News in Brief 09 March 2015 (AM)

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The UNESCO World Heritage property of Hatra, Iraq. Photo: UNESCO/Véronique Dauge

Destruction of cultural heritage by ISIL terrorists in Iraq "a war crime"

The continuing destruction of cultural heritage by terrorists in Iraq constitutes a war crime, according to the UN Secretary-General.

Ban Ki-moon said he is outraged by reports of the razing of the ancient city of Hatra, a UN cultural agency (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in the north of Iraq.

He called on the international community to swiftly put a stop to what he described as "heinous terrorist activity and to counter the illicit traffic in cultural artefacts" as demanded by Security Council resolutions.

A UN human rights expert meets Eritrean refugees and migrants

First-hand information on the human rights situation in Eritrea is being collected from Eritrean refugees and migrants by an independent UN human rights expert in Belgium.

Sheila Keetharuth, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the African country started an official visit to Belgium on Monday.

Ms Keetharuth has carried out similar information-gathering missions to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Germany, Italy, Malta and Tunisia because Eritrean authorities have not allowed her to enter the country.

Sweden to increase contribution to UN agency for Palestinian refugees

Sweden is to increase its annual contribution to the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) to $36 million.

Making the announcement in Jerusalem on Monday, the country's Consul General said thousands of people in the Old City are living under very difficult circumstances.

The funds will be used by UNRWA for is human development work in health, education, relief and social services in Jordan, Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territory and Syria.

Between 1993 and 2014, Sweden has contributed more than US$ 617 million to the UNRWA General Fund.

Ana Carmo, United Nations.

Duration: 1’53″


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