Home » 28 Feb 2015 Entries posted on “February 2015”

"Brutal" killing of Russian opposition leader condemned

The Kremlin, Moscow. UN Photo

The "brutal killing" of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on Friday has been denounced by the UN Chief. Ban Ki-moon released a statement expressing "shock" over the slaying. According to media reports, the politician was gunned down by an unidentified attacker in a car. Jocelyne Sambira has more. Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy [...]

28 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Time to close gender equality gap

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with President Michelle Bachelet of Chile. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Now is the time to take a stand, remove the obstacles and close the gender equality gap, the UN Secretary-General has urged. Ban Ki-moon made the remarks in Chile at the end of a two-day event on women in power and decision-making on Saturday. Leaders at the conference called for "intense measures" to accelerate women's [...]

28 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

ISIL "barbaric acts" stiffens resolve of Security Council to defeat group

A wide view of the Security Council in session (file photo). UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The "ongoing barbaric terrorist acts" by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have stiffened the resolve of the UN Security Council to defeat the group. The militants recently carried out a number of violent actions like the recent abduction of 100 Sunni tribesmen from outside Tikrit and the immolation of 45 people [...]

28 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Women in South Sudan turning "challenges into opportunities"

South Sudan

Women in South Sudan are turning the challenges they face on a daily basis into "opportunities." That's according to UN Women which has been supporting peace efforts through women groups in the African country. The organization has worked with a number of groups to develop a document known as the Women's Agenda for Peace and [...]

28 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Landmines do not recognise peace, says UN agency at launch of $296 million appeal

Demining engineer of the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan clears an anti-personnel landmine. UN Photo/UNMACA

Mine clearance takes time and money and the UN agency that's leading global efforts against the deadly ordnance says it needs nearly $300 million to carry on with its work. UNMAS has identified 23 countries and territories which require its help urgently with 175 ongoing projects. UNMAS director Agnès Marcaillou tells Daniel Johnson that countries [...]

28 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 27 February 2015 (PM)

UN Secretary-General. Credit: UN File Photo/Amanda Voisard

Boko Haram use of children as suicide bombers "abhorrent" The abduction and use of children, including as suicide bombers by the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram is abhorrent, the UN Chief said. Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the indiscriminate and horrific attacks by the Islamist militant group against people in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. An [...]

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Daily News 27 February 2015

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27 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

De-escalation of conflict in Ukraine reported

Security Council meeting regarding Ukraine. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

A package of measures recently agreed upon to end the conflict in Ukraine needs to be fully implemented, the UN Security Council was told on Friday. The 15-member Council was briefed on the situation in the East European country where conflict has raged between government forces and pro-Russian separatists. The report came from senior officials [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 27 February 2015 (AM)

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz (file)

Release of hostages held by Somali pirates welcomed The UN special envoy to Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has welcomed the release of the four remaining crewmen of a Thai fishing vessel. The hostages were taken at sea by Somali pirates five years ago. The mission to recover them was led by the UN Office on Drugs [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Gender equality progress slow and uneven

Ban Ki-moon in Chile. Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Over the past two decades important progress has been made regarding gender equality, but it has been slow and uneven. That's what the UN Secretary-General told a high-level panel during a "Women in power and decision-making" event held in Chile on Friday. The aim is to renew political will and commitment to the cause. Stephanie [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Baku comes late to urban planning

Baku (World Bank video capture)

A plan to improve the quality of life in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is being supported by the World Bank. The city has grown quickly following an oil boom in the country, and now efforts are being made to bring some order to that development. The Bank is helping the city to develop a [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Yemen could "spiral out of control" if deadlock continues

Children in Yemen. Photo: IRIN/John James

Warring parties are being urged by the UN to work to break the deadlock in a peaceful manner before the situation spirals out of control. The remarks were made on Friday by the Spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani. The political dialogue is faltering and the situation on [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WOMEN: Boosting women-owned businesses "key to growth"

WFP Training. Photo: WFP

Economic growth can be encouraged around the world if more women were to run small and medium sized enterprises. That's according to the International Monetary Fund. The Fund says that small loans to women who want to start businesses are particularly effective in emerging economies. Jocelyn Frank has been talking to Melanne Vervee, the Executive [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

$377 million appeal launched for Mali as malnutrition fears grow

Children make up half of the country's population and are highly vulnerable, particularly in the south.  Credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Malnutrition and food insecurity threaten 1.5 million people in Mali and $377 million must be found to help them in 2015, the UN said Friday. Launching the appeal in Geneva, UN humanitarian coordinating agency OCHA said that people in the African nation face a series of life-threatening challenges. Chief among these is malnutrition, with an [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Malawi food damage hampers bid to beat cholera

Flooding in Malawi. Photo: UN Malawi

A cholera outbreak in Malawi has sparked an alert from UNICEF amid fears that it could become as serious as in neighbouring Mozambique. Efforts to contain the disease, which can kill in a matter of hours, have been hampered by the aftermath of January's flooding in the landlocked south African country. Daniel Johnson has the [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

1.1 billion face deafness threat from audio devices

Make Listening Safe. Image: WHO

At least 1.1 billion young people are at risk of irreversible hearing loss from the unsafe use of personal audio devices and an increasing noisy environment, the UN said Friday. Raising the alarm, World Health Organization experts said many people don't realise that once they lose their hearing, it won't come back. Ahead of International [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Fish-drying technology boosts livelihoods in Ivorian towns

Women in Abobodoumé, Côte d'Ivoire, huddle around the FAO-Thiaroye Processing Technique (FTT-Thiaroye) to smoke fish. Photo: FAO

A new fish-drying technology pioneered in West African fishing villages by the Food and Agriculture Agency, (FAO) is helping to improve health and boost livelihoods. Smoked fish is a vital source of food and income for many African coastal communities. In the small the fishing village of Abobodoumé, in Côte d'Ivoire, most of the locally [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Most Palestinians in Gaza have "no hope for the future"

Palestinian children weep at the funeral for their loved ones in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Photo: UNICEF/El Baba (file)

Most of the 1.8 million residents of Gaza have no hope for the future according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. Children have been left deeply affected by the violence of a 50-day conflict that started last July between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups. The fighting killed 539 children and injured almost 3000, leaving [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Aggressive" tobacco firms threaten global health deal, warns UN chief

Photo: Unifeed/WHO

Ten years after a UN-led agreement was signed to curb global tobacco use, World Health Organization (WHO) experts say it faces unprecedented pressure from the industry's major producers. Describing tobacco companies as increasingly "aggressive" in promoting their products, WHO's Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva said this was proof that the convention was working. [...]

27 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Syria refugee crisis overwhelms international response capacity

Members of a Syrian refugee family in their rented home in the southern Lebanese town of Abbasieh. Photo: UNHCR/B.Hansford

The Syria refugee crisis has overwhelmed the capacity of the international community to respond, according to the head of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. There are presently 3.8 million refugees registered in places like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Host communities are overstretched and international support cannot keep up with the magnitude of the needs. Jocelyne [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Paraguay making a difference around the world

Ban Ki-moon meeting with Military Forces from the Centre for the Joint Training Centre for Peacekeeping Operations. Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

As a founding member of the United Nations, Paraguay is making a difference around the world across a range of work with the organization. That's what the Secretary-General said on day two of his visit to the country. A lot has changed in the South American nation since the last visit by a Secretary-General in1959. [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN CALLING ASIA: Afghanistan needs to do more to end torture, says UN report

1UNAMA_GeorgetteGagnon

Authorities in Afghanistan need to do more to end torture and ill-treatment of conflict-related detainees, says a UN report released this week. The report, by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is based on interviews with 790 people who are detained. It says that there has been some progress in ending torture in detention [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

News in Brief 26 February 2015 (PM)

Women and children on their way to a wedding ceremony in Afghanistan. Photo: UNAMA/Aurora V. Alambra (file)

  Afghanistan avalanche survivors receive assistance People displaced by recent disasters in Afghanistan are receiving the support of the UN and its humanitarian partners. Avalanches, landslides and floods hit the four provinces in the north east of the country on Thursday, including Kabul. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was saddened by the loss of [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file photo)

Venezuela reports violence, loss of life cause for concern The UN Secretary-General has expressed concern over new reports of violence and loss of life in Venezuela. Media reports say the crisis in the South American country escalated after the killing of a young boy during anti-government protests. Ban Ki-moon commended the Government for promising to [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Global community "must not fail in Gaza", say 30 aid agencies

The pace of reconstruction in Gaza remains slow. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Palestinians have suffered inordinately and the global community has failed Gaza, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. In a joint statement, 30 international aid organizations including UNRWA say they are alarmed at the limited progress in rebuilding the lives of those affected by conflict in the coastal enclave. Six months have passed since [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Yemen parties urged to dialogue and reject violence

The aid delivery will reach central and northern Yemen but not Aden where street fighting has been reported, UNICEF said. Photo: OCHA

All parties in Yemen, including the separatist Houthi rebels, have been urged by the UN Security Council to resolve their differences through dialogue and reject violence. In a statement, the 15-member body also asked them to refrain from provocation and all unilateral actions to undermine the political transition. Despite the formation of a new Government [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Identifying victims can help fight modern slavery

Forced labour often means unpaid wages, excessively long work hours without rest days and confiscation of ID documents. Photo: ILO/A. Khemka (file)

Proper victim identification is crucial in fighting modern slavery, according to a UN human rights expert. Special Rapporteur Urmila Boolah made the remarks at the end of an official visit to Belgium on Thursday. The European nation has set up specialized units including police, social and labour inspectors to investigate claims these crimes. Jocelyne Sambira [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Assyrian Christians and other ISIL hostages must be released

The UN Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The members of the UN Security Council have called for the "immediate and unconditional release" of all hostages in the hands of ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In a statement released on Wednesday  they denounced the abduction of 100 Assyrian Christians by the terrorist group on 23 February in the North-East of [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Land governance programme to protect vulnerable communities

Land governance aimed at promoting sustainable development. Photo: FAO (file)

Vulnerable communities across Africa are to be supported by a new programme on land governance aimed at promoting sustainable development and protecting legitimate tenure rights. The launch is taking place this week in Niamey, Niger, organized by The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the African-led Land Policy Initiative. Ten countries will implement new [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Forum on Forests at "crossroads" says its director

Forest. Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano

The importance of forests in supporting life is being highlighted in 2015 which the UN has designated as the year for global action for sustainable development. Forests are connected to water, energy, food security and climate, contain 80 per cent of the land's biodiversity and about 20 per cent of the world's population depend on [...]

26 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Organized crime, poverty undermine development

Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Illicit drugs undermine development but so do poverty and low standards of living, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warns. These factors provide fertile grounds for transnational organized crimes, he says. A high-level debate on crime prevention is being held in New York ahead of the UN's 13th Crime Congress [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 25 February 2015 (PM)

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

Call for investigation into murder of two Libyan activists The murder of two female activists in Libya has been condemned by the UN in the North African country, (UNSMIL). UNSMIL is calling for a thorough investigation into the killing of Entissar Al-Hasaeri and Amal Al-Mizdawi who were found dead in a car in the capital [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Paraguay makes progress in fighting poverty, illegal drug trade

Press conference, Ban Ki-moon with HE President Horacio Cartes of Paraguay at the Government Palace. Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Paraguay has been hailed for its "impressive achievements" in trying to meet the UN's anti-poverty goals also known as the MDGs. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his appreciation to President Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara on Wednesday in the country's capital Asuncion. The country's leadership has made progress in reducing poverty and inequality, as well as [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 25 February 2015 (AM)

In Lesotho, A woman holds the AIDS anti-retroviral treatment medicine for her granddaughter. Photo: IRIN/Eva-Lotta Jansson (file)

New trials show antiretroviral drugs prevent new HIV infections Recent scientific trials show further proof that antiretroviral drugs prevent new HIV infections among men who have sex with men, the UN says. One of the studies demonstrated a 96 per cent efficacy in preventing infections where one partner is living with HIV and the other [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 25 February 2015

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3.5 million illegal settlements identified in south-east Europe, says UN

Illegal settlements. Photo: UN-Habitat

Providing affordable housing remains a major challenge for poor and wealthy countries with latest UN statistics showing 3.5 million illegal settlements in just five south-east European countries. While there are no slums in the countries identified in a new report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), people living in Illegal settlements face [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Professor Ali Mazrui made "immense" contributions to UNESCO

Outside view of UNESCO's headquarters. Photo: UNESCO/Michel Ravassard (file)

The immense contributions of the late Kenyan intellectual, Professor Ali Mazrui, made to the UN cultural agency (UNESCO) were recognized at an event held at UN headquarters on Tuesday. The event was organized by the permanent mission of Kenya to the United Nations in collaboration with UNESCO's on 24th February, the birthday of the Pan [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Afghanistan needs to do more to end torture, says UN report

Georgette Gagnon at UNAMA press conference. Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi

Authorities in Afghanistan need to do more to end torture and ill-treatment of conflict-related detainees, says a UN report released on Wednesday. The report, by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is based on interviews with 790 detainees. It says that there has been some progress in ending torture in detention facilities and the [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Europe urged to step up vaccinations against measles

An estimated 500,000 children in Sudan's conflict zones are at risk from the outbreak, UNICEF says. Photo: WHO/F. Guerrero

Europe is being urged by the World Health Organization to step up vaccinations against measles for all age groups and people at risk. Policy-makers, health care workers and parents in the region are being asked to do their part to put an end to the outbreaks occurring in their countries. Seven countries have reported over [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Myanmar reform needs to get back on track, says UN rights chief

Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras (file)

Myanmar's reform seems headed in the wrong direction and needs urgently to get back on track, the UN human rights chief has warned. 2015 is a crucial year for the country's democratic transition and long-term reconciliation, said Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. General elections are expected to be held in Myanmar towards the end of 2015. [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

East African nations to share tips on fighting poverty, inequality

WFP/Djaounsede Pardon

Representatives of East African nations are meeting in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi to share best practices on fighting poverty and inequality. The forum of Ministers of Social Development organized by the UN education and cultural agency UNESCO is the first of its kind. Fifteen countries from the region are expected to attend. Jocelyne Sambira [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Hope for 750,000 stateless people in West Africa

Stateless young man, village of Saria, Côte d'Ivoire. Photo: UNHCR/Helene Caux

The future of up to 750,000 people in West Africa who are stateless is coming under the spotlight at a meeting organised by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Côte d'Ivoire. It's part of the agency's bid to end statelessness across the world within 10 years. A stateless person is somebody who has does not [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Boosting women-owned businesses "key to growth"

WFP Training. Photo: WFP

Economic growth can be encouraged around the world if more women were to run small and medium sized enterprises. That's according to the International Monetary Fund. The Fund says that small loans to women who want to start businesses are particularly effective in emerging economies. Jocelyn Frank has been talking to Melanne Vervee, the Executive [...]

25 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

South Sudan parties urged to cease fighting or face consequences

Hervé Ladsous. Photo: UN (file)

Warring factions in the South Sudan conflict should be urged to "cease military operations or face the consequences", a senior UN official has said. The head of peacekeeping operations Hervé Ladsous asked members of the Security Council on Tuesday to issue a statement to that effect. A new round of peace talks between the parties [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 24 February 2015 (PM)

Yemen.Photo: OCHA/EmanAl-Awami

Yemen sanctions renewed for a year Sanctions against Yemen have been renewed by the UN Security Council for the next year. The measure includes an assets freeze and travel bans on individuals or entities that threaten peace and stability in the Middle Eastern nation. Secessionist Houthi militants now control the capital Sana'a while President Abdrabuh [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

“Almost all” of Iraq’s health facilities damaged

Temporary camp in central Iraq. Credit: UNHCR/S. Baldwin (file)

Iraq is one of four countries that urgently needs money to help millions of people suffering from illness and disease, the World Health Organization has said. Dr Jaffer Hussain, WHO's representative for Iraq, says that almost all of the country's health facilities have been damaged following years of instability and intensifying conflict. Many health professionals [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 24 February 2015

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Displaced by conflict in Central African Republic. Photo: WFP/Djanousede Pardon

Upsurge in CAR violence displaces close to 50,000 people An upsurge in violence in the Central African Republic has forced the displacement of almost 50,000 people since the start of the year. That's according to a report released by the UN refugee agency on Tuesday. This includes an estimated 30,000 who have sought refuge in [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Conflict in Central African Republic hits healthcare

Central African Republic (CAR) refugees on the banks of the Oubangui River on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) side. Photo: UNHCR/B. Sokol

The ongoing crisis in the Central African Republic is worsening an already poor healthcare system in the country, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The country has been mired in sectarian violence between the Muslim and Christian militias for the past two years. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

$1 billion must be found to help 21 million people in 2015, says WHO

The conflict continues to have a devastating impact on Syrian civilians, the Human Rights Council heard. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa (file)

The sheer scale of humanitarian needs has stretched the UN's aid system to the limit, World Health Organization says. It's calling for $1 billion to help four countries: Iraq, Central African Republic, Syria and South Sudan. An estimated 21 million people affected by conflict urgently need the cash , as Daniel Johnson reports. One billion [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ukraine agrees on withdrawal of heavy weaponry

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Pavlo Klimkin, Foreign Minister of Ukraine. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Ukraine has agreed on the need for the "urgent and immediate" withdrawal of heavy weaponry in the east of the country, according to the UN. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Foreign Affairs Minister of the eastern European nation, Pavlo Klimkin on Tuesday. The accord is part of the Minsk ceasefire agreement signed by Government [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Iran and UN nuclear agency to resolve "outstanding issues"

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. File Photo: IAEA/D. Calma

An agreement has been reached to resolve "all outstanding issues" related to Iran's nuclear programme, the UN nuclear agency has announced. Director General Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister S. Abbas Araghchi in Vienna on Tuesday. The Agency has extended its monitoring and verification activities in [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

South Sudan humanitarian crisis to be discussed

A group of displaced women and children from South Sudan. Photo: UNHCR/L.F. Godinho (file)

The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and protection of civilians are expected to be discussed by the Security Council on Tuesday. Africa's newest nation has been rocked by instability since last December following an internal power struggle that has escalated into a civil war. Over two million people remain displaced by the conflict in South [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN peacekeeping needs improved technology to respond to crises

Unmanned/Unarmed Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti (file)

Peacekeeping missions need to have improved technology if they are to respond adequately to their mandates. A new UN report makes 120 recommendations to help UN peacekeeping close the so-called "technology gap". This includes the increased use of drones. Assistant Secretary-General Jane Holl Lute is Chair of a panel of experts looking at how to [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

A hospital recovers from Ebola in Liberia

A team of technicians getting ready to handle a sample for Ebola testing in Liberia. Photo: UNMEER (file)/Martine Perret

One of the casualties of the Ebola in Liberia has been its health care infrastructure, including its second largest referral hospital. Liberia is one of the three West African countries that have been hardest hit by Ebola which has claimed over 9,300 lives in the region. Redemption Hospital, located in a town just outside the [...]

24 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 23 February 2015 (PM)

Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Bernardino Léon. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

Special Envoy for Libya working to kick-start peace talks The UN's Special Envoy for Libya, Bernadino Leon, is "hard at work" talking to the country's political leaders in an attempt to kick-start peace talks, the UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has said. Reports by the media say that parliamentarians in the North African country have decided [...]

23 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN calls for "transparency" in Maldives arrest

Stéphane Dujarric. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The UN has urged for fairness and transparency in regards to the legal proceedings against the former Maldives President. Mohamed Nasheed, now the leader of the opposition, was seized on Sunday. Media reports say he is facing charges of terrorism. Jocelyne Sambira has more. Pictures of Mohamed Nasheed being pushed on the ground and dragged [...]

23 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 23 February 2015

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Use of "smart' syringes recommended to make injections safe

WHO calls for use of "smart syringes" worldwide. Photo: WHO

The use of the same syringe or needle on more than one person can cause the spread of deadly infectious diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN agency says both patients and health workers and are at risk of being accidentally infected during procedures with injections. The agency on Monday launched a [...]

23 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 23 February 2015 (AM)

This child soldier, demobilized in South Sudan in 2015, has never been to school and he really wants to go to school now. Photo: UNICEF/Doune Porter

New child abductions by armed groups in South Sudan The kidnapping of scores of young boys by an armed group near Malakal, north of South Sudan has been strongly condemned by the UN Children's Fund UNICEF. The agency's education team report that 89 children were forcibly taken while doing their exams. The actual number could [...]

23 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Without UN, past 70 years would have been "bloodier"

Security Council. Credit: UN Photo (file)/Loey Felipe

The past seven decades would have been bloodier without the existence of the United Nations. That's what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told delegates during a Security Council debate on Monday. Organized by China, the discussions focused on reaffirming the world's commitment to the UN Charter signed in San Francisco back in 1945. Stephanie Castro has [...]

23 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Extent of Islamic State violence revealed in new UN report

A mother and her child at a Maternity and Child Hospital in Halabja, in the northern Kurdistan Region of Iraq.  (file photo)  UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade

Civilians in at least one-third of Iraq have become victims of systematic and gross human rights abuses by Islamic State (IS) fighters, according to a new UN report. It highlights the abduction, rape and trafficking of women and the use of children to shield jihadi fighters on the front line, among many other violations. Francesco [...]

23 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Call for immediate release of children abducted in South Sudan

The recruitment and use of children in armed forces and groups is a grave violation of international law - UNICEF/Porter

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is calling for the immediate release of dozens of young boys and six teachers who were abducted in South Sudan. Eighty-nine boys, the youngest of whom were 13, were taken by an unknown group of armed men while they studied for exams in Wau Shilluk near Malakal in Upper Nile [...]

23 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Widespread human rights violations in Iraq by ISIL, armed groups

A large number of civilians remained displaced, with limited access to humanitarian assistance. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis (file)

Human rights violations in Iraq are widespread and of an increasingly sectarian nature, a new UN report has found. Released on Monday, it documents serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross abuses of human rights perpetrated over a three month period by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The report also [...]

23 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Cholera in Haiti "overshadowed" by other crises

Pedro Medrano Rojas  (second from right)  pays a visit to Mireballais. Photo: MINUSTAH/Nektarios Markogiannis -

The fight against cholera in Haiti has been overshadowed by other health crises around the world according to the UN's top envoy on the disease for the Caribbean island. A cholera outbreak which began in 2010 has led to the deaths of over 8600 people. Recently there has been a surge in cases. Pedro Medrano [...]

23 Feb 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Trafficked persons in Malaysia to share their ordeals

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Victims of human trafficking in Malaysia will be given the opportunity to make their voices heard, according to a UN Special Rapporteur. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro will start a six-day mission on Monday in Malaysia to assess the trafficking of persons in the country, especially women and children. She said the government needs to hear first-hand [...]

23 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Japan praised for progress in decommissioning nuclear reactor

IAEA team at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Photo: IAEA/Greg Webb (file)

Japan has been praised by the UN's atomic energy agency, for the progress it has made in shutting down a nuclear reactor which was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. High levels of radiation were recorded around the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in the north of the country following the tsunami. An expert [...]

22 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Samoan youth call for larger voice in radio

More young people need to be involved in radio production. Photo: ILO (file)

More young people need to be involved in radio production, according to several students from the National University of Samoa. Tutuila Farao, a student of Journalism at the University interviewed his fellow classmates in a special feature on Campus Radio as part of an initiative by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to highlight youth unemployment [...]

21 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Global business "focused" on workplace rights issues

Of the 21 million in forced labour 70% are in forced labour exploitation and 22% are in forced sexual exploitation. Photo: ILO/A. Khemka

The major global companies are increasingly focusing on the importance of human rights issues in the workplace. That's according to a senior executive at the Coca Cola Company who's been at the UN to speak about the private sector's role in ending human trafficking and forced labour. The International labour Organisation (ILO) estimates there are [...]

20 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 20 February 2015 (PM)

A street scene in Mogadishu, the Somali capital. Photo: AU-UN IST/Stuart Price

Car bomb attacks in Mogadishu condemned by UN envoy An attack on a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu on Friday has been strongly condemned by the top UN envoy in the country. At least 20 people, including senior members of the government are reported to have been killed in the attack which involved two [...]

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Agriculture must change, says senior UN official

José Graziano da Silva. UN PHOTO

The model of agricultural production that predominates today is not suitable for the new food security challenges of the 21st century. That's what José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told a meeting in the French capital, Paris on Friday. The International Forum on Agriculture and Climate Change, organized [...]

20 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Nigeria urged to uphold new dates for elections

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard (file)

Authorities in Nigeria have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to ensure that rearranged general elections take place as planned. The elections were originally scheduled to be held in February but were reportedly postponed to March and April because of security concerns. The most populous nation in Africa continues to face the threat of Boko [...]

20 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

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"Unthinkable crimes" continue to occur daily in Syria

From right: Paulo Pinheiro, Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria and Commission members Karen AbuZayd, Carla del Ponte and Vitit Muntarbhorn. Photo: Jean-Marc Ferré

Unthinkable crimes continue to occur daily in Syria as conflict now approaches its fifth year, a group of independent human rights experts has warned. On Friday, they were presenting their latest report on Syria to the UN Security Council. It charts out the human rights violations that occurred over the course of the conflict from [...]

20 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 20 February 2015 (AM)

UN human rights office spokesperson Rupert Colville said survivors spoke of two attacks on the marketplace in Douma, Damascus. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferre

Russian authorities urged to release Ukrainian pilot Russian authorities have been urged by the UN human rights office to release a Ukrainian pilot who has been detained in Moscow since July last year. Nadiia Savchenko was captured by pro-Russian separatists who have been battling for control of eastern Ukraine. Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN [...]

20 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Breakthrough" Ebola test kit unveiled

Ebola test laboratory in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount, Liberia. UNMEER/Martine Perret

A new test kit to identify the deadly Ebola infection in just 15 minutes has raised hope that new advances can be made fighting the disease. Ebola has killed almost 9,500 people in West Africa, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The test been described as a "breakthrough" by the World Health Organization. It [...]

20 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Concern voiced about captured soldiers and trapped civilians in Ukraine

The report highlights alleged human rights abuses in eastern Ukraine by groups which Russia "exercises influence" over. Photo: UNHCR

The fate of captured Ukrainian soldiers and civilians trapped in the conflict in the Debaltseve area has caused concern for the UN human rights office in Geneva. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says it regrets that monitors of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have not been [...]

20 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Chelsea fan racism typical of "cruel and casual" abuse in Europe

UN human rights office spokesperson Rupert Colville said staff found "incredibly disturbing accounts" of alleged abuse. Photo: UN

Chelsea football fans aren't the only ones responsible for racist slurs which happen all the time in Europe, the UN High Commissioner's office has said. It says it wants action against racism which escapes unnoticed because it hasn't been filmed like the incident in the Paris underground on Tuesday, as Daniel Johnson reports. Racist chants [...]

20 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Band-Aid" approach to social injustice is responsible for world's problems, says UN investigator

Alfred de Zayas. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

A short-term approach to global development has resulted in social injustice and terrorism, according to a leading UN human rights expert. Speaking on The World Day of Social Justice, Special Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas has criticised governments for a "Band-Aid" approach to terrorism. In an interview with Daniel Johnson, the human rights expert pins part [...]

20 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Sharks to swim more safely with software

Lemon shark in Bora-Bora, French Polynesia. Photo: Tanguy Thomas

Sharks may be able to swim the world's oceans more safely one day thanks to a new digital technique developed by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. An increasing number of shark species are endangered as many are being fished just for the fin. The carcasses are then often discarded. The carcasses of the fish [...]

20 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 19 February 2015 (PM)

Young residents at a new settlement occupied only by women and children at the Zam Zam camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North Darfur. UN Photo/Albert González Faran

Over 41,000 people displaced by conflict in Darfur this year More than 41,000 people have been displaced by conflict in Sudan's North and Central Darfur region since the beginning of the year, according to the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA). OCHA points out that the number of newly displaced people in need of assistance and protection [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN CALLING ASIA: Nearly 4000 Afghan civilians killed in 2014

At a Kabul press conference on 18 February, senior UN officials discussed the latest UN report on conflict-related civilian deaths and injuries, which rose 22 per cent over 2013 to more than 10,000 in 2014, largely as a result of increased ground engagements. Photos: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA

A 22 per cent rise in conflict-related deaths and injuries of Afghan civilians in 2014, has been reported by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Nearly 4000 people died during the year. On Wednesday, UNAMA released its annual briefing on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, prepared in coordination with the Office of [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

WOMEN: Role of caregiver turns fatal for women in Ebola stricken countries

Village near Makeni, Sierra Leone. UNMEER/Martine Perret

Women have died in large numbers in West Africa due to the role they have played as caregivers to people infected by the deadly Ebola virus; that's according to the head of UN Women. More than 9,000 people have died from Ebola in the three worst affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Executive Director [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN Daily News 19 February 2015

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"Harmony" needed to fight violent extremism, says UN chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) addresses the opening of the Ministerial Meeting of the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, hosted by the United States Government, in Washington, D.C. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The emergence of a new generation of transnational terrorist groups is a grave threat to international peace and security, the UN Secretary-General warned on Thursday. Ban Ki-moon addressed a Summit on Countering Violent extremism convened by US President Barack Obama in Washington D.C. He said addressing the growth of extremism may be the greatest test [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 19 February 2015 (AM)

Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah

United Arab Emirates helps feed Palestinian refugees in Syria More than 90,000 Palestinian refugee families in Syria are getting food assistance thanks to a donation from the United Arab Emirates. The UN Refugee Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) announced a contribution of $15 million from the UAE to help Palestinian refugee families during what it [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Tool launched to reduce marketing of unhealthy foods to children in Europe

WHO-Regional Office for Europe@PHOTO

A new guide to help reduce the marketing of unhealthy foods to children across Europe has been launched by the UN's health agency. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that foods high in energy, fats, sugars or salt leads to unhealthy diets and contributes to obesity in children. The agency has developed its nutrient profile [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Precarious" humanitarian situation for Ukrainians

A woman collects aid items at a distribution centre in Nikolayevka, eastern Ukraine. Photo: UNHCR/E. Zivatdinov

The humanitarian situation of people in Ukraine affected by the ongoing conflict in the country has been described as "precarious" by the UN's World Food Programme (WFP). The food agency is scaling up its emergency operation in eastern Ukraine to feed close to 190,000 vulnerable people displaced by fighting. It's also trying to reach civilians [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Syrian authorities urged to release detainees

UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said member states had an obligation to investigate all allegations swiftly. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

The government of Syria has been urged by the UN human rights chief to release all the people who have been held by its forces and militias. In a statement issued on Thursday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said perhaps hundreds of thousands of people have been detained since the [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Investing in Neglected Tropical Diseases will take more than foreign aid

A young girl in Kaduna state, Nigeria, carries water from a river known to be infested with flies that cause river blindness. Photo: IRIN/Kate Holt

While some progress has been made to combat Neglected Tropical Diseases, more people need access to preventative care and treatments, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). These diseases include leprosy, river blindness, and elephantiasis, and thrive mainly among the poorest populations. WHO is launching a new report on Thursday which makes the case for [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

African women and children released after 13 years in captivity

Displaced woman in Dungu, northern DRC, after attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army

Four women and nine children have been released by rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and are returning to their families in South Sudan, Congo and Uganda. One woman was only 12 years old when she was captured and taken to the Democratic Republic of the Congo by LRA rebels. She bore three children [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Landmines do not recognise peace, says UN agency

UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Mine clearance takes time and money and the UN agency that's leading global efforts against the deadly ordnance says it needs nearly $300 million to carry on with its work. UNMAS has identified 23 countries and territories which require its help urgently with 175 ongoing projects. UNMAS director Agnès Marcaillou tells Daniel Johnson that countries [...]

19 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 18 February 2015 (PM)

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Threat to shut down UN radio operation in South Sudan causes concern A threat to shut down the United Nations radio operation in South Sudan has caused concern for the UN Mission in the country (UNMISS). The threat has reportedly been made by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting after Radio Miraya aired an interview [...]

18 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Libya faces imminent danger from ISIL and other terrorists, warns UN envoy

The UN Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

ISIL and other terrorist groups are posing an imminent danger to the people of Libya and the wider region. This warning has come from the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Libya, Bernardino León who briefed the Security Council on Wednesday. Stephanie Castro reports. In his briefing to the Security Council by video conference, Bernardino León [...]

18 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ten times fewer Ebola cases but much more needed to "finish job"

Operation Stop Ebola!! in Paynesville, Liberia. UNMEER/Martine Perret

There are now ten times fewer people diagnosed with Ebola each week than there were in September last year, according to the UN Special Envoy. David Nabarro was on Wednesday giving an update on the response to the Ebola virus disease to members of the General Assembly in New York. Over 9,300 people have died [...]

18 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 18 February 2015

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Africa tackles challenges of extreme weather hazards

Flood victims rush to a rescue boat of the Malawi Defence Force in Makalanga. Photo: UNDP/Arjan van de Merwe

Africa is not well equipped to forecast weather conditions and respond to disasters, according to a senior official from Malawi. This issue was discussed by African government Ministers responsible for meteorological at a meeting, organized by the UN weather agency and the African Union which took place in Cape Verde. The ministers shared ideas on [...]

18 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 18 February 2015 (AM)

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed briefs the press. UN Photo/Cia Pak

Iran urged to stop execution of juvenile offender Authorities in Iran have been urged by UN independent human rights experts to immediately halt the execution of a juvenile offender. According to reports, Saman Nassem was 17 years old when he was arrested and sentenced to death in 2012 for so-called crimes against God. He is [...]

18 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Concern voiced over deaths of albino children in Tanzania

More protection needed for albinos in Tanzania. UN Photo (file) /Marie Frechon

The abduction and presumed murder of an albino baby in Tanzania has been condemned by the United Nations. One year old Yohana Bahati who lived with albinism was taken from his home in the north of the East African country on Sunday. His body was found three days later with arms and legs removed. Other [...]

18 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Nearly 4000 Afghan civilians killed in 2014

At a Kabul press conference on 18 February, senior UN officials discussed the latest UN report on conflict-related civilian deaths and injuries, which rose 22 per cent over 2013 to more than 10,000 in 2014, largely as a result of increased ground engagements. Photos: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA

A 22 per cent rise in conflict-related deaths and injuries of Afghan civilians in 2014, has been reported by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Nearly 4000 people died during the year. On Wednesday, UNAMA released its annual briefing on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, prepared in coordination with the Office of [...]

18 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Israel urged to release tax revenues to Palestinian Authority

Palestinian workers. Photo: IRIN/Erica Silverman

Israel has been urged once again to reverse its decision to withhold the transfer of revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. The call was made by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, during his briefing to the Security Council on Wednesday. Jeffrey Feltman warned that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians [...]

18 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Syrian government willing to stop bombing, says UN envoy

A damaged building in Aleppo City, Syria. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Connell (file)

The Syrian government has indicated its willingness to halt all aerial bombing and artillery shelling for a period of six weeks in the city of Aleppo. That's what the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura has told reporters in New York. Syria continues to be embroiled in the conflict which started as [...]

18 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

All armed forces in South Sudan urged to release child soldiers

Child soldiers in South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF South Sudan/Marinetta Peru (file)

The government and opposition forces in South Sudan have been urged to release all child soldiers who are still in their ranks and to, once and for all, stop recruiting children. The UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children in Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougi has presented a new report investigating the treatment of [...]

18 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Security Council endorses "package of measures" to resolve Ukraine crisis

Jim Mclay. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The Security Council has endorsed as so-called "package of measures" adopted and signed in Minsk last week to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. A resolution, tabled by Russia was unanimously adopted by the 15-member Council on Tuesday. Fighting has continued in the eastern part of Ukraine, despite a ceasefire agreed on last year. Derrick Mbatha [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 17 February 2015 (PM)

Somali refugees rest on the coast of Yemen after their gruelling sea journey from the Horn of Africa.© UNHCR/R.Nur

Migrant rescue programme "woefully inadequate" Many more migrants will die crossing the Mediterranean Sea unless European governments step up search-and-rescue operations. That's according to the UN Refugee Agency chief, António Guterres, who made the comment following the deaths at sea last week of at least 300 people who had fled from Libya. He said the [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Sexually active adolescents need to be better prepared to have safe sex

UNAIDS@PHOTO

Adolescents need to be better prepared in order to engage in safe sexual relations, according to the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS. The agency reports that new HIV infections among adolescents are not declining as quickly as among other age groups. The Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS, Louis Loures, says this is due to [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Iraq's pressing goal is to "win back territory" from ISIL

Security Council Meeting. UN Photo//Eskinder Debebe

Winning back territory taken by the Islamic State terrorist group, or ISIL, is Iraq's most pressing goal, according to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the country. Nickolay Mladenov was on Tuesday in New York briefing the Security Council on the latest developments in Iraq. Armed conflict and acts of terrorism continue to [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

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News in Brief 17 February 2015 (AM)

The remains of burnt vehicles following demonstrations in Ukraine. (February 2014). Photo: UN

Continued shelling in Ukraine alarms UN human rights office Reports of continued shelling in the Debaltseve area of eastern Ukraine have caused alarm at the United Nations human rights office in Geneva. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says it is particularly concerned about the civilians trapped in the area where a [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Top UN envoy "a paranoid optimist" about Iraq

Nickolay Mladenov. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The outgoing head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has described himself as "a paranoid optimist" about the country. Nickolay Mladenov on Tuesday briefed the Security Council for the last time as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq. Iraq has been facing a long-term security crisis, exacerbated by the emergence of the [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ukraine ambassador urges separatists to respect fragile ceasefire accord

Yurii Klymenko. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

The Ukrainian government has called for "concrete deeds" from separatist fighters to respect the days-old ceasefire agreement. Amid continuing fighting in the south-east of the country, Ukraine's ambassador to the UN said Russian-backed militants had not pulled back their troops from the front line. The ambassador said any attempt to move away from the Minsk [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Rice production down 8% in Ebola-affected Guinea

Farmers in Sierra Leone, one of three countries hardest hit by the Ebola Virus, threshing rice. Photo: FAO/Caroline Thomas

The production of rice has fallen by over eight per cent in some parts of Guinea in West Africa as a result of the Ebola crisis, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The deadly virus which has left more than 9,000 people dead mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has disrupted [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Plan to fight HIV/AIDS among adolescents launched

UNAIDS@PHOTO

A new platform of action to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic among adolescents was launched in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday. UNAIDS, and the UN children's agency (UNICEF) are partnering with several UN and other agencies as well as youth movements in the new effort against AIDS. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya launched the platform known as [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Libyans urged to resist extremism in wake of mass beheadings

Refugees in Benghazi face an even more uncertain future amid rising insecurity

The "brutal" mass beheading of 21 Christians in Libya must not be allowed to make the security situation any worse, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has warned. In his statement Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein calls on Libyans to resist extremism. The UN refugee agency meanwhile has said that people smuggling gangs have profited [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Men encouraged to combat violence against women in Egypt

Egyptian girl. Photo: UNDP/Jose Sanchez

A new programme to involve men and boys in combating violence against women in Egypt has been unveiled by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). According to a United Nations study conducted in 2013, 99% of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment. The initiative, was launched in partnership with the National Council for [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Security Council to discuss intervention in Libya

Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The growing influence of and possible intervention against the ISIL terrorist group in Libya is due to be discussed by the UN Security Council on Wednesday. It follows the apparent murder by ISIL in Libya of 21 Egyptian Christians earlier this week. The 15-member Council is meeting at the request of Jordan Daniel Dickinson reports. [...]

17 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 16 February 2015

Humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine. Photo: UNHCR

Start of ceasefire in Ukraine welcomed by UN chief The start of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. On 12 February, diplomatic efforts between Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany led to a decision to cease all hostilities by midnight on 15 February. Ban Ki-moon said that the ceasefire appears [...]

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"Heinous and cowardly" murder of 21 Egyptians in Libya

Displaced people in eastern Libya outside the town of Ajdabiya

The apparent murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by an affiliate of the terrorist group the Islamic State (ISIL) has been condemned by the United Nations. Media outlets have reported a video showing militants forcing a group of men to the ground and decapitating them. ISIL is trying to impose its interpretation of [...]

16 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

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"Human suffering" continues in Central African Republic

Over half a million people have been displaced in the Central African Republic. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes

Human suffering continues in the Central African Republic (CAR) and greater access is needed to protect vulnerable communities. Those are the findings of top UN and European Union relief officials, who on Monday wrapped up a five-day mission to the country. More than two years of civil war and sectarian violence have displaced over half [...]

16 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Global fertilizer use expected to hit record levels

FAO distributed seeds and fertilizers after flooding in Pakistan's Khyber district.
©FAO/Prakash Singh

The use of fertilizers to boost agricultural production around the world is expected to reach record levels above 200 million tonnes by 2018, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In a new report, FAO says that is an increase of 25 per cent over 2008 levels. As the world strives to feed [...]

16 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Rwandan peacekeepers build school with South Sudan community

Students at Rwandan-built Kapuri Primary School near Juba during handover ceremony on 9 February (see story below). Photo: UNMISS/JC McIlwaine

Children in the Kapuri community in South Sudan's Central Equatoria State are celebrating the opening of a school built by UN peacekeepers from Rwanda (UNMISS) The project was born following a routine patrol last year in which the soldiers found pupils in the town studying under trees in make-shift classrooms with no sanitation facilities. The newly [...]

16 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Spotlight on rural transformation at IFAD

Farmers. Photo: IFAD

Rural transformation is coming under the spotlight at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome on Monday. The agency is convening the 38th session of the IFAD Governing Council and is focusing on how rural development is key to sustainable development. Stephanie Coutrix reports. While an estimated 70 per cent of the world's [...]

16 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Veterinary services in Africa not equipped to respond to Ebola

Ape. Photo: UNEP/Johannes Refisch

Veterinary services in Africa are not equipped to detect or respond quickly to an outbreak of the Ebola virus in animals, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. Chimpanzees, gorillas and apes continue to be infected and harmed by the Ebola virus. Ebola first appeared in 1976 in a village near the Ebola River [...]

16 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Pandemics "are optional", says World Bank expert

Workers from an Ebola Treatment Units in the west African region where the deadly disease has killed more than 11,200 people. Photo: UN/Martine Perret

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa has shown how difficult it is to prevent an infectious disease from spreading into other countries. This is even more so when it starts in a poor country with weak public health infrastructure. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that in addition to causing catastrophic [...]

16 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Kosovo women encouraged to exercise inheritance rights

Women Property Rights. Image: Banner UNMIK.

Women in Kosovo are being encouraged by the United Nations to exercise their legal right to claim property. Men and women in the territory have equal inheritance rights, but when the issue comes up in courts, women frequently decide to give their share of family property to their male relatives. The UN in Kosovo is [...]

16 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Japan “resolute” in face of terrorism

Yasuhisa Kawamura. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Japan has said it will stand alongside the international community as it faces up to battling terrorism in the Middle East. It follows the execution in Syria in January of two Japanese nationals by the militant terrorist group Islamic State, also known as ISIL. Daniel Dickinson has more details. Duration: 2’23″

15 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Mini-series captures story of slavery through eyes of woman

Aunjanue Ellis, American actress on 11 February 2015 during a pre-screening at the UN of the TV miniseries "Book of Negroes" as part of the
commemorative activities for the Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Photo: UN

Brave, empowered and smart describes the lead character in a six-part television mini-series detailing the journey of a female slave in the 18th Century. A pre-screening of the "Book of Negroes" was held at the UN in Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Aunjanue Ellis plays Aminata Diallo from Mali [...]

14 Feb 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 13 February 2015 (PM)

The UN food agency WFP is to work closely with World Health Organization on the ground. Photo: WFP/Merel van Egdom

Food support for communities recovering from Ebola Communities in West Africa that are recovering from the Ebola outbreak are receiving three months of food assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP). The UN agency says Ebola-free communities need continued support to help people restart their lives. A new partnership between WFP and the World Health [...]

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Ukraine welcomes new ceasefire agreement

Yuriy Sergeyev, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN, briefs journalists. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Ukraine has welcomed a new ceasefire agreement which was signed on Thursday in Minsk, Belarus, to bring conflict in the country to an end. Government forces have been battling pro-Russian separatists over control of key towns in the eastern part of the country since April last year. The UN human rights office recently described the [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 13 February 2015

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Woman in Darfur. Photo: UNAMID

Decision to release on bail journalists in Egypt welcomed by UN The decision by the Egyptian authorities to release on bail two Al Jazeera journalists has been welcomed by the United Nations. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he hopes the cases of Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, as well as those of other journalists in [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Refugees fleeing Nigeria need urgent assistance

Refugees from Nigeria queue to get water at the Minawao camp in Cameroon. Photo: UNHCR/D. Mbaiorem

As violence spills into countries neighbouring Nigeria, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is calling for urgent humanitarian access to displaced people. UNHCR says the situation is becoming increasingly terrifying for refugees, locals and aid workers. Nigeria has been battling Boko Haram in the north of the country for a number of years. Thousands of people [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

A poem for World Radio Day

Refugee children from South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS

A "Place to call Home" is a poem read by Sebila Aburu from Confident Children out of Conflict, a South Sudanese NGO that supports orphans and street children. It is written by Clement who is part of a community radio project called Conn@ctFriends which connects young people in South Sudan through the medium of radio. [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Yemen crisis could spark new suffering for vulnerable children, UNICEF warns

Children face recruitment by armed groups, UNICEF says. Photo: OCHA

Progress made in addressing malnutrition and preventable disease in Yemen could be undone if the political crisis continues there, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF has warned. The agency's humanitarian work continues despite a precarious security situation, amid a funding shortfall and fears that government funding could dry up. Daniel Johnson reports. Duration: 1’58″

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

A story for World Radio Day

Children at play in Juba. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Read by 15 year old Madol, "The Lion and the Rat" is a traditional African story about friendship and the importance of accepting difference. Madol lives on a United Nations civilian compound in Juba, South Sudan for people who have been forced to flee their homes by the ongoing conflict in the country. He's involved [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Radio in rural communities engages youth

Rural Radio. Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Young people living in rural Africa are actively engaging in their own development because of radio, says the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). A communication project supported by FAO called Dimitra is being used as a platform to disseminate information and share experiences on farming and food security. Working with local and community stations, the [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Geneva talks "prime the pump" for global climate deal

Climate Change talks in Geneva. Photo: UNOG

Key climate change talks in Geneva have "primed the pump" for agreeing new global targets that could protect the planet, the UN said on Friday. The discussions in the Swiss city represent one of the last opportunities to craft a document that can be used to ink a legally binding agreement in Paris in December. [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

World Radio Day message from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon, World Radio Day. Photo: UN

World Radio Day message from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Duration: 0′ 38″

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Youth can improve world through radio

Youth and Radio. Promotional Image, UNESCO.

Radio can help to create a more inclusive and prosperous society especially if young people are more represented in the medium. That's according to UN cultural agency, UNESCO, on the fourth annual World Radio Day. It says too few programmes are devoted to, or designed, by young people. Stephanie Coutrix reports. Radio reaches more people [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Radio initiative helps Kenyans to improve employment chances

Broadcasters give youth a boost. Photo: ILO

Radio remains a powerful tool for communication in Kenya and is helping young people get ahead in life. That's the message from the International Labour Organization (ILO) on World Radio Day, celebrated annually on 13th February. The ILO has been supporting radio programmes for young people in the East African country. Carla Drysdale reports about [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Boko Haram violence causes mass displacements into Niger

A group of refugees in Diffa, Niger, after fleeing Boko Haram violence in Nigeria. Photo: OCHA/Franck Kuwonu

Niger has faced a continuous influx of people crossing the border since fighting broke out in Northern Nigeria, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Neighbouring countries like Cameroon and Chad are also forced to host these refugees, straining what little resources they had in their communities. The nutritional state of the children is of [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Radio "wonderful tool" for young people

UNESCO@PHOTO

Young people around the world are increasingly using radio to express their views and discuss issues they are concerned about. In recognition of the power of the medium, the theme for this year's World Radio Day, which is observed on 13 February each year is "Youth and Radio". The UN cultural agency (UNESCO) says it [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Peacekeeping’s "invaluable resource"

MINUSMA@PHOTO

Radio is an invaluable resource to peacekeeping, the head of a recently-launched UN Radio in the West African nation of Mali has said. Helene Papper made the remarks ahead of World Radio Day (WRD) observed annually on 13 February. The Day is a global celebration of radio as a medium and this year's goal is [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Radio programme gives voice to Tanzanian youth

Children in Tanzania. Photo credits: UNICEF Tanzania/Namfua

A Tanzanian youth radio programme is giving a platform to young people to talk about the issues that are affecting their lives, according to Shaban Ramadhani Maganga. The Young Reporters Network (YRN) of Tanzania is a UN Children's Fund-led initiative in which children aged 10 to 17 produce radio programmes on subjects which are important [...]

13 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

WOMEN: Mini-series captures story of slavery through eyes of woman

Aunjanue Ellis, American actress on 11 February 2015 during a pre-screening at the UN of the TV miniseries "Book of Negroes" as part of the
commemorative activities for the Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Photo: UN

Brave, empowered and smart describes the lead character in a six-part television mini-series detailing the journey of a female slave in the 18th Century. A pre-screening of the mini-series "Book of Negroes" was held at the UN in Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Aunjanue Ellis plays Aminata Diallo from [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

News in Brief 12 February 2015 (PM)

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

"Genuine and lasting" ceasefire in Ukraine needs to be ensured, says UN chief The ceasefire in Ukraine which is due to begin on 15 February needs to be "genuine and lasting", the UN Secretary-General has stressed. Ban Ki-moon said he closely followed the intensive diplomatic efforts of the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN CALLING ASIA: Japan "resolute" in face of terrorism

Yasuhisa Kawamura. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Japan has said it will stand alongside the international community as it faces up to battling terrorism in the Middle East. It follows the execution in Syria in January of two Japanese nationals by the militant terrorist group Islamic State, also known as ISIL. Daniel Dickinson has more details. Over 9 million Afghan children in [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Niger radio stations take fight for gender equality onto airwaves

Women from the village of Datchandou, Niger. Photo: FAO (archive)

Radio is hugely important for remote communities in Niger and now it's being used to tackle prejudice and inequality for the benefit of all listeners. In a bid to end damaging stereotypes, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has come up with a guide for radio stations to promote gender equality. FAO officer Alice [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 12 February 2015 (AM)

The pace of reconstruction in Gaza remains slow. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Aid agencies requesting US$ 705 million for Palestine Aid agencies are requesting US$ 705 million to address humanitarian needs in Palestine during 2015. On Thursday the Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Palestine and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the territory released the Strategic Response Plan for this year. It aims to address the [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

West African farmers get support from World Bank ahead of planting season

Vegetable Farmers in Sierra Leone. Photo: FAO

Up to US$ 15 million in emergency financing for farmers in West Africa has been provided by the World Bank. This will provide 10,500 tons of maize and rice seeds to more than 200,000 farmers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who have been affected by the Ebola disease outbreak. More than 9,100 people have [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Daily News 12 February 2015

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12 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

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Security Council tightens sanctions against ISIL terrorists

UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Tougher measures to stop ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq from accessing funds to finance their activities have been imposed by the UN Security Council. On Thursday the Council unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at blocking money that flows to the terrorists through the sale of oil, trafficking in antiquities and ransom payments. The resolution [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

$ 2 billion needed to fight hunger in Sahel

Africa's Sahel region. Photo: FAO

Close to US$2 billion are needed to address the food and malnutrition crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa, according to the UN. 20 million people in the Sahel are currently food insecure, the humanitarian envoy for the region has warned on Thursday. The Sahel runs through south of Africa's Sahara Desert, which is [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Yemen is collapsing before our eyes", says UN chief

Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Yemen is collapsing before our eyes and the global community cannot stand by and watch, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon on Thursday was briefing the UN Security Council on recent developments in the country. He said a dangerous political crisis continues in the capital, Sana'a. Stephanie Coutrix reports. Developments in Yemen threaten regional [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council votes to freeze financial assets of ISIL

Mark Lyall Grant, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN.
Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The sources of funding of terrorist groups affiliated to al-Qaeda, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL have been targeted by a UN Security Council resolution. ISIL is trying to impose its interpretation of Islam by terrorising people in the territories they control in the Middle East. On Thursday, the 15-member body voted [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Sea tragedy survivors "clung to dinghies' for two days" before rescue

Italian coastguards arrive at the quay in Lampedusa with survivors of this week's tragedy in the Mediterranean. Photo: UNHCR/F. Fossi

Survivors of the Mediterranean Sea tragedy that cost at least 300 lives at the weekend had to cling to ropes after being pitched into the water by storm waves, the UN has said. Details of their ordeal have emerged after 84 people were rescued by the Italian coastguard at the weekend 100 miles from land. [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Brutal conflicts leave children increasingly at risk of recruitment

Former child soldiers in Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Children are increasingly vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups as conflicts around the world become more brutal, intense and widespread, according to the United Nations. On the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers marked on Thursday, the organization is calling for urgent action to end what it called these "grave violations". Stephanie Coutrix [...]

12 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 11 February 2015 (PM)

Child. Photo: UNICEF

Hundreds more children released from armed group in South Sudan Three hundred children have been released from an armed group in South Sudan, according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. The children surrendered their weapons in Pibor, Jonglei State, and will spend their first night in an interim care centre, where they will have access [...]

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Human Rights Watch report on mass rape in Darfur welcomed by UN

Woman living in Darfur. UN Photo/Albert González Farran

A new report on mass rape in Darfur produced by the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch has been welcomed by the United Nations. The report says that Sudanese army forces raped more than 200 women and girls in an organized attack on the north Darfur town of Tabit in October 2014. It also states that [...]

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Daily News 11 February 2015

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Peace talks in Libya reconvene

Participants to the UN-mediated Libyan dialogue on arrival in the western city of Ghedames. Photo: UNSMIL

Peace talks in Libya reconvened in the city of Ghadames on Wednesday, facilitated by the UN Support Mission in the country, UNSMIL. For the first time, all invited participants reportedly attended the talks, which UNSMIL said were conducted in a constructive and positive atmosphere. Libya has been plagued by factional fighting since Muammar al-Qhadafi was [...]

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 11 February 2015

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World Radio Day audio message: Irina Bokova

Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova. Photo: UNESCO/Danica Bijeljac

Audio Message of Irina Bokova, Director-General of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) Duration: 1'24″

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 11 February 2015 (AM)

Staffan de Mistura. Credit: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

"Intensive" discussions between UN and Syrian Government "Intensive" discussions have been taking place in the Syrian capital Damascus between the UN Special Envoy for the country and the Syrian Government. Staffan De Mistura said his focus is on the importance of reducing the violence of the conflict and increasing the access of humanitarian assistance to [...]

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Women's health issues require increased global attention

WHO/PAHO/H.Ruiz

The subject of women's health has not been discussed as fully as possible around the world, according to a women and development expert. Dr Nisreen El-Hashemite, who is the Executive Director of the Royal Academy of Science International Trust, gave opening remarks at a high level forum at the UN in New York on women's [...]

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

300 people missing in "major tragedy" in Mediterranean

Mediterranean crossing. Photo: UNHCR/A. D'Amato

An incident in which 300 people reportedly went missing while crossing the Mediterranean Sea has been described as a "major tragedy" by the UN Refugee Agency, UNCHR. The migrants and refugees mainly from sub-Saharan Africa were attempting to travel by boat from Libya to Italy. Last year, 600 people died in two tragedies off the [...]

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Diplomats counting on youth to shape the future

Participants of the 2015 Youth Forum. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

What world do young people want to see in fifteen years? That's one of the questions United Nations Ambassadors asked at a youth assembly taking place at the United Nations in New York. The main theme of the two-day event is "bridging the gap between youth unemployment and global development". Stephanie Castro reports. Never before [...]

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Economy fundamental to achieving social goals

Photo: UNCTAD/United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Image

Economic transformation is fundamental to achieving social goals, according to the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD. Mukhisa Kituyi spoke after UNCTAD held an event in New York on making sustainable development goals work. Grece Kaneiya asked Mr. Kituyi about the Sustainable Development Goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals [...]

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Women in power could have lessened financial crisis

Skills training. Photo: UNDP/Pakistan

The global financial crisis witnessed in the past years would not have happened, with the same intensity, had women been in higher positions of power, according to a UN labour expert. Raymond Torres, Director of the International Labour Organization's research department, says that women should be given a more equal role in the world of [...]

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

South Sudan Police and displaced community fight crime

South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS

Police officers have been working to maintain law and order with displaced people at a UN base in South Sudan's oil town of Malakal. The Protection of Civilian (POC) site hosts up to 20,000 people who have been uprooted by fighting between government and opposition forces that erupted in 2013. A Police State Advisor with [...]

11 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 10 February 2015 (PM)

Men transporting wood in Bria, Central African Republic (CAR). UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

Public building in CAR retaken by UN from ex-Seleka members A public building in the Central African Republic city of Bria has been retaken from the hands of the ex-Seleka militia by the UN Mission in the country (MINUSCA). The operation, conducted with the support of French forces, took place after the repeated refusal of [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Role of caregiver turns fatal for women in Ebola stricken countries

Village near Makeni, Sierra Leone. UNMEER/Martine Perret

Women died in large numbers due to the role they play as caregivers, according to the head of UN Women. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, says women were the first to respond to the Ebola crisis and that their instinct to touch those who were sick resulted in further infection. Stephanie Castro has [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Lack of medical supplies creating "incredibly difficult" situation in Gaza

Living conditions continue to deteriorate in Gaza and West Bank under the blockade. Photo: Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA

The people of Gaza and health care professionals are facing what has been described as "incredibly difficult" circumstances by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory. James Rawley was speaking in Gaza, calling for an end to a blockade of goods and services which has been ongoing for more than seven years. Stephanie [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

World Radio Day message from Peter Horrocks

Peter Horrocks. (UNESCO TV – video capture)

  World Radio Day message from Peter Horrocks, former Director of BBC World Service Group, United Kingdom. Duration: 1'54″

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Libya talks to focus on political instability and violence

Bernardino Léon. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

UN-brokered talks are set to get underway this week to end Libya's political and security crisis. The North African country has suffered widespread political instability and violence following the overthrow of former leader Muammar al-Qhadafi in 2011. The talks, the time and location for which have not been released for security reasons, come against a [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

World Radio Day Message from John Matherly

John Matherly. (UNESCO TV – video capture)

World Radio Day Message from John Matherly, founder and CEO, Shodan, and winner of 2014 NETEXPLO Award, USA Duration: 2’32″

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Daily News 10 February 2015

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10 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

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World Radio Day message from Cecile Guidote-Alvarez

Cecile Guidote-Alvarez. (UNESCO TV – video capture)

  World Radio Day message from Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, Philippines, Director of "Earthsavers", UNESCO Artists for Peace. Duration: 3’57″

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 10 February 2015 (AM)

Over half a million people have been displaced in the Central African Republic. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes

Mission to CAR to assess humanitarian situation and protection needs A mission to the Central African Republic (CAR) is underway by the UN and European Union to assess the humanitarian situation and protection needs of civilians. Conditions have been deteriorating since the end of 2013, when the capital Bangui was taken over by a Christian [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

World Radio Day message from Ana P. Santos

Ana P. Santos.  (UNESCO TV – video capture)

World Radio Day message from Ana P. Santos, multimedia journalist, Philippines, winner of the Pulitzer Center's 2014 Persephone Miel Fellowship. Duration: 4’09′

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Increased "turmoil and lawlessness" in Libya

A girl looks out of her house window in Benghazi, Libya. Photo: UNSMIL

Increased turmoil and lawlessness is spreading across Libya due to the broadening political crisis, according to the UN Human Right Office, OHCHR. A new report to be presented to the UN Human Right Council in March documents numerous incidents of targeted violence against civilians, including children. Unlawful killings have reportedly been commonplace. Stephanie Coutrix reports. [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Nigeria violence disrupts food aid for Niger, warns WFP

Young girls eating a midday meal.  Photo: WFP/Phil Behan

Violence linked to Boko Haram insurgents in northern Nigeria has spilled over into neighbouring countries Niger, Chad and Cameroon, hampering humanitarian aid deliveries. Worst-hit is Niger, according to World Food Programme, which says the country has 125,000 refugees and returnees scattered over more than 140 locations. In Diffa region the population has almost doubled since [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN and Africa | Read More »

Lampedusa tragedy puts EU search and rescue mission under spotlight

A young boy surrounded by adults after being rescued in June last year from a boat on the Mediterranean Sea. © UNHCR/A.D'Amato

The deaths from hypothermia of 29 refugees who were travelling on a boat off the Italian coast on Monday have prompted warnings from UN and partner refugee agencies that there's worse to come. Despite severe winter conditions, desperate families are still attempting the journey and according to UNHCR the number of people crossing is higher [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Photographing the "invisible enemy", Ebola

Ebola isolation ward at Kabala hospital, Sierra Leone. Photo: Martine Perret

The enemy was invisible—that's how United Nations photographer Martine Perret described Ebola, the deadly virus which has killed nearly 9,000 people in West Africa. Last December, she joined the UN's first health mission, UNMEER, to document the effects of the outbreak on millions of people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, as well as the [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

South Sudan on brink of major hunger crisis

South Sudan. Photo: FAO

South Sudan is once again on the brink of a major hunger crisis, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. The country is plagued by a conflict that broke out in December 2013 between government and opposition forces. The agency estimates that about one fifth of the population or 2.5 million people is in [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Foot and mouth disease poses serious threat to Europe

Cattle. UN Photo/Tim McKulka

Efforts are being stepped up by the European Union and the UN to prepare for any possible outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease or FMD in Europe. FMD is a highly contagious viral disease that affects only animals with cloven or divided hooves such as cattle, buffaloes, pigs, sheep, goats and deer. According to the Food [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Biodiversity can help fight climate change

Climate change is in discussion at conference in Paris. Photo: UNESCO

New options for the survival of the planet. That's what scientists, civil society, entrepreneurs, and artists are discussing at a conference on the links between biodiversity and climate change. The UN's scientific organization, UNESCO, is on Tuesday wrapping up a two-day meeting in Paris, France, looking at new approaches to fighting climate change. Stephanie Coutrix has [...]

10 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 09 February 2015 (PM)

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, Valerie Amos. UN Photo/Isaac Gideon

$US 529 new funds raised at donor conference for South Sudan $US 529 million has been raised at a donor conference for humanitarian aid to millions of South Sudanese people. UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos made the announcement after she and American actor Forest Whitaker completed a three-day visit to the civil war-torn country. The [...]

9 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Donors urged to help conflict-affected people in South Sudan

Displaced civilians in South Sudan. Photo: UNHCR/S. Kuir Chok

The government of South Sudan has urged donor countries to help people displaced by the ongoing conflict in the country. The fighting which broke out between government and opposition forces in December 2013 has forced two million people to flee their homes. The Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Clement Taban, attended a UN [...]

9 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Daily News 09 February 2015

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People of South Sudan need peace now, says UN humanitarian chief

Valerie Amos and Forest Whitaker in visit to South Sudan. Credit: UN Photo/Isaac Gideon

If conflict does not stop in South Sudan, there will be a lost generation of  children without education, access to health services and facing the threat of hunger. The warning has come from the United Nations humanitarian chief who has been visiting the new African nation. South Sudan has been embroiled in a conflict which [...]

9 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Attack against girls' education on the rise

Gathering to promote the rights of girls and education (2012). Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh Chandok

Attacks against girls seeking an education persist and even appear to be on the rise in some countries, a new study by the UN Human Rights Office has found. An estimated 3,600 separate attacks against educational institutions, teachers and students were recorded in 2012 alone, the report says. In addition, attacks on schools have taken [...]

9 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 09 February 2015 (AM)

Jan Eliasson. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

"Final stretch of historic journey" to set post-2015 development goals Member States of the UN are in the final stretch of what has been described as an "historic journey" to define the world's post-2015 development goals. Speaking at a high-level event in New York, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said the global community must answer [...]

9 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Leaders must listen to their peoples", says UN chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses Government Summit in Dubai. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Leaders around the world must listen to their people, particularly women who for too long have not had an equal voice, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon made the comment at an annual international gathering of heads of state in the United Arab Emirates. The event reportedly brought together representatives of more than 90 [...]

9 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Attacks on girls’ education are increasing, UN report finds

Malala Yousafzai. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

The shooting of Malala Yousafzai by the Taliban in 2012 masks the extent of attacks and discrimination against schoolgirls – and the trend is growing, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) says. In a new report, the High Commissioner's office shows how fragile gains in promoting girls' access to education have been put at risk [...]

9 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

“One team for one planet”, climate talks chief tells delegates

Photo: UNEP

The goal is to trim down a 37-page blueprint negotiated in Lima last year which many view as unworkable. At the end of this week's negotiations, the aim is to come up with a document that UN member states can sign at the next Conference of Parties in Paris in December, as Daniel Johnson reports. [...]

9 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Over 9 million Afghan children in rural, conflict-prone areas attend school

School in Kabul. Photo: UNAMA/F. Waezi

Over 9 million children in rural Afghanistan have access to education because of the introduction of community-based schools the UN says. An estimated 3.6 million of them are girls. These alternatives schools were built by the Government with the help of the UN Children's Fund to help students in hard-to-reach and volatile areas. Parents used [...]

9 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Saudi Arabia hailed for "outstanding generosity"

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
UN Photo/Mark Garten

Saudi Arabia has been hailed by the UN Secretary-General for its in "outstanding generosity" in helping to relieve the suffering of people in Syria. Ban Ki-moon's comments came as he met the King of the Middle Eastern Country. Daniel Dickinson reports Mr Ban met Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh. They discussed a [...]

8 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Peaceful elections urged in Nigeria as vote delayed

Refugees flee terrorist violence in Nigeria
 File Photo UNHCR/A.Ndayisaba

The UN Secretary-General has called for peaceful elections in Nigeria after the authorities in the West African country announced they would be delayed until March. Nigeria's Electoral Commission reportedly said it delayed the vote because troops that were to oversee polling stations were need to fight the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Daniel Dickinson has more [...]

8 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Angelina Jolie meets with Syrian and Iraqi refugees

Angelina Jolie. UNHCR/A.McConnell

The American Hollywood star, Angelina Jolie, cannot imagine a greater horror than having a child kidnapped by a terrorist group. That's what she said during her recent visit to a refugee camp in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where she met with Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqi citizens. Many shared with her their personal stories. [...]

8 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Yemen crisis talks to resume

Yemen has experienced political instability since 2011 File Photo: IRIN/Adel Yahya

Political factions in Yemen have agreed to resume UN-brokered talks aimed at resolving the country's political crisis. The talks were due to begin on Monday and will include the Houthi rebels who recently took control of the country. Daniel Dickinson reports Yemen has experienced deepening instability and widespread violence following the political turmoil that started [...]

8 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Cancer in poor countries kills more people than AIDS, TB and malaria

IAEA@PHOTO

Cancer patients in poor countries have few diagnostic options and even fewer treatment possibilities, the UN nuclear agency, IAEA has warned. The disease is now killing more people in the developing world than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. A program of action for cancer therapy called PACT spearheaded by IAEA helps countries develop national cancer [...]

7 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Kazakhstan called on to improve human rights situation

Maina Kiai. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The efforts Kazakhstan has made to turn the country around economically need to be applied to human rights and democracy issues as well. That's according to UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai who recently completed an official visit to the central Asian country. He said the Government's approach to regulating peaceful assemblies was one of the [...]

7 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 06 February 2015 (PM)

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

Murder of Jordanian pilot condemned by UN officials The murder of a Jordanian pilot by terrorists of the Islamic State or ISIL has been condemned by two senior United Nations officials. The terrorists recently released a video of Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned alive. The Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, and the [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Actor Forest Whitaker highlights humanitarian crisis South Sudan

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos (right) and UNESCO Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation Forest Whitaker (left) in Juba. Credit: UN Photo/Isaac Gideon

American actor Forest Whitaker is helping to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Mr Whitaker who is a UN Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, arrived on Friday in the civil war-torn country with the UN's top humanitarian official, Valerie Amos. Together they will assess the situation on the ground and highlight [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

Kosovo at "key juncture" in history

Farid Zarif. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Kosovo is at what has been described by the top UN envoy in the territory as "a key juncture" in its history. Ambassador Farid Zarif the head of the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) briefed the Security Council on Friday. Jocelyne Sambira reports. In his briefing to the Security Council, Ambassador Farid Zarif pointed out [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Widespread rape in South Sudan "appalling" and "intolerable"

Ivan Simonovic. Photo: UNMISS

Rape in some parts of South Sudan was so widespread in August last year that some local people were calling it a "month of rape"; that's according to a top UN humanitarian official. As Ivan Simonovic wound up his six day visit to South Sudan on Friday, he said these crimes are "intolerable" and justice [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Daily News 06 February 2015

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Donors urged to provide funds for Gaza reconstruction

Gaza. UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarhan

Donors have been urged to honour the commitments they made last year to provide funds for the reconstruction of Gaza following a 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas which began in July 2014. The appeal was made on Friday by the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the League of Arab States that expressed their [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 06 February 2015 (AM)

Security Council Meeting. UN Photo//Eskinder Debebe

 Somali government urged to move political process forward Political leaders in Somalia have been urged by the UN Security Council to make greater efforts to quickly establish an inclusive and representative government. The members of the Council have expressed their concern at the ongoing political crisis in the Horn of Africa country. They urged the [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Aid delivered as fighting in eastern Ukraine region escalates

A UNHCR staff member asks a displaced Ukrainian man about the situation in his native Donetsk region, which has been heavily affected by the conflict. He is cleaning debris from around his home.

Relief workers in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region are scrambling to deliver urgent aid to people displaced by heavy fighting in the area. That's according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, which has teams on the ground assisting local populations in areas close to the frontline. Government forces have been battling pro-Russian separatists over control of [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 06 February 2015

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Authorities in DR Congo urged to release detainees

Police officers trying to maintain calm during demonstrations in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: MONUSCO

The government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been urged to release people who have been arrested during recent protests in the country. The appeal has come from the UN human rights office in Geneva which says the people are being "illegally" detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Stephanie Coutrix [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

16,600 Ebola orphans taken in by families in West Africa

Paynesville, Liberia. UNMEER/Martine Perret

The vast majority of children who have lost parents to the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa have been taken in by families, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The agency says that 16,600 children have been orphaned by the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries worst hit by [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

UN CALLING ASIA: "Left-behind" children growing up alone in China

UNICEF logo.

An increasing number of young people in China are growing up without their parents according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. The so-called "left-behind" children often live with little family support when parents migrate to cities in search of work. Shantha Bloemen works for UNICEF in China. Daniel Dickinson asked her what it's like to [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Arrest of journalist in Burundi raises concern about freedom of expression

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. Photo: UN Multimedia

The arrest of a radio journalist in Burundi raises serious concern about freedom of expression in Burundi ahead of upcoming elections, the UN human rights office said on Friday. Bob Rugurika, the director of the independent Radio Public Africaine (RPA) was arrested on 20 January following a broadcast of a report about the killing of [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WOMEN: Rise in medical providers performing female genital cutting (FGM)

National Association of Midwives in Mauritania. Photo credit: UNFPA Mauritania

Health workers around the world are being urged by the United Nations to mobilize against female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C). UNICEF and the UN Population Fund UNFPA made the call on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM observed every year on 6 February. FGM is illegal in many countries and medical providers [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Ukraine homeless tally nears one million, says UNHCR

Displaced civilians seeks shelter in a tent in Slovyansk. © UNHCR/B. Kinashchuk

The recent upsurge in fighting in Ukraine has pushed the number of internally displaced to 980,000, latest UN figures show. UN refugee agency UNHCR says around 3,000 civilians have been evacuated from conflict zones in the east of the country in areas still controlled by the government, while others remain trapped in rebel-held areas. Ahead [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Rise in medical providers performing female genital cutting (FGM)

A network of women advocates in Doka, Sudan. They are committed to ending FGM in their community. © UNFPA - See more at: http://www.unfpa.org/news/empowering-women-lead-change-one-woman%E2%80%99s-fight-against-fgm#sthash.B8Jik30Y.dpuf

Health workers around the world are being urged to mobilize against female genital cutting or mutilation (FGM/C), the UN has urged. Around one in five girls have been cut by a trained health-care provider and in some countries this can reach as high as three in four girls. UNICEF and the UN Population Fund UNFPA [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Female genital mutilation “doesn't make sense”

Awa Sangho / UN Radio

Female genital mutilation doesn't make any sense, according to a West African singer called the "Golden Voice from Mali". The procedure known as FGM is carried out on 3million girls each year across the world. It can lead to serious health problems and even death. Stephanie Castro has been speaking to singer Awa Sangho ahead [...]

6 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 05 February 2015 (PM)

Street scene in Sana'a, capital of Yemen. Photo: UNDP Yemen

 Political leaders in Yemen urged to overcome impasse Political leaders in Yemen have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to overcome the current political impasse so that the peaceful democratic transition launched in 2011 can be fulfilled. The country has been plunged into a crisis following the recent resignations of the President, Prime Minister and [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

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$100 million debt relief for Ebola-hit countries

Portrait of a woman posing in front of one of many Ebola awareness signs placed around the capital Conakry,

Three West African countries that have been worst affected by the deadly Ebola virus are to receive $100 million in debt relief from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Close to 9,000 people have died from the disease mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The pandemic has badly disrupted the economies of the three countries. [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

"No room for complacency" in fighting Ebola, says UN official

Liberia prepares to reopen schools nationwide. Photo: UNMEER/Aalok Kanani

Despite progress that has been made in fighting Ebola in the three West African countries worst affected by the virus, there is no room for complacency as new cases have shown. That's what John Ging, Operations Director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs told reporters on Thursday. Derrick Mbatha reports. Mr. Ging [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Europe should accept migrants to stop smuggling

Migrants arriving on Italy's Lampedusa Island after crossing the Mediterranean on a dilapidated boat. Photo: UNHCR/F. Noy

Europe should accept migrants through official channels in an effort to stop smuggling and control their borders, a UN human rights expert has urged. An estimated 150,000 migrants and asylum seekers arrived by sea without official papers in Europe in 2014, compared with 80,000 in 2013. Sweden has accepted 30,000 Syrian and Eritrean migrants while [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Dignity" must guide roadmap to ending poverty, says UN chief

Village shop at dusk in Sri Lanka lit by solar panels. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Sansoni

Leaders around the world should be guided by dignity in all their efforts to end poverty, transform lives and protect the planet. That's the message that was delivered by UN Secretary-General at a meeting on Thursday to mark the 20th anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development. Stephanie Castro reports. In his address, the [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 05 February 2015 (AM)

The main road in Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: IRIN/Jessica Hatcher

African countries in Great Lakes Region urged to united against rebels Countries in the Great Lakes Region of Africa have been urged to remain united in their efforts to neatralize armed rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The appeal came from from the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the region, Said Djinnit [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 05 February 2015

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Migrants will come "whatever", UN expert tells EU

UNHCR says one in every 18 migrants die making the Mediterranean crossing in 2015, compared with one in 50 last year. Photo: UNHCR/A.D'Amato

The European Union needs to "bank on" more migrants reaching its borders in coming years and should provide more help for them to do so, according to a UN investigator. François Crépeau, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, notes the EU's "toxic political environment" along with dangerous sea crossings undertaken by desperate migrants. [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Progress reported in political stability in Guinea-Bissau

A wide view of the Security Council in session (file photo). UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The new government of Guinea Bissau is making progress in building a democratic system in the country. That's what Ambassador Antonio Patriota of Brazil, Chair of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration told the Security Council on Thursday as it met to discuss the situation in the West African country. Stephanie Castro reports. Ambassador Patriota said there had [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Cost of food down on world markets

Harvesting wheat near the West Bank town of Tammun. Photo: FAO/Marco Longari

The cost of food on world commodity markets is declining according to the latest figures released by the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO. The UN agency's Food Price Index for January, was 1.9 per cent below its December 2014 level. Abundant supplies and the low cost of oil have been driving the price decreases. Sandra [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Indiscriminate shelling in Ukraine strongly condemned by UN chief

UN Secretary-General. Credit: UN File Photo/Amanda Voisard

The Indiscriminate shelling of civilians in urban areas of eastern Ukraine has been strongly condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Reports say civilians are running for their lives as pro-Russian separatists pound government-held towns in and around Donetsk. Derrick Mbatha reports. In a statement the UN Secretary-General expressed his concern over the situation in eastern Ukraine, [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Accountability is pre-condition for reconciliation" in South Sudan

Nyal, South Sudan. Credit: OCHA

Making people accountable for their actions is a pre-condition for reconciliation in South Sudan, according to a top UN Human Rights official. Currently on a six day visit to the civil war-torn country, Ivan Simonovic said justice must be implemented alongside peace to prevent people from escaping the consequences of crimes they have committed. The [...]

5 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 04 February 2015 (PM)

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  Photo: UNHCR/B. Sokol

Murders of civilians in eastern DR Congo condemned by UN envoy New murders of civilians around Beni in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been strongly condemned by the top UN envoy in the country. Martin Kobler, the head of the UN Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO) said nothing [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Australia is bound by international law to protect asylum seekers: UNHCR

UNHCR@PHOTO

Authorities in Australia are obliged under international law to protect asylum seekers. That's according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which issued a statement in Geneva on Wednesday following a court ruling on Sri Lankans detained at sea. Stephanie Castro reports. The High Court of Australia ruled on 28 January that the detention of 157 [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Six UN peacekeepers die in a road accident in Côte d’Ivoire

: Nigerien peacekeepers of the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI). UN Photo/Patricia Esteve

It has been confirmed by the UN Mission in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) that six of its peacekeepers died in a road accident on Tuesday. In a statement issued on Wednesday, UNOCI says the accident occurred on the motorway between the capital Yamoussoukro and the commercial hub, Abidjan. Derrick Mbatha reports. UNOCI says the deceased peacekeepers [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 04 February 2015 (AM)

WFP Warehouse. Photo: WFP

WFP alarmed by images of ISIS distributing its food in Syria. The World Food Programme (WFP) says it is alarmed by images circulating on social media showing its food boxes bearing labels of the Islamic State (ISIL) terrorists. The UN food agency says it is trying to verify the authenticity of the photographs, where they [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Daily News 04 February 2015

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4 Feb 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

2015 "decisive" year for Somalia

The seaport in Mogadishu, Somalia, bustles with business as trucks arrive to offload ships of their cargo. Credit: UN Photo/Tobin Jones

2015 will be decisive in whether and how Somalia can become a unified, peaceful and federal state, a UN special envoy for the country has said. Members of the Security Council heard a briefing on Wednesday regarding recent developments on the ground. The Horn of Africa country remains one of the most dangerous places on [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Catastrophic" situation for families of Gaza dependent on aid

UNRWA@PHOTO

The situation for families in Gaza which are dependent on aid will be catastrophic, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. Due to a lack of funds, UNRWA has been forced to suspend cash assistance for repairs to damaged and destroyed homes in the Gaza Strip. A 50-day conflict which started last July [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Link between culture and tourism highlighted in Cambodia

Unesco_Tourism_2015

The UN cultural agency says it is committed to strengthening the links between culture and tourism. That's the message delivered by the head of UNESCO at the World Conference on Tourism and Culture, which opened in Seam Reap, Cambodia on Wednesday. Stephanie Castro reports. The Conference, which has for the first time brought together Ministers [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Horrors faced by Iraqi children revealed in new UN report

Dahuk, Iraq  © OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis

Published on Wednesday as part of its review of 12 countries, the report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) cites "systematic killings" by IS fighters. The investigators also detail "homemade" problems such as discrimination against girls, rape and forced marriage, which they urge the authorities to remedy, as Daniel Johnson [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Destruction of books by ISIL terrorists in Iraq is "cultural cleansing"

© Larisa EpatkoBrowsing titles at bookseller market in Iraq

The destruction of books by terrorists in northern Iraq has been described by the head of the UN cultural agency as "cultural cleansing". According to reports, Islamic State or ISIL terrorists have over the past several weeks ransacked libraries and burned thousands of books in the city of Mosul. Stephanie Coutrix reports. The books reportedly [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

New Gaza probe chairperson appointed

Mary McGowan Davis. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

The appointment of a new chairperson to lead the UN probe into possible war crimes in Gaza was announced on Wednesday after the previous incumbent resigned amid Israeli allegations of bias. The new chairperson is one of two remaining human rights investigators. She is tasked with looking into alleged war crimes during a conflict in [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Cancer second leading cause of death in the world

Young girl getting Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in her school, in São Paulo. WHO / PAHO

Cancer has a major impact on global health being the second leading cause of death, a senior official with the World Health Organization has said. According to the agency, early detection of the disease can help reduce the number of cases. Furthermore, the burden can be reduced if people lived healthier lives by fighting obesity, [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

World Cancer Day puts spotlight on the disease

cancer-day-2015-eng

The international community is capable of coming together to tackle cancer which is taking its toll in developing countries. That's the message on World Cancer Day, which is observed on 4 February each year to put a spotlight on the disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 70 per cent of close to 8 [...]

4 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Reinforce multilateralism" says Security Council President

Jieyi Liu. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

International peace and security is coming under the spotlight this month in the UN Security Council. China is presiding over the 15-member Council in February. Stephanie Coutrix reports. The Chinese Ambassador Jieyi Liu said a ministerial-level debate on the maintenance of international peace and security will be an occasion to reflect on history, and reaffirm [...]

3 Feb 2015 | Posted in From the Ambassador, Today's News | Read More »

Daily News 03 February 2015

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"Left-behind" children growing up alone in China

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An increasing number of young people in China are growing up without their parents according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. The so-called "left-behind" children often live with little family support when parents migrate to cities in search of work. Shantha Bloemen works for UNICEF in China. Daniel Dickinson asked her what it's like to [...]

3 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

South Sudanese leaders urged to place people's interests above their own

People fleeing violence in South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS/Mihad Abdallah

Leaders of South Sudan have been urged to place the interests of citizens above their own. The appeal was made by the UN Secretary-General on Tuesday following the signing of an agreement by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Dr Riek Marchar on Monday. Stephanie Castro reports. The two South Sudanese leaders have [...]

3 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Claims of genocide in Serbia and Croatia rejected by World Court

Meeting in The Hague on 3 February 2015, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) dismissed genocide claims by Croatia and Serbia. UN Photo/CIJ-ICJ/Frank van Beek

Claims of genocide by Serbia and Croatia against each other during the Croatian war of secession from Yugoslavia have been rejected by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On Friday, the UN's principal judicial organ agreed that both countries had committed acts of genocide in the early 1990s, but it did not find sufficient intent [...]

3 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Low income developing countries under IMF spotlight

A local grain market in Tachilek, Myanmar. UN Photo/Kibae Park

Senegal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nicaragua. Those are some of the low income developing countries the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says have economies that typically rely more on agriculture and foreign aid. They also have higher poverty and infant mortality rates, and lower levels of education. The Fund has been closely tracking and reporting on the [...]

3 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 03 February 2015

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It is critical for children to return to school in Liberia says UNICEF

Paynesville, Liberia. UNMEER/Martine Perret

It is critical for children in Liberia to go back to school in order to improve their protection, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The Ebola outbreak which has killed almost 9,000 people mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, also led to school closures across the three countries. UNICEF says that following the [...]

3 Feb 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Situation becoming "untenable" in eastern Ukraine as fighting rages

Humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine. Photo: UNHCR

A protracted conflict in eastern Ukraine could make daily life "untenable" for people in the area, according to the UN human rights office, OHCHR. More than 5,000 people have died since mid-April because of the indiscriminate shelling of residential neighbourhoods. The internal political crisis in the eastern European country in 2013 sparked mass protests and [...]

3 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Resignation “won't hamper” Gaza inquiry's work

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva where the US delegation accepted 80 per cent of the 340 recommendations made. UN File Photo/ Pierre Albouy

The resignation of the head of an inquiry into possible war crimes during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict will not affect the outcome of the investigation according to the Human Rights Council (HRC). In the wake of the decision to quit by Professor William Schabas, HRC president Joachim Ruecker has said the inquiry's work would not [...]

3 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Warring parties in Ukraine urged to stop fighting

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

The warring parties in Ukraine have been urged to lay down their arms amid a fresh escalation in the fighting. The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's appeal follows the death of over 220 civilians killed in the past three weeks. Any further escalation will prove catastrophic for the 5.2 million [...]

3 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Boko Haram attacks condemned by Security Council

Security Council Meeting. UN Photo//Eskinder Debebe

The continued escalation of attacks by Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria and Cameroon have been strongly condemned by the Security Council. The latest attack on Sunday was on Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State which the terrorists tried to capture. There have also been increasing attacks in the Lake Chad Basin, including against the Chadian [...]

3 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Daily News 02 February 2015

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Release of al-Jazeera journalist in Egypt welcomed by UN chief

Stéphane Dujarric. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The decision of the Egyptian authorities to release a detained journalist has been welcomed by the United Nations Secretary-General. Peter Greste, an Australian national was arrested in December 2013 and charged with his two colleagues of working with the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Derrick Mbatha reports. The arrest of Peter Greste and his two colleagues from [...]

2 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 02 February 2015

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Human rights situation in South Sudan assessed by UN top official

Ivan Simonovic. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

What can help prevent human rights violations in South Sudan? That's what the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, says he is seeking to answer during his second trip to the country. The five day visit will include meeting a number of government officials as well as civil society actors in Juba, South [...]

2 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Youth demand to be heard at UN

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Young people should be consulted on the major issues that face the world, according to a youth delegate at a UN conference on the post-2015 development agenda. The international community is currently defining new targets which will replace the Millennium Development goals or MDGs at the end of this year. Twenty-three year old Mahishaa Balraj, [...]

2 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Late Saudi king hailed as "champion against global hunger"

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left), on a June 2008 visit to Saudi Arabia, is greeted by King Abdullah in Jeddah. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The late King of Saudi Arabia has been hailed as "a champion against global hunger" by the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon spoke at a meeting at the United Nations on Monday in memory of King Abdullah who passed away two weeks ago. Representatives of regional groupings at the UN paid tribute to the King. Stephanie [...]

2 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Crew members of UN helicopter returned safely in South Sudan

A WFP-operated helicopter in South Sudan. Photo: WFP/George Fominyen

Six Bulgarian crew members of a UN food agency's helicopter who disappeared in Sudan last week have been handed over to the United Nations. The helicopter, which was flying from South Sudan to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan for regular maintenance was forced to land by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLM-N) in Sudan's South [...]

2 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Mexico in spotlight as enforced disappearances hearings begin

A view of the Palais des Nations with the Manship Sphere in the foreground. UN Photo/P Klee

Mexico's human rights record is under the spotlight as the country presents its long-awaited report on enforced disappearances to the UN. The dossier has been more than two years in the making but the issue has sparked renewed international interest after 43 students were kidnapped in the state of Guerrero and reportedly killed last September. [...]

2 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Murder of Mexican journalist condemned by UNESCO chief

Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova. Photo: UNESCO/Danica Bijeljac

The assassination of a Mexican journalist found dead three weeks after he had been kidnapped, has been condemned by the head of the UN cultural agency. Moisés Sánchez Cerezo," was reportedly abducted from his home on 2 January by armed men who took away his computer, camera and mobile phone. Derrick Mbatha reports. Moisés Sánchez [...]

2 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

ISIL murder of Japan citizen "heinous and cowardly"

A wide view of the Security Council in session (file photo). UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The murder of Japanese citizen Kenji Goto by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group has been strongly condemned by the UN. The UN Security Council deplored the "heinous and cowardly" crime in a statement to the press on Sunday. The journalists' death comes despite demands for his immediate release. Jocelyne [...]

1 Feb 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

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