Home » 31 Dec 2014 Entries posted on “December 2014”

UN Daily News 31 December 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

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WOMEN: Battered women in Spain need better protection against their abusers

UN Headquarters was lit in orange during Orange YOUR Neighbourhood anti-violence campaign for the International Day to End Violence against Women. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Women in Spain still have problems getting protective orders against their abusive partners because the police tend to regard them as "manipulative". That's according to Frances Raday, a human rights expert. As Chair Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice at the Human Rights Council, she recently visited [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Jordan vows to continue supporting Palestinians to end occupation

A wide view of the Security Council meeting. Photo/Loey Felipe

Palestinians will continue their struggle to end Israeli occupation of their territory. That's what the representative of Palestine told reporters following the rejection by the Security Council or a resolution that set the deadline of 2017 for ending the occupation. Late on Tuesday, the 15-member Council voted on a resolution that was submitted by Jordan. [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Social stability in South Sudan jeopardized by cattle displacement

Cattle rest at a temporary camp near Rumbek.. FAO/Jose Cendon

Social stability is being jeopardized in South Sudan by the displacement of millions of cattle due to the ongoing political conflict, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The UN agency said that increased movement of livestock along unusual migratory routes in order to avoid violence has created tensions between farming communities. In [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

South Sudan independence vote "wise decision", says journalist

Member of media in South Sudan. UN Photo/Isaac Gideon

Voting for the independence of South Sudan remains a wise decision regardless of the turmoil that has followed, the head of a private media company in the country has said. The African nation has suffered a year of internal conflict as government forces continue to battle rebels loyal to a deposed former Vice-President, forcing close [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Investigation requested into coup attempt in The Gambia

Street scene in downtown Banjul, The Gambia. Photo: IRIN/Nicholas Reader (file)

A transparent investigation into an attempted coup d'état in The Gambia has been requested by the United Nations Secretary-General. In a statement on Wednesday, Ban Ki-moon said he was closely following developments in the West African country. Media reports indicated that heavy gunfire had been heard near the presidential palace in the capital Banjul on [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Food assistance from Turkey arrives in Gaza

Al Rameh School, Jaramana collective shelter. © Taghrid Mohammad/UNRWA

The last of nine shipments of wheat flour donated by Turkey to Gaza in 2014 has arrived in the coastal strip, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. The full donation of 15,000 metric tonnes is worth over US$ 6 million and will feed more than 140,000 families. UNRWA describes the present economic [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

“Urgent” Geneva HQ renovation vote welcomed by UN

View of the United Nations Office at Geneva.  UN Photo/P Klee

Renovations to the UN's European headquarters in Geneva estimated at $850 million have moved a step closer after member states agreed to allocate $28 million to planning the work. The General Assembly vote follows a warning from Olivier Zehnder, the Swiss deputy permanent representative at the UN, that the work was "urgent". The pre-works budget [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

International tourism on track to end 2014 with record numbers

Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. UN Photo/Pernaca Sudhakaran

International tourism is set to hit a new record at the end of 2014 with over 1.1 billion international tourists travelling the world in one single year, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The World Tourism Barometer shows that during the first ten months of 2014, the number of international travellers grew by 5 [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN CALLING ASIA: Banda Acheh undergoes "remarkable transformation" 10 years after tsunami

A bird's eye view of Banda Aceh as taken from the minaret of the city's Grand Mosque. 10 years after the devastating tsunami, the city has risen from the ruins. Photo: Dru Maasepp.

Indonesia's largest city and province has undergone a "remarkable transformation" ten years after it was hit by a tsunami, according to a spokesperson for the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The tsunami that struck in the Indian Ocean region on 26 December 2004 was a major natural disaster that prompted an unprecedented international relief effort. The [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

UN Office in Burundi officially closing on last day of 2014

Flag lowering ceremony. UNDP/Aude Rossignil

A UN mission in Burundi which was set up to promote dialogue, fight impunity and protect human rights is officially closing on Wednesday. The UN Office in Burundi, BNUB, was established in January 2011, following a Security Council resolution which called for strengthening the independence and capacities of key national institutions. Burundi continues to recover [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Weapons seized from South Sudan displaced camps are destroyed

Military and police components of UNMISS conduct a search for weapons. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine.

Military and police components with the UN in South Sudan (UNMISS) have destroyed weapons confiscated from displaced persons living in camps. Machetes and bayonets are among some of the weapons seized in Jonglei State. According to latest UN figures, there are 1.4 million displaced within the country, and another half a million taking refuge in [...]

31 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Security Council rejects resolution to end Israeli occupation in Palestine

Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

A draft resolution on ending the Israeli occupation of the occupied Palestinian Territory by the end of 2017 has been rejected by the UN Security Council. The 15-member body was divided on Tuesday, with eight votes in favour, two against from the United States and Australia, and five abstentions. A two-thirds majority, or nine votes, [...]

30 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Food shortages put Liberia's children at risk for malnutrition

Josephine, Liberian mother speaks to a community health worker (photo credit: Liberia)

The Ebola epidemic in Liberia has put children at high risk of malnutrition because of food shortages and diminished household incomes, says the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. An estimated 170,000 people in the West African nation are severely food insecure; by March 2015, the number could reach 300,000. Guinea and Sierra Leone, the other two [...]

30 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Terrorist attack in Libya's Tobruk is "despicable act"

Two parliamentarians from opposing political camps greet each other in Ghadames, Libya, on 29 September 2014. Photo: UNSMIL (file)

A terrorist attack targeting a hotel in the Libyan town of Tobruk has been described as a "despicable act" by the United Nations Support Mission in the country, UNSMIL. The House of Representatives of Libya, the North African nation's elected parliament, was at the time in session inside the hotel, located near the Egyptian border. [...]

30 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 30 December 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

30 Dec 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

Full food rations to be reinstated for refugees in Kenya

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

Full food rations for nearly 500,000 people in two refugee camps in Kenya will be resumed in January, thanks to a donation of US$45 million. That announcement was made on Tuesday by the World Food Programme (WFP) which distributes food twice a month to the refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in northern Kenya. [...]

30 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

District by district strategy needed to fight Ebola in Liberia

Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury (left) meeting with the President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (to his left) in the capital Monrovia. Photo: UNMEER/Ari Gaitanis

A district by district strategy is needed to fight Ebola in Liberia, according to the head of the UN Mission for Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER). Anthony Banbury spoke after meeting with Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and visiting an area which has suffered from the outbreak. Ebola has killed approximately 6,900 people in West Africa, mainly [...]

30 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Full rations of food aid delivered in Kenya thanks to donors

Turkana Central, Kenya. Copyright: Andrew Macua and Geoffery Arasa/WFP

The provision of full food rations will resume for refugees in Kenya next month the World Food Programme (WFP) has said. The UN food agency distributes food twice a month to around half a million refugees in both the Dadaab and Kakuma camps in northern Kenya. In mid-November, insufficient funding forced WFP to reduce the [...]

30 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Recycling course for displaced students in Syria

A chandelier made of recycled magazine by the participants of the Engaging Youth project recycling course held at the Damascus Training Centre. © UNRWA/ Taghrid Mohammad

Students displaced by the four-year armed conflict in Syria are benefiting from a recycling course given by the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). Twelve students took the first two-month course at UNRWA's Damascus Training Centre, which focuses on the handicraft industry and recycling. The agency says the course enables students to turn their experiences [...]

30 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Latest Bahrain arrest sparks new UN human rights warning

Elimination of death penalty in Suriname and Côte d'Ivoire welcomed by UN. Photo: UN/Staton Winter

The arrest of the leader of Bahrain's main opposition movement has prompted fresh concern about the country's human rights policies. According to the UN human rights office, Bahraini authorities are believed to have arrested Sheikh Ali Salman on Sunday. He'd been called in for police questioning just two days after being re-elected to head the [...]

30 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

New programmes in 2015 to support Central African elections

A view of internally displaced women and a child at the main mosque in Bangui. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

New initiatives are expected to be rolled out in 2015 by the UN to support elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) as the country continues to recover from civil unrest. A constitutional referendum as well as presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled in CAR for later in the year. In December 2013, the capital [...]

30 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Draft resolution on Palestinian statehood ready for vote

Dina Kawar. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

A final version of a proposal calling for a peace deal between Palestine and Israel is being sent for a vote to the 15-member UN Security Council. Originally submitted by Jordan in mid-December, the draft resolution also calls for an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories by 2017. On Monday, the Group of Arab [...]

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

Overuse of antibiotics results in drug-resistant strains of bacteria

Antibiotics. WHO/S. Volkov

The more people know about the harmful effects of overusing antibiotics, the less they might use them for treating a common cold, a medical researcher says. Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria change or mutate so that antibiotics no longer work in people who need them to treat infections, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). [...]

29 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 29 December 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

29 Dec 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

Escalation of violence in Libya could lead to "all-out war"

A destroyed house in Ahy Badr in the town of Mizdah in the Nafusa mountains in Libya after tribal conflict in March 2013. Photo: IRIN/Jorge Vitoria Rubio

Chaos and an "all-out war" could take over Libya if the cycle of violence does not end, according to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, UNSMIL. The Mission was reacting to a series of airstrikes which took place Sunday on targets in the city of Misrata. Violence between rival armed groups has rattled the [...]

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

Sierra Leone focuses on safe disposal of Ebola waste

Autoclave installation and testing.  (UNifeed video capture)

A new environmentally-friendly sterilizing machine is helping Sierra Leone to safely dispose of contaminated equipment and infectious waste generated in treating Ebola patients. The deadly disease has killed about, 6,900 people in West Africa, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Known as an autoclave, the machine was designed under a project by the UN [...]

29 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Tourism as driver of improved livelihoods in Haiti

A man climbs up the steps of Sans-Souci Palace, a 200-year-old royal residence built by King Henri-Christophe of Haiti, near Cap-Haïtien. UN Photo/Victoria Hazou

Tourism can be as a driver of improved livelihoods in Haiti, according to the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Haiti will host the next regional meeting of the UNWTO, which Taleb Rifai says reflects the Caribbean island's preparedness to seize the growing tourism momentum in the region. The UN tourism agency notes that [...]

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

Re-opening of Nile River corridor critical for delivery of food aid

WFP barge. © WFP/George Fominyen

The re-opening of the Nile River to aid convoys has made an enormous difference in efforts to deliver food to conflict-affected states in South Sudan. That's according to the World Food Programme or WFP. River transport of humanitarian goods across the border between Sudan and South Sudan largely stopped after the border's closure following South [...]

29 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Food assistance for South Sudan now delivered by barge

Copyright: WFP/South Sudan

Food assistance transported on the Nile River from Sudan has reached South Sudan for the first time in three years, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). On Monday, a WFP barge offloaded some 450 metric tons of food in Renk and Wadakona towns in South Sudan's Upper Nile state. This will provide food for [...]

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

Call for release of three female human rights activists in Bahrain

25-08-2011humanrights

Bahrain has been urged by UN human rights experts to drop charges against three female activists. The independent experts said the women have been detained or sentenced purely for their criticism of the Bahraini authorities. They added that the women were exercising their right to free expression and association. Two of the activists are daughters [...]

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

"Tough year" for humanitarian crises expected in 2015

iraq-crisis

2015 is expected to be what's been described as a "tough year" for the international community as it struggles to deal with an increasing number of humanitarian crises. That's according to the UN humanitarian office (OCHA) director of operations, John Ging. At the end of this year, over 75 million people are in need of [...]

29 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Humanitarian workers doing "heroic job"

John Ging in Central Africa Republic. OCHA/Laura Fultang.

Humanitarian workers have been praised by a senior UN official for doing an "heroic job" in often dangerous situations and in the face of human suffering. Eighty-five workers have died around the world in the line of duty in 2014, in places like Afghanistan, Syria and South Sudan. The UN humanitarian office (OCHA) director of [...]

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

UN Daily News 26 December 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

26 Dec 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

Deadly attack on peacekeeping base in Somalia condemned by UN

AMISOM troops. UN Photo/Ilyas A Abukar

A deadly attack on an African Union peacekeeping base in Somalia has been condemned by the UN's senior representative in the country. Three peacekeepers from the AU mission known as AMISOM and two civilian contractors were killed after insurgents from the Al-Shabaab terrorist group entered the base on Thursday. Aleem Siddique is the Spokesperson for [...]

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

UN in Somalia to review security procedures after Al-Shabaab attack

Photo: AU-UN/Stuart Price

Security procedures for the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) will be revised after a deadly attack by Al-Shabaab gunmen, according to its Spokesperson. The militants infiltrated the Halane base camp in Mogadishu on Thursday killing three African Union soldiers and two civilian contractors. UNSOM also uses the base as its headquarters. UNSOM Spokesperson Aleem Siddique [...]

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

"Remarkable transformation" in Aceh 10 years after tsunami

A bird's eye view of Banda Aceh as taken from the minaret of the city's Grand Mosque. 10 years after the devastating tsunami, the city has risen from the ruins. Photo: Dru Maasepp.

An Indonesian city and province has undergone a "remarkable transformation" ten years after it was hit by a tsunami, according to a spokesperson for the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The tsunami that struck Indonesia and other countries in the Indian Ocean region on 26 December 2004 was a major natural disaster that prompted an unprecedented [...]

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

Expulsion of UN staff from Sudan condemned

Internally displaced people shelter under a tree in South Darfur. UNICEF

The decision by the authorities in Sudan to expel two senior United Nations officials from the country has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. The reason for the expulsions was not immediately clear, although it follows the demand by the Sudanese government for the withdrawal of peacekeepers from UNAMID the UN's mission with [...]

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

"Massive" literacy campaign needed in South Sudan

A young girl waits outside her home after carrying heavy jars of water at Mina transit site in South Sudan's Upper Nile State.  UN Photo/Martine Perre

A "massive" literacy campaign is needed in South Sudan if the country is to develop according to an international NGO working with the UN. It's thought that 80 per cent of the population cannot read and write. And an estimated 400,000 children have dropped out of school as a result of the one-year-old conflict in [...]

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

Young people in Kosovo learn their human rights

UNMIK/Sophie Guesné

Young people in Kosovo are learning about their human rights and what they can do if those rights are violated. The "Know Your Rights" campaign, which has been launched by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), has targeted young people in schools and online. This report by Brenden Varma begins in a workshop held for students. [...]

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

Ten years after Asia tsunami, Aceh "builds back better"

An aerial view of the vast destruction of the Indonesian coast, between the towns of Banda Aceh and Meulaboh, caused by the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Ten years after a tsunami which claimed around 200,000 lives across Asia, one of the worst affected regions has in the words of the UN "built back better." Aceh in I ndonesia, bore the brunt of the massive tidal wave that swept across Asian waters as far as East Africa on 26 December 2004. It [...]

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

UN Daily News 25 December 2014

News and features from United Nations Radio.

25 Dec 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

Call made for humane treatment of captured Jordanian pilot in Syria

Stephane Dujarric. UNPHOTO/Jean-Marc Ferré

Captors of the pilot of a Jordanian warplane that crashed in northern Syria have been urged to treat him in accordance with international humanitarian law. The call was made by the UN Secretary-General on Wednesday, as Islamic State (IS) militants claimed that they had shot down the plane with a heat-seeking missile near the city [...]

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

Another UN staff in Liberia tests positive for Ebola

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

Liberians have been urged to take extra care to prevent contracting Ebola as they gather with friends and relatives over the holidays. The call was made by the head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) on Wednesday following confirmation that one of its staff members tested positive for the deadly disease. It's the fourth [...]

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

Art and crafts exhibition opens at UN in Lebanon for Christmas

Austrian Peacekeeper checking sweets made by Mosan Center during a Christmas celebration organized in UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura South Lebanon. UNIFIL@PHOTO

People are doing their Christmas shopping at an art exhibit hosted by UN peacekeepers in Lebanon. The arts, crafts and homemade bread were made by children with special needs and displayed at the Mosan Centre which organizes capacity building and training activities. It has been an annual tradition for the Austrian battalion of UN Interim [...]

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

UN Daily News 24 December 2014

News and features from United Nations Radio.

24 Dec 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

South Sudan needs "massive" literacy campaign

Children at old Kapuri school in South Sudan. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

South Sudan won't go very far in the future because 80 per cent of people cannot read and write, a senior United Nations official has warned. Toby Lanzer, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan spoke as the year drew to a close and the conflict continued in the newest African nation. The fighting broke [...]

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

UN designates 2015 International Year of Light

logo-light

Light based technologies have the potential to transform the 21st Century as electronics did in the 20th Century according to the UN cultural agency (UNESCO). 2015 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL). The Year will kick off with opening ceremonies to be held at [...]

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

Posts expect to deliver over 7 million letters to Santa

Santa's postbox in Ireland. UPU@PHOTO

Posts around the world are expecting to receive more than 7 million letters to Santa this year, according to the United Nations postal agency, UPU. Canada, where Santa's postal helpers replied to more than 1.4 million letters in 2013, is expecting the number to increase. Meanwhile, La Poste France says it received a record 1,220,000 [...]

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

Peace on Earth

Charles Boyer addressing audience at the Civic Center, 30 April, at rally sponsored by the Free World Association and Americans United.
30 April 1945.  UN Photo/Eastman

Actor Charles Boyer discusses the cruelties of war, highlighting the urgency for peace in troubled areas such as Korea, India, Iraq, Germany and Syria, and giving a voice to soldiers and civil society. Language: English Genre: Report 1953 Duration:  30’00″

24 Dec 2014 | Posted in UN70 RADIO CLASSICS | Read More »

Belarus abuses continue unabated, says human rights expert

Human Rights Council.UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Persecution of human rights defenders continues unabated in Belarus with no sign of improvement, a UN expert said Wednesday. In a damning report, human rights investigator Miklos Haraszti said that civil rights defenders and journalists have been harassed all year. This was despite "welcome efforts" from the government to ease tensions in the country and [...]

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

Good policies can help bridge income gap

A poor man asks passersby for money on a snowy day in Afghanistan. UN Photo/Basir Seerat

Tackling income inequality should be a priority for countries across the globe, says a professor of economics and public policy. The gap between rich and poor is at its highest level in 30 years, according to the Organization for Economic Development (OECD). Justin Wolfer, a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics believes [...]

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

WOMEN: Women on Security Council have responsibility to open door for others

Security Council Chamber.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

As we move into 2015, UN Radio looks back at the stories on women issues that have dominated the UN headlines in 2014. Women ambassadors are filling over a third of the UN Security Council's 15 seats, making history and sending out a strong message about women's empowerment. The Council has dominated by men selected [...]

24 Dec 2014 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Women stereotyped and under-represented in global film industry

Nanette Braun.  UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The global film industry perpetuates discrimination against women, a UN-backed study on female characters in popular movies has found. Girls and women are over twice as likely as boys and men to be shown in sexually revealing clothes, partially or fully naked. Twenty years ago, 189 governments adopted an international roadmap for gender equality called [...]

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

UN CALLING ASIA: Afghanistan facing "intense moment"

Nicholas Haysom. Photo: Fardin Waezi/UNAMA

This week, UN Radio is taking a look back on stories featured in 2014.  We begin in Afghanistan, a country facing an "intense moment" as it transitions towards being politically stable and more prosperous. That's according to a senior United Nations representative in Afghanistan. A national unity government was formed in September, after the country [...]

24 Dec 2014 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Nuclear science can help contain soil erosion, land degradation

Soil degradation (Photo: R. Quevenco/IAEA)

The latest techniques in nuclear science can help protect soil from degradation, according to the UN nuclear agency. Soil erosion is the main contributor to land degradation, leading to annual loss of 75 billion tons of fertile soil. An interregional training course was recently held at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to assess soil [...]

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

Presidential elections in Tunisia "critical" in country's transition

Voting in Tunisia Constituent Assembly Elections in October 2011. Photo: UNDP/Noeman Al-Sayyad

A critical step has been made in Tunisia's transition following Sunday's presidential run-off elections, according to the UN Secretary-General The first round of the elections was held on 23 November but no candidate won a majority. Veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi won the second round of the presidential elections. They are the first democratic elections [...]

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

Global response urged to prevent spread of banana disease

A banana plant affected by Fusarium wilt disease among a field of healthy plants in the Philippines. FAO@PHOTO

A new strain of fungus that destroys the world's most popular banana variety is posing a serious threat to economic welfare and food security in developing countries. This warning has come from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which is calling for global effort to prevent the spread of the deadly Fusarium wilt disease [...]

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

UN Daily News 23 December 2014

News and features from United Nations Radio.

23 Dec 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

Muslims trapped in a town in Central African Republic need help

A group of internally displaced people at Yakole in Central African Republic. © UNHCR/M.Dore

Urgent humanitarian assistance is needed for a group of Muslims who are trapped in a town northwest of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The agency says that 474 Muslims from the Peul ethnic minority also need to be relocated to safer places either inside [...]

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

Possible war crimes being committed in Libya

Displaced people in eastern Libya outside the town of Ajdabiya

Grave abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, some of which may amount to war crimes, are occurring in Libya. That's what Ravina Shamdasani, the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told UN Radio on Tuesday. A new report by the UN human rights office says that fighting between the various [...]

23 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Governments urged to ratify UN Arms Trade Treaty

A United Nations peacekeeper from the Indian battalion of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) examines AK-47 magazines stored in a warehouse in Beni, where all weapons and ammunition are stored after they have been collected in the demobilization process in Matembo, North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Credit:UN Photo/Martine Perret

Governments around the world have been urged to ratify the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that enters into force on 24 December. The appeal has come from a group of UN independent human rights experts who are also calling for an end to the trade in weapons. So far, only 60 countries have ratified [...]

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

Massive human rights abuses reported in Libya

The city of Benghazi, Libya, in the early morning sunlight. Photo: UNSMIL/Iason Athanasiadis

Massive human rights violations and abuses are taking place in Libya as fighting between armed groups continues in the country, according to a report released on Tuesday. The joint report of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office says hundreds of people have died, thousands of others have fled [...]

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

Destruction to Syria’s cultural riches revealed

Aerial view of Syria's damaged cultural heritage sites.  Credit/UNITAR

As fighting continues in Syria it's become increasingly difficult to make an objective assessment of the destruction to its rich cultural heritage. But now, using satellite imagery, UN training and research agency (UNITAR) has shown the extent of the damage in clear detail. Encompassing ancient souks, mosques and temples from Bosra in the south to [...]

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

North Korea placed "on notice" for human rights atrocities

Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) has been placed "on notice" following a debate on the atrocities committed by its leadership, a senior UN official has said. The UN Security Council agreed for the first time to discuss the country's situation outside of the nuclear non-proliferation issue. A report released by a UN Commission of [...]

23 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

A fruitful partnership in Armenia

pomegranate company in Armenia.  IFAD video capture

Can financial equity funds be employed to find a solution to poverty? The approach seems to be working in remote Armenia in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Targeted business investments in food companies are bolstering employment, increasing the incomes of farmers and transforming rural areas. The inflow of money is coming from a unique [...]

23 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Security Council urged to act on alleged international crimes in North Korea

Ivan Šimonović. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The Security Council has been urged to take action to ensure that individuals and institutions in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) account for alleged international crimes they have committed. That's what the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, said as the Council met for the first time to discuss DPRK outside [...]

22 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

May elections are a challenge for Burundi as UN closes mission

Flag lowering ceremony. UNDP/Aude Rossignil

Burundi's biggest challenge will be holding peaceful elections, a UN Spokesperson has said as the United Nations Office in Burundi winds down. Vladimir Monteiro who is with the UN Office in formally war-torn Burundi says the mission has helped put the country in a far better position than it has been for years as it [...]

22 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Fundraising campaign launched to feed people in Ebola-hit countries

wfpfood

A fundraising campaign to meet food needs of families affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was launched by the World Food Programme (WFP) and two partners on Monday. Ebola has killed about 6,900 people and disrupted agriculture in the worst affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone where 500,000 people are already [...]

22 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Combating "contagion of fear" in response to Ebola, urged by UN chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) stands with Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone, seen here showing their hospital discharge certificates. Photo: UNMEER/Martine Perret

It is crucial to combat what has been described as "the contagion of fear" in response to the deadly Ebola virus disease in West Africa. That's what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday following his visit to the region where Ebola has killed around 6,900 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Mr. Ban [...]

22 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

UN actively "hunting the Ebola virus" in affected areas

Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, addresses the press following his recentntrip to West Africa

Efforts are now being focused on "hunting the Ebola virus", the UN Secretary-General announced on Monday. Mr Ban Ki-moon has just returned from the West African region where he visited Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Mali. The aim of his trip was to ensure the UN response is "swift, effective and comprehensive." Jocelyne Sambira has [...]

22 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 22 December 2014

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Maldives urged to re-consider removal of two Supreme Court judges

Gabriela Knaul 26th Session of the Human Rights Counci

Authorities in the Maldives have been urged to reconsider their decision to remove two judges of the country's Supreme Court. The call has come from Gabriela Knaul, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers following the removal of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Judge Muthasim Adnan. The removal [...]

22 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Pakistan and Jordan urged not to resume executions

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Pakistan and Jordan have been urged by the UN human rights chief to re-impose a moratorium on the death penalty. Jordan imposed the moratorium in 2006 and Pakistan did the same thing in 2008. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Monday expressed deep regret at the recent lifting of the [...]

22 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

South and Southeast Asia better prepared for disasters: FAO

A fishing trawler damaged by the tsunami under repairs at the Kudewella boat repair center with assistance from FAO, Kudewella, Sri Lanka.

Countries in South and Southeast Asia are better prepared for disasters but there is still room for improvement. That's the assessment of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on the eve of the Indian Ocean Tsunami which struck the region on 26 December ten years ago. The tsunami claimed the lives of more than [...]

22 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Vanuatu: connecting the "unconnected" key to future

Fred Samuel, Chief Information Officer for the Office of the Prime Minister for the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.  (ITU video capture)

Developing internet connectivity for the so-called "unconnected" can help impact economic and social development, particularly in the least developed countries. That's according to Fred Samuel, Chief Information Officer for the Office of the Prime Minister for the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. He was speaking at a high-level debate on the future of the [...]

22 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

South Sudanese leaders need to put nation first

Refugees at Yida refugee camp in South Sudan's Unity State queue for hours for food and soap. As the camp swells and disease takes a toll, aid agencies are working to raise awareness about proper hygiene 
© Hannah McNeish/IRIN

Political leaders in South Sudan should make the needs of the nation a priority rather than putting their personal ambition first, according to a commentator on the African country. South Sudan has suffered a year of internal conflict as government forces continue to battle rebels loyal to a deposed former Vice-President. Close to two million [...]

22 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Ebola disease remains "serious risk" for all Guineans

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Conakry. (UNifeed video capture)

The Ebola virus disease remains a serious risk for all citizens of Guinea, and it will take everyone in the country to end the epidemic, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was on Saturday in Guinea, as he continued his trip to the countries of West Africa worst hit by Ebola, where 6,900 deaths [...]

20 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Humanitarian priorities for 2015 to be set by aid workers battling crises

(left to right) Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and Lisa Doughten, Chief of the CERF secretariat at 2014 High-level Conference on the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
Credit: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The humanitarian priorities for 2015 will be set by relief workers battling crises and disasters on the ground, a senior UN official has said. Over US$400 million has been pledged by donors to a UN fund in support of urgent aid needs for next year. The Central Emergency Fund or CERF is a humanitarian fund [...]

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

UN Daily News 19 December 2014

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Number of Ebola cases in West Africa still "too high", says UN chief

A lab technician is getting ready to enter the Isolation ward of the government run hopital of Kabala, Sierra Leone to take blood sample from a suspected ebola case.  Photo by UNMEER/ Martine Perret.

Despite the progress that has been made in containing the spread of Ebola in Liberia, now is not the time to ease the efforts against the deadly disease. That's the message delivered by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as he made a stop in Liberia on Friday as part of his mission to the West African [...]

19 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Battered women in Spain need better protection

UN Headquarters was lit in orange during Orange YOUR Neighbourhood anti-violence campaign for the International Day to End Violence against Women.  Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Women in Spain still have problems getting protective orders against their abusive partners because the police tend to regard them as "manipulative". That's according to Frances Raday, Professor Law and human rights expert at the end of her first official visit to the European state on Friday. As Chair Rapporteur of the UN Working Group [...]

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

"Transnational crime is fuelling terrorism," says UN political affairs chief

Peace doves fly on the grounds of the historic Hazrat-i-Ali mosque, in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.  Credit: UN Photo/Helena Mulkerns

Terrorism and cross-border crime cannot be addressed as separate issues, according to the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. Jeffrey Feltman was on Friday briefing the Security Council during a debate on threats to international peace and security. Transnational crime, he said, is fuelling terrorism with money, arms and support to move across borders and destabilise [...]

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

Dry season marks start of race to stock up food reserves for South Sudan

Refugees from Sudan's war-torn Blue Nile State at a site called Kilometre 18 in South Sudan's Upper Nile State are living under makeshift tents.  © Hannah McNeish/IRIN

The race is on to get food into South Sudan now that the dry season has started to avoid a "hunger catastrophe", according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Announcing the development Friday the UN agency said 2.5 million people there will start the New Year not knowing where their next meal is coming from. [...]

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

Reports of machete and axe attacks in DRC

A hungry, exhausted boy waiting in line to receive food rations just outside the IDP site in Kibati.  UNHCR/P.Taggart

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said it is greatly concerned by the ongoing killings and human rights violations against civilians in the Beni area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's North Kivu Province. Hundreds of people, including children, have been killed in machete and axe attacks since October, according to UNHCR. The violence [...]

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

Azerbaijan promises broadband internet access to all citizens

Prof. Dr. Ali Abbasov, Minister, Communications & High Technologies, Azerbaijan

People across Azerbaijan, even those living in remote rural areas, are to have access to high-speed by 2017, according to a senior government official. It's hoped expand the delivery of electronic public services or e-services that would for example allow access to public records or apps to help people manage their healthcare. Dr Ali Abbasov, [...]

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

Ukraine conflict leaves 600,000 in urgent need, says UNICEF

Children have been swept up in the violence in Ukraine.  UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

Six-hundred thousand people in Ukraine urgently need help because of the ongoing crisis according to UNICEF which says it needs another 32.4 million dollars to scale up its aid effort there. Announcing the development on Friday UNICEF's Kristen Elsby said that children were "paying the highest price" for the conflict. "We are very concerned that [...]

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

Ban Ki-moon in Liberia, recommitting UN's support to fight Ebola

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's meeting with President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Monrovia, Liberia. Credit: UN/Evan Schneider 
Caption Description: 
Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Liberia has the full support of the United Nations to fight the Ebola virus disease and to build a stronger society, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was on Friday in Liberia, where he met with the country's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Around 6900 people have died in West Africa from Ebola, and nearly [...]

19 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

WOMEN: Women stereotyped and under-represented in global film industry

Nanette Braun.  UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The global film industry perpetuates discrimination against women, a UN-backed study on female characters in popular movies has found. Girls and women are over twice as likely as boys and men to be shown in sexually revealing clothes, partially or fully naked. Twenty years ago, 189 governments adopted an international roadmap for gender equality called [...]

19 Dec 2014 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Accord hailed as "ground-breaking first step" in US-Cuba relations

Prison.  UN Photo/Martine Perret

An accord reached between the US and Cuba has been hailed as a "ground-breaking first step" in normalizing relations between the two countries. The Inter-Parliamentary Union or IPU, a UN partner organization, released the statement on Thursday calling the move a "major breakthrough". The two neighbours have decided to release prisoners and ease travel, commercial [...]

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

Daily News 18 December 2014

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"Different approach" needed to support Syrians

Syrian children.  Credit: UNOCHA

A different approach must be taken to support the people of Syria, one that includes ways of sustaining livelihoods and supporting a path back to long-term development, according to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator. Valerie Amos was on Thursday speaking in Berlin, Germany at the launch of new humanitarian and development appeals for Syria. UN [...]

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

No better way forward for Afghanistan than unity government

Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in that country and its implications for international peace and security.
Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

There is no better way forward for Afghanistan than a national unity government, according to the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Nicholas Haysom on Thursday briefed the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan which is working to restore stability after years of coups, foreign military occupation and civil wars. The country [...]

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

Grassroots movement "to stop the bloodshed" in Libya

Security Council Chamber.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

Many Libyan citizens have decided to join what they are calling "a grass roots initiative of the silent majority", who want to see what they call "a Libya for all Libyans". The message was announced at UN Headquarters in New York by Hassan Sassi, a Libyan civil engineer living in the US who said the [...]

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

"Significant progress" made in Afghanistan

Nicholas Haysom , UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for AfghanistanPhoto: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA

Significant progress has been made in Afghanistan since the country embarked on a peaceful political transition according to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the country. Last September, the two candidates to the Afghan presidency signed an agreement to form a National Unity Government, where Ashraf Ghani would be President, and Abdullah Abdullah, Chief [...]

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

UN CALLING ASIA: Pakistan receives UN support following "most barbaric attack"

Timo Pakkala. UNDP@PHOTO

The authorities in Pakistan are to get the full support of the United Nations following what has been described as a "most barbaric attack" on a military school in Peshawar. More than 140 people, including 132 children, were killed by the extremist Taliban group on Tuesday.Timo Pakkala, is the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations [...]

18 Dec 2014 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Disaster-related deaths in Asia-Pacific rise three-fold in past decade

Typhoon Haiyan left an estimated 1.1 million cubic metres of debris in Tacloban City alone. Credit: OCHA/Jose Reyna

Disaster-induced deaths in the Asia-Pacific region rose more than three-fold in the past decade, largely due to extreme disasters, according to an annual statistics publication. Released by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the report also shows that the region has the highest number of natural disasters in the [...]

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

Young working migrants resented in industrialized countries

Young migrants. Photo: IOM

Migrants provide the much needed labour and skills for the economies of industrialized countries, yet they are resented by host communities, according to an expert on migration. On the International Day of Migrants, observed on 18 December, the Global Migration Group, which is made up of UN agencies, the World Bank and the International Organization [...]

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

Migrant deaths increase globally in 2014

Syrian refugees are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: UNHCR/A. D'Amato

The number of migrants who have died while trying to reach other countries has reached record numbers in 2014 according to the UN partner organization, the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Around 5,000 migrants lost their lives this year at sea, in remote deserts or travelling across mountains. The highest death toll was in the [...]

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

Action needed to save migrants from exploitative smugglers

A boat carrying asylum seekers and migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: UNHCR/L.Boldrini

A record 5,000 migrants lost their lives in 2014 as they attempted to reach other countries according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The majority, died crossing the Mediterranean Sea after paying smugglers to transport them on unseaworthy boats. On International Migrants Day marked on 18 December, the IOM is calling for urgent action [...]

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

Funding urged to counter “biggest threat” to Syrian children

A boy drinks the remaining water in his jerrycan while waiting with other children in a queue for safe water in the town of Douma in the East Ghouta area of Rural Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNICEF/Bassam Khabieh

The ongoing crisis in Syria is currently the biggest threat that children are facing anywhere in the world, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). Two UN-backed plans to assist those struggling in the civil-war torn country are being launched in Berlin, Germany on Thursday. The Syria Strategic Response Plan covers the humanitarian needs inside [...]

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

Normalization of US-Cuba relations "heartily" welcomed by UN Chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses journalists at his end-of-year press conference.(video capture)

The normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba has been "heartily" welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama announced the two countries would resume relations, which would include the opening of an American embassy in Havana for the first time in more than 50 years. UN chief Ban [...]

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

UN Daily News 17 December 2014

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Pledges are made to UN emergency relief fund

Dahuk, Iraq  © OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis

The crises in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and the Central African Republic dominated humanitarian relief efforts this year, a meeting of the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) was told on Wednesday. CERF was established by the UN General Assembly in 2006 for more timely and reliable aid to people affected by natural disasters and [...]

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

More “global action” needed in 2015, says UN Chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's end of year press conference.  
Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

The year 2015 must be a time for global action, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at his year-end press conference, highlighting several imperatives for the organization in 2015. He said the world must keep ambition high to forge a new development agenda and secure a climate agreement. The UN Chief said [...]

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

Resolution adopted to renew humanitarian access into Syria

A Syrian mother with her child.  UNHCR/Laban Mattei.

A resolution to renew humanitarian access in rebel-held areas of Syria until January 2016 has been unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council. The authorization applies to four border crossings from Turkey, Iraq and Jordan without the Syrian Government's approval. The UN reports that more than 190,000 people have been killed, including well over 10,000 [...]

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

One million people could face food insecurity due to Ebola

A grandfather walking through a rice field followed by his grandchildren. ©FAO/Antonello Proto

The deadly Ebola disease outbreak in West Africa could leave up to one million people without enough food in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This warning has come from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP). According to the agencies, approximately 500,000 people are already severely food insecure in [...]

17 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Donors asked by UN chief to "dig deep" for emergency funds

UNOCHA - Albert Gonzalez-Farran

Donors are being urged to "dig deep" and to contribute generously to the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The UN Secretary-General was on Wednesday speaking to representatives from UN Member States, foundations and the private sector at a High-Level Meeting organized by the UN's humanitarian office, OCHA. Ban Ki-moon said the CERF is one [...]

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

World Bank urged to recognize human rights in its policies

Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The importance of human rights should be recognized by the World Bank in its new environmental and social policies, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. Philip Alston said on Wednesday the World Bank's safeguard policies, which are meant to protect vulnerable groups from its investment projects, seem to "avoid [...]

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

US$450 million target set for humanitarian operations in 2015

Children who fled the escalating violence in the southern part of Iraq share a small house with relatives in Turaq.  UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade

A target of raising US$450 million is being set by the UN humanitarian office (OCHA) at a pledging conference for its operations in 2015 taking place on Wednesday. Over 250 senior representatives from UN Member States, non-governmental organizations, foundations and the private sector are due to make financial commitments to OCHA's Central Emergency Response Fund [...]

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

UN chief to visit Guinea and Liberia

A WFP distribution centre in the heavily-populated West Point neighbourhood of Monrovia in Liberia, which was quarantined in response to the Ebola outbreak. Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud

The countries of West Africa that are most affected by the Ebola virus disease will be visited by the UN Secretary-General during the next several days. On Friday, Ban Ki-moon is making stops in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Since the outbreak began, 6900 people have died in the region, and nearly 20,000 cases of infection [...]

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

Afghanistan needs "unity of purpose and common vision"

Nicholas Haysom, top United Nations official in Kabul.  Photo: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA

Afghanistan needs to become a nation with a "unity of purpose and a common vision" if it is to develop peacefully according to the UN's senior representative in the country. The central Asian country has suffered from decades of instability and continues to fight extremist organizations like the Taliban which continue to operate on its [...]

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

Women held for spouses' crimes in South Sudan

Prisoners chained feet behind fence in Nyang Prison, South Sudan.  (UNifeed video capture)

Women are being jailed in South Sudan while their husbands are being tracked down for alleged crimes, according to UN experts. They say this is just one of the challenges facing the country's criminal justice system. A human rights team from the UN Mission in the country (UNMISS) has launched an investigation to determine how [...]

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

Former Congolese army officer sentenced to life

A dummy soldier sits by a road in a remote community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where Civilian Liaison Assistants (CLAs) work to create a link between the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and communities whose civilians MONUSCO seeks to protect from violence.  UN Photo/Myriam Asmani

A former Congolese army officer has been sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity including rape, sexual slavery and murder. Bedi Engangela committed the crimes in South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between 2005 and 2007. Also known as "Colonel 106", his conviction by a military court was welcomed [...]

16 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Pakistan receives UN support following "most barbaric attack"

Timo Pakkala. UNDP@PHOTO

The authorities in Pakistan are to get the full support of the United Nations following what has been described as a "most barbaric attack" on a military school in Peshawar. More than 130 people, mainly children, were killed by the extremist Taliban group on Tuesday. Timo Pakkala, is the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations [...]

16 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 16 December 2014

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China's patent boom continues as Asian giant outstrips rest of world

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.  © WIPO 2009. Photo: Dhillon.

China's the leading force in global innovation and is on a journey from "Made in China" to "Created in China", the world intellectual property agency said Tuesday. Announcing its latest findings, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) explained how China and to a lesser extent the United States, remained the world's most prolific inventors. The [...]

16 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Broadband is "highway" to inclusivity

Fred Matiang'i, Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology
Kenya.  Credit:  ITU

Broadband, or jigh-speed Internet access has been described by a senior Kenyan government official as "the highway to inclusivity" and economic development. Fred Matiang’i, the Minister of Information, Communication and Technology is a senior government official who attended a recent meeting of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Doha, Qatar. He said all aspects of [...]

16 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN-AU partnership to adapt in "evolving peace and security landscape"

Security Council Chamber.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

The partnership between the United Nations and the African Union (AU) will need to adapt in the face of an evolving peace and security landscape, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was briefing members of the Security Council on Tuesday on the evolution of the cooperation between the two organizations. He said it is [...]

16 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Attack on children in Pakistan "act of horror", says UN chief

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

An attack by the Taliban on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan has been described by the UN Secretary-General as an act of horror, with no cause able to justify such brutality. On Tuesday, more than 130 people were killed by the Taliban, the vast majority children. Ban Ki-moon said the hearts of the world go [...]

16 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Guinea faces "daunting" challenges in fighting Ebola

In Liberia, adolescent girls trained by UNICEF and partners are part of Adolescents Leading the Intensive Fight against Ebola, or A-LIFE. Photo: UNICEF/Cody Griggers

Community mobilization is essential to combat the deadly Ebola virus. However in Guinea it is very difficult to ask people to change their behaviour That's the view of a spokesperson for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) who has just returned from a mission to the country where Ebola was first identified a year ago. In [...]

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

Investment in agriculture needed to feed 9 billion people by 2050

A group of women working in their village vegetable garden.  ©FAO/Antonello Proto

Investment in agriculture and rural development is going to be crucial in fighting poverty and feeding a global population that is expected to reach nine billion in 2050. That's according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The agency is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the FAO's Investment Centre this year which is devoted [...]

16 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Legal identity of women supported by new Clinton-Bloomberg UN partnership

Hillary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg.  UN Photo

An international initiative to help women and girls gain legal identity is partnering with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The announcement was delivered by two US politicians, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They both support the work of Data2X, [...]

16 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

South Africa’s “economic challenges” after 20 years of democracy

Residents in the dark in Johannesburg's inner-city.  © Mujahid Safodien/IRIN

The regular interruptions to electricity supplies in South Africa known as load-shedding are symptomatic of the economic challenges the country faces, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The agency says that as South Africa celebrates significant progress in its 20 years of democracy it is facing the task of reviving a weak economy. The [...]

16 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Launch of 2014 World Intellectual Property indicators

wipologo

A new report on indicators covering the areas of intellectual property is being launched on Tuesday. Intellectual property includes patents, trademarks, industrial design, and utility models to protect inventions. The 2014 study is being released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. WIPO's goal [...]

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

Security of Lebanon is "priority for the world"

A group of displaced children in the Aley Valley, north of Beirut.  UNHCR/C.Lau

The security of Lebanon is a priority for the region and for the world, according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General. Jan Eliasson is in Lebanon where he met with Prime Minister Tamam Salam for the launch of the Lebanese Crisis Response Plan. This new plan will assist Syrian refugees who have been fleeing the civil [...]

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

UN Daily News 15 December 2014

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Education as tool for enduring culture of peace: CARICOM

Makeshift classroom run by the local community for the children of squatters in Vere, Jamaica.  (file photo) UN Photo/Milton Grant

Education is a powerful weapon against oppression and can support a culture of peace, according to the Permanent Representative to the UN of St. Kitts and Nevis. Inga King was addressing the UN General Assembly on behalf of the 14 Member States of the Caribbean community, CARICOM. Ambassadors on Monday shared how their countries or [...]

15 Dec 2014 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's News | Read More »

Companies make 19 submissions of diagnostic tests for Ebola

Health workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) outside a midwifery school where they are attending a training session on Ebola, in Makeni, Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/John James

Nine companies have made 19 submissions of proposed diagnostic tests for Ebola, according to an official of the World Health Organization (WHO). Regulators, researchers, clinicians and people from the countries affected by Ebola met in Geneva to discuss quicker diagnostic tests for the disease. The Ebola outreak has killed over 6,000 people in West Africa [...]

15 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

New diagnostic tests for Ebola expected in coming months

Dr Ketan Patel extracts genetic material from a blood sample.  WHO/P. Desloovere

Improved diagnostic tests for Ebola will be available in the coming months, according to an official of the World Health Organization (WHO). The disease has killed over 6,000 people mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa. A meeting has been held in Geneva as part of the efforts to improve diagnostic tests [...]

15 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

South Sudanese mark one year anniversary of conflict

Children at Gendrassa refugee camp in Upper Nile State, South Sudan, play in a dirty puddle. Aid agencies say malnutrition in the camp has declined, but disease is still rife.  © Hannah McNeish/IRIN

South Sudan is marking an anniversary on Monday, which its citizens, no doubt, wish they had not been part of. A year ago, violence erupted as government forces and rebels loyal to the deposed Vice-President started fighting. The conflict has led to the displacement of close to two million people. Around 100,000 are living in [...]

15 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Hope for solution to Arab-Israeli conflict must be restored "before too late"

Robert H. Serry, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.   UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Hope for a lasting solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians must be restored before it is too late, according to the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. Robert Serry was on Monday briefing the Security Council on his latest report on the situation in the Middle East and the [...]

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

New oil project in Peru threatens to harm indigenous peoples

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

A new oil project on heavily polluted land in Peru would violate the human rights of indigenous peoples, according to two UN human rights experts. The warning comes as the Peruvian Government decided to start re-licensing an area of land in the Department of Loreto region for oil production, which the UN experts say would [...]

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

Ukraine report says people are "at mercy" of armed groups

Aleksandr, who has cerebral palsy, with his 19 month old son Ivan in their room at the summer-camp-turned-centre for displaced Ukrainians near Kupiansk.  UNHCR/E.Ziyatdinova

The conflict in Ukraine has left people struggling to survive and at the mercy of armed groups, the UN’s human rights watchdog said on Monday. The strongly worded report – which covers November – comes as a fragile ceasefire holds between government forces and pro-Russian separatists. Some 1,357 people have died since the agreement on [...]

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

One year on people of South Sudan suffer as conflict continues

Children in South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS/Ilya Medvedev

The people of South Sudan are on Monday marking the first anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict in their country. The war began on 15 December 2013 between government forces and fighters loyal to former Vice-President Riek Machar who was sacked by President Salva Kiir in July of that year. The conflict in South [...]

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

Rap music tunes knowledge of economic theory

Economic heavyweights Keynes and Hayek duke it out in Robert's hip-hop music video. (video capture)

Economic theory is admittedly not the most popular of topics among non-academics, but everyone can benefit from understanding it. Finding ways to make the study of economics more accessible and interesting to the public has been the focus of the economist Russ Roberts. Mark Bettancourt met with Mr Roberts at the International Monetary Fund to [...]

15 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Climate conference outcome to "pave way" for agreement in 2015

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Decisions adopted in Lima, Peru, at the UN Climate Change Conference pave the way for a universal and meaningful agreement in 2015, according to the UN Secretary-General. In a statement issued after the talks concluded on Sunday, Ban Ki-moon welcomed the outcome of the two-week conference, which includes the adoption of the "Lima Call for [...]

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

Volcano in Cape Verde having "huge" effect on economy

Volcano in Cape Verde. OCHA@PHOTO

A volcano that erupted on the Cape Verde island of Fogo almost three weeks ago is having a huge impact on the country's economy and people's lives. Many lost their homes, 120 hectares of agricultural land was destroyed, and much of the cattle were killed. An international appeal for assistance is being prepared by the [...]

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

Prolonged drought creates food insecurity in Central America

Hugo Jolón lost his maize crop in the Dry Corridor in Guatemala. (Copyright: WFP/Francisco Fión)

A prolonged drought is threatening to leave over two million people without enough food in Central America, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The agency says that thousands of cattle have died, and warns that in the coming months food security is expected to get worse as families deplete [...]

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

Brutality of crimes in Darfur "more pronounced"

Fatou Bensouda. UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann

The brutality of crimes being committed in the Darfur region of Sudan is becoming more pronounced according to a senior international prosecutor. Darfur has experienced more than a decade of instability after civil war broke out over ten years ago between rebel groups and Sudanese government forces and their allied militia. Two million people have [...]

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

"Difficult talks" in Lima to reach climate change agreement

UN Climate Change Conference. COP20@PHOTO

Climate change negotiations in Peru have been difficult, but many remain optimistic that an agreement can be reached, according to a UN expert at the talks. The meeting in Lima is scheduled to end on Friday, but representatives from almost 200 countries may need extra time to agree on international climate efforts. Nations are working [...]

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

Children's fund takes fight to Ebola with $500m appeal

UNICEF@PHOTO

Taking the fight to Ebola is going to cost the UN children's agency $500 million until next June, it said on Friday. At the launch of an expanded appeal for funds, UNICEF explained why the money is needed in the three worst affected West African countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Here's the UN agency's [...]

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

UN Daily News 12 December 2014

News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Air pollution deal gives hope in fixing major public health problem

UNECE@PHOTO

A potentially far-reaching deal has been sealed that could result in lower levels of air pollution that causes life-threatening diseases. The multilateral talks were coordinated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and target ammonia emissions from farming. The UN agency's Alisher Mamadzhanov explained why the emissions are so lethal: "They contribute to the [...]

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

Burundi at "crossroads" as UN closes political mission

Jeffrey Feltman hands over the UN flag to Burundi External Relatios and International Cooperation Minister Laurent Kavakure. UNDP@PHOTO

Burundi has been described as a country at a crossroads by the head of the UN Department of Political Affairs. Jeffrey Feltman spoke at a ceremony in the capital, Bujumbura, to mark the closing of the UN political mission in the central African country. The UN Office in Burundi (BNUB) opened in 2011 to help [...]

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

Sudanese government urged to stop harassing political activists

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. Photo: UN Multimedia

The Government of Sudan has been urged to stop the harassment and persecution of political activists, human rights defenders and other public commentators such as journalists and bloggers. The call has come from the UN Human Rights Office following what it describes as a pattern of detentions in recent months that was aimed at silencing [...]

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

One year on, a glimmer of hope in South Sudan conflict

One of the problems with the vaccination campaign will be convincing people to come forward. Photo : UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

South Sudan's one-year-old conflict is being marked with sickness and suffering but there is a chance of improving conditions there soon, according to the UN's children's agency. Declaring "a window of opportunity" in the worst hit areas now that the rainy season is over, UNICEF said aid could start to reach communities once the muds [...]

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

Terrorist attack in Kabul strongly condemned by Security Council

Security Council meeting. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A suicide attack at a French cultural centre in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has been strongly condemned by the UN Security Council. According to reports, several people were killed and at least 15 others injured in the suicide bomb attack at the French Institute on Thursday. The bombing followed an earlier attack in which at [...]

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

New life for Syrian refugees in Germany

Young Abdu enjoys a walk with his family in the countryside near the German town Wächtersbach, where they were resettled. With cochlear implants and hearing aids, he can now hear almost perfectly.© UNHCR/G.Welters

Refugees from Syria with serious medical conditions are benefiting from resettlement opportunities mainly in Europe, and North and South America. A pledging conference in Geneva this week sought to increase the number of places available for people seeking refuge from the ongoing civil conflict in Syria which began in 2011. Alexandra King tells the story [...]

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

Ebola summit relives dramatic impact of outbreak

Frontline workers battling Ebola in West Africa. Photo: UNMEER/Christopher Bailey

Without basic public health infrastructures and systems in place, no country can be stable according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A High-level meeting on building resilient health systems in Ebola-affected countries took place at the UN Office in Geneva on 11 and 12 December. Its aim was to find innovative solutions, to decide on [...]

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

General Assembly declares International Day of Yoga

Yoga class. UN Photo/Jorge Aramburu

Yoga has been recognized by the UN General Assembly which on Thursday declared a day for it. Starting next year, the International Day of Yoga will be observed on 21 June each year, following a resolution unanimously adopted by the Assembly. The President of the General Assembly welcomed the unanimous adoption in a statement delivered [...]

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

UN CALLING ASIA: Family pressure biggest issue in Taiwan for LGBTI community

Jennifer Lu/Photo by Syd London

Women in Taiwan are being forced into marrying men, even if they are from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex or LGBTI community. That's according to an activist from a Taiwanese LGBTI support group. Jennifer Lu says that many women are forced into heterosexual marriage due to pressure from their families. Stephanie Castro asked [...]

11 Dec 2014 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

WOMEN: "Most active" 16 days against gender violence

End Violence against Women - UN Women

An annual 16-day campaign to end gender violence was this year very active, picking up momentum as each day passed, according to the leader of the UN's global campaign to end violence against women. Aldijana Sisic explains that from 25 November—the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December—Human Rights Day, [...]

11 Dec 2014 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Sexual and reproductive health rights acknowledged worldwide

Kate Gilmore. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Without exception, Member States of the UN are considering sexual and reproductive health as human rights, according to the Assistant Secretary-General of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Kate Gilmore says a recent report released by UNFPA is a great source of inspiration, and reassurance that countries are seeking to advance human dignity by improving sexual [...]

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

Over 3 million Somalis urgently need humanitarian assistance

Women and children wait for assistance in Dolo, southern Somalia. Photo: WFP/David Orr

The humanitarian situation in Somalia has deteriorated significantly for the first time since 2011 resulting in over 3 million people in need of assistance, according to the UN relief official in the country. Somalia is working to rebuild as it recovers from over two decades of political instability and a series of droughts that has [...]

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

World cereal production to reach all-time record in 2014

Simisu Sakola works in her cornfield in Swaziland. FAO@PHOTO

World production of cereal will reach an all-time record of more than 2.5 billion tonnes in 2014, according to the UN agriculture agency. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says this year's cereal output has been boosted by productive harvests in Europe and a record maize output in the United States. FAO points out [...]

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

Need for attention to issues in Sahel "greater than ever"

A displaced woman from northern Mali in the Sahel, waits at a temporary shelter near Mopti's main bus station. Photo: UNDP/Nicolas Meulders

The need for sustaining Security Council attention on the Sahel is greater than ever, according to the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the region. Hiroute Guebre Sellassie gave an update to the 15-nation body on Thursday, highlighting peace and security issues in West Africa's vast area bordering the Sahara Desert. The Sahel region is facing multiple [...]

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

UN Daily News 11 December 2014

News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Services to a protection site for displaced people in South Sudan to stop

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

All services to a site where civilians fleeing conflict in South Sudan are protected by UN peacekeepers in the country's capital, Juba, will stop at the end of December. The announcement was made by the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan, (UNMISS) Ellen Margrethe Lǿj, at a press conference in Juba on Thursday. [...]

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

TEDx talk at UN highlights education project in Uganda

Beatrice Ayuru. Photo/Frederic Noy

A school funded by agricultural and aquaculture ventures was one of eleven projects given centre stage at the first ever TEDx conference organized by the United Nations. TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, is a non-profit devoted to what it calls "ideas worth spreading" and encourages communities to organize their own events, called [...]

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

Allegations of Islamic State training camps in Libya are "worrisome"

Hirouete Guebre Sellassie. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Allegations that the Islamic State, or ISIL, has set up training camps in Libya have been described by the UN Special Envoy for the Sahel as "particularly worrisome". Hirouete Guebre Sellassie briefed the Security Council on Thursday on the situation in the Sahel region of Africa, the semiarid area which lies along the edge of [...]

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

Governments urged to fund monitoring of Iran's nuclear programme

A team of international nuclear safety experts at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident following the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011.   IAEA

Governments have been urged by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to provide funds for monitoring Iran's nuclear programme. Director General, Yukiya Amano spoke at a meeting of the IAEA's Board of Governors convened on Thursday to consider a request for the agency to extend its monitoring and verification activities in Iran. [...]

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

Reports of UN creating protectorate in South Sudan "baseless"

A group of displaced women and children rest on Ethiopian territory after crossing the Baro River from South Sudan. Photo: UNHCR/L.F. Godinho

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has categorically denied any plan to place the country under international protection. Media reports had suggested that the move was imminent due to a break-down in peace talks. South Sudan continues to suffer instability as a result of fighting between the government and rebels. Around two million [...]

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

Importance of mountains to life highlighted

poster2014

The importance of mountains to life is being highlighted on International Mountain Day, observed on 11 December each year. According to the UN, mountains, which cover about 27 per cent of the earth's land surface, play a critical role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth. About 720 million mountain people depend on mountains [...]

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

"Give women opportunity to lead" in Somalia

One hundred Somali women —   dressed in Orange as part of the worldwide Unite to End Violence Against Women —  met in Mogadishu   to organize the local struggle to protect women.  (UNifeed screen shot)

Men have failed to govern Somalia properly, so women should be given the opportunity to lead. That's according to a young Somali woman who has been participating in the UN's "16 days of activism" campaign to end violence against women. The Horn of Africa country has endured  more than two decades of political instability and [...]

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

Rebel leader captured in Central African Republic

12-10-2014MINUSCA_Patrol

A Chadian rebel leader and former official of the Central African Republic has been captured, the UN Mission in the country announced on Wednesday. The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic known by its French acronym, MINUSCA, said Mahamat Abdul Kadre was detained by its forces on Monday. UN Spokesperson Stéphane [...]

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

International Decade for People of African Descent launched

Sam Kutesa. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

People all over the world are being encouraged over the next ten years to tackle issues of racism and racial discrimination faced by people of African descent. That's what the President of the UN General Assembly, Sam Kutesa said during the launch of the International Decade for People of African Descent on Wednesday. The theme [...]

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

"Every day is Human Rights Day"

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt  holding a Declaration of Human Rights poster in English. UN PHOTO

Human rights should be guaranteed for all people 365 days a year, according to the United Nations. As the global community marks Human Right Day on 10 December, the UN is reminding governments that they have an obligation to protect people all year round. The day commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human [...]

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

Fighting for human rights is a daily duty, says UN top official

Jan Eliasson. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

Fighting for human rights is a daily duty that we can never give up, according to the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Jan Eliasson was at the Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture, located in Harlem, New York, where he spoke at an event to mark Human Right Day. On 10 December, the [...]

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

"Most active" 16 days against gender violence

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

An annual 16-day campaign to end gender violence was this year very active, picking up momentum as each day passed, according to the leader of the UN's global campaign to end violence against women. Aldijana Sisic explains that from 25 November—the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December—Human Rights Day, [...]

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

Governments urged to stamp out torture

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

Governments around the world have been urged to act unequivocally in their effort to stamp out torture. The call came on Wednesday from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention against Torture. He said that as Tuesday's United States Select Committee [...]

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

Israeli authorities urged to probe "brutal death" of Palestinian Minister

Stéphane Dujarric

Israeli authorities have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to conduct a swift and transparent investigation into what has been described "the brutal death" of a Palestinian Minister. According to reports, Minister Ziad Abu Ein died on Wednesday after being hit and shoved by Israeli soldiers during a protest against confiscation of Palestinian land by [...]

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

"Careless statements" result in persecution of LGBTI in Zambia

lgbt-zambia

Careless public statements based on ignorance made in Zambia for political gain, result in violent persecution of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex or LGBTI community, according to a Zambian activist. Chalwe Mwansa says that dialogue and understanding are  very important in addressing the issue of homophobia not only in Zambia but around the [...]

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

UN Daily News 10 December 2014

News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Mechanism for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia tribunals ready to work

Judge Theodor Meron. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

A legal structure created in 2010 to continue the work of the criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda is ready to work, according to its President. The Mechanism for the International Tribunals was established by the Security Council to continue working after the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the [...]

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

Over $100 million donation by Saudi Arabia welcomed by UN

WFP food distribution at Kule camp, Ethiopia. WFP@PHOTO

A donation of $104 million by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the World Food Programme (WFP) has been welcomed by the United Nations. The money will assist refugees sheltering in countries neighbouring Syria, as well as in Ethiopia and in Kenya. The contribution includes $52 million to assist about 1.7 million Syrian refugees, $42 [...]

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

Violence remains widespread globally

WHO

Over one billion people around the world are affected by violence not related to conflicts, according to a report released on Wednesday. The first Global Status Report on Violence Prevention has been jointly issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It [...]

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

Fleeing is people's only way out, says UN refugee chief

A boatload of people, some of them likely in need of international protection, are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by the Italian Navy. © UNHCR/A.D'Amato

"Excruciating": that's how the UN's top official for refugees Antonio Guterres described how he felt about the harrowing stories told by sea migrants. High Commissioner Guterres made his remarks at a UN refugee agency event to find a solution to what he called "repeated tragedies" of people dying on the oceans. Since the beginning of [...]

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

Family pressure biggest issue in Taiwan for LGBTI community.

Jennifer Lu/Photo by Syd London

Women in Taiwan are being forced into marrying men, even if they are from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex or LGBTI community. That's according to an activist from a Taiwanese LGBTI support group. Jennifer Lu, says that many women are forced into heterosexual marriage due to pressure from their families. Stephanie Castro asked [...]

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

Law in Turkey leaves LGBTI community vulnerable

Sedef Çakmak/Photo by Syd London

The law in Turkey does not recognize the existence of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community, otherwise known as LGBTI, leaving them vulnerable to violence, discrimination and oppression, according to a Turkish rights activist. Sedef Cakmak, spoke passionately about the current situation in the country for the LGBTI community, ahead of a meeting [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Confiscated weapons destroyed by UN mission in South Sudan

Ellen Margrethe Løj UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Weapons seized by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on land set aside for displaced people in the capital, Juba, were destroyed on Tuesday. Thousands of South Sudanese displaced by the conflict between government and rebel forces are sheltering at the so-called protection of civilian site. Speaking at the event for the destruction of [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Governments pledge to take in around 100,000 Syrian refugees

Syrian Kurdish refugees cross into Turkey from Syria near the town of Kobani. UNHCR / I. Prickett

Western countries have pledged to increase the number of Syrian refugees they are accepting in the coming months, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The agency made the announcement on Tuesday following a pledging meeting in Geneva. The head of UNHCR, António Guterres said that 28 countries offered to resettle or admit more than [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 09 December 2014

News and features from United Nations Radio.

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

Window of opportunity to address climate change "fast narrowing"

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at Climate Change Meeting in Lima, Peru.  UNFCC

The window of opportunity to address climate change is fast narrowing, the UN Secretary-General warned on Tuesday. Ban Ki-moon spoke at the start of the High-level segment of the UN Conference on Climate change under way in Lima Peru. Representatives of governments are negotiating an agreement on climate change that is expected to be adopted [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Prince William speaks up against corruption

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, was at the World Bank in Washington on Dec 8, 2014 to speak to more than 300 corruption experts, also known as corruption hunters, from more than 120 countries.   (video capture)

One of the most insidious forms of corruption and criminality in the world today is the illegal wildlife trade, according to Prince William, the second in line to the British throne. Prince William was at the World Bank in Washington DC to speak with corruption hunters from more than 120 countries at the third annual [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Governments urged to integrate human rights values in climate change negotiations

Lima logo

Governments around the world have been urged to integrate human rights principles in climate change negotiations taking place at a major United Nations conference in Lima, Peru. The call has come in a statement issued by a group of 76 human rights experts in Geneva ahead of Human Rights Day which is observed on 10 [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Authorities in Thailand urged to probe killings of human rights defenders

An experimental oil palm project in Surat Thani, assisted by United Nations Development Programme. (file photo)  Credit: UN Photo/M Wild

Authorities in Thailand have been urged by the UN to investigate cases of killings and disappearances of human rights defenders in the south-east Asian country. The appeal follows the latest killings of two activists working on land and natural resources issues in the south of the country. One of the activists Pitan Thongpanang was the [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

2014 "year of daunting human rights challenges"

Children of UN staff members getting a closer look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  (file photo, 1950, Lake Success)  Credit: UN Photo

2014 has been described by the United Nations as "a year of daunting human rights challenges". The remarks were made in Geneva on Tuesday on the eve of Human Rights Day, observed annually on 10 December. The day commemorates the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Dramatic" fall in malaria deaths and cases worldwide

A woman protects her child with a mosquito net.  Credit: UN Photo/Logan Abassi

The number of people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000, according to the World Malaria Report 2014. Published every December by the World Health Organization (WHO), the report provides the global health community with an overview of progress in the fight against the life-threatening disease caused by parasites. Malaria, which is preventable and [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Ebola envoy "anxious" about disease flare-ups

Medical personnel board a UN plane from Ghana to join the Ebola response in Liberia. 
Credit: UN Photo/Martine Perret

The UN's top envoy against Ebola has said there are reasons "to feel good" about the way the disease has been targeted but there's still anxiety about the "enormity of the task ahead". Dr David Nabarro said real progress had been made since September in the West African countries affected by Ebola. But he added [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Too many children in Kosovo not in school

Children playing amidst the rubble in Pec, Kosovo (file photo).
Credit: UN Photo/Milton Grant

Education is a human right, and in Kosovo, it is mandatory for children between the ages of six and fifteen. But there are kids who are not going to school. Some were never enrolled. Others dropped out. To address the issue, UNICEF is working closely with authorities in Kosovo – to address the factors that [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Food safety is "global problem" killing millions per year

Children are very vulnerable to sickness linked to unsafe food. Here, a child eats discarded airplane meals at Dandora dumpsite in Nairobi. © David Gough/IRIN

Ensuring food is safe for consumption and will not lead to illness or death is a global issue, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The Director-General of WHO, Margaret Chan, recently announced that World Health Day in 2015 would be dedicated to food safety. Unsafe food is linked to the deaths of an estimate [...]

9 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

20,000 sets of Ebola protective gear arrive from Japan

The first batch of 20,000 sets of Personal Protective Equipment for health workers battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa arrived in Ghana from Japan on Monday. The equipment has been provided by the Japanese government as part of the efforts against the deadly virus which has killed over 6,000 people mainly in Guinea, Liberia [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Massacres in DR Congo's North Kivu Province condemned by UN envoy

Children peer out of a classroom at the Kanyaruchinya Primary School, in North Kivu, DRC. 
© Aubrey Graham/IRIN

Massacres committed in the eastern North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Sunday have been condemned by the head of the UN mission in the country (MONUSCO). Martin Kobler said the massacres were "aimed at fuelling terror" in the region and called for immediate actions to eliminate the terrorists who carried [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Cancer no longer "death sentence"

WHO / EURO /Gilles Reboux

Cancer is not a death sentence anymore as we have new ways of preventing it, according to an expert on noncommunicable diseases from the World Health Organization (WHO). Etienne Krug was in Australia last week attending the World Cancer Congress, an event bringing together representatives of government and organizations as well as medical experts. WHO [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN and partners launch humanitarian appeal for 2015

Global Humanitarian Appeal 2015 - UNOCHA

The number of people affected by conflicts and natural disasters around the world has reached record levels, according to the United Nations. At the end of November an estimated 102 million people around the world were in need of assistance. On Monday, senior UN officials launched a multi-billion dollar appeal to bring aid to 57 [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Aviation agency praised for its role in health, security and environment

Celebrating 70 years of the Chicago Convention - ICAO

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been praised by the UN Secretary-General for its role in addressing pressing issues of health, security and the environment. Ban Ki-moon spoke at a meeting in the United States City of Chicago on Monday, to mark the 70th anniversary of the convention for regulating and coordinating international travel. [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Africa and Asia most dangerous regions for Members of Parliament

Inter-Parliamentary Union Logo

Africa and Asia were the most dangerous regions in the world to be a member of parliament in 2014, according to statistics released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on Monday. The IPU says that MPs all over the world are harassed and even killed in an attempt to intimidate and silence critical voices of dissent. [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 08 December 2014

News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Appeal for $16.4 billion launched to help 57 million people

A man carries away a bag of rations distributed by the UN World Food Programme (WFP)/ UN Photo/WFP/Amjad Jamal

A global appeal for $16.4 billion has been launched by UN humanitarian agencies to help 57 million of the most vulnerable people in emergencies in 2015. Launching the appeal in Geneva on Monday, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos said that 80 per cent of the people humanitarian agencies intend to help are in [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Philippines lauded for handling of typhoon

Typhoon Haiyan swept across the Philippines in November 2013  leaving a trail of destruction, UNOCHA

The government of the Philippines has been commended by the UN for its handling of a typhoon that hit the Asian country over the weekend. Typhoon Hagupit, which struck the country on Saturday, is reported to have weakened as it headed towards the capital, Manila on Monday and has been downgraded to a tropical storm. [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

2014 a "devastating year" for children

After 3 months of fighting in SouthSudan, close to 5 million people need humanitarian aid, including more than 800,000 who have fled their homes - among them, 430,000 children.  UNICEF/Holt

The year 2014 has been described by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) as a "devastating" 12 months for millions of children in many parts of the world. Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director said that young people have been orphaned, kidnapped, tortured, recruited, raped and even sold as slaves. He said that "never in recent memory" [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Opium production remains high in Myanmar and Laos

Opium poppy field in the south of Afghanistan. Photo: IRIN/Abdullah Shaheen

Opium poppy cultivation continues at high levels in Myanmar and Laos, according to a UN report out on Monday. The report, by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that Myanmar remains South-East Asia's top opium producer and the world's second largest after Afghanistan. Opium poppy crops are used to produce heroin, a [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Link between food security and climate underlined in Lima

Farmer in Oecussi, Timor Leste in late afternoon. Photo by Martine Perret 10 September 2007 UNMIT  Credit: UN Photo/Martine Perret

The link between climate change and its impact on the ability of the world to feed itself is being underlined at a UN conference taking place in Peru. The international community is meeting in Lima to discuss how best to reach a global climate deal in Paris next year. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization [...]

8 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Blind Indian student creates technology to "hear" graphs

Dalet video capture

Students of science frequently deal with detailed information expressed in charts, graphs and diagrams. For Indian national Kartik Sawhney, who has been blind since birth, the visual demands of his science studies presented a significant challenge. So he devised a solution; software that allowed him to hear the graphs. On International Day of Persons with [...]

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

100th anniversary of historic Christmas Truce marked at UN

Ambassador Harald Braun, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Sir Mark Lyall Grant/UN Photo

  One hundred years ago in the midst of World War One in Western Europe, an unexpected act of humanity occurred. In an unprecedented event, troops on both fronts of what has become known as the Great war ceased fire, in order to celebrate the holiday season together. On 5 December, the United Nations commemorated [...]

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

UN Daily News 05 December 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Ebola: A Threat to Sustainable Development

Denis dons protective gear to go see the wife inside the confirmed case ward. (c) Nigeria/2014/Denis

The outbreak of the Ebola disease in West Africa is not only a health crisis but also a threat to sustainable development in the region, according to the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). More than 6,000 people have died from the virus mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. ECOSOC on Friday held a [...]

5 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

500,000 people displaced by fighting in Ukraine in 2014

Maria, 80, stands where her summer kitchen used to be in her home in the Artema suburb of Sloviansk.  Since their return, she and her husband have been sleeping in the kitchen, the only part of the house left intact.  UNHCR/I Zimova.

Fighting in eastern Ukraine has resulted in the displacement of more than half a million people this year , according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Hundreds of thousands of others have fled to Russia and other neighbouring countries, as instability in Ukraine continues. Last month, the UN said killings of civilians in the country [...]

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

Killer surge fears prompt mass Philippine evacuation

Residents of Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines peer out of a window after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the island.  Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

A potentially deadly new typhoon is set to make landfall in the Philippines on Saturday only 13 months after the last killer storm surge. The worst case scenario is that Typhoon Hagupit – known locally as Ruby – could affect 30 million people with gusts of up to 70 metres per second. In November 2013 [...]

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

Ebola outbreak raises "hard lessons" about health systems

A woman uses a UNICEF poster to share information on the best ways to prevent Ebola. © UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease has raised what have been described as "hard lessons" about the adequacy of health systems in West Africa. More than 6000 people have died after catching the virus, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Speaking to the Economic and Social Commission at the United Nations on Friday, [...]

5 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

International court drops case against Kenyan President

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta at the Status conference on 8 October 2014. The Hague, Trial Chamber V(b) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) held two status conferences in the case The Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta at the seat of the Court in The Hague (Netherlands).   Credit:  ICC-CPI

Charges of crimes against humanity against Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta have been dropped by the International Criminal Court (ICC). President Kenyatta had been indicted in connection with post-election violence in the East African country in 2007-2008 in which 1200 people died and 600,000 were displaced. He always denied the charges. On Friday, the Prosecutor of [...]

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

300,000 children back in class with CAR "school in a box" campaign

School in a box.  UNICEF

A huge push is under way to get hundreds of thousands of children back to school in war-torn Central African Republic amid continuing uncertainty over the country's security situation. UN children's agency UNICEF, which is behind the campaign, says it's already seen 300,000 children return to class. They're being given all the materials they need [...]

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

"Global response" needed to solve Mediterranean migrant crisis

An Italian Navy rescue vessel , called the GIS, pulls up next to a stranded boat filled with asylum seekers to transfer its desperate occupants.    UNHCR/A. D'Amato

A "global response" is needed to solve what's been described as a "global humanitarian crisis" following an increase in the number of migrants and asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean Sea. It's unclear exactly how many people make the often fatal journey, although it is known that 4000 people have died on the sea crossing this [...]

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

World's peoples have role in UN's work

Edward Mortimer, speechwriter, policy advisor and Director of Communications to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Photo: Video screen capture

The United Nations doesn't just belong to the governments but also to the peoples of the world who need to be actively engaged in and caring about its work. That's the key message of a book written by Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from January 1997 [...]

5 Dec 2014 | Posted in Edward Mortimer | Read More »

Human rights experts cite "deep concerns" over US race cases

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

No less than five senior human rights experts have rounded on the United States after the decision not to bring to trial the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. They've cited "deep concerns over the broader pattern" of these judicial decisions after Mr Garner, an African-American, died when a police officer put him into [...]

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

Human pressures on soil resources reach "critical limits"

FAO @ PHOTO

Human pressures on soil resources are reaching "critical limits", according to a senior official of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The warning comes on the first observance of World Soil Day on 5 December, which is also the kick off of the International Year of Soils. FAO says that healthy soils are not [...]

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

Volunteers celebrated around the World

International Volunteer Day/ UNV

An ambulance rushes a wounded child to hospital. A hungry family receives a warm meal. A battered woman finds a free shelter. According to the UN Secretary-General, in scenes of human suffering around the world like these, hope comes thanks to volunteers who give their time, skills and resources to others in need. On the [...]

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

Link between food security and climate underlined in Lima

Thai farmers harvest rice near Ta Pra Mok, Thailand. Rice is the staple food for more than half the world's population, including 640 million undernourished people living in Asia  © David Longstreath/IRIN

The link between climate change and its impact on the ability of the world to feed itself is being underlined at a UN conference taking place in Peru. The international community is meeting in Lima to discuss how best to reach a global climate deal in Paris next year. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization [...]

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

Wages are still below pre-crisis levels and deflation is a real risk, UN labour experts warn

"They pay us miserable salary and want us to keep silent."..This photo was awarded the 'Youth' prize of the ILO 'Work4Youth' photo contest (2012). 
© Lidiia Kozhenikova, Ukraine

Wages are still below pre-crisis levels in developed countries which are now on the cusp of damaging deflation, according to the International Labour Organization  (ILO). At the launch of its global salary review, ILO economists warned that the little progress there had been in the last two years was driven by emerging economies. China's been [...]

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

"Serious concern" over Israel's house demolitions in occupied West Bank

Palestinians search the rubble of destroyed homes in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarhan

The Israeli authorities' resumption of house demolitions in the occupied West Bank is of serious concern to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory. James Rawley said punitive demolitions are a form of collective penalty that punishes people for acts they did not commit. His remarks came just days after two UN experts [...]

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

Ebola outbreak "not completely ended" until last person is treated

David Nabarro. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is not completely over until the last person with the disease is under treatment, according to a senior UN official in the region. Over 6000 people have died from Ebola mainly in, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Mali has had a handful of cases. The UN Coordinator for Ebola [...]

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

UN Daily News 04 December 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Renewed violence in the Central African Republic

Moroccan peacekeepers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in Bambari, northeast of the capital Bangui. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

Four people have been killed, a dozen injured, and houses burned in renewed violence in town in the Central African Republic (CAR). The UN Mission in the country, MINUSCA, reported clashes between Christian and Muslim villagers in downtown Bambari. Violence in Bambari in the past months has left dozens of people dead and thousands have [...]

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

Sudan urged by UN to grant access to probe rape allegations in Darfur

Students of the Midwifery School in El Fasher, North Darfur, march to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (2013).  Credit: Abdulsalam, UNAMID

The authorities in Sudan have been urged to grant immediate access to the African Union-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to verify allegations of mass rapes in a village in the northern part of the Sudanese region. UNAMID was deployed in July 2007 to protect civilians and support the peace process to resolve the conflict in [...]

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

MONUSCO Head holds live debate with internet users

Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of the MONUSCO.  Credit:  MONUSCO

Citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been given the opportunity to air their grievances directly to the most senior UN official in the country. A United Nations Mission, MONUSCO, has been present in the DRC for 15 years to help restore stability after decades of political unrest. The public on Thursday [...]

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

Mali needs to be "on high alert all the time" to prevent Ebola

Photo: WHO/C. Banluta

Mali needs to be on high alert all the time as long as there is Ebola in any neighbouring country, according to the UN Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease. Dr David Nabarro was in Mali to meet with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and discuss the country's efforts to ensure Ebola is contained. So far 6,070 [...]

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

People and planet at centre of global action in 2015

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People and the planet will be at the centre of global action in 2015, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon on Thursday put forward his vision to the General Assembly on sustainable development goals that are expected to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), due to expire at the end of the 2015. The [...]

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

2015 "crucial" to safeguard planet

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The year 2015 will be crucial for the world's efforts to safeguard the planet, and secure a life of peace and dignity for all. That's the view of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon who has released a key report which sets the stage for negotiations on future sustainable development goals. Member States of the UN [...]

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

Food price index stable for third month in a row

An employee of the Moema Mills in Brazil harvests sugar cane in the field.   UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The monthly food price index calculated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been reported as stable for the third month in a row. The UN agency measures the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities, which includes cereals, meat, dairy products, vegetable oils, and sugar. For November, findings [...]

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

UN CALLING ASIA: Blind Indian student creates technology to "hear" graphs

Dalet video capture

Students of science frequently deal with detailed information expressed in charts, graphs and diagrams. For the Indian national Kartik Sawhney, who has been blind since birth, the visual demands of his science studies presented a significant challenge. So he devised a solution; software that allowed him to hear the graphs. On International Day of Persons [...]

4 Dec 2014 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Key report on future sustainable development goals to be released

UN PHOTO

A key report which sets the stage for negotiations on future sustainable development goals is due to be released by the UN Secretary-General. The targets known as the SDGs are due to replace the Millennium Development Goals of MDGs, the deadline for which is the end of next year. The new post-2015 goals are expected [...]

4 Dec 2014 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

WOMEN: People with disabilities "not looking for charity"

Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities during interview at the UN Radio.   UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

People with disabilities are not looking for charity but want to ensure that their rights are fully recognised. That's according to Catalina Devandas who is set to start her three-year mandate as the UN Human Rights Council's very first Special Rapporteur for people with disabilities. Despite being born with spina bifida, Ms Devandas says her [...]

4 Dec 2014 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Climate change could cost Rwanda's agriculture $300 million a year

Rwandan farmers (IFAD video capture)

Unpredictable weather could cost Rwanda's agricultural sector $300 million a year by 2030, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The agency says that farmers in Rwanda are already losing about 40 per cent of their harvests due to erratic weather. IFAD is working with the Rwandan government to help farmers cope with [...]

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

Over 270,000 women dying each year of cervical cancer

A grade-five girl receives HPV vaccine. WHO/C. McNab

Over 270,000 women die every year globally of cervical cancer. Many of those cases are caused by a virus called the Human Papillomavirus, HPV which can be treated. The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced new guidelines to combat the cancer-causing virus concentrating on prevention through vaccination, screening and education. Stephanie Castro spoke with Dr [...]

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

US$64m target set to reinstate food vouchers for Syrian refugees

Syrian boy at a WFP distribution centre in Damascus.  WFP-Dina_El-Kassaby

Sixty-four million dollars has been set as the target for a 72-hour fundraising campaign to help Syrian refugees. On Monday, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced that it was suspending the provision of food vouchers to nearly 1.7 million Syrian refugees due to a lack of funding. Those people fled Syria over the past [...]

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

Upsurge in fighting reported in South Sudan

Refugee at Jamam camp, South Sudan   © Hannah McNeish/IRIN

An upsurge in heavy fighting has been reported in South Sudan between government and opposition forces. The UN mission in the country, UNMISS, said it had received reports of hostilities taking place in Fangak County in Jonglei State. South Sudan continues to suffer from instability after forces loyal to the deposed former Vice-President took up [...]

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

"Outrage" towards terrorist attack in Somalia

A Somali mother and child.  Credit: UN Photo/Stuart Price

A terrorist attack in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Wednesday, which killed and injured several people, has "outraged" the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon said there is no justification for terrorism or such attacks. Somalia is working to rebuild after enduring more than two decades of political instability and a series of droughts that has left the [...]

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

UN Daily News 03 December 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

3 Dec 2014 | Posted in | Read More »

Launch of 72-hour social media campaign by WFP to help Syrians

Syrian refugee child.  Photo:WFP/Dina El Kassaby

A 72-hour social media campaign to raise US$64 million to reinstate Syrian refugees' food vouchers has been launched by the UN World Food Programme (WFP). Food assistance was suspended by WFP on Monday to nearly 1.7 million Syrian refugees due to a lack of funding. The three-day campaign starting on Wednesday asks members of the [...]

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

World's largest humanitarian crisis "falling off map"

Syrian refugees sleeping at Newroz camp. Situated next to the town of al-Malikyah in Rojava, Syria, Newroz was initially established to shelter Syrians displaced from the ongoing Syrian civil war.   © Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin/IRIN

The world's largest humanitarian crisis underway in Syria is "falling off the map" according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). Daily life in the country is being described as "dire and tragic" as the three –year old conflict continues to claim people's lives. More than half of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance [...]

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

2014 set to be hottest on record, warns UN weather agency

View of the area around Ny-Ålesund, located on Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of mainland Europe. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

2014 could be the hottest year on record according to UN scientists who've just confirmed a "long-term warming trend" that's likely to cause more extreme weather conditions in future. Announcing the findings World Meteorological Organization (WMO) chief Michel Jarraud warned of unprecedented sea surface temperatures linked to extreme flooding and storms. He also said weather [...]

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

UN humanitarian work similar to "walking over a mine field"

An Iraqi child receiving assistance from the UN.  OCHA/IAson Athanasiadis

Efforts are being made to optimize the response of humanitarian agencies in emergencies, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). An annual global humanitarian policy forum is taking place at UN Headquarters on Wednesday, which OCHA organized as what it called a "dynamic discussion" between senior UN officials and the [...]

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

People with disabilities "not looking for charity"

Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities during interview at the UN Radio.   UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

People with disabilities are not looking for charity but want to ensure that their rights are fully recognised. That's according to Catalina Devandas who is set to start her three-year mandate as the UN Human Rights Council's very first Special Rapporteur for people with disabilities. Despite being born with spina bifida, Ms Devandas says her [...]

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

Protection plan for people in Latin America and Caribbean launched

Colombians who have taken refuge in Panama's Darien region.  UNHCR/B. Heger

A 10-year plan aimed at strengthening protection of people who have been forced to flee their homes across the Latin America and Caribbean regions is being mapped out in the city of Brasilia, in Brazil. Co-hosted by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Government of Brazil, the two-day meeting ending on Wednesday is commemorating [...]

3 Dec 2014 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's News | Read More »

Vigilance “absolutely essential" to fight Ebola in Liberia

New recruits to the Liberian Red Cross Dead Body Management team undergo training in Monrovia. The Red Cross is increasing the number of these teams in an effort to cope with rising fatalities caused by the deadly Ebola outbreak. Credit: IFRC/Victor Lacken

The people of Liberia have been urged to remain vigilant in their efforts against the deadly Ebola outbreak. The call came from Dr David Nabarro, the UN Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease during a short visit to Liberia on Wednesday. Ebola has killed about 6,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Dr. Nabarro spoke [...]

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

Human rights are fundamental to companies' bottom line, say CEOs

Children working at a stone quarry in Zambia.   © Manoocher Deghati/IRIN

Promoting human rights is fundamental to companies' survival according to global business leaders who claim that industry can succeed where governments fall short. At a UN forum in Geneva, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said it was "essential" that rights issues such as child labour, education and affordable health care were addressed. By way of example [...]

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

Role of persons with disabilities in society "not secondary"

Men and women at the entrance of a school in Romania that teaches people with disabilities. Photo: World Bank/Flore de Préneuf

The international community is being urged by a senior UN official to unite different skills to build a world accessible to everybody, including persons with disabilities. Daniela Bas, who works on social policy and development issues, said a lot has been achieved in promoting the rights of persons but more still needs to be done. [...]

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

Better access to technology needed for people with disabilities

A blind university student at the Sudanese Association for Disabled People, an organization active throughout Darfur, in El Fasher. The student is pictured with his audio recorder, which he uses to review class lectures. UN Photo/Albert González Farran

Too many people with disabilities lack access to essential technology tools, according to the UN Secretary-General. On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Ban Ki-moon is calling on people to leave no one behind and to harness the power of technology to benefit all. The UN chief says employers can help create an enabling [...]

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

South Sudanese father of five seeks better life in Uganda

Gabriel, a 45 year old displaced South Sudanese with his child.  (UNHCR video capture)

The conflict which broke out in South Sudan between government and opposition forces in December last year has forced around two million people to flee their homes. One of them is 45 year-old Gabriel who sought refuge with his wife and five children in the UN compound in Bor, the capital of Jonglei State. But, [...]

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

Harvard University welcomes UN chief

UN Photo

The current generation is the first that can end poverty, and also the last generation that can slow global warming before it is too late. This is according to the UN Secretary-General who on Tuesday was at Harvard University in the United States to receive the "Humanitarian of the Year" award for his initiatives to [...]

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

Lifesaving cervical cancer guidelines to turn tide on "preventable" deaths

A child getting human papillomavirus vaccine. WHO/C. McNab

Cervical cancer kills more than 270,000 women a year but a medical strategy's been unveiled that could change that, the UN health agency has said. Announcing the development Wednesday, World Health Organization (WHO) doctors say their new guidelines could be "the difference between life and death for girls and women worldwide". One of the new [...]

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

"Horrific attack" on workers in Kenya condemned by UN

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

An attack on civilians in north-eastern Kenya on Monday , which reportedly killed at least thirty-six people, has been condemned as "horrific" by the UN Secretary-General. The mass murder of quarry workers in Mandera, follows another attack outside the town just over a week ago in which 28 people were taken off a bus and [...]

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

Indian filmmaker documents "malice" of AIDS drugs industry

http://fireintheblood.com/

A film looking at the provision of AIDS drugs to the world's poorest people has been described as an intricate tale of "medicine, monopoly and malice." In "Fire in the Blood" Indian filmmaker Dylan Mohan Gray, says that a lack of access to cheap medication has caused more than 10 million unnecessary deaths. The film [...]

2 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 02 December 2014

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Philippines, Cambodia and India most affected by weather last year

Children from Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines walk through some of the damage and debris left by Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.  Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The Philippines, Cambodia, and India were the countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2013, according to the results of a new climate risk report. The Global Climate Risk Index, created by the environmental organization Germanwatch, was released on the second day of UN-sponsored climate talks in Lima, Peru. Last year in the Philippines, [...]

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

Making human rights a reality in business

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The private sector should play an active role in respecting and promoting human rights, according to business people attending a major UN event in Geneva. The three-day UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, which opened on Monday, has brought together more than 1,500 people from over 100 countries representing a wide cross-section of industries. [...]

2 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Increasing polarization" in Egyptian society

Demonstrators help a man injured at clashes on 27 July 2013 which killed dozens.  © Saeed Shahat/IRIN

The Egyptian authorities have been urged by the UN not to use excessive force against demonstrators protesting the dropping of charges against a former president. At least five people including two security officers were reportedly killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces during protests. Many Egyptians are reacting to a court's verdict to drop [...]

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

Mali to receive $11.7 million from IMF following suspension

A youth from Kida, Mali welcomes foreigners with a victory sign and chanting "Azawad, Mali no!"  UN Photo/Blagoje Grujic

Mali has been approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to immediately receive $11.7 million dollars in aid, following a suspension last May. An executive board of the IMF recently reviewed the West African country's performance under an economic programme supported by a three-year extended credit arrangement. The board's decision brings the total disbursement to [...]

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

Economies of Ebola-hit countries "crippled"

Market stalls with little farm produce due to restrictions in movement in Ebola-affected Kolahun City, Lofa County, Liberia. Photo: FAO Liberia

The deadly Ebola epidemic continues to "cripple" the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone according to a report by the World Bank. Almost 6000 people have died so far from the disease. The Bank has revised down its projections for economic growth in the three West African countries as its President, Jim Yong Kim, [...]

2 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Liberia meets Ebola targets

Girls in the city of Voinjama look at a poster that displays information and illustrations about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo

Liberia has met targets for treating Ebola patients and for the safe burial of people who died from the disease. That's according to the UN's senior official on Ebola in the West African country. December 1st was the deadline set by the UN to isolate and treat 70 per cent of cases and to bury [...]

2 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Twenty-one million people enslaved across world

It's time to eradicate modern day slavery.  © Unicef/HQ11-2242/Dormino

Twenty-one million women, men and children are trapped in slavery all over the world according to the United Nations. To help eradicate contemporary forms of slavery, the global community is on Tuesday marking the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Modern forms of slavery include human trafficking, sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage, and [...]

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

Climate change talks in Peru "must write history"

View of Arctic polar rim.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

The climate change talks in Lima must write history, according to the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Christiana Figueres spoke on Monday at the opening of the climate conference in Peru, which aims to draft an agreement to stop the rise of planet-warming greenhouse gases. During the next two [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's News | Read More »

More than 1200 casualties in Iraq in November

An Iraqi refugee family.  UNHCR/S.Baldwin

More than 1200 Iraqis were killed and close to 2500 were wounded across the country in acts of terrorism and violence in November 2014, the UN Assistance Mission in the country  (UNAMI) has confirmed Iraq has experienced increasing instability in 2014 as a result of an ongoing offensive by the group calling itself the Islamic [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 01 December 2014

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"Remarkable results" reported in fighting Ebola in West Africa

Ebola health workers.  UN Photo/Ari Gaitanis

There has been "remarkable" progress in combating the Ebola disease in West Africa, after the number of new cases per month was reduced by half, according to senior UN officials. Nearly 7,000 people have died from Ebola mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and more than 16,000 have been infected with the deadly virus. [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Ebola disease fight “on track” but not “beaten”

Ibrahim Suri Kamara, himself suffering fever, joint and muscle pain and fever tries to cool his feverish 6 year old daughter. His wife and eldest daughter have already died.    WHO/C: Black

A key figure in the fight against Ebola has said that the UN's strategy is largely on course in all three of the worst affected African countries but that doesn't mean the disease is beaten. Bruce Aylward, who's assistant director of the World Health Organization (WHO), also warned that people have started to become complacent [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Global response to Ebola crisis "has succeeded"

The Ebola burial team gets disinfected and can then remove their personal protective equipment safely.  WHO/P. Desloovere

The global response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa has succeeded in turning the crisis around, according to the Head of the UN Ebola mission, UNMEER. Close to 7000 people have died from the disease mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The UNMEER chief, Anthony Banbury, described the UN's response over the last [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Food assistance to Syrian refugees suspended

A young Syrian refugee (UNifeed video capture)

A funding crisis is forcing the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) to suspend the provision of food vouchers to more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees. Poor Syrian refugees benefited from the programme in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt have used vouchers to buy food in local shops. Without vouchers, WFP warned that many families [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Twenty-eight cities join creative cities network

Creative City for Gastronomy, Chengdu - UNESCO© Chen Xianmin

Twenty-eight cities from 19 countries have been selected by the UN's cultural agency (UNESCO) as new members of a network of cities focusing on culture and creativity. The agency's Creative Cities Network aims to encourage international cooperation between cities and to promote local development. The network covers seven thematic areas which are crafts and folk [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Thirteen countries recognized for fighting hunger

A Haitian child eats food distributed by the UN peacekeepers at the Amanda Marga Special Academic Institute.   UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Political will and commitment by governments and people throughout the world can make it possible to defeat hunger and malnutrition, according to a senior official of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The UN agency announced that thirteen countries have joined a growing list of nations that have made strides in combating undernourishment. They are [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Thirteen countries move closer to eradicating hunger

A Liberian boy offers thanksgiving prayer before starting to eat his meal at the refugee camp in Buduburam, Ghana.  (file photo)  UN Photo/John Isaac

Thirteen countries have been recognized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for their outstanding progress in fighting hunger. Their achievement includes reaching international targets ahead of the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. The countries that have made great strides in combating undernourishment are Brazil, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

High number of Ebola infections reported by spouses 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

Women in Liberia are contracting Ebola after having sex with men who have survived the disease, according to a doctor employed by the World Health Organization. Around 5700 people have died from the virus, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Many people are recovering. But now a doctor working at a treatment unit outside [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

"We can end HIV/AIDS by 2030" says head of UNAIDS

Michel Sidibé. (UNAIDS video capture)

The international community can end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 by working together, according to the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Speaking ahead of World Aids Day, marked annually on 1 December Michel Sidibé said health systems need to be strengthened. He added that more should be done to reach [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Climate agreement crucial to avert "catastrophe"

Emissions at a manufacturing complex in Toronto, Canada. UN Photo/Kibae Park

A robust, legally binding agreement on gas emissions is crucial to avert what a UN expert has called a "climate catastrophe". Virginia Dandan, a UN independent expert on human rights and international solidarity, has urged States to unite and "sincerely" commit to a new agreement on greenhouse emissions. This would limit the production of gases [...]

1 Dec 2014 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

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