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Messages from the Secretary-General

Between 2000 and 2015, tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment saved 43 million lives.  The TB mortality rate has fallen by nearly half.  The Millennium Development Goal target of reversing TB incidence has been achieved.  But, the fight against this deadly disease is only half-won.  This year alone, TB will affect over 9.6 million men, women and children, and 1.5 million people will lose their lives.   Last year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is one of the targets of the new Sustainable Development Goals.  TB disproportionately affects…
Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to rise.  So too does the temperature of oceans and land.  Climate change is accelerating at an alarming rate.  The window of opportunity for limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius – the threshold agreed by world governments in Paris in December last year – is narrow and rapidly shrinking. The effects of a warming planet will be felt by all.  Sea levels are rising, and extreme weather is becoming the new normal.  Heavy rain and floods will put more lives and property at risk.  Longer and harsher droughts…
This year’s World Water Day focuses on the links between water and jobs.  Almost half of all workers – 1.5 billion people – work in water-related sectors, and nearly all jobs depend on the availability of freshwater. Despite its paramount importance, water as a sector generally does not receive the attention it deserves.  Water is central to human survival, the environment and the economy. All workers can be harmed by poor water and sanitation.  Of 2 million work-related deaths every year, nearly one-in-five are caused by poor quality drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. People with the least access…