This is the News in Brief from the United Nations. 

UN chief hails Republic of Korea’s vow to achieve carbon neutrality 

The Republic of Korea’s pledge towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 has been hailed by UN chief António Guterres as “a very positive step in the right direction”.  

The development follows President Moon Jae-in’s announcement on Wednesday that South Korea will aim to reach net zero emissions by the middle of the century. 

President Moon made the vow in a speech to the national assembly to “actively respond” to climate change, in line with a $35 billion New Green Deal, announced in July, on ending investment in coal.  

A statement from his office that described the Republic of Korea as the world’s 11th largest economy and sixth largest exporter, said that it had joined a growing group of major economies committed to building a sustainable, carbon neutral and climate resilient world by 2050. 

The announcement comes just two days after Japan made the same net zero pledge for climate action.  

Rights experts decry Poland’s anti-abortion reform 

New anti-abortion legislation in Poland effectively slams the door shut on women seeking safe and legal terminations, UN-appointed independent human rights experts have said. 

In a statement following a court ruling in Poland that bans abortions on the grounds of fatal or severe foetal impairment, the group of experts also called for the protection of all those demonstrating in recent days against the development. 

They said that almost all legal abortions in the country are performed on the grounds of severe and irreversible impairment of the foetus, and that around 100,000 Polish women already seek terminations abroad every year. 

Highlighting the “devastating consequences for women and adolescent girls” now unable to seek abortions legally, the independent experts insisted that the poorest would likely suffer most. 

They include undocumented migrant women “who do not have the means to go abroad”, the experts added, warning that “with this ruling, Poland has effectively slammed the door shut on legal abortion for women in the country”.  

UN builds momentum for restoring forests in key decade for ecosystems 

The UN is leading a push for the world to scale up efforts in restoring landscapes and forests over the next decade; the target? To restore 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands, an area bigger than India. 

The agency that’s behind the initiative, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a new report that the world has made considerable progress in the past 10 years already. 

That’s because 63 countries, sub-national governments and private organisations have already committed to restoring 173 million hectares, according to FAO’s international forestry journal Unasylva, which highlights significant advances in Africa and Latin America. 

The goal is to meet the “Bonn Challenge” – the world’s largest voluntary forest landscape restoration initiative – which was launched in 2011. It is a global target to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.  

Daniel Johnson, UN News.  

Source of original article: United Nations (news.un.org). Photo credit: UN. The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (www.globaldiasporanews.com).

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