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Hurricane Dorian: WHO:PAHO Issues $03.5 Million Donor Appeal for Humanitarian Health Response in the Bahamas



|| Tuesday: September 10: 2019 || ά. The Pan American Health Organisation:PAHO and the World Health Organisation are requesting an initial US $03.5 million from donors to cover the short-term health care and other needs for the population in the Bahamas, affected by Hurricane Dorian. The devastating category five storm made landfall exactly one week ago in northwest Bahamas and severely affected the health sector, with significant destruction of equipment and medical supplies and electrical and water supplies in Abaco and Grand Bahama.

Some 73,000 people were affected by the storm and there are hundreds of people in shelters in the disaster zone. While 43 deaths have been officially reported thus far, mass casualty numbers are expected to rise significantly as more areas become accessible and search and rescue operations continue.

Dr Ciro Ugarte, PAHO’s Director of Health Emergencies, said, “Our priority concerns are to restore access to essential health services and continued medical care delivery, to ensure water quality in affected communities and health facilities and to restore proper hygiene and sanitation.” He said that adequate waste management and control of disease-causing vectors, such as, mosquitoes, is key, along with increasing epidemiological surveillance to support early detection and timely management of disease outbreaks.

‘’The $03.5 million being requested by PAHO:WHO is a preliminary estimate to cover the short-term healthcare, water and sanitation, epidemiological surveillance and vector-control needs in the Bahamian Islands, most affected by Hurricane Dorian for the next six months.’’ said Dr. Ugarte said.

PAHO and WHO activated their emergency teams for surge capacity and had pre-deployed Rapid Response Team experts to the Bahamas before Hurricane Dorian struck to support health authorities and humanitarian response as needs were identified.

So far, 14 PAHO experts are in the disaster zone to provide surge capacity in logistics, civil and military coordination, information management, epidemiological surveillance, communications and co-ordination. 

Dr Ugarte said that PAHO:WHO is acting quickly to support the Bahamas Ministry of Health in the response, setting up an Incident Management system and co-leading the health cluster with the national health authorities to coordinate health and humanitarian support to the affected population.

The funding requests includes $01.3 million to restore healthcare delivery in affected areas, $500,000 for surveillance to detect and manage disease outbreaks, $800,000 for safe access to water, emergency sanitation and control of disease vectors and $671,000 to co-ordinate humanitarian assistance and manage information to address the most urgent humanitarian needs.

Readmore at who.int:::ω.

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Hurricane Dorian: WHO and PAHO Support the Bahama-Response with Emergency Medical Teams



|| Monday: September 09: 2019 || ά. The Pan American Health Organisation:PAHO and World Health Organisation:WHO are focusing on the clinical care to save the lives of people, who survived the hurricane and keeping them safe, with three Emergency Medical Teams arriving in the Bahamas.

PAHO pre-deployed water and sanitation experts and health services experts to the Bahamas, even, before Hurricane Dorian struck and nd has experts in logistics, disease surveillance, co-ordination, information management and civil-military co-operation in place in the Bahamas office. Assessment of needs has begun and a structures expert is looking at damaged health facilities.

“Clearly it is a desperate situation for some persons on Abaco.” Dr Esther De Gourville, PAHO:WHO’s Representative in the Bahamas, said. PAHO is working with the Ministry of Health and emergency teams to help those, who survived secure food supplies, safe drinking water and sanitation.

PAHO pledged health sector infrastructure and public health support and is acting quickly with the support of the Ministry of Health to assess needs and damage assessments. An Incident Management System has been established in the country office. PAHO’s Disaster Response Team is supporting the Ministry of Health in all areas of the response and is expected to launch a funding appeal in the coming days.

Due to floodwaters and potential contamination with sewage and lack of safe water, the risk of diarrheal and waterborne diseases is high. Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama is flooded and supplies damaged and other clinics on Grand Bahama and New Providence are also flooded. Patient evacuations will be needed and supplies from PAHO’s Panama Regional Warehouse are on standby.

PAHO used its extensive experience in emergency preparedness to improve disaster relief operations, setting up the structures to deploy emergency teams to support public health measures. The Bahamas is the first Caribbean country to apply the WHO CICOM international standards to co-ordinate clinical care in disasters.

With many health centres flooded and unable to receive patients, a full hospital-capable Emergency Medical Team from Samaritans Purse is arriving in the Bahamas soon for a three-month stay. The team includes six physicians and two surgeons, 16 nurses, two anaesthesiologists, allied health personnel and logistics and management staff. It brought 34 tonnes of medical equipment and tents to set up operations in Grand Bahama.

Another Emergency Medical Team from Team Rubicon was deployed to Abaco today for a 15-day mission. Abaco aerial surveillance shows vast devastation to the island’s infrastructure. Communications are being restored but, there is still no electricity on the island and water, sanitation and food have been identified as critical needs, according to PAHO’s Emergency Operations Centre. Over 1,200 people are reported in various shelters in Great Abaco and Grand Bahama and an additional 800 are sheltering at Marsh Harbour Clinic.

A third Emergency Medical Team from Humanity First is expected to arrive tomorrow and the Ministry of Health has designated Dr Christa Well, Medical Officer in the emergency service of Princess Margaret Hospital, as the Co-ordinator of the emergency teams. Dr Well was one of 20 experts, who were trained by PAHO in Barbados earlier this year.  All the emergency teams are self-sufficient, by PAHO:WHO standards and will collaborate with health officials in the Bahamas.

Caption: Image: NASA

Readmore at who.int:::ω.

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Northern Bahamas Has Been Ravaged by Disaster of Epic Proportions: United Nations Releases $01 Million in Emergency Funds


|| Thursday: September 05: 2019|| ά. Following the terrible devastation of parts of the northern Bahamas in the Caribbean, caused by Hurricane Dorian, rescuers have now begun to reach the worst hit parts of the archipelago, which consists of around 700 islands, stretching across more than 100,000 square miles of ocean, after Dorian made landfall at the weekend as a Category five hurricane. The United Nations has released $01 million immediately, from the Central Emergency Response Fund, to deal with exactly the set of priorities, that he has identified. 

Aerial images show a major level of destruction on the ground and the official death toll of eight, is expected to rise. The hurricane remained over the north-west Bahamas for one and a half days, before weakening and moving away towards the coast of Florida. As of Wednesday afternoon local time, it was moving north bearing towards Georgia and the Carolinas. With initial assessments indicating that some 76,000 people in the parts of the Bahamas worst-affected by Hurricane Dorian need urgent support, the World Food Programme:WFP is arranging for eight tons of ready to eat meals to be provided, part of a $05.4 million overall funding package.

In a statement released in Geneva on Thursday, WFP Spokesperson Mr Hervé Verhoosel said that the UN agency had a team on the ground, assessing the full extent of the damage and identifying those in greatest need. According to news reports, as of Thursday afternoon local time, 23 deaths have been confirmed and officials feared that the total would rise considerably as the search and rescue effort continues.

Mr. Verhoosel said that WFP was working closely with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency:CDEMA, the Government  and partners, to identify the most urgent needs and provide support in the vital areas of food, telecommunications and logistics.

Mr António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN has said that he remained deeply concerned for those thousands impacted by the giant storm. The Secretary-General said in a statement that he was, especially, concerned for the tens of thousands of people affected in Grand Bahamas and Abaco.

He offered his condolences to the families of those, who lost their lives in the disaster and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. Mr Guterres said that the UN was supporting the on-going Government-led rescue and relief efforts and was contributing assessment teams to join others deploying to the affected areas.

“People, who have lost everything urgently need shelter, safe drinking water, food and medicine.” he said. He called on donors to provide emergency funding for the humanitarian response and recovery efforts as soon as the requirements are known.

The Head of the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs:OCHA, Mr Mark Lowcock, travelled to the Bahamas on Wednesday to help assess what was needed from the international community and expressed the United Nations’ solidarity with the people and national leaders.

Speaking from the Bahamas to the reporters at the UN Headquarters in New York, on Wednesday, Mr Lowcock said that the damage was on an enormous scale, causing vast devastation and leaving around 70,000 in need of life-saving aid on the two islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco.

He said that access was still very limited to the islands for the rescue and humanitarian relief effort and the scale of the disaster was unprecedented, for what os, essentially, a prosperous country.

He said that much of the response was being paid for by the Government but, given the scale of the disaster, it was appropriate for the international community to respond to the country’s request for assistance.

“It’s very unusual, for 20 per cent of the population of a country to be very severely impacted by a single event like this. The Bahamas has certainly never seen anything on the scale.’’ he said.

“It’s true that the numbers of people, given the overall scale of emergencies we deal with around the world is not as big as in some other places, but a disaster of such epic proportions on a single country in a single incident is very, very unsual.”

Caption: US Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida, responds to the devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas: September 02, 2019: Image: US Coast Guard Southeast:::ω.

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WHO Report: The Facts of the Water: 02.2 Billion People Lack Safely Managed Water Services 04.2 Billion Lack Safely Managed Sanitation and Three Billion Lack Basic Hand-washing Facilities: Out of Seven Billion Plus Humankind: Measure the State of the Human Condition Capitalism Has Brought Us Into




|| Monday: September 02: 2019 || ά. The World Health Organisation:WHO and UN-Water sounded the alarm for an urgent increase in investment in strong drinking-water and sanitation systems. The call came as the international water sector met in Stockholm for its annual conference during World Water Week, August 25-30. It is triggered by a new Report, published by WHO on behalf of UN-Water, that shows that weak government systems and a lack of human resources and funds are jeopardising the delivery of water and sanitation services in the world’s poorest countries and undermining efforts to ensure health for all.

“Too many people lack access to reliable and safe drinking-water, toilets and hand-washing facilities, putting them at risk of deadly infections and threatening progress in public health.” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Water and sanitation systems don’t just improve health and save lives, they are a critical part of building more stable, secure and prosperous societies. We call on all countries, that lack essential water and sanitation infrastructure to allocate funds and human resources to build and maintain it.”

The UN-Water Global Assessment and Analysis of Sanitation and Drinking-Water 2019, known as, the GLAAS Report, surveyed 115 countries and territories, representing 04.5 billion people. It showed that, in an overwhelming majority of countries, the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene policies and plans is constrained by inadequate human and financial resources.

Nineteen countries and one territory reported a funding gap of more than 60% between identified needs and available funding. Less than 15% of countries have the financial or human resources needed to implement their plans.

“If, we are to create a healthier, more equitable and stable society, then strengthening the systems to reach those currently living without safe and affordable water, sanitation and hygiene services must be a top priority.” says Mr Gilbert F Houngbo, the Chair of UN-Water and the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development. “While we need to ensure that there is sufficient funding to tackle these critical challenges, it is equally important to continue reinforcing national delivery systems.” 

While funding gaps and weak systems are holding many countries back, the Report, also, found that countries have begun to take positive steps towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal six on water and sanitation.

“The Sustainable Development Goals have inspired us to take concrete actions at the national level to increase access to sanitation.” says Mr David Molefha, the Principal Water Engineer at the Ministry of Land Management Water and Sanitation Services in Botswana. “We have developed a sanitation roadmap and are working to eliminate open defecation. With these actions, we are working to improve peoples’ lives.”

About half of the countries surveyed have now set drinking-water targets, that aim for universal coverage at levels higher than basic services by 2030, for example, by addressing water quality and increasing access to water on premises. In addition, specifically, targeting open defecation will have a dramatic impact on public and environmental health.

As the international authority on public health and water, sanitation and hygiene, WHO gathers scientific evidence, sets and monitors standards and promotes best policies and practices for ensuring safe, reliable water, sanitation and hygiene for all people.

The 2019 UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water:GLAAS Report draws on survey results from 115 countries and territories and 29 external support agencies, such as, governmental departments for international development, UN agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

In 2019, the GLAAS Report celebrates its 10th anniversary after successfully completing a pilot in 2008 and four two-year cycles to date. In this fifth cycle, GLAAS covers four key areas of water, sanitation and hygiene systems, governance, monitoring, human resources and finance, with a special focus on policies, plans and targets.

The majority of countries have policies for drinking-water, 94%, sanitation, 94%, and hygiene, 79% and, also, reported having implementation plans to support these policies. However, fewer than one sixth of countries with costed implementation plans have sufficient finance to implement them. Of those countries, that have conducted human resources assessments, less than 14% have sufficient human resources to implement plans.

Approximately, half of countries have set urban or rural targets to reach 100% coverage for drinking-water at the safely managed or basic+ levels by 2030.

According the WHO:UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme, as of 2017, 02.2 billion people lack safely managed water services, 04.2 billion lack safely managed sanitation and three billion lack basic hand-washing facilities.

Read the Report

About the World Health Organisation: The World Health Organisation provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.

For further information visit WHO website

About UN Water: UN-Water coordinates the efforts of UN entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues. Over 30 UN organizations carry out water and sanitation programmes, reflecting the fact that water issues run through all of the UN’s main focus areas. UN-Water’s role is to coordinate so that the UN family ‘delivers as one’ in response to water related challenges.:::ω.

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Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern: The World Must Now Follow Its Call and Scale Up to Bring an End to These Continual Deaths and Human Suffering





|| Wednesday: July 17: 2019 || ά. The World Health Organisation:WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today declared the Ebola virus disease:EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:DRC a Public Health Emergency of International Concern:PHEIC. The declaration followed a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for EVD in the DRC. The Committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including, the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

“It is time for the world to take notice and redouble our efforts. We need to work together in solidarity with the DRC to end this outbreak and build a better health system.” said Dr Tedros. “Extraordinary work has been done for almost a year under the most difficult circumstances. We all owe it to these responders, coming from not just WHO but, also, government, partners and communities, to shoulder more of the burden.” This was the fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee since the outbreak was declared on August 01, 2018.  

The Committee expressed disappointment about delays in funding, which have constrained the response. The Committee members, also, reinforced the need to protect livelihoods of the people most affected by the outbreak by keeping transport routes and borders open. It is essential to avoid the punitive economic consequences of travel and trade restrictions on affected communities.

“It is important that the world follows these recommendations. It is, also, crucial that states do not use the PHEIC as an excuse to impose trade or travel restrictions, which would have a negative impact on the response and on the lives and livelihoods of people in the region.” said Professor Robert Steffen, The Chair of the Emergency Committee.

Since it was declared almost a year ago the outbreak has been classified as a level three emergency, the most serious, by WHO, triggering the highest level of mobilisation from WHO. The UN has, also, recognised the seriousness of the emergency by activating the Humanitarian System-wide Scale-Up to support the Ebola response.

In recommending a PHEIC the Committee made specific recommendations related to this outbreak. “This is about mothers, fathers and children, too often, entire families are stricken. At the heart of this are communities and individual tragedies.” said Dr Tedros. “The PHEIC should not be used to stigmatise or penalise the very people, who are most in need of our help.”

The Committee’s Conclusions and Advice

It was the view of the Committee that a co-ordinated international response under the International Health Regulations 2005 is required. Thus, the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern PHEIC under the IHR 2005 have been met.

The Committee discussed the impact of a PHEIC declaration on the response, possible unintended consequences and how these might be managed. The global community should anticipate possible negative consequences and proactively prevent them from occurring, taking into account experience with Ebola in West Africa in 2014.

The declaration of the PHEIC is not a reflection on the performance of the response team but rather a measure that recognises the possible increased national and regional risks and the need for intensified and coordinated action to manage them.

The Committee provided the following advice to the Director-General for his issuance as formal Temporary Recommendations under the IHR 2005.

For affected countries:

::: Continue to strengthen community awareness, engagement and participation, including, at points of entry, with at-risk populations, in particular, to identify and address cultural norms and beliefs, that serve as barriers to their full participation in the response.

::: Continue cross-border screening and screening at main internal roads to ensure that no contacts are missed and enhance the quality of screening through improved sharing of information with surveillance teams.

::: Continue to work and enhance co-ordination with the UN and partners to reduce security threats, mitigate security risks and create an enabling environment for public health operations as an essential platform for accelerating disease-control efforts.

::: Strengthen surveillance with a view towards reducing the proportion of community deaths and the time between detection and isolation and implementing real-time genetic sequencing to better understand the dynamics of disease transmission.

::: Optimal vaccine strategies, that have maximum impact on curtailing the outbreak, as recommended by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts:SAGE, should be implemented rapidly.

::: Strengthen measures to prevent nosocomial infections, including, systematic mapping pf health facilities, targeting of IPC interventions and sustain support to those facilities through monitoring and sustained supervision.  

For neighbouring countries

::: At-risk countries should work urgently with partners to improve their preparedness for detecting and managing imported cases, including, the mapping of health facilities and active surveillance with zero reporting.

::: Countries should continue to map population movements and sociological patterns, that can predict risk of disease spread.

::: Risk communications and community engagement, especially, at points of entry, should be increased.

::: At-risk countries should put in place approvals for investigational medicines and vaccines as an immediate priority for preparedness.

For all States:

::: No country should close its borders or place any restrictions on travel and trade. Such measures are usually implemented out of fear and have no basis in science. They push the movement of people and goods to informal border crossings, that are not monitored, thus, increasing the chances of the spread of disease. Most critically, these restrictions can, also, compromise local economies and negatively affect response operations from a security and logistics perspective.

::: National authorities should work with airlines and other transport and tourism industries to ensure that they do not exceed WHO’s advice on international traffic.

::: The Committee does not consider entry screening at airports or other ports of entry outside the region to be necessary.

The Committee recognises the shortage of supply of rVSV ZEBOV GP vaccine, despite the commendable efforts of the manufacturer of doubling the supply by 2020 and recommends that WHO works with member states and manufacturers to, immediately, take all measures to increases supplies, including, consideration of working with Contract Manufacturing Organisations:CMOs and transfer of technology.

The Committee emphasised the importance of continued support by WHO and other national and international partners towards the effective implementation and monitoring of these recommendations.

Based on this advice, the reports made by the affected State Party and the currently available information, the Director-General accepted the Committee’s assessment and on July 17 declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a Public Health Emergency of International Concern:PHEIC.  

The Director-General endorsed the Committee’s advice and issued them as Temporary Recommendations under IHR 2005 to reduce the international spread of Ebola, effective form July 17, 2019. The Director-General thanked the Committee Members and Advisors for their advice and requested their reassessment of this situation within three months.::ω.

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The World That Capitalism Has Devastated: 20 Million Children Miss Out on Life-saving Measles Diphtheria and Tetanus Vaccines in 2018



|| Monday: July 15: 2019 || ά. 20 million children worldwide, more than one in 10, missed out on life-saving vaccines, such as, measles, diphtheria and tetanus in 2018, according to new data from the World Health Organisation:WHO and UNICEF. Since 2010, vaccination coverage with three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis:DTP3 and one dose of the measles vaccine has stalled worldwide at around 86 percent. While high, this is not sufficient. 95 percent coverage is needed, across countries and communities to protect against outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Most unvaccinated children live in the poorest countries and are disproportionately in fragile or conflict-affected states. Almost, half are in just 16 countries, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo:DRC, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. If, these children do get sick, they are at risk of the severest health consequences and least likely to access life-saving treatment and care. Measles outbreaks show entrenched gaps in coverage, often, over many years.

Stark disparities in vaccine access persist across and within countries of all income levels. This has resulted in devastating measles outbreaks in many parts of the world, including, countries, that have high overall vaccination rates.

“Vaccines are one of our most important tools for preventing outbreaks and keeping the world safe.” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation. “While most children today are being vaccinated, far too many are left behind. Unacceptably, it’s, often, those, who are most at risk, the poorest, the most marginalised, those touched by conflict or forced from their homes, who are persistently missed.”

In 2018, almost 350,000 measles cases were reported across the globe, more than doubling from 2017. “Measles is a real time indicator of where we have more work to do to fight preventable diseases.” said Ms Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s Executive Director. “Because measles is so contagious, an outbreak points to communities, that are missing out on vaccines due to access, costs or, in some places, complacency. We have to exhaust every effort to immunise every child.”  

Ukraine leads a varied list of countries with the highest reported incidence rate of measles in 2018. While the country has now managed to vaccinate over 90 percent of its infants, coverage had been low for several years, leaving a large number of older children and adults at risk.

Several other countries with high incidence and high coverage have significant groups of people, who have missed the measles vaccine in the past. This shows how low coverage over time or discrete communities of unvaccinated people can spark deadly outbreaks.

For the first time, there is, also, data on the coverage of human papillomavirus:HPV vaccine, which protects girls against cervical cancer later in life. As of 2018, 90 countries, home to one in three girls worldwide, had introduced the HPV vaccine into their national programmes. Just 13 of these are lower income countries. This leaves those most at risk of the devastating impacts of cervical cancer still least likely to have access to the vaccine.

Together with partners like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO and UNICEF are supporting countries to strengthen their immunisation systems and outbreak response, including, by vaccinating all children with routine immunisation, conducting emergency campaigns and training and equipping health workers as an essential part of quality primary healthcare.::ω.

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City of Helsinki Becomes the First Among the European Cities to Submit Its Sustainable Development Report to the United Nations



|| Monday: July 15: 2019 || ά. Helsinki has become the first European city to deliver its Sustainable Development Report to the United Nations. Having completed its Sustainable Development Report in June, Helsinki is handing it over to the UN at the follow-up conference on July 18, as the first European city. The City’s Mayor Mr Jan Vapaavuori will speak at the UN on the occasion.

The High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development:HLPF is held in New York on July 09-19. The UN’s most important conference on sustainable development, the HLPF assesses global progress towards the goals stated in the Agenda 2030 action programme for sustainable development. Started off in 2015, the Agenda 2030 action programme aims at eradication of extreme poverty and at sustainable development taking environment, economy and people equally into account.

In September 2018, Helsinki voluntarily committed itself to reporting to the UN about its own implementation of the sustainable development goals, as the second city in the world, second only to New York. The Report ‘From Agenda to Action: The Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Helsinki 2019’ now to be handed over was completed in June 2019.

The findings of the Report show that the goals in Helsinki’s latest City Strategy match the UN sustainable development goals very well. Furthermore, Helsinki has already carried out or is in the process of carrying out many measures, that promote the UN goals. The findings of the Report will, also, be used to support the planning of the city’s actions in future.

Mayor Mr Vapaavuori will make his address at a session around the theme of developing the role of the High Level Political Forum so as to make it an even more efficient monitor of Agenda 2030 implementation when the first four-year cycle ends. In addition, Mr Vapaavuori will speak at four related events, one of which is organised by the City of Helsinki together with the City of New York and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN. Helsinki and New York have been co-operating closely throughout the process and they encourage other cities to engage into voluntary implementation reporting. 

“The influence of cities in the world is constantly growing, owing to factors, such as, urbanisation and the urban nature of global challenges. Cities are increasingly joining ranks with states to solve global problems. The most important, concrete work with Agenda 2030 is done at local level, near people.

Helsinki actively co-operates with other cities to ensure that the role of cities as influencers is acknowledged in key international forums and networks. In future, an important forum for co-operation between states and cities could be the implementation of the UN goals for sustainable development.” Mr Vapaavuori says.

Themes emphasised by Finland in the forum include education, competence and future-skills and their links to sustainable development. The delegation, headed by Minister of Education Ms Li Andersson, includes representatives of the City of Helsinki, several ministries, the local Agenda 2030 youth organisation, as well as, civic organisations and business.

During the forum, Finland hosts two related events and organises, in its fresh capacity of President of the Council of the European Union and together with the EU, the first event within the UN framework that presents the EU’s work on the Agenda 2030.

For further information and inspiration, contact, the Director for Strategic Initiatives: Sanna-Mari Jäntti: sanna-mari.jantti at hel.fi: tele: +358 400 536 581

And pay a visit to our Elsinki

Read the Report:::ω.

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