Home » 28 Feb 2013 Entries posted on “February 2013”

Increases in specific cancer rates anticipated after Fukushima accident: WHO

Safety inspector at Fukushima plant in Japan

  People living in areas most contaminated by radiation following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in 2011, are likely to have a higher risk of getting cancer.  That is a conclusion in the first comprehensive global report by the World Health Organization (WHO). The Agency says the report, called the "Health Risk Assessment from [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Over 3,000 people take refugee around UN base in eastern DR Congo

A man injured in Kitchanga is flown to Goma for medical treatment. MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti

More than 3,000 have taken refugee at a base of United Nations peacekeepers in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, following clashes between government forces and rebels on Wednesday. That's according to the UN mission in the DR Congo MONUSCO which says it is closely monitoring the situation in Kitchanga, north [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Putting people first is paramount" says UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Navi Pillay

2012 has been a daunting year for human rights, said Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as she presented her annual report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Ms Pillay said that the on-going crises in Syria, Mali and the Sahel region, Palestine and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 28 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

Increases in specific cancer rates anticipated after Fukushima accident: WHO

Fukushima Nuclear Plant, March 2011

The first comprehensive global report by the World Health Organization (WHO) associated with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident in Japan in March 2011, was released today. WHO says the report, called the "Health Risk Assessment from the Nuclear Accident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, was done to estimate the potential [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Justice for women—has the law let women down?

Liberian women

In the face of persistent violence against women and girls, the UN Human Rights Council, convening in Geneva, is taking up the issue of women's access to justice. The Council says justice for women is more complicated than just adopting laws. Gerry Adams reports. Duration: 3’03″

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN humanitarian coordinator calls for protection of civilians in South Sudan

Toby Lanzer at food distribution site in Yida refugee camp. (Credit: UNMISS - 24 August 2012)

The Government of South Sudan is being urged to reinforce its ongoing efforts to strengthen law and order and hold to account those who are responsible for committing crimes and putting civilian populations at risk. The call comes from the UN humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan Toby Lanzer who expressed deep concern about the increasing [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

International guidelines take aim at illegal fishing

Cooperation among countries is crucial to sustainable fishing

Countries have agreed on international guidelines to tackle the problem of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced in Rome on Thursday. FAO says the "Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance" were agreed after more than five years of consensus-building among its Member Countries. The guidelines aim to [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN expert concerned about displacement related to elections in Kenya

chalokabeyani27feb

• As Kenyans prepare for elections on Monday, a human rights expert is urging the government and the international community to scale up efforts to prevent displacement related to the polls. According to the expert,  there have been instances of localized violence in the run up to the elections. He says the government should implement a law [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Post-2015 goals must suit new contexts, UNDP chief says

A boy carries a bucket of clean water as he leaves the water distribution point in Haiti

  New global development goals must reflect current realities while sustaining the vision and momentum of the original Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark. In opening remarks to a global conference on "Making the MDGs Work", Ms. Clarke said "The food, fuel, climate, economic, political, and security [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Human Rights Council urged to find ways to address ethnic and religious tensions

Adama Dieng

The United Nations Human Rights Council has been urged to find ways to address ethnic and religious tensions and prevent them from resulting in atrocities. The call came from Adama Dieng, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide on Thursday as the Council wrapped-up its High-level segment in Geneva. He said [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Rights experts urge international inquiry into North Korea's right abuses

Marzuki Darusman

A group of United Nations independent human rights experts on Thursday voiced support for the implementation of an international inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea, which would shed light on the country's extensive political prison camp system, where hundreds of thousands of prisoners and their families are believed to suffer. The human rights [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

HIV shines "harsh light" on inequalities: UNAIDS chief

A patient in South Sudan holding her anti-retroviral drugs. (Photo: UNDP/Brian Sokol)

Despite the availability of tools to deal with the AIDS pandemic, close to two million people still die each year, says the head of the United Nations agency dealing with HIV and AIDS – UNAIDS. Michel Sidibe told the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday that the response to HIV and AIDS has shown [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Risk of thyroid cancer up 70% for those who lived in the shadow of Fukushima

Destroyed Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Photo: UNSCEAR/Wolfgang Weiss

  People living in areas most contaminated by radiation following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in 2011 are likely to have a higher risk of getting cancer. An assessment by the World Health Organization, or WHO, estimates risks in the general population in Fukushima Prefecture, the rest of Japan and the rest of the [...]

28 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

A journey to empower women

Aerial view of the dwindling ice on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Ten female mountain climbers are preparing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to encourage girls and women around the world that they can achieve anything with effort and education. The climbers, seven from Nepal, two from Tanzania and one from South Africa, include two women who benefited from World Food Programme school meals when they [...]

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UNRWA condemns bombing near Palestinian school in Damascus

Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in the Syrian capital Damascus. Photo: IRIN/Gabriela Keller

The UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), has strongly condemned the perpetrators of the bombing that led to the death of a 14 year-old Palestine refugee living in Syria. Basem al-Hindi sustained serious shrapnel wounds to his head when a suspected mortar round exploded on a public road within metres of UNRWA's Tantouri School, where [...]

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

The bloodbath of Syria and the plight of the Palestinian people – two great Middle Eastern tragedies: General Assembly president

Vuk Jeremic

Two great Middle Eastern tragedies persist before the eyes of the world: the bloodbath of Syria and the plight of the Palestinian people, President of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremic told the Fifth Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilization in Vienna on Wednesday. He said that in his view, the way in [...]

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Stéphane Hessel – human rights champion dies at 95

Stephane Hessel

Stephane Hessel, the best-selling French author, has died aged 95. The writer who had been a member of the French Resistance, escaping from two concentration camps, helped to draw up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and later worked as a diplomat. His writing Time for Outrage, is widely credited with inspiring the [...]

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Alliance of Civilizations forum opens in Vienna

Alliance of Civilizations in Vienna, Austria

The Fifth Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, a forum for inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, opened on Wednesday in Vienna, Austria. Established in 2005 on the initiative of Spain and Turkey, the Alliance of Civilizations seeks to build trust and understanding across cultures and communities around the world. Beng Poblete-Enriquez reports: Duration:  [...]

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

More than 1.5 billion people still live in conflict-affected countries: ESCAP

From left:  President Tong (Kiribati), Minister Pires (Chairperson of the g7+ and Finance Minister of Timor-Leste), and Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of ESCAP

As the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals or MDGs approaches, more than 1.5 billion people still live in fragile and conflict-affected countries. That's what Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, the head of the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) told the International Development for All Conference taking place in Dili, Timor [...]

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Radio News 27 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

Zimbabwe urged to respect fundamental freedoms in run-up to constitutional referendum: UN rights experts

Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peacful assembly and of association Maina Kiai. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The Government of Zimbabwe has been urged to respect international human rights norms and standards pertaining to freedoms of association, of peaceful assembly and of expression in the run up to the constitutional referendum on 16 March and subsequent elections which may take place next July. The call comes from three United Nations international human [...]

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief identifies three 'urgent' situations where Alliance of Civilizations is well placed to contribute

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the opening of the Fifth Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. Photo: UNAOC/Georges Schneider

The ongoing impasse between Israelis and Palestinians and the conflicts in Mali and Syria are urgent situations where the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations is well placed to contribute to resolving. That's what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his opening remarks to the Fifth Global Forum of the Alliance in Vienna, Austria on Wednesday. [...]

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Over 360 million people globally have disabling hearing loss: WHO

Man having ear examined

More than 360 million people in the world have disabling hearing loss, according to new global estimates released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday. The agency says that infections of the ear are the leading cause of the disability, especially in low and middle income countries. WHO adds that infectious diseases such as, [...]

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN expert concerned about displacement related to elections in Kenya

Chaloka Beyani

As Kenyans get ready to participate in general elections on Monday, a human rights expert is urging the Kenyan Government and the international community to scale up efforts to prevent displacement related to the polls. Special Rapporteur on the rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani says there have been instances of localized violence in [...]

27 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

TRIPS transition period extensions for least-developed countries

HIV drug resistance

  UNAIDS and UNDP have launched a new Issue Brief TRIPS transition period extensions for least-developed countries. In backing the proposal to allow least-developed countries to maintain and scale up access to essential medicines, the agencies say failure to extend the transition period for least-developed countries to become fully compliant with the Agreement on Trade-Related [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in LDC IV, Today's News | Read More »

Situation in Syria complex and challenging: UNHCR

Syrian refugees wait at a UNHCR distribution centre in Za'atri refugee camp in Jordan. [UNHCR/J.Tanner]

The situation inside Syria and in the surrounding host States has become the most complex and challenging, according to Erika Feller, the Assistant High Commissioner for Protection at the UN refugee agency-UNHCR. She told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that the humanitarian impact of the two years of the crisis was enormous with the [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Member States tell Human Rights Council of their work in protecting rights for all

Human Rights Council

"Working together to forge solutions to so many of humanity's most inhuman acts, is itself a testament to the power and progress that comes from the cooperation at the root of the United Nations and of the Human Rights Council", the representative from the United States said as the council wrapped up a second day [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 26 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

People of Mali need assistance to rebuild lives: UN official

Mothers and their children wait in line at the nutrition center in Bamako, Mali. Credit: OCHA

The people of Mali don't want to be dependent on aid but need assistance to rebuild their lives and livelihoods as they recover from the conflict. That's the message conveyed by John Ging, Director of Operations of the United Nations humanitarian agency (OCHA) who has just returned from a four-day visit to the country. Mr. [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNICEF appalled by deaths of dozens of children from missile strikes in Syria

Syrian boy

The UN Children's agency – UNICEF is appalled by the reported deaths of at least 70 children in Syria. This, as a result of missile strikes that hit residential areas of Aleppo on Monday 18 and again Friday 22 February. The UN agency condemns these attacks in the strongest terms, and once again calls on [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Temperature is rising' between Israelis and Palestinians: UN official

Jeffrey Feltman

The temperature is rising between Israelis and Palestinians while no negotiations are taking place for a two-state solution to their conflict. That warning has come from UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, during a briefing to the Security Council on Tuesday on the situation in the Middle East. He said the failure over [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Cosmetic imperfections should not be cause for food waste: UNEP

Kenyan-grown broccoli rejected by supermarkets

At a posh dinner in Nairobi in February, hundreds of ministers and high-level officials dined at the headquarters of the UN Environment Program (UNEP). They feasted on perfectly good food grown by Kenyan farmers but rejected by supermarkets in the United Kingdom. Why the rejection? Cosmetic imperfections. The dinner was held to make a point [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UNICEF appeals for $45 million to respond to crisis in Mali

At a health center in Mali, Kadia, ten months old, eats ready-to-eat therapeutic food. © UNICEF/MLIA2012-00018/Harandane Dicko

Funds are urgently needed to address the basic needs of women and children affected by the ongoing crisis in Mali for the next three months, says UNICEF, the UN Children's agency. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and others forced to flee to neighbouring countries as fighting continues between government forces and armed [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

ILO meeting calls for sustainable civil aviation industry

Mechanic at Ethiopian Airlines performing maintenance on airplanes. Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopia.Photographer:	Crozet M.

  A tripartite meeting on civil aviation has concluded with a call for a "sustainable civil aviation industry" as a "common goal for governments, employers and workers." The International Labour Organization (ILO) meeting noted that, "to achieve that goal, the industry needs a sustainable workforce, sustainable enterprises and a balanced value chain." Some 150 delegates [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ban urges Youth to let their voices drown out those that preach division and hatred

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses youth event at the Fifth Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, in Vienna, Austria. Photo: UNIS Vienna

The world will rely on you to speak the language of tolerance and respect, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a gathering of youth at the 5th Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations taking place in Vienna. He said their voices need to drown out those that preach division and hatred, noting that the world will [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WFP buys record quantities of maize from Ethiopian Cooperative Unions

Jalela Primary Cooperative in Ethiopia.Copyright: WFP/Elly Sukup.

  Local farmers' cooperatives in Ethiopia have begun delivering the largest amount of maize they have ever sold to the World Food Programme -WFP, enough to support more than 1.8 million people for a month. Before the planting season last year, WFP signed forward contracts with 16 cooperative unions in Ethiopia for purchase of more [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN expert warns Kenya to avoid new internal displacement

Chaloka Beyani

  With just a week before Kenyans go to the polls, a UN human rights expert has called on the Kenyan Government and the international community to significantly scale up efforts to prevent internal displacement in preparation for the March 4th elections. Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, says [...]

26 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Transnational organized crime continues to affect vulnerable West African countries, says new UNODC report

  "Transnational organized crime is clearly a serious threat to West Africa" according to a report released in Abidjan,  Cote d'Ivoire on Monday  by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The report entitled Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa: a Threat Assessment, analyses the dynamics of key crime markets, including drugs, arms and [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Sahel is still vulnerable to food shortages, says UN official

David Gressly (left) meets representatives from humanitarian organizations in Mali.

Although a catastrophe was averted in the Sahel last year, ten million people still need food assistance, according to a United Nations official. David Gressly, the United Nations Regional Coordinator for the Sahel, was in New York recently to brief about the situation in the region. The semi-arid Sahel, located between the Sahara desert to [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Libyan Prime Minister vows to step up human rights commitment

Human Rights Council

Less than two years after the fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, the country's leader has said that it's time for Libya to address its human rights record. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan also thanked the international community, led by the Human Rights Council and the Security Council, for its support through Libya's transition period. [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN concerned about death of a Palestinian detainee

Robert Serry speaks to journalists during his visit to Gaza. (Photo Date: 25/11/2012)

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, has expressed deep concern about the death of a Palestinian in Israeli detention on Saturday. Arafat Jaradat was arrested on 18 February and kept in what Israeli authorities call administrative detention without charge. The UN Special Coordinator says he is saddened by [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Human Rights Council opens in Geneva

Vuk Jeremic

The bloodbath of Syria should be our foremost priority, says the President of the General Assembly at the opening of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, the 25th of February. The situation in Syria is at the top of the Human Rights Council's agenda in this session which runs until the 22nd of [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Human rights and fundamental freedoms-the lifeblood of the UN: Ban

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

There is a still a long way to go to realize human rights and fundamental freedoms which are the lifeblood of the United Nations, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In a video message to a high-level panel discussion commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action in Geneva on Monday, Mr. [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Radio News 25 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

Broadband 'the missing link' in global access to education: ITU

ITU Broadband

  Broadband networks have the potential to radically alter the education landscape, creating prestigious new centres of learning in the developing world. These networks can also extend access to distance learning programmes to outlying communities, and help poorer countries retain high-performing students who can help lift their nations out of poverty by serving as local [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Charting a strategy for the least developed countries

Gyan Chandra Acharya

In 2001, there was a feeling among the development community that there are certain countries in the world that are particularly vulnerable because of the severe development challenges they face – among them, a low level of per-capital income, economic difficulties and environmental threats. A special office at the United Nations was created to give [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

FAO moves to tackle child labour in livestock sector

Specific conditions distinguish normal, age-appropriate tasks from child labour.

Governments, farmers' organizations and rural families are being urged to be directly involved in finding alternatives to child labour in the livestock sector. The call comes from the first global study on child labour issues related to livestock released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday. The report says that child labour [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Special Advisor warns genocide could happen again

Adama Dieng

  The international community must do its best to prevent atrocities such as the genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia from ever happening again. That's according to Adama Dieng, the Special Advisor of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, who made the plea for help from the international community on the first day [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ten million people in Sahel still need food assistance, says UN official

A child waits to collect millet outside the cereal bank in Niger. (Credit:Plan Internacional)

Although a catastrophe was averted in the Sahel last year, ten million people still need food assistance, according to a United Nations official. David Gressly, the United Nations Regional Coordinator for the Sahel says 2012 was a difficult year because of the drought of 2011 which created food shortages for 18 million people across the [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council urges signatories to DRC peace agreement to implement commitments

Members of the UN Security Council have called on the signatory States of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region to fully implement their commitments in good faith. And they've called on the Secretary- General of the United Nations to keep them regularly informed of the [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

'Grave concern' over Syria at the opening of the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council

Human Rights Council

The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Vuk Jeremić, says that the Syrian people will continue to be subjected to untold hardship if the violence in the country is allowed to continue. Speaking at the opening of the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva he said that bringing hostilities to [...]

25 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

African leaders sign accord to end conflict in DR Congo

Ban na viongozi wa Afrika Addis

Eleven African countries on Sunday signed an agreement to end the conflict in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Leaders from the DR Congo, Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and South Sudan were presented during the signing of the accord mediated by the United Nations. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [...]

24 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Special Representative calls for restraint in South Sudan

Johnson listening to an elderly lady in a hospital bed, Walgak Public Clinic hospital

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General to South Sudan, Ms. Hilde F. Johnson, is deeply concerned about recent developments in Jonglei, according to UNMISS, the UN Mission in South Sudan. "Reccurring spates of violence are extremely serious and can jeopardize everything that has been achieved so far for peace and reconciliation in Jonglei," she warned. [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Tourism can make a significant contribution to sustainable development in the wider Caribbean Region

Mustique Beach, St Vincent

Regional Agencies of Sustainable Tourism in the Wider Caribbean Region have reaffirmed that tourism can make a significant contribution to the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental, particularly as it seeks to generate stable employment, income-earning opportunities, social inclusion and contribute to poverty alleviation. A communiqué issued at the end of [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Caribbean News | Read More »

New PAHO director pledges to work with member States to develop new and innovative approaches to deliver results

Dr. Carissa Etienne of Dominica

The newly-appointed Regional Director of WHO Americas region and Director of the Pan American Health Organisation –PAHO, is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the health and well-being of the people of the Americas – a region which she says is playing an increasingly important role on the global stage both politically and economically. [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Caribbean News | Read More »

UN Radio News 22 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

Countdown for release of new UN Women song

UN Women

Countdown toward the release of a song which celebrates acts of courage and determination by ordinary women began on Friday. The song, "One Woman: A Song for UN Women," will be released on International Women's Day, the 8th of March. The song has been called a musical celebration of women worldwide and features more than [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council hears of pending initiatives to boost MONUSCO's peace enforcement capabilities

monusco-big

A proposal for an additional military force or brigade within the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo – MONUSCO – equipped with a peace enforcement authority going beyond a traditional UN peacekeeping mandate is currently being discussed. Special Representative of the Secretary-General Roger Meece told the Security Council Friday that from his perspective, [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN concerned about 1.2 million people affected by conflict in Mali

A Malian boy living in a former hotel in Mopti.  Posters warn against the danger of mines.  UNHCR/H. Caux

The People of Mali continue to suffer in the crisis that intensified last year when fighting broke out between Tuareg rebels and government forces. The crisis took another turn when Islamist extremists occupied the northern section of the country. French and government troops are pressing ahead with their operations to reclaim territory from the radical [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

World Environment Day aims to reduce food waste

Think. Eat. Save.  Reduce your foodprint.

Think. Eat. Save. Reduce your foodprint. That's the theme of World Environment Day 2013, to be celebrated on the 5th of June in Mongolia. The new food-inspired global campaign focuses on the fact that over one billion tons of food are lost or wasted each year, according to UNEP, the UN Environment Programme. The campaign, [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Security Council condemns human rights violations in Guinea-Bissau

The Security Council has condemned the violations of human rights, including political and civil rights in Guinea-Bissau and urges the authorities to take all necessary measures to protect human rights and put an end to impunity and to initiate investigations to identify the perpetrators of such acts and bring them to justice. In a unanimous [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Mobile clinics take health care to the Somali displaced

Mobile clinics in Somalia

  Scores of people living in a camp in the Somali capital of Mogadishu are to receive free medical care through mobile clinics. Three thousand Somalis arrived in Karibu camp last year fleeing a severe drought as well as violence fostered by the activities of the al-Shabaab terrorist group. The African Mission in Somalia, (AMISOM) [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Protection of civilians top priority for UN humanitarian relief agency

Nearly 600 displaced people live in a former hotel in Mopti.  While most families are accommodated in the building, some live in tents in grounds of the hotel.  UNCR/H.Caux

There's increasing concern for the welfare of more than 1.2 million people in northern Mali who have been affected by armed conflict in the country and who have limited access to humanitarian aid. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), says it's received reports of human rights violations, recruitment of child [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNHCR calls for urgent action to prevent boat tragedies

Hundreds of people are forced to sail to safety on their fishing boats.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is urging States in the Bay of Bengal to agree to protocols for the safe and quick disembarkation of rescued passengers and the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance. The agency says mechanisms must be put in place to assess the needs of and solutions for different groups, including access to [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Education in jeopardy for hundreds of thousands of children in Mali

Five-year-old Talawit Diko rests in the room she is sharing with 10 other members of her family in a former hotel room in Mopti.  UNHCR/H. Caux

  The conflict in Mali has led to 700,000 children having their education disrupted, with 200,000 of those having no access to schooling whatsoever. This is in addition to one million children who didn't go to school before the crisis began. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says that, since January 2012, at least 115 schools [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WFP concerned about the threat of a looming food and nutrition crisis in northern Mali

Internally displaced children in Mali - UNHCR/H. Caux

  The UN food agency (WFP) is concerned about the threat of a looming food and nutrition crisis in northern Mali. WFP says it is concerned that some areas in need of food assistance are not readily accessible, due to the volatile security situation and the risks of landmines and attacks. More worrying, the agency [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

North Korea criticized for threatening South Korea

Nuclear test carried out on 18 April 1953 at the Nevada test site.

The issue of North Korea's recent nuclear test took centre stage as the United Nations forum dealing with disarmament issues this week continued its session in Geneva.  Derrick Mbatha reports how representatives of member states criticized the country for conducting the test which contravened UN Security Council resolutions against such action.   UN mission reports decline [...]

22 Feb 2013 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Hubs are created to increase access to justice in Liberia

Hub07-

• The first justice and security hub has been inaugurated in Liberia. It is one of five hubs the government plans to establish in various parts of the country to enable people in remote areas to have access to justice as Liberia rebuilds after the civil war that led to complete breakdown of law and [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Fire Department resumes operations in Somali capital

Firefighters in Somalia

As another sign of the return of normalcy in Somalia, the fire department in the country's capital, Mogadishu, is resuming operations for the first time since 1991. The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which helped government forces retake the city from the Al-Shabaab Islamist extremists, is assisting in training fire-fighters in the Horn of [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

A growing trend of sorcery accusations in Papua New Guinea

A woman from Papua New Guinea's Western Highlands during a cultural festival.  OHCHR.

  A 20-year-old woman accused of sorcery in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, was reportedly tortured and killed earlier this month, says the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva. Cécille Pouilly says Kepari Leniata was burnt alive in front of a crowd by relatives of a six-year-old boy whom she was accused [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Network of community radios is registered in Tanzania

Radio microphone with scripts around it.

Earlier this week, members of the Community Media Network in Tanzania-COMNETA rejoiced after their network received official registration from the Government of Tanzania. The network comprises about 25 community radios operating in the most rural settings of Tanzania, home to over 44 million people and more than 126 ethnic groups. A national state owned broadcaster [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN works to eliminate cholera in Haiti; claims 'not receivable'

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the telephone

The United Nations, along with its partners continue to work closely with the people and Government of Haiti to provide treatment, improve water and sanitation facilities, and strengthen prevention and early warning to eliminate cholera in the country. At the same time, UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky says claims for compensation brought against the United Nations [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Radio News 21 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

Environmental health a serious challenge for Africa

Kenyan musicians, Susan Owiyo and Eric Wainama as UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors

African leaders need to pay more attention to implementing policies to tackle growing challenges such as air pollution, vector borne diseases and chemical exposure. That's the conclusion of a new report released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday. Derrick Mbatha reports. Duration:  3’27″

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Digital game supports WFP operations in Syria

Stylista

A digital gaming company based in Bangkok, Thailand has created a new way to support the United Nations World Food Programme's (WFP) emergency food assistance operation in Syria. The company, Sandbox Global, has created a Facebook game called Stylista. Stylista allows players to make virtual visits to famous fashion destinations around the world, shop for [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Colonialism has no place in the modern world

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

It is time for a new kind of fully inclusive dialogue about decolonization, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in remarks at the opening session of the Special Committee on Decolonization. He said the international community is more convinced than ever that colonialism has no place in the modern world. Noting that "the eradication of colonialism, in [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

International Mother Language Day encourages mother tongue education

Girls reading

Thursday, February 21st is being observed as International Mother Language Day. This year, the theme for the Day is exploring the links between languages and books. Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General notes that in some countries, the dearth of books and textbooks in local languages hampers development and social inclusion and represents a violation of [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Pillay urges justice for past rights abuses in Haiti

Haitian woman lost her home to the earthquake that hit the country in 2010

Haitian authorities have been reminded that the State has an obligation to ensure that there is no impunity for serious violations of human rights committed in the past. The call comes from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, as the Court of Appeal of Port-au-Prince is due to resume hearings later this week [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Yemen: Food security outlook to worsen in first half; malnutrition rising -WFP

Yemeni girl getting aid from WFP

The food security outlook in Yemen for the first half of 2013 is slightly worse than in 2012 as the causes of food insecurity will likely persist in 2013, aggravated by the impact of poor prospects for local agricultural production, which is estimated to be about 8 percent lower than 2012 and 10 percent below [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Mothers making ends meet in Mali

Ramata uses leaves to make medicines for her son's health problems.

Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced in Mali following a military coup in March last year and the occupation of the northern part of the country by armed rebels. Malians became refugees in neighbouring countries creating a humanitarian crisis. In this report prepared by UNHCR's Edith Champagne, she says Malians who fled Timbuktu, in [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

New report urges Africa's leaders to put environment and health issues at the top of continent-wide policies

Diarrhoea, respiratory infections and malaria account for 60 per cent of known environmental health impacts in Africa. (UNEP)

Africa's leaders should put implementing environment and health issues at the top of their national and continent-wide policies, if growing challenges such as air pollution, vector-borne diseases and chemical exposure are to be addressed, according to a new report compiled by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released Thursday. The report, African Environment Outlook-3 (AEO-3), commissioned [...]

21 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Hubs are created to increase access to justice in Liberia

At the ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the Gbarnga Peace Hub in Bong County, Liberia (from left) Peace Building Commissioner Chairman Ambassador Stefan Tillander, UNMIL Special Representative Karin Landgren, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, ASG Judy Chen Hopkins, and finally Liberian Justice MInister Christiana Tah, Tuesday 12 February, 2013.  UNMIL Photo/Staton Winter

Liberia, with the help of the United Nations continues to rebuild after a civil war in the 1990's which killed hundreds of thousands of people and led to complete breakdown in law and order. As part of the rebuilding efforts, the Liberian government inaugurated the first justice and security hub in Gbarnga, Bong County. With [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

WFP scaling up operations to meet dramatic increase in Syrian refugees

Syrian children displaced by the conflict.

The numbers of Syrian refugees, particularly in Jordan and Lebanon are increasing in a dramatic fashion with Jordan receiving some 2,000 a day, according to David Kaatrud of the World Food Programme (WFP). As a result, the agency has begun scaling up its operations to meet the requirements for the summer and beyond. But he [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Myanmar armed forces release 24 children

A Burmese child playing in the park.

The Myanmar Armed Forces have officially discharged 24 children in the capital, Yangon, in line with the Government's commitment to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers. In a ceremony on February 15th, UNICEF Representative Bertrand Bainvel told the discharged children, "You have not done anything wrong. You are discharged because you were recruited [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Radio News 20 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

World Food Programme scales up food distribution to Syrians

Syrian girl getting supplies from WFP:  Photo:  Abeer Etefa

The World Food Programme (WFP) has begun scaling up food distribution to reach 2.5 million Syrians by April. The agency says that by the end of January, it had distributed food to approximately 1.2 million people in all governorates in Syria. In order to address the growing needs throughout the country, the United Nations is [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Special Rapporteur calls for truth commission in Myanmar

Tomás Ojea Quintana, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar

  A UN human rights official has called for the creation of a truth commission in Myanmar. Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana said such a commission could address the issues of truth, justice and accountability during the previous military governments. He said it would also be "crucial for [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Modern-solar lighting: a solution to off-grid lighting

Countries can recover costs from switching to sustainable lighting in less than a year - UNEP

Off-grid lighting — kerosene lamps, flashlights and candles — are just some of the fuel-based sources of energy used by the more than one billion people worldwide who do not have access to electric light, says UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme. But UNEP Information Officer Bryan Coll says that is changing. Modern solar lighting [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ban urges intensified efforts for sustainable development path built on transparency and social justice

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for an intensification of efforts to achieve a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable development path built on dialogue, transparency and social justice. In a message marking World Day of Social Justice, the Secretary-General said "we are seeing far too many places where there are increasing opportunities for a few [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Quinoa: a cultural anchor and a staple in Andean diet for thousands of years: Ban

Quinoa

The United Nations on Wednesday officially launched the International Year of Quinoa. The extraordinary grain has been a cultural anchor and a staple in the diet of millions of people throughout the Andes for thousands of years. And as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted in remarks marking the occasion, Quinoa has two great advantages. First, it [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Social justice, the smart solution to economic recovery: ILO chief

Pakistani peacekeepers with UNMIL teach young Liberians to lay bricks as part of a job training programme offered by the Pakistani contingent. Tubmanburg, Liberia. UN Photo/Staton Winter

There's been a call for "smart social policies" to tackle the global economic recovery which hangs in the balance. ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder says "Tipping that balance towards sustainable growth and development means tackling social injustice". In a statement marking World Day for Social Justice, Ryder said "the world of work is now at the [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Massive international response averted a humanitarian catastrophe in the Sahel

Women create semi-circular banks of sand -

The large-scale response to the Sahel crisis– providing US$1.2 billion in assistance to around 10 million people across eight countries – helped to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. That assessment of the response by the international community comes from leaders of humanitarian agencies, government representatives from countries affected and major donors who met in Rome to [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Global launch of the International Year of Quinoa: February 20, 2013

"The International Year of the Quinoa" (IYQ)

  2013 has been declared “The International Year of the Quinoa” (IYQ). Quinoa, known for its exceptional nutritional value and agronomic versatility, has a potential contribution in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. The Andean indigenous peoples have maintained, controlled, protected and preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations. The Year was proposed [...]

20 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UNICEF scales up emergency help to Syria's children and families in face of intensifying conflict and funding gap

Little girl stands in a fire damaged house, in a conflict affected Syria.© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0566/ALESSIO ROMENZI

  Despite worsening violence and significant funding gaps, UNICEF is stepping up its delivery of humanitarian assistance in Syria, targeting increasing numbers of the more than 4 million people known to be in need of humanitarian assistance.  UNICEF says at least half of the total affected population are children. Many have been internally displaced by [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ban deeply concerned over deteriorating condition of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply concerned over the rapidly deteriorating condition of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody who are on hunger strike, in particular the critical health condition of one Palestinian detainee, Samer Issawi. A statement from the Spokesperson's Office says "the Secretary-General calls for a solution to be reached without delay in order [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Progress in UN system's fight against non-communicable diseases

Representatives from 7 UN organizations, including the IAEA, met in Vienna from 11-12 December 2012 to discuss ways to implement a global plan of action to mitigate the debilitating effects of non-communicable diseases. (Photo: R. Quevenco/IAEA)

Representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and several UN agencies have drafted an Action Plan to bring forward the global agenda for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The Task Force also decided to continue with individual or joint initiatives among UN agencies and discussed models for funding and further coordination. [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Gourmet Meal at UN Environment Programme Headquarters Highlights Global Campaign to Cut Food Waste

Chef Ray Cournede shows Kenyan-grown broccoli rejected by supermarkets (UNEP PHOTO)

  A major campaign to cut massive levels of global food loss and waste, was highlighted in Nairobi on Tuesday as hundreds of ministers and high-level officials dined on perfectly good food grown by Kenyan farmers, but rejected by UK supermarkets due to cosmetic imperfections. The zero-waste reception, taking place at the headquarters of the [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 19 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

Situation in Syria deteriorating: UN humanitarian chief

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos.

The situation in Syria is getting worse, warns UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos.  She told a Geneva press conference Tuesday that the violence is causing widespread destruction and having a devastating impact on the lives of ordinary Syrians, women, men and children.  She recalled her fourth visit to Damascus in January during which she [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

New report calls for more research on hormone-disrupting chemicals

Photo: UNEP

Synthetic chemicals found in many households and industrial products could have significant health implications, according to a new report released by two UN agencies. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are calling for more research on the association between endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, and specific diseases and disorders such [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

North Korea criticized for threatening South Korea

Conference on Disarmament meeting

As the United Nations forum dealing with disarmament issues continued its session in Geneva, the issue of North Korea's recent nuclear test took centre stage on Tuesday. Representatives of member states criticized the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for its nuclear test last week. The underground nuclear test was condemned by the international community, [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

States condemn North Korea's nuclear test

Conference on Disarmament meeting

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said it feared that existing double standards and inequality were disturbing the progress of the Conference on Disarmament and reiterated that its recent actions to conduct a nuclear test were aimed at countering aggressions and were defensive countermeasures. The DPRK, or North Korea made its comments in Geneva where [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Landmark UN report examines effects of human and wildlife exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals

Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals can enter the environment through industrial and urban discharges, agricultural run-off and the burning and release of waste. Photo: UNEP

  Many synthetic chemicals, untested for their disrupting effects on the hormone system, could have significant health implications. That, according to the “State of the Science of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals”, a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The joint study calls for more research to understand fully [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Getting aid to those caught up in Syria's “humanitarian tragedy”

Valerie Amos talks to refugee children temporarily living in a school in Zahera, Damascus. Credit: UNSMIS
(14 August 2012)

A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding before our eyes in Syria, but only a political solution can solve the crisis, according to Valerie Amos, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. Baroness Amos was speaking after the 7th Syrian Humanitarian Forum in Geneva, which focused on securing access to the millions of Syrians [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

New green economy partnership responds to Rio+20

Wind power - Photo credit: UNEP

  A new partnership launched Tuesday by four UN agencies aims to support 30 countries over the next seven years in building national green economy strategies that will generate new jobs and skills, promote clean technologies, and reduce environmental risks and poverty. The new Partnership for Action on Green Economy, or PAGE, is a response [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Civilian casualties in Afghan conflict decrease in 2012: UNAMA

Photo: UNAMA

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan's armed conflict decreased for the first time in six years, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). In its 2012 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict prepared in coordination with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNAMA documented a 12 [...]

19 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNICEF welcomes release of 24 children from Myanmar armed forces

unicef-logo

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has welcomed the release of 24 children from the armed forces in Myanmar. The agency says this is part of a commitment made by the country's government to end the recruitment and use of children under 18 years old in the armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw. The children were [...]

18 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 18 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

18 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

All parties becoming increasingly reckless with human life, says Syria inquiry

Carla del Ponte

Both pro- and anti-government forces in Syria have become increasingly violent and reckless with human life, according to a report by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria. The report details massacres committed by both government and anti-government forces. It shows that across Syria, murder, torture, rape, enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts have [...]

18 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Top UN Envoy says South Sudan has been "put to the test"

Hilde Johnson

  It's been a tough first year for South Sudan since it became independent from Sudan, says the head of the UN Mission in the country. Ms. Hilde Johnson told UN Radio's Donn Bobb on Friday that despite worrying trends of violence in the country, there have been positive developments in the new African country. [...]

18 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UNESCO event seeks to create action plan to safeguard Mali's cultural heritage

UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, made a visit to Mali on Saturday 2 February 2013 with French President François Hollande and the interim President of Mali Dioncounda Traoré. © Présidence de la République

Decision-makers and experts from Mali, France and the United Nations are meeting in Paris on Monday to devise an action plan for rebuilding and safeguarding the West African country's cultural heritage. The event is being held at the headquarters of (UNESCO), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and will provide an overview of damage [...]

18 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Displaced Somalis welcome move to new camp in Mogadishu

IDPs in the Wardhiglay area of Mogadishu, Somalia. Credit: IRIN/Kate Holt

  Although UN agencies report an improvement in humanitarian conditions in Somalia, they point out that more than 250,000 displaced people are still living in camps in the capital, Mogadishu. While many arrived there during the 2011 famine which affected the country, some have been living in camps for more than 20 years due to [...]

18 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Iraqi leaders urged to stand up against "atrocious" attacks following deadly car bomb explosions

Martin Kobler

  A series of deadly car bombs in Iraq on Sunday has been strongly condemned by the top UN official in the country. Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, said nothing can justify the attacks which occurred in several neighbourhoods in the capital, Baghdad. Media reports say at least 20 people [...]

18 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Secretary-General calls for swift action following terrorist attack in Pakistan

The UN Secretary-General is calling for "swift and determined action" following a deadly terrorist attack in Pakistan over the weekend. In a statement from his spokesperson, Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the bombing which targeted the Shi'a Hazara, a religious minority community. The attack took place in a busy market area in Quetta, a city in [...]

18 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Over a thousand injured by a meteor that hit Russia

Asteroids

A meteor hit Russia’s Chelyabinsk region on Friday injuring over a thousand people. Sergio Camacho, president of the Action Group of Objects close to the earth with the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), says injuries were mainly from flying glass because of the sonic boom and the pressure wave. Beng Poblete-Enriquez spoke with [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Security Council welcomes launch of national dialogue in Yemen

The UN Security Council has welcomed the announcement by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi of Yemen of the launch of the National Dialogue Conference scheduled for 18 March. In a presidential statement on Friday , the Council commends those that have engaged constructively in the preparatory stages of the process. It also welcomes the issuance of a decree [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Finding common ground for peace through religion

World Interfaith Harmony Week

World Interfaith Harmony Week was celebrated  in early February at the United Nations. First proposed and adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2010, the week provides an opportunity for all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill to show the world what a powerful movement they are. Gerry Adams reports. Duration: 2’52″

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN envoy hears concerns about the Sahel region

A child stands by a dried up riverbed in Niger

The UN Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi has been meeting with leaders and members of civil society in the Sahel region of Africa. During his three day-visit to Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger, Mr. Prodi was joined by the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit. Vannina Maestracci, who is travelling [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

More and better must be done to tackle food insecurity: Ambassador Talbot

George Wilfred Talbot

Calling strongly for concrete policy actions and targeted investments to enhance food security and scale up nutrition, top officials from the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly's Economic and Financial Committee stressed that "hope, focus, pragmatism and determination" — bolstered by deeper cooperation — were crucial to ending hunger, a global challenge that [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Caribbean News | Read More »

Belize Immigration Updates Border Information Management System, Skills

Belize map

IOM Belize is conducting a one-month training for immigration officials deployed at border points and in district offices across the country in the use of a computerized border management information system that will help them to identify and register everyone entering and exiting the country. The modern, US-funded system will register the entry and exit [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Caribbean News | Read More »

Jamaica sees improved performance in the human development index

School for the Blind in Jamaica

Jamaica's extensive efforts to reform its social protection systems since 2000 have resulted in a considerably improved performance in the human development index. A representative of Jamaica Shorna-Kay Marie Richards told the Commission on Social Development that the National Development Plan "Vision 2030" targeted achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and Jamaica's advance [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Caribbean News | Read More »

UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth sworn in

The Secretary-General and Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi(left)

The newly appointed Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, was sworn in at UN headquarters on Friday morning. The 29 year-old youth leader from Jordan has been described as a strong youth advocate with extensive knowledge of and commitment to working on youth issues at the local, regional and international levels. UN Spokesperson, Martin Nesirky [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

A concert of the 67th session of the General Assembly

New Years Concert featuring the Viva Vox choir - UN Photo/Mark Garten

  A concert, featuring the Viva Vox Choir from Belgrade, took place recently in the UN General Assembly Hall. Viva Vox choir performs mainly A cappella arrangements of world pop/rock and classical music, accompanied by beatbox. The concert was co-sponsored by the President of the 67th Session of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremić, [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 15 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

Both governments and citizens create prosperous cities: UN-Habitat

A view of Busan, the Republic of Korea's second largest city after Seoul

What makes a city prosperous? UN-Habitat, the UN Human Settlements Programme, explores this question in its State of the World's Cities report – the Prosperity of Cities. Gerry Adams spoke with Yamina Djacta,  head of the New York office of UN-Habitat, who told her both government officials and citizens contribute to a prosperous, liveable city. [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

South Sudan has faced "a tough year" says top UN envoy

Hilde Johnson

South Sudan has gone through a tough year since it became independent from Sudan, according to the head of the UN Mission in the country, Hilde Johnson. Ms. Johnson told UN Radio on Friday that there have been positive developments in the new African country. She said core legislation for a democratic country has been [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN food agency airlifts food to remote town in eastern DR Congo

Copyright: WFP/Stephanie Savariaud

The World Food Programme (WFP) has airlifted food for thousands of people recently displaced by fighting in Punia town in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to WFP, fighting has broken out between Mai Mai rebels and units of the Congolese army over a mining area on the borders of North Kivu and Maniema [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN envoys hold talks with leaders and civil society in the Sahel

Sahel drought victims

UN Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, has wrapped up a three-day visit to the region which continues to battle political, humanitarian and security challenges. The envoy was joined by Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa, in meetings with senior leaders and civil society representatives in Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

WFP scales up food distributions in conflict-affected areas of Syria

This young boy in Al-Shaddadi manages a smile despite living in one of Syria's conflict hot spots.Copyright: WFP/Abeer Etefa

  As the conflict continues in Syria, the World Food Programme (WFP) says it remains concerned about thousands of people who are unable to receive food assistance. The agency says that as part of its monthly food distributions, 25 trucks carrying over 500 metric tonnes of food, enough to feed more than 90,000 people have [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

On the ground mission to investigate human rights abuses in Mali

Boats travelling from Mopti to Timbuktu resumed operations in early February. While the roads and airports remain closed due to the conflict, the Niger river is the only way for internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to their homes in northern Mali.© UNHCR/H.Caux

A team of experts is due to arrive in Mali on Sunday to investigate allegations of human rights abuses in the country. The United Nations human rights office says that the four person team will stay in Mali for two weeks. Cécile Pouilly, UN human rights spokesperson, says it's vital to get clear information of [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Hepatitis E cases on the rise in South Sudan refugee camps

An elderly refugee is given medical care on arrival at a camp in South Sudan. © UNHCR/B.Sokol

More than 100 people have died in refugee camps in South Sudan in recent months after contracting the Hepatitis E virus. The United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, says that more than 6,000 refugees have been infected with the virus since July, leading to 111 deaths. Hepatitis E damages the liver, and is transmitted by consuming [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

One Billion Rising, 14 February 2013

Women dancing for the 1 BILLION RISING campaign

  Michelle Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women, says she stands up for the fundamental human right of every woman and girl to live a life free from fear and violence. And the One Billion Rising campaign agrees. Sponsored by Eve Ensler’s V-day organization, One Billion Rising is a huge movement which claims that [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN officials and ambassadors denounce latest DPRK nuclear test

Castle Romeo (yield 11 Mt) - an atmospheric nuclear test carried out by the U.S. on 1 March 1954 at Bikini Atoll, Marshal Islands. Image in the public domain Image: U.S Government

  North Korea's decision to conduct an underground nuclear test has drawn international condemnation. The Security Council in New York, the Conference on Disarmament meeting in Geneva, and the head of the organization which monitors a global nuclear test ban treaty, have all denounced the explosion, which took place on Tuesday. This is the third [...]

15 Feb 2013 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

World Radio Day: Focus on an independent radio station in Somalia

radioday1

• World Radio Day is observed on 13 February each year to celebrate the role of the medium in providing information over the airwaves. UNESCO says “in the age of new media, radio remains the medium that can carry any message to any place at any time.” In Somalia, Radio Bar-Kulan has played a critical [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Secretary-General and top United States diplomat discuss global issues

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses a joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry.  (UN Photo/Mark Garten)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday met with the new United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, to discuss a number of global issues. They included the ongoing crises in Syria and Mali, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the latest nuclear test conducted by North Korea, as well as the Iranian nuclear issue. In welcoming the [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

GA President urges a redoubling of efforts to heal wounds between peoples of different religions

Vuc Jeremic

"Our world is still characterized by too much confrontation, intolerance, and recurring warfare", President of the UN General Assembly Vuc Jeremic told a special event titled 'United for a Culture of Peace through Interfaith Harmony' on Thursday. He said it was evident that some of the aspirations of the UN's founders still needed to be [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Seventy journalists killed in 2012: CPJ

killing-journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has described 2012 as "a sad year … for press freedom" with 70 journalists killed. Presenting the organization's annual report on Thursday, the Deputy Director of the CPJ Rob Mahoney said 2012 was the worst year for the imprisonment of journalists. He said at least 232 journalists were in [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 14 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

UN official foreshadows "broader peacebuilding mission" in Somalia

A Burundian soldier, as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia, on patrol near the city of Merca on 2 February. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

The UN is moving to increase its engagement in Somalia. That's what a senior official from the UN Department of Political Affairs told members of the Security Council during a briefing on Thursday. After years without a government followed by transitional rule, a new Somali president was elected in September 2012. Dianne Penn reports. Duration: [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Somalia will fight "scourge" of Al-Shabaab until victory: Foreign Minister

The government of Somalia is committed to continue the fight against the Al-Shabaab extremists until the final victory is realized. That's what the Foreign Minister of the Horn of Africa country, Fawzia Yusuf Adam told the Security Council on Thursday as it discussed the situation in the east African country.  She spoke of a rebirth [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN-Habitat launches The City Prosperity Index

Joan Clos

Development actors need to explore a more inclusive notion of prosperity and development, finds new UN-Habitat report The State of the World's Cities 2012/2013: The Prosperity of Cities. According to the report, there is a need for a shift in attention around the world in favour of a more robust notion of development – one [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

We are in a time of transition: Ban

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo).

We are in a time of great transition, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in remarks Wednesday evening to the Global Leadership Coalition in Washington DC. The Secretary-General said the transformation is economic, as vigorous new centres of growth emerge and new relationships evolve. It is also demographic, as populations age in some regions, while in others, [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

One Billion Rising aims to end violence against women

Women dancing for the 1 BILLION RISING campaign

  Men and women around the world are being urged to rise and dance together on 14 February to end violence against women. The Office of the UN Secretary-General and "Unite to End Violence against Women" are joining the One Billion Rising campaign at UN Headquarters. Michelle Bachelet, the head of UN Women, the United [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

ONE BILLION RISING: A campaign to end violence against women

Dancers from Shri Ram School in New Delhi, India

On February 14th, a billion people – men and women, across the globe are being urged to rise and dance together to end violence against women. Eve Ensler, author of the famous Vagina Monologues, says the campaign, called ONE BILLION RISING, will be “the biggest global action in the history of humankind to end the [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

One Billion Rising, 14 February 2013

OBR poster

Michelle Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women, says she stands up for the fundamental human right of every woman and girl to live a life free from fear and violence. On 14 February 2013, as part of the One Billion Rising campaign sponsored by Eve Ensler's V-day organization, join Michelle Bachelet and one billion [...]

14 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

European Union contributes to stabilizing Horn of Africa, says top diplomat

Security Council chamber [UN file photo].

  The European Union has played an important role in achieving a political breakthrough and improving security in the Horn of Africa, according to the organization's top diplomat. Catherine Ashton spoke in the Security Council on Wednesday during the discussion of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations in maintaining international peace [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Africa seeks united position on disaster risk reduction

An aerial view of Arusha, Tanzania by Gerald Davison

Africa’s position on a new global framework for disaster risk reduction amidst continuing concern over the ravages of climate change, drought, floods and other natural hazards is the focus of the 4th Africa Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction meeting taking place in Tanzania. The meeting, attended by representatives of 40 African States is to [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN concerned about health of Palestinian detainees

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.

  United Nations officials have expressed concern about the health of Palestinian detainees on hunger strike in Israeli custody. The prisoners who have not been charged or face trial are being held under what is called "administrative detention" by Israel. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has reiterated her concern about this [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief calls for strengthened partnership with the Americas

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

  Countries in the Americas can contribute more to United Nations' efforts to solve global problems. That's the message delivered by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. He said that global influence of the Americas is on the rise as many [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 13 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

Promoting youth participation on World Radio Day

Syrian youth trained on citizen journalism and radio techniques - © UNESCO

  Advances in technology have brought new ways to communicate with each other, but radio remains the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide. That's according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which is behind the annual observance of World Radio Day on 13 February. The day also marks the anniversary of [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Burundi "not enthusiastic" about language in a Security Council resolution

Herménégilde Niyonzima

The representative of Burundi has said his country is "not enthusiastic” about the terminology used in a resolution on his country adopted by the Security Council on Wednesday. In a unanimous vote, the Council extended the mandate of the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB) for one year to continue its efforts to help the country [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Head of UN food agency concludes visit to Tanzania

WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin (file photo).

The head of the UN food agency wrapped up a two-day visit to Tanzania on Wednesday. During her visit, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, met with Tanzanian leaders to discuss WFP's work in the East African country. In the capital, Dar-es-Salaam, Ms Cousin visited the logistical hub at the [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Food and nutrition security should be the top development goal: FAO

2nd Agricultural trade fair in Juba, South Sudan (UN Photo/Isaac Billy Gideon Lu'b)

There's a call for food security and nutrition to be the central element in future development efforts. According to a global multi-stakeholder consultation which discussed the world development agenda beyond 2015, new development objectives should be established for the entire global community. The one-day consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Development [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

States have primary responsibility for protecting civilians: Security Council

A peacekeeper of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) with a group of children during patrols (01/03/2007)

  The UN Security Council has expressed its deep concern that civilians continue to account for the vast majority of casualties in situations of armed conflict. In a presidential statement late Tuesday following a day-long meeting, the Council reaffirmed that parties to armed conflict bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN refugee agency delivers aid to north-west Syria

The UNHCR convoy, which carried 200 tonnes of aid comprising tents and blankets. © UNHCR/A.Solumsmoen

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) on Wednesday completed its second aid delivery into north-western Syria where thousands of internally displaced people are in acute need of humanitarian assistance. UNHCR says the convoy of seven trucks carrying 1,000 tents and 15,000 blankets, travelled from Latakia and Damascus to the Bab al-Hawa area near the Syrian-Turkish [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

It’s World Radio Day

sgunradio

Today is World Radio Day. The decision to declare 13 February as World Radio Day was adopted by UNESCO. This celebration marks the day in 1946 when the newly-founded United Nations decided to establish and launch UN Radio. In a message to mark the occasion, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that from short-wave to FM [...]

13 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council discusses protection of civilians in armed conflict

UNMIS troops patrol in Abyei area to protect civilians

The Security Council on Tuesday held an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts around the world. The meeting, convened under the presidency of the Republic of Korea, is attended by foreign ministers of countries that are members of the  Council. In his address, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the debate is [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council addresses North Korea nuclear test in the context of protection of civilians

Security Council meeting

The Security Council has made progress in the area of protection of civilians in armed conflict since it began dealing with the issue in 1999.   Still, civilians continue to account for the vast majority of casualties in armed conflict, according to the Republic of Korea.   The country, which holds the presidency of the [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN human rights chief warns of "catastrophic spiral of violence” in Mali

Navi Pillay

  Protection of human rights is key to stabilizing the situation in Mali, says United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. In remarks to the Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, Ms. Pillay said the Council has achieved political consensus regarding the situation in Mali, [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 12 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

UN officials and ambassadors denounce latest DPRK nuclear test

Security Council meeting

  North Korea's decision to conduct an underground nuclear test has drawn international condemnation. The Security Council in New York, the Conference on Disarmament meeting in Geneva, and the head of the organization which monitors a global nuclear test ban treaty, have all denounced the explosion, which took place on Tuesday. This is the third [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Security Council condemns nuclear test by North Korea

Kim Sung-hwan

  The Security Council has strongly condemned the nuclear test conducted by North Korea on Tuesday. A press statement by the Council says its members held urgent consultations to address the serious situation arising from the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The statement was read by Kim Sung-hwan, the [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Syrian situation cries out for action by the UN Security Council: Ban

A Syrian refugee woman holds her child

"Syria is self-destructing", UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday evening in remarks at the Sorensen Distinguished Lecture on the United Nations at the Council on Foreign Relations. The Secretary-General said that "after nearly two years, we no longer count days in hours, but in bodies", adding that "Another day, another 100, 200, 300 dead". He [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Head of IAEA visits cancer treatment centre in Tanzania

Patients waiting at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in United Republic of Tanzania.

A cancer treatment facility in Tanzania has been described by the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency as a success story. Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) spoke to the staff of the Ocean Road Cancer Institute which he visited on Tuesday. He said the IAEA has [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNHCR finds looting and empty villages in Central African Republic

Ruined and abandoned house in the northern Central African Republic. [Photo: IRIN/Anthony Morland]

Villages in the northern part of the Central African Republic have been looted by armed groups who have terrorized and forced residents to flee, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). A joint mission by UNHCR and Mercy Corps, last week went to the town of Bambari, about 400 kilometres northeast of the capital [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

North Korea's nuclear test poses a serious threat to global peace and stability: South Korea

Storax Sedan (yield 104 kt) - shallow underground nuclear test conducted by the United States on 6 July 1962 at Nevada Test Site. The main purpose of the detonation was to asses the non military dimension of a nuclear explosion. Image in the public domain

The irresponsible behaviour of North Korea goes against our common goal of halting nuclear proliferation and promoting nuclear disarmament, the representative of South Korea told the Conference on Disarmament Tuesday in Geneva. Ambassador Kwon Haeryong says "for the last two decades, North Korea has posed a serious threat to the international non-proliferation and disarmament regime". [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

DPRK nuclear test “a wrong step in the wrong direction”: CTBTO

Comparison of the first automatic location estimates of the 2006, 2009 and 2013 declared nuclear tests by North Korea.  CTBTO

"This is a wrong step in the wrong direction," the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said in a statement Tuesday in denouncing the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK. Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth says "early in the morning, the international monitoring system of the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization detected a suspicious [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ban condemns DPRK nuclear test

Castle Romeo (yield 11 Mt) - an atmospheric nuclear test carried out by the U.S. on 1 March 1954 at Bikini Atoll, Marshal Islands. Image in the public domain Image: U.S Government

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the underground nuclear weapon test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday, saying it is a clear and grave violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. In a statement through his spokesperson, the Secretary-General says "it is deplorable that Pyongyang defied the strong and unequivocal [...]

12 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN launches tour for children

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took part in activities with children at the launch of the United Nations Children's Tours:  Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

"Our doors are always open to the children of our world", Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a group of children Monday as the UN Visitors Services launched new tours tailored specifically to children. The Secretary-General told the youngsters "the United Nations exists for you, and you can come here any time and be a part of [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief condemns killing of health workers in Nigeria

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo).

The killings of three doctors from North Korea in Nigeria and of health workers earlier have been strongly condemned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In a statement on Monday, he says those killed were working selflessly to provide basic life-saving interventions to the most vulnerable people. According to reports, the North Korean doctors were hacked [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Miss Universe raises HIV/AIDS awareness in Indonesia

Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe 2012

In her first-ever official visit abroad as Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo took part in an open discussion with Indonesian youth on raising HIV/AIDS awareness. Ms. Culpo says she is committed to working with young people globally, on behalf of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNAIDS, as she believes that spreading international awareness about this [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Celebrity Corner, Today's Features | Read More »

International Year of Water Cooperation launched

Photo: Millennium Promise Images

  The world is inching toward a water crisis as the number of users increases dramatically. That warning was made on Monday by Ambassador Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary during the launch of the International Year of Water Cooperation at UN Headquarters in New York. He said that 2.5 billion people will live very soon in [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN supports Liberia to probe crash of aircraft from Guinea

Martin Nesirky

The United Nations mission in Liberia (UNMIL) is supporting authorities in Liberia to investigate the crash of an aircraft from Guinea on Monday. According to reports, the aircraft crashed near Monrovia's international airport carrying the head of Guinea's armed forces and ten other people. UN spokesperson, Martin Nesirky has more. "The UN Mission in Liberia [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Human rights expert wraps up visit to Sudan

Mashood Baderin

Several opposition figures in Sudan who are currently being held in jail are in urgent need of medical attention, according to a UN independent expert on the situation of human rights in the country. Mashood Baderin, who is a Law Professor at the University of London, has just concluded an eight-day mission to Sudan which [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 11 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

Government of Sudan and rebel group sign ceasefire agreement

Gambian troops of the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)

  The government of Sudan and a major rebel group have signed an agreement to stop fighting in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan. The agreement was signed in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday by senior officials of the Sudanese government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The joint UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNDP chief urges quick measures against non-communicable diseases

Helen Clarke

  The top official at the UN Development Programme –UNDP called on Monday for swift, firm measures to halt a global surge in diseases such as cancer and diabetes, saying they belong "permanently on the global development agenda." Helen Clarke says "Failure to curb the growing epidemic of  non-communicable diseases (NCDs) now, will lead to [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Committee to end discrimination against women starts its session in Geneva

cedaw logo

As the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women began its session in Geneva on Monday,  it was reminded that violence continues to deter girls from attending school. The message was delivered to the session by Jacob Schneider from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He reminded the Committee about [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNRWA calls attention to rising number of deaths and injuries among Palestinians in Syria

Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in the Syrian capital Damascus. Photo: IRIN/Gabriela Keller

The UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has called attention to the rising number of deaths and injuries among Palestine refugees in Syria and has repeated its grave concern about this trend. In a statement Monday, UNRWA says credible reports indicate that on 7 February, 2013, 12 Palestine refugees were killed and many others injured [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Youth urged to make a difference in promoting sustainable development

Youth Conference at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya

Young people from around the world have been urged to seriously discuss how they can make a difference in protecting the environment. The call comes from the top official of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) at the start of a major United Nations youth conference in Nairobi, Kenya on Monday. Executive Director Achim Steiner called [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Is good governance good for development?

Panel discussion

There is no evidence good governance is necessary for development, says Jomo Sundaram, an economist who is now Assistant Director-General for Social and Economic Development with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Mr. Sundaram was among the speakers at a UN panel discussion on the topic, "Is good governance good for development?" He, along with [...]

11 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Political Affairs chief says political action and reconciliation crucial to stabilizing Mali

Jeffrey Feltman, head of the UN Department of Political Affairs

The international community is coming together on a unified approach to the crisis in Mali, the head of the UN Department of Political Affairs told reporters in New York on Friday. Jeffrey Feltman said although the security situation in the north of the country remains precarious, a new phase in its stabilization is taking place. [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 08 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

Conflict in Syria disrupts water supplies and forces more people to flee

A girl carrying jerrycans of water, walks past a pile of debris on a street in Aleppo, Syria. UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1293/Romenzi

The ongoing conflict in Syria has severely disrupted water, hygiene and sanitation in the country, according to the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF). UNICEF says it's particularly concerned about the health risks this disruption is creating for Syrian children. At the same time, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says that 5,000 people are now crossing [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Atrocious rape and murder shows need for comprehensive approach to sexual violence in South Africa: Human Rights chief

UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday expressed her shock and deep sadness at the atrocious rape, mutilation and murder of Anene Booysen, a 17-year-old South African woman. And Navi Pillay has called for a more comprehensive approach to tackling the "pandemic of sexual violence" affecting tens of thousands of women every year [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

IOM receives funding to assist Haitians still living in camps

Camp for displaced people in Haiti (Photo: L. Abassi//MINUSTAH)

More than 7,000 families who are still living in camps three years after the devastating earthquake in Haiti will be moved to safer housing,  the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports. The agency has received a six million Euro contribution from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) to support a relocation programme that provides [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

ECHO backs IOM efforts to close Haiti earthquake camps and re-house victims

Clearing a site for a new camp for Haitian's displaced by the 12 January earthquake.
Photo credit Daniel Desmarais, IOM

Three years after Haiti's catastrophic 2010 earthquake, some 87,750 families are still living in 450 makeshift, insanitary and often dangerous camps scattered throughout the country. The European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) has now stepped in with a new EUR 6 million contribution to an IOM programme which supports the relocation of camp residents to [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Caribbean News | Read More »

2 years before the MDG deadline, the battle is far from won: Cuba

Commission for Social Development meeting

  Governments must promote policies aimed at providing decent jobs as protection against poverty — which a delegate described as "the source of all ills", including poor health and stalled economic growth — the Commission for Social Development heard as it explored linkages between empowerment and poverty eradication. The representative of Cuba Vilma Thomas-Ramirez said [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Caribbean News | Read More »

Climate change one of the main challenges impeding SIDS efforts to achieve social development efforts: CARICOM

Eden Charles

With the world at a critical juncture in the lead-up to the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda, poverty eradication, social integration and employment must play a pivotal role in defining that agenda, the Commission for Social Development heard this week as it resumed its fifty-first session. During a high-level panel discussion on the session's [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Caribbean News | Read More »

A growing trend of sorcery accusations in Papua New Guinea

A woman from Papua New Guinea's Western Highlands during a cultural festival.  OHCHR.

A 20-year-old woman accused of sorcery in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, was reportedly tortured and killed on 6 February, says the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva. Cécille Pouilly says Kepari Leniata was burnt alive in front of a crowd by relatives of a six-year-old boy whom she was accused of [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Solomon Islands recovering from deadly earthquake and tsunami

Solomon Islands

  Nine people died and 3,500 others were displaced after an earthquake and tsunami hit the Solomon Islands this week, the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) reports. Initial reports say Wednesday's disaster damaged or destroyed 431 homes in remote Temotu Province in the far east of the country. Water supply in the provincial capital was [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Five thousand refugees fleeing Syria every day: UNHCR

Syrian refugees wait to be registered by UNHCR staff in Lebanon.© UNHCR/M.Abu Asaker

The number of Syrian's who are seeking a safe haven outside their country is so high that the situation is now a full on crisis, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The number of Syrian refugees currently stands at 787,000. Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for UNHCR, says that in the past month there's been [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNRWA deplores suffering inflicted on civilians including Palestinians in Syria

UNRWA concerned about safety of Palestinian refugees in Syria

The UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees – UNRWA has deplored the suffering inflicted on civilians, including Palestinians in Syria. And it has called on all sides to do everything possible to ease it, including refraining from conducting the conflict in residential areas. UNRWA says that over recent weeks, a particularly grave humanitarian crisis has emerged [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

More than a million Somalis remain 'in crisis': WFP

Relief food at a WFP warehouse in Mogadishu, Somalia. Credit: IRIN/Kate Holt

  Humanitarian assistance is still vital in Somalia because the gains made in food security and nutrition are still fragile. The World Food Programme-WFP says it continues to shift from emergency assistance toward programmes that help the most vulnerable Somalis strengthen their ability to cope with droughts and floods. Spokesperson Elizabeth Byers says the number [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Human Rights Office calls for government intervention following Papua New Guinea sorcery killing

humanrightsoffice

The United Nations human rights office is urging authorities in Papua New Guinea to take urgent action to stop vigilante attacks on people accused of sorcery. This follows reports that a 20 year old woman was tortured and killed in Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea on 6th February. The woman was apparently burned alive [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Global effort needed to stop FGM/C says UNFPA head

Eradicating female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation or cutting, also known as FGM/C, refers to several different harmful practices involving the cutting of the female genitals. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that at least 120 million girls and women have experienced FGM in 29 countries.  UN Member States on December 20, 2012 approved a draft resolution aimed [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Indonesia: Surviving the Flood

Rita Rondunuwu

  Four months ago, Lemusa Village, Sulawesi, Indonesia was buried under six metres of mud. In one night, most people lost their homes and their farms – their only source of income. Rita Rondunuwu can no longer farm, but she is one of the lucky ones. With support from the Indonesian Government and the UN [...]

8 Feb 2013 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Security Council hears update on Yemen's transition

Sir Mark Lyall Grant

Yemen's government has welcomed engagement from the UN Security Council which it expects will continue, United Kingdom Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the chamber on Thursday. The ambassador briefed members on the recent Security Council mission to the country which he co-chaired with Moroccan Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki. He said the mission held talks with various [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNEP team in Nigeria discusses oil cleanup in Ogoniland

UNEP technical team collect surface water sample. Photo: UNEP

• A team from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) went to Nigeria this week to discuss the cleaning up of oil contamination in Ogoniland. A study by UNEP in the Delta Region found that oil pollution in Ogoniland is extensive as a result of oil industry operations in the area since the late 1950s. UNEP [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Aid agencies resume distribution of humanitarian aid to central Mali

Malian refugee boys dragging jerry cans containing 20 litres of water UNHCR/H. Caux

With the military intervention in Mali, the situation on the ground has changed dramatically, according to a top official of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Although security is still a concern, David Gressly says aid agencies can now resume distribution of humanitarian supplies to central Mali. The humanitarian agencies are also [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN and humanitarian partners in DRC launch $892 million action plan for 2013

Residents of North Kivu

United Nations agencies, humanitarian partners and the Government of D.R. Congo on Thursday launched a US$892 million Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP) to provide aid to millions of people affected by food insecurity, conflict and disease in 2013. The Plan responds to the growing needs of 3.9 million people across the country including 2.7 million internally [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN mission assists Iraqi flood victims

UNAMI logo

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) stands ready to further assist the country in the wake of recent severe flooding along the Tigris River basin. A UNAMI statement estimates that 5,000 people in Salaheddine province had to be evacuated due to the floods which resulted from heavy rainfall in late January. The mission [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ban Ki-moon highlights role of cooperation in message to Islamic Summit

The UN Secretary-General is calling for countries with influence on the Syrian authorities and opposition groups to urge the parties to avoid further militarization and engage in a political process. The appeal comes in a message Ban Ki-moon sent on Thursday to the latest session of the Islamic Summit Conference underway in Cairo, Egypt. Martin [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 07 February 2013

News and features from United Nations.

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

UN peacekeeping for Mali in the works

Women in northern Mali

The deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission for Mali is in the works. The country is facing a political crisis following a military coup in March last year and the occupation of the northern part of the country by armed rebels. This has in turn created a humanitarian crisis with hundreds of thousands of [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Secretary-General welcomes agreement to de-escalate conflict in Myanmar's Kachin state

A UNHCR-supported camp for internally displaced people near Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state in northern Myanmar.© UNHCR/A.Kirchhof

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed an agreement aimed at reducing the violent conflict in Kachin state in northern Myanmar. Myanmar's Peacemaking Committee and representatives from the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) this week announced their agreement to work on a framework to de-escalate the conflict. A unilateral ceasefire was declared last month in Kachin, where [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Mali's cultural heritage in jeopardy

© DR - Manuscrits - Mali

Conflict is putting Mali's cultural heritage in danger. Eleven of the 16 mausoleums on UNESCO's World Heritage sites and thousands of manuscripts may have been totally lost or destroyed by the Islamist groups, according to UNESCO's Lazare Eloundou. The Chief of the Africa Unit based in Paris, says mosques have not been maintained and the [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Inclusive education for children with disabilities can transform lives, says UNICEF

Child using computer

Progressive policies in inclusive education have made positive changes in the lives of children with disabilities in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to UNICEF – the UN children's agency.   UNICEF says more schools are welcoming first grade children with disabilities in Serbia as a result of years of policy advocacy. It [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Study finds corruption in Afghanistan totals $3.9 billion

Jean-Luc Lemahieu

Despite fewer people paying bribes, corruption in Afghanistan has risen to nearly four billion dollars over the past three years. That's according to a survey of 6,700 Afghans conducted by the High Office for Oversight and Corruption (HOO) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The report finds that between 2009 and 2012, [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

URDU #04: Bain Ul Aqwami Manzarnama

Asian Voices logo

1. FAO urges stronger measures on global health threats 2. UNHCR : Urgent humanitarian help needed as war in Mali expands 3. Security Council asked to facilitate deployment of mission in Mali 4. Refugee kidnappings on the rise in eastern Sudan 5. OCHA appeals for $76 million to help Philippine typhoon victims Narrated and Produced [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Asian Voices | Read More »

URDU #03: Bain Ul Aqwami Manzarnama

Asian Voices logo

1. FAO urges stronger measures on global health threats 2. UNHCR : Urgent humanitarian help needed as war in Mali expands 3. Security Council asked to facilitate deployment of mission in Mali 4. Refugee kidnappings on the rise in eastern Sudan 5. OCHA appeals for $76 million to help Philippine typhoon victims Narrated and Produced [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Asian Voices | Read More »

URDU #02: Bain Ul Aqwami Manzarnama

Asian Voices logo

1. Help pull Central African Republic from brink, UN envoy urges 2. Security Council concerned about terrorist attacks in Mali 3. Treaty to combat illegal trade in tobacco products opened for singature 4. Severe weather affects Syrian refugee children in Jordan's Za'atari camp 5. Food prices drop for third consecutive month : FAO 6. ILO [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Asian Voices | Read More »

URDU #01: Bain Ul Aqwami Manzarnama

Asian Voices logo

1. Central African Republic : UNICEF calls for end to child recruitments 2. OCHA concerned about protection of civilians in Central African Republic 3. IOM says labour exploitation main cause of human trafficking 4. Insecurity disrupts relief efforts in Central African Republic 5. OCHA outlines bleak picture for Afghanistan in 2013 6. Two kidnapped peacekeepers [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Asian Voices | Read More »

FAO Food Price Index remains unchanged in January

fao

The FAO Food Price Index held steady at 210 points in January 2013 after three straight months of decline. FAO says increases in oil and fats prices offset lower cereals and sugar quotations, while dairy and meat values remained substantially unchanged. The pause in the Index’s decline tallies with a significant upward revision in FAO’s [...]

7 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Two rural districts in Malawi get help from FAO to improve nutrition

schoolmealmalawi

The food and agriculture sector is essential to human nutrition, but food and agriculture interventions do not always contribute to positive nutritional outcomes. Specific attention is required to make agriculture "nutrition-sensitive". But what does this mean in practice? Solange Heise is a Nutrition Education consultant working for the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) project [...]

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Forest Whitaker talks to a young orphan girl about her dreams of becoming a peace-builder

Forest Whitaker talking to Akello Silvy Micky

Forest Whitaker, an American actor and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador led workshops on peace-building and conflict resolution at Hope North, in northern Uganda in December 2012. Hope North is a rehabilitation campus in Masinde where refugees, orphans and former child soldiers rebuild their lives through education and vocational training. Thirty young people between the ages of [...]

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in Celebrity Corner, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 06 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

UN official says "flying cameras" will improve peacekeeping in DRC

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will greatly improve peacekeeping activities in the volatile eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the head of UN peacekeeping operations. Hervé Ladsous, who spoke to reporters in New York on Wednesday, said UAVs—which he described as "basically a flying camera"—will only be used for surveillance. He [...]

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN regains access to Central Mali: Gressly

David Gressly

  "The situation today is that we now have access back into Central Mali", according to a top official of the UN Office or the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – OCHA. David Gressly told reporters in Geneva that the UN is now able once again to send supplies northward towards Timbuktu and is reinforcing its [...]

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Human Rights Commissioner welcomes Indian movement to eradicate 'manual scavenging'

Manual scavenger in India

  Manual scavenging is a very old practice in India usually done by Dalit women, a group of people traditionally regarded as untouchables. This degrading practice is not a career that the Dalits embrace, according to a human rights spokesperson, but it is a job that they inherited from their parents and usually passed on [...]

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN official calls for concrete action to tackle global unemployment

Temporary employment agency in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

Delegates attending the Commission for Social Development, which opened in New York on Wednesday, have been urged to develop concrete measures to combat unemployment worldwide. The challenge comes from the head of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, in his address to the opening session. He pointed out that 200 million [...]

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Human Rights chief condemns killing of Tunisian politician

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay is calling on the Tunisian authorities to investigate the assassination of a politician who was a staunch opponent of political violence. Opposition leader Chokri Belaid was shot as he was leaving his home in the capital, Tunis, on Wednesday morning. Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson with the UN Human Rights Office in [...]

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Stop female genital mutilation says UNFPA head

A former circumciser teaching community members on harms of FGM/C

  Female genital mutilation or cutting, also known as FGM/C, refers to several different harmful practices involving the cutting of the female genitals. The United Nations Children's Agency estimates that at least 120 million girls and women have experienced FGM in 29 countries. UN Member States on December 20, 2012 approved a draft resolution aimed [...]

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Commission on Social Development to focus on empowering poorest

Woman in her tea stall in Bangladesh

Giving the poorest and most vulnerable the voice and tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty is key to bolstering efforts towards meeting the global development goals, according to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's latest report on promoting people's empowerment. And that's the theme of the 51st session of the Commission on Social Development which [...]

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Fewer girls subjected to life-threatening female genital mutilation

A women's group uses drama to discourage the practice of FGM/C

  Fewer girls are subjected to the life-threatening practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), according to new data from the United Nations, released Wednesday on the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. The data shows that FGM/C is becoming less prevalent overall and the younger generation is less vulnerable to the practice. [...]

6 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNEP team in Nigeria discusses oil cleanup in Ogoniland

UNEP technical team collect surface water sample. Photo: UNEP

A team from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is in Nigeria to discuss the cleaning up of oil contamination in Ogoniland. A comprehensive study by UNEP in the Delta Region found that oil contamination in Ogoniland is extensive as a result of oil industry operations in the area since the late 1950s. The UNEP's [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Secretary-General "deeply disappointed" at jail sentence for Somali rape victim and journalist

Ban Ki-moon

  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his deep disappointment after a Somali woman who said she had been raped and a local journalist who had interviewed her were sentenced to one year in jail on Tuesday. In a statement from his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said it is essential that the rights of the alleged [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Methadone maintenance reduces HIV infections in Spain

Methadone maintenance treatment

According to a study published in The Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO), heroin dependence treatment is reducing HIV infections in Spain. Laws passed in 1990 and 1996 made methadone treatment available. The study found that as a result of these laws, the number of new HIV infections has dwindled from an annual average [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 05 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

UN team in Nigeria for talks on restoring Oganiland environment

Ogoniland, Nigeria

A team from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is in Nigeria this week to meet with government officials and partners on the issue of oil contamination in the Niger Delta region. Headed by Special Envoy Erik Solheim, the team will discuss ways to implement proposals made in a 2011 study on the environmental impact of [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Violence increases number of needy people in Syria: OCHA

January 2013, Lebanon: Syrian refugee at a child-friendly space run by humanitarian partners. Credit: OCHA/David Gough

It is almost two years since the crisis in Syria began and there is still no solution in sight yet. The United Nations humanitarian agency, OCHA, is warning that if the violence continues, the situation will worsen. Already, the country is facing a serious humanitarian crisis with four million people in need of relief assistance. [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Rethink economic growth for Arab social justice: UNDP and ILO

Young man on skateboard

The Arab uprisings have exposed skewed development policies, social justice deficits and over two decades of poorly managed economic liberalization. That, according to a joint report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) released Tuesday. The report titled "Rethinking Economic Growth: Towards Inclusive and Productive Arab Societies", says the region's [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Settlement activity a major obstacle to two-State solution: Ban

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The status quo is unsustainable, and unacceptable, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday in remarks at the opening of the 2013 session of the Palestinian rights committee. He said both parties – Israelis and Palestinians – must live up to their commitment to a negotiated two-State solution consistent with Security Council resolutions and resolve all the [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Indonesia: Surviving the Flood

Rita Rondunuwu

Jakarta is recovering from yet another flood. But Indonesia is no stranger to natural disasters. In fact, there is a flood here almost every month. Often deforestation on mountain slopes loosens the soil and heavy rain leads to landslides. Four months ago, Lemusa village on Sulawesi island was buried under six metres of mud. In [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

WHO official details deteriorating health situation in Syria

Displaced Syrian family

The health situation in Syria has progressively worsened with more than half of the country's public hospitals and 78 per cent of ambulances damaged due to the ongoing conflict. That assessment comes from Elizabeth Hoff, World Health Organization (WHO) representative for Syria, who on Tuesday spoke by phone from the capital, Damascus, to reporters in [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

OCHA warns of deepening Syrian crisis

A displaced Syrian family in the suburb of Sanoura, Damascus.  OCHA/David Gough

  The United Nations humanitarian agency, OCHA, is warning that if the violence continues unabated in Syria, the numbers of people in need of urgent assistance will escalate over the coming months. It's estimated that there are currently 4 million people who need emergency aid. More than 2 million people are internally displaced in the [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Food aid to reach 2.5 million Syrians

WFP food distribution

Food baskets, containing essentials that should provide people with enough nutrients for their daily needs, will be distributed to up to 2.5 million Syrians over the next few months. The food packages are being supplied by the United Nations World Food Programme, WFP, and will include rice, bulgar, pasta, vegetable oil, lentils, salt, sugar, wheat [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN experts call on Iran to stop journalist arrests and release those detained

Iran flag

A group of United Nations independent human rights experts* has called for the Government of Iran to immediately halt the recent wave of mass arrests of journalists and to release those already detained. Last week, security forces raided five newspaper offices and arrested at least 17 journalists, the majority of whom work for independent news [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

New policies needed to promote agroforestry

Young boy with child on his back harvesting coffee berries in Malawi.

Millions of people could escape poverty, hunger and environmental degradation if countries put more effort into promoting agroforestry, an integrated approach combining trees with crop or livestock production, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation – FAO said Tuesday. In a new guide published today and aimed at decision-makers, key policy advisors, NGOs and governmental institutions, [...]

5 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council focus this month is on protecting civilians in conflict

Ambassador Kim Sook of the Republic of Korea

Protection of civilians in armed conflict will be the main area of focus for the UN Security Council this month, according to its new president, Ambassador Kim Sook of the Republic of Korea. The country has assumed the rotating monthly presidency of the Council and Ambassador Sook outlined the programme of work for February during [...]

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Palm oil production presents a problem for apes

Ape

The red fruit palm oil was labelled as the "miracle find of 2013" by Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Turkish American television personality. His American syndicated programme, "The Dr. Oz Show" helped spur a global buying frenzy for the product.   As a result of this increased demand for palm oil, over 80 per cent of [...]

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 4 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

World Cancer Day puts spotlight on major public health problem

Cancer treatment

World Cancer Day is observed on 4 February each year to draw attention to this serious public health problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer kills more than 7.5 million people a year and there are 13 million new cases of cancer every year. WHO says that cancer is not only a problem [...]

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Lack of cancer services in developing countries is "an immense human tragedy" says IAEA chief

Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the IAEA

Millions of cancer patients in the developing world do not have access to diagnostic services or treatment, resulting in "an immense human tragedy," according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In a message on World Cancer Day, observed on 4 February, IAEA chief Dr. Yukiya Amano said the agency is working [...]

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN envoy in Iraq condemns "mindless and brutal" attack which killed more than 20 people

Martin Kobler

  The UN representative in Iraq has strongly condemned a recent attack in the northern city of Kirkuk which killed dozens and injured many more. Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, has extended condolences to the families of the victims of what he called "mindless and brutal violence." According to news [...]

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Philippines typhoon a forgotten disaster: IFRC

Family in Mindanao, Philippines

Two months after Typhoon Bopha slammed Mindanao in the Philippines, the area remains a "huge, huge concern" for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Jessica Sallabank, an IFRC Media Relations officer in Geneva calls Typhoon Bopha "one of the forgotten disasters of 2012." She says the category five storm killed [...]

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Asia-Pacific governments seek to halt effects of climate pollutants

Soot and smog pollution

Government representatives from across Asia-Pacific are meeting in Bangkok to find ways to reduce the effects of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) in the region. This is the first regional gathering on this issue, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The agency says SLCPs such as soot, methane and some hydrofluorocarbons are responsible for a [...]

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNFPA tries to ensure that women can be liberated

No woman should die giving life.  UNFPA/Rodolfo Villeda

Family planning is the most important life saving intervention you can provide to a girl or a woman, says the head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin was at a recent meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where Heads of State and Government made new commitments to speed up the reduction of [...]

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

One in two countries unprepared to prevent and manage cancers: WHO survey

A woman undergoing a breast exam

One in two countries is unprepared to prevent and manage cancers, a World Health Organization –WHO survey says on World Cancer Day, observed Monday 4 February. The survey warns that more than half of all countries worldwide are struggling to prevent cancer and provide treatment and chronic care to cancer patients. The recent survey on [...]

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNICEF delivers water treatment supplies for 10 million people in Syria

. 

Domiz Camp is the temporary home to more than 16,000 Kurdish Syrians Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan. (Nov 2012) 
© Jodi Hilton/IRIN

A large-scale operation is under way in Syria to secure safe water supplies for more than 10 million people – close to half the population, UNICEF said Monday. The first four trucks carrying 80 tons of sodium hypochlorite water chlorination supplies crossed the Jordanian border into Syria on Sunday, heading for Homs, Aleppo, Hama and [...]

4 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council condemns terrorist attack against US Embassy in Turkey

Ambassador Kim Sook of the Republic of Korea

The members of the Security Council have condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack against the United States embassy in Ankara, Turkey. That attack resulted in one death and several injuries. In a statement, the members of the Council expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims of these [...]

2 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNESCO chief in Mali to spearhead efforts to safeguard and rebuild Mali's cultural heritage

© BFM TV - UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the French president, François Hollande, during visit to Timbuktu

The top UN cultural official is in Mali to launch an assessment of the state of Mali's cultural heritage and manuscripts after the recent fighting and tensions. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova is also expected to define a plan of action with the Government of Mali that will guide UNESCO's support to its reconstruction and safeguarding. [...]

2 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Russian Duma urged to scrap draft bill on "homosexuality propaganda"

Anand Grover

United Nations human rights experts on Friday called on the Russian Parliament, the Duma, to discard a draft bill that could compromise the rights of the LGBT community. The experts on freedom of expression, human rights defenders, cultural rights and the right to health warned that the bill may undermine the enjoyment and promotion of [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Shortage of medicines becomes more critical in Syria:WHO

medications

The shortage of medicines is becoming more critical in Syria, in public sector hospitals, medical clinics and in private sector facilities, according to the World Health Organization, WHO. Hospitals are in severe need of anaesthesia, antibiotics, serums and other essential medicines. Local pharmacies are increasingly unable to provide basic medicines, such as pain killers, and [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Migrants in Greece helped by IOM

map

Greece hosts migrants from many countries, including the Philippines, Albania, Pakistan and Bangladesh. As Greece struggles with its own economic woes, the International Organization for Migration, the IOM, has come up with a practical solution for migrants caught in the middle of the economic downturn. IOM's Jumbe Omari Jumbe explains. “That is to offer assistance, [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN political affairs chief observes progress in Burundi

Feliyaza Bucumi (right), 30, who had been a refugee in Tanzania since he was 15, is welcomed home by his brother in Muyange village, southern Burundi.© UNHCR/K.McKinsey

Burundi's institutions continue to improve, according to the latest report of the UN Secretary-General.. Jeffrey Feltman, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, visited Burundi on Friday to learn more about that progress from the President of the Republic, Pierre Nkurunziza, government representatives and civil society. Vladimir Monteiro is the Spokesperson for the United Nations Office [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNICEF says 210,000 children in Homs need urgent humanitarian assistance

Children form a line outside the school at Za'atari camp in northern Jordan. Photo © UNICEF/Simon Ingram

More than 200,000 children in the western Syrian governorate of Homs are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, according to a United Nations joint mission in which UNICEF took part. The joint mission says almost one in three people in Homs is a displaced person. And about two-thirds of the displaced are below 18 years [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Poor sanitary conditions lead to increase in skin disease in Syria

Boys keep warm in the frosty ground at Za'atari camp. © UNICEF/Helen Pattinson/2013

  There has been an increase in cases of leishmaniasis in Syria, according to Dr. Glen Thomas of the World Health Organization, (WHO). Leishmaniasis is a disease transmitted by the bite of the sand fly and characterized by skin sores. Dr. Thomas says the disease is spreading because of poor waste and hygiene management caused [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UNHCR convoy brings first delivery of winter supplies to northern Syria

A Syrian woman stands among displaced people waiting to receive clothes in the Azzas region. © REUTERS/Muzaffar Salman

A humanitarian aid convoy travelled to northern Syria this week, bringing blankets and tents to thousands of people who have been surviving in makeshift camps, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) announced on Friday. UNHCR says this marks the first time its staff were able to travel to the distant north-west of the country, where winter [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 1 February 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in | Read More »

"Young people and women's issues must be front and center:" UNFPA Head

A young peer educator in Burundi explains how to 
use a female condom. Credit: Yolande Magonyagi/UNFPA

Access to family planning and advancing the rights of young people are the 2013 priorities for the UN Populations Fund (UNFPA), says the agency's head. Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of UNFPA, spoke to UN Radio's May Yaacoub about his Agency's focus and achievements made so far. Duration: 4'58"

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Considerable challenges remain for a safe and sustainable return home for Malians: UNHCR

A Malian woman and her son watch pigeons flying off the roof of the room they are renting in Bamako.  UNHCR/H. Caux

In Mali, the fast-evolving situation in the north of the country has raised hopes that many displaced people will be able to go back to their homes soon. But the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says considerable challenges remain to a safe and sustainable return. UNHCR says some of the displaced are eager to return home, [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WHO programme promotes patient safety in African hospitals

Woman between two lines of beds at Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Tanzania

  Hospitals are places where people go to be healed, but sometimes that's where their health and safety are compromised. As part of the efforts to address this problem, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday released a resource package of practical tools aimed at improving patient safety in hospitals in developing countries.  The resource [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Cancer is a huge global burden: WHO

Breast cancer x-ray

Monday is World Cancer Day. And it's seen as an opportunity to raise awareness about that major public health problem. Dr. Andreas Ullich is a Medical Officer, Cancer Control, Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health at the World Health Organization –WHO. He explains that there are many different types of cancers and taken together is a [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WHO expert says too many women dying from preventable deaths

Mothers wait in a queue at the Kangemi Health Centre in Nairobi for the monthly child clinic

  Dr. Marleen Temmerman, head of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization in Geneva, joined the agency late last year because she believes it can play a very prominent role in meeting the unmet needs of so many women in the area of reproductive health and services. Dr. Temmerman [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Indigenous youth define their place in the world

Stephen Brown

“Modern stereotypes of indigenous identity do not define us as indigenous peoples, but oppress us from reaching our full potential as leaders in our communities,” wrote Steven Brown, an aborigine from Australia. He spoke at the first international expert group meeting on indigenous youth held at the United Nations from the 29th to the 31st [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Syria facing systematic destruction: UNHCR

The displaced people in the Azzas area are receiving winter emergency relief, like these vulnerable Syrian civilians.

A senior UN humanitarian official says Syria and its people are facing systematic destruction. Director of UNHCR ‘s Middle East and North Africa Bureau , Yacoub El Hillo made the remarks at a news conference in Geneva on Friday on his return from the war- ravaged country. “It is an apalling situation in Syria today, [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WHO expert says too many women dying from preventable deaths

The Maasai AIDS Awareness Programme (MAAP) Olomayiana Village in Kajiado District, Kenya Maasai women and children dressed in their traditional kangas, colorful fabrics, gather to hear speeches by elders © Wendy Stone/IRIN

  Dr. Marleen Temmerman, head of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, joined the agency late last year because she believes it can play a very prominent role in meeting the unmet needs of so many women in the area of reproductive health and services. Dr. [...]

1 Feb 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

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