News in Brief 12 February 2015 (PM)

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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 that took place in Minsk, Belarus.

He commended their perseverance to bring the violent conflict 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.

IMF and Ukraine agree on new economic reform program

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to a US$17.5 billion loan to Ukraine as part of a new economic programme.

The aim of the loan is to restore macroeconomic stability and promote robust growth over the medium term.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said the deal could be, what she called, a “turning point” for Ukraine.

New commitments in Myanmar welcomed by UN

New commitments in Myanmar to end armed conflict in the country and resolve grievances through dialogue have been welcome by the United Nations.

A "Deed of Commitment" was signed by the President, the Speaker, political parties and ethnic armed organizations.

It is the first time that a President of Myanmar has formally signed a commitment to build a democratic and federal union.

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