41 through 50

41 Combating terrorism

Member States have been coordinating their counter-terrorism efforts through the United Nations. In 2006, the UN adopted a global strategy to counter terrorism — the first time that all countries agreed to a common approach to fighting terrorism. UN agencies and programmes have helped countries to put in practice the common strategy, providing legal assistance and promoting international cooperation against terrorism. The UN has also put in place a legal framework to combat terrorism. Sixteen global legal instruments have been negotiated under UN auspices, including treaties against hostage-taking, aircraft hijacking, terrorist bombings, terrorism financing and, most recently, nuclear terrorism.

42 Helping to resolve major international disputes

By delivering judgments and advisory opinions, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has helped to settle international disputes involving territorial questions, maritime boundaries, diplomatic relations, State responsibility, the treatment of aliens and the use of force, among others.

43 Improving global trade relations

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has helped developing countries to negotiate trade agreements and to win preferential treatment for their exports. It has negotiated international commodity agreements to ensure fair prices for developing countries, improved
the efficiency of their trade infrastructure and helped them to diversify their production and to integrate into the global economy.

44 Promoting economic reform

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have helped many countries to improve their economic management, provided temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease balance-of-payment difficulties and offered training for government finance officials.

45 Promoting stability and order in the world’s oceans

The United Nations has spearheaded international efforts to regulate the use of the oceans under a single treaty. The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which has gained nearly universal acceptance, provides the legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas. The Convention lays down rules for the establishment of maritime zones, the rights and duties of coastal and landlocked States, including with regard to navigation, the protection of the marine environment, marine scientific research, and the conservation and sustainable use of marine living resources. The treaty includes mechanisms for settling disputes.

46 Improving aviation and shipping

UN agencies have been responsible for setting safety standards for aviation and shipping. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has contributed to making air travel the safest mode of transportation. In 1947, when 21 million travelled by air, 590 were killed in aircraft accidents; in 2007, the number of deaths was 581 out of 2.2 billion airline passengers. Likewise, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has helped to make the seas cleaner and shipping safer and more secure. Statistics show that shipping is becoming safer and is improving its environmental credentials. Ship losses are falling, fatalities are decreasing, pollution incidents are down, total oil pollution is down, and air pollution and pollution from sewage are being tackled—all while the amount of cargo carried by sea continues to increase.

47 Combating international crime

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) works with countries and organizations to counter translational organized crime by providing legal and technical assistance to fight corruption, money-laundering, drug trafficking and smuggling of migrants, as well as by strengthening criminal justice systems. It helps countries to prevent terrorism, it is a leader in the global fight against trafficking in persons and, together with the World Bank, it helps countries to recover assets stolen by corrupt leaders. It has played a key role in brokering and implementing relevant international Treaties, such as the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

48 Containing the world drug problem

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) works to reduce the supply of and demand for illicit drugs under the three main UN conventions on drug control. The Office works with countries to improve public health, as well as public security, in order to prevent, treat and control drug abuse. Efforts to contain the global drug problem have reversed a 25-year rise in drug abuse and headed off a pandemic. Nevertheless, several countries and regions remain vulnerable to the instability caused by drug cultivation and trafficking. That is why the Office is particularly engaged in drug control in Afghanistan, the Andean countries, Central Asia, Myanmar and West Africa.

49 Promoting decent work

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has established standards and fundamental principles and rights for work, including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced labour, the abolition of child labour and the elimination of workplace discrimination. Employment promotion, social protection for all and strong social dialogue between employers’ and workers’ organizations and Governments are at the core of ILO activities.

50 Improving literacy and education in developing countries

Today 83 per cent of adults in developing countries can read and write and 84 per cent of children attend primary school. The goal now is to ensure that by 2015 all children complete a full course of primary school. Programmes aimed at promoting education and advancement for women helped to raise the female literacy rate in developing countries from 36 per cent in 1970 to 79 per cent in 2007. The next goal is to ensure that by 2015 all girls complete primary and secondary school.