veto powers in the council.

Highlights

The Council is planning to meet over teleconferencing. The primary responsibility of the council is to deal with Geo-political peace and security. The public health security is not under the mandate of the Council. Still, the Council is to meet to discuss on providing human security in the matter. The meet comes after the UNSC faced criticism over its silence on COVID-19. This is because, the council acted swiftly in 2014 at the times of Ebola.

UNSC during Ebola

In 2014, UNSC adopted a resolution 2177, claiming that the unprecedented outbreak of Ebola in Africa is a threat to “International Peace and Security”. The resolution urged countries to provide urgent resources and medical assistance. This initiation of UNSC involved several member nations and helped save many lives.

Current Scenario

Today, the United States has the highest number of corona virus cases (2,13,372) followed by Italy with 1,10,574 cases, Spain with 1,04,118, china with 82,361 cases. So far 4,600 have died in the US due to the Corona Virus.

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019: Challenges in attaining SDG

The United Nations report World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019 discusses various challenges in attaining the sustainable development goals. The challenges listed are:

  • Economic growth is uneven and is failing to reach where it is most needed. Per capita incomes would stagnate or grow only marginally in 2019 in several parts of Africa, Western Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Even where the per capita growth is strong, economic activity is driven by core industrial and urban regions, leaving peripheral and rural areas behind.
  • The report notes that eradicating poverty by 2030 will require both double-digit growth in Africa and steep reductions in income inequality. This seems a distant possibility in the current scenario.
  • The confluence of risks is clouding and it may severely disrupt economic activity and inflict significant damage on longer-term development prospects.
  • The various risks include escalation of trade policy disputes; financial instabilities linked to elevated levels of debt; and rising climate risks, as the world experiences an increasing number of extreme weather events.

The report notes that the simultaneous appearance of several important risks endangers efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development containing 17 specific goals to promote prosperity and social well-being while protecting the environment.