Home » 31 May 2015 Entries posted on “May 2015”

World No Tobacco Day 2015 devoted to combatting illegal tobacco trade

WHO poster

On World No Tobacco Day, the UN's health agency is calling on countries to work together to end the illicit trade of tobacco products. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one in every 10 cigarettes consumed is illicit, making them cheaper and more accessible to people from low-income groups, as well as to children. [...]

31 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Electronic waste being dumped in Asia

E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in developed as well as in developing countries. Photo: UNEP (file)

Up to 90 per cent of the world’s electronic or E-waste, worth nearly US$19 billion, is illegally traded or dumped each year, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In Asia, China, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Viet Nam appear to bear the brunt of illegal E-waste shipments. Organised crime syndicates are also [...]

31 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"The Fog of Peace", new memoir about peacekeeping by former UN official

Jean-Marie Guéhenno (left) speaks with a local staff member of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). (file)

The separation between war and peace is not as clear cut as it used to be, according to the former Head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Jean-Marie Guéhenno served in this position for 8 years from 2000 to 2008. He recently published a memoir about international peacekeeping in the 21st century called "The [...]

30 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Still "male culture" at UN but this is changing, says top female UN official

Angela Kane. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

A "male culture" still persists at the United Nations but the situation has changed tremendously over the last couple of years according to the outgoing UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. After 38 years of service with the Organization, Angela Kane is retiring at the end of May. She has held many different positions over [...]

30 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 29 May 2015 (PM)

Food and cooking oil are distributed to displaced people from northern Mali in a temporary shelter in Mopti. Photo: UNDP/Nicolas Meulders

Fighting in northern Mali forces some 57,000 to flee their homes About 57,000 people have fled their homes in northern Mali as a result of renewed fighting between armed groups over the past four weeks, according to the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR). There are already more than 43,000 internally displaced people throughout the country who [...]

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Peacekeepers "pay heavy price" for securing peace in Lebanon

UNIFIL peacekeepers at the ceremony to commemorate International Day of Peacekeepers at Naquora UNIFIL Headquarters, in South Lebanon. May 29th, 2015. Photo by Pasqual Gorriz (UN)

Peacekeepers working with the United Nations in Lebanon have paid a "heavy price" for securing peace in the country, according to a senior Irish soldier. Forty-eight Irish peacekeepers have died there since 1978. Commander Kevin McDonald is now on his fifth deployment to Lebanon. He's working for the UN mission in the country, UNIFIL. Suzanne [...]

29 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 29 May 2015 (AM)

UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Terrorist threat under spotlight in Security Council The threat to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts and foreign terrorist fighters was discussed by the UN Security Council on Friday. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that no country can tackle the challenge of terrorism alone. "Member States have to enhance their cooperation and exchange [...]

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Daily News 29 May 2015

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Thousands fleeing violence in Iraq struggle to reach safety

Many people were stranded for several days waiting in searing heat to cross Bzebiz bridge, the main entry point from Anbar province into Baghdad.. © UNHCR/G.Ohara

The situation for thousands of people fleeing fighting in the Iraqi city of Ramadi has been described as desperate by UN humanitarian agencies. On Friday the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said it was deeply concerned by the challenges Iraqis are facing to reach safe areas. The terrorist group known as ISIL is said to have [...]

29 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Fallen UN peacekeepers honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses a wreath laying ceremony on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. UN Photo/Mark Garten

More than 3,300 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the United Nations flag have been honoured at a wreath laying ceremony in New York. The ceremony took place on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers which is marked on 29 May each year. The theme for this year is "UN70 and [...]

29 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Young people worldwide face "daunting" challenges

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Despite the progress that has been made over the past 20 years to improve the situation of young people around the world, they still face daunting challenges. That's what the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi said on Friday at a meeting of the UN General Assembly to mark the 20th anniversary of the [...]

29 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Gunfire kills fifth youngster in Burundi clashes

Police in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, have been involved in clashes with protesters. Photo: IRIN/Desire Nimubona

Violence in Burundi has claimed the life of a fifth youngster since the start of political demonstrations last month, the UN said Friday. The victim sustained bullet wounds in the capital Bujumbura on Thursday morning and was between 15 and 16 years old, the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF said. To date, 200 youths have been [...]

29 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Peacekeepers Day about "tremendous gratitude" to people serving UN

Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, greeting UN peacekeepers during a visit to the Central African Republic (CAR). UN Photo/Jean Claude Bitsure (file)

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is about expressing "tremendous gratitude" to the men and women who serve the Organization in the world's most insecure locations. That's according to the Head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, who recently wrapped up a visit to the UN's two newest operations in Mali and the [...]

29 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

First Chinese peacekeeping combat troops deployed to South Sudan

Inauguration ceremony to celebrate the completion of the UNMISS Chinese Infantry Battalion's camp construction. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

The first ever Chinese UN peacekeeping combat force to an African country has deployed to South Sudan. The African country gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 and has suffered periods of internal conflict ever since. The Chinese battalion is part of a force of 12,500 peacekeeping troops authorized by the UN Security Council. Ana [...]

29 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Illegal tobacco trade involves one in 10 cigarettes, experts warn

Photo: Unifeed/WHO

The illicit tobacco trade poses major health, economic and security concerns and likely affects one in 10 cigarettes smoked globally, UN health experts say. Ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Sunday 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) wants more countries to combat the trade by joining a new treaty banning the practice. Developed by [...]

29 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

China confirms first MERS virus case

Doctors look at an X-ray. Photo: WHO

China has confirmed its first case of potentially fatal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS), the UN health agency said Friday. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the individual is a Republic of Korea national in his mid-40s who's now in a hospital isolation unit. The man can be linked directly to another 10 [...]

29 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Violent forms of extremism seek to destroy human civilisation

The Syrian archaeological site of Palmyra. Photo: ©UNESCO/F. Bandarin

The destruction of cultural heritage is a senseless form of violent extremism which seeks to destroy the past, the present and the future of human civilisation, according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General. Jan Eliasson spoke on Thursday at UN's headquarters in New York about the international community's growing concern over the takeover of the city [...]

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

News in Brief 28 May 2015 (PM)

An aid distribution earlier this year in the Azzas area of northern Syria. Photo: UNHCR/A. Solumsmoen

Syrians "not given up hope" The Syrian people have not given up hope that peace can return to their country, the outgoing UN humanitarian chief has said. Valerie Amos was addressing the Security Council for the last time before stepping down as the head of the UN humanitarian office, OCHA. She said the hope was [...]

28 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Women: focus on women’s careers, football and pollution

Angela Kane. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Still "male culture" at UN but this is changing, says top female UN official A "male culture" still persists at the United Nations but the situation has changed tremendously over the last couple of years according to the outgoing UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. After 38 years of service with the Organization, Angela Kane [...]

28 May 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on India, Asia-Pacific and Chinese UN Peacekeepers

FAO estimates that people in most of the countries that it monitored now get enough to eat. Photo: World Bank/Bart Verweij (file)

Asia-Pacific records highest reduction in undernourished people The Asia and Pacific region has achieved the largest reduction in the number of undernourished people in the world, according to research released by the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO. The UN agency estimates that people in most of the countries that it monitored now get enough to [...]

28 May 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Maintain focus on Middle East peace process through media

Cristina Gallach.

The media has an important role to play in maintaining the international focus on the Middle East peace process, according to a senior UN official The annual UN International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, aims to enhance dialogue and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Participants at the seminar held in Astana in [...]

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

Peacekeepers remain dedicated to serve despite growing threats

Assistance of civilians in South Sudan. UN Photo/Rolla Hinedi (file)

Peacekeepers serving the UN continue to be dedicated to protecting vulnerable civilians despite growing security threats and often difficult living conditions, according to the Assistant Secretary-General for UN peacekeeping. Edmond Mulet was speaking ahead of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, marked annually on 29 May. More than 3300 women and men serving the organization [...]

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

Daily News 28 May 2015

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News in Brief 28 May 2015 (AM)

A mother and her tiny infant rest in the Ahmedi Hospital in Northern Iraq. UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade (file)

Urgent funding needed for health care projects in Iraq More than 84 per cent of UN health care projects in Iraq will be forced to close if urgently needed funds are not secured by the end of June this year. This warning has come from the World Health Organization (WHO) which warns that more than [...]

28 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

New partnership aims to reduce food waste

Tomatoes for sale at Sabzi Mandi, a wholesale fruits and vegetable market in Multan. Photo:@FAO/Asim Hafeez

A new partnership to reduce food has been formed by the UN agriculture agency and wholesalers around the world. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Union of Wholesale Markets are partnering to boost food security in cities through better markets. Cathrine Hasselberg reports. The UN agriculture agency and the World Union [...]

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

Unemployment among Palestinians up by 25 per cent, says ILO

Street scene in Gaza. Photo: World Bank/Natalia Cieslik

Unemployment among Palestinians has increased by 25 per cent, according to the International Labour Organization. The ILO said the 2014 increase was driven by the stalled peace process with Israel and the effects of last year's war in Gaza. The UN agency added that workers in Gaza and the West Bank face "consistently bleak" employment and [...]

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

Extreme poverty reduced in Asia and Pacific but "millions still deprived"

Rural Samoa. UNDP/ Abril Esquivel

The Asia and Pacific region has made progress in reducing the number of people living in extreme poverty, but millions of people are still deprived. That's according to a new United Nations report on the region. It points out that the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 per day is projected to fall [...]

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

Sahel displaced now more than 3.5 million, agencies warn

Drought has affected residents of the Mbera refugee camp, Mauritania, in the Sahel region of Africa. Photo: WFP/Justin Smith

The number of people who have fled their homes in Africa's Sahel region has reached over 3.5 million, more than doubling in the past 16 months, UN aid experts warned Thursday. Armed groups are now a major driver of the problem, which has created huge difficulties for struggling host communities. Daniel Johnson has more. Chronic [...]

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

India reaches 1bn mobile subscribers

Vijayalakshmy Gupta.

India is about to reach one billion mobile connections according to a board member of the country's Telecom Regulatory Authority. The population of India is around one and a quarter billion. The push to get more people connected is part of the government's Digital India initiative. The international technology sector has been meeting in Geneva [...]

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

Evidence shows that early start of antiretroviral therapy saves lives

06-25-2013hivtreatment

Additional evidence that starting antiretroviral therapy early can save lives has been welcomed by the UN agency dealing with HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS. An international randomized clinical trial, known as the Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment or START has found compelling evidence that the benefits of immediately starting antiretroviral therapy outweigh the risks. Ana Carmo [...]

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

News in Brief 27 May 2015 (PM)

Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura, briefs journalists. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Colombian parties urged to listen to voices of women All Colombian parties engaged in the peace dialogue to end over fifty years of armed conflict have been urged to listen to the voices of women. The call has been made by Zainab Bangura, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, following [...]

27 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 27 May 2015 (AM)

A section of the Kalma camp for internally displaced people (IDP), near Nyala, in South Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran (file)

Sudan urged to facilitate return of internally displaced persons The government of Sudan has been urged to create conditions for the people displaced by conflict between government and rebel forces in Darfur to return home. The call has come from the newly appointed UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, [...]

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Daily News 27 May 2015

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World entering era of "war of information"

Photographer Farzana Wahidy covering a women's empowerment event in Mazar-i-Sharif, in Afghanistan's north. Photo: UNAMA Fardin Waezi (file)

The world is entering a new era typified by a "war of information" mounted by terrorist groups, the UN Security Council has heard. The Council has been discussing the protection of media workers in conflict situations around the world. So far in 2015, 25 journalists have lost their lives while doing their job. Cathrine Hassselberg [...]

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

Nearly 250,000 children at risk of malnutrition in South Sudan

Children in South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS/Ilya Medvedev

Nearly a quarter of a million children in South Sudan are at significant risk of malnutrition as a result of the ongoing conflict between government and rebel forces in the country. The warning has come from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) which says many children are trapped without access to basic medical services and food. [...]

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

Message of peace carved by UN chief on One World Bridge in Belgium

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

A bridge designed by a Belgian artist symbolizes some of the core values of the United Nations: dignity, respect, diversity and solidarity. That's what the UN Secretary-General said on Wednesday at an event in Brussels where he met with organizers of a music festival. Catherine Hasselberg reports. 200,000 young people and music fans from around [...]

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

8.6 million in Yemen need urgent care, says WHO chief

Margaret Chan, Director General WHO, said "vastly insufficient" medicines had reached Yemen during a recent ceasefire. Photo: UN Photo/Violaine Martin

  Millions of people's lives are at risk in Yemen as fighting continues unabated, the head of the UN's health agency warned Wednesday. With conflict in the Arabian peninsula country responsible for nearly 2,000 fatalities, the World Health Organization's Margaret Chan said people are also dying because hospitals lack fuel and basic medicines for diabetes [...]

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

ICT "must meet needs of the world"

UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Information and communications technology or ICT must continue to meet the needs of the world, according to a senior Internet executive. Around one third of the global population is online, but Fadi Chehadé, President of ICANN, says policies adopted by the international community must increase access further. ICANN is a nonprofit organization that is responsible [...]

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

795 million people still suffer from hunger

Photo: FAO/ Ishara Kodikara

The number of people around the world who are hungry and suffer from undernourishment has dropped to 795 million according to figures released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO). That's a decrease of over 210 million since 1990, during which time the global population has increased by 1.9 billion. The figures are crucial [...]

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

Radio programme to help people with disabilities in Cambodia

Cambodian Disabled People's Organization staff member operates a radio program about history of Cambodia. Photo: UNDP (file)

There are around 700,000 people with disabilities in Cambodia who face obstacles on daily basis that prevent them from fully enjoying their equal rights; that's according to the UN. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is now working to improve their conditions through a joint disability programme named the "Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia" (DRIC). Cathrine Hasselberg [...]

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

News in Brief 26 May 2015 (PM)

A demonstration in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a. Photo: IRIN/Adel Yahya (file)

Top UN envoy asked to postpone consultations to resolve Yemeni crisis Warring parties in Yemen have been urged by UN Secretary-General to engage in consultations facilitated by the United Nations to end the crisis in the Gulf state. The country is embroiled in a conflict between rebel Houthi forces and those supporting the internationally recognized [...]

26 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Women and Valencia football club team up for gender equality

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka holds one of the new jerseys as she poses with players of the Valencia Club de Futbol soccer team at a press conference in New York on 26 May 2015. Photo: Valencia CF/Lázaro dela Peña. - See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2015/5/press-release-to-announce-valencia-cf-and-un-women-partnership#sthash.2e07ytqs.dpuf

The European football team Valencia Club de Fútbol (CF) and the UN agency dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women are teaming up to promote gender equality across the globe. Valencia's strip will feature the UN Women's logo and there'll be other activities as part of a wider campaign. The 96-year-old football club [...]

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

One third of global population online

A computer class at San Jose, a rural secondary school in La Ceja del Tambo, Antioquia, Colombia. Photo: World Bank/Charlotte Kesl

Around one third of the world's population, or 3.2 billion people, has access to the Internet according to the UN's International Telecommunication Union, (ITU). Figures released by the ITU also show that globally mobile telephone subscriptions have increased to over seven billion. The international community is currently meeting in Geneva to discuss the progress made [...]

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

Human rights chief breaks with protocol to spotlight troublespots

Migrants at a detention centre in the city of Zawiya, Libya. Photo: Mathieu Galtier/IRIN

Violence in Burundi and the plight of the world's sea migrants are just two problems that require the international community's immediate attention, the UN's top human rights official said Tuesday. In a break with protocol, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's issued his warning to the Human Rights Council in Geneva as it continues with preparations for [...]

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

Rebuilding after earthquake in Nepal a "daunting task"

05-06-2015Rebuild_Nepal

Rebuilding homes that have been destroyed by a massive earthquake that hit Nepal in April has been described by a senior UN official as "a daunting task". Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Director at the UN Development Programme (UNDP) briefed the press in New York on Tuesday following his visit to the South-East Asian country. Catherine Hasselberg [...]

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

UN Daily News 26 May 2015

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Food relief underway in Mali

Copyright: WFP/Fama Diouf

Efforts are underway in Mali to provide food to some of the three million people who do not have enough to eat. The UN World Food Programme, says it is distributing 13 tonnes of high energy cereal bars. The food aid comes against a backdrop of escalating attacks by armed groups in the north of [...]

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

News in Brief 26 May 2015 (AM)

WFP is appealing for a humanitarian pause in Syria to allow farmers to harvest and move their produce around the country. Copyright: WFP/John Wreford

Pause in Syria fighting urged to allow farmers to harvest A pause in fighting in Syria has been urged by the World Food Programme (WFP) so farmers can safely harvest and transport crops within the country. WFP said there are indications that the 2015 harvest in Syria may exceed the last two years' harvests. The [...]

26 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Efforts to stem cholera in Tanzania appear to be working

UNHCR is trucking in clean water as one of the responses to the cholera outbreak in the Kagunga area of Tanzania. © UNHCR/B.Loyseau

A reduction in cholera cases among Burundian refugees and locals in Tanzania's Lake Tanganyika region, has been confirmed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The agency says the cholera epidemic, which has been spawned by a massive influx of people fleeing political unrest in Burundi, has claimed 30 lives. Catherine Hasselberg reports. Since early April, [...]

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

Irish youth applauded by UN chief for role in global affairs

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the Tipperary International Peace Award ceremony in Tipperary, Ireland. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The young people of Ireland have been thanked by the United Nations Secretary-General for what he called their "wonderful global citizenry". Ban Ki-moon spoke in the Irish capital, Dublin on Tuesday as he concluded his visit to the country. Cathrine Hasselberg reports. The UN Secretary-General participated in an event for the launch of Ireland's UN [...]

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

Kyrgyzstan's "foreign agents" law threatens civil rights groups, say experts

The office of the UN Human Rights Commissoner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein says civil rights groups risk being stigmatised by the draft bill. Photo: UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

A bid by the Kyrgyzstan authorities to make non-government organisations register as "foreign agents" has been strongly criticised by rights experts. Under a draft law headed for the Kyrgyz parliament, all foreign-funded civil society groups engaged in what are called "political activities" are expected to have to comply with the new classification. The UN's human [...]

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

Nuclear technology contributes to managing Nile water

Nile basin. Photo: Bionet

Nuclear technology is playing its role in the management of valuable water resources along the River Nile in Africa. The Nile River Basin is an expansive area of groundwater found around the river itself, covering some 3.2 million square kilometers. Eleven countries depend on this groundwater, so the way it is managed is extremely important [...]

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

Spike in Nigeria suicide attacks using women and children

Conflict between government and separatists has displaced 1.3 million people in Nigeria and left unaccompanied children prey to armed groups, UNICEF says. Photo: UNHCR/D. Mbaoirem

A sharp increase in suicide bombings has been reported in north-east Nigeria with women and children used in more than three-quarters of the attacks, UN experts say. Children's agency UNICEF warned Tuesday that there have already been 27 suicide attacks in the first five months of this year, compared with just 26 in the whole [...]

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

Developing countries step up fight against pollution

Thailand and Chile are leading the way in pollution abatement, improving lives and economies. Other large cities are being urged to adopt some of the same methods. Photo: World Bank

Each year, pollution kills almost nine million people worldwide, mostly in developing countries. That's according to the World Bank which is backing a new campaign called '"Pollution Management and Environmental Health". The campaign aims to support affected countries to significantly reduce air, land and water pollution levels through pollution management planning and investments to improve [...]

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

Daily News 25 May 2015

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News in Brief 25 May 2015 (PM)

Around 15,000 children in 14 of the worst-hit districts need therapeutic foods for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition. Photo: UNICEF/Karki

70,000 children face malnutrition in Nepal One month after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, an estimated 70,000 children under the age of five are at risk of malnutrition and require urgent humanitarian support; that's according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. Around 15,000 children in 14 of the worst-hit districts need therapeutic foods for [...]

25 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Relief effort in Nepal "running against the clock"

A Nepalese military helicopter delivers relief supplies to Ladhu village in Sindhulpalchok district. Photo: OCHA/Markus Werne

One month after a massive earthquake devastated Nepal, the international community is "running against the clock" to deliver aid to remote communities, the UN has said. More than 8000 people were killed in the tremor on April 25. There was also widespread damage to the country's infrastructure. Monsoon rains which are due to arrive in [...]

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

Eight thousand new shelters for South Sudanese displaced

Fighting since December has displaced more than two million people. Photo: UN Photo/Hailemichael Gebrekrstos

Eight thousand new shelters have been constructed by the UN to accommodate more than 60,000 people displaced by fighting in South Sudan. Ongoing fighting between the Government and rebels has forced an estimated one and a half million people across the country to flee their homes. Daniel Dickinson reports Working with humanitarian partners, the UN [...]

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

News in Brief 25 May 2015 (AM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the Tipperary International Peace Award ceremony in Tipperary, Ireland. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

"Time of test" for international community The international community is enduring a "time of test" which demands strong global cooperation and bold action, the United Nations Secretary-General  has said. Speaking at the Tipperary International Peace Award ceremony in Ireland, Ban Ki-moon said the "lines between terrorists, transnational criminals and extremists" were blurring. He said greater international [...]

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International community "increasingly frustrated" with progress in peace process

Palestinian women walk near Israel's barrier near Ramallah in the West Bank. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold (file)

The International community has become "increasingly frustrated" at the lack of progress in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian authority. That's according to a report released by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. Tensions have increased in recent weeks between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank with [...]

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

Local economies important for African economic development

A view from the Port of Doraleh, Djibouti. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

African countries need to look at how they can grow local economies to prepare for a booming population. That's according to Africa Economic Outlook report released on Monday by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP. As the population of the continent is set to triple by 2050, the report says increased economic activity is vital [...]

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

Geneva vital “ingredient in everyone's lives”

Moller is the author of "Recipes for Peace, Rights & Wellbeing". Credit: UNTV

Highlighting the impact of decisions reached in Geneva is the aim of a cookbook with a difference that's been concocted by Michael Moller, Director-General, ad interim of the United Nations Office at Geneva. The book “Recipes For Peace, Rights & Wellbeing” has contributions from 60 UN agencies and partners in the Swiss city. Among genuine [...]

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

Cybercriminals targeted as world IT summit begins in Geneva

Cybercrime targeted at world IT summit Geneva. Photo: World Bank (file)

Combating online fraud which costs at least US$3.5 billion a year is the task facing UN and industry experts participating in a global forum beginning Monday. Four UN agencies – UNCTAD, ITU, UNESCO and UNDP – have joined forces at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) to continue efforts to limit the [...]

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

Killing of Burundian presidential candidate condemned

Police in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, have been involved in clashes with protesters. Photo: IRIN/Desire Nimubona

The killing of a Burundian presidential candidate has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Zedi Feruzi, leader of the opposition UPD was shot dead in the country's capital Bujumbura late on Saturday night. It's the latest incident connected to political unrest in Burundi. Daniel Dickinson reports The Great Lakes country has experienced seven weeks [...]

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

West Africa key destination for illegal electronic waste

Ghana and Nigeria are among the key destinations in Africa for large-scale shipments of electronic waste. Photo: UNEP (file)

Up to 90 per cent of the world’s electronic waste, worth nearly US $19 billion, is illegally traded or dumped each year. That's according to a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Ghana and Nigeria are among the key destinations in Africa for large-scale shipments of obsolete computers and other hardware. Cathrine [...]

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

Attack on Saudi mosque condemned by Security Council

The UN Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A terrorist attack at a mosque in Qatif, in Saudi Arabia, which resulted in the death of at least 21 people, has been strongly condemned by the UN Security Council. The attack has been claimed by the militant group, ISIL also known as Da'esh. Daniel Dickinson reports. ISIL said it was behind the suicide bombing on [...]

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

“Disappointment” at impasse on nuclear weapons

Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

Talks on nuclear non-proliferation at the United Nations in New York have ended without an agreement. The 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons , known as the NPT, failed to reach a consensus on how to achieve a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and [...]

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

Asia becomes the world’s largest investor region

Developing Asia has for the first time become the world's largest investor region. Photo: UNCTAD (file)

Asia has, for the first time, become the region which has invested more in other countries than the world's most developed regional economic blocs. That's according to the agency dealing with trade, investment, and development issues at the United Nations, UNCTAD. It says Asia invested US$440 billion in other regions compared to US$390 billion in [...]

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

News in Brief 22 May 2015 (PM)

The archaeological site of Palmyra in Syria. Photo: UNESCO/F. Bandarin

11,000 flee ancient Syrian town as militants arrive Preparations are underway to provide aid for some 11,000 people who fled the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra after the area was overrun by militant forces. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said the displaced people are "exhausted and scared." The agency is sending more relief supplies to [...]

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UN Daily News 22 May 2015

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The oral vaccine helped contain the Tanzania cholera outbreak that was fuelled by displaced people arriving from Burundi. Photo: UNHCR/B. Loyseau

Fears raised for doubling of Burundian refugees An international call has been made for the protection and assistance for up to 200,000 Burundian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries amid ongoing political turmoil and violence in the Great Lakes country. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says 100,000 have arrived since April. It fears the refugee [...]

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60,000 women and girls treated for fistula in developing world

Three young women patients wait to check-in for treatment, under a tent in the compound of the Fistula Unit of Zalingei Hospital in Sudan. UN Photo/Fred Noy

Around 60,000 women and girls in the developing world have benefitted from a programme initiated by the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA to treat obstetric fistula. Obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged obstructed labour. It leaves the woman incontinent and unable to control the [...]

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

Hungarian PM condemned for "migrant-terrorist" message

The Hungarian Prime Minister's comments in an official questionnaire suggest a link between migration and terrorist attacks, OHCHR says. Photo: UNHCR/F. Malavolta

Comments by the Hungarian Prime Minister apparently suggesting a link between migration and terrorism have met with strong criticism from the UN's human rights office. It said it was "shocked" by Viktor Orban's remarks attached to a questionnaire recently sent to Hungarian citizens. In it, the Prime Minister alludes to the Paris terror attacks and [...]

22 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Welcome for Myanmar decision to shelter sea migrants

A UNHCR staff member interviews rescued people from a boat. Photo: UNHCR/F. Ijazah

Myanmar's decision to take in more than 200 boat migrants has been welcomed by the UN refugee agency which on Friday called for further action to rescue more than 3,500 people still stranded at sea. UNHCR described Myanmar's initiative to shelter sea migrants floating off its coastline near Rakhine State as a helpful initial move. [...]

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

Over 1000 civilians die in Yemen over three week period

Children play as a donkey cart passes destroyed buildings in the Al-Ora's neighbourhood of Zinjibar, Yemen. Photo: UNHCR/A. Al-Sharif

At least 1,037 civilians, including 130 women and 234 children, lost their lives in Yemen in the three weeks up to 20 May, according to the UN human rights office. At least another 2,450 civilians were injured. Fighting has resumed in the Gulf state following a five-day pause to allow humanitarian supplies in. Ana Carmo [...]

22 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Cholera toll mounts for Burundi displaced, says refugee agency

Conditions are ripe for cholera to take hold on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, UNHCR says. Photo: UNHCR/T.W.Monboe

A cholera epidemic in Tanzania’s lakeside Kagunga area has killed 31 people and is a serious risk for tens of thousands of displaced Burundians, the UN refugee agency said Friday. Amid pre-election violence in Burundi, some 65,000 refugees have sought shelter on the lake's shores in what UNHCR describes as "horribly overcrowded" conditions. The agency's [...]

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

Nauru urged to withdraw measures threatening freedom of expression

UN investigator David Kaye wants to see states promote encryption to protect people's identities with no possibility of "backdoor" access to data.

Nauru has been urged by the UN to withdraw recent amendments to the country's criminal code which it says "unduly restrict" the freedom of expression. The maximum penalty for being found guilty of breaking the code is seven years in prison. Daniel Dickinson reports The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, [...]

22 May 2015 | Posted in Small Island Developing States, Today's News | Read More »

Medical supplies running out in South Sudan

Displaced people in South Sudan. The country continues to endure a civil conflict which has pitted rebel forces against the government. Photo: WFP

South Sudan is facing what's been described by the UN as a "very serious" shortage of medical supplies. It's thought that many of the 1400 medical facilities in the country will have run out of medicine and other supplies by September. South Sudan continues to endure a civil conflict which has pitted rebel forces against [...]

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

Hip-hop artist backs sustainable energy for Africa

Akon, R&B artist and co-founder, Akon Lighting Africa initiative. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The hip-hop artist, Akon, says his experience growing up in Africa was the driving force behind his efforts to bring sustainable energy to the continent. The American and Senegalese singer established Akon Lighting Africa, two years ago. Akon presented his initiative, which has brought solar power to 14 African countries, to a sustainable energy meeting [...]

22 May 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on Asia investment, Papua New Guinea and Nepal

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Asia becomes the world’s largest investor region Asia has, for the first time, become the region which has invested more in other countries than the world's most developed regional economic blocs. That's according to the agency dealing with trade, investment, and development issues at the United Nations, UNCTAD. It says Asia invested US$440 billion in [...]

21 May 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

News in Brief 21 May 2015 (PM)

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, during the daily noon press briefing at UN headquarters. UN File Photo/JC McIlwaine

Humanitarian financing panel launched A new high-level panel has been appointed by the UN Secretary-General to examine the challenges of financing the growing number of humanitarian crises around the world. Over the last decade, the demand for humanitarian aid has risen dramatically. The number of people in need has more than doubled since 2004 to [...]

21 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Women: focus on family planning and women empowerment

International Organization for Migration (IOM) staff member helps distribute soap to a woman in South Sudan. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Women's empowerment through menstrual health In many developing countries, millions of girls and women are left to manage their menstrual cycles with whatever they can find, such as cloth, paper or clay; that's according to the UN. When you add a lack of access to water and soap, the programme manager for the UN's Water [...]

21 May 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan, children in Africa and tourism in Tanzania

southsudan_children_violence

Armed youths lead killings in South Sudan, says UNICEF Children have been raped, abducted and killed amid escalating conflict in South Sudan as warring groups try to make ground ahead of the rainy season, the UN Children’s Fund has said. UNICEF says survivors have been forced to flee armed groups in Unity State and seek [...]

21 May 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Cultural heritage benefiting Kenya communities

Isukuti dance of Isukha and Idakho communities of Western Kenya. Photo: Department of Culture, Kenya

People in Kenya are benefiting in significant ways from cultural heritage sites according to the Director General of the National Museums of Kenya. Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia was speaking in Nairobi on the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The UNESCO international day is aimed at deepening people's understanding of the values of [...]

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

A call for commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals

Kandeh Yumkella, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All addresses a press conference on the topic. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The international community has been urged to commit both practically and financially to development goals for the next 15 years that are being decided on in September. The call was made by the UN at a meeting on sustainable energy which was concluding in New York on Thursday. The UN says that around 2.8 billion [...]

21 May 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 21 May 2015

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Destruction of cultural site would be "enormous loss to humanity"

The Syrian archaeological site of Palmyra. Photo: ©UNESCO/F. Bandarin

The destruction of a cultural site in Syria would be a war crime and an enormous loss to humanity if it goes ahead, the Director-General of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO has warned. Fighters of the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Da'esh, have entered the UNESCO world heritage site of Palmyra in central Syria. [...]

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

Aid convoy crosses into western Libya

Humanitarian food assistance at the Zintan main food warehouse in the Nafusa Mountains, Libya. Photo: OCHA/Jihan El Alaily

An aid convoy has crossed into western Libya from Tunisia to provide relief supplies to 51,000 people displaced by conflict. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it was supporting the displaced Libyans as they do not have sufficient access to food. Violence and insecurity in the North African country is continuing and has led [...]

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

News in Brief 21 May 2015 (AM)

Syrian children refugees learning at a class room in Lebanon.  Photo: UNESCO/Dalia Khamissy

"Transformative vision for education" agreed The international community has agreed, to what the UN cultural organization, UNESCO has described as a "transformative vision for education." The agreement, known as the Incheon Declaration, will set the agenda for education across the world for the next 15 years. UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova, said it reflected the determination [...]

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Cholera outbreak in Tanzania claims 27 lives

Overcrowding and poor sanitation has resulted in a surge of confirmed or suspected cases of cholera amongst Burundian refugees. Photo: IRIN/Nancy Palus (file)

An outbreak of cholera amongst Burundian refugees in Tanzania has claimed 27 lives, the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, has confirmed. The outbreak occurred among 50,000 Burundians gathered on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Cathrine Hasselberg reports Unrest in Burundi has forced more than 110,000 people to flee to neighbouring countries. The majority has fled to [...]

21 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Ebola “fire” needs to be put out for good, warns WHO

The global community needs to help countries rebuild already fragile health systems, WHO says. Photo: UNMEER/Martine Perret

A radical change in the way the global community reacts to health emergencies is needed if we're to avoid another tragedy like Ebola, UN experts said Thursday. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued the warning after saying that the Ebola epidemic "is not over" in West Africa. The virus has killed more than 11,100 people [...]

21 May 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Food challenge highlighted at Milan Expo 2015

Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life. Promotional Image Milan Expo 2015.

The world needs to consider how it can ensure access to enough food for the planet's seven billion inhabitants. That's the message that the United Nations is promoting at the recently opened Expo Milan 2015 in Italy. The event runs until the end of October and has as its theme: “Feeding the Planet. Energy for [...]

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

20,000 porters carry aid to Nepal's isolated communities

The World Food Programme (WFP) and humanitarian partners are supporting Government distributions, supplementing food packages with rice and high-energy biscuits. Photo: WFP/Victoria Cavanagh.

A high-altitude rescue effort involving up to 20,000 porters is under way in a bid to reach Nepal's most isolated communities three weeks after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country. As part of Operation Mountain Express, each porter is expected to carry 30 kilogrammes of aid on their backs to people living in areas [...]

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

News in Brief 20 May 2015 (PM)

MINUSMA peacekeepers on patrol in Mali, where a mass prisoner release could upset peace efforts, the UN human rights office warns. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

Attack on UN in Mali condemned An attack against a residence where several UN military personnel are living in Bamako, Mali, has been strongly condemned by the UN Mission in the country, MINUSMA. An unidentified armed assailant shot and wounded a local security guard, who prevented an attempt to set fire to a MINUSMA vehicle [...]

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Four die in attack on UN compound in South Sudan

A peacekeeper with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Photo: UNMISS

Four civilians including a woman and her child have been killed in a mortar attack at a UN compound in Melut in South Sudan. Eight other civilians were injured after two mortar shells landed at the UN base. It's thought the shells were fired in an exchange between government and opposition forces. Gabriel Shaddar has [...]

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

Changes in energy use driving development

Power lines in Bulgaria. Photo: World Bank/Boris Rumenov Balabanov

Changes in the way people around the world use energy are driving development according to the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Jan Eliasson was speaking at UN headquarters at a ministerial-level meeting on global energy issues. Here's Ana Carmo with more details. 2015 has been described as a milestone year for the United Nations [...]

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

Refugee agency lauds South-East Asia sea rescue plan

The South-East Asian countries said they would continue to help the 7000 people off their shores.Photo: UNHCR/S. H. Omi

A commitment by South-East Asian states to address the plight of thousands of people stranded in boats off their coastline has been welcomed by the UN refugee agency. UNHCR's statement on Wednesday follows an announcement by the foreign ministers of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand that their countries will "continue to provide humanitarian assistance" to 7,000 [...]

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

News in Brief 20 May 2015 (AM)

Children play as a donkey cart passes destroyed buildings in the Al-Ora's neighbourhood of Zinjibar, Yemen. Photo: UNHCR/A. Al-Sharif

Political process to resume in Yemen The resumption of a political process in Yemen has been announced by the United Nations. Talks will begin in Geneva on May 28th. They're expected to bring together members of the Yemeni government and other players in the political scene, including rebels. Yemen continues to suffer from conflict as [...]

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North Korea cancels UN chief visit

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or North Korea has cancelled a planned trip to the country by the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was due to visit the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a joint project of North and South Korea, on Thursday. Daniel Dickinson reports The two countries have continued to endure strained relations following the [...]

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

Health challenges mount for Palestine refugees

Conflict has left many children in need of psychological care, UNRWA says. Photo: UNRWA

Providing health care to millions of Palestine refugees has become increasingly complicated as conflict and upheaval persist in the Middle-East, the UN said Wednesday. The warning, from United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), comes as it continues to help more than five million registered Palestine refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. [...]

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

Efforts made to reduce pesticide risk to children

Highly hazardous pesticides. Photo: FAO/Asim Hafeez

Efforts are underway to minimize risks to children exposed to pesticides used during agricultural production. According to figures released by the United Nations, around four million children globally are working in the agriculture sector. But now a new tool is being released to promote the safer use of pesticides. Bernd Seiffert is the UN Food [...]

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

Social and Economic situation in South Sudan worsening

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan's Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich

Almost two years since the outbreak of the conflict in South Sudan, the situation there is worsening according to the Head of UNMISS, the UN mission in South Sudan. Ellen Margrethe Løj said people continue to die. There are also now more than two million internally displaced people in the country. Joshua Mmali spoke with Ms [...]

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

News in Brief 19 May 2015 (PM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Sixth Asia Leadership Conference, held in Seoul, Republic of Korea. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

UN chief to make first visit to North Korea in 20 years The UN has confirmed that the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon will make an official trip to North Korea. He will visit the Kaesong Industrial Complex on Thursday, a joint project between North and South Korea. Mr Ban, who is a South Korean national, said [...]

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A truckload full of UNHCR aid in Yemen. Photo: UNHCR

400,000 people receive food aid in Yemen Around 400,000 people have received food aid in Yemen during a five-day pause in fighting, but the UN says that's just a half of the people in need. The World Food Programme (WFP) is appealing for a series of "predictable breaks in the conflict" so it can deliver [...]

19 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Al-Shabaab expected to attempt to "derail" political process in Somalia

Security Council Meeting this morning: the situation in Somalia. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The Al-Shabaab terrorist group is expected to attempt to "derail" the political process in Somalia according to the United Nation's most senior official in the country. Nicholas Kay made the comment in his regular address to the UN Security Council on the situation in the Horn of Africa country. Al-Shabaab has created widespread insecurity in [...]

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

South-East Asia leaders urged to protect migrants

Indonesian fishermen have rescued hundreds of Bangladeshis and Rohingya from Myanmar in May, including these children. Photo: UNHCR

The leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, have been urged by senior United Nations officials to protect migrants and refugees stranded on vessels in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. It's estimated that 88,000 people have made the perilous sea journey since 2014. Ana Carmo reports Around 25,000 migrants, mainly Bangladeshis and Rohingya [...]

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

Armed youths lead killings in South Sudan, says UNICEF

Dozens of children have been killed in the latest escalation of violence in South Sudan's oil-rich Unity state, UNICEF says. Photo: UNICEF

Children have been raped, abducted and killed amid escalating conflict in South Sudan as warring groups try to make ground ahead of the rainy season, UNICEF said Tuesday. The UN children's agency says survivors have been forced to flee armed groups in Unity State and seek shelter in camps or hide in swamp land. The [...]

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

Education "powerful weapon" against violent extremism

Education is a powerful weapon against the rise of violent extremism, the UN Secretary-General has said. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at the opening of the World Education Forum currently underway in the South Korean city of Incheon. Daniel Dickinson reports. The World Education Forum has brought together more than 130 government ministers from around the [...]

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

Landslides hampering relief deliveries in Nepal

Hundreds of thousands of people remain homeless nearly three weeks after the first tremor hit Nepal, in April. Photo: OCHA / Orla Fagan

Landslides following in the wake of two large earthquakes in Nepal are hampering the delivery of relief supplies to affected people according to the UN humanitarian office, OCHA. The agency says that a lack of funding, only approximately 20 per cent of the US$423 million appeal has been received, is also holding back aid efforts. [...]

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

Employment changes most profound in modern economic history

ILO says over 60 per cent of all workers lack any kind of employment contract. Photo: ILO (file)

Changes in the way people are employed are the most profound ever seen in  modern economic history according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The World Employment and Social Outlook 2015 (WESO) finds that workers are less secure today than ever before. Ana Carmo's report begins with the words of the [...]

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

News in Brief 18 May 2015 (PM)

This Christian Iraqi family fled the town of Qaragosh, 30km east of Mosul, in June 2014, after militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) took control of Mosul and other areas of northern Iraq. Photo: IRIN/Louise Redvers (file)

Families flee Iraqi city following militant advance Humanitarian agencies say that more than 6,500 families have been displaced in Iraq following reports that militants of the Da'esh or ISIL terrorist group have reached the city of Ramadi. Nearby Khaldiyah Hospital has reported receiving many casualties, and the local authorities have requested international assistance. The UN [...]

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US$100 million fund needed for future health alerts

Margaret Chan, Director General WHO, said "vastly insufficient" medicines had reached Yemen during a recent ceasefire. Photo: UN Photo/Violaine Martin

Additional powers and a US$100 million fund are needed to tackle future global health alerts, the World Health Organization's chief said on Monday. Margaret Chan described the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa as a "defining moment" for the organization. The UN health agency head made her remarks on the opening day of the organisation's [...]

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

News in Brief 18 May 2015 (AM)

Medicines and medical supplies from WHO's warehouse in Sana'a being distributed during the humanitarian pause to 14 locations throughout Yemen. Photos: WHO Yemen

WHO delivers additional medicines and medical supplies to Yemen More than 20 tonnes of medicines and supplies are on their way to Yemen, the World Health Organization, WHO, has confirmed. The shipment contains emergency health, trauma and surgical kits as well as sanitation and hygiene items for more than 120,000 people. A 5-day pause in [...]

18 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Seven Burundians die in diarrhoea outbreak in Tanzania camp

UNHCR is working to relocate thousands of Burundians who have fled to Tanzanian territory on Lake Tanganyika. Photo: UNHCR/T. W. Monboe

Seven Burundians who fled civil unrest in their country have died in a suspected cholera outbreak in a refugee camp in Tanzania, the UN has confirmed. Over 20,000 refugees are now accommodated at the Nyarugusu camp. Local immigration authorities also reported that over 50,000 Burundians were living in the open in Kagunga on the shore [...]

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

Migrant smuggling tragedy "cannot continue"

People risking sea journeys across the Bay of Bengal often set sail at night. Photo: UNHCR/S. Alam (file)

The smuggling of migrants in different parts of the world is a tragedy that can't be allowed to continue according to the chief of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Yury Fedotov made the comment as the 24th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice got underway in Vienna, Austria. [...]

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

South Sudan fighting forces tens of thousands to flee, warns Red Cross

Renewed fighting has forced tens of thousands to flee into the bush in recent weeks; 90 per cent are women and children, UNHCR says. Photo: UN / Martine Perret

Tens of thousands of people in South Sudan have been forced to flee fighting just as the country's crucial planting season gets under way, the Red Cross warned Monday. Violence in the towns of Leer in Unity State and in Kodok in Upper Nile state has affected civilians initially displaced by fighting roughly a year [...]

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

Chad secures US$1.1 billion in debt relief

Nigerian refugees fleeing attacks by insurgents on Baga town and surrounding villages, wait to be registered by UNHCR in Ngouboua, western Chad. Photo: Chadian Red Cross/Hachim Abdoulaye

Unrest in Central Africa is stretching the already scarce resources of Chad, even further than normal according to the International Monetary Fund or IMF. Chad has been struggling with drought, poverty and insecurity, a situation which has worsened following the arrival of around 100,000 refugees from neighbouring countries. Despite the challenges, the IMF says this [...]

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

Political action and investment needed to end "energy poverty"

The Sustainable Energy for All meeting begins on Monday. Video capture/World Bank

Political action and financial investment is needed to end what's been described by a senior UN official as "energy poverty." The international community is meeting at the UN in New York this week to discuss, amongst other issues, how to bring electricity to the 1.4 billion people around the world who do not have it. [...]

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

Internet "driver of innovation" around the world

ICTs can drive innovation 
Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel

The Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can be used as a driver of innovation around the world. That's the message from the UN on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) marked annually on May 17. Daniel Dickinson reports ICTs are the catalysts for shaping the future development agenda according to Houlin [...]

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

US university students urged to "inch the world closer to social justice"

The UN Secretary-General gives the Commencement Address at Georgetown University  UN Photo/Mark Garten

Students graduating at Georgetown University in Washington DC in the US have been told by the UN Secretary-General it is their responsibility to "inch the world closer to social justice." Ban Ki-moon made the appeal in his Commencement Address at the university's School of Foreign Service, where he was awarded and honorary degree. Daniel Dickinson [...]

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

Women's empowerment through menstrual health

International Organization for Migration (IOM) staff member helps distribute soap to a woman in South Sudan. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

In many developing countries, millions of girls and women are left to manage their menstrual cycles with whatever they can find, such as cloth, paper or clay; that's according to the UN. When you add a lack of access to water and soap, the programme manager for the UN's Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, [...]

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

International Day of Families at the UN

A young family in Timor-Leste. UN Photo/Bernadino Soares

Different kinds of family structures have arisen all over the world during the last couple of decades, says a Professor of Law from the University of London. Fareda Banda was present at a panel discussion on Gender Equality and Children's Rights at the UN headquarters in New York, USA this Friday. The new structures are [...]

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

News in Brief 15 May 2015 (PM)

MINUSMA peacekeepers on patrol in Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

Mali agreement "strong basis" for lasting peace An agreement signed in Mali between armed groups and the Government is a "strong basis" for lasting peace in the country, the UN Secretary-General has said. A coup d’état in early 2012 has continued to breed instability and violence in the West African country. Ban Ki-moon welcomed the [...]

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Negotiations resume between Greek Cypriot leader and Turkish Cypriot leader

Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide (centre) with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades (left) and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci as they resumed full-fledged negotiations on 15 May 2015. Photo: UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP)

The resumption of full-fledged negotiations between the Greek Cypriot leader and the Turkish Cypriot leader has been welcomed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey sent troops citing concerns for the Turkish Cypriot community after a Greek military coup. The UN has been facilitating talks between leaders of the [...]

15 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

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Around twelve babies are being born every hour without access to basic healthcare in the areas of Nepal worst hit by two powerful earthquakes, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The agency said maternity facilities were massively damaged by the tremors. It warned that over the next month the lives of almost 18,000 babies [...]

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More needs to be done to support Nepal, says UN chief

A UNICEF worker speaks to a child seeking temporary shelter at a vacant field next to Nepal's army headquarters in Kathmandu following Nepal's massive earthquake. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1007/Nybo

Humanitarian aid is making a difference in Nepal, but the international community needs to do more, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon on Friday addressed the UN General Assembly on the situation in the country, where he said the lives of 8 million Nepalese have been changed beyond recognition. Two earthquakes killed more than [...]

15 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Armed groups in Libya abducting civilians

A resident of Tayuri stands against a bullet-riddled wall of his house, part of which was destroyed during clashes in Libya. Photo: IRIN/Zahra Moloo

Armed groups across Libya are responsible for abductions of civilians including minors, according to the UN Mission in the country, UNSMIL. The people who have been abducted are reportedly at risk of torture and other ill-treatment, and are frequently denied any contact with their families. Stephanie Coutrix reports. The UN Mission in Libya warned on [...]

15 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

105,000 flee Burundi as UN appeals for calm

Conditions are ripe for cholera to take hold on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, UNHCR says. Photo: UNHCR/T.W.Monboe

More than 105,000 people have fled Burundi amid continuing uncertainty in the country after a failed military coup, the UN refugee agency said Friday. UNHCR reported sporadic violence in the capital Bujumbura and a spike in new arrivals in neighbouring Tanzania, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The UN's human rights office meanwhile said that [...]

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

Pause in fighting "not enough to reach everyone in Yemen"

Due to fuel shortages, donkey carts are still used as an alternative transportation method to deliver safe water to health facilities and camps for internally displaced persons in Hodeida, Yemen. Photo: WHO Yemen

A negotiated pause in fighting in Yemen appears to be holding but concerns remain that warring parties cannot be relied upon to allow humanitarian agencies to distribute desperately needed aid. The warning comes as the humanitarian ceasefire enters its third day. The UN coordinating agency OCHA is reporting sporadic but "very heavy fighting." Yemen continues [...]

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

92% of Egyptian women have undergone genital mutilation

Communities in Qena are joining forces with international organizations and civil society to end FGM in Egypt. Photo credit: Jose Sanchez/UNDP Egypt

As many as 92 per cent of girls and women in Egypt have undergone female genital mutilation, despite the fact that the procedure was criminalized in the country in 2008. FGM, as it is often referred to, is frequently rooted in cultural and religious beliefs, but has no medical benefit. The United the Nations Development [...]

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

Audio Slide Show: Women in Nepal receiving reproductive health support

Sanjana Tamang, 21, with her newborn in Mahendra Jyoti Village in Nepal's Kavre District. Photo: UNFPA Nepal/Santosh Chhetri

The needs of women of reproductive age in Nepal are of particular concern to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), especially in the aftermath of powerful earthquakes that recently shook the country. The agency says pregnant women need support to deliver in safe environments, while other women and girls need access to family planning to avoid [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Violators of human rights in Burundi will be held accountable, says UN chief

WFP is working to assist tens of thousands of refugees from Burundi who have fled into neighbouring DRC, Rwanda and Tanzania to escape the ongoing political crisis. Photo: WFP

Anyone responsible for ordering or committing human rights violations in Burundi will be held accountable, the UN Secretary-General warned in a statement on Thursday. Ban Ki-moon said he is gravely concerned by developments in the Central African country since the announcement of the electoral candidacy of President Nkurunziza, which the UN has warned is unconstitutional. [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on Nepal, Indonesia and drug policy

Laxmi Shakya, 31, gave birth just three days before the quake. Photo: UNFPA Nepal/Santosh Chhetri

Women in Nepal receiving reproductive health support The needs of women of reproductive age in Nepal are of particular concern to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in the aftermath of powerful earthquakes that recently shook the country. The agency says this includes preventing unplanned pregnancies through family planning, and supporting pregnant women so they can [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on Libya, West Africa and the situation in South Sudan

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda speaks before the Security Council. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

ICC Prosecutor calls for more action in Lybia The Prosecutor of the UN-backed International Criminal Court (ICC) is calling on the international community to support Libya, especially on issues of justice and accountability. The North African country has been mired in factional fighting since former president Muammar al-Qhadafi was overthrown nearly four years ago. In [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Women: focus on sexual violence in conflict and women empowerment

D'Banj being interviewed by the World Bank. Photo: World Bank

“Widespread and systematic” sexual violence taking place in Syria and Iraq Sexual violence is being committed in a widespread, systematic and sophisticated manner in Syria and Iraq, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, has warned. Zainab Bangura was speaking in New York following a recent mission to the region. Violence [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

News in Brief 14 May 2015 (PM)

A demonstration in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a. Photo: IRIN/Adel Yahya (file)

No military solution in Yemen, says UN chief There is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen, the UN Secretary-General has told Khaled Mahfoudh Abdullah Bahah, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the country. During a phone call on Thursday, Ban Ki-moon also told the Vice-President that he would soon convene a meeting of [...]

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Security situation and human rights worsening in South Sudan

Ellen Margrethe Loej. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The security and human rights situation in South Sudan has deteriorated over the past two months according to the UN's most senior official in the country. South Sudan continues to endure a conflict which has pitted government forces against rebels. Inter-communal violence is also on the increase. Daniel Dickinson reports Insecurity has been destabilising South [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Video promoting LGBTI rights premiers in Times Square, NYC

Malia Hurwitz.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people make huge contributions to families and local communities around the world; that's the message of a new video by the UN human rights office which is being premiered in Times Square in New York City. The aim is to get people talking, to spread awareness and to promote [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Airlifts begin to help conflict-hit farmers in South Sudan

The rainy season in South Sudan is fully underway and FAO is distributing vital livelihood kits to conflict-affected farmers. Photo: FAO/J. Belgrave

Almost 100 tonnes of seeds and tools are being airlifted by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to conflict-hit farmers in South Sudan. The airlift to the Greater Upper Nile region is taking place ahead of the main planting season. But, so far only one flight has been able to land at its final [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

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An aerial view of Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: UNAMA/Ari Gaitanis

Killing of 17 civilians in Afghanistan condemned by UN The killing of at least 17 civilians in two separate attacks in Afghanistan on Wednesday has been strongly condemned by the UN Mission in the country, UNAMA. The Taliban group has reportedly claimed responsibility. An attack against civilians gathered for a cultural event in the Park [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Deeply worrying" humanitarian outlook in Iraq

Proposed reforms in Iraq aimed at streamlining state institutions. File Photo: UN Iraq

The humanitarian outlook in Iraq remains deeply worrying, with the number of people in need of assistance having grown seven-fold in nearly one year, according to the UN. Members of the Security Council were briefed on Thursday on the situation in Iraq, where violence continues to take what has been described as a "terrible toll" [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Dramatic" destruction of cultural heritage in Nepal

Nepal. Photo: UNESCO Kathmandu Office /Manhart Christian

The destruction of cultural heritage in Nepal following two earthquakes in the country has been "dramatic" according to the UN cultural agency, UNESCO. Thousands of people died in the tremors and many more were injured. There was also widespread damage to monuments and temples. The UN is now helping the Nepali government to assess that [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

First confirmed Ebola case in Italy

Health worker in Sierra Leone. File Photo: UNICEF/Bindra

The first case of the deadly Ebola virus has been detected in Italy according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN health agency said the patient is a healthcare worker who had been at an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone in West Africa. Stephanie Coutrix reports. WHO said the patient was transferred to [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

"Unprecedented emotional toll" on children in Nepal

© UNICEF Nepal/2015/Panday

Children in Nepal are facing an unprecedented emotional toll as they deal with the devastating consequences of two major earthquakes in two and a half weeks, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned. Thousands of children and their families are reportedly living in informal settlements across the country after the latest quake left many too [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Cholera surge has put Haiti on course for crisis"

The country still needs the international community's help five years after the devastating earthquake, the UN cholera coordinator says.Photo: UN/Logan Abassi

A "surge" in the number of new cholera cases in Haiti has created the risk of a humanitarian crisis, the UN expert in charge of fighting the disease said Thursday. Assistant Secretary-General and Senior Coordinator for Cholera Response in Haiti Pedro Medrano Rojas said that the last three months have seen more than 12,000 new [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Growth in Asia-Pacific region driven by consumption and investments

A train snakes its way through Seoul. UN Photo/Kibae Park

Developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region continue to fare well in comparison to the rest of the world, but structural weaknesses are holding back growth. That's what the UN Economic and Social Commission for the region (ESCAP) is highlighting in a new report. Cathrine Hasselberg has more. The latest regional macroeconomic outlook report released by the [...]

14 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 13 May 2015 (PM)

Burundians arriving in Rwanda after fleeing pre-election violence. Photo: UNHCR/Kate Holt

UN chief calls on Burundian leaders to preserve peace and stability Developments on the ground in Burundi are being followed with great concern by the United Nations. Media reports indicated on Wednesday that the President of the country, Pierre Nkurunziza, was facing an attempted coup amid unrest over his bid to be re-elected to a [...]

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Displaced people in North Kivu. Photo: UNHCR/B. Sokol (file)

Grave violations of humanitarian law reported in DR Congo Grave violations of international humanitarian law were committed in the DR Congo by a rebel group from Uganda, according to a new UN report. The violations, which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, were committed in Beni territory in North Kivu province, over [...]

13 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Ordinary people" bearing brunt of renewed conflict in Sudan

Photo: UNAMID

"Ordinary people" are bearing the brunt of renewed conflict in the East Darfur region of Sudan according to the UN's senior representative in Darfur. Inter-tribal warfare driven by land ownership disputes has recently broken out again in the vicinity of Abu Karinka and Adila towns. Two years ago 120,000 local people were forced to flee [...]

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

Greater efforts needed to deny access to illegal weapons and ammunition

UNMAS cut up weapons in close collaboration with the National Commission of Small Arms and Light Weapons of Cote d'Ivoire (COMNAT-CI). Photo: UNOCI

Further measures are needed to combat the proliferation of illicit weapons around the world, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a Security Council debate on small arms and light weapons. The UN estimates that more than 50,000 men, women and children are killed each year as a direct consequence of these [...]

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

Mixed success on world health targets, says WHO

Too many women still face unacceptable risks in childbirth, the WHO report says. Photo: UN Photo/G Diez

Boosting global health is a key goal for the international community and there have been massive achievements since 2000 – along with some mixed results – according to UN health experts. In the latest World Health Organization report on global health in 194 countries, the agency says they're on course to beat HIV, malaria and [...]

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

"Respect vital pause in hostilities" in Yemen, calls top UN official

Smoke fills the sky above the Yemeni capital Sanaa after a series of airstrikes (12 May). Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

The beginning of a pause in hostilities in Yemen should enable UN agencies and their partners to step up the delivery of lifesaving assistance to people in desperate need, according to the UN humanitarian office, OCHA. The five day so-called humanitarian pause which began in the Middle Eastern country on Tuesday at 11pm local time [...]

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

Poor child nutrition in Malawi costs US$600 million per year, says WFP

A school feeding programme in Malawi, where stunting is linked to academix underachievement and low productivity at work. Photo: WFP

Nearly US$600 million a year is lost in Malawi because children miss out on critical nutrients to help them grow properly, UN health experts said Wednesday. The figure features in a World Food Programme report showing that the issue of child under-nutrition costs the south African country around 10 per cent of its economic output. [...]

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

Male leaders join HeforShe campaign

Paramount Chief-Malawi, Gilberto Macuacua-Mozambique, and Ron Archer spearheaded the HeForShe sign up during the gala dinner. Photo credit: UNWomen/Ruth Waiganjo.

The movement for gender equality was originally conceived as a struggle led only by women and for women, but this has changed according to the UN agency for gender equality, UN Women. New initiatives, such as the HeForShe and 10x10x10 campaigns, are calling on male leaders to participate in eradicating gender inequalities in the private, [...]

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

ICC Prosecutor calls for more action in Libya

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda speaks before the Security Council  (UN Photo/Rick Bajornas)

The Prosecutor of the UN-backed International Criminal Court (ICC) is calling on the international community to consider the challenges and needs of Libya, especially on issues of justice and accountability. Speaking to the Security Council on Tuesday, Fatou Bensouda shared the Court's latest report on the North African country, which underlined the deteriorating security conditions. [...]

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

“Widespread and systematic” sexual violence taking place in Syria and Iraq

Zainab Bangura. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

Sexual violence is being committed in a widespread, systematic and sophisticated manner in Syria and Iraq, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, has warned. Zainab Bangura, was speaking in New York following a recent mission to the region. Violence against women has increased in the region following the emergence [...]

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

Global community must do more for justice in Libya, says ICC Prosecutor

Security Council MeetingThe situation in Libya

The international community can and must do more to ensure peace and justice in Libya, according to the Prosecutor of the UN-backed International Criminal Court (ICC). Fatou Bensouda was presenting her ninth report to the Security Council on the situation in the North African country. Since the overthrow of Muammar al-Qhadafi nearly four years ago, [...]

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

News in Brief 12 May 2015 (PM)

Credit: OHCHR

"Alarming" reports of alleged massacre in Angola There have been alarming reports of an alleged massacre in the central province of Huambo in Angola, according to the UN human rights office (OHCHR). The Government has reported that nine police officers and 13 civilians were killed in a confrontation in Serra Sumé, when police attempted to [...]

12 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

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Internally displaced persons in Unity State, South Sudan. Photo: UNHCR

Thousands of people have left UN protection site in South Sudan An estimated 3000 internally displaced persons are reported to have left a UN protection site in Juba in South Sudan fearing further reprisal attacks after communal fighting left one dead and 60 others injured. The fighting started last Friday and resumed Sunday. Some 2,500 [...]

12 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Fresh chance" for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Valentin Inzko. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Bosnia and Herzegovina has been given a fresh chance and it must be taken, according to the European Union Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Valentin Inzko was briefing the Security Council on Tuesday on the latest report of his office on the Balkan state. He said twenty years after a devastating war, the country [...]

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

Thousands stranded off SE Asia coast, warns UN

Fishing boats head out into the Bay of Bengal. UNHCR fears thousands could be stranded on smugglers' boats and in need of rescue. © UNHCR/S.H.Omi

Search-and-rescue operations need to be stepped up in South-East Asia amid fears that thousands of people are stranded on smugglers' boats, the UN said Tuesday. UN refugee agency UNHCR said that "several thousand" mainly Bangladeshi nationals and ethnic Rohingya and are thought to be adrift at sea after smugglers abandoned them. The agency says it [...]

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

South Sudanese driven into "bush" as aid agencies leave

Newly displaced civilians from Sudan's Nuba Mountains approach Yida in South Sudan. Photo: UNHCR/S. KuirChok

Women and children in Unity State in South Sudan are being driven out of their villages and into the bush to escape an upsurge in fighting, according to the UN. The Organization and other aid agencies have been forced to suspend operations because of the violence, leaving 300,000 people without the emergency relief they need. [...]

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

Second earthquake hits Nepal, causing more damage

Urban-search-and-rescue members of USAID's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) at work in Nepal. Photo: USAID's Disaster Assistance Response Team

An earthquake of 7.3 magnitude struck Nepal on Tuesday, killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds, according to the United Nations. It follows an earthquake which struck the country on April 25 killing more than 8,000 people. The epicentre of the latest tremor was southeast of Kodari, 76 kilometres from Kathmandu. Stephanie Coutrix reports. The [...]

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

Ceasefire window prompts massive aid operation to Yemen

WFP aims to use the pause in hostilities to deliver aid to 750,000 people. Photo: UNICEF

Final preparations are under way for huge aid deliveries into Yemen as UN agencies wait to see if a proposed ceasefire holds between government and rebel troops. Tens of thousands of people across Yemen desperately need help, UN refugee agency UNHCR said Tuesday. Daniel Johnson has more. Duration: 2'01"    

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

Second major earthquake hits Nepal

The clean-up operation from the 25 April earthquake is still ongoing as a  second tremor strikes. Photo: OCHA/Orla Fagan

An earthquake with a 7.3 magnitude has struck Nepal, two weeks after a devastating tremor killed more than 8,000 people in the country. The quake which hit close to the town of Namche Bazaar, near Mount Everest and to the east of the Nepali capital Kathmandu, has reportedly killed at least 40 people. Media reports [...]

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

Forests need to be managed sustainably

The UN estimates that at least 1.6 billion people depend to some degree on forests for their food, fuel, shelter and income needs. Photo: UN Forum on Forests/Fendi Aspara (file)

Forests need to be managed sustainably as they are directly linked to the living conditions of many rural populations, according to the Assistant Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Eduardo Rojas has been in New York for the UN Forum on Forests, which is discussing the creation of an "International Arrangement on [...]

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

Trillions needed for new development agenda

Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Trillions of dollars may be needed to finance a new global development agenda, a senior UN official has said. In September, the international community is due to meet in New York to decide on the so-called Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. They will replace the Millennium Development Goals which are due to expire at the [...]

12 May 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 11 May 2015 (PM)

Staffan de Mistura ( second from left ), United Nations Special Envoy for Syria and his team meet with the Representative National Coordination Body for Democratic Change. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

Consultation on Syria continue in Geneva The UN Special Envoy for Syria is continuing to meet separately with all Syrian actors involved in the conflict. The so-called "Geneva consultations" have been taking place since last week to seek views of all Syrian and relevant regional and international parties on how to end the civil war. [...]

11 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Displaced people in Pakistan have begun returning to their homes

Displaced children in Jalozai IDP camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Credit: OCHA Pakistan/Dan Teng'o (file)

Some 140,000 displaced people in Pakistan have returned home in the past two months, according to the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA. A meeting was held in the capital Islamabad to update donors on the progress made regarding uprooted people returning to two of the country's provinces. Fighting between the government and militants in those provinces [...]

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

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Lessons from ebola tragedy must be taken on board, say experts

WHO didn't do enough early on to convince communities that clinics could help defeat the killer disease, according to the independent panel. Photo: UNMEER/Martine Perret

Lessons must be learned from the handling of public health alerts like ebola, experts said on Monday. The warning comes from a high-level panel of independent investigators called in by the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate the response to the killer disease in West Africa. Chief investigator Dame Barbara Stocking described Ebola as a [...]

11 May 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Over 300,000 people without life-saving aid in South Sudan

Refugee camp in South Sudan. Photo: UNOCHA (file)

More than 300,000 South Sudanese in need of emergency relief do not currently have access to life-saving assistance, according to the United Nations. Ongoing hostilities in South Sudan's Unity state have reportedly forced the humanitarian response to be suspended. Close to a year and a half of conflict has devastated the lives of millions of [...]

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

20,000 migrants could die in Mediterranean in 2015

After being rescued, arriving to Palerm, Sicile.  Photo: UNHCR / F. Malavolta

Up to 20,000 people could die crossing the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 if the international community does not take action to stem the flow of migrants, a senior UN official has warned. Many of the deaths have occurred as a result of unseaworthy boats operated by people traffickers. Migrants are fleeing insecurity and poverty in [...]

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

Pause in fighting in Yemen would create "lifeline" for the population

The MV Amsterdam berthed at Hudaydah port, Yemen, with fuel for the World Food Programme (WFP). Photo: WFP Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

A pause in fighting in Yemen will enable the UN and its partners to scale up their operations and create a lifeline for the population, according to the top UN humanitarian official. It follows the announcement by the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia and the US Secretary of State, of a break in military operations [...]

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

News in Brief 11 May 2015 (AM)

Secretary-General Attends Military Parade in Red Square, Moscow during his official visit to Russian Federation. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

UN chief attends WWII "Victory Day" celebrations in Russia Commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of World War II continued over the weekend with a "Victory Day" celebration in the Russian Federation, where the UN Secretary-General met with the Russian President. Ban Ki-moon expressed his appreciation for the invitation to commemorate the sacrifice and contribution of [...]

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No justification for violence against women in Sudan

Violence against women in Sudan cannot be justified. Photo: UNHCR

Violence against women in Sudan cannot be justified a United Nations expert has said ahead of the first official UN visit to Sudan on the issue in a decade. Priorities for special investigator Rashida Manjoo include assessing the situation for women in conflict and non-conflict areas, as well as violence against refugees and others who've [...]

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

Corruption uncovered by text messages in Papua New Guinea

"Phones against Corruption

Two public officials in Papua New Guinea are facing corruption charges for mismanaging more than US$2 million following a tip-off by mobile phone text message. The text was sent anonymously as part of a UN-supported initiative called "Phones against Corruption". The initiative encourages people in one of the world's most corrupt countries to pass on [...]

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

African artist D'Banj using music to promote women's empowerment

D'Banj being interviewed by the World Bank. Photo: World Bank

One of the most successful African music artists in the last decade, Nigerian singer D'Banj, is using his star power to promote women's empowerment. A new series created by the World Bank called #Music4Dev welcomes artists from around the globe to share their music while raising awareness about development issues. Through this platform, D'Banj says [...]

10 May 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

The Ebola outbreak in Liberia is over, declares WHO

The global community needs to help countries rebuild already fragile health systems, WHO says. Photo: UNMEER/Martine Perret

Liberia has been declared free of Ebola virus transmission by the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN health agency said on Saturday that forty-two days have passed since the last person confirmed with the infectious disease was buried on 28 March. At the peak of transmission during August and September 2014, the country was reporting [...]

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

News in Brief 08 May 2015 (PM)

Fishing boats such as these, beached on a strip of coast in Teknaf, Bangladesh, are often used to ferry passengers to larger vessels in the Bay of Bengal bound for Thailand or Malaysia. Photo: UNHCR/S. Alam

"Alarming" surge in Bay of Bengal crossings The number of migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal in South-East Asia has almost doubled over the past year, according to a new report from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. The report documents what it calls an alarming rise in the number of Bangladeshis  and people from the Rohingya ethnic [...]

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How could no-one know about CAR sex abuse allegations, asks UN human rights chief

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

"Savage harm" done to children by French troops would have been known by their military masters who should have investigated the matter much sooner, the UN's human rights chief said Friday. In a strong defence of the UN's role in the Central African Republic sex abuse case, High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein insisted that [...]

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

No "safe haven" in Somalia anymore

Somali refugees at Dadaab, which is located in north-east Kenya. Dadaab is the world's largest refugee camp complex. Photo: UNHCR/B.Bannon

All regions of Somalia are "high risk environments" and there is no real "safe haven" anymore, according to the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the United Nations in Somalia. Philippe Lazzarini is in New York to brief the Security Council on the latest development in the Horn of Africa country. The Al-Shabaab terrorist group has [...]

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

Violent deaths show global drop despite spike in battlefield deaths

Yarmouk camp, Syria. UN Photo (file)

An estimated one in four violent deaths happen in 18 countries that make up only four per cent of the world's population, a UN-sponsored report showed Friday. The findings, from UN  Development Programme (UNDP) partner the Small Arms Survey, found that despite a small drop in violent deaths to 508,000, conflict-related deaths have risen to [...]

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

News in Brief 08 May 2015 (AM)

Ban Ki-moon in Ukraine, honouring WWII soldiers and citizens. UN Photo

Ukraine's WWII soldiers and citizens honoured by UN chief The soldiers and citizens who defended Ukraine during the Second World War have been honoured by the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon is in Kyiv, Ukraine to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. "I am standing with people of Ukraine to commemorate and [...]

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Iran executions show "callous disregard for human dignity"

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

A sharp increase in executions across Iran in recent weeks has been condemned by two United Nations human rights experts. Between 9 and 26 April, as many as 98 prisoners are reported to have been executed, an average of over six per day. Daniel Dickinson reports. The latest wave brings the total number of executions [...]

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

Burundi refugees reach 50,000

An elderly woman waits among a crowd of other Burundian refugees for assistance in Rwanda's Mahama Refugee Camp. Photo: UNHCR/K.Holt

More than 50,000 Burundians have fled to neighbouring countries following violence which began in mid-April, according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. Civil unrest in the Central African country was sparked after the President decided to run for a third term. Daniel Dickinson reports The United Nations had warned that President Pierre Nkurunziza's attempt to [...]

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

600,000 Liberian children to get first measles and polio jabs since ebola hit

UN health agency WHO says the latest epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa has killed 800 people. Photo: UN / Marie Frechon

Hundreds of thousands of Liberian children who missed out on life-saving vaccinations against polio and measles because of the ebola virus last year are to get the jabs at last, UN aid agencies said Friday. A joint campaign by the Liberian government, World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF – the first since the ebola outbreak [...]

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

Women in Papua, Indonesia, becoming primary breadwinners

Women in a remote village of north eastern Indonesia. Photo: IFAD

Women in a remote village of north eastern Indonesia are being empowered to take control of their lives by a new project sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Traditionally, women in Papua depended on men to make decisions about their lives. Now they are receiving training in agricultural and financial management, and [...]

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

UN AND AFRICA: Liberia recovering from "national nightmare"

Karin Landgren. UN Photo/Mark Garten

After 14 months of a "national nightmare", the head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) says the country is on the road to recovery.Karin Landgren was recently in New York, to present a progress report on Liberia to the Security Council. It says the period was "dominated by the Ebola outbreak". The virus claimed [...]

7 May 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Women

Chido Govera. (World Bank TV video capture)

Food is "key" for advancement of women Women need to be food secure in order to advance and to tackle violence perpetrate against them. That's according to Chido Govera, a farmer, campaigner and educator from Zimbabwe who is teaching mushroom cultivation to hundreds of people in her country as well as in Tanzania, South Africa [...]

7 May 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN Calling Asia

The clean-up operation from the 25 April earthquake is still ongoing as a  second tremor strikes. Photo: OCHA/Orla Fagan

Lives saved in Nepal thanks to collaborative rescue operations The search and rescue operations in Nepal, deployed after an earthquake hit the country on 25 April, saved many lives thanks to a collaborative approach between local Nepali and international groups, according to a senior disaster relief official. The teams working to free victims from fallen [...]

7 May 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

World War II anniversary "powerful reminder" of need to protect UN principles

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with President Bronislaw Komorowski (centre) of Poland and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, in Gdansk. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The anniversary of the end of the Second World War is a "powerful reminder" of the need to protect the principles of the United Nations according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a commemoration in Gdansk, Poland, marking 70 years since the war came to an end. Cathrine Hasselberg reports. The UN [...]

7 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 07 May 2015 (PM)

Victims of conflict in Nigeria. Photo: UNHCR

Women and children facing malnutrition after fleeing Boko Haram in Nigeria Thousands of women and children in cross-border regions between Nigeria Cameroon, Niger and Chad face the prospects of malnutrition according to the World Food Programme (WFP). They have fled areas where the terrorist Boko Haram group has been operating. In the first three months [...]

7 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Widespread and systematic" sexual violence taking place in Syria, Iraq

Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, briefing the press about her recent visit to the Middle East. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Sexual violence is being committed in a widespread, systematic and sophisticated manner in Syria and Iraq, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, has warned. Zainab Bangura, was speaking in New York following a mission to the region in April. Stephanie Coutrix reports Ms Bangura's two week trip took her [...]

7 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 07 May 2015

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News in Brief 07 May 2015 (AM)

A health worker vaccinates four-year-old girl at a health post in the village of Bungamati in Lalitpur District, part of Kathmandu Valley. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1101/Panday

UN health director "moved by terrible human impact" of Nepal earthquake The Director of the World Health Organization, WHO, in south-east Asia said she has been moved by the "terrible human impact of the devastating earthquake" on Nepal. A 7.8 magnitude tremor in April led to the deaths of more than 7,500 people and destroyed [...]

7 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Lives saved in Nepal thanks to collaborative rescue operations

Military teams have been searching the town and mountains of rubble for signs of missing people. Photo: OCHA/Orla Fagan

The search and rescue operations in Nepal, deployed after an earthquake hit the country on 25 April, saved many lives thanks to a collaborative approach between local Nepali and international groups, according to a senior disaster relief official. The teams working to free victims from fallen infrastructure were guided by the UN Disaster Assessment and [...]

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

"Grave concern" over civilian deaths in Aden, Yemen

Due to a lack of fuel, electricity and wheat, few bakeries are operating in Taiz, Yemen, forcing residents to stand in long lines for bread. Photo:UNDP Yemen

"Grave concern" has been voiced by the UN over the deaths of civilians in Aden, Yemen. Reports from the port city say scores of people, many of them women and children, are being killed and injured in hostilities. Cathrine Hasselberg reports Yemen continues to suffer from conflict as rebels attempt to take control of the [...]

7 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

International food price index down in April

Food prices continue to decline in April amid hefty supply levels of basic agricultural commodities. Photo: FAO/Danfung Dennis

International prices for agricultural commodities continued to decline in April, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), dropping by 19 per cent compared to the same time last year. The agency released its latest biennial food outlook report on Thursday, which includes the update to FAO's monthly food price index. Food outlook reports [...]

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

Innovation centre launched to boost children-focused development

Children in Mali. Photo: UNICEF/Harandane Dicko

A centre which promotes innovative projects to improve the lives of the world's poorest children has been launched by the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. The Global Innovation Centre, based in Nairobi, Kenya, will promote projects focusing on priority issues for the survival, growth, and development of young people. Cathrine Hasselberg reports UNICEF says the new [...]

7 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"De facto" detention must stop, says UN torture prevention body

At a social centre for refugees on Nauru, where they are held, conditions are basic. Photo: UNHCR/N. Wright

Asylum-seekers trying to get into Australia are being held in "de facto" detention on a Pacific island which has failed to respect key human rights obligations, UN experts said Wednesday. The warning comes from UN investigators who have just visited the island of Nauru, which has an agreement with the Australian government to process migrants' [...]

7 May 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Situation "very tense" in Mali

Major General Michael Lollesgaard, in the headquarters of MINUSMA, Bamako. 
Photo : MINUSMA/Harandane Dicko

The situation on the ground in Mali is very tense while the UN awaits the signing of a peace agreement, according to the Force Commander of the UN Mission in the country, MINUSMA. Major General Michael Lollesgaard was appointed in March to serve in the West African country, where a coup d’état in early 2012 [...]

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

Holistic approach needed for drug policies

Opium poppy field. Photo: UNODC (file)

To successfully combat illegal drug trafficking and abuse, a more holistic approach to the problem is needed, according to the deputy CEO of a Thai non-profit which helps people find legitimate ways to earn a living. Mr Dispanadda Diskul from the Mae Fah Luang Foundation is in New York for a panel discussion on identifying [...]

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

News in Brief 06 May 2015 (PM)

In early April 2015, an air strike hit a military site on Faj Attan Mountain, high above Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, causing fire and a large plume of smoke. Photo: UNICEF/ Mohammed Hamoud

Consultations underway to advance political process in Yemen  Consultations aimed at getting the political process in Yemen back on track are being undertaken by the UN. The security situation in the Gulf country remains unstable as rebels continue to battle with the government for control of the country. The Special Envoy on Yemen, Ismail Ould [...]

6 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 06 May 2015 (AM)

Mothers with infants at the Maitama General Hospital in Abuja, Nigeria. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

US$500 million approved for maternal and child health in Nigeria A US$500 million credit to improve maternal and child health services in Nigeria has been approved by the World Bank. The new development financing will help the West African country to achieve its "Saving One Million Lives Initiative." The initiative was launched by the Nigerian [...]

6 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 06 May 2015

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Forests could contribute to ending global hunger

Forests could be the key to ending global hunger. Photo: UN Forum on Forests/Fendi Aspara (file)

Forests could be the key to ending global hunger according to what has been described as the most comprehensive analysis ever on the link between forests and food security. Around one in nine people across the world do not have enough to eat, with the majority living in Africa and Asia. The global analysis was [...]

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

Consultations in Burundi to find solution to electoral process

MENUB officially started its operations in Burundi  on January 1 2015. Photo: MENUB (file)

As protests continue in Burundi against the President's attempt to seek a third term, the UN is looking at ways to solve the political crisis in the country. A reported 40,000 people have fled the country to Rwanda, the DR Congo and Tanzania due to civil unrest. Vladimir Monteiro, a spokesperson for the UN Electoral [...]

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

Liberia recovering from "national nightmare"

Karin Landgren, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia and Head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Mark Garten

After 14 months of a "national nightmare", the head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) says the country is eagerly anticipating the moment when it can be declared "Ebola free". Karin Landgren says that if no new case of the virus is confirmed by Saturday, the World Health Organization will make the announcement. The [...]

6 May 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Killing of Tanzanian UN peacekeepers in DRC condemned

An armored personnel carrier on patrol near Beni, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti (file)

The killing of two Tanzanian peacekeepers serving in the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. The peacekeepers were attacked while on patrol in the village of Kikiki, in North Kivu province in the east of the country. Daniel Dickinson reports. The two Tanzania soldiers [...]

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

Ceasefire in Mali must be respected ahead of peace deal

Mongi Hamdi, SRSG of MINUSMA, earlier this year, in Bamako. Photo: MINUSMA/Harandane Dicko

Rebels in the north of Mali must cease hostilities and respect a ceasefire according to the UN's most senior official in the country. A coup d'état in early 2012 continues to breed instability and violence in the West African country. But there are hopes that a new peace deal will be signed next week. Daniel [...]

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

“Record displacement should be a wake-up call”

Renewed fighting has forced tens of thousands to flee into the bush in recent weeks; 90 per cent are women and children, UNHCR says. Photo: UN / Martine Perret

The spread of armed conflict which left a record 38 million people homeless in 2014 should be a "wake-up call" to governments and the international community, humanitarian experts said Wednesday. A study of 60 countries conducted by UNHCR partner the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found that 30,000 people fled their homes every day last year, [...]

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

Global community could "finish job of ending extreme poverty"

Children in Kallayanpur slum, one of the urban slums in Dhaka, Bangladesh. UN Photo/Kibae Park

The global community could finish the job of ending extreme poverty for well under one per cent of the income of rich countries. That's according to economist Jeffrey Sachs who is the UN Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of international poverty eradication targets due to expire at the end of [...]

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

UN launches #SaveKidsLives campaign

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A campaign to save children's lives on the roads around the world has been launched as part of the Third United Nations Global Road Safety Week. Around 186 300 children under 18 years die from road traffic crashes annually, according to the UN. Cathrine Hasselberg reports. Duration: 2’30″

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

Liberia poised to be declared Ebola-free

Karin Landgre. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Liberia is poised to be declared free of the deadly Ebola virus according to the UN's senior representative in the country. More than 10,000 people have died from the disease over the last year in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Daniel Dickinson reports Speaking to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, the Special Representative of [...]

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

News in Brief 05 May 2015 (PM)

Two boys sit amid belongings on the roof of a vehicle fleeing Sana'a, the capital of Yemen. Photo: UNICEF/Mohammed Hamoud

Around 650 deaths reported in Yemen The conflict in Yemen has now taken at least 646 civilian lives, including 50 women and 131 children, according to figures released by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. More than 1,300 civilians have been injured. There has also been severe destruction of civilian infrastructure, including houses, in many [...]

5 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

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Thousands of Burundian refugees arriving in Tanzania

Burundi refugees. Photo: UNHCR/S. Masengesho

As violence ahead of elections in Burundi continues, some 4000 people have fled to neighbouring Tanzania, 60 per cent of whom are children. That's according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, which is supporting the refugees. At least 12 people have reportedly died in Burundi as a result of violent protests against the decision to [...]

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

News in Brief 05 May 2015 (AM)

A cargo plane carrying 40 metric tonnes of life-saving supplies lands in Kathmandu to provide assistance to some of the 1.7 million children affected by the 25 April 2015 earthquake in Nepal. Photo: UNICEF/Kiran Panday

Airlift of humanitarian supplies to quake-hit Nepal begins Humanitarian supplies to meet the emergency needs of some of the 1.7 million children affected by an earthquake in Nepal are being airlifted to the capital, Kathmandu. More than 7300 people are thought to have died in the tremor on 25 April. The UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, [...]

5 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Aid reaches Syria neighbourhoods for first time in 2 years

Residents of the Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Syria where the humanitarian situation is grave. Photo: UNRWA

Humanitarian assistance has been provided by the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, to families who have fled the besieged refugee camp at Yarmouk, just south of the Syrian capital Damascus. The camp, which was originally home to more than 200,000 Palestinian refugees, was recently overrun by fighters from the terrorist group ISIL. Stephanie Coutrix reports. Humanitarian aid [...]

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

Sudan measles outbreak prompts UN alarm

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

A "massive and continuing" measles outbreak in Sudan prompted the UN Tuesday to call for access to 500,000 children who've been cut off by conflict for the last four years. Children's agency UNICEF made the appeal to armed groups after announcing more than 2,200 confirmed cases of the disease had been diagnosed in the country [...]

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

Tens of millions of dead in WWII remembered at UN

Sam Kutesa (left), President of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plant the tree of peace and unity. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The tens of millions of people who died during the Second World War have been remembered at the United Nations. A tree-planting ceremony was held at UN Headquarters on Tuesday to mark the ending of the war. Daniel Dickinson reports. The end of the Second World War, 70 years ago, provided the impetus for the [...]

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

Syria won't be abandoned by the UN

Staffan de Mistura (right), Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, meets with Hussam Edin Aala, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations Office at Geneva.UN Photo/Violaine Martin

The Syrian people will never be abandoned by the United Nations, according to the UN Special Envoy for Syria. Staffan de Mistura is beginning one-on-one consultations in Geneva on Tuesday with all groups he says could help find a formula for a political process and an end to the conflict. This includes Syrian government representatives, [...]

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

Armed groups in Central African Republic to release thousands of children

Former child soldiers draw in a UNICEF-assisted transit centre in the Central African Republic (CAR). Photo: UNICEF/Brian Sokol

Leaders of armed groups in the Central African Republic have agreed to release all conscripted children and to immediately end any new child recruitment. An estimated 6,000 to 10,000 children are currently associated with the country's armed factions according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. Daniel Dickinson reports. The figure includes those children serving as [...]

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

“No luxury” not to help Syria, says UN negotiator

UN Special Envoy to Syria at the Palais des Nations, Geneva

The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria who's leading consultations to end the conflict announced on Tuesday that the UN "will never abandon the Syrian people" even when the situation looks "mission impossible". Staffan de Mistura said he was acting on clear instructions from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to "operationalise" a UN-led agreement known as [...]

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

Family planning reaches into mountains of Laos

Couple Counselling.  (UNTV video capture)

An increasing number of women in the mountainous South-East Asian country of Laos are accessing family planning services for the first time, thanks to a programme supported by the UN Population Fund, UNFPA. Around 70 per cent of the population lives in rural and remote areas, so women have typically found it difficult to obtain [...]

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

News in Brief 04 May 2015 (PM)

A mother comforts her child. Photo: UNICEF

"Clock is ticking" for earthquake relief efforts in Nepal The global humanitarian community is fighting against the clock to deliver critical relief to Nepal’s most devastated communities, a top United Nations official said on Monday. More than 7300 people died when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the south-east Asian country on 25 April. Speaking at [...]

4 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Insecurity and fuel shortage hindering delivery of aid in Yemen

Insecurity and fuel shortage hindering delivery of aid in Yemen. Photo: WHO Yemen

Insecurity and the shortage of fuel are continuing to hinder the delivery of aid to conflict-affected communities in Yemen according to the UN. Fighting between government forces and rebels has left some 12 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Cathrine Hasselberg reports. A recent escalation of the conflict in Yemen has aggravated an already large-scale [...]

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

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Children "bearing brunt" of conflict in South Sudan

Boys and girls are affected by the violence in South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/Holt

Children are bearing the brunt of the conflict in South Sudan, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The agency says it is worried as children are dealing with strong psycho-social effects from having witnessed and experienced violence. South Sudan continues to endure a conflict which has pitted government forces against rebels. Stephanie Coutrix reports. [...]

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

Call to reduce killer chemical use as talks begin in Geneva

The UN Environment Agency is pushing for better regulation of toxic chemicals and electronic waste. Photo: UNEP (file)

Limiting the use of killer chemicals worldwide and finding a solution to the "tsunami" of electronic waste must be addressed at key talks in Geneva, UN environment experts said Monday. The announcement from the UN Environment Agency (UNEP) comes as 180 countries prepare to hammer out agreements on hazardous products. According to the UN agency, [...]

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

"Sustainable financing" needed for regional and sub-regional organizations

Sam Kutesa, President of the UN General Assembly. UN Photo/Loey Felipe (file)

Regional and sub-regional organizations working with the United Nations need financial support from the rest of the world, according to the President of the UN General Assembly. Sam Kutesa was speaking at the beginning of a high-level thematic debate in New York focusing on strengthening cooperation between the UN and regional groupings. Daniel Dickinson reports [...]

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

News in Brief 04 May 2015 (AM)

Child from South Sudan and her mother. Photo: UNHCR/R. R. Thot

Ratification of children's treaty by South Sudan welcomed The ratification by South Sudan of the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been welcomed by the UN. The Convention was adopted more than 25 years ago and sets out children's right to life, health, education and to play, as well as the right to [...]

4 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

500,000 children in Nepal to receive measles vaccination

4-year-old girl receives a measles and rubella vaccination. Her mother brought her to the health post from their temporary shelter. Photo: UNICEF/Panday

More than half a million children in Nepal are being targeted in an emergency measles vaccination drive supported by the UN. Fears are growing of outbreaks in the informal camps that have sprung up since an earthquake devastated the country in April. Daniel Dickinson reports. Measles is very contagious and potentially deadly. Before the earthquake [...]

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

Women often exposed to "severe forms of online harassment"

ICTs can drive innovation 
Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel

Women who work in the media are exposed to more severe forms of online harassment which cause them to shut down and self-censor, according to the Associate Dean of Ohio University. Michelle Ferrier has personal experience with this form of cyberbullying from her time as a columnist in Florida. She says the voices of women [...]

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

Nuclear safety issues under spotlight at UN

International Atomic Energy Agency. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Nuclear experts have been meeting to look at ways of improving the safety of nuclear power plants. The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency has been focussing on how to improve the response to a possible nuclear accident . It follows the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan in 2011. More than 100,000 [...]

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

Incremental increases in global warming can impact human rights

John Knox. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Increases in global warming of even half of a degree Celsius impact people's ability to enjoy their human rights. That's according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, who recently co-published a report on how climate change and the endangerment of human rights are interrelated. John Knox says countries need to [...]

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

Gear shift needed to reduce road traffic deaths, says WHO

Safety often fails to keep up with road-building in fast-developing countries, WHO says. Photo: IRIN/Reena Gurung

"Appalling numbers" of children die on the roads but the World Health Organization (WHO) believes it may have found a way to tackle this "man-made disaster", it announced Monday. The UN agency's #SaveKidsLives campaign to reduce road accidents – which claim 186,000 children's lives every year – centres on a 10-point action plan. It's aimed [...]

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

61 journalists killed on duty in 2014

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Sixty-one journalists were killed while carrying out their work in 2014, according to the United Nations. World Press Freedom Day on Sunday is celebrating the contribution of media workers to promoting free speech and democracy. As conflicts rage around the world journalists, editors and publishers are increasingly experiencing harassment and sometimes even deadly attacks. Maher [...]

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

Documentary film fights for social inclusion of people with albinism

'In The Shadow Of The Sun' tells the story of two albino men as they attempt to follow their dreams in the face of prejudice in Tanzania © 2015 IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN

A documentary film which promotes the rights of people with albinism in Africa has been touring rural areas in Tanzania. The film, In the Shadow of the Sun, aims to educate communities and dispel myths about albinos. According to the UN human rights office, at least 73 people with the condition have been murdered in [...]

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

News in Brief 01 May 2015 (PM)

Expo Milano 2015 logo

More than enough food to feed the human family, says UN chief The world produces more than enough food to "feed every member of the human family," yet one in nine people still go hungry. That's according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who on Friday shared a video message at the opening ceremony of a [...]

1 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Africa looking to fill jobs for expanding workforce

Many African governments are investing heavily in infrastructure. Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel

Africa will need to find more new jobs over the next years than the rest of the world combined. Those are the findings of a report looking at the economic prospects for the Sub-Saharan region, which show the continent is on the cusp of significant demographic change. The report also predicts that the region is [...]

1 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Conditions “worsening” for indigenous groups’ development

Fourteenth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the General Assembly. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The future prospects for development for indigenous groups around the world is getting worse, according to the secretary-general of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact. Joan Carling says that indigenous people often have a different view on what sustainable development entails compared to the governments which will ultimately make the decision on future development targets. The [...]

1 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Appeal to stop "quashing" demonstrators' rights in Burundi

These Burundians in Rwanda's Bugesera reception centre fled across the border to escape from pre-election violence. © UNHCR/S.Masengesho

Burundian authorities faced serious criticism on Friday for a series of alleged rights violations including the use of live ammunition against protesters. The reaction from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) follows reports of state-sponsored beatings and people being forced to sleep standing up while in detention. OHCHR said that hundreds [...]

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

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Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos (right) alongside European Union Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu. Photo: UN OCHA Asia Pacific

UN humanitarian chief encouraged by "generosity and solidarity" in Nepal The response to the devastating earthquake which struck Nepal, killing over 5,500 people has been marked by "generosity and solidarity" the UN humanitarian chief has said. Valerie Amos is currently in the country to review the damage caused by the tremor. The UN and its [...]

1 May 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Clean water a priority in Nepal following earthquake

Displaced families gather in an open field following the earthquake. Credit: UNICEF Nepal/Rupa Joshi

The authorities in Nepal are working with the international community to ensure the supply of clean water to prevent the spread of disease following the devastating earthquake which hit the country a week ago. Around 6,000 people were killed and at least 2.8 million displaced by the tremor. Widespread damage was caused to health infrastructure [...]

1 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Twenty nations call to strengthen 2 degree climate goal

Human activity will further warm the Earth, with dramatic effects on weather, sea-levels and the Arctic. Photo: UNEP

Twenty nations which are part of the Climate Vulnerable Forum are urging the UN Framework Convention on the issue (UNFCCC) to reduce the current 2 degrees Celsius climate goal. Three independent reports recently highlighted implications for human rights, the workplace, migration and displacement issues if the target temperature is not lowered. Stephanie Coutrix reports. The [...]

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

Consultations on Syria conflict to begin on Monday

Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

UN-led consultations with parties involved in the Syria conflict will begin at UN Headquarters in Geneva on Monday. The so-called "Geneva consultations" will be held with each group separately and are expected to last for an initial period of five to six weeks. Around 220,000 people have died in Syria and a further four million [...]

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

"UN staff did the right thing in CAR over abuse allegations"

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

Abuse allegations against French troops based in Central African Republic were dealt with correctly by human rights staff, the UN said Friday. Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN's top human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, said that UN staff "did exactly the right thing" by launching an investigation into the "utterly odious" claims. He [...]

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

Treaty “stepping stone” to nuclear free world

Lassina Zerbo. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is the next stepping stone to create a nuclear free world, according to its Executive Secretary. The CTBT works to make it difficult for countries to start developing nuclear bombs, or for countries that already have them to make more powerful ones. Lassina Zerbo was at UN Headquarters to [...]

1 May 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

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