Near East

Eye on Earth Launches Data Innovation, Visualization, Blogging Competitions [viewed]

Eye on Earth16 July 2015: The organizers of the Eye on Earth Summit have announced three data innovation challenges for which the finalists will have the opportunity to present their ideas at the Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The three competitions launched are the Data Innovation Showcase, Data Visualization Challenge and Blogging Competition, all of which support the Summit in its focus on using data to secure a better future for the planet.

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UN Regional Commissions Call for Effective Fiscal Policies, Global Tax Reform [viewed]

United Nations14 July 2015: The UN Regional Commissions highlighted the need for effective fiscal policies and global tax reform in the quest for sustainable and inclusive development during a roundtable event that featured Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz. The event, titled 'Regional Perspectives on Implementing an Ambitious, Transformative Sustainable Development Agenda,' took place on the sidelines of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Member States Review Progress on SIDS Partnerships [viewed]

maldives_undesa25 June 2015: UN Member States, UN agencies and international organizations reviewed progress of partnerships and initiatives launched at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The informal SIDS Partnership Dialogue, organized by Maldives and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) as a follow-up to the Conference, took place on 25 June 2015, in New York, US.

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World Bank Group Issues Global and Regional Economic Projections [viewed]

world_bank_newJune 2015: The World Bank Group has issued the June edition of its Global Economic Prospects report. The report notes that global growth is expected to be 2.8% in 2015 before strengthening moderately to 3.2% in 2016–2017. It also indicates that developing country growth has been revised downward to 4.4% in 2015 due to falling commodity prices, the stronger dollar, and tightening financial conditions, but is “expected to pick up momentum” and reach 5.3% in 2016-2017.

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ECOSOC Dialogue Focuses on Regional Transition to SDGs [viewed]

ECOSOC9 July 2015: Member States discussed the regional dimension of the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) annual Dialogue with the Executive Secretaries of the UN Regional Commissions. The Dialogue 'Managing the transition to the SDGs: What will it take at the Regional Level' took place on 9 July 2015 in New York, US.

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BRICS to Operationalize New Development Bank, Strengthen Energy Cooperation [viewed]

brics9 July 2015: At its seventh annual summit, the BRICS group of countries (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa) announced the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy through 2020, which aims to strengthen ties in energy, high technology, agriculture, science and education. The BRICS also adopted the New Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement, with a total capacity of US$200 billion.

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World Bank's 2015 Little Green Data Book Highlights Costs of Air Pollution [viewed]

World Bank16 June 2015: The World Bank released the 2015 edition of the 'Little Green Data Book,' its annual compilation of environment data. The latest edition includes new indicators for measuring air pollution, and demonstrates that it represents a significant cost to the economy and a risk to sustainability, which should be addressed by public health policy and national planning.

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Annual Contributions to UNFPA Exceed US$1 Billion in 2014 [viewed]

Unfpalogo2 June 2015: The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) reported its highest-ever level of donor contributions in 2014, exceeding US$1 billion, in the context of stronger engagement with non-traditional donors such as the World Bank, the Global Fund and the Global Vaccine Alliance. The Fund's 2014 annual report, 'A Year of Renewal,' provides a breakdown of spending by region and by purpose, showing that over half of UNFPA's resources, US$501.2 million, was directed to promoting access to sexual and reproductive health services.

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UNEP Report Assesses Ecosystem Services in Western Indian Ocean [viewed]

UNEP23 June 2015: Ecosystem services in the Western Indian Ocean region are valued at US$25 billion annually, according to a 'Regional State of the Coast Report' by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The report examines threats to the region's coral reefs, fisheries and oceans, including urbanization and unsustainable fishing and extraction practices. UNEP released the report at the Eighth Conference of the Parties to the Nairobi Convention, which is taking place on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Convention.

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Montpellier Declaration Urges Coordinated Action on Climate Change, Land Degradation [viewed]

desertifactions13 June 2015: More than 300 participants from 57 countries attending Désertif'actions 2015 (D'a15) - an international civil society forum on combating desertification and land degradation - adopted the Montpellier Declaration, highlighting the “undeniable link” between land degradation, sustainable development and international stability, “in a context of present and future impacts of global warming.”

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