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General Assembly opens its 68th session in New York

John William Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda, President of the General Assembly's 68th session.

The United Nations General Assembly opened its 68th session in New York on Tuesday afternoon. The President of the Assembly, John Ashe, of Antigua and Barbuda said he intends to convene three high-level events and thematic debates on the post-2015 development agenda. He said they will deal with the role of women, the young and [...]

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UN Radio News 17 September 2013

News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Three million people expected to leave Syria by end of 2013: UNHCR

Syrian refugee children at a tent used as a mosque at the Islahiye refugee camp in Hatay, Turkey.  © Jodi Hilton/IRIN

Bulgaria is the latest country to host Syrian refugees fleeing the ongoing violence in their country. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the country has received a total 2,000 Syrians since the start of the conflict. August saw the sharpest rise in asylum applications to about 50 arrivals per day, mainly Syrian families, [...]

17 Sep 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN human rights chief calls for action to end violence against women in Afghanistan

UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay

Violence against women is endemic in Afghanistan, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay who concluded her visit to the country on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters in the country's capital, Kabul, Ms. Pillay said Afghanistan is at a critical juncture with ongoing political, security and economic transition concluding in 2014. She [...]

17 Sep 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Human Rights Council hears of North Korea violations

DPRK flag

Torture, abduction and imprisonment for watching foreign soap operas: these are just examples of human rights violations against citizens in the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK). That information came during hearings conducted last month by a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into the country's human rights situation. Its chairman Michael Kirby, who briefed the Human [...]

17 Sep 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

This is a crucial period for global cooperation: Ban


This is a crucial period for global cooperation, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters ahead of Tuesday afternoon's opening of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly. The Secretary-General stressed that Syria is the biggest peace, security and humanitarian challenge we face. “Let us be clear: the use of chemical weapons in Syria is only [...]

17 Sep 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN food agency needs more funds to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Syrian refugee children carrying WFP food supplies

The World Food Programme (WFP) says it is doing all it can to continue providing food aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon despite a shortfall in funding. WFP says it requires up to $133 million from September to the end of the year but the operation has a shortfall of $127 million. The agency says [...]

17 Sep 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Arab Conference aims to strengthen humanitarian partnership

Jens Laerke

Prominent actors from government, humanitarian and corporate sectors are meeting in Kuwait City to tackle the challenges facing humanitarian organizations. The Fourth Annual Conference on Effective Partnership & Information Sharing for Better Humanitarian Action will, over the next three days, address a number of key humanitarian issues facing the world today, including how to build [...]

17 Sep 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN refugee agency welcomes Bulgaria's commitment to help Syrian asylum seekers

Syrian asylum-seekers waiting to be registered with border police at Elhovo, near Bulgaria's border with Turkey. UNHCR

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has welcomed assurances from the Bulgarian government to fix the dire conditions for Syrian and other asylum seekers in the country. UNHCR says that so far this year, Bulgaria has received about 3,000 asylum applications mainly from the Middle East and Africa. According to the agency, this is three [...]

17 Sep 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN report confirms chemical weapons use in Syria

Security Council Chamber

The United Nations has confirmed that the nerve gas Sarin was used in an attack last month in Syria which killed hundreds of civilians. That information comes in the report of the UN mission which investigated whether chemical weapons had been used in the country's ongoing conflict. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon formally presented the report [...]

17 Sep 2013 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Commission of Inquiry tells of widespread human rights violations in North Korea

DPRK flag

The Commission of Inquiry into human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, says testimony it has points to patterns that may amount to widespread and systematic violations of human rights by the state. In a report to the UN Human Rights Council the Commission says dozens of North Koreans in exile provided hour [...]

17 Sep 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Congolese nun named winner of world's top refugee award

Sister Angélique Namaika is a familiar sight on her bicycle, which she uses to visit the girls she helps in Dungu and nearby villages - UNHCR/B.Sokol

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday announced that this year's Nansen Refugee Award is being awarded to Sister Angelique Namaika, who works in the remote north east region of Democratic Republic of the Congo with survivors of displacement and abuse by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Sister Angélique, through her Centre [...]

17 Sep 2013 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

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