Home » 29 Nov 2014 Entries posted on “November 2014”

"Horrific attack" on Nigeria mosque condemned by UN

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

An attack on a mosque in Kano, Nigeria, which reportedly left dozens of people dead has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Hundreds of other people were injured in Friday's assault on Kano Central Mosque. On Saturday, no-one had claimed responsibility, but Nigerian officials said it bore similarities to other attacks by the outlawed Boko [...]

29 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Thirty UN peacekeepers raise concerns in Mali about working conditions

Chadian UN peacekeepers patrol a MINUSMA check point in Tessalit, North of Mali. Photo MINUSMA/Marco Dormino (file photo)

Thirty UN peacekeepers based in northern Mali are returning to their camp after having left to raise concerns about their working conditions, according to the UN Mission in the country, MINUSMA. The soldiers from Chad, who are based in Aguelhok near the city of Kidal, have reported payment issues and lack of living supplies while [...]

28 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN's anti-torture watchdog cautions US

Human Rights Council. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The United States has been under the human rights spotlight as Human Rights Council investigators look into several contentious policy areas including prisoner detention at Guantanamo Bay and the question of torture committed outside US soil. It’s first time US officials have come under Committee on Torture scrutiny since 2006. Daniel Johnson reports from Geneva. [...]

28 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN peacekeepers in Mali did not "desert" their positions

Chadian UN peacekeepers in Mali. UN Photo/Marco Dormino (file photo)

Thirty UN peacekeepers who left their base in Northern Mali were not deserting their positions, according to the UN Mission in the country, MINUSMA. The Chadian soldiers, stationed with 140 other peacekeepers in Aguelhok near the embattled city of Kidal, were frustrated by the living conditions at their camp as well as issues regarding delayed [...]

28 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 28 November 2014

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3,000 flee to Niger in latest Boko Haram attack

Refugees and returnees who have fled Boko Haram violence in Borno State, Nigeria, sheltering in Niger's Guesseré village on the border. Photo: IRIN/Anna Jefferys (file photo)

More than 3,000 people have fled for their lives across the Nigerian border into Niger after an attack by Boko Haram fighters, the UN's refugee agency said Friday. Terrified civilians from the town of Damassak in northern Nigeria have told how the attackers killed young men and shot at women and children. Up to 50 [...]

28 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Intangible" cultural heritage preserved by UNESCO

The Isukuti dance of Isukha and Idakho communities of Western Kenya has been inscribed in 2014 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. Photo: Department of Culture, Kenya

Thirty-four new cultural heritage traditions have been inscribed on a list to ensure their preservation, according to the UN cultural agency, UNESCO. An intergovernmental committee has been meeting this week to discuss what is called the "safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage". Cultural heritage encompasses not just monuments and objects, but also traditions or living expressions [...]

28 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Progress in fighting Ebola in Guinea reviewed by senior UN official

In Conakry, Guinea, a mobilizer teaches children about proper handwashing techniques, which help prevent the spread of diseases, including Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/Timothy La Rose

The progress made by the authorities in Guinea in fighting the deadly Ebola virus is being reviewed by a senior UN official. Almost 5700 people have died as a result of the outbreak in West Africa, which has mainly affected Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. David Nabarro is the UN System Coordinator for Ebola Virus [...]

28 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Antibiotic resistance action plan gets under way before it's too late, says WHO

Antibiotics. WHO/S. Volkov

Our growing resistance to antibiotics is a major public health risk and it's prompted the launch of a global "battle plan" to address the issue, UN doctors said Friday. Announcing the launch of the programme World Health Organization specialists said that the problem now has much more of an impact in all parts of society [...]

28 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Over 1 million HIV infections "averted" among children

Lackson and his smiling mother, Agness Chabu sit in their home in Lusaka, Zambia. Ms. Chabu and her husband, Innocent, are both HIV-positive. Ms. Chabu participated in the Chelstone Clinic's Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV programme during her pregnancy with Lackson and through his first 18 months. Lackson is now 23 months old and HIV-negative.© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-0262/Nesbitt

An estimated 1.1 million HIV infections among children under 15 years old have been averted, according to data released by the UN Children's Fund, ahead of World AIDS Day. HIV is the virus which leads to AIDS. UNICEF said new infections declined by over 50 per cent between 2005 and 2013 as a result of [...]

28 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Income inequality "broad-based" disease

A family living in an urban slum in Sonagachi, Kolkata, India. UN Photo/Kibae Park

Income inequality or the disparity between the wealth of rich and poor people, has been described by a prominent economist as a "pandemic" and a "very broad-based disease" affecting large parts of the world. It is estimated that the richest 85 people in the world hold the combined wealth of 3.5 billion poor people. Jose [...]

28 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Modern slavery proving hard to tackle in Niger

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Modern-day forms of slavery are widespread in Niger according to a top UN human rights investigator who warns that young boys are being exploited and young girls trafficked to Nigeria. Special Rapporteur Urmila Bhoola said the practices are thriving despite being illegal and akin to slavery. Daniel Johnson reports from Geneva. Duration: 2’59″  

28 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 27 November 2014

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"Paradox" of emerging countries still hampering growth

Shoemakers in Burundi. UN Photo/Sebastian Villar

The world's most vulnerable nations have seen record economic growth but they must change dramatically if they're to transform people's fortunes, according to the UN. The warning comes from the UN's trade and development body UNCTAD. It's just unveiled a report on 48 least developed countries (known as LDCs) where the average income is less [...]

27 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Asia-Pacific countries push to register all births by 2024

Small children look on from their rural home in Kampong Speu, Cambodia (file photo)  © David Longstreath/IRIN

More than 135 million children under the age of five in Asia and the Pacific have not had their births registered, according to the United Nations. It means that millions of people in the region are without a legal identity and live and die without leaving an official trace. People who are unregistered are hidden [...]

27 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Cultural rights expert calls for renewed "nation-building" in Botswana

UN Photo

Botswana has been urged to embark on what's been called a "second phase of nation building." Ending an official visit to the southern African country, the UN Special Rapporteur on cultural rights Farida Shaheed said Botswana needs to "build on and celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the country." During the two weeks Ms Shaheed [...]

27 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Peacekeepers to remain in South Sudan into 2015

The mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has been extended until May 2015 amid what's been described as "grave alarm about the further deteriorating political, security and humanitarian crisis." The UN Security Council voted to keep peacekeepers in the country but demanded that government fully cooperate with UNMISS. The country continues [...]

27 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

No room for "complacency" in Ebola fight in Liberia

Street sellers in central Monrovia.  Photo: UNDP/Carly Learson (20 November 2014)

Good progress is being made in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, but the UN is warning against complacency. More than 5,500 people have died from the disease in West Africa, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In Liberia, the UN Ebola mission, UNMEER said it plans to have two or [...]

27 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

South Sudan Women urged to speak out about gender-based violence

Women in South Sudan. UN Photo/Martine Perret

Women in South Sudan are being urged to speak out about violence they have experienced at the hands of men. According to the UN, most violent acts against women are carried out by family members or intimate partners. A new campaign to help victims of gender-based violence access medical and counselling services is being launched [...]

27 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Critical juncture" for Papua New Guinea

UNDP@PHOTO

Papua New Guinea is at a critical juncture as its extractive industries boom, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP). On Thursday, UNDP is releasing a National Human Development Report dedicated to the Pacific islands' production of natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals. The report says that the wealth from these industries has [...]

27 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Papua New Guinea faces up to "resource curse"

PNG/UN Photo

Papua New Guinea is facing up to the challenge of a so-called "resource curse" as it focuses on boosting the well-being of its citizens according to the United Nations' senior representative in the country. Just under half of all people on the island nation live on less a dollar a day despite the fact that [...]

27 Nov 2014 | Posted in From the Field, Today's Features | Read More »

Rare St Francis of Assisi documents go on show at UN

An exhibition of manuscripts from the 13th century on the life of St. Francis of Assisi opened at UN headquarters on 17 November. Entitled

Documents dating back over 800 years which tell the story of the life and work of the Italian friar and preacher St Francis of Assisi are making a rare appearance at the United Nations. Thirteen manuscripts were taken out of storage at the Sacred Convent of St. Francis in Assisi in Italy and restored for [...]

26 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 26 November 2014

News and Features from United Nations Radio

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Freedom of movement of criminals in DRC to be prevented

Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz. UN Photo/Clara Padovan

The freedom of movement of individuals committing crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will not be permitted, according to the force commander of the UN Mission in the country, MONUSCO. General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz said that on 19 November, a UN patrol was ambushed , by whom he called "criminals with [...]

26 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Developing countries engage in a "win-win" partnership

South-South Technology Transfer Facility for SIDS Launched in Samoa. UNOSSC@PHOTO

The promotion of development around the world is no longer based solely on developed countries helping developing ones, according to a senior official of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Increasingly, low- and middle-income countries are helping each other and coming up with solutions in what is known as south-south cooperation. However, Festus Akinnifesi, [...]

26 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Don't condemn LGBT people to silence" in Kyrgyzstan

Photo: UNAIDS

The Parliament of Kyrgyzstan has been urged by UN human rights experts to reject a bill that would condemn lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to silence. The experts who report to the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said criminal and financial sanctions would be imposed on those who show what the Kyrgyz Government [...]

26 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WOMEN: Campaign to end violence against women kicks off

End Violence against Women.  Credit/UN Women

Many countries have laws to tackle violence against women but very few are actually implementing them, according to a senior UN official. A 16 day campaign to end violent behaviour towards women kicked off on 25 November….the International Day to End Violence against Women. In New York, the iconic Empire State Building and UN headquarters [...]

26 Nov 2014 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN CALLING ASIA: "Close to impossible" to reach communities in terrorist-controlled areas in Iraq

Nickolay Mladenov. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

It's becoming "close to impossible" to reach communities in areas of Iraq which are controlled by terrorists, according to Nickolay Mladenov, the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The extremist group which calls itself the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, has been terrorising large areas of northern Iraq. It's become [...]

26 Nov 2014 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

US President urged to back full release of report on CIA interrogation abuses

A general view of the Human Rights Council in session. Photo: Jean-Marc Ferré

The President of the United States is being urged by a group of UN human rights experts to support the release of a report on interrogation practices of the country's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The UN Office for Human Rights (OHCHR) said the experts wrote to President Barack Obama in an open letter, which was [...]

26 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Young Haitian girls empowered through “men’s” jobs

Girls fixing the bus.  (UNifeed video capture)

Young Haitian girls are being empowered through a project which trains them to do jobs traditionally reserved for men. The Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) supported by the World Bank seeks to ensure that these girls enter the work force with skills and experience. Many of them are low-income, aged 17 to 20 and have not [...]

26 Nov 2014 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Forum addressing atrocity crimes against minorities

Members of an ethnic Yezidi family sleep in the shade in Shekhadi village, Iraq, after fleeing Sinjar. Photo: UNHCR/N. Colt

The international community is being urged to prevent violence and crimes against minorities. On Wednesday, the seventh session of the Forum on Minority Issues is continuing its second day of work in Geneva to support national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. In a video message, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said the world has [...]

26 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Half a million new cancers in 2012 due to obesity

WHO/Godfrey Xuereb

Nearly half a million new cancer cases per year can be attributed to being overweight or obese, according to a new study by the UN's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The study published in the Lancet Oncology, a leading medical journal, finds that high body mass index (BMI) which is a measure of [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Women deserve to live free of fear says Zimbabwean-American actress

Commemoration of International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Women around the world deserve to live a life free of fear according to a leading Zimbabwean-American actress. Danai Gurira, best known as Michonne on the drama series "The Walking Dead", attended the UN commemoration of the International Day to End Violence against Women, on 25 November in New York. The actress performed two scenes [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

"No doubt" UN sanctions are effective

Jeffrey Feltman. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

There is no doubt that United Nations sanctions are effective, according to the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. Jeffrey Feltman was briefing Security Council members on the evolution of UN sanctions, which are measures intended to apply pressure on a state without resorting to the use of force. Mr Feltman said that although the sanctions [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Seawater sampling for radiation continues in Fukushima

IAEA marine experts and Japanese counterparts from the Nuclear Regulation Authority collect water samples in coastal waters near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. (Photo Credit: P.Pavlicek/IAEA)

The Japanese government continues to monitor radioactivity in seawater after a major earthquake damaged a nuclear power plant in March 2011. The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant prompted the evacuation of more than 100,000 people for fear of exposure to radioactive elements released from the damaged reactors. In order to verify the accuracy of [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 25 November 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

"Disproportionate number" of African Americans killed by police

UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein warned of a return to Burundi's "bloody past". UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

A disproportionate number of young African Americans die in encounters with police officers, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein was reacting on Tuesday to the decision by a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri in the United States to not charge a police officer in the fatal shooting of an [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Burundi rights defenders under pressure

Michel Forst.  UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The Government of Burundi should ease pressure on human rights defenders, according to the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR). The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, expressed regret on Tuesday that activists in Burundi are deemed to be political opponents. He said that in reality they are promoting [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Palestinian homes "must cease to be a target"

A Palestinian boy amidst the debris of a destroyed house in Gaza City [File Photo]

The Israeli Government's use of house demolition in the occupied Palestinian territory as a punitive measure against alleged acts of violence by Palestinians must end immediately, according to the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR. On Tuesday, two UN experts urged for Palestinian homes to cease being targeted, adding that the practice is a violation of [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Violence against women and girls a "global pandemic": UN chief

United Nations Secretariat shines in orange light kicking off Orange YOUR Neighbourhood anti-violence campaign for the International Day to End Violence against Women. November 2014. UN Photo/E. Debebe

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that destroys lives, fractures communities and holds back development, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at the commemoration of the International Day to End Violence against Women, for which this year's theme is Orange Your Neighbourhood. Orange, the uniting colour chosen by the [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Battling plague in Madagascar “complicated”, says WHO

Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala

The task of stopping Madagascar's plague outbreak has been complicated by high resistance to traditional flea treatments, according to the UN health agency. The disease has already killed 40 people in the island nation and has spread to 16 districts. The first victim died on the 3rd of September in a rural area. Now there's [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Campaign to end violence against women kicks off

End Violence against Women.  Credit/UN Women

Many countries have laws to tackle violence against women but very few are actually implementing them, according to a senior UN official. A 16 day campaign to end violence kicked off on 25 November which is observed as the International Day for the Elimination of  Violence against Women. Iconic buildings in New York and the [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

People "orange" neighbourhoods to eliminate violence against women

logo for campaign/UN Women

People around the world are being encouraged to display the colour orange in their communities to symbolize hope for a future free from violence against women and girls. The "Orange YOUR Neighbourhood" initiative is being launched by the UN to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is marked [...]

25 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Hope" lost in South Sudan due to conflict

Ellen Margrethe Loj, the head of the UN mission in South Sudan, UNMISS.  UN Photo/Staton Winter

The ongoing conflict in South Sudan is causing people in the country to lose hope. That's according to Ellen Margrethe Loj, the head of the UN mission in the country, UNMISS. Almost two million people have fled their homes as a result of continued instability. Half a million of those people are now refugees outside [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Trend of massacres" in DR Congo condemned

Saïd Djinnit  UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

An "escalating trend of massacres" is emerging in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a senior United Nations official has warned. Saïd Djinnit the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes said the security situation in Beni in the eastern part of the country has been steadily deteriorating over the past [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Rival factions in Central African Republic town urged to stop fighting

Stéphane Dujarric

  Rival factions in a town in the Central African Republic, where three people were killed last week, have been urged by the United Nations to stop fighting. A UN mission visited the town of Zémio during the weekend to assess the humanitarian situation after an outbreak of inter-community violence. The mission called on all [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Radio News 24 November 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Plague outbreak in Madagascar kills 40 people

Stéphane Dujarric

An outbreak of plague in Madagascar has killed 40 people according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The agency adds that a total of 119 cases have been confirmed on the Indian Ocean island. WHO says there is a risk of a "rapid spread of the disease" in the capital Antananarivo due to the city's [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Kidnapping for ransom provides terrorists with funds

Street patrol in Kismayo, Somalia, following a series of kidnappings and cross-border raids along the Kenya-Somalia border by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group Al Shabaab. 
Credit: UN Photo/Ramadan Mohamed Hassan

Kidnapping for ransom and hostage taking continues to be a major source of income for terrorists around the world, the United Nations has been told. It's estimated that $120 million in ransoms was paid to terrorist groups between 2004 and 2012. Experts gathered in New York on Monday at a meeting convened by the UN [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Abhorrent" Afghanistan suicide bomb attack condemned by UN

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon UN Photo/Evan Schneider

A suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan that killed at least 50 civilians and injured a further 60 has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. The attack on Sunday in Yahyakhail district in the south-eastern province of Paktika took place at a sports field where people were attending a volleyball match. Many children were [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Transmission rates still 'disturbing', says UN's Ebola envoy

A safe burial site for Ebola victims in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  UN Photo/Ari Gaitanis

Ebola numbers are still "disturbing" and the response to the Mali outbreak must be dealt with quickly and robustly, the UN's top envoy for the disease has warned. Dr David Nabarro said it was "absolutely necessary" to identify new cases of the virus in Mali and encourage infected people to seek medical help. If done [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Three billion people online

Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel

Over three billion people are now online and information and communication technology (ICT) growth remains buoyant in just about every country worldwide, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Latest data from the ITU's annual Measuring the Information Society Report show that Internet use continues to grow steadily, at 6.6 per cent globally in 2014. [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

New bird flu strain spreading to Europe threatens poultry sector

Surveillance systems to detect virus outbreaks include laboratory testing.  FAO

A new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The UN agency said that low-resourced countries situated along the Black Sea and East Atlantic migratory routes of wild birds, are likely to be hardest hit. Germany, the Netherlands and the [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

India needs to rethink Bhopal disaster pay-out, says UN investigator

Special Rapporteur Baskut Tuncak  (video capture)

India's announcement that it's to give more cash to victims of one of the worst industrial disasters in history won't make the problem go away, according to a top UN human rights investigator. Special Rapporteur Baskut Tuncak said that financial compensation alone will not put an end to the legacy left by the toxic gas [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Trafficking in children on the increase

UNODC@PHOTO

The illegal trafficking in children is on the increase worldwide according to a UN report released on Monday. The 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons shows that one in three known victims of human trafficking is a child – a five per cent increase compared to the 2007-2010 period. Girls make up two out [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Empire State Building lights to mark elimination of violence against women

Credit: ESRT Empire State Building, L.L.C.

The lights of the iconic New York City Empire State Building are turning orange on Monday night to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will join the Executive Director of the UN Women agency and American actress Teri Hatcher to light up the building at sunset. [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Nutrition habits in China changing, obesity on rise

Girl working in a rice field near Chengdu, Sichuan.  UN Photo/John Isaac

Obesity is on the rise in China because nutrition habits in the country are changing, according to a senior UN Food Agency Officer. Warren Lee, Senior Nutrition Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says people earning more, so they are eating more and exercising less. According to FAO's 2014 State of Food Insecurity [...]

24 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

Attack on bus in Kenya condemned by UN

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

An attack on a bus in Kenya which left at least 28 people dead has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Militants from the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the assault, which took place outside the town of Mandera on the border between Somalia and Kenya. Witnesses described how passengers taken off the bus [...]

23 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Unhealthy foods in Thailand creating new nutritional challenges

Rajata Rajatanavin Minister for Public Health of the Kingdom of Thailand. General Debate, Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), FAO Headquarters (Plenary Hall).  ©FAO/©Alessandra Benedetti

An increased consumption of unhealthy foods in Thailand has created new nutritional challenges for the newly industrialized country, according to its Minister of Public Health. Thai people are now consuming foods high in sugar, fat and salt because of a change in food systems and lifestyles. Obesity is on the rise as well as non-communicable [...]

22 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

"Don't define someone by their disability" says US Senator

Tom Harkin. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Don't define someone by their disability but define them by their ability, said United States Senator Tom Harkin when taking a tour of the United Nations Centre for the audio, visual, and physically impaired on Friday. Senator Harkin is the lead advocate for disability rights in The United States Congress. The Senator's visit to the [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Sky is the limit" for Africa says senior UN official

Gold being poured in a South African mine. South Africa has the world's largest gold-mining industry.  UN Photo

The sky will be the limit for African countries once they industrialize their agricultural sector. That's the view of Ambassador Arthur Kafeero, Chef de Cabinet in the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly. Ambassador Kafeero participated in an event on the occasion of Africa Industrialization Day, observed on 20 November, and which [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Ebola outbreak "contained" by middle of 2015

A resident walks past a mural about the dangers of the Ebola Virus painted on a wall off Tubman Boulevard in Monrovia.  Photo: Morgana Wingard/ UNDP

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in West Africa should be "contained" and could end by the middle of 2015, the UN Secretary-General has said. Almost 5500 people have died after catching the virus, mainly in Guinea Liberia and Sierra Leone. The United Nations has set up a special health mission UNMEER to fight [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

25,000 Gaza homeowners to have access to building materials

Robert Serry. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Around 25,000 people whose homes were destroyed in a conflict in the Gaza strip in July and August are to have access to materials to rebuild their houses, according to the UN. The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, said an "understanding" had been reached between the Israeli and Palestinian authorities [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Airlift of winter supplies underway in Iraq

Men carry insulating items from a UNHCR distribution in the Warga Dalal camp. Credit: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis

An airlift of supplies to support displaced people through the winter has begun in Iraq. Winter aid supplies, including thousands of tent insulations kits for displaced people, were delivered in northern Iraq's Kurdistan. Six more flights are scheduled to arrive in the next three weeks. Iraq has experienced increasing instability in 2014 as a result [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 21 November 2014

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News and features from United Nations.

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

Countries at Rome conference vow to fight malnutrition

A farmer harvests sorghum produced from seeds donated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through the "Improving Seeds" project.  UN Photo/Fred Noy

Significant commitments have been made by over 170 countries in the fight against malnutrition, a senior UN official has noted. Ministers and senior officials responsible for health, food, agriculture and other aspects of nutrition have agreed to adopt firm policies and actions at the Second International Conference on Nutrition or ICN2. A Rome Declaration on [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

Emergency food voucher distribution underway in Ukraine

Elena stands in the ruins of her family's house hit by an artillery shell in early July.  UNHCR/I. Zimova

The distribution of Emergency food voucher s for 10,000 people is underway in eastern Ukraine. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) distributed food vouchers to people in Donetsk who were displaced by ongoing fighting in the region. Pro-Russian separatist rebels control much of the eastern part of the country. The ceasefire agreement they signed with [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Women primary agents of change to fight malnutrition

A woman farmer harvests rice by hand.  UN Photo/Martine Perret

Women are the primary agents of change in combating malnutrition, according to a member of the World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous People. Munkh-bolor Gungaa was speaking on behalf of civil society at the closing ceremony of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2). The three-day conference was organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's News | Read More »

Private sector has tools to impact food safety and security

David Crean, Vice President of Corporate Research and Development. General Debate, Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), FAO Headquarters (Plenary Hall).  ©FAO/©Alessandra Benedetti

The private sector has the tools and expertise to impact food safety and therefore food security solutions. This is according to the Global Vice-President of Mars Incorporated, the company that produces many of the world's best known chocolate bars. He was speaking at the UN Food and Agriculture headquarters at the closing of the Second [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's News | Read More »

Humanitarian situation "dire" in South Sudan

Kyung-wha Kang, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs during her visit to South Sudan.  Credit:  UNMISS/Isaac Alebe Avoro Lu'ba

The humanitarian situation for people displaced by conflict in South Sudan has been described as "dire" by the UN deputy humanitarian chief. The conflict which broke out in December 2013 between government and opposition forces in the country has displaced 1.4 million people and forced almost half a million others to flee to neighbouring countries. [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Humanitarians will "never be able" to keep up with needs in South Sudan

Kyung-wha Kang. UNMISS/Isaac Gideon

Humanitarian workers in South Sudan will "never be able" to keep up with the needs of displaced people in the country, according to a senior UN official. More than 1.9 million people have fled their homes and over 100,000 people have sought refuge in UN bases as a result of the one year old conflict. [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

More than 10,000 displaced in clashes in Central African Republic

Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes

More than 10,000 people have been displaced in the Central African Republic following an upsurge in clashes, according to the UN humanitarian office, OCHA. People fled their homes earlier this week in Zémio, a town in the south-east of the country, which borders South Sudan after rival factions attacked each other. Jens Laerke is a [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Code adopted for ships operating in polar waters

Arctic Polar ice rim.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

A code that will protect seafarers and passengers in ships sailing in polar waters has been adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Polar Code covers all aspects of design, construction, search and rescue and environmental protocols and equipment relevant to ships operating in waters surrounding the two poles. The potential hazards of sailing [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ebola operation stepped up

A team cleans an area where a suspected Ebola patient sat outside waiting hours for treatment. (Sep 2014)   © Kieran Kesner/IRIN

Efforts are speeding up to limit the spread of ebola with UN medical specialists now targeting countries most at risk from an outbreak. The World Health Organization (WHO) wants to ensure that 14 African countries implement its 10-point ebola prevention checklist. The UN agency says its list is a "minimum" requirement for countries. It wants [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Healthier nutrition in the United States can be achieved

Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) at UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Photo: FAO

Improving the food habits of Americans can be done, according to the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services of the US Department of Agriculture. Kevin Concannon is in Rome, Italy this week, attending the Second International Conference on Nutrition at the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). One hundred and [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's News | Read More »

Parliamentarians meet in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace

UN Photo

Members of Parliament from around the world are gathering at the UN on Friday to discuss how best to support peace efforts between Israel and Palestine. The UN Palestinian Rights Committee which is convening the meeting says a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs to be grounded in international law and human rights. Earlier [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Close to impossible" to reach communities in terrorist-controlled areas in Iraq

Nickolay Mladenov. UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann

It's becoming "close to impossible" to reach communities in areas of Iraq which are controlled by terrorists, according to Nickolay Mladenov the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The extremist group which calls itself the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, has been terrorising large areas of northern Iraq. It's become [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Up to 1mn in Syria, Iraq may be "left out in cold" this winter

A young Syrian refugee wraps himself up in a thick blanket, part of aid to help his family weather the winter in northern Iraq. Photo: UNHCR

Up to one million Syrians and Iraqis may be "left out in the cold" as winter approaches, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is warning. There has been a sharp rise in displaced populations in the region this year because of the ongoing instability. The agency is concerned that people won't get help because of a [...]

21 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Millions #Imagine a better world for children

Photo: World Bank/Natalia Cieslik

People around the world are being given an opportunity to promote children's rights by making videos of their own version of John Lennon's iconic song Imagine. Using the hash tags #Imagine and #EveryVoiceCounts, millions including celebrities, will be able to participate in a worldwide sing-along to highlight the challenges children face around the world. Developed [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Toilets bring hope to rural people in Nepal

Remote communities of Nepal with no road access still need food, shelter and medical aid ahead of the monsoon season, WFP says. Photo: UNTV

Toilets are one of the basic necessities that people in developed countries take for granted, but it is not so for millions of people especially in rural areas of poor countries. The UN estimates that globally, about two and a half billion people don't have access to a clean toilet and about one billion of [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Unprecedented" growth in importance of UN Police

UN Photo/Marco Dormino

The past fifteen years have seen an unprecedented growth in the scale, scope and importance of United Nations Police according to the UN's head of peacekeeping operations. Briefing the Security Council on Thursday, Hervé Ladsous said that the role of UN police was adapting to what he described as rapidly evolving operational environments. Vannina Maestracci [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Pledges to climate fund welcomed by UN chief

Renewable Energy Solar Panels in Tokelau. UN Photo/Ariane Rummery (file photo)

Financial pledges of more than US$9.3 billion made by Governments towards a fund to help developing countries cope with climate change has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) will support developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of changing climatic conditions. [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Pope calls nutrition and environment “global public issues”

Pope Francis addresses the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) at FAO Headquarters in Rome. Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Food, nutrition and the environment are global public issues, according to the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis. The Pope was attending the Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome, Italy, to give an address to more than 170 government representatives. He urged solidarity and concrete action to combat the global nutrition challenge. The [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 20 November 2014

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North Korea urged to resolve issues "promptly" with nuclear agency

Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), UN Photo/Mark Garten

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog has said he is seriously concerned about the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK's nuclear programme. DPRK said it first tested nuclear weapons in 2006. Since then the international community has been working with the country to regulate its programme. Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN CALLING ASIA: Solutions sought for food wastage problem in Papua New Guinea

Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), FAO headquarters (Sheikh Zayed Center).©FAO/©Giulio Napolitano

Most people in Papua New Guinea grow their own food and are able to feed themselves, but lack proper methods of preservation, a UN Food Agency (FAO) official has said. The majority of the population in the south west Pacific island nation practices agriculture and fishing. Food easily goes to waste because there are no [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Solutions sought for food wastage problem in Papua New Guinea

Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), FAO headquarters (Sheikh Zayed Center).
 ©FAO/©Giulio Napolitano

Most people in Papua New Guinea grow their own food and are able to feed themselves, but lack proper methods of preservation, a UN Food Agency (FAO) official has said. The majority of the population in the south west Pacific island nation practices agriculture and fishing. Food easily goes to waste because there are no [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

Ukraine suffering a total breakdown in law and order, says UN expert

unGianni-Magazzeni

Ukraine is in the grip of a total breakdown in law and order and civilian killings are on the rise again despite a ceasefire between warring parties, the UN has warned. In its seventh monthly report on the conflict, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says the September the 5th truce has [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Eritrea human rights probe tackles 'long list' of alleged abuses

A wide view of the Human Rights Council at its eighteenth session, in Geneva, Switzerland.  UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Investigators have started a probe into Eritrea where the Human Rights Council has condemned what it calls a widespread and systematic violation of fundamental freedoms. Alleged violations in the east African nation include extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrest and detention, along with forced military conscription. Thousands of people young and old have fled the [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Innovation to drive change for most disadvantaged children

MOZAMBIQUE, 2007. Children view images they recorded on a digital video camera, at 7 de Setembro Primary School in Maputo, the capital. They are participating in a UNICEF-supported arts initiative. © UNICEF/NYHQ2007-2521/THIERRY DELVIGNE-JEAN

Urgent action is needed to prevent millions of children from missing out on the benefits of innovation, the UN Children's Fund has said. Launching The State of the World's Children Report on the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF said that new global networks should be created to promote [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Pope is ally in fight against malnutrition

His Holiness Pope Francis address the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), FAO Headquarters (Plenary Hall).   ©FAO/©Alessandra Benedetti

The leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Pope, is an ally to improve nutrition, according to the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Jose Graziano da Silva says Pope Francis is an important advocate in fighting hunger and food waste, sharing similar humanitarian goals with FAO. The religious leader is expected [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's News | Read More »

Report on world's children shows progress and challenges

Nicholas Alipui. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Progress has been made in improving the lives of children around the world although challenges still remain. That's according to the State of the World's Children Report published by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday. The publication of the report coincides with the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Bringing the voice of the people to the global stage

Saber Chowdhury, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The voices of the people must be heard in the designing of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs which will replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. That's according to the President of the global organization of national parliaments or IPU, representing 6.5 billion people in the world. The IPU Annual Hearing at [...]

20 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Support" Somalia to build "sustainable security"

Jeffrey D. Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.  UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The international community has been urged to continue supporting Somalia to build what's been described by a senior UN official as "sustainable security." The UN's political affairs chief, Jeffrey Feltman made the comment at the High-Level Partnership Forum for Somalia, which opened in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Wednesday. The Horn of Africa country has endured more [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 19 November 2014

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Progress in provision of water and sanitation but challenges remain

Girls from Beweda village in southwestern Uganda, where women and girls walk over 8km daily to fetch water (Dec 2011)   © Francesca Megaloudi/IRIN

There has been progress in the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene to people around the world, but challenges still remain, particularly in rural areas. That's according to the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2014 report released on Wednesday. The report, which is published twice a year, presents data from [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Humanitarian truce underway in Benghazi, Libya

A young girl at the Tayuri settlement in Sebha, home to many Tuareg and Tubu communities, Libya  © Zahra Moloo/IRIN

An unconditional humanitarian truce in Benghazi, Libya has been agreed to on Wednesday until 7pm local time. The agreement to end hostilities for a period of 12 hours was facilitated by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Since May, nearly 400,000 people have been displaced in the North African country as fighting continues [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Number of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq increases to 15,000

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Security Council.  UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The number of foreign terrorist fighters in the Syria and Iraq conflict has grown to more than 15,000. Briefing the Security Council on Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General said the fighters come from over 80 countries. Groups such as the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, and the Al-Nusra Front continue to terrorise communities in the [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Major gaps in water and sanitation" persist warns UN

Two year old Amina gets water to drink from her grandmother. Jebel Saiey, North Darfur.  UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Global efforts to provide improved water and sanitation for all people are gaining momentum, but serious gaps in funding continue to hamper progress, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO). The biennial Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water report presents data from 94 countries. It shows that two billion [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN recommends prosecution of North Korean leaders at international court

UN General Assembly Hall.  UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

A groundbreaking resolution which calls for the prosecution of leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for human rights abuses has been passed at the United Nations. It's the first time the UN General Assembly's human rights committee has voted to recommend the prosecution of senior North Koreans in the International Criminal Court, [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Global community misjudged world's malnutrition challenges

Inaugural Ceremony, Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), FAO headquarters (Plenary Hall).  ©FAO/©Giulio Napolitano

Twenty-two years ago, the international community did not anticipate many of the world's malnutrition challenges, a UN conference on nutrition has heard. More than 150 governments answered the call made by the UN Food Agency (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to attend the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), opening on Wednesday. In [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

Violence dashes hopes for Sahel's vulnerable, says top UN aide

Mothers walking home with supplementary rations for their under-two children in Niger's central region of Tahoua  © Catherine-Lune Grayson/IRIN

Insecurity is on the march again in the vast Sahel region and any hopes for an improvement in the outlook for millions of vulnerable people there have evaporated. That's the assessment of the UN's chief humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel, Robert Piper. He said regional players need to confront the security challenge there or else [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Concern over imminent release of man convicted of Srebrenica genocide

Human Rights Council. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Concern has been raised by United Nations human rights experts over the potential imminent release of a man who was convicted of committing genocide in Srebrenica. Milorad Trbic, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2009 by the Bosnian State Court after being found guilty of taking part in the genocide in the town. [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Global experts focus on nutrition challenges of 21st Century

@FAO/Ivo Balderi

The global nutrition challenges of the 21st century will be the focus of a UN international conference also known as ICN2. Opening at FAO's headquarters in Rome on Wednesday, the event will bring together delegates from about 150 countries. Two billion people on the planet suffer from nutritional disorders like malnutrition due to an inadequate [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

"Moral imperative" to end open defecation: UN chief

UN Photo/Patricia Esteve

The world has the "moral imperative" to end the practice of defecating in the open, according to the UN Secretary-General. In a message to mark World Toilet Day on 19th November, Ban Ki-moon highlighted the dangers women and girls face if they do not have access to safe sanitation facilities. Mr Ban said that 1.25 [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Plane crash probe results due to be released

Monitors from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.  (OSCE/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The results of a Dutch-led probe into the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine could be released in a "number of days". The news was shared by the Spokesperson for the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine with OSCE, the European security organization. The UN has called for a full investigation into the [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Global action for better nutrition begins in Rome

Second nternational Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) at FAO in Rome. UN Photo/Stephanie Coutrix.

Better nutrition leads to better lives, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). That's the theme of the Second International Conference on Nutrition opening on Wednesday at FAO's Headquarters in Rome. Co-organized with the World Health Organization, the three-day conference will bring together government representatives, civil society, the private sector and experts from around [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's News | Read More »

Over one billion people forced to defecate in the open

World Toilet Day Logo UNWater.org

Over one billion people around the world are expected to be provided access to toilet facilities as part of a UN campaign. The UN says defecating in the open can cause serious health concerns and expose women to sexual violence. In an effort to break the silence on open defecation, the UN is highlighting the [...]

19 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Libya suffers "deteriorating displacement crisis"

Women at Friday prayers in Benghazi, Libya  © Kate Thomas/IRIN

Violence across Libya has led to what's been described as a "deteriorating displacement crisis" by the UN Support Mission in the country (UNSMIL). At least 100,000 people have fled their homes in the past month alone due to intense fighting in the eastern towns of Benghazi and Derna, as well as in the Libya's southeast [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Mali reports five deaths from Ebola

In Unification Town, Liberia young men take on the grim job of burying the dead lost to the Ebola virus currently devastating West Africa. (Sep 2014)   © Kieran Kesner/IRIN

The West African nation of Mali has reported five deaths from the Ebola disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 5,000 people have died in the outbreak this year mainly in three countries in the region, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. WHO said it is working closely with the Government of Mali [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Well-designed laws needed to improve food systems

A hard earned snack, ©FAO M. Cusack

A strong legal framework is needed to improve food systems, according to the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In an address to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on Tuesday, José Graziano da Silva urged ministers and senators to transform their commitments on healthier diets into positive results. More than 90 ministers and [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 18 November 2014

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ISIS "undeniably" guilty of war crimes

Security Council Chamber.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

Leaders of the Islamist militant groups known as ISIS, ISIL or Da'ish are "undeniably" guilty of war crimes in Iraq, according to the UN human rights chief. Briefing the Security Council on Tuesday, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein added the groups could possibly be guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. Iraq has experienced increasing instability [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

WHO announces easy test kits to hunt down Ebola

IFRC Kenema Ebola treatment centre (October 2014)   © IRIN/Ricci Shryock

Easy-to-use ebola testing kits are in the pipeline which will be used to hunt down the very last cases of the disease, according to UN doctors. The announcement is the next step in the World Health Organization (WHO) effort to eliminate the deadly disease in west Africa. So far, efforts to contain outbreaks of the [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Alarm as DR Congo displacement crisis sees 71,000 flee in three months

A woman and her baby take shelter at Don Bosco Orphanage in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.  (file photo)  © Kate Holt/IRIN

Looting, torture and rape in Democratic Republic of Congo's so-called "triangle of death" has pushed up the numbers of internally displaced to nearly 600,000 people in one province alone. That's the latest information from the UN refugee agency, which says that more than 71,000 people fled their homes in resource-rich Katanga province in the last [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Investing in nutrition more than just a moral imperative

Rolf Hackbart, Deputy Director of FAO's Office for Partnerships.  UN Photo/Leda Letra

Investing in nutrition is not only a moral imperative, it also improves productivity and economic growth, according to the Food and Agriculture (FAO). More than 90 businesses and private sector entities are participating in the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) taking place in Rome this week. Company leaders are due to meet on Tuesday [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's News | Read More »

Young people can propel economies of developing countries: UN report

STATE OF WORLD POPULATION 2014/UNFPA

Developing countries can benefit from having a large population of young people, according to a report released by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) on Tuesday. The State of World Population 2014 shows that today's 1.8 billion youth could help these countries advance their economies and societies. However, the report points out that there is a [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Relocation of stranded South Sudanese refugees begins

South Sudanese Refugees head down the Baro River in western Ethiopia on their journey by boat and vehicle to the Pugnido Refugee Camp.   © UNHCR/C.Tijerna

The relocation of 15,000 South Sudanese refugees who have been stranded for several months in western Ethiopia has begun, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has confirmed. The group had been on its way to a refugee camp in the Gambela region but were unable to complete the journey due to flooding. The first group of [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Civil Society acting as voice of the malnourished

The green season/FAO R.  Baldovino

Civil Society is putting the nutrition concerns of people they represent at the top of the international agenda, according to the director of a global development network. Stefano Prato who is usually based in Kenya with the Society for International Development, is currently in Italy to support civil society talks ahead of the Second International [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

International community should focus on "underlying struggle for minds" in Iraq

Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The international community should focus on the "underlying struggle for minds" in Iraq as it attempts to defeat terrorist groups like the Islamic State, also known as ISIL. That's what the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein told the Security Council on Tuesday. He said that while there has been a significant military [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Attack on synagogue in West Jerusalem condemned by UN

Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.  UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

An attack on a synagogue in West Jerusalem which reportedly killed four Israelis has been condemned by the United Nations. According to media reports, two Palestinian men armed with a pistol and knives attacked worshipers on Tuesday morning, injuring eight other people. Tension has been rising in the region following a 50-day conflict between Israel [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Food rations for 500,000 refugees in Kenya cut

Beneficiaries waiting in line to collect their ration at a food-distribution taking place at the UNMISS-compound in Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan (May 2014)   © Jacob Zocherman/IRIN

Funding shortfalls have forced the UN food agency to cut rations for about half a million refugees from South Sudan and Somalia in Kenya. The World Food Programme (WFP) says that as of 16 November, the refugees in the Kakuma and Dadaab camps started receiving half of their food allowance. However, WFP points out that [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Women's rights missing from food and nutrition policies

Flavio Valente, CSO Liaison Group. ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Women's rights are missing from food and nutrition policies, according to the Secretary-General of the International Human Rights Organization for the Right to Food. Flavio Valente is currently acting as liaison for civil society organizations headed on Wednesday to the Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome, Italy. The conference is expected to endorse a [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

"Judicial harassment" in Cambodia "must stop"

Surya Prasad Subedi, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia.  UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The Cambodian government has been urged by the UN to respect the law and the principle of judicial independence in the south-east Asian country. The call by the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Cambodia, Surya Subedi, follows the arrest of 11 activists in the past week. The activists were charged and [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Passion driving civil society talks on nutrition in Rome

Colorful seed and cereal sacks Bab al Yemen market.  Photo:  ©FAO/S.Villar

Passion is what is driving civil society talks ahead of the Second International Conference on Nutrition. This is according to Stefano Prato, a member of the civil society liaison group which is coordinating the inputs from non-governmental organizations on what they intend to advocate at the three-day conference. On Monday, civil society focused on exchanging [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's News | Read More »

WHO encouraged by latest bird flu findings

Maryati, a chicken-seller at Pucang market in Surabaya,Indonesia (December 2007).  © Brennon Jones/IRIN

UN doctors say they're encouraged that the latest avian flu outbreak hasn't crossed over to humans and think that it could also be cured by readily available drugs. World Health Organization's Dr Elizabeth Mumford told journalists in Geneva that the H5N8 virus is highly unpredictable. She explained that the current virus is similar to the [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Survivors of Ebola get food aid from UN agency

Ebola health care workers in Sierra Leone.  (UNifeed video capture)

More than 800 people who have recovered from Ebola are receiving food aid after being discharged from the treatment centres in Sierra Leone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are now over 14,000 cases of Ebola and more than 5,000 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The agency says there is some [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Developing countries urged to reap "demographic dividend"

Telavi youth festival volunteers - UNFPA

Young people are key to future economic and social progress in developing countries according to a report released by the United Nations Population Fund, (UNFPA). The State of World Population 2014 report reveals that there are more young people in the world, an estimated 1.8 billion, than ever before. It says developing countries with large [...]

18 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Football stars unite against Ebola

World Bank@PHOTO

Football players from some of Europe's biggest clubs are joining a team to promote health messages for the fight against the deadly Ebola disease in West Africa. The "11 Against Ebola" social media campaign by the World Bank features video appearances by the players who share 11 simple health messages. The footballers include Real Madrid's [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Pocket-sized guide to nutrition launched ahead of major conference

FAO's nutrition pocketbook - FAO

A pocketbook of nutrition-related data covering all regions of the world has been launched ahead of a major conference taking place in Rome, Italy this week. Food and Nutrition in Numbers provides data highlighting trends on micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and non-communicable diseases from 1990 to the present. The pocketbook shows that some two billion people [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's News | Read More »

Malnutrition needs to be history, says Ugandan activist

School feeding program in Uganda. © Nicholas Young/IRIN

Malnutrition should be a problem of the past and malnourishment needs to be forgotten, according to the coordinator of the Uganda Civil Society Coalition on Scaling Up Nutrition. People with the condition either do not get enough food or the right sort of food. Christine Muyama says meeting just one child who is malnourished is [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Ebola crisis manager found dead in Guinea

Marcel Rudasingwa.  © UNICEF Kenya/2012/Gangale

The UN's senior official for the fight against Ebola in Guinea has been found dead a month after he was appointed to the post in the West African country. Marcel Rudasingwa of Rwanda passed away in the capital on Monday from natural causes. Mr Rudasingwa, who was born in 1955, had worked for the UN [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 17 November 2014

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UN convoy attacked in Iraq

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General.  UNifeed (video capture)

A convoy of vehicles belonging to the UN Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has been attacked near Baghdad International Airport, the UN has confirmed. No UN personnel were killed or injured in the incident. One of the three vehicles in the convoy sustained serious damage. The UN Deputy Spokesperson is Farhan Haq. "The Secretary-General's Special Representative, [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Civil society key actor to achieve nutrition for all

A child eating.  Credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

The world cannot achieve food security and nutrition for all without civil society, according to the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Jose Graziano da Silva was speaking to around 200 members of civil society organizations who are in Italy for an international conference on nutrition. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's Features | Read More »

Every hour, every day over 40 people lose their lives to drowning

A boy runs through the Indian Ocean at Lido beach in Mogadishu on March 9, 2012. Increased security and stability in Mogadishu has led to a resurgence in life in the city   © Phil Moore/IRIN

More than 40 people lose their lives to drowning every hour, every day the World Health Organization has found. In a new report released on Monday, WHO puts the global number of drowning deaths a year to 372,000. Over half of them are among young people below the age of 25, with the highest rates [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Ocean “crusader” says critics almost convinced him to give up

Waste plastic from the sea.  (UNEP video capture)

An environmental campaigner who's just won a top UN award for his plan to clean up the oceans said he often thought about quitting because of the criticism he faced. Boyan Slat – who put his university studies on hold to tackle the problem of removing waste plastic from the sea – said industry experts [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Spike in violence" in Jerusalem follows tensions over access to holy sites

Palestinians search through the rubble of their home destroyed by Israeli strikes in Khuza'a, southern Gaza Strip.  UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

A "spike in violence" in Jerusalem and the West Bank in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has been caused by escalating tensions surrounding access to holy sites, according to a senior UN official. Briefing the Security Council on Monday, Jens Toyberg-Frandzen said that clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli security have been taking place on an [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Fashion "a universal language" says Palestinian-born designer

Palestinian-born Italian fashion designer Jamal Taslaq (centre) during the unveiling of his Fall-Winter 2014-2015 collection at UN headquarters.  UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann

"Fashion is a universal language", according to a Palestinian-born fashion designer, who recently showcased his collection at UN Headquarters in New York. Jamal Taslaq, unveiled his Fall-Winter 2014-2015 collection which included evening gowns, cocktail dresses and tailored suits. The fashion show was part of the observance of 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Two million Iraqis flee homes

An Iraqi girl washes her hands in a makeshift basin.  OCHA:  Iason Athanasiadis

Two million people in Iraq have been forced to flee their homes as a result of ongoing violence in the country. In its latest situation report, the UN humanitarian office (OCHA), said the displaced people were sheltering in over 2000 separate locations. Since early September over 200,000 individuals have been displaced by continued insecurity, mostly [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Political stability urged ahead of Somali peace conference

Mr. Kay (centre) speaks to members of the Somaliland press.  UN Photo/Stuart Price

Leaders in Somalia are being urged by the United Nations to pave the way for political stability ahead of a peace conference taking place in Denmark this week. The first ever High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) in which ministers are participating is aimed at creating a more secure future for all Somali people through a [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Over 370,000 people die from drowning every year

A boy sits on Lido beach in Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Over 372,000 people die from drowning each year, with those under five years at greatest risk. These figures were released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday in a new report highlighting the global impact of drowning. Drowning, which happens when someone inhales water and suffocates, occurs in bathtubs, buckets, ponds, rivers, ditches and [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Civil society preparing for international nutrition conference in Rome

WFP's food basket.

Civil society groups working on food and nutrition related issues are meeting in Rome, Italy to prepare for the first intergovernmental conference to address the world's nutrition problems in the 21st century. The two-day preparatory event starting on Monday will feed into the Second International Nutrition Conference (ICN2) taking place from 19-21 November at the [...]

17 Nov 2014 | Posted in 2nd Nutrition Conference - Rome, Italy, Today's News | Read More »

"Hunt down" Ebola virus in Liberia says UN Envoy

A health care worker disinfecting a taxi in Liberia at an Ebola treatment centre. Photo: WHO/R. Sørensen

The Ebola virus needs to be "hunted down" in Liberia as the country faces a key moment in the fight against the deadly disease, a senior UN health expert has said. Over 5,000 people have died from the virus in the three countries most affected by the outbreak, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Olive Thomas [...]

16 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

World divided “Cold War style”

Secretary-General Ban (right) meets the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbot at the G20 Summit in Australia  UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The World seems to be divided into a “cold war style” over Ukraine and the current situation is not sustainable for world peace and the economy, the UN Secretary-General warned on Saturday. Ban Ki-moon is in Australia for a two-day Summit of G20 members who belong to the world’s largest, advanced and emerging economies. Ukraine [...]

15 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Two activists win 2014 Prize for promoting tolerance, non-violence

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Two grassroots peace-builders and human rights activists are the winners of a UN prize promoting tolerance and non-violence. Ibrahim Ag Idbaltanat from Mali and Francisco Javier Estevez Valencia from Chile will share a US$100,000 award. Mr Idbaltanat has worked for years for the peaceful settlement of conflicts in the northern regions of Mali between sedentary [...]

15 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

New UN online platform promotes sharing ideas about peace

UNIC

People around the world committed to promoting peace now have an online social media platform where they express their views and exchange ideas. Civic Peace Corps was recently launched by the UN Information Centre in Beirut with three spaces where users can meet: "Exchange for Peace", "Art for Peace" and "Educate for Peace". UNIC Beirut [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Investigations into alleged mass rapes in Darfur ongoing

Abiodun Bashua. UNAMID@PHOTO

Investigations are continuing regarding the alleged mass rapes that took place in a town in North Darfur. A verification team was allowed into the area earlier in the week to shed light on reports that 200 women and girls were raped. The team included members of the police, military and civilian components. On Friday, the [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Anti-cross-dressing law in Malaysia declared unconstitutional

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida

A state law in Malaysia that criminalizes Muslim transgender women for cross-dressing, has been declared unconstitutional by the country's Court of Appeal according to the UN. Transgender women are people who were assigned as male at birth but identify themselves as female. These women have faced fines and up to six months in prison for [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Palestinians at UN schools scoring higher-than-average on tests

Photo: UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarhan

Palestinian students attending United Nations schools are achieving higher-than-average results in international assessments, according to a new World Bank study. Children achieved these good scores despite living in what the World Bank describes as "challenging and adverse circumstances", due to conflict. The UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) educates more than 500,000 refugee students each [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Burkina Faso groups agree on civilian-led transition

Billboard promoting peace in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso. Photo: IRIN/Chris Simpson

A civilian will head Burkina Faso's transition following a unanimous vote in Ouagadougou, the UN Special Envoy for West Africa has confirmed. The UN, the African Union and the West African regional bloc ECOWAS are presiding over talks with various groups in the country to resolve the crisis. A charter was agreed to and given [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 14 November 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Funding shortfall forces rations cuts to Kenya refugees as 'last resort'

WFP, through its partner, the Lutheran World Federation, provided three cooked meals to refugees from South Sudan at Kakuma Camp, Kenya. Photo: WFP/Rose Ogola

Half a million Kenya refugees are to have their daily food rations cut in half as the World Food Programme (WFP) struggles to meet a funding shortfall. Instead of their usual 2,100 calorie-a-day intake, the refugees will get just 1050, UN agency spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs said. The refugees come mainly from Somalia and South Sudan [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Islamic militants ruling by "terror" in Syria

Syrian Kurdish refugees cross the border into Turkey after fleeing fighting around the city of Kobane in north-east Syria. Photo: UNHCR/I. Prickett

The militant Islamic group, ISIS, is imposing a rule of "terror" in areas it controls in Syria, a UN report has concluded. The UN commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic details summary executions, public beheadings and amputations carried out by ISIS terrorists. ISIS which is also known as ISIL has emerged as a [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Burkinabes agree on civilian-led transitional government

Mohamed Ibn Chambas

An agreement has been reached on a civilian-led transitional government in Burkina Faso. Representatives of the military, political parties and civil society have been meeting in the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou to resolve the political crisis there. The country was plunged into crisis after President Blaise Campaoré attempted to change the constitution and extend his 27 [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Syrians living under "barbaric conditions" in ISIS controlled areas

UN Photo/Pontus Wallstenn

Syrians in areas controlled by the Islamist militant group ISIS are speaking out about the "barbaric" conditions they live under, according to a new UN report. Over 300 people who had fled the violence in the country gave first-hand accounts to members of the UN commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. Photographs, video [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

No "quick fix" for Ebola

Clinical trials of this candidate Ebola vaccine will take place in the US, Germany, Gabon and Kenya. Photo: WHO/M. Missioneiro

A top UN Ebola scientist warned on Friday that there's no quick fix for the virus and it could take until late next year before a solution is found. Dr Martin Friende from World Health Organization (WHO) said vaccine tests were under way and that drug testing was vital. But he added that not a [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Over 100,000 people flee fighting in Libya in the last month

A group of Tawerghan men displaced after the fighting in Libya in 2011. © UNHCR/ L. Dobbs

Warring tribes in Libya have fuelled a displacement crisis, with nearly 400,000 people forced to flee fighting since May, the UN has warned. Announcing the news, refugee agency UNHCR said that at least 106,000 people had left their homes in the last month alone. Agency spokesman Adrian Edwards said that more than half of these [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN CALLING ASIA: Rebuilding in the Philippines, one year after Typhoon Haiyan

Tacloban City, Philippines. Credit: Krishna Krishnamurthy/WFP

The people who braved a massive storm in the Philippines one year ago are building a new life, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).  The central part of the Southeast Asian island was hit by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, whipping out entire communities and killing more than 6,000 people.  One year later, UNHCR [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

A healthy breakfast can help prevent diabetes type 2

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Eating a healthy breakfast can help prevent developing type 2 diabetes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Around 350 million people worldwide have diabetes, a chronic disease linked to the body's production or use of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. In the case of diabetes type 2, the body cannot effectively use [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Military-led transition in Burkina Faso "unacceptable"

Mohamed Ibn Chambas. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

A military-led transition in Burkina Faso would be "unacceptable" to African leaders and international partners, according to the UN Special Envoy for West Africa. Protests broke out in the country in October following an attempt by President Blaise Compaoré to amend the Constitution so he could extend his 27-year rule. In the face of popular [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Start the day with a healthy breakfast to beat diabetes

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People around the world are being asked to start the day with a healthy breakfast to mark World Diabetes Day. Diabetes is a long term condition that causes high blood sugar levels. The World Health Organization (WHO) called on communities to get together to share a meal. Observed annually on 14 November, it's also the [...]

14 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WOMEN: Accountability for crimes against Afghan women urged by UN expert

The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, spoke to members of the media at a Kabul press conference, on the situation of women in Afghanistan.  Photo: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA

Accountability for all crimes committed against women and girls in Afghanistan should remain a focus of the Afghan government and the international community.  The call from the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, came at the end of her seven-day visit to the country.  It was the first visit to Afghanistan since [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Bollywood actor, Farhan Akhtar, named UN Goodwill Ambassador

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka meets with newly appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia, Farhan Akhtar. He is the first man to take on the role in the organization's history. Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh - See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/11/farhan-akhtar-announced-as-un-women-goodwill-ambassador-for-south-asia#sthash.9BjFbWjZ.dpuf

Men should respect women, not just in words but in action, the Bollywood actor, singer and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar has urged. Mr Akhtar has been named South Asia Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, an organization dedicated to gender equality and empowerment. He's the first man in the history of the organization to be chosen. The [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Global coalition for safer roads launched at UN

Safety often fails to keep up with road-building in fast-developing countries, WHO says. Photo: IRIN/Reena Gurung

A coalition of organizations which aims to reduce the number of deaths by road traffic collisions has been launched at the UN. Road traffic crashes are the number one killer of teenagers and young adults and the eighth leading cause of death globally, the UN says. A number of companies have come together from the [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Radio News 13 November 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Air pollution continues to challenge the world

UN Photo/Kibae Park

Countries need to continue cooperating to limit the amount of air pollution they produce, according to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Thirty-five years ago, 34 countries signed the first environmental agreement of the UN, called the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. Air pollution continues to be one of the largest environmental health [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Ebola in West Africa passes "grim milestone" of 5,000 deaths

UN General Assembly

The Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa has passed what has been described as the grim milestone of 5,000 confirmed deaths. Anthony Banbury, the Special Representative and Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) on Thursday briefed the UN General Assembly on the global response to the outbreak. Mr. Banbury, who [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Europe celebrates 35 years of cleaner air and human well-being

Air Pollution Romania.  UN Photo/R Marklin

For the past 35 years, European countries have made great strides in reducing air pollution by working together. That's according to Krzysztof Olendrzynski, Environmental Affairs Officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). UNECE is behind an "Air Convention" which grew out of an awareness that the ecological and human health problems throughout [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

World has more protected areas than ever before, but not enough

Protected areas are essential to the conservation of species, ecosystems and livelihoods. UNEP@PHOTO

The world has more conservation areas than ever before, but more funding is needed, according to a new report by the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP). Over 15 per cent of land and coastal waters as well as 3.4 per cent of the global ocean are now protected, the agency says. The Protected Planet report was [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"New security architecture" urged in Asia

SG attends ASEAN Summit  Caption Background: SG attends ASEAN Summit  Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Asian countries are being urged to create a new security architecture for closer regional cooperation. Speaking to the East Asia Summit, taking place in Myanmar, the UN Secretary-General said that the region was still plagued by historical and territorial disputes. Ban Ki-moon said increased collaboration between states was beneficial for all. "The region – and [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Measles spike prompts WHO warning on stalled vaccinations

A Syrian boy gets his measles jab in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Photo: UNICEF/Jordan-2013/ Alaa Malhas

Measles deaths saw a near 20 per cent spike last year and the virus has the potential to rebound, World Health Organization medics said on Thursday. More than 145,000 people died from the disease in 2013, up from 122,000 the previous year, according to latest WHO statistics. WHO also said that efforts to eliminate the [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Palestinian students achieving "higher-than-average results" at UN schools

Montage of Palestinian school children.  UN Photo

Palestinian children studying at UN-run schools in the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan are achieving "higher-than-average results", according to a study released by the World Bank. The UN agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNWRA), manages nearly 700 schools and educates more than 500,000 refugee students each year. According to the World Bank, UNWRA pupils scored on [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ebola response to shift towards smaller healthcare facilities

A Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) health worker donning a protective suit to treat Ebola victims in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. Photo: IRIN/Tommy Trenchard

The fight against the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa will shift focus towards supporting smaller, more geographically dispersed healthcare facilities, the UN has said. More than 5000 people have died in the three countries most affected by the outbreak, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There are an additional 14,000 suspected cases. The head of [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

African swine fever spreading in Sub-Saharan Africa

Pigs vie with people to scavenge food at the Dandora dumpsite, Nairobi, Kenya.  © David Gough/IRIN

The African swine fever virus is having a devastating impact on small-scale pig farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, who are losing a valuable source of protein and cash. While there is no vaccine to this disease, UN agencies such as the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are taking steps to strengthen the diagnostic [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Violence against Afghan women and girls "widespread and systemic"

Women tend crops in rural Afghanistan.UN Photo/Fardin Waezi

Violence against women and girls is a widespread and systemic problem in Afghanistan, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against women. Rashida Manjoo who has spent a week touring the country investigating the current situation, urged the Afghan government and international community to make sure the perpetrators of crimes are held accountable. "Accountability [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Accountability for crimes against Afghan women urged by UN expert

The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, spoke to members of the media at a Kabul press conference, on the situation of women in Afghanistan.  Photo: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA

Accountability for all crimes committed against women and girls in Afghanistan should remain a focus of the Afghan government and the international community. The call from the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, came at the end of her seven-day visit to the country. It was the first visit to Afghanistan since [...]

13 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Ukraine: possible return to full-scale fighting

Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.  Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

An upsurge in hostilities in the east of Ukraine is raising fears of a possible return to full-scale fighting in the country. Assistant Secretary-General Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen shared these concerns during his briefing to members of the Security Council. In September, the Government and rebel groups agreed to end months of fighting, naming the accords [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Prolonged isolation of Ebola-affected countries "damaging"

David Nabarro, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Ebola.   Credit: UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann

The longer that the process of isolating countries affected by the Ebola virus goes on, the more damaging it will be, the UN Special Envoy for the outbreak warned. David Nabarro made the remarks in New York on Wednesday during a briefing for non-governmental organizations. Contact with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea should be maintained, [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

"Alarming" levels of opium production in Afghanistan

Poppy fields in Afghanistan.  UN Photo / Zalmai

Record levels of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan have been described as "alarming" by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). A survey released on Wednesday shows that the cultivation of poppy, the plant from which the illegal drug opium is made, could rise to 17 per cent this year. According to UNODC, Afghanistan [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Challenges facing Liberia exacerbated by the Ebola health challenge

Safe burials for people who die of Ebola.  (UNifeed video capture)

The challenges facing Liberia are being exacerbated by the Ebola health emergency, the UN Peacekeeping chief warned. Despite making remarkable strides in rebuilding its institutions after more than a decade of civil war, the country is still grappling with its recovery. Briefing the 15 members of the Security Council on Wednesday, Hervé Ladsous shared again [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

UN Radio News 12 November 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

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New guidelines aim to improve indoor air quality

Women use fuel-efficient stoves to cook their meals in the Rwanda camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in Tawila, North Darfur.  Credit: UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Air pollution emitted by rudimentary biomass and coal cook stoves claim the lives of 4.3 million people every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The agency points out that three billion people, mainly in developing countries, don't have access to clean energy or clean fuels for cooking or lighting their homes. To help [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Governments should invest more in infrastructure and wages: ILO

Sewing machine operators work at the "Multiwear" Factory at Sonapi Industrial Park, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Governments need to invest in infrastructure and increase wages, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). Minimum wages are going down in many European countries, while in others such as Brazil and China they have been consistently increasing. Sandra Polaski the ILO's Deputy Director-General says better pay-packets can lead to economic growth. Jocelyne Frank asked [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN urges support of Asian nations for "strong" universal climate agreement

A view of some of Kyon Da's structures on the Irrawaddy Delta, Myanmar. Kyon Da underwent recovery and reconstruction work following the aftermath of May 2008's Cyclone Nargis.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

The UN Secretary-General told Asian leaders on Wednesday that he's counting on their support for a strong climate agreement in 2015. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a joint UN and ASEAN Summit in Myanmar's capital, Nay Pyi Daw. Myanmar is chairing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the very first time. 2015 is [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Bid to reduce lethal air pollution in the home launched at UN

A volunteer cooks in a kitchen with dim light and limited ventilation.  UN Photo/Logan Abassi

The World Health Organisation (WHO) today called for a reduction in lethal air pollution in people's homes in a bid to prevent millions of deaths every year. The UN agency published its recommendations on emissions while underlining the dangers of burning fuels in the home, such as unprocessed coal and kerosene. Medics have linked the [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Opium production in Afghanistan could increase by 17 per cent

An opium poppy field in Badakhshan.  Photo: Shoresh Kalantari (UNAMA).

Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose seven per cent in the last year, despite efforts to discourage the practice, according to a joint survey by the UN and the Afghan government. Opium poppy is a plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

SMS campaign boosts Ebola awareness in West Africa

UNESCO-mobile-learning-training

  Mobile text messages, also known as SMS, are helping to prevent the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Close to 5000 people have died from the virus since last March, and more than 10,000 have been infected. The most recent SMS campaign took place in Senegal when the government sent 4 million mobile messages [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Child pneumonia deaths decline but one million still die yearly

A  child from Myanmar is undergoing  treatment  at Sun Flower Tachileik Hospital in Myanmar for a possible pneumonia.  (file photo) UN Photo/Kibae Park

Child deaths from pneumonia have declined by 44 per cent since 2000, although the disease remains among the leading killers of children. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) released those figures on the fifth World Pneumonia Day marked annually on 12 November. The disease kills more children under five than HIV/AIDS, malaria, injuries and measles combined, [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Liberia mobile text campaign finds Ebola behind food price hikes

With borders closed and travel restricted, small holder farmers, mostly women, are hard put to get to community markets to sell their produce.   UNDP/Morgana Wingard

The World Food Programme (WFP) says that the Ebola outbreak has bumped up food prices and forced families to cope by eating fewer meals and smaller portions. Agency spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs announced the findings from the agency's latest text message campaign in Liberia which aimed to assess food security there. The WFP's findings show that [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

New resolution on right to privacy to be voted at UN

Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel

The right of individuals to privacy in the digital age is coming under the spotlight at the United Nations in November. Two countries, Germany and Brazil are co-sponsoring a resolution, which could further regulate mass surveillance and prevent some data on individuals being collected. A year ago, a similar resolution was approved by the UN [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Situation "promising" in Afghanistan, says outgoing envoy

Ján Kubiš, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).  UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The situation in Afghanistan has been described by the outgoing head of the UN mission there as "promising". The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was established by the Security Council in 2002 to assist the government and people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development in the country. Ján Kubiš, [...]

12 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Growing instability in Libya not conducive to closing "impunity gap"

Fatou B. Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  (Security Council video capture)

Political instability is growing and an environment is developing in which people who commit crimes are not being brought to justice. Speaking to members of the Security Council, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) explained that the insecurity is having a harmful impact on her investigations. Since the overthrow of former President Muammar [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

African leaders in talks about modalities of Burkina Faso transition

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.   UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Efforts by African leaders to engage Burkinabe stakeholders in support of a consensual, civilian-led transition have been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. The Chairperson of the African Union, President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz travelled to the capital Ougadougou along with the Presidents of Mauritania, Senegal and Togo. Burkina Faso has been facing a political crisis since [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Boko Haram violence sends thousands fleeing to Cameroon

A group of Nigerian refugees rest in the Cameroon town of Mora after fleeing armed attacks.  UNHCR/D.Mbaoirem

Violence by Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria's northeast continues to send thousands of refugees into neighbouring Cameroon, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Cameroonian authorities also report that 13,000 Nigerian refugees crossed from Adamawa state after insurgents attacked and captured the town of Mubi in late October. The vast majority of them have now [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Critical role of archives in bringing justice to crimes

Archives documents from War Crimes Commission.  Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

Records play a critical role to bring justice and reconciliation processes, according to the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. Adama Dieng on Tuesday participated in discussions at UN Headquarters on the impact of archival documents towards the development of international law. In July, records from the UN War Crimes Commission were made public [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Gathering, keeping records of possible war crimes essential for obtaining justice

Adama Dieng, Special Advisor for the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide

Gathering and keeping records of possible crimes committed from an early stage can be essential for obtaining justice in the future. That's according to Adama Dieng, the Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide. He was speaking on the margins of Tuesday's debate on the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC) records. [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Radio News 11 November 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

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UN envoy warns Aleppo "not far from a possible collapse"

Syrian refugees number 1.7 million in Turkey.  Photo: UNHCR/O.Laban-Mattei

Syria's northern province of Aleppo is not far from a possible collapse and the international community needs to stop it from happening. The warning was issued by the UN Special Envoy to the country at the end of his three-day visit on Tuesday. Aleppo has been under pressure for years now in tensions between the [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

First food convoy from Sudan arrives in South Sudan's Upper Nile

Nyatap is a 6-year old displaced South Sudanese refugee child.   OCHA/Jacob Zocherman

A convoy of 18 trucks carrying food has arrived in South Sudan's Upper Nile State from Sudan in the first operation of its type under an agreement between the two governments. The 700 metric tons of food, which left the port of Kosti in Sudan on Friday, is enough to feed about 45,000 people for [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Boundaries need to be set regarding cyber privacy

Young Malaysian girl using telecom with a computer.  UNESCO - photographer:
Lissac, P.

People who are using new technologies like the Internet need to be able to "set the boundaries" regarding the protection of personal data. The remarks were made by the Spokesperson for the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations during a debate on the right to privacy in the digital age. Last November, a [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

World War II records opened to public

United Nations archive documents from the War Crimes Commission.  Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

New records of war crimes that took place during World War II have been opened to the public at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. They were collected in the mid-1940s by the UN War Crimes Commission, created in London in 1943. The Commission gathered evidence about what was happening to the Jewish people [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

International community must "get ahead" of Ebola outbreak

Anthony Banbury,  Head of  UNMEER, visited Guinea, one of the West African countries most affected by Ebola.   UN Photo/Ari Gaitanis

The international community must "get ahead" of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa According to the head of the UN Mission for Ebola Response Emergency Response (UNMEER). Anthony Banbury, who is based in Ghana has recently toured the three most affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone where around 5000 people have died from [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Aid focus shifts to most vulnerable Syrians and Iraqis because of winter

iraq-winter

One of the UN's top refugee coordinators has warned that tough choices must be taken to help people fleeing the fighting in Syria and Iraq now that winter has arrived. Amin Awad, who is the UNHCR's Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria, told reporters in Geneva that the agency must prioritise help according to factors including [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Situation stabilizing in Central African Republic capital: UN envoy

Abdoulaye Bathily, Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA)    UN Photo/Marco Dormino

The situation in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic is stabilizing after a prolonged period of unrest and violence, according to the top United Nations envoy in the region. The Central African Republic or CAR has been mired in conflict since December 2012 between militias from the Christian and Muslim communities which has [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

CAR elections should be held as soon as possible: Special Envoy

Abdoulaye Bathily, Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa, greets children on the streets of Timbuktu during his visit there early this year.  UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) should be held as soon as possible, according to the Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa. Abdoulaye Bathily was speaking on the margins of a meeting in Bangui of the International Contact Group on CAR. In addition to the UN, the group includes representatives of [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

True numbers of people affected and dying of Ebola virus "higher"

Anthony Banbury (right), Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) during his recent visit to Liberia.  (4 November 2014) UN Photo/Ari Gaitanis

The true numbers of people affected and dying of the Ebola virus in West Africa are higher than the numbers reported, the UN Special Envoy has warned. Anthony Banbury who is also the head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) has recently finished a round of visits to the affected countries. For [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

World War I armistice marked at UN

Security Council members observe a minute of silence. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The armistice at the end of World War I is being marked at the United Nations on Tuesday. Representatives of the 15-member Security Council will hold a minute's silence at 11am to coincide with the exact time that fighting between Germany and the allied nations ended in November, 1918. An estimated 16 million people died [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Filipinos rebuild after Typhoon Haiyan

FAO@PHOTO

Farmers and fishers in the Philippines are well on the road to recovery and building more resilient livelihoods, a year after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Asian country. The typhoon, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, not only killed thousands of people, but also devastated the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands more. There was [...]

11 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Syrian authorities agree to work with UN on "freeze" zones

Destruction in the ancient city of Aleppo, Syria, where UNICEF says some neighbourhoods have been without water for weeks. Photo: UNESCO

Syrian authorities have agreed to work with the United Nations to halt fighting in certain areas of the country, in order to promote a gradual return to peace. The proposal by the Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura to, in his words, "freeze" these areas was put to the Security Council last month. The [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN establishes independent inquiry panel on recent Gaza conflict

Ron Prosor.  UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

An internal and independent United Nations panel has been set up by the UN Secretary-General to investigate the recent conflict in the Gaza strip. The inquiry will look into incidents that occurred in Gaza between July and August this year in which over 2,000 Palestinians were killed as well as 70 Israelis. Over 100,000 homes [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Thousands screened for Ebola at South Sudan's airports

Juba International Airport. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Thousands of people are being screened for the deadly Ebola virus at South Sudan's main airports to ensure the country stays free of the disease, according to the country's Ministry of Health. Around 4,000 people entering South Sudan through Juba International Airport and Wau Airport are being tested each week; no cases have yet been [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

North Korea's "flagrant disregard" for UN sanctions condemned

Gary Quinlan. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Over a hundred missiles have been tested by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) this year, in flagrant disregard for UN sanctions. That's what Ambassador Gary Quinlan of Australia told the press at UN headquarters in New York on Monday. Earlier, the United Nations Security Council heard a briefing by a panel of experts [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Urgent humanitarian aid needed in north-east CAR

Claire Bourgeois (centre). Photo: OCHA/John James.

Food, health services and education are urgently needed in the Vakanga province, in the north-east of the Central African Republic or CAR, the UN Senior Humanitarian Coordinator to the country has warned. Claire Bourgeois visited the region over the weekend. Nearly a million people in CAR are displaced and 2.5 million are in need of [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN "outraged" at Nigeria school attacks

Since June 2013, attacks in northeastern Nigeria have resulted in school closures affecting thousands of students, many of whom have had no access to education in months. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2007-0515/Nesbitt

The UN Secretary-General has expressed outrage over what he has called the "frequency and brutality" of attacks against schools in the north of Nigeria. Dozens of children were killed and many more injured after a suicide bomber attacked a boarding school in the town of Poktiskum, in Yobe State. Ban Ki-moon condemned the recent attack [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN team finds no evidence of alleged mass rape in North Darfur

Photo: UNAMID

A team from the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has found no evidence of an alleged mass rape incident that media reported to have taken place in a village in North Darfur. According media to reports last week, 200 women and girls were raped in Tabit village. Following these reports, UNAMID contacted Sudanese [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Radio News 10 November 2014

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Conference on Education for Sustainable Development opens in Japan

© UNESCO -Director-General speaking at the opening of the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Aichi-Nagoya, November 2014

To achieve sustainable development, technology, political regulations and financial incentives are not enough, according to Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Director-General. People need to change the way they think and act as individuals and as societies which is the aim of ESD, she adds. Ms Bokova was speaking at the opening of a conference to promote Education [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Iraq's farmers need support to prevent industry from collapsing

Iraqi shepherd. FAO@PHOTO

The agricultural sector in Iraq could collapse if urgent support is not delivered to farmers, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Livelihoods have been destroyed as a result of the rise of terrorist groups, and an estimated 2.8 million people are food insecure. Wheat seeds, fertilizer and animal feed are starting to roll [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

World Food Programme receives largest Ebola response donation so far

Copyright: WFP/Rein Skullerud

Germany has provided $30 million to the UN food agency, WFP, to feed over one million people affected by the Ebola virus epidemic in Liberia and Sierra Leone. WFP says it's the largest contribution it has received so far for its Ebola response. The funds have been immediately disbursed and used to buy food and [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

No evidence found regarding alleged mass rape in North Darfur

South African peacekeepers prepare for a night patrol in North Darfur. UN Photo/Albert González Farran.

A team of investigators has found no evidence regarding the mass rape that allegedly took place in the village of Tabit in Northern Darfur. A statement to the press was released by the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Monday. On 5 November, the Mission expressed deep concern over media reports that around [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UK donates another $11 million to Sudan humanitarian effort

A woman feeds her child in a new settlement in Zam Zam camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP), North Darfur. UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Humanitarian organizations in Sudan are to receive an additional $11.3 million from the United Kingdom government to meet the immediate needs of newly displaced people. That's according to the UN humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ali Al-Za'atari. The contribution was made to the Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) which supports the allocation and disbursement of emergency [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Online digital platform to help students access latest science information

Encouraging girls to pursue a tech career could give a huge boost to the global economy, the International Telecommunication Union says. Photo: UNESCO/ Hany Ali Ahmed

A free online science education resource has been launched by the UN Cultural Agency (UNESCO) for students from disadvantaged regions around the world The World Library of Science or WLoS was created to help them access the latest science information, share experiences and learn through discussion with their peers. The online library is stocked with [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Epidemiology professor in Liberia to help fight Ebola

A resident walks past a mural about the dangers of the Ebola Virus painted on a wall off Tubman Boulevard in Monrovia.  Photo: Morgana Wingard/ UNDP

The first phase of fighting the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa was an enormous success but harder challenges lie ahead, according to a Swedish professor working with the Liberian Ministry of Health. Hans Rosling says he spent 20 years studying epidemics, and when the Ebola outbreak hit he immediately asked how he could assist. [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Food safety symposium kicks off in Vienna

IAEA logo

The importance of food safety and quality and the role played by nuclear technology is the subject of a two-day symposium that kicks off in Vienna, Austria, on Monday. The International Symposium on Food Safety and Quality, is being hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Jacob Sasanya, a food safety Specialist from IAEA [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Nuclear science helps to "make food safer"

Nuclear Science is increasingly being used to ensure food safety and detect unsafe food. It can even help to reduce what's been called food fraud and enable trade. Nuclear-related methods allow experts to measure pesticide or other chemicals in food products to make sure they meet international standards. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is [...]

10 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Government of South Sudan urged to release UN trucks and cargo

Stéphane Dujarric

The Government of South Sudan has been urged by the UN mission in the country (UNMISS) to immediately release its trucks and cargo impounded by National Security Service personnel on Wednesday. The UN says the truck drivers were assaulted in the incident. The peacekeeping mission is protecting civilians in the country following a conflict that [...]

7 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

ICT development will help Palestinians find jobs: Minister

Allam Mousa.  (ITU video capture)

The development of information communication technology (ICT) is a priority in Palestine and will help create more jobs, according to the country's Minister in charge of the sector. Allam Mousa attended the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meeting in Busan, South Korea, alongside hundreds of other government representatives from around the world. Minister Mousa told Maximillian [...]

7 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

One year after Typhoon Haiyan 20,000 Filipinos still in need of shelter

On Leyte Island in the Philippines, wooden transitional shelters are under construction to house the displaced caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan whick struck on 8 November 2013. Photo: UNHCR/P. Behan

Around 20,000 people who were displaced by a typhoon which devastated the Philippines in November last year are still in need of shelter, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record anywhere, caused massive destruction, killing more than 6,000 people and displacing over four million others. [...]

7 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Japan donates $18 million to fight Ebola

Aircraft arrives in Ghana to help deliver UN supplies for emergency Ebola response. UN Photo/UNMEER

The Government of Japan has been thanked by the United Nations for donating $18 million to the fight against the Ebola disease in three West African countries. It brings Japanese contributions to $40 million, the amount pledged by Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at the UN in September. Stephanie Dujarric is the Spokesperson for the UN [...]

7 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Nigerian women become sex slaves after crossing Mediterranean to Italy

Italian coastguard vessels arrive at Lampedusa Island after rescuing people on the Mediterranean. (January 2012) Photo: UNHCR/F. Noy

An unknown number of Nigerian women who have risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Italy, have become sex slaves according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The women, who are mainly from Edo State in southern Nigeria, were promised work as nurses and hairdressers on arrival in Europe but were immediately trafficked [...]

7 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News, Women | Read More »

UN Daily News 07 November 2014

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Rebuilding lives in the Philippines, a year after Typhoon Haiyan

A group of clean-up workers in Tacloban walk through piles of debris left by the storm.  (file photo/2013) UN Photo/Evan Schneider

People in the Philippines are building a new life for themselves one year after a typhoon devastated the country, killing more than 6,000. The central part of the South-east Asian nation was hit by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, wiping out entire communities and destroying some 600,000 hectares of farmland. The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR [...]

7 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Counting the cost of Ebola in Liberia

A resident walks past a mural about the dangers of the Ebola Virus painted on a wall off Tubman Boulevard in Monrovia.  Photo: Morgana Wingard/ UNDP

The Ebola crisis in West Africa continues to claim lives despite the international effort led by the United Nations to contain the outbreak. Almost 5000 people have died, although the figure could be higher due to unreported cases. In Liberia, the virus is not only stretching health facilities to the limit, it's also severely affected [...]

7 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

WHO unveils step-by-step guide to safe and dignified burials for Ebola victims

In Guinea, UNDP supports a volunteer programme where local youths go into neighborhoods of Conakry, demonstrating hygiene practices.  Photo: Nicolas Douillet/UNDP

Involving family members of people who have died from Ebola and encouraging religious rites are essential elements to ensure safe and dignified burials for victims of the virus, according to a new protocol by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO says that at least 20% of new Ebola infections occur during burials. The infection can [...]

7 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Sri Lanka's non-cooperation with investigators "an affront" to UN

Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).   UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The refusal of Sri Lankan authorities to cooperate with a United Nations team investigating allegations of human rights violations has been described as an "affront" to the UN Human Rights Council. The team is looking into allegations that grave abuses were committed by both sides during the civil war between government forces and the Tamil [...]

7 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Australia's commitment to fight Ebola welcomed by UN health agency

Community health volunteers with Ebola prevention kits walking through West Point in Monrovia, Liberia.  Morgana Wingard/ UNDP

The government of Australia's commitment to provide health professionals and more funding to boost the fight against the Ebola virus disease has been welcomed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The agency says Australia will contract with a private health service provider to manage and run an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone. It is [...]

7 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Food aid delivered to 1.3 million people in Ebola-stricken countries

WFP food distribution in Sierra Leone. (WFP video capture)

Over a million people in the three West African countries most affected by Ebola have received food aid by the World Food Programme or WFP. The agency is ramping up services to the whole humanitarian effort in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin said their goal is that "no person goes hungry" [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Uzbekistan seeks to strengthen rule of law by improving access to justice

Helen Clark. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Rule of law and access to justice play an important role in development, a senior UN official has said. Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme, made the remarks during her visit to Uzbekistan. She also visited an earthquake simulation complex in the capital city of Tashkent, which raises awareness on the central Asian [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

No charges for Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound ship in 2010

Fatou B. Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

No criminal charges will be laid by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israel for a raid on a Turkish-owned ship that tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza in 2010. Nine Turkish activists were reportedly killed when Israeli Defence Forces intercepted the Mari Marmara as it tried to break the blockade [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WOMEN: Performer Conchita Wurst uses talent to promote equality

Conchita Wurst, Austrian singer and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, performs at the United Nations Office in Vienna. 03 November 2014
Vienna, Austria

The Austrian drag singer Conchita Wurst is using her talent to help fight discrimination, according to the UN Secretary-General.  On Monday, Ban Ki-moon praised the winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest for promoting human rights education. Both were in the Austrian capital to mark the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Vienna International Centre, an event [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN CALLING ASIA: Afghanistan passes legislation criminalizing recruitment of child soldiers

On 12 May 2014, the UN launched a new booklet highlighting the obligations of all parties to armed conflict in the country to respect and promote the rights of children under international law. Photo: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA.

The passing of legislation which criminalizes the recruitment of children into the security forces in Afghanistan has been praised by the UN Mission in the country, UNAMA. The new legislation sets 18 as the official recruitment age for Afghans. It now needs to be passed by the parliament's Upper House. Setyo Budi has this report. [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Accord to resolve crisis in Burkina Faso welcomed by UN envoy

Stéphane Dujarric

An agreement to resolve the political crisis in Burkina Faso has been welcomed by the top UN envoy in West Africa. Burkina Faso has been facing a political crisis since President Blaise Compaoré resigned and fled the country last week. Protests continued after the military seized power. On Wednesday political parties in the West African [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 06 November 2014

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Ten year action-plan adopted for landlocked developing countries

Little boys watch as UNMISS Japanese engineers undertake a major upgrade of Yei Road in Juba, South Sudan to improve the quality of life for those that live in the area, and traffic in general.  (2012) UNMISS Photo/Staton Winter

A ten-year action plan to accelerate sustainable development in the world's 32 landlocked developing countries known as LLDCs has been adopted at a major United Nations conference in Vienna, Austria. The Programme of Action includes steps to help LLDCs to improve international trade and bolster regional integration and cooperation. The countries are characterised by their [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Polio threat re-emerges in Sudan

A child receives the polio vaccine from a vaccination team in the Al Salam IDP camp, North Darfur, Sudan.  UN Photo/Olivier Chassot

Children in conflict areas in Sudan that are not under government control may be at high risk of contracting polio, according to a senior UN humanitarian official in the country. The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Geert Capealaere said he is deeply concerned about children in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Empowering rural Jordanian women through heritage conservation

Umm el-Jimal.  UNESCO photo

Rural women in Jordan are developing skills to manage and promote an archaeological site through a joint UN project. UN Women and the UN cultural agency (UNESCO) aim to empower these women by linking culture and development. The 40 women involved in the project are between 20 and 50 years of age, single, mostly unemployed [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Global food prices show signs of stabilization

A local trader measures oil at the voucher distribution centre at Abu Shouk Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in North Darfur, Sudan. UN Photo/Albert González Farran

World food prices stabilized in October, according to the monthly report of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO's Food Price Index recorded its seventh consecutive monthly decline as the agency raised its forecast for a record global wheat output this growing season. The ongoing slight decline in the index has been described [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Sheer unsustainability" of Palestinian refugee situation

Pierre Krähenbühl. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The Palestinian refugee situation has been described as unsustainable by UNWRA, the UN agency which deals with Palestinian issues. More than 700,000 people were displaced as far back as 1948 as a result of a war between Arab states and Israel. Today some five million Palestinians are eligible for United Nations assistance. The international community [...]

6 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

2 bn old people, “major public health challenge” for developing countries

An elderly woman at her window in a Nepalese village. UN Photo/John Isaac

The wellbeing of over 2 billion people over the age of 60 who will be living in developing countries in the next four decades is going to be a major public health challenge, according to a paper published in The Lancet Medical Journal on Thursday. It says that "ageing well" must be a global priority [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

“Ageing well” must be global priority

Elderly woman from Bosu-Bata, DRC. UN Photo/Marie Frechon

"Ageing well" must be a global priority, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A new series on health and ageing is being published by the medical journal The Lancet on Thursday. It warns that unless health systems find effective strategies for problems faced by an ageing population, chronic diseases will greatly affect the quality [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Over 200 people arrested for recent attacks in eastern DR Congo

Stephane Dujarric. UN PHOTO

More than 200 people have been arrested after being linked to the recent attacks against civilians near Beni town, in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN has confirmed. Last month, dozens of people were killed in attacks suspected to have been carried out by the Uganda-based rebels known [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Over 51 million people displaced by conflict and persecution in 2013

A Malian refugee in the village of Gaoudel, near the town of Ayourou in Niger 
© Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN

The number of people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution rose to more than 51 million at the end of 2013, according to the head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Antonio Guterres briefed the UN General Assembly's Third Committee which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues on Tuesday. "In [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 05 November 2014

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No "significant progress" in fighting impunity in Burundi

A wide view of the Security Council Chamber as the Council gets ready to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.  UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

No "significant progress" has been made in fighting impunity in Burundi as the country prepares for elections in 2015, according to the top UN envoy in the country. In his briefing to the Security Council, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, the head of the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB), added that there has been a significant drop in [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Alleged mass rape in Darfur investigated by UN

A woman living in Kassab Camp for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Kutum, North Darfur, expresses her sorrow over the increase in rapes in the area.   UN Photo/Albert González Farran

An alleged mass rape of 200 women and girls in the Sudanese region of Darfur is being investigated by the UN mission, UNAMID. A UNAMID patrol was sent to Tabit, located 45 kilometers south-west of El Fasher, in North Darfur on Tuesday to investigate the allegations, but was turned away by Sudanese military at a [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Allegations of sexual abuse by AU soldiers investigated in Somalia

The investigation team set up by the African Union to look into allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse against AMISOM personnel.  (UNifeed video capture)

Investigators are in Mogadishu to look into allegations of sexual abuse involving African Union (AU) forces in Somalia. The probe follows the release of a report in September by the non-profit Human Rights Watch focusing on soldiers deployed by the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). A team of four officers will determine whether these accusations [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Afghanistan passes legislation criminalizing recruitment of child soldiers

On 12 May 2014, the United Nations launched a new booklet highlighting the obligations of all parties to armed conflict in the country to respect and promote the rights of children under international law. Photo: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA.

The passing of legislation which criminalizes the recruitment of children into the security forces in Afghanistan, has been praised by the UN Mission in the country, UNAMA. A recently released UN report on children and armed conflict revealed that in 2013, nearly 100 boys, some as young as eight years old, were recruited into the [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

India's growth depends on private sector investments

The use of clean energy alternatives has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by around 0.26 million tons over five years, generating 10 percent less carbon dioxide than before.  Shashank Jayaprasad/UNDP India

Private sector investments in India need to increase if the country is to achieve a better growth rate, according to the new chief economic adviser to the Indian Government. Arvind Subramanian, who assumed his duties mid-October, was at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss how private investment is down in India, partly due to [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Guidelines on refugee and stateless women welcomed by UNHCR

A stateless woman in front of her shelter in southern Lebanon.  UNHCR/J. Saidi

A new set of international guidelines to promote a more-gender sensitive approach to dealing with women refugees, asylum seekers and stateless people has been welcomed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The guidelines, issued by the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), call on governments to take account [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Countries urged to eliminate harmful practices on women and girls

Three young women patients wait to check-in for treatment, under a tent in the compound of the Fistula Unit of Zalingei Hospital in Sudan.  UN Photo/Fred Noy

Governments around the world are being urged by two United Nations human rights committees to prevent and eliminate harmful practices inflicted on women and girls. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child on Wednesday released their Joint General Recommendation on the issue. They identify [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Major UN climate conference focuses on special needs of women

A woman rests by the side of the road after gathering sticks to build a hut to sleep in after her home was flooded. UN Photo/Staton Winter

A three-day conference focusing on strengthening the involvement of women in weather and climate services is opening in Geneva on Wednesday. Senior UN and government officials as well as experts, civil society representatives and women's rights advocates are participating in the conference convened by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). WMO Spokesperson Claire Nullis says the [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Grenada farmers transform their ideas into viable businesses

cherries (IFAD video capture)

Small-scale farmers in Grenada are planting everything from cherries to the so-called miracle herb "moringa" as part of efforts to create new export crops and reinvigorate the island's agricultural sector. A programme developed by IFAD, the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development aims to put their products on the map. Over the next three years, [...]

5 Nov 2014 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

UN chief calls for inclusive civilian-led transition in Burkina Faso

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The UN Secretary-General has called for an inclusive, civilian-led transition leading to full constitutional order in Burkina Faso, his spokesperson said on Tuesday. Ban Ki-moon has been following the situation in the West African country since long-serving President Blaise Campaoré resigned last Friday and fled the country in the face of popular uprisings. The people [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Getting Ebola transmission down to zero "extremely difficult"

Anthony Banbury (left), Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), speaks with a representative Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) during his visit to Guinea.  UN Photo/Ari Gaitanis

Progress has been made in controlling the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, but vigilance is still needed as the West African country continues to deal with the health crisis caused by the disease. That's according to Anthony Banbury, the head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). Approximately 5,000 people have died of Ebola [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 04 November 2014

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World faces dangers in a security landscape that is "shifting dramatically"

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council in Vienna, Austria. Photo: OSCE

The world is facing a number of dangers in a global security landscape that "is shifting dramatically", according to the UN Secretary-General. Addressing the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna on Tuesday, Ban Ki-moon said that many countries have achieved stability and progress. But he said many [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ebola can "absolutely" be defeated: Head of UNMEER

Head of UNMEER visits Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone.  UN Photo/Ari Gaitanis

The Ebola virus disease will "absolutely" be defeated, according to the Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, UNMEER. Anthony Banbury was visiting Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia this week to witness first-hand the challenging dynamics of the Ebola outbreak unfolding in West Africa. Around 5000 people have died since March and more [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

1996 Declaration of World Thanksgiving

UN Photo

The United Nations celebrates the 1996 Declaration of World Thanksgiving, marking the first time every country in the General Assembly unanimously voted in support of a spiritual idea. Language: English Genre: Speech 1996 Duration:  10’00″

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in UN70 RADIO CLASSICS | Read More »

The War on Flu

UN Photo

The story of influenza and the fight against the virus led by the World Health Organization. Language: English Genre: Drama 1954 Duration:  14’00″

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in UN70 RADIO CLASSICS | Read More »

Kenya: refugees urged to respect "law of the land" following clashes

Refugees at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya face a 30 per cent cut in their daily ration because of a funding shortfall. Photo: UNHCR/R.Gangale

Refugees living in a camp in northwestern Kenya are being urged by the UN to respect the "law of the land" following clashes that took the lives of eight people. Tensions remain high in the Kakuma camp after fighting erupted last week between refugees from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. The [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Young people can pioneer new industries that create new jobs: UN chief

Conference logo (UNIDO)

Young people are in a position to pioneer the establishment of new industries that create jobs, but when unemployed, they are vulnerable to extremist ideologies, drugs and crime. That's what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a forum on partnerships to scale up investment for sustainable industrial development held in Vienna, Austria on Tuesday. Representatives [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

10 million people around the world have no place to call "home"

A young Syrian mother crosses the border into Jordan with her month-old son. Syrian children born in exile are particularly vulnerable to statelessness.  UNHCR/S.Rich

At least 10 million people around the world have no nationality, according to a new report by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). They are "stateless" meaning they are allowed no nationality and are often denied rights and services that countries offer their citizens, the agency says. Discrimination based on religion, ethnicity or gender and the [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Call for calm after violence leaves eight dead at Kenya refugee camps

A child carries another on her back at a Nairobi camp for the internally displaced.  © Julius Mwelu/IRIN

Security has been stepped up at refugee camps in Kakuma in north-west Kenya following the death of eight refugees over the past week, from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), says that disturbances began last Tuesday after reports of the attempted rape of a refugee girl, [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN appeal to help displaced people in Iraq to make it through the winter

A boy stands in front of supplies at a World Food Program distribution site in the Mala Omar area of Erbil Governorate, in northern Iraq. Credit: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis

Almost 1.3 million people in Iraq desperately need help to survive the winter, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The organization has appealed for US$ 173.1 million to provide basic needs, such as shelter and warm clothing, for those who have been forced to flee from their homes. [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Biogas "powers" rural communities in Rwanda

Marie-Gorethi converts cow dung into biogas.  (UNifeed video capture)

Biogas, a clean renewable alternative to firewood, is "powering" rural communities in Rwanda. The UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has partnered with the Government to develop this new method. Biogas is a gas produced by the biological breakdown of organic was such as dead plant, animal material and kitchen waste. Jocelyne Sambira has [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Campaign launched to end statelessness within 10 years

A person being inteviewed which is an essential part of the stateless determination process. Photo: UNHCR/D. Telemans

A global campaign aimed at ending the problem of statelessness within ten years is being launched by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Geneva on Tuesday. According to UNHCR, approximately 10 million people in the world are currently stateless, denied a nationality and the rights and services that countries normally offer their citizens. The agency [...]

4 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Performer Conchita Wurst uses talent to promote equality

Conchita Wurst, Austrian singer and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, performs at the United Nations Office in Vienna. 03 November 2014
Vienna, Austria

The Austrian drag singer Conchita Wurst is using her talent to help fight discrimination, according to the UN Secretary-General. On Monday, Ban Ki-moon praised the winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest for promoting human rights education. Both were in the Austrian capital to mark the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Vienna International Centre, an event [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Role-playing in Kosovo to show what "poverty really means"

UNMIK Photo

A role playing exercise to better understand poverty in Kosovo was recently organized by the UN Team in the territory. According to the UN, around 30 per cent of people in Kosovo live below the poverty line, with some 10 per cent living in extreme poverty. To highlight and address the situation, one of the [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Mobile call data records to help in fight against Ebola

Cosmas Zavazava. (ITU video capture)

Data from mobile phone records can be used in the fight against the Ebola disease outbreak in West Africa, according to the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Around five thousand people have died from the virus over the last six months, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Organizations dealing with information and communication technologies [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Pakistani displaced, Afghan hosts need urgent aid before winter

UNAMA Photo

Displaced families from Pakistan and their Afghan hosts are in need of urgent aid as winter sets in, according to the UN Mission in the country (UNAMA). Since June, military operations in Pakistan's North Waziristan region, which borders Afghanistan, have led to large scale displacements. A group of senior officials from the United Nations paid [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Terrorist attack in Pakistan condemned by UN chief

Stéphane Dujarric

A terrorist bomb attack at a border crossing between India and Pakistan has been strongly condemned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. According to reports, a suicide bomber blew himself up on Sunday near the main gate on the Pakistani side of the Wagah border crossing. At the time, a large number of people were returning [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Drag singer praised by UN chief for human rights work

Conchita Wurst, Austrian singer and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, performs at the United Nations Office in Vienna.  03 November 2014
Vienna, Austria.  UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The Austrian winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, Conchita Wurst, has been commended by the UN Secretary-General for promoting respect for diversity. The drag singer, also know as Thomas Neuwirth, performed live in the presence of Ban Ki-moon, the diplomatic community and members of civil society in Vienna on Monday. Speaking at the event, Mr. [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 03 November 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

Science and technology have critical role in sustainable development

Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  Credit: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Countries around the world have been urged to help ensure that the importance of science and technology is explicitly recognized as a central part of the post-2015 Development Agenda. The call was made by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano during the presentation of his report to the UN General [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Despair and tiredness" in Syria, says UN Special Envoy

Staffan de Mistura, United Nations, Special Envoy for Syria.  UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

The people of Syria are tired and desperate after more than three years of civil war, according to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on the situation in Syria. Around 200,000 people have been killed in the conflict which has pitted government forces against rebel groups. In recent months a new terrorist threat has emerged [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Turn landlocked countries into "land-linked" countries

Afghans participate in the Food for Work project sponsored by the World Food Programme (WFP) where participants built or repaired 7,700 km of roads and 6, 800 km of canals, and planted over 80,000 trees.  (file photo - 2007)  Credit: UN Photo/WF

The international community is being urged by the UN Chief  to be "bold and forward-looking" as it forges a new development agenda for landlocked countries. A second UN conference on landlocked developing countries or LDCs opened in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Monday. Landlocked countries are enclosed by land, with no access to oceans [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Greater regional integration urged to help landlocked countries

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a reception for the UN Victims Trust Fund in Vienna, Austria.   UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Governments around the world have been urged to work towards greater regional integration to improve links between landlocked and coastal countries. The appeal was made by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the second UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LDCs) which opened in Vienna, Austria on Monday. He said over the past 11 years [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

No reduction of engagement after change in UN mission's mandate in South Sudan

Ellen Margrethe Løj, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The shift in the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) does not mean a reduction in the depth of engagement or level of commitment of the Mission. That's what the head of UNMISS, Ellen Margrethe Løj, said at the closing of a meeting of the governors of South Sudan's ten regional [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

ICT organizations unite in fight against Ebola

In Unification Town, Liberia young men take on the grim job of burying the dead lost to the Ebola virus currently devastating West Africa. (Sep 2014) 
© Kieran Kesner/IRIN

Three major organizations dealing with information and communication technologies are joining forces to fight against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa following an announcement made at a telecoms meeting taking place in Busan, South Korea. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will join forces with the Internet Society (ISOC), as well as with the GSMA, an [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Mercury chemical threatening health and the environment

The use of mercury to extract gold poses health risks to artisanal miners. Photo: IRIN/Kenneth Odiwuor

The world cannot wait any longer to control mercury, according to a UN Special Rapporteur. Baskut Tuncak, who reports on human rights and toxics, is urging governments to quickly ratify a treaty called the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The Convention aims to protect human health and the environment from the effects of the toxic element. [...]

3 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Science has spoken again on climate change: UN chief

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at launch of IPCC report in Copenhagen, 2 November 2014. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Science has spoken yet again on climate change and time is not on the world's side, according to the UN Secretary-General. On Sunday, Ban Ki-moon was speaking in Copenhagen to launch the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Compiled by hundreds of scientists from around the world, Mr Ban said the [...]

2 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Governments urged to end impunity for crimes against journalists

UNESCO Photo

Countries around the world are being urged by the UN to do more to prevent attacks against journalists and other media workers. In 2012 alone, globally, an estimated 123 media workers were killed while carrying out their jobs. In 2013, the figure decreased slightly to 91, but still represented the second deadliest year for journalists. [...]

2 Nov 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

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