Cloudbeds Acquires Whistle, Moves to Solve Friction in Guest Journey

No. 1 PMS and No. 1 guest messaging platform join forces to integrate guest engagement solutions seamlessly into day-to-day lodging business operations

Cloudbeds Acquires Whistle

No. 1 PMS and No. 1 guest messaging platform join forces to integrate guest engagement solutions seamlessly into day-to-day lodging business operations

SAN DIEGO, June 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cloudbeds, the hospitality management platform powering more reservations and happier guests for lodging businesses around the globe, announced today at HITEC 2022 the acquisition of the industry’s leading guest engagement solution, Whistle. Together, the companies will integrate their best-in-class technologies to remove friction points in the guest journey through a single platform.

“The term contactless is becoming far too synonymous with hospitality,” said Richard Castle, COO and Co-Founder of Cloudbeds. “We want more contact between lodging businesses and their guests to create purposeful touchpoints, answer questions and provide guidance through the entire guest journey. Research shows that engaged guests spend more, leave better reviews and the majority prefer to communicate via digital channels — Whistle makes it all possible. Whether it’s a booking engine chat or front desk text request, Whistle positions Cloudbeds customers to be a part of the guest journey from discovery to post-stay, removing barriers that might hinder a booking or positive review.”

Whistle leads the industry in guest engagement with unified communication tools, digitized arrival experiences and more. Current customers include major hospitality brands and hoteliers around the world, including Choice Hotels, Accor, IHG and Four Sisters Inns, among others. Founded in 2015, the company has been rated the no. 1 guest messaging software by Hotel Tech Report for five consecutive years.

Whistle will play an important role in the company’s vision for creating a fully frictionless solution that enables guests to engage with lodging businesses on their own terms. Simultaneously, it will give lodging businesses a unified platform to more efficiently manage points of contact throughout the entire guest journey.

“Our goal has always been to give lodging businesses a unique, easy-to-use solution that simplifies and streamlines the way they communicate,” said Christopher Hovanessian, CEO and Co-Founder of Whistle. “Cloudbeds has a clear vision for building a better, more frictionless hospitality experience via a unified platform. Together, we can make a greater impact on the industry that benefits not only the guest, but also the property staff and the lodging business itself.”

Following its Series D funding announcement in November, Cloudbeds has doubled down on its commitment to “more reservations, happier guests” with three acquisitions and the introduction of several new product offerings to address major pain points for both operators and guests. Driven by an aggressive product roadmap, the company has nearly tripled in size over the past year, with more solutions set to roll out in Q3 designed to help hoteliers grow their businesses.

For more information, visit cloudbeds.com/whistle.

Cloudbeds will share further details about the acquisition at HITEC 2022 in Orlando, during a press event at 1:30 p.m. ET in Booth # 1701 on Tuesday, June 28.

About Cloudbeds
Cloudbeds provides the platform that powers hospitality, driving streamlined operations, increasing reservations and revenue, and enabling memorable guest experiences for lodging businesses of all sizes and types across the globe. The award-winning Cloudbeds Hospitality Platform seamlessly combines solutions for front desk, revenue, distribution, guest acquisition, and guest engagement in a single unified system, enhanced by a marketplace of third-party integrations. Cloudbeds was named No. 1 PMS and No. 1 Hotel Management System by Hotel Tech Report in 2022 and recognized by Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 in 2021. For more information, visit www.cloudbeds.com.

Contact:
Angela Petersen
angela.petersen@cloudbeds.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ea0d94df-2649-42d8-8e49-c59efe9665e5

 

Cloudbeds acquiert Whistle, et résout les problèmes de friction dans le parcours des clients

Le PMS n°1 et la plateforme de messagerie client n°1 unissent leurs forces pour intégrer de manière transparente les solutions d’engagement des clients dans les opérations quotidiennes de l’hébergement

Cloudbeds acquiert Whistle

Le PMS n°1 et la plateforme de messagerie client n°1 unissent leurs forces pour intégrer les solutions d’engagement client de manière transparente dans les opérations quotidiennes d’hébergement

SAN DIEGO, 27 juin 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cloudbeds, la plateforme de gestion hôtelière qui alimente de plus en plus de réservations et de clients heureux pour les entreprises d’hébergement du monde entier, a annoncé aujourd’hui lors de l’HITEC 2022 l’acquisition de Whistle, le leader en solution d’engagement des clients du secteur. Ensemble, les entreprises intégreront leurs meilleures technologies pour éliminer les points de friction dans le parcours client à travers une plateforme unique.

« Le terme “sans contact” est de plus en plus synonyme d’hospitalité », a déclaré Richard Castle, directeur de l’exploitation et cofondateur de Cloudbeds. « Nous voulons davantage de contacts entre les entreprises d’hébergement et leurs clients pour créer des points de contact utiles, répondre aux questions et fournir des conseils tout au long du parcours client. Les recherches indiquent que les clients engagés dépensent plus, laissent de meilleurs commentaires et la majorité préfère communiquer via les canaux numériques : Whistle rend tout cela possible. Qu’il s’agisse d’une discussion sur le moteur de réservation ou d’une commande par message, Whistle positionne les clients de Cloudbeds pour qu’ils fassent partie du parcours du client, de la découverte à l’après-séjour, supprimant les obstacles qui pourraient entraver une réservation ou un avis positif. »

Whistle est le leader du secteur en matière d’engagement des clients avec des outils de communication unifiés, des expériences d’arrivée numérisées et plus encore. Les clients actuels comprennent de grandes marques hôtelières et des hôteliers du monde entier, notamment Choice Hotels, Accor, IHG et Four Sisters Inns, entre autres. Fondée en 2015, la société a été classée « logiciel de messagerie client n°1 » par Hotel Tech Report pendant cinq années consécutives.

Whistle jouera un rôle important dans la vision de la société pour créer une solution totalement sans friction qui permet aux clients de s’engager avec les entreprises d’hébergement à leurs propres conditions. En même temps, cela permettra aux entreprises d’hébergement d’accéder à une plateforme unifiée pour gérer plus efficacement les points de contact tout au long du parcours client.

« Notre objectif a toujours été de fournir aux entreprises d’hébergement une solution unique et facile à utiliser qui simplifie et rationalise leur façon de communiquer », a déclaré Christopher Hovanessian, PDG et cofondateur de Whistle. « Cloudbeds a une vision claire pour construire une meilleure expérience hôtelière sans heurts via une plateforme unifiée. Ensemble, nous pouvons avoir un impact plus important sur l’industrie qui profite non seulement au client, mais aussi au personnel de l’établissement et à l’entreprise d’hébergement elle-même. »

Suite à l’annonce de son financement de série D en novembre, Cloudbeds a doublé son engagement à « davantage de réservations, des clients plus heureux » avec trois acquisitions et l’introduction de plusieurs nouvelles offres de produits visant à résoudre les principaux problèmes des opérateurs et des clients. Axée sur une feuille de route de produits agressive, la société a presque triplé en taille au cours de l’année écoulée, avec davantage de solutions devant être déployées au troisième trimestre, conçues pour aider les hôteliers à développer leurs activités.

Pour tout complément d’information, veuillez vous rendre sur le site cloudbeds.com/whistle.

Cloudbeds partagera de plus amples détails sur l’acquisition à l’HITEC 2022 à Orlando, lors d’une conférence de presse à 13 h 30 HE au stand n° 1701 le mardi 28 juin.

À propos de Cloudbeds
Cloudbeds fournit la plateforme qui alimente l’hôtellerie, stimulant des opérations rationalisées, augmentant les réservations et les revenus et permettant des expériences clients mémorables pour les entreprises d’hébergement de toutes tailles et de tous types à travers le monde. La plateforme primée d’hôtellerie Cloudbeds combine de manière transparente des solutions pour la réception, les revenus, la distribution, l’acquisition d’invités et l’engagement des clients dans un seul système unifié, amélioré par une place de marché d’intégrations tierces. Cloudbeds a été nommée n° 1 PMS et n°1 des systèmes de gestion hôtelière par Hotel Tech Report en 2022 et reconnue par Technology Fast 500 de Deloitte en 2021. Pour tout complément d’information, veuillez vous rendre sur le site www.cloudbeds.com.

Contact :
Angela Petersen
angela.petersen@cloudbeds.com

Une photo accompagnant ce communiqué de presse est disponible à l’adresse : https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ea0d94df-2649-42d8-8e49-c59efe9665e5

Cloudbeds Adquire Whistle para Remover Pontos de Atrito da Jornada do Hóspede

A plataforma de mensagens de hóspedes nº 1 e a PMS nº 1 unem forças para integrar perfeitamente as soluções de engajamento dos hóspedes nas operações comerciais diárias de hospedagem

Cloudbeds Adquire Whistle

A plataforma de mensagens de hóspedes nº 1 e a PMS nº 1 unem forças para integrar perfeitamente as soluções de engajamento dos hóspedes nas operações comerciais diárias de hospedagem

SAN DIEGO, June 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A Cloudbeds, a plataforma de gerenciamento de hospitalidade que viabiliza um maior número de reservas e de hóspedes mais satisfeitos para empresas de hospedagens de todo o mundo, anunciou hoje na HITEC 2022 a aquisição da principal solução de engajamento de hóspedes do setor, a Whistle. Juntas, as empresas integrarão suas melhores tecnologias em uma única plataforma para remover pontos de atrito da jornada dos hóspedes.

“O termo sem contato está se tornando um sinônimo de hospitalidade”, disse Richard Castle, COO e Cofundador da Cloudbeds. “Queremos mais contato entre as empresas de hospedagem e seus hóspedes para que possamos criar pontos de contato propositais, responder perguntas e fornecer orientação durante toda a jornada do hóspede. As pesquisas indicam que hóspedes engajados gastam mais, elogiam mais, com a maioria preferindo se comunicar através de canais digitais. A Whistle possibilita isso tudo. Seja um bate-papo durante a reserva ou solicitação de texto da recepção, a Whistle viabiliza que os clientes da Cloudbeds façam parte da jornada dos hóspedes, desde à descoberta até à estadia, removendo barreiras que podem dificultar uma reserva ou avaliação positiva.”

A Whistle lidera a indústria de engajamento dos hóspedes com suas ferramentas de comunicação unificadas, experiências de chegada digitalizadas e muito mais. Seus clientes incluem grandes marcas de hospitalidade e hoteleiros de todo o mundo, incluindo Choice Hotels, Accor, IHG e Four Sisters Inns, entre outros. Fundada em 2015, a empresa é classificada como o software número 1 de mensagens para hóspedes pela Hotel Tech Report há cinco anos consecutivos.

A Whistle terá um papel importante na visão da empresa de criação de uma solução totalmente sem atrito que permita que os hóspedes se envolvam com as empresas de hospedagem como queiram. Por outro lado, ela irá proporcionar para as empresas de hospedagem uma plataforma unificada para um gerenciamento mais eficiente dos pontos de contato durante toda a jornada do hóspede.

“Nosso objetivo sempre foi oferecer para as empresas de hospedagem uma solução única e fácil de usar que simplifique e agilize as comunicações”, disse Christopher Hovanessian, CEO e cofundador da Whistle. “A Cloudbeds tem uma visão clara da construção de uma experiência de hospitalidade melhor e sem atrito por meio de uma plataforma unificada. Juntos, podemos ter um impacto maior em uma indústria que beneficia o hóspede e também a equipe da propriedade e a própria empresa de hospedagem.”

Após ou anúncio do financiamento da Série D em novembro, a Cloudbeds reafirmou seu compromisso de proporcionar “mais reservas e hóspedes mais satisfeitos” com três aquisições e a introdução de várias novas ofertas de produtos para abordar os principais pontos problemáticos para os operadores e hóspedes. Impulsionada por um planejamento de produtos competitivos, a empresa quase triplicou de tamanho no ano passado. Mais soluções projetadas para ajudar os hoteleiros a ampliar seus negócios devem ser implementadas no terceiro trimestre.

Para mais informação, visite cloudbeds.com/whistle.

Cloudbeds irá fornecer mais detalhes sobre a aquisição na HITEC 2022 em Orlando, durante uma coletiva com a imprensa às 13h30 ET no estande # 1701 na terça-feira, 28 de junho.

Sobre a Cloudbeds
A Cloudbeds fornece a plataforma que capacita a hospitalidade com operações simplificadas, aumentando o número de reservas e a receita, e proporcionando experiências memoráveis para os hóspedes de empresas de hospedagens de todos os tamanhos e tipos em todo o mundo. A premiada Cloudbeds Hospitality Platform combina integralmente as soluções para recepção, receita, distribuição, aquisição de hóspedes e envolvimento de hóspedes em um único sistema unificado, aprimorado por um mercado de integrações de terceiros. A Cloudbeds foi escolhida a PMS Nº 1 e o Sistema de Gestão Hoteleira Nº 1 pela Hotel Tech Report em 2022 e incluída na Technology Fast 500 da Deloitte em 2021. Para mais informação, visite www.cloudbeds.com.

Contato:
Angela Petersen
angela.petersen@cloudbeds.com

Foto deste comunicado disponível em: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ea0d94df-2649-42d8-8e49-c59efe9665e5/pt

Le G20 ambitieux sur le plan de déploiement du fonds contre les pandémies cette année

YOGYAKARTA, Indonésie27 juin 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Les ministres des Finances et de la Santé des 20 plus grandes économies du monde conviennent d’établir un fonds pandémique révolutionnaire pour aider le monde à mieux prévenir, se préparer et répondre aux futures pandémies.

Indonesian Health Minister gave remarks at the 1st G20 JFHMM

Le ministre indonésien de la Santé, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, et le ministre des Finances, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, ont coprésidé la 1ère réunion conjointe des ministres des Finances et de la Santé du G20 (JFHMM), au cours de laquelle les États membres du G20 ont convenu de la création d’un Fonds intermédiaire financier (FIF) pour la préparation, la prévention et la réponse aux pandémies (PPR), sous la tutelle de la Banque mondiale et les conseils techniques de l’OMS.

« Je suis heureux d’annoncer qu’un engagement de plus de 1,1 milliard de dollars a été obtenu pour le Fonds intermédiaire financier pour la PPR pandémique. » a déclaré le ministre Mulyani. L’Indonésie s’engage à contribuer à hauteur de 50 millions de dollars, Singapour à hauteur de 10 millions de dollars, les États-Unis à hauteur de 450 millions de dollars, l’Union européenne à hauteur de 450 millions de dollars, l’Allemagne à hauteur de 50 millions d’euros (52,7 millions de dollars) et Wellcome Trust à hauteur de 10 millions de livres (12,3 millions de dollars). Les États membres du G20 ont également souligné que le fonds serait inclusif par nature et permettrait aux pays à revenu moyen et faible d’y avoir accès.

La conclusion du JFHMM sera également discutée lors de la prochaine réunion des ministres des Finances et des gouverneurs des banques centrales (FMCBG) le mois prochain et fera l’objet d’un suivi lors de la prochaine réunion du groupe de travail conjoint Finances-Santé (JFHTF).

Le ministre indonésien de la santé, M. Budi, a souligné que le JFHTF du G20 a progressé dans la discussion de l’idée de la création d’un FIF qui a été introduite pour la première fois pendant la présidence italienne du G20 en 2021. « Je suis convaincu que nous obtiendrons des résultats concrets d’ici octobre, ce qui inclut l’établissement de la FIF et la collaboration avec la plateforme de coordination », a déclaré le ministre Budi.

Les deux réunions ont également convenu de la vérification universelle des certificats de vaccination COVID-19, des protocoles sanitaires pour faciliter la mobilité mondiale, et de l’expansion du Centre mondial de fabrication et de recherche pour la PPR, en particulier la production de vaccins, de produits thérapeutiques et de diagnostics devant avoir lieu dans les pays en développement.

Le directeur général de l’OMS, le Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, la Banque mondiale, GAVI, CEPI, le Fonds mondial et la Fondation Bill et Melinda Gates ont assisté à la réunion. Le Dr Tedros a déclaré que la FIF doit également être cohérente avec les autres initiatives mondiales en matière de santé. « Cette plateforme doit s’appuyer sur l’expérience de l’ACT Accelerator, du cadre de lutte contre la grippe pandémique et d’autres mécanismes. Il s’agit d’un axe important du volet santé du G20 sous la direction du ministre Budi », a-t-il déclaré.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1846835/SLW00832.jpg

Sounding Alarm about ‘Ocean Emergency’, Secretary-General Outlines Crucial Actions to Protect World’s Seas, Ensure Healthy Planet, as Lisbon Conference Begins

Upset by Underfunding of Sustainable Development Goal 14, Speakers Call for Multilateral Cooperation to Conserve, Responsibly Use Marine Resources. The ocean must become a model on how to manage the global commons, world leaders heard today as they converged in Lisbon, where the Tagus River and the Atlantic meet, to take stock of multilateral efforts and looming challenges in the protection of the seas of the world.

“We cannot have a healthy planet without a healthy ocean,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres underscored at the start of the 2022 United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development. The second worldwide ocean conference brings together representatives of Government as well as civil society in a range of conversations, from a high-level plenary to multi-stakeholder dialogues, over the course of five days.

Spotlighting the role of science and innovation in a new chapter of global ocean action, Mr. Guterres called on all stakeholders to invest in sustainable ocean economies for food, renewable energy and livelihoods. Sounding caution about the “ocean emergency”, he pointed to record-high ocean temperatures, frequent storms, rising sea levels and degraded coastal ecosystems. While many low-lying island nations and major coastal cities face inundation, he pointed out, one mass of plastic in the Pacific is bigger than France.

Highlighting multilateral progress in responding to these crises, he pointed to the new treaty being negotiated to address the global plastics crisis, the recently concluded World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on ending harmful fishery subsidies and the gathering momentum on a legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. “But let’s have no illusions,” he cautioned, pointing out that Sustainable Development Goal 14 receives the least funding of any of the Goals.

Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, one of the two co-hosts of the Conference, expressed concern that this goal is the most under-funded even though the oceans are central to human existence. Oceans cover 70 per cent of the global surface, are home to about 80 per cent of life in the world and facilitate the trade of 90 per cent of global goods, he pointed out, calling on the international community to “shift gear from proposals to action”.

Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo De Sousa, President of Portugal, the other conference co-host, reminded delegates that “politicians go, but the oceans stay… for millions of years.” Rejecting unilateralism, war and confrontation, he stressed the importance of saving the world’s oceans through multilateralism and global cooperation.

Echoing that sentiment, Abdulla Shahid (Maldives), President of the General Assembly, called on delegates to leave the Conference with “one hand up to reach for success”, and “the other hand down to pull others along with us”. The ocean is in his blood, he said, noting that all humanity relies upon the ocean “for half of the oxygen we intake”. Sounding hopeful about a future where circular economies thrive and sustainable ocean tourism drives economies without doing harm, he stressed the need to lean into human ingenuity.

Collen Vixen Kelapile, President of the Economic and Social Council, called for science-based solutions as he urged the international community to seize the current moment to decisively address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, who also serves as the Secretary-General of the Oceans Conference, highlighted the focus on science and innovation in the action-oriented outcome document that will be adopted at the closing of the Conference.

At the beginning of the meeting, Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon, also addressed delegates, pointing to the crucial role played by the city in maritime history. As he emphasized the role of cities in translating global commitments to local action, he stressed that the Lisbon Conference must become a watershed moment for the protection of the oceans.

In the ensuing discussion, delegate after delegate shared ambitious policies and actions from their countries but also stressed the need for collaborative solutions, as they pointed to the gargantuan challenges facing their corner of the Atlantic, the Arctic or Pacific Oceans.

Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, who spoke for the Pacific Islands Forum, declared “we cannot leave Lisbon” without increasing pledges for funding. He drew attention to the impact of nuclear testing on the Pacific islands and called for an end to dumping nuclear waste into the ocean. While Fiji adopted a measure to ban deep-sea mining by 2030 and has expanded its maritime protected areas by 8 per cent, solo efforts are insufficient, he said, urging other countries to follow its lead.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, said people in her country can see the effects of climate change first-hand in the receding glaciers. Temperatures are rising much faster than global average in the Artic, she said, stressing the need to protect marine ecosystems, ensure sustainable use of marine resources and empower coastal communities and indigenous peoples. In particular, she underscored the potential of small-scale fishing and agriculture, which can directly improve the health and well-being of local communities.

There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, Surangel Whipps, President of Palau, speaking for the Pacific Small Island Developing States, warned, also pointing to how ocean acidification is destroying entire reef systems. His country has invested in high-value ecotourism and is designing a conservation framework for valuable fish stocks, he said, adding that his decisions are rooted in a father’s hope to pass a productive ocean to his daughter.

President Iván Duque Márquez of Colombia, the only country in South America that has coastlines along two oceans, expressed his determination to fulfil Goal 14 through bold but achievable action. Spotlighting a unanimously approved climate action law that will increase protected areas to 30 per cent, he noted that this makes Colombia the first country in the West to commit to this percentage. This goal will soon become a reality, covering 16 million hectares of marine area, he said, noting that this is a historical achievement.

João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of Angola, speaking on behalf of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, drew attention to the Namibe Declaration, which established a cooperation platform for the Community to promote sustainable fishing and combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Another partnership he highlighted was with the European Union’s “Africa RISE” programme which addresses worsening marine pollution, of which plastic is the biggest problem. He also called for strengthening maritime defence against pirates, highlighting problems in the Gulf of Guinea and Horn of Africa.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea, also pointed to the interlinkage between ocean protection and maritime security. Highlighting the transnational crime of piracy, he said that prosperous blue economies require harmonization of international legislation on piracy and collaboration on protocols for maritime security.

Also speaking were the Heads of State and Government of Libya, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, the United Republic of Tanzania and Portugal.

The Ocean Conference will reconvene in plenary at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 28 June, to continue its general debate.

Source: United Nations

Inclusive cities critical to post-pandemic recovery: Guterres

A UN conference on transforming the world’s urban areas is underway in Poland this week, which will include a dialogue on urban crisis recovery and reconstruction, centered on neighbouring Ukraine.

Hundreds of delegates from across the globe will be attending the World Urban Forum, which opened on Sunday in the southern Polish city of Katowice.

WUF11 is taking place at a critical time, as cities tackle the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate emergency and conflict.

Making cities more inclusive must be part of post-pandemic recovery efforts, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in remarks to the event.

“Cities are central to virtually every challenge we face – and essential to building a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future. They have been at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the UN chief said in a video message.

“As we look to recover, promoting more inclusive, gender responsive urban infrastructure and services will be critical to give all people – especially young people, women and girls – access to a better future.”

Cities as climate leaders

Mr. Guterres also highlighted another important role for the world’s cities. They must be at the forefront of action to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,

More and more cities across the world are committing to the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, or before.

The sooner these commitments are translated into concrete actions, the sooner countries will achieve green job growth, better health, and greater equality, he said.

“But cities cannot do it alone,” he stressed. “They need more coordinated support from all levels of government; stronger partnerships with the private sector and civil society; and greater fiscal and policy space to bring solutions to scale.”

Harness the potential

The Secretary-General underlined the UN’s commitment to help countries achieve the common goal of green, just and healthy cities.

“We have the blueprints for progress,” he said, referring to the New Urban Agenda, a 2016 framework that promotes sustainable urbanization; the ongoing Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the 2030 Local Coalition, a partnership between the UN and government leaders to advance the SDGs.

“Let us harness the transformative potential of urbanization and build a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future for all.”

The World Urban Forum was established in 2001 and is convened biannually by UN-Habitat, officially the United Human Settlements Programme, which works for a better urban future.

With only eight years left to make cities safer, resilient and more inclusive, the goal of SDG 11, urban areas across the world are already under pressure.

‘Triple C crisis’

The strain will only mount as every region is expected to become more urbanized, some at an incredibly rapid pace.

The global urban population is set to jump from 56 per cent last year to nearly 70 per cent by mid-century, representing a further 2.2 billion people, mainly in Africa and the Middle East.

“While the current reality is undoubtedly very difficult, we must maintain our focus and double our efforts on sustainable development,” said Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the UN-Habitat Executive Director.

“We urgently need innovative solutions for urban areas to respond to this triple C crisis of COVID, climate and conflict, which are having a devastating impact on cities, leaving people and places behind,” she added.

Special focus on Ukraine

The UN Forum is the leading global conference on sustainable urbanization, and this marks the first time it is being held in Eastern Europe. Poland is proud to play host.

“This is a region that has come a long way – from communist rule, which had little regard for human life, let alone its quality, to democratic governments working for the common good,” said Grzegorz Puda, Minister of Development Funds and Regional Policy.

More than 800 government officials and representatives, including over 50 ministers and deputy ministers, will attend the Forum which is co-organized by the Government of Poland and the city of Katowice.

The programme has been significantly modified to reflect the conflict in neighboring Ukraine, UN-Habitat said. More than three million Ukrainians have taken refuge in Poland since the war began four months ago. In his remarks, the UN Secretary-General expressed gratitude for the country’s “extraordinary solidarity” with Ukrainian refugees.

The Polish Government will spearhead a special session focused on the post-crisis and post-disaster reconstruction of urban spaces and population return.

“We must also remember all those who are facing crisis at the moment in countries affected by war and disaster, such as Ukraine. In this context, we decided to include the topic of rebuilding cities after crises in the WUF11 programme,” said Malgorzata Jarosinska-Jedyna, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy.

Abandoning coal, embracing technology

Katowice, which hosted the COP24 UN climate conference four years ago, was chosen largely due to its successful transition from a centre of the coal and steel industries, to a city based on technology, culture and events.

The Forum will be the first big international meeting held there since the start of the pandemic. More than 16,000 people are expected at the city’s International Congress Centre, built on the site of a former coal mine.

“Our city has undergone enormous changes in the last two decades,” said Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice. “I believe that cities are the engines of change towards creating a better world – one that is safer, more sustainable and inclusive.”

The Forum will conclude on Friday and the expected outcome is the Katowice Declared Actions, which will outline commitments and plans to support sustainable urbanization.

Source: United Nations

UNODC World Drug Report 2022 highlights trends on cannabis post-legalization, environmental impacts of illicit drugs, and drug use among women and youth

Cannabis legalization in parts of the world appears to have accelerated daily use and related health impacts, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s World Drug Report 2022. Released today, the report also details record rises in the manufacturing of cocaine, the expansion of synthetic drugs to new markets, and continued gaps in the availability of drug treatments, especially for women.  

According to the report, around 284 million people aged 15-64 used drugs worldwide in 2020, a 26 per cent increase over the previous decade. Young people are using more drugs, with use levels today in many countries higher than with the previous generation. In Africa and Latin America, people under 35 represent the majority of people being treated for drug use disorders.

Globally, the report estimates that 11.2 million people worldwide were injecting drugs. Around half of this number were living with hepatitis C, 1.4 million were living with HIV, and 1.2 million were living with both.

Reacting to these findings, UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly stated: “Numbers for the manufacturing and seizures of many illicit drugs are hitting record highs, even as global emergencies are deepening vulnerabilities. At the same time, misperceptions regarding the magnitude of the problem and the associated harms are depriving people of care and treatment and driving young people towards harmful behaviours. We need to devote the necessary resources and attention to addressing every aspect of the world drug problem, including the provision of evidence-based care to all who need it, and we need to improve the knowledge base on how illicit drugs relate to other urgent challenges, such as conflicts and environmental degradation.”

The report further emphasizes the importance of galvanizing the international community, governments, civil society and all stakeholders to take urgent action to protect people, including by strengthening drug use prevention and treatment and by tackling illicit drug supply.

Early indications and effects of cannabis legalization

Cannabis legalization in North America appears to have increased daily cannabis use, especially potent cannabis products and particularly among young adults. Associated increases in people with psychiatric disorders, suicides and hospitalizations have also been reported. Legalization has also increased tax revenues and generally reduced arrest rates for cannabis possession.

Continued growth in drug production and trafficking

Cocaine manufacture was at a record high in 2020, growing 11 per cent from 2019 to 1,982 tons. Cocaine seizures also increased, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, to a record 1,424 tons in 2020. Nearly 90 per cent of cocaine seized globally in 2021 was trafficked in containers and/or by sea. Seizure data suggest that cocaine trafficking is expanding to other regions outside the main markets of North America and Europe, with increased levels of trafficking to Africa and Asia.

Trafficking of methamphetamine continues to expand geographically, with 117 countries reporting seizures of methamphetamine in 2016-2020 versus 84 in 2006-2010. Meanwhile, the quantities of methamphetamine seized grew five-fold between 2010 and 2020.

Opium production worldwide grew seven per cent between 2020 and 2021 to 7,930 tons – predominantly due to an increase in production in Afghanistan. However, the global area under opium poppy cultivation fell by 16 per cent to 246,800 ha in the same period.

Key drug trends broken down by region

In many countries in Africa and South and Central America, the largest proportion of people in treatment for drug use disorders are there primarily for cannabis use disorders. In Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and in Central Asia, people are most often in treatment for opioid use disorders.

In the United States and Canada, overdose deaths, predominantly driven by an epidemic of the non-medical use of fentanyl, continue to break records. Preliminary estimates in the United States point to more than 107,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021, up from nearly 92,000 in 2020.

In the two largest markets for methamphetamine, seizures have been increasing – they rose by seven per cent in North America from the previous year, while in South-East Asia they increased by 30 per cent from the previous year, record highs in both regions. A record high was also reported for methamphetamine seizures reported from South-West Asia, increasing by 50 per cent in 2020 from 2019.

Great inequality remains in the availability of pharmaceutical opioids for medical consumption. In 2020, there were 7,500 more doses per 1 million inhabitants of controlled pain medication in North America than in West and Central Africa.

Conflict zones as magnets for synthetic drug production

This year’s report also highlights that illicit drug economies can flourish in situations of conflict and where the rule of law is weak, and in turn can prolong or fuel conflict.

Information from the Middle East and South-East Asia suggest that conflict situations can act as a magnet for the manufacture of synthetic drugs, which can be produced anywhere. This effect may be greater when the conflict area is close to large consumer markets.

Historically, parties to conflict have used drugs to finance conflict and generate income. The 2022 World Drug Report also reveals that conflicts may also disrupt and shift drug trafficking routes, as has happened in the Balkans and more recently in Ukraine.

A possible growing capacity to manufacture amphetamine in Ukraine if the conflict persists

There was a significant increase in the number of reported clandestine laboratories in Ukraine, skyrocketing from 17 dismantled laboratories in 2019 to 79 in 2020. 67 out of these laboratories were producing amphetamines, up from five in 2019 – the highest number of dismantled laboratories reported in any given country in 2020.

The environmental impacts of drug markets

Illicit drug markets, according to the 2022 World Drug Report, can have local, community or individual-level impacts on the environment. Key findings include that the carbon footprint of indoor cannabis is between 16 and 100 times more than outdoor cannabis on average and that the footprint of 1 kilogram of cocaine is 30 times greater than that of cocoa beans.

Other environmental impacts include substantial deforestation associated with illicit coca cultivation, waste generated during synthetic drug manufacture that can be 5-30 times the volume of the end product, and the dumping of waste which can affecting soil, water and air directly, as well as organisms, animals and the food chain indirectly.

Ongoing gender treatment gap and disparities in drug use and treatment

Women remain in the minority of drug users globally yet tend to increase their rate of drug consumption and progress to drug use disorders more rapidly than men do. Women now represent an estimated 45-49 per cent of users of amphetamines and non-medical users of pharmaceutical stimulants, pharmaceutical opioids, sedatives, and tranquilizers.

The treatment gap remains large for women globally. Although women represent almost one in two amphetamines users, they constitute only one in five people in treatment for amphetamine use disorders.

The World Drug Report 2022 also spotlights the wide range of roles fulfilled by women in the global cocaine economy, including cultivating coca, transporting small quantities of drugs, selling to consumers, and smuggling into prisons.

Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

UN drug report shines light on cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine trends

Legalized cannabis use in some countries and states appears to have accelerated daily use and related health impacts, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) revealed in a new report released on Monday.

The World Drug Report 2022 also details the environmental consequences of the illicit drugs trade, the expansion of synthetic drugs to new markets, and an all-time high in cocaine production.

“Numbers for the manufacturing and seizures of many illicit drugs are hitting record highs, even as global emergencies are deepening vulnerabilities,” said UNODC chief Ghada Waly.

“At the same time, misperceptions regarding the magnitude of the problem and the associated harms, are depriving people of care and treatment and driving young people towards harmful behaviours”.

Global overview

The report outlined that some 284 million 15 to 64-year-olds used drugs in 2020, indicating a 26 per cent increase during the course of a decade.

Globally, 11.2 million people were estimated to inject drugs, around half of whom were living with hepatitis C; 1.4 million with HIV, and 1.2 million with both.

In Africa and Latin America, those under 35 represent most of the people being treated for drug use disorders.

Repercussions of cannabis legalization

In North America, legalized cannabis on a state level – especially new potent products containing elevated levels of high-inducing THC – appears to have increased daily usage, particularly among young adults.

In addition to increasing tax revenues, it has also caused a reported surge among people with psychiatric disorders, increased suicides and hospitalizations while generally reducing possession arrests.

Cocaine, meth and opium

In 2020, global cocaine manufacturing grew 11 per cent from the previous year to 1,982 tons and, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, seizures increased to a record 1,424 tons.

Nearly 90 per cent of cocaine seized last year was trafficked via land and/or sea, reaching regions beyond the regular markets of North America and Europe.

Methamphetamine (or meth) trafficking continued to expand geographically, with 117 countries reporting seizures between 2016 and 2020, versus 84 from 2006-2010, with volume growing an astonishing five-fold, between 2010 and 2020.

While the global area being used for opium poppy cultivation fell globally by 16 per cent to 246,800 hectares between 2020 and 2021, increased Afghan production triggered a seven per cent jump to 7,930 tons during that period.

Key drug trends

Most people in drug rehabilitation throughout Africa and South and Central America are primarily being treated for cannabis abuse while those in eastern and south-eastern Europe and central Asia, most often require help for the misuse of opioids.

In the United States and Canada, overdose deaths, predominantly driven by an epidemic of the non-medical use of fentanyl – which can be fatal in tiny doses, and is commonly used to ‘cut’ other drugs such as street cocaine – continue to break records.

Estimates in the US point to more than 107,000 drug overdoses last year, up from nearly 92,000 in 2020.

Conflict zone magnets

Meanwhile, the report reveals data from the Middle East and Southeast Asia suggesting that conflict can act as magnets for synthetic drug manufacturing, which may increase if the violence is close to large consumer markets.

Historically, parties to conflict have often used illegal drug profits to finance war.

Conflicts may also disrupt and shift drug trafficking routes, as has happened in the Balkans and most recently in Ukraine, since Russia annexed Crimea and separatists took control of areas of the east in 2014.

Reported clandestine laboratories in Ukraine have skyrocketed from 17 dismantled in 2019, to 79 in 2020 – 67 of which were producing amphetamines – the highest number of disassembled labs reported in any given country, in 2020.

Environmental impacts

The carbon footprint of indoor cannabis is between 16 and 100 times greater, than for outdoor cannabis, on average, according to the report – due to the intensive energy demands of artificial cultivation. And it is 30 times greater for lab-produced cocaine, than that for cocoa bean production.

Other environmental impacts include substantial deforestation associated with illicit coca cultivation; waste generated during synthetic drug manufacturing, which can be 5-30 times the volume of the end product; and dumping other waste that can affect soil, water and air directly.

Other organisms, animals and the overall food chain, suffer indirectly, said UNODC.

Gender treatment gap

Although women remain in the minority of drug users globally, their consumption rate increases more rapidly than men on average, said the report, and fewer get treatment.

They use an estimated 45-49 per cent of amphetamine and non-medical pharmaceutical stimulants, pharmaceutical opioids, sedatives, and tranquilizers.

And although women represent almost one in two amphetamines users, they constitute only one in five people in treatment for amphetamine use.

Moreover, they play a range of roles in the global cocaine economy, from cultivating coca to transporting small quantities and selling to consumers.

“We need to devote the necessary resources and attention to addressing every aspect of the world drug problem, including the provision of evidence-based care to all who need it, and we need to improve the knowledge base on how illicit drugs relate to other urgent challenges, such as conflicts and environmental degradation,” said UNODC chief Ghada Waly.

Source: United Nations