News in Brief 13 May 2015 (PM)

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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 third term.

The UN Secretary-General has reminded all Burundian leaders to preserve peace and stability in a country that has suffered from previous bouts of violence.

"Extremely alarming" reports on push-back of boats carrying vulnerable people

Reports suggesting that Indonesia and Malaysia may have pushed back boats carrying vulnerable people from Myanmar and Bangladesh have been described as "extremely alarming" by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

On Monday, the Indonesian navy stated it had escorted a boat out to sea.

It's not clear if this represents a change in the government’s policy.

On Tuesday, Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Agency announced that it would only let foreign ships dock if they are unseaworthy and sinking.

The UN Secretary-General said the priority must be to save lives and fulfil the humanitarian imperative.

Terrorist attack in Pakistan condemned by UN

A terrorist attack on a bus in Karachi, Pakistan, which reportedly killed at least 45 members of the Ismaili community, has been condemned in the strongest terms by the UN Secretary-General.

Ban Ki-moon is calling on the Government of Pakistan to take all necessary measures to bring to justice the perpetrators of what he called this "despicable act".

He is also urging the Government to take swift measures aimed at effective protection of religious minorities in the country.

New arrangements on forests should aim to reverse deforestation

New arrangements on forests should aim to advance sustainable forest management and contribute to reversing the alarming trend in deforestation, according to the President of the UN Economic and Social Council.

Martin Sajdik gave opening remarks at a High-Level meeting of the UN Forum on Forests, which is convening in New York until Friday.

The Forum is the only global intergovernmental body within the UN system with universal membership that holds regular debates on issues related to forests.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 2’06″

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