News in Brief 23 April 2015 (AM)

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Two rescued men wait at a reception centre in Lampedusa for news of friends and relatives. Photo: UNHCR/F. Malavolta

"Bold, collective action" urged on migrant issue

The international community has been urged to take "bold and collective action" to deal with the increasing number of migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea.

Hundreds of people have died crossing the Mediterranean in recent days on unseaworthy boats operated by people smugglers.

Heads of UN agencies issued a joint-statement calling on European leaders meeting in Belgium to put in place a "robust, proactive, and well-resourced search-and-rescue operation."

8 million Sudanese children to receive measles immunizations

Around eight million children in Sudan are to be vaccinated against measles, the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, has announced.

The immunization campaign was launched following the worst outbreak of the potentially deadly disease in the country's recent history.

UNICEF says 22 people have died in the outbreak.

There have been close to 5,000 confirmed or suspected cases.

Books "strengthen foundations of peace"

Books can "strengthen the foundations of peace" according to the head of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.

On World Book and Copyright Day, celebrated annually on 23rd April, Irina Bokova said it was necessary to redouble efforts to promote the book and the pen as well as reading and writing.

She said these "global symbols of social progress" have been under attack in recent months by extremist ideologies.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations

Duration: 1'25″

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