Home » 30 Jun 2015 Entries posted on “June 2015”

News in Brief 30 June 2015 (PM)

Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay briefs the press at UN Headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Somalia congratulated on 55th Independence anniversary Somalia has been congratulated by the United Nations on the occasion of its 55th Independence Anniversary. The Horn of Africa country has faced more than 20 years of political instability and recurrent droughts and floods. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia Nicholas Kay commended the progress [...]

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Actor and environmentalist Robert Redford praises youth activism on climate change

High-level Event: on Climate Change.

An actor by trade but an activist by nature. That's how veteran American film star Robert Redford describes himself. Mr Redford was at the UN this week where he urged heads of state meeting in the UN General Assembly to take action on addressing climate change. Ari Gaitanis sat down with Mr Redford to learn [...]

30 Jun 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

Living history: staff member of UN anti-Apartheid radio unit retires

Derrick S. Mbatha (right), United Nations Radio Producer, interviews Charlize Theron, United Nations Messenger of Peace. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Human rights are for everyone to enjoy, a former anti-Apartheid activist has concluded after 36 years of service at the United Nations. The UN led a campaign from 1950 onwards to eliminate South Africa's system of legalized racial discrimination known as Apartheid. Derrick Mbatha, a former producer at the underground Radio Freedom, the broadcast arm [...]

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

News in Brief 30 June 2015 (AM)

PAHO @ PHOTO

Cuba validated for elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis Cuba has become the first country in the world to receive validation from the World Health Organization (WHO) that it has eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. The UN health agency estimated that every year, 1.4 million women living with HIV become pregnant. Untreated, [...]

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Time to find exit from "madness" in Syria

Residents of the Tesreen Camp in Aleppo, Syria. Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

Three years after the adoption of a UN-led agreement on Syria called the Geneva Communiqué, it is time to end the suffering of the people and find an exit from this "madness", the United Nations Secretary-General said in a statement. Ban Ki-moon warned on Tuesday that the suffering of the Syrian people continues to "plum [...]

30 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Daily News 30 June 2015

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UN Daily News 30 June 2015

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Mounting health risks facing children in Yemen

Children sit in a UNICEF-supported centre for vulnerable children, in the conflict-affected Hajjah Governorate, Yemen. Photo: UNICEF File Photo/Brent Stirton

Conflict in Yemen is having a devastating impact on the health of children, the UN children's agency, UNICEF, has warned. UNICEF says more than a half a million youngsters under five are at risk of developing malnutrition, while nearly three million could contract measles, which is potentially fatal. And with hospitals and health centres not [...]

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

Lack of sanitation for 2.4 billion people undermines health improvements

The French Red Cross provides water, sanitation and toilets for 11,000 IDPs at the Centre d'Hebergement Provisoire Automica Dahaitsu in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. MINUSTAH File Photo.

Child survival and health benefits linked to safe drinking water could be underlined by a lack of progress on sanitation. The warning comes from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The agencies are releasing a joint report on Tuesday which tracks access to drinking water and sanitation against the Millennium [...]

30 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

10,000 flee Burundi in run-up to elections, borders close

Burundian refugees, mostly women and children, wait on the shore of Lake Tanganyika to be transferred by boat to Kigoma and then on to Nyaragusu refugee camp. Photo: UNHCR/B. Loyseau

The start of elections in Burundi has seen 10,000 people leave the country in a matter of days, the UN said on Tuesday. The spike in registrations in neighbouring countries happened before Burundi closed its borders on Sunday evening, according to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The agency said that according to the Burundian authorities the [...]

30 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Savage” atrocities committed on civilians in South Sudan

Joseph Contreras (left). UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Serious human rights abuses, including abductions and gang rape of women and girls have been committed by government forces and their allied militia in South Sudan's Unity State. That's according to a report released by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Tuesday. The Mission says its staff interviewed 115 victims and eyewitnesses from [...]

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

Liberia confirms return of Ebola virus

An Ebola Treatment Unit in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: UNMEER/Christopher Bailey

  Liberia in West Africa has been Ebola-free for seven weeks, or at least it was until UN health experts confirmed on Tuesday that the killer virus has returned. The development comes after a new case of the disease was found in coastal Margibi county. It came from a patient who died from Ebola but [...]

30 Jun 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Iraq displaced “could reach 10 million by end 2015″

The UN children's agency says 3,000 people a week are fleeing western Anbar province. Photo: UNHCR

Overwhelming numbers of displaced families fleeing violence in Iraq and a lack of funding have left the UN potentially unable to bring in supplies for August, the UN  Children’s Fund, UNICEF warned Tuesday. In the year since terrorist fighters swept through Iraq's central provinces, some eight million people have been affected. UNICEF says that number [...]

30 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Water and sanitation "key" to eliminating cholera in Haiti

Water filter programme in Haiti. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

Despite the progress that has been made in reducing the number of reported cholera cases in Haiti, more investment in water and sanitation is still needed to eliminate the disease. That's according to Pedro Medrano Rojas, the outgoing UN Senior Coordinator for the Cholera Response in Haiti. He told Jorge Miyares that there has been [...]

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

Scientists ponder role of bacteria in nutrition

06-20-2012nutrition

What's the relationship between a type of bacteria found in the human stomach and nutritional status? That's what the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency and scientists are trying to establish. Previous studies have indicated that the helicobacter pylori bacterium might influence the absorption of some essential micronutrients. If the scientists are able to find the [...]

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

Actor Robert Redford urges leaders to "save the world"

High-level Event: on Climate Change.

American actor Robert Redford is urging the word's leaders to take action now on climate change. The environmental advocate was at UN Headquarters in New York, addressing Heads of State and Government at a special event ahead of a climate change conference in December. A universal climate agreement is currently being negotiated by the international [...]

29 Jun 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 29 June 2015 (PM)

Espen Barth Eide (centre).UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Negotiations on Cyprus taking place in "results-oriented" atmosphere The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities met on Monday to discuss the reunification of the island, which has been divided since 1974. The UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide said the meeting was held in a positive and results-oriented [...]

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News in Brief 29 June 2015 (AM)

WHO mobile teams in Alluhaya district of Hodeida, Yemen, deliver health services to 880 displaced families. Photo: WHO Yemen

"Serious concerns" about public health in Yemen There are serious concerns about public health in Aden governorate in Yemen, according to the UN. Local authorities are reporting over 8,000 cases of dengue fever and close to 590 deaths. There are also concerns over outbreaks of measles, rubella and polio in governorates that are affected by [...]

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Maritime and migration heads pledge action on unsafe mixed migration by sea

Onboard an Italian ship, a Syrian father holds his one-year-old son as they wait to be checked by doctors. They were rescued in the middle of the Mediterranean. Photo: UNHCR File Photo/A. D'Amato

More is being done to address the humanitarian crisis arising from the dramatic increase in unsafe migration across the oceans and seas. On Monday, the heads of the International Maritime Organization and the International Organization for Migration, a UN-partner agency, issued a joint statement to enhance collaboration. In recent months, thousands of migrants have taken [...]

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

Violence in Syria continues with "utter impunity"

A mother and child in Yarmouk, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Taghrid Mohammad

Over 220,000 people have been killed and more than a million injured in Syria while violence continues with utter impunity, according to the UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator. Kyung-Wha Kang was updating the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in the war-torn Middle Eastern country. She said violence continues to be perpetrated by all [...]

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

Daily News 29 June 2015

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Education programme for 500,000 Palestinian refugee children under threat

An UNRWA staff member assists Syrians with food aid in Yarmouk, Damascus. Photo: UNRWA File Photo.

Education programmes for 500,000 Palestinian refugee children may be jeopardized as a result of cuts at the UN in the occupied Palestinian territory. A US$101 million deficit is forcing the UN agency that works with Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) to reduce its international staff by 80 per cent. Reem Abaza spoke to UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness. [...]

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

Israel, Palestine react to Gaza probe

Mary McGowan Davis cited summary executions by Palestine armed groups and the targeting of civilian areas by Israeli forces. Photo: UN PHOTO

Israel has criticised the findings of a high-level UN report into its conduct during the fighting in Gaza in 2014, saying it failed to take account of the complexities of modern warfare. Eviator Manor, Israel's ambassador at the UN in Geneva, made his comments on Monday after the report's authors highlighted potential war crimes committed [...]

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

Efforts to reach new climate deal "must accelerate"

Kiribati. UN File Photo/UNICEF

Governments must accelerate their efforts to reach a universal climate agreement in France next December, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking on Monday at an event at UN Headquarters focused on climate change. Only ten negotiating days remain before leaders meet in the French capital, Paris. Meanwhile, the UN chief said key [...]

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

"Fundamental shift" leading to improved corporate responsibility

Georg Kell. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

A "fundamental shift" in the way business is conducted around the world is leading to improved corporate responsibility, according to the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Office. The Global Compact encourages companies to incorporate, environmental, social and governance issues into their business operations in order to benefit people while keeping those companies profitable. [...]

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

Dreams of people around the world celebrated in Rockwell drawing

Jan Eliasson (left) speaking with UN Radio's Daniel Dickinson (right), about the Norman Rockwell's exhibition at UN Headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Stephanie Coutrix

The dreams and aspirations of the people of the world and the role of diplomacy are being celebrated in a drawing that is being exhibited at the UN in New York; that's according to the Deputy Secretary-General of the organization. Jan Eliasson was speaking ahead of the opening of an exhibition of paintings and drawings [...]

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

Ban Ki-moon concerned Burundi vote will go ahead despite violence and insecurity

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses journalists at UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Evan Schneider (file image)

The UN Secretary-General is concerned that parliamentary elections will take place in Burundi on Monday despite the insecurity in the country. Mr Ban condemned recent attacks and appealed to citizens to refrain from violence. Burundi has been experiencing civil unrest since April, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term. More [...]

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

Women more likely to be addicted to prescription drugs

Women are more likely to misuse prescription medication than any other type of drug. UNODC File Photo.

Women are more likely to misuse prescription medication than any other type of drug, according to a new report released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The 2015 World Drug Report highlights that one out of three drug users is female. But in treatment centres, they represent only one out of five [...]

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Changing face of food insecurity in Europe and Central Asia

FAO launched its first-ever report on food insecurity in Europe and Central Asia. FAO File Photo/Giulio Napolitano

The Europe and Central Asia region is a front-runner in the race to end hunger, but it still struggles with malnutrition. That's according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s first-ever report on food insecurity in the region's 53 countries. The agency says problems of food insecurity are no longer so much about not [...]

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

UN chief expresses sorrow and solidarity following wave of terrorist attacks

Ban Ki-moon at the High-level Thematic Debate on Promoting Tolerance and Reconciliation. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

  The UN Secretary-General has spoken with leaders in Kuwait and Tunisia to express his indignation following recent terrorist attacks in their countries. Ban Ki-moon on Saturday telephoned the Emir of Kuwait to convey condolences to the families of those killed in a suicide bombing at a mosque in the capital, Kuwait City. In a [...]

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

Security Council condemns Al-Shabaab attack on AU troops in Somalia

UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A deadly attack by the Al-Shabaab terrorist group on African Union peacekeepers in Somalia has been condemned by the UN Security Council. More than 30 troops from Burundi were reportedly killed in the incident which took place on Friday at a base camp in Leego in the south of the country. The Council said neither [...]

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

News in Brief 26 June 2015 (PM)

Burundian refugees. Photo: UNHCR/S. Masengesho

  Rise in people fleeing Burundi as elections approach More people are fleeing Burundi ahead of parliamentary elections on Monday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reports. They are escaping election-related violence and general instability that has plagued the country since April when the President announced he would stand for a third term. Since then nearly [...]

26 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

The UN Charter: A "glorious gamble" for a better world

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas (file)

A "glorious gamble" by world leaders 70 years ago paid off in the foundation of the United Nations, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday. Mr Ban was speaking in San Francisco, the American city where 50 countries signed the UN Charter, the document establishing the global organization, on 26 June 1945. Dianne Penn reports. [...]

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

Same-sex marriage decision "great step forward for human rights" in US

UN Free & Equal Campaign

The decision by the US Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriages across the United States is a "great step forward for human rights" in the country, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking in San Francisco at an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. Daniel [...]

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

UN system condemns spate of terrorist attacks across three continents

A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A wave of terrorist attacks which occurred in three different countries on Friday has been condemned by officials from across the United Nations system. More than 60 people reportedly were killed and injured in the separate attacks which took place in France, Kuwait and Tunisia. The president of the UN General Assembly was among those [...]

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

UN Daily News 26 June 2015

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News in Brief 26 June 2015 (AM)

Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay briefs the press at UN Headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Support and solidarity for Somalia after deadly attack on AU peacekeepers An attack by Al-Shabaab militants which killed Burundian peacekeepers serving with the African Union in Somalia has been condemned by the top UN official in the country. Nicholas Kay, the UN Secretary-General's representative for Somalia, extended condolences to the families of the victims, saying [...]

26 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Global solidarity urged for torture victims

ingers wearing hats advocating "No Torture" line up before performing at a Human Rights Day event outside of Mogadishu Central Prison in Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

The world is being asked to stand in solidarity with all people affected by torture. In a message on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, on 26 June, the UN Secretary-General called for a global outcry against these abhorrent and inhumane practices. Ban Ki-moon also addressed the need for special protection for [...]

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

UN Charter celebrates 70 years

un70_en

Dismantling colonialism, triumphing over apartheid, keeping peace in troubled places and safeguarding human rights—these are part of what Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has described as the "proud record" of the United Nations during its seven decades of existence. This Friday marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter, the document which led to [...]

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

Burundi urged to postpone elections

Burundians have fled the country amid pre-election violence and the UN human rights office says people fear there's more to come. Photo: UNHCR FIle Photo/Kate Holt

The authorities in Burundi are being urged to postpone upcoming elections. The appeal comes from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who has reiterated his call for political leaders to address the current crisis in the East African country. Burundi has experienced weeks of civil unrest following the President's announcement to run for a third term. Dianne [...]

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

Outbreak fears as cholera kills 19 in South Sudan

Christophe Boulierac from UN children's agency UNICEF warned of a greater loss of life if the disease spreads out of Juba. Photo: UNifeed

Five thousand children are believed at risk of a cholera outbreak in South Sudan which has already killed 19 people, UN children's agency UNICEF warned Friday. So far, the disease has been contained to the capital Juba. But the worry is that it could easily spread amid continued fighting which has shut down nearly 200 [...]

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

Yemen peace envoy in new push for ceasefire

UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is continuing consultations for a peaceful end to the conflict. Photo: UNMEER/Simon Ruf

Efforts to secure a ceasefire in Yemen have stepped up a gear with the news that United Nations Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is to "spend more time" in the region talking to the warring parties, the UN said Friday. The announcement comes after initial consultations held in Geneva by the Special Envoy which [...]

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

Women: focus on sexual violence, campaign #reflect2protect and female drug addiction

Zainab Bangura. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

International day honours victims of sexual violence during conflict Selling of girls in conflict situations today has been compared to the sale of Africans during the Transatlantic slave trade. Rape and other forms of sexual violence have been used as a weapon in wars across the globe. The UN General Assembly recently established an international [...]

26 Jun 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Cannabis use on the rise worldwide

Cannabis plants. UN Photo/John Robaton

Cannabis use is increasing worldwide and evidence shows that what's available on the market is now more potent than ever before. That's according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which on Friday is releasing its 2015 World Drug Report. The study also finds that drug use in prison is much higher than [...]

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

Swedish singers celebrate 70th anniversary of UN Charter

The United Nations Charter. UN File Photo/Rosenberg

A group of Swedish singers is helping the UN to mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter, in the US City of San Francisco. A celebration is being held in the city on 26 June, the day of the signing of the founding document of the United Nations in the [...]

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

UN Calling Asia: focus on Afghanistan, yoga celebrations in New York and widows in Nepal

Afghan girl. WFP File Photo/Challiss McDonough

Resilient Afghans focusing on "hope barometer"  The people of Afghanistan are expected to remain resilient and hopeful for the future in the face of increased terrorist attacks, according to the UN's most senior official in the country.  Fighting in the northern city of Kunduz and an attack on the Afghan Parliament are the most recent [...]

25 Jun 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

News in Brief 25 June 2015 (PM)

Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui. UN Photo/Violaine Martin

  Afghanistan child deaths and injuries reach tragic high in 2014 More than 2,500 children were killed or injured last year due to conflict in Afghanistan, the UN has said That's more than in any of the previous seven-and-a-half years that the UN has been monitoring the country. Of this number, nearly half were casualties [...]

25 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 25 June 2015 (AM)

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

Ivorian force commanders' commitment to fight sexual violence welcomed by UN expert Nearly 50 force commanders with the Cote d'Ivoire army have signed a commitment to fight against sexual violence, a move that's been welcomed by a senior UN official working to stamp out this scourge. Zeinab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence [...]

25 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

US$25mn provided for humanitarian effort in Yemen

Emergency aid being offloaded from a UNHCR vessel at the Hodeidah Port, Yemen. File Photo: UNHCR/A. Zabarah

Twenty-five million US dollars to support lifesaving humanitarian assistance in Yemen has been provided from a UN emergency fund. The money will be used for projects which provide water and sanitation access, among other relief efforts. More than 21 million Yemenis—or 80 per cent of the population—are in need of humanitarian assistance as vital services [...]

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

Human rights chief wraps up visit to South Korea

Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is now firmly on the international agenda, according to UN Human Rights chief. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein was speaking on Thursday in Seoul, capital of South Korea. He was ending a three-day mission to the country during which he inaugurated a UN office [...]

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

Daily News 25 June 2015

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"Grim" situation in eastern Ukraine

A woman collects aid items at a distribution centre in Nikolayevka, eastern Ukraine.  UNHCR File Photo/E. Zivatdinov

The situation in eastern Ukraine is very "grim" with four million people in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Resident Coordinator in the country. Neal Walker says people are continuing to die every day due to the conflict. Ukraine has been plagued by fighting which broke out between pro-Russian rebels and government forces [...]

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

Rebuilding health care facilities a priority after Nepal earthquake

A mother tends to her daughter, injured in Nepal's recent earthquake, at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu. Most patients have been moved outside, as the country experiences continuing aftershocks.  UNICEF File Photo/NYHQ2015-1013/Nybo

Survivors of the Nepal earthquake could face serious health risks if medical facilities are not rebuilt and services restored as a priority, a senior UN health official told international donors meeting in the country's capital on Thursday. Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for the World Health Organization (WHO) in South-East Asia, said pregnant women, [...]

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

World must fast-track AIDS response or risk more deaths

Lancet_HP

The world could see more AIDS deaths today than five years ago, unless efforts to prevent new HIV infections are not increased. That's according to a report launched on Thursday by international alliance that brings together nearly 40 heads of state and political leaders, HIV and health experts, youth, activists, scientists and representatives from the [...]

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

"Dangerously low" funding gap threatens aid delivery to Syrian refugees

A Syrian boy photographed at a refugee transit site in Arsal, Lebanon. UNHCR is urging countries to offer increased resettlement or other forms of admission, including scholarships, to Syrian refugees.© UNHCR file Photo/M.Hofer

  A "dangerously low" funding situation could affect aid delivery to millions of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict in their homeland for neighbouring countries. The warning comes from more than 200 humanitarian relief partners, including UN agencies, who are calling for more international support and solidarity. They say while countries have pledged more [...]

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

Indian students join International Day of Yoga celebrations in New York

UN PHOTO

More than two dozen students from the City Montessori School in Lucknow, India celebrated the first International Day of Yoga at UN Headquarters in New York. It was the culmination of a school trip to the United States. Two students, Sagarika and Amulya, both 16, were chosen to speak at the event after a number [...]

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

Seafarers: "unseen heroes of the global economy"

Day of the Seafarer 2015. Image: IMO

Although up to 90 per cent of world trade is carried out using ships, the work of the people on those vessels is not well known. That's according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which wants to change that situation through a campaign launched on the Day of the Seafarer observed on 25 June. This [...]

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

UN official warns against "fatalistic narrative" on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Jeffrey Feltman. UN Photo/Loey Felipe (file)

Without courageous leadership, a sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remain "a distant and unachievable goal," the head of UN Political Affairs told the Security Council on Wednesday. In a briefing on the security situation in the Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman said the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians cannot be viewed in isolation from [...]

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

Rising number of Haitians leaving the Dominican Republic

Sandra Honoré.  UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Increasing numbers of people of Haitian origin are returning to Haiti from the Dominican Republic, according to the Head of the UN Mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH. The two nations share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Sandra Honoré was recently in the Dominican Republic and says she took the opportunity to discuss the situation of Haitian [...]

24 Jun 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 24 June 2015 (PM)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas (file)

Child Rights Committee concerned about welfare of sex abuse victims in CAR Child victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by foreign troops in the Central African Republic must be protected from reprisals, intrusive media interest or other actions that may put them at risk. That statement comes from the UN Committee on the Rights of [...]

24 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Envoy praises Yemen talks and calls for Ramadan truce

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is leading consultations in the Swiss city. Photo: OCHA/David Gough

Recent talks on Yemen were "a milestone" even though they did not end in agreement, according to the UN envoy for the country. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the Geneva consultations, which brought together government and opposition representatives, were a great achievement in light of the situation in the country. Yemen has experienced turmoil following [...]

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

UN Daily News 24 June 2015

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News in Brief 24 June 2015 (AM)

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

Human Rights chief notes "encouraging signs" from North Korea   The international community is now demanding greater respect for the human rights of people in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or DPRK. That message comes from UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein speaking in Seoul, South Korea, where the UN this week [...]

24 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Drop in global foreign investment but rise in flows to developing world

UNCTAD anticipates an increase in FDI flows this year due to stronger economic growth in developed countries and lower oil prices. World Bank File Photo/Gennadiy Kolodkin

Foreign Direct Investment fell 16 per cent last year, the UN trade body (UNCTAD) reports. UNCTAD has released its World Investment Report which puts the 2014 figure at US$1.23 trillion, down from US$1.47 trillion the previous year. However, the agency notes an upswing in flows to developing countries and says recovery is in sight for [...]

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

Women's empowerment undervalued in peacebuilding process

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson (center) at the 2015 Annual Session of Peacebuilding Commission.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

Women's contributions to the peacebuilding process are still undervalued, according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General. Jan Eliasson was addressing the High-Level Stakeholders meeting of the Peacebuilding Fund held in New York on Wednesday. The fund currently supports more than 200 projects in 22 countries emerging from conflict. Dianne Penn reports. Mr Eliasson listed some of [...]

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

North Korea the focus of new UN rights hub in Seoul

UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the new office will provide a platform for promoting rights in DPRK. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Millions of people in North Korea (DPRK) face "appalling suffering" that's to be the focus of a new UN field office based over the border in Seoul, the Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein said Wednesday. Marking the opening of the office in the South Korean capital, the Human Rights Commissioner said it would [...]

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

WFP cash-for-work programmes support earthquake recovery in Nepal

Residents of Chautara Municipality, Sindhupalchok District, collect WFP emergency aid in May 2015. WFP File Photo/Angeli Mendoza

Nearly two million people in Nepal have received food and other aid two months after a massive earthquake struck the country, the World Food Programme (WFP) has said. WFP said its focus has now shifted from emergency response to the longer-term recovery phase which includes establishing a cash-for-work programme and supporting the return of local [...]

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

Eritrea investigator calls for International Court probe

Investigator Mike Smith said people could be taken from their homes and detained in prison without knowing why or by whom. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The Eritrean government faced renewed pressure over allegations of crimes against humanity on Wednesday, as UN investigators repeated their call for an international criminal probe into abuses. In a high-level report compiled for the UN Human Rights Council, chief investigator Mike Smith detailed systematic and widespread alleged abuses against civilians in the Horn of Africa [...]

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

"Historic" moment for Mali

Mongi Hamdi. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Mali has experienced an "historic" event with the recent signing of a peace agreement by all warring parties in the country. That's according to Mongi Hamdi, the Head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the West African country, MINUSMA. He was in New York to brief the United Nations Security Council on the recent development [...]

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

International day honours victims of sexual violence during conflict

Zainab Bangura. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

Selling of girls in conflict situations today has been compared to the sale of Africans during the Transatlantic slave trade. Rape and other forms of sexual violence have been used as a weapon in wars across the globe. The UN General Assembly recently established an international day to remember victims of this scourge and to [...]

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

News in Brief 23 June 2015 (PM)

The fighting particularly affects the most vulnerable which includes the elderly, children, women and the disabled. UN File Photo: OCHA/Eman Al-Awami

Vital medicines dispatched to Yemen Health kits, IV fluids and other essential medicines have been delivered to health facilities in four areas of Yemen, the UN humanitarian office (OCHA) reports. They will be used to treat more than 430,000 people, including patients with dengue fever. The UN and partners recently launched a US$1.6 billion appeal [...]

23 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Political progress in Mali but "fragile" security situation

Mongi Hamdi. MINUSMA file Photo

"Notable progress" has been made in Mali on the political front, but the security situation remains fragile, according to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the country. Mongi Hamdi was briefing the UN Security Council on the situation in the country, where a coup d'état in 2012 continues to breed instability. He said last [...]

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

UN investigates report of sexual abuse of street children by peacekeepers in CAR

Stéphane Dujarric. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

  An investigation has been launched by the United Nations into allegations of child sexual abuse involving peacekeepers at its mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). If substantiated, the UN says this would constitute a "grave violation" of its principles. Dianne Penn reports. MINUSCA reports that it had received allegations of the sexual abuse [...]

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

Conflict leads to unprecedented level of displacement

Olof Skoog (second from right) UN Photo/Mark Garten

Intractable violent conflict has resulted in an unprecedented displacement of people around the world according to the chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. Ambassador Olof Skoog of Sweden made the comment at the opening of the Commission's annual meeting in New York on Tuesday. Dianne Penn reports. Ambassador Skoog said peacebuilding is about preventing conflict [...]

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

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Bernardino Leon, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of UNSMIL. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

UN mission chief meets with armed groups in western Libya The head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has met with representatives of armed groups operating in the western part of the country as part of efforts to promote national dialogue. Bernardino Leon said cooperation of the armed groups is crucial to restoring [...]

23 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Child undernutrition costs Burkina Faso US$802 million a year

Prenatal care in Burkina Faso. UN PHOTO/Ollivier Girard

The West African country of Burkina Faso loses more than US$800 million annually due to child undernutrition.That's according to a new study which says increased healthcare costs, additional burdens on the educational system and lower workforce productivity are behind this loss. The Cost of Hunger in Africa study was launched on Tuesday by several partners [...]

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

Health clinics in Iraq face closure "within days", warns WHO

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

Dozens of life-saving clinics in Iraq are set to close within days unless US$60 million is found to keep them open, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday. A total of 77 health facilities which provide the majority of medical care in conflict-affected areas are at risk as the month-end deadline approaches, the UN agency's [...]

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

"Accountability call" welcomed in Mali peace deal

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani welcomed the peace deal as a "first step" for Mali. Photo: UN Multimedia

The decision by warring parties to sign a peace deal in Mali in which there's to be accountability for serious rights violations is the best chance of restoring the country's fortunes, the UN said Tuesday. Ravina Shamdasani from the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it was satisfied that a "blanket amnesty" had not [...]

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

Civilians "targeted deliberately" by all sides in Syria

Paulo Pinheiro told the UN Human Rights Council that both sides in the conflict appeard to deliberate target civilians. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The Syrian conflict shows no signs of stopping while terrible human rights abuses continue unabated, UN investigators said Tuesday. Paulo Pinheiro, who's heading a UN probe into the war, accused government and rebel forces of what he called "seemingly deliberate" decision to put civilians in harm's way. More than five years into the conflict, the [...]

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

Discrimination against widows persists in Nepal

Lily Thapa (centre). Credit UN Women/Samir Jung Thapa

Widows in Nepal continue to be rejected by their communities as they are seen as bad luck, according to the founder of a non-profit organization called "Women for Human Rights" which addresses single women's issues. Lily Thapa has been advocating for their rights for 20 years. Her organization is a partner of UN Women, the [...]

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

Resilient Afghans focusing on "hope barometer"

Nicholas Haysom. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The people of Afghanistan are expected to remain resilient and hopeful for the future in the face of increased terrorist attacks, according to the UN's most senior official in the country. Fighting in the northern city of Kunduz and an attack on the Afghan Parliament are the most recent examples of the deterioration in the [...]

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

Laws needed to support business in Asia Pacific developing countries

João Ribeiro, Head of the Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific
of the UN Commission on International Trade Law. Photo: UNCITRAL

As cross border trading in the Asia and the Pacific region grows, laws need to be put into place to give businesses in developing countries better access to justice, for services such as international commercial arbitration. That's according to the Head of the Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific of the UN Commission on International [...]

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

Put world's poorest children at heart of new development goals: UNICEF

A woman with a baby.  UN Photo/Sylvain Liecht

Despite global progress in the area of development, millions of children still live in poverty, suffer from chronic malnutrition and die before their fifth birthday, the UN children's agency (UNICEF) warns. Its latest report Progress for Children: Beyond Averages calls on the global community to focus more attention on the most disadvantaged children as it [...]

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

News in Brief 22 June 2015 (PM)

Sigrid Kaag. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A call for more donor assistance for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Syria Donors are being asked to increase their assistance to the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Sigrid Kaag, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, says funds are needed to help the agency meet the needs of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Syria. [...]

22 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Panel to review UN response to child sexual abuse allegations in CAR

Stéphane Dujarric. UN File Photo

A panel has been established to investigate the UN's response to allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of children by foreign military forces in the Central African Republic. While the troops were not under UN command, the panel will receive unrestricted access to all United Nations records and full access to staff and other personnel. [...]

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

News in Brief 22 June 2015 (AM)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas (file)

Recent Afghanistan attacks a "callous disregard" for life Monday's assault against the Afghan parliament has been strongly condemned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as yet another unacceptable attack on civilians in the country. The attack follows the killing last week of 16 civilians who were travelling in a minibus which struck an improvised explosive device. [...]

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Afghanistan's future depends on support from global community

UN Photo/Mark Garten

It is absolutely clear that Afghanistan continues to need the support of the international community, according to the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA). Nicholas Haysom was briefing the UN Security Council on Monday on the situation in Afghanistan, which is working to restore stability after years of foreign military [...]

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

Namibian doctor and former Portuguese President awarded first UN Mandela Prize

Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, addresses the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN File Photo/ P. Sudhakaran

An eye doctor from Namibia and a former President of Portugal are the winners of the first United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize. The award recognizes those who have dedicated their lives to serving humanity and honours the late South African leader's life and legacy. Dianne Penn reports. The first-ever laureates of the UN Nelson [...]

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

"Ramadan Solidarity mission" to Pakistan by UN refugee chief

Roghani Refugee Camp in Chaman, a Pakistani border town. UN File Photo/Luke Powell

The head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is in Pakistan, host of the world's largest long-standing refugee population. António Guterres arrived in the capital, Islamabad, on Monday to express his appreciation for, and solidarity with, the country's government and people. Pakistan has taken in Afghan refugees for more than three decades, with 1.5 million [...]

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

Deadly attack on Afghan parliament a "deliberate affront to democracy"

Tadamichi Yamamoto. UNAMA PHOTO

A deadly co-ordinated attack on the Afghan parliament on Monday has been condemned by the United Nations. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack in which eight people, including all six gunmen, were killed and dozens injured. A woman and child died in the incident. Parliament was holding a vote on a new Defence [...]

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

Gaza probe finds “unprecedented” devastation

Mary McGowan Davis cited summary executions by Palestine armed groups and the targeting of civilian areas by Israeli forces. Photo: UN PHOTO

The Gaza conflict last year caused "unprecedented" devastation and death, especially in the Palestinian territories, United Nations investigators said Monday. In a report commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, investigators expressed concern at what they called a "huge increase" in firepower during the 51-day war between Israel and Palestinian armed groups. Some 1,462 Palestinian [...]

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

South Sudanese continue to flee to Sudan

Aid workers loading a plane with survival kits for distribution in South Sudan. IOM File Photo.

Refugees from South Sudan are pouring into Sudan at a rate of 300 a day according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Around 30,000 people have fled fighting in areas of Upper Nile State close to the border since mid-May. The conflict in South Sudan is continuing as government forces battle with rebels loyal to [...]

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

Veteran campaigner condemns states' lip service to Beijing pledge

Shirin Akhter told Daniel Johnson at the UN in Geneva that states needed to do more to enforce legislation on equality. Photo: Ruben Brouwer/OHCHR

  Women have too little influence in the big decisions that affect them despite a landmark pledge at the Beijing summit two decades ago, according to veteran activist Shirin Akhter. It's why the Bangladeshi campaigner supports a UN twitter campaign using the #reflect2protect hashtag. Before taking part in a UN-sponsored event in Geneva, Ms Akhter [...]

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

Audio Slide Show: Celebration of first International Day of Yoga

Hundreds of people gathered at UN Headquarters in New York to celebrate the first International Day of Yoga. Photo: UN Radio/Stephanie Coutrix

The first International Day of Yoga was celebrated at United Nations Headquarters on Sunday. The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution in December 2014 for the day to be observed every 21 June. Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India, and has become very popular around the world. [...]

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

Yoga contributes to "overall well-being"

The United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga. Photo: Amélie Selva

Yoga has an important role to play in the "overall well-being" of people according to the UN's World Health Organization. The first ever International Day of Yoga is being celebrated at the United Nations on Sunday. It's an ancient technique which originated in India and which is now practiced across the world by millions of people. [...]

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

"Destressing" benefit of yoga underlined on international day

Asoke Mukerji.

The ability to relieve stress through the exercise of yoga is being underlined on the first ever UN day dedicated to the ancient Indian practice. The UN General Assembly recognized its universal appeal by proclaiming 21 June as International Yoga Day. Yoga is now practiced across the world by millions of people. Carla Garcia has [...]

21 Jun 2015 | Posted in From the Ambassador, Today's Features | Read More »

No "surrender of dignity" to receive development assistance

Residents of Tacloban, in the Philippines.  Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez/

Countries in Asia wanting to implement new development goals do not have to surrender their dignity by receiving financial assistance, according to a senior official of the Philippines government. The international community is currently working on new targets called the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which are due to be adopted at the UN in [...]

21 Jun 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Signature of peace agreement in Mali by remaining parties welcomed by UN

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

The signature of a peace agreement in Bamako, Mali by a coalition of armed groups called the "Coordination" has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. The Government of Mali and another coalition of armed groups called the "Platform" had already signed the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali on 15 May. In a statement [...]

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

Displaced people moved to escape floods in South Sudan

In Pathai, a settlement in Jonglei State, South Sudan, persons displaced by conflict await registration for food distribution. UNICEF File Photo/Jacob Zocherman

Efforts are underway in South Sudan to relocate thousands of internally displaced persons to areas unaffected by floods during the rainy season. The people, who have fled fighting between government and opposition forces, are being sheltered at the bases of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The mission is also concerned about a possible [...]

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

On Refugee Day, UN chief calls on world to "open our hearts"

Gowre, from Sinjar, lives on the seventh floor of an unfinished apartment block in 'Daben City', Dohuk, a housing estate with five buildings filled with more than 7000 internally displaced Yazidis. UNHCR File Photo / D. Nahr

On World Refugee Day, the UN Secretary-General is calling on the world to remember the plight of the millions of people worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict and persecution. The UN estimates that at the end of 2014, close to 60 million people – the highest number [...]

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

Conflict in Syria and Ukraine driving record displacement in Europe

An extended family of Afghan asylum seekers, newly arrived on Greece's Lesvos Island. UNHCR File Photo/G. Moutafis

Conflicts in Syria and Ukraine are driving the massive displacement of people in Europe, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Figures released by the agency ahead of World Refugee day on Saturday show that the number of people living in Europe who have fled their homes was 6.7 million at the end of [...]

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

News in Brief 19 June 2015 (PM)

UN peacekeepers from the Niger contingent on patrol in Menaka, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

“Reassuring signals” that peace process in Mali is on "right track" The decision to disengage from the town of Menaka, in Mali, by a coalition of armed groups called the "Platform" has been applauded by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the country, Mongi Hamdi. This is in line with security arrangements signed in [...]

19 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Adoption of day for elimination of sexual violence in conflict is "call to action"

Victims of sexual violence at a shelter in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo. UN File Photo/Marie Frechon.

The decision to establish 19 June as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict has been welcomed by top senior UN officials. On Friday, the UN Special Representative on the issue Zainab Hawa Bangura, and Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict called the decision a "global call [...]

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

News in Brief 19 June 2015 (AM)

The #SOS4Gaza 'Message in a Bottle' campaign aims to raise awareness about the children of Gaza's hopes for a better future. Photo: UNRWA

Launch of #SOS4GAZA, campaign for children in Gaza A new campaign to support children in Gaza is being championed by Mohammad Assaf, the Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The 25-year-old singer risked everything when he escaped from Gaza to take part in Arab Idol, an Egyptian TV [...]

19 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Consultations on Yemen were "initial effort" to halt conflict

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed (right) in Geneva. Photo: UNOG

A first round of consultations to decide the future of Yemen has ended in Geneva with the possibility of a ceasefire "soon", the UN negotiator in charge said Friday. After a week of talks in the Swiss city, UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that further meetings could bring about a [...]

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

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Yemen: US$1.6bn appeal to tackle "looming humanitarian catastrophe"

Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans

Aid agencies are appealing for US$1.6 billion in the face of what the UN humanitarian chief  has described as a "looming humanitarian catastrophe" in Yemen. The UN Humanitarian Office (OCHA) reports that more than 21 million Yemenis, or 80 per cent of the population, are in need of assistance as basic services collapse and hunger [...]

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

More children at risk of trafficking in Nepal

According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), 1.7 million children were affected by the earthquake. UNICEF File Photo.

Hundreds of children in Nepal have been intercepted from being trafficked since the first earthquake hit the country almost two months ago. That's according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) which says is speeding up its response to prevent this abuse. The UN estimates that more than 8000 people were killed in Nepal, due to [...]

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

Fence in Hungary to seal border with Serbia "deeply concerning"

Cécile Pouilly  of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights speaks to journalists during the regular press briefing organized by the UN Information Service in Geneva. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The announcement by the Government of Hungary that it is preparing to erect a four-metre-high fence to seal its 175-kilometre border with Serbia has been described as "deeply concerning" by the UN human rights office (OHCHR). If adopted, OHCHR says the measure may prevent asylum seekers, who could be in need of international protection, from [...]

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

Yemen consultations proving “constructive”

UN spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi said Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed was continuing to shuttle between opposing delegations in Geneva

What are being described as "constructive talks" to decide on Yemen's future are continuing with the priority being to secure a ceasefire, the UN said Friday. In Geneva where the consultations are taking place, Yemeni government and opposition delegations have been meeting separately this week with UN Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. UN spokesperson [...]

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

UN observes first International Day of Yoga

The United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga. Photo: Amélie Selva

The first-ever observance of the International Day of Yoga will be held this Sunday, 21 June. Yoga originated in India and the word means to join or unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Enthusiasts say they see parallels between the work of the United Nations and this physical, mental and spiritual practice. Dianne [...]

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

Hope for peace deal in Mali "by end of week"

Major General Michael Lollesgaard. UN Photo

A peace deal could be agreed in Mali "by the end of the week" according to the Force Commander of the UN Mission in the country, MINUSMA. A coup d'état in the West African country in early 2012 continues to breed instability and violence. UN peacekeepers have been targeted in some of the violence with [...]

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

Focus on criminals that limits web liberty is misguided, says expert

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

Protecting people's online identity by scrambling the data they access is a necessity even though criminals might benefit, a UN investigator said Thursday. Citing the serious risks faced by individuals whose online identity is not protected – or as it's known, encrypted – UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye said many states could do more to [...]

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

UN Calling Asia: focus on development assistance, Yoga day and businesses in Asia

Photo:World Bank/Lakshman Nadaraja

No "surrender of dignity" to receive development assistance Countries in Asia wanting to implement new development goals do not have to surrender their dignity by receiving financial assistance, according to a senior official of the Philippines government. The international community is currently working on new targets called the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which are [...]

18 Jun 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Women: focus on girls education and laws needed to end violence against women

Girls play in the schoolyard at Santo Niño Elementary School in the town of Tanauan, Philippines. Photo: UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

Girls' education brings human rights benefits Educating girls could help change societies and improve the lives of millions, according to the UN Human Rights chief. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein is also urging countries to ensure that girls have safe access to quality education that includes information about human rights. His comments came during a panel [...]

18 Jun 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

News in Brief 18 June 2015 (PM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

Racially motivated killings in United States condemned by UN chief The apparently racially motivated killing of nine people in a historic African-American church in the US city of Charleston, South Carolina, has been strongly condemned by the UN chief. In a statement, Ban Ki-moon extended his deep condolences to the loved ones of the victims [...]

18 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Respect for international law urged amid fears of deportations in Dominican Republic

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

Authorities in the Dominican Republic have been urged by the United Nations to respect international law and humanitarian principles as thousands brace for deportations in the Caribbean country. In September 2013, the highest court in the Dominican Republic ruled that people born after 1929 could only be guaranteed citizenship if they had at least one [...]

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

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Security Council holds open debate on children affected by conflict

South Sudan. 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for children living in conflict areas including in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Syria and Nigeria. UNICEF File Photo/Zocherman

Unspeakable acts of cruelty have been committed against children caught in the conflict in South Sudan, including rape, castration and being burned alive. These are just some of the ways children pay the price when war, political turmoil and other violence erupts in their homelands. The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution [...]

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

News in Brief 18 June 2015 (AM)

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva where the US delegation accepted 80 per cent of the 340 recommendations made. UN File Photo/ Pierre Albouy

No health without mental health There is no health without mental health, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of people to physical and mental health. Dainius Puras was speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. He said mental well-being should be a priority in public policies. "Good mental health means [...]

18 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Climate change affecting nutritional quality of food

A farmer in The Gambia shows a dry tuft of rice in a drought period. FAO File Photo/Seyllou Diallo

The impact of climate change on the nutritional quality of food is addressed in a new book unveiled by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Entitled, "Climate Change and Food Systems", the book covers a number of issues ranging from the pressures of climate change on food systems to how climate change impacts trade [...]

18 Jun 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Today's Features | Read More »

Pope Francis's papal encyclical welcomed by UN

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner with Pope Francis. Photo: UNEP

The papal encyclical of Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, has been welcomed by the United Nations. The letter, which highlights his objectives, says that climate change is one of the principal challenges facing humanity. Since his election in March 2013, the Pope has been recognized by the international community as an advocate [...]

18 Jun 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Today's News | Read More »

Displacement of people "getting out of control in world at war"

High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres speaks to journalists.UN File Photo/Mark Garten

The highest number of people displaced by conflict ever was recorded last year, according to a report issued by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The Global Trends report says that close to 60 million people around the world were forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict in 2014. The UN High [...]

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

“New level of brutality” leaves 129 children dead in South Sudan

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

Horrific details have emerged of three weeks of violence in South Sudan that's left 129 children dead, UN humanitarian experts said Thursday. Children's agency UNICEF said all of the victims were from Unity State and were killed in May. Daniel Johnson has more. Gruesome details of violence against youngsters including girls as young as eight have [...]

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

"Immense" number of people displaced in Africa

Adama, a refugee from the Central African Republic and the resident cook at Gado-Badzere refugee camp in Cameroon, feeds unaccompanied refugee children and orphans in her kitchen. The Central African Republic is now the world's eighth-largest refugee source country. UNHCR File Photo/O.Laban-Mattei

The number of people displaced in sub-Saharan Africa has been described as "immense" in a new report by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). According to the Global Trends report, Africa had 3.7 million refugees and 11.4 million internally displaced people in 2014. Around 4.5 million were newly displaced during that year, an increase of [...]

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

"Dangerous new era" in worldwide displacement

Syrian Kurdish refugees cross into Turkey from Syria, near the town of Kobani. The war that erupted in Syria in 2011 has propelled it into becoming the world's single largest driver of displacement. UNHCR File Photo/I. Prickett

Worldwide displacement from wars, conflict, and persecution is at the highest levels ever recorded and accelerating fast, according to a new report released by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The annual Global Trends report shows a sharp escalation in the number of people forced to flee their homes, with almost 60 million people displaced at [...]

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

Forced displacement on the rise in Asia

Rohingya from Myanmar worked as a fishermen in Bangladesh, often under difficult conditions. The number of refugees and internally displaced people in Asia grew by 31 per cent in 2014. UNHCR File Photo/Saiful Huq Omi

The number of people forced by conflict and instability to flee their homes in Asia went up by 31 per cent in 2014, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The agency has released its new Global Trends report which covers displacements around the world as of the end of 2014. UNHCR spokesperson Babar [...]

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

News in Brief 17 June 2015 (PM)

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

UN Special Envoy for Syria concludes trip to Damascus The UN Special Envoy for Syria has ended a three-day visit to the country's capital, Damascus. Staffan de Mistura's trip was in the context of ongoing consultations in Geneva to find a political solution to the four-year conflict in the Middle Eastern country. While in Syria, [...]

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Humanitarian needs at "all-time high"

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O'Brien addresses the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Humanitarian Affairs Segment in Geneva. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Humanitarian needs are at an all-time high, the top United Nations relief official said on Wednesday. Speaking at a meeting in Geneva to tackle humanitarian issues, Stephen O'Brien warned that there are not sufficient funds to meet the needs of nearly 80 million people. He pointed out that only 26 per cent of the US418.8 billion [...]

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

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Legally binding laws needed to end violence against women

Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

A binding international instrument on violence against women and girls is needed to prevent and end these human rights violations, according to the Special Rapporteur on violence against women. Rachida Manjoo was speaking in the Human Rights Council in Geneva on the causes and consequences of violence against women. She recently visited Northern Ireland, Honduras, [...]

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

Yemen consultations "first step" to end human suffering

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

Consultations on the situation in Yemen will be difficult but it is important that parties start addressing the crisis in all its dimensions, according to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is the facilitator of the talks in Geneva, which he described as an "important start towards the return to a political [...]

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

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Force Commanders detail challenges of UN peacekeeping

Hervé Ladsous, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, at the Security Council Briefing on United Nations peacekeeping operations. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The Force Commanders of United Nations peacekeeping operations have been briefing the UN Security Council about the challenges they face maintaining peace and security around the world. More than 125,000 people serve at 16 UN peacekeeping operations stretching from Haiti in the Caribbean to Darfur in South Sudan and the Middle East. The week-long meeting [...]

17 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 17 June 2015 (AM)

Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations Insurance Sector Summit. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Insurance industry "central" to advance global sustainability agenda The insurance industry can be central in building a more resilient, climate-smart economy, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking on Wednesday at a meeting of the Global Insurance Forum, which is gathering hundreds of insurance executives, regulatory authorities and academics. He said the insurance [...]

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"Catastrophic situation" for children in Yemen

UNICEF says 3,600 schools have closed since fighting escalated in late March, while at least 270 are home to displaced families, like this one in Aden. Photo: OCHA File Photo/Eman al Awami

Children in Yemen are facing what's been described by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) as a "catastrophic situation." While consultations on the future of the Gulf state continue in Geneva, an increasing number of children are dying as the fighting there escalates. Yemen has suffered turmoil and instability after rebels seized the capital Sana’a last [...]

17 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Invest in healthy soils" says UN on World Day to Combat Desertification

World Day to Combat Desertification. Promotional Image/ UNCCD

Approximately 12 million hectares of productive land is degraded every year, according to the United Nations. On World Day to Combat Desertification the UN is highlighting the importance of land to sustain life on Earth. To find out more about this issue, Joshua Mmali spoke with Louise Baker, a senior adviser at the UN Convention [...]

17 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Girls' education brings human rights benefits

Girls play in the schoolyard at Santo Niño Elementary School in the town of Tanauan, Philippines. Photo: UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

Educating girls could help change societies and improve the lives of millions, according to the UN Human Rights chief. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein is also urging countries to ensure that girls have safe access to quality education that includes information about human rights. His comments came during a panel discussion held in Geneva on Tuesday. [...]

17 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

MERS virus is not a global emergency, says WHO

Dr Keiji Fukuda said the virus was of "concern" but did not warrant a global health alert as transmission levels remain low. Photo: UNTV

A killer virus that's claimed 19 lives in Asia could yet infect more people, but does not constitute a global emergency, UN health experts said Wednesday. The announcement comes from the World Health Organization emergency committee that's dealing with the MERS corona virus outbreak in South Korea and, to a much lesser extent, in China. [...]

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

UNESCO and Juventus score a goal for children in CAR

UN/MINUSCA Nektarios Markogiannis

One of the world's top football clubs is helping to improve the lives of children in the Central African Republic. Juventus Football Club is working with the UN cultural organization (UNESCO). Dianne Penn reports on a recent visit to the country made by the two organizations to see how a project they've developed is having [...]

17 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Tanzania makes progress in protecting people living with albinism

(UNifeed video capture)

The Government of Tanzania has taken important steps to tackle the problem of ritualistic violence against people living with albinism, but challenges remain. That's according to the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the East African country, Alvaro Rodriguez. The International Albinism Awareness Day was observed for the first time at a big event in the [...]

17 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Primacy of politics" in UN peacekeeping underlined

Jose Ramos-Horta. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The importance of finding political solutions to maintain peace in conflict situations has been highlighted in a new report on UN peacekeeping operations. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations in October 2014 to produce recommendations for the future of UN operations. Daniel Dickinson reports. The Panel consisted of [...]

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

News in Brief 16 June 2015 (PM)

In Pathai, a settlement in Jonglei State, South Sudan, persons displaced by conflict await registration for food distribution. Photo: UNICEF/Jacob Zocherman

Urgent support for humanitarian response urged for South Sudan An appeal for urgent relief assistance for hundreds of thousands of people displaced by fighting between government and opposition forces in South Sudan has been issued by the head of the UN humanitarian office (OCHA). Speaking at a high level-event co-organized by the European Commission and [...]

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Humanitarian crises show "no sign of abating"

UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti

Humanitarian crises across 37 countries worldwide show no sign of abating, according to the UN humanitarian office (OCHA). In its mid-year overview of the global humanitarian response, OCHA says the UN is doing more for people than ever before. But it says system is under unprecedented strain. Daniel Dickinson reports. At the beginning of 2015, [...]

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

News in Brief 16 June 2015 (AM)

Copyright: WFP/Christina Hobbs

Electronic food vouchers provided to Syrian refugees Syrian refugees at the Turkish border are receiving electronic food vouchers from the World Food Programme (WFP), which each contain a value of US$23. WFP says this has been organized in partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent organization, called Kizilay. Many new refugees who are fleeing the four-year [...]

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"Support tomorrow's leaders" on the Day of the African Child

Children in South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS/Ilya Medvedev

Children are not soldiers. That's the message coming out of South Sudan on the Day of the African Child, celebrated this Tuesday, 16 June. The day honours the memory of schoolchildren killed during a demonstration for better education in Soweto, South Africa, in 1976. It was designated by the African Union in 1991. Jacob Ruai [...]

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

23,000 refugees flee Syria into Turkey's Sanliurfa region

Syrian refugees in Turkey, which hosts the greatest number of people displaced by the conflict. Photo: Photo: UNHCR

Renewed fighting in northern Syria has pushed more than 23,000 refugees to flee across the border into Turkey's Sanliurfa province; that' according to information received by the UN Refugee Agency from Turkish authorities. Some 70 per cent are women and children. People have been allowed through the Akcakale crossing and several points between Sanliurfa and [...]

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

New platform aims to share information on family farming

Family poultry production is an important component of the livelihoods of many small farmers in developing countries. Photo: FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

A new digital platform has been launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to become a "one-stop shop" for information on family farming. The Family Farming Knowledge Platform will contain information, data and legislation that can be shared by governments and help policy dialogue with organizations that represent those farmers. FAO says the [...]

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

"Golden opportunity" to resolve Yemen crisis as opposition arrives in Geneva

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is leading consultations in the Swiss city. Photo: OCHA/David Gough

Efforts to end the fighting in Yemen pressed ahead in Geneva on Tuesday with confirmation that the delayed opposition delegation has at last arrived in the Swiss city. UN spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi said it was "a golden opportunity" to resolve the crisis, although there's still some uncertainty about which members of the newly arrived delegation [...]

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

Urgent support needed in Greece for refugees

UNHCR staffer helps refugees and migrants to register at the local police station on Kos Island in Greece. Photo: UNHCR/S. Baltagiannis

A humanitarian crisis in Greece can be avoided with the support from European Union member states and regional institutions, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Initial reception conditions for refugees arriving in Greece’s North Aegean and Dodecanese islands are reportedly worsening, despite the considerable efforts of local authorities and civil society. Since the beginning [...]

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

Obstacles remain for Afghan girls to access education

© UNESCO/Webistan Schoolgirls in a reading class, Ferdeusi school, Kabul, Afghanistan

The number of girls in Afghanistan who are going to school has increased significantly since the former Taliban government was deposed in 2001, but obstacles remain, according to the United Nations. The UN has been supporting the Afghan government in its efforts to have more children at school. A law was passed in 2009 which [...]

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

Child workers in agriculture to benefit from new guidelines

Child labour on family farms should be addressed in an appropriate and context-sensitive way that respects local values and family circumstances. Photo: FAO/J. Thompson

With 100 million children worldwide engaged in agricultural work, a UN agency is aiming to ensure they are working under safe conditions and that they are still going to school. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization , FAO, has released a handbook which proposes that anti-child labour measures are included in agricultural and rural development [...]

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

New UN General Assembly President elected

Mogens Lykketoft, newly elected President of the General Assembly for its 70th session. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The UN General Assembly has elected a President for its 70th session beginning in September. Mogens Lykketoft is the former Speaker of Parliament of Denmark. He says that as the newly elected President he will seek to reflect successes and shortcomings of the General Assembly during the last 70 years, while looking to the future. [...]

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

News in Brief 15 June 2015 (PM)

Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file)

UN Envoy for Syria to meet with the Government in Damascus The UN Special Envoy for Syria has started a visit to the country's capital Damascus, following an invitation by the Syrian Government. Staffan de Mistura said that he looks forward to meeting with senior Syrian officials to give them the opportunity to express their [...]

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ICC warrant to arrest Sudanese President "must be respected"

A Sudanese woman and children in South Darfur. According to the UN, an estimated 300,000 people in Sudan have died and more than two million have fled their homes since fighting began in 2003. UN Photo/Olivier Chassot (file)

An arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) must be respected, according to the UN Secretary-General. Speaking to the press in Geneva on Monday, Ban Ki-moon was asked to comment on reports that South African authorities had failed to arrest the Sudanese leader during a visit to [...]

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

Rights chief calls for “reset” on naming and shaming

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

Colossal human rights abuses are happening all over the world and "too many states" are backing out of their obligations to protect people, the UN's top rights official said Monday. At the start of a new Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein said it was time to "reset" a general reluctance [...]

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

News in Brief 15 June 2015 (AM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Professor Esen Aydogdiyev, Rector of the International University for Humanities and Development, during the presentation of the UN Academic Impact certificate in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Future peace, development "hinge on human rights" in Turkmenistan All efforts for sustainable development must involve a deep respect for human rights and the strengthening of the rule of law, the UN Secretary-General said as he concluded his five-day tour of Central Asia. Ban Ki-moon was speaking to a gathering of local officials and students at [...]

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David Beckham in Cambodia to focus attention on children in danger

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham is in Cambodia visiting centres supported by UNICEF and partners in Siem Reap, where vulnerable children are protected against the dangers of violence. Photo: UNICEF/UKLA2015-00052/Irby

The international soccer star, David Beckham has said it's shocking that every five minutes a child dies because of violence somewhere in the world. Mr Beckham, who is a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, is currently in Cambodia to see how the agency is helping children who have endured physical, sexual and [...]

15 Jun 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's News | Read More »

Older generations "too often neglected and abused"

Elderly men. Photo: World Bank/Celine Ferre

It is a disturbing and tragic fact that members of the older generations are too often neglected and abused, according to the UN Secretary-General. On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day marked every 15 June, Ban Ki-moon said this "painful reality" generally goes ignored by mainstream society. Older persons are expected to make up more than [...]

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

Yemen is a time bomb, says Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to the press at UN Headquarters in Geneva following meetings on Yemen. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Consultations to decide Yemen's future began at the UN in Geneva on Monday with a warning from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the country is "a time bomb" requiring immediate help. In an appeal to warring sides to lay down their weapons for at least two weeks so the people of Yemen can celebrate Ramadan, [...]

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

Climate change linked to increased child labour

ILO PHOTO

The link between climate change and increased child trafficking and forced labour was in the spotlight at a special summit hosted by the 104th International Labour Conference in Geneva. Heads of state underlined how the effects of changing weather patterns create dangerous conditions for children. The International Labour Organization estimates that more than 168 million [...]

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

WHO teams deliver quality health services to displaced in Ukraine

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, many being women with children. Photo: UNFPA Ukraine/Olena Kulyk (file)

Sixteen mobile emergency medical units trained by the World Health Organization (WHO) are providing quality health services to displaced people in eastern Ukraine, the UN health agency said on Friday. Known as "MEPUs," the teams use hand-held tablets—portable computers—to access an online patient health tool that contains urgent care protocols and procedures based on WHO [...]

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

Appeal to warring parties in Yemen ahead of consultations

Smoke fills the sky above the Yemeni capital Sana'a after a series of airstrikes 
File Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

Warring parties in Yemen have been urged to put their differences aside ahead of consultations at the United Nations in Geneva on Monday on the future of the country. Yemen has suffered turmoil and instability after Houthi rebels seized the capital Sana'a last September and then advanced on the port city, Aden. Daniel Dickinson reports. [...]

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

Attack on Tunisian consulate in Libya condemned by UN

Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Bernardino Léon. UN 
File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

An attack on the Tunisian consulate in the Libyan capital of Tripoli which resulted in the capture of ten consulate staff members has been condemned by the United Nations. The storming of the diplomatic mission, which occurred on 12 June, was, according to media reports, conducted by an unidentified armed group. Daniel Dickinson has more [...]

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

Volunteers thanked for saving lives on World Blood Donor Day

POSTER_English_LOW

People who have donated blood are being thanked for saving lives. On World Blood Donor Day marked annually on 14 June, the World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging more people to donate blood voluntarily and regularly with the slogan "Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters." Ivanna Mousa met with James Chitsva, WHO's technical officer [...]

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

Leprosy still affecting many people in India and Brazil

Yôhei Sasakawa. WHO/Pierre Albouy

Eliminating leprosy and the stigma associated with the disease has been the mission of a Japanese philanthropist for many decades. In 2001, Yôhei Sasakawa became the World Health Organization (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination. In this capacity, he has travelled to many countries, including recent visits to India and Indonesia to raise awareness about [...]

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

Grave violations against children increased in 2014 due to conflicts

The recruitment and use of children in armed forces and groups is a grave violation of international law - UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0116/Porter (file)

Mass abductions of children became increasingly prevalent in many of the 23 conflict situations around the world in 2014, according to the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict. The report details how extreme violence rose dramatically throughout the year, accompanied by a large increase in the number of grave violations against [...]

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

News in Brief 12 June 2015 (PM)

A boy from Myanmar's northern Rakhine state at a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Photo: UNHCR/K.McKinsey (file)

416,000 people in need of humanitarian aid in Myanmar More than 416,000 people continue to need humanitarian assistance in Myanmar's Rakhine State, according to the UN. Inter-communal violence caused the mass displacement of people in the region in 2012. The UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, says 140,000 people are living in dire conditions in camps and [...]

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Report finds millions still lack access to essential health services

Mobile clinic in Khemisset Province, Morocco. UN Photo/John Isaac

At least 400 million people worldwide lack access to essential health services such as antenatal care, child immunization and treatment for diseases like tuberculosis. The finding comes from a report launched on Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank Group. It's the first report to measure health service coverage and financial [...]

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

News in Brief 12 June 2015 (AM)

Smoke fills the sky above the Yemeni capital Sana'a after a series of airstrikes 
File Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

Destruction of historic buildings in Yemeni capital condemned The destruction of historic buildings in the capital of Yemen, Sana'a, has been condemned by UNESCO. The UN cultural agency said that early on Friday, the Old City of Sana'a, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was hit by a bombing raid. Several houses and historic buildings were [...]

12 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

More than 240 children injured or killed in Ukraine

©UNICEF/Ukraine/2015/Zmey

More than 240 children have been injured or killed since the start of the conflict in Ukraine according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. The east of the country has been plagued by fighting which broke out between pro-Russian rebels and government forces last year. Daniel Dickinson reports. At least 68 children are reported to [...]

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

Nobel laureate calls for end to child labour

Kailash Satyarthi

Forcing children to work and denying them an education are tantamount to violence, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi said Friday. The veteran child rights campaigner made his comments during the International Labour Organization's annual meeting in Geneva. He said that with another US$22 billion in funding, every child could be sent to school. Here’s Daniel Johnson’s [...]

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

Uzbekistan told "no peace and development without human rights"

Secretary-General (left) meets with Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan.UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Uzbekistan has been told by the UN Secretary-General that there can no peace and development without human rights. Ban Ki-moon was speaking to the media in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, where he met with the president of the Central Asian country. Daniel Dickinson reports Ban Ki-moon praised President Islam Karimov for his commitment to the [...]

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

ILO conference provides "unique opportunity" to address child labour

Child labour in Myanmar. Photo: ILO/Marcel Crozet

Worldwide, more than 120 million children under the age of 14 are involved in child labour. That's according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) which this week wraps up its annual conference on social and labour issues of global importance. Friday, 12 June, is the World Day Against Child Labour and delegates are looking at [...]

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

Yemen consultations to begin in Geneva

More than one million people have been displaced in Yemen since an escalation of fighting in March. Photo: WFP Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).

Consultations between government-backed and opposition forces in Yemen are to begin in Geneva in an attempt to end an escalation of conflict in the Arabian peninsula country. More than 2500 people have been killed in recent months according to the UN and 20 million people in Yemen – close to 80 per cent of the [...]

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

Women: focus on tech opportunities, safe spaces in South Sudan, and disability issues

Young woman working on a computer. Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel

Women in technology encouraged to network An initiative has been launched in Europe to encourage women working in the field of information and communications technology to build networks of like-minded professionals. The European Commission  is behind the idea, which it says will help women to access funding for start-up projects. Pete Forster met Helen Kopman, [...]

11 Jun 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on New Zealand, Cambodia, India and Indonesia

Helen Clark. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Balanced approach needed to deal with public debt  A balanced approach is needed to deal with public debt according to a senior UN official and former Prime Minister of New Zealand. Debt is a normal part of a country's finances. Governments borrow to pay for a wide range of services and other needs. Helen Clark, is [...]

11 Jun 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

News in Brief 11 June 2015 (PM)

Buying food at the market. Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark

Pope Francis says access to food is "a right of all people" The international community has been urged by Pope Francis to ensure that everyone has access to basic foods. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church spoke to the delegates attending the 39th Conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) during a [...]

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US$100bn needed to ensure climate talks succeed

(Credits: Pierre Albouy)

Key climate change talks in Paris are bound to fail unless US$100 billion is found to make an agreement happen, President Francois Hollande of France said Friday. The warning came during a speech by the French statesman to the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva. In addition to the funding issue, President Hollande said that [...]

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

Pakistan is "the third most prolific executioner in the world" says UN official

Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

The government of Pakistan has been urged to reintroduce a moratorium on the death penalty. The appeal was made on Thursday by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. He expressed regret that more than 150 individuals, including juvenile offenders have been executed since the moratorium was lifted in March. Ana [...]

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

Regional security under threat in Central Africa

The displacement site in Batangafo, Central African Republic, is overcrowded with more than 30,000 people and daily receiving hundreds of people driven from their homes by violence. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group in Central Africa, continues to pose a threat to regional security particularly to populations in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo according to the United Nations. The UN Security Council adopted a statement on Thursday condemning what it called "appalling attacks", including [...]

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

Satellites as tools to fight climate change

UN Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space.

Experts have been discussing how satellites are important tools to monitor the effects of climate change on the planet. At a meeting of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space, currently held in Vienna, Austria, they're looking at how these satellites can help understand and forecast climate change. Thierry Duquesne is a [...]

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

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Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Photo: IRIN/Ahmed Dalloul

Egypt's decision to open Rafah crossing welcomed by UN envoy Egypt's decision to open the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt for three days has been welcomed by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov. The opening of the crossing, this Saturday, followed consultations between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and [...]

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New UN fund launched to promote Kyrgyz-Tajik cross border cooperation

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN PHOTO.

A new fund has been launched by the UN Secretary-General to promote cooperation between communities across borders in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Ban Ki-moon made the announcement on Thursday during his visit to Kyrgyzstan where he addressed an international conference on parliamentarianism. In January there was an exchange of cross- frontier gunfire which reportedly injured several [...]

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

Half a million refugees to receive less food in Kenya

Refugees in Kenya. Photo: UNHCR/B.Bannon

Half a million refugees in two locations in Kenya are to have their food rations cut by almost a third, the World Food Programme, WFP, has announced. The UN food agency said a shortage of funds means food stocks are dwindling and that the cuts are expected to last until September. Daniel Dickinson has been [...]

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

Lack of basic services driving South Sudanese to UN base

Site near Bentiu, South Sudan. UN File Photo/JC McIlwaine

A lack of basic services as well as continued fighting is driving thousands of people to a United Nations base in the north of the South Sudan, according to the UN mission in the country, UNMISS. Around 2000 South Sudanese are arriving each week at the UN protection site in Bentiu, a town in Unity [...]

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

Kenya refugees face new rations cut

Refugees at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya face a 30 per cent cut in their daily ration because of a funding shortfall. Photo: UNHCR/R.Gangale

Funding shortfalls and dwindling supplies have forced the World Food Programme (WFP) to cut rations to refugees in Kenya, it announced Wednesday. It's the second time in little over six months that the UN agency has had reduce refugees' daily food intake to below minimum recommended levels. About half a million refugees living in two [...]

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

Women with disabilities face many layers of discrimination

Catalina Devandas Aguilar, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, briefs journalists on the eighth session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Women with disabilities face higher levels of poverty, violence, forced sterilization and exclusion from schools than other people, according to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Catalina Devandas Aguilar was attending an annual conference on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at UN headquarters in New York. [...]

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

News in Brief 10 June 2015 (PM)

Bernardino Leon, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of UNSMIL. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

Participants in Libyan political dialogue renew commitment to Libya's unity Talks on the future of Libya hosted by Germany with senior officials from a number of countries, including the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom continued in Berlin on Wednesday. The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative Bernardino León participated in the meeting where [...]

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Millions of Iraqis need greater assistance, says UN official

New UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Stephen O'Brien (second right), in Erbil during a two-day visit to Iraq. Photo: UNAMI PIO/Fabienne Vinet

Millions of Iraqis affected by the conflict between government forces and the terrorist group ISIL need greater assistance. That's what the head of the UN Office for humanitarian affairs (OCHA), Stephen O'Brien said on Wednesday following a two-day visit to the country. Dianne Penn reports. Stephen O'Brien, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs has concluded a [...]

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WHO Assistant Deputy Director-General for Health Security Keiji Fukuda. Photo: WHO/Violaine Martin

Mission assesses MERS outbreak in South Korea A joint mission of the World Health Organization and South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare has begun to assess the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the country. There are 107 confirmed cases of MERS reported in the Republic of Korea, and one in [...]

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People with disabilities in Syria need the world's attention

Participants of the Eighth Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on the first day of the Conference. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The global community needs to think about how it will support people who have become disabled due to the Syrian conflict. That's according to Chavia Ali, the chairperson of a non-profit organization called the Cultural Forum for People with Special Needs in the Syrian Arab Republic,. She is at UN Headquarters in New York attending [...]

10 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Ghana ritual slavery abuse "unchallenged"

Child rights experts say a traditional form of ritual abuse of minors continues in Ghana. Photo: UNICEF/Olivier Asselin

Child rights experts say a traditional form of ritual abuse of minors continues in Ghana despite a years-old pledge by authorities to tackle the problem. The practice, which is known as Trokosi, entails families handing over a child to a priest in return for absolution; it often results in sexual abuse and other violations. The [...]

10 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Religious leaders have "pivotal role" in peace-making, says UN chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Traditional and non-traditional religious leaders around the world have what has been described as "a pivotal role" to play in solving problems and promoting peace. That was the message of the UN Secretary-General to the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Astana, Kazakhstan on Wednesday. The theme of the meeting is "Promoting [...]

10 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Sudanese Government reluctance to negotiate hindering peace process

UNAMID troops in East Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran

The greatest challenge of the peace process in Sudan is the reluctance of the government to engage in negotiations with armed movements. That's according to Abiodun Oluremi Bashua, the Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). He says the government believes it is in a position to win the [...]

10 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Inclusive Syrian-led political solution urgently needed to end conflict

Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (second from left) and his team during a meeting on the Geneva Consultations on Syria. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

An inclusive and Syrian-led political solution to the conflict in Syria is urgently needed according to the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. Mr de Mistura is continuing meetings with a broad spectrum of Syrian, regional and international interlocutors in order to bring peace to the country. More than 220,000 people have [...]

10 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Rights watchdog to tackle migrant misery

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva where the US delegation accepted 80 per cent of the 340 recommendations made. UN File Photo/ Pierre Albouy

The issue of migrants – along with others that rarely hit the headlines – are set to take centre stage at UN Human Rights Council's upcoming session, its president said Wednesday. Joachim Ruecker said he expected the council's member states to pass a European Union call to debate the issue on Monday, making it one [...]

10 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Balanced approach needed to deal with public debt

Helen Clark.  UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

A balanced approach is needed to deal with public debt according to a senior UN official and former Prime Minister of New Zealand. Debt is a normal part of a country's finances. Governments borrow to pay for a wide range of services and other needs. Helen Clark, is the current Administrator of the UN Development [...]

10 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Successful elections in Côte d'Ivoire crucial to country's stability

Aïchatou Mindaoudou. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

If elections go well in Côte d'Ivoire next October, it means that the country is back on the track of stability and development, according to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the West African nation. Aïchatou Mindaoudou was briefing the Security Council on Tuesday on the situation there. Côte d'Ivoire is recovering from a [...]

10 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 9 June 2015 (PM)

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Improved relations between Pakistan and India stressed by UN chief The need for improved relations between Pakistan and India was stressed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday. The UN chief met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan on the margins of the international water conference under way in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The Secretary-General also [...]

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Delegates' hopes at the 104th International Labour Conference

ILO@PHOTO

Many delegates attending the 104th International Labour Conference are hopeful that it will help improve conditions for workers around the world. Carla Drysdale spoke with participants attending the meeting in Geneva, from different regions of the globe They shared their perspectives on the impact they think the gathering can have on issues including unemployment and [...]

9 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Political and economic stability returns to Côte d'Ivoire

Aïchatou Mindaoudou. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

There has been an improvement in the overall security and stability of Côte d'Ivoire, according to the top UN envoy in the West African country. Briefing the Security Council on Tuesday, Aïchatou Mindaoudou, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, said that despite this progress, there are some hardliners calling for demonstrations. Stephanie [...]

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

News in Brief 9 June 2015 (AM)

Libyan parties urged to begin progress towards reconciliation There is a general sense of hope among Libyan parties who are engaged in the UN-facilitated dialogue in Morocco. That's the assessment of the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Libya, Bernardino Léon. A political draft agreement was shared with political parties on Monday evening and Mr Leon [...]

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Efforts underway to battle MERS in South Korea

Peter Ben Embarek. UNTV

A number of hospitals in South Korea have intensified their efforts to control the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), according to the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO says the disease which was reportedly introduced by a man who got infected during a business trip to Saudi Arabia, has killed seven people. Dr Peter Ben Embarek, [...]

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

Accord on new constitution in Nepal welcomed by UN chief

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas (file)

The agreement on a new constitution reached by Nepalese parties on Monday has been described by the UN Secretary-General as "a major milestone" in the country's democratic development. Nepal has not had a constitution since 2008 following a decade of rebellion that brought down the monarchy. Derrick Mbatha reports. Political parties in Nepal have been [...]

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Over 100,000 refugees and migrants cross Mediterranean to Europe

A boat carrying sub-Saharan African migrant workers arrives in Lampedusa from Tripoli.  © Kate Thomas/IRIN

More than 100,000 refugees and migrants, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa have arrived in Europe this year after crossing the Mediterranean Sea, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). UNHCR says it is stepping up its presence in Greece and southern Italy in response to the dramatic increase in the number of refugees and migrants arriving [...]

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

Increased militia violence "could tip Burundi over the edge"

A family from Burunid who fled the north of the country into Rwanda where the situation is deteriorating ahead of the presidential poll. Photo: UNICEF Burundi/Y.Nijimbere

Increasingly violent and threatening actions by a pro-government militia "could tip Burundi over the edge" according to the UN human rights chief. Civil unrest broke out in the country in April following the President’s announcement to run for a third term. The UN human rights office says it has been receiving 40 to 50 calls [...]

9 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Water is life" says UN chief

A Liberian boy works the hand pump at a communal well in  Liberia. UN Photo/Staton Winter

Water is not only for life but water is life, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on Tuesday. He spoke at the opening ceremony of the High-Level International Conference on the Implementation of the International Decade for Action "Water for Life" from 2005 to 2015. Mr Ban said that despite progress made to [...]

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

Women in technology encouraged to network

Young woman working on a computer. Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel

An initiative has been launched in Europe to encourage women working in the field of information and communications technology to build networks of like-minded professionals. The European Commission (EC) is behind the idea, which it says will help women to access funding for start-up projects. Pete Forster met Helen Kopman, the Deputy Head of Innovation [...]

9 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"No excuse anymore" to leave people with disabilities behind

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The everyday reality of people with disabilities around the world has been changed by a United Nations treaty. That's according to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar. She is at UN Headquarters in New York for the 8th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention [...]

9 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 8 June 2015 (PM)

Children swept up in violence in Ukraine. UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

2014 unprecedented year for children in countries impacted armed conflicts The year 2014 saw unprecedented challenges for the protection of tens of millions of children growing up in countries impacted by conflict. That's according to a report of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict which was received by Member States on Monday. Stephane [...]

8 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Somalia is "coming together" says top UN envoy

Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay briefs the press at UN Headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Despite the challenges that Somalia continues to face, the nation is coming together, according to the top United Nations envoy in the East African country. Ambassador Nicholas Kay briefed reporters after participating in an informal interactive dialogue with the Security Council on Monday. He described the situation in Somalia as a "distinctive bright spot" on [...]

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

Campaign to end modern slavery gathering pace

Photo: ILO (file)

A campaign to end modern slavery launched by the UN is gathering pace in Geneva. The International Labour Organization's initiative "50 for Freedom" has the goal of reaching 50 ratifications of the ILO's Protocol on Forced Labour. The protocol, adopted by the UN last year, aims to address gaps in implementation of the convention. It's [...]

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

Safe space opened for victims of gender based violence in South Sudan

Women in Juba, South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS (file)

For victims of gender based violence, a safe space, medical help and someone to talk to is often the first thing they need. Women in Juba in South Sudan now have just that thanks to a custom-built centre at the Juba Teaching Hospital. The building has been constructed with support from the UN Population Fund, [...]

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

News in Brief 8 June 2015 (AM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivers remarks at the official inauguration of the extension building of the World Conference Centre Bonn in Germany. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Germany thanked for supporting sustainable development The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel has been thanked by the UN Secretary-General for her strong support for sustainable development. Ban Ki-moon met with the German leader at Schloss Elmau, Germany where leaders of the Group of 7 industrialized countries are holding a summit. He called on the country [...]

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UN nuclear agency to help Nepal after earthquakes

Nepal. Photo: UNESCO Kathmandu Office /Manhart Christian

Nepal is to be helped by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to test the integrity of buildings following recent earthquakes in the South Asian country. That's what the IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano told the agency's Board of Governors in Vienna, Austria, on Monday. Daniel Dickinson reports. The massive earthquakes that struck Nepal in [...]

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

Eritrea "ruled not by law, but by fear"

elderlywoman-eritrea

The people of Eritrea are living in a country ruled not by law but by fear, according to a UN report released on Monday. A UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea has found that a large proportion of the population is subjected to forced labour and imprisonment, and hundreds of thousands of [...]

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

Unemployment makes youth vulnerable to radicalization

Job seekers in Zimbabwe. ILO Photo/Maillard J.

A lack of opportunity among millions of unemployed young people may cause them to lose faith in government and institutions according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson. He was speaking at an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1995. World [...]

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

Hunger, nutrition and climate change are FAO's priorities

Photo: World Bank/Julio Pantoja

The eradication of hunger, raising levels of nutrition and addressing climate will be among the top priorities of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) over the next four years. That's according to the newly re-elected Director-General of the UN agency. José Graziano da Silva spoke at the FAO conference in Rome attended by over one [...]

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

Ocean provides "every second breath" to life says UN expert

World Oceans Day is observed on 8 June each year. Photo: FAO

The ocean has been described by the United Nations as the heart of the planet because of its importance in supporting life; yet it is facing a number of threats, including pollution. It is estimated that a staggering 250 million metric tons of plastic could end up in oceans in the next decade. World Oceans [...]

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

Experts meet to discuss how to reduce world hunger

José Graziano da Silva was re-elected Director-General of the FAO
Photo/FAO

The global fight against hunger and poverty is being put under the spotlight over the next week as international experts gather in Rome. They're meeting at the 39th biennial Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO. Daniel Dickinson reports The 39th FAO conference will highlight the fact that despite much progress, high levels of [...]

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

Yemen talks to go ahead on 14 June

Around 20 million people need humanitarian assistance in Yemen
Photo: UNICEF/Mohamed Yasin

Talks on the future of Yemen are set to start in Geneva on 14 June, the United Nations has announced. The move was welcomed by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon who called on all participants to engage in consultations “in good faith.” Daniel Dickinson reports The talks were originally planned for 28 May but were [...]

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

Guidance issued to protect survivors rescued at sea

Italian Navy landing craft carrying 186 people who have been rescued at sea, earlier this year. Photo: UNHCR/A.D'Amato

Guidance on protecting  people who have been rescued at sea has been jointly issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Chamber of Shipping. Hundreds of people continue to risk their lives on unseaworthy vessels to escape conflict and hardships in the Middle East, North Africa and South-East [...]

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

Growing gender gap in mobile phone use

A mobile phone user in Afghanistan.  UN Photo/Fardin Waezi

Men have greater access to mobile telephone services across the developing world and use them more than women. That's according to a director at the Connected Women Programme of the GSMA, an association of mobile operators. It's estimated that up to 1.7 billion women in low income countries don't use mobiles. Pete Forster met Claire [...]

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

Investigation launched following abuse of girl in CAR

Children have suffered as a result of the ongoing conflict in CAR 
Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes

An investigation has been launched in the Central African Republic, by the United Nations peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, following allegations that a UN peacekeeper had sexually abused a young girl. The mission said it learned about the alleged assault in the eastern part of the country earlier in the week. In the capital Bangui, Maha Fayek [...]

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

News in Brief 5 June 2015 (PM)

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Investigation urged into disappearance of 11 people in CAR An investigation has been urged by the UN following the disappearance in the Central African Republic 15 months ago of 11 people including five women and one child. The UN Human Rights Office said troops from the Republic of Congo arrested the people in Boali, a [...]

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Financial services essential in alleviating poverty

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Financial services play an essential role in alleviating poverty around the world, according to UN Special Advocate, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. The UN says approximately one-third of the world's population, most of them in developing countries, struggle to get by without basic financial services such as savings plans, insurance and credit. Daniel Dickinson reports. [...]

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

Graphic message is best way to save planet, says cartoonist

Tom Tirabosco believes people haven't understood that protecting the world is essential to our survival. Photo: UN Photo/Daniel Johnson

Drawing clever cartoons is just is one way of raising grassroots awareness about climate change, a leading cartoonist said on Friday, for World Environment Day. Tom Tirabosco, who's well known in Switzerland for his newspaper work and children's books – said people also need to put "huge pressure" on their governments as they prepare for [...]

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

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"New worrying development" reported in Ukraine conflict

Residents walk along the main road of Nikishino village in eastern Ikraine. Photo: UNHCR Andrew McConnell (file)

There has been a significant deterioration of the security situation in eastern Ukraine, the Security Council heard on Friday. The region has been plagued by fighting which broke out between pro-Russian rebels and government forces in April last year. At least 6, 400 people have died since the fighting began and hostilities have continued despite [...]

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

"Absolute terror" of Nigerians fleeing Boko Haram group

A group of refugees in Diffa, Niger, after fleeing Boko Haram violence in Nigeria. Photo: OCHA/Franck Kuwonu

Nigerians who have fled attacks by Boko Haram terrorist fighters in the north-east of the country have been talking of their "absolute terror." The UN Human Rights office, OHCHR, said the comments came from individuals who had escaped or were rescued from towns previously held by Boko Haram. Daniel Dickinson reports The Boko Haram insurgents [...]

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

News in Brief 5 June 2015 (AM)

Palestinian Bedouin community. UNRWA PHOTO.

Israel urged to abandon plans to forcibly transfer Bedouins Israel has been urged to abandon plans to forcibly transfer Palestinian Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank. UN Special Rapporteur, Makarim Wibisono, said the imminent "forced eviction and forcible transfer of thousands of people" was contrary to international human rights and humanitarian law. The UN [...]

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Humanity continues to consume more than planet can provide

Sugar cane and soybean plantations have replaced hectare after hectare of jungle as the Amazon has been exploited in the name of agriculture, with little regard for the environmental impacts. Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Riccardo Pravettoni

Humanity continues to consume far more natural resources than the planet can sustainably provide. That's the message from the UN Secretary-General on World Environment Day, marked annually on June 5. Daniel Dickinson reports In his message, Ban Ki-moon said many of the Earth's ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points as the demand on resources made [...]

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

20 million people in need of assistance in Yemen

More than one million people have been displaced in Yemen since an escalation of fighting in March. Photo: WFP Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).

Over 20 million people are now in need of some form of humanitarian assistance in Yemen, according to the UN humanitarian office, OCHA. Fighting is continuing in the Gulf country between rebels and government forces. Daniel Dickinson reports. The 20 million people in need of humanitarian assistance include around one million who fled their homes [...]

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

Refugee influx risks overwhelming Greek isles

Syrian refugees prepare to board a night ferry to Athens from the Greek island of Kos. Photo UNHCR/S.Baltagiannis

  Greece is struggling to cope with a huge influx of desperate refugees who've been arriving by sea from Turkey at a rate of 600 per day, the UN said Friday. More than 42,000 people have made the Mediterranean crossing so far this year according to UN refugee agency UNHCR. That's almost as many as [...]

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

Tool launched to increase web accessibility for all

SQUARE-ACCESSIBILITY

What happens when a website has not been made accessible to people with disabilities? That's the question being posed by the UN which has launched a new website to recreate that experience for the general public. First it strips the user of the visuals, then it makes the text difficult to read, and finally it [...]

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

From engineer to florist in a Jordan refugee camp

Mohammad, 42, from Syria's southern Dara'a governorate arranges artificial flowers in colourful displays in his temporary shop in Jordan's Azraq refugee camp. © UNHCR/C.Dunmore

Syrian refugees living in a camp in Jordan are rebuilding their lives by launching new businesses serving other refugees. At the Azraq camp an engineer has retrained as a florist; another refugee has set up a barber shop. The more than 17,000 people living there have escaped a civil war in their country which has [...]

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

UN Calling Asia: focus on cost of child abuse, E-waste and Food Price Index

More must be done to protect youngsters from child sexual abuse. Photo: UNICEF

Child abuse costing East Asia and Pacific US$209bn Child abuse and violence is costing countries in East Asia and the Pacific around $US209 billion a year, according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. It's the first ever costing of child maltreatment in the region. UNICEF says it will use the findings to take action with [...]

4 Jun 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

News in Brief 4 June 2015 (PM)

Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

Positive atmosphere surrounding the Cyprus talks welcomed by UN chief The positive atmosphere surrounding talks over the future of Cyprus has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. The country has been divided since 1974 when Turkey sent troops citing concerns for the Turkish Cypriot community after a Greek military coup. Ban Ki-moon on Thursday met [...]

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Women: focus on mobile phone use, human rights and coping with disaster

A mobile phone user in Afghanistan.  UN Photo/Fardin Waezi

Growing gender gap in mobile phone use Men have greater access to mobile telephone services across the developing world and use them more frequently than women. That's according to a director at the Connected Women Programme of the GSMA, an association of mobile operators. It's estimated that up to 1.7 billion women in low income [...]

4 Jun 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

New humanitarian pause needed in Yemen, says UN chief

Women in war-torn Yemen are using bicycles to find food and medicine for their families. Photo: UNDP Yemen/Bushra al-Fusail

A new humanitarian pause is needed in Yemen to allow assistance to reach people in need, the UN Secretary-General has reiterated. Humanitarian needs are reportedly becoming increasingly intense as fighting continues between government forces and Houthi rebels. The UN says the international community must take action to alleviate the worst consequences of the conflict. Daniel [...]

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

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"Clock ticking faster and faster" towards new climate agreement

Climate change has serious implications for agriculture and food security. Photo: FAO/L. Dematteis

The clock is ticking faster and faster towards a new global climate agreement expected to be adopted in December, according to the UN Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change. Janos Pasztor (pronounced Yanosh Pashtor) gave a briefing at UN Headquarters in New York on the latest efforts by the international community to promote climate action. Stephanie [...]

4 Jun 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 4 June 2015 (AM)

General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann (file)

New plan for disaster risk management endorsed by General Assembly A new global plan to reduce deaths and injuries as well as economic losses arising from disasters has been endorsed by the UN General Assembly. The Sendai Framework was adopted in March in Sendai, Japan at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. [...]

4 Jun 2015 | Posted in Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction | Read More »

Major food commodity prices down in May

A maize haystack in Zambia. Robust inventory levels are keeping agricultural commodity prices are stable. Photo: FAO/Alberto Conti

The price of food commodities fell in May hitting the lowest level since September 2009, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO. The UN agency's Food Price Index averaged almost 167 points in May, down 1.4 per cent from April and as much as 20.7 per cent from a year earlier. The index is [...]

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

Efforts underway to reduce "grey economy"

Delegates meet to for the discussion on social protection and labour protection, at the International Labour Conference. Photo: ILO/Pouteau/Crozet

Efforts are underway to move more workers around the world out of the informal or so-called "grey economy". The UN's International Labour Organization estimates that up to 80 per cent of the workforce in developing countries is engaged in the informal sector. Grey workers often experience unsafe conditions and can lack protection in terms of [...]

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

Ending hunger should become global movement

Ending hunger once and for all should become a global movement, says FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva. Photo: FAO/Daniel Hayduk

The entire world has been called on by the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to join a global movement to end hunger and malnutrition once and for all. Jose Graziano da Silva was on Thursday at the International Agricultural Forum at Expo Milan, in Italy. Also known as the "world's fair", [...]

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

US$497 million emergency appeal launched for Iraq

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

Nearly US$500 million is needed to prevent the immediate closure of vital aid operations to millions of Iraqis, the UN announced Thursday. The funding shortfall has already forced 77 frontline health clinics to close, while food rations have been cut back for more than one million people. Violence between government forces and ISIL rebels has [...]

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

Iraq facing humanitarian "catastrophe"

Vital UN aid operations have had to be cut owing to a lack of funding. Photo: OCHA/file.

Iraq is facing a humanitarian "catastrophe" with ten million people expected to need aid by the end of 2015, the UN has warned. An estimated 5.6 million people have already been displaced or affected by the ongoing violence between Government forces and the terrorist group ISIL. As the conflict escalates the UN has appealed for [...]

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

Communities respond to flooding in India

Learning to adapt to climate change in Odisha, India where women are hit hardest by the extreme weather conditions. Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/ UNDP India

Women in north-east India have learnt how to protect their community and boost their livelihoods in the face of extreme weather events. Flooding in Odisha state is a constant problem and can lead to health problems and disrupt cultivation. The United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, launched a project with the local authorities to empower women [...]

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

Development and reconciliation 20 years after Rwanda genocide

With the support of the UN Development Programme, UNDP, Rwanda has rebuilt its economy and reduced poverty levels from 77 to 45 per cent. Photo: UNDP (file)

Two decades on from the genocide in which hundreds of thousands were slaughtered, the tiny East African state of Rwanda has been seeking a path to development and reconciliation. With the support of the UN Development Programme, UNDP, Rwanda has rebuilt its economy and reduced poverty levels from 77 to 45 per cent. Mark Betancourt has been [...]

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

News in Brief 3 June 2015 (PM)

The Protection of Civilians (POC) site near Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine (file)

UN Security Council has "grave concern" for South Sudan The security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan has been described as of "grave concern" by the 15 members of the UN Security Council. It follows the decision by the authorities to expel the Humanitarian Coordinator for the UN Mission in the country. South Sudan continues [...]

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Benefits of mammography screening outweigh adverse effects

Mammography screening. OPS-OMS/Sebastián Oliel

A new study shows that the benefits of mammography screening outweigh adverse effects for women aged 50 to 69 years old. A group of 29 independent international experts recently assessed both the cancer-preventive and adverse effects of various methods of screening for breast cancer. The study was convened by the International Agency for Research on [...]

3 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

IKEA and FAO join forces for sustainable forest management in Viet Nam

FAO has teamed up with IKEA to launch a new initiative aimed at promoting the sustainable management of forest plantations in Viet Nam. Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano (file)

The Scandinavian furniture retailer IKEA and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have teamed up to promote the sustainable management of forest plantations in Viet Nam. The new initiative, which aims to empower forest-reliant communities was launched on Wednesday with the signing of a cooperation agreement. Stephanie Coutrix reports. The two partners will begin [...]

3 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

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The Central African Republic has been suffering a devastating humanitarian crisis, with more than half of the population – 2.7 million people – needing aid. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes

External Independent Review of allegations of sexual abuse in CAR An External Independent Review is being set up to examine the UN system's handling of recent serious allegations of sexual abuse against children in the Central African Republic. The children were allegedly abused by foreign troops not under the authority of the UN. A statement [...]

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Support of world's media crucial to fight terrorism

Jeffrey Feltman. UN Photo/Loey Felipe (file)

The international community needs the support of the world's media to help prevent violent extremism. That was the message shared by the UN's top political affairs official, Jeffrey Feltman, who was speaking on Wednesday at an Arab Media Forum at UN Headquarters. The event focused on the role of media in combating terrorism. Stephanie Coutrix [...]

3 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"50% chance" of Ebola returning to West Africa

Peter Jan Graaff, UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for UNMEER.  UN Photo/Loey Felipe (file)

The likelihood of the deadly Ebola virus re-emerging in West Africa has been put at around 50 per cent by the United Nations. Over 11,000 people have died in an outbreak of the disease mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Liberia has been declared Ebola-free and cases have been declining in the two other [...]

3 Jun 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Philippines urged to tackle "chronic" prison overcrowding

The United Nations torture prevention body is urging the Philippines to deal urgently with prison overcrowding. UN Photo (file)

The Government of the Philippines has been urged by the UN torture prevention body to deal urgently with prison overcrowding. The Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) has also called on the country to improve the monitoring of places of detention to protect people against torture and cruel treatment. Stephanie Coutrix reports. The call [...]

3 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Child victims of violence rarely have access to justice

Child victims of violence rarely have access to justice, UNICEF says. Photo: UNICEF/Bulgaria/Holt

Most child victims of violence in parts of Europe and Asia find themselves unable to speak up or file charges in court, according to a new regional report launched by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday. Entitled "Children's Equitable Access to Justice in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia", the report sheds light [...]

3 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Cameroon beset by Boko Haram "hit-and-run" violence

Refugees from Central African Republic have been told they can no longer vote in presidential elections later this year. Photo: UNHCR/M.Poletto

Separatist rebels Boko Haram from Nigeria are terrorising vulnerable Cameroonians and "regrouping" for fresh attacks, the UN's resident humanitarian coordinator in Cameroon said on Wednesday. Najat Rochdi said the Nigerian rebels have crossed into Cameroon, kidnapping children and burning crops "whenever they can" in the far north of the country. Amid fears of a serious [...]

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

Malaria issue taken to Canadian and European parliamentarians

Children surrounded by protective malaria net in the Dominican Republic. Photo: WHO/PAHO

Political leadership is needed to fight malaria which continues to kill over half a million people worldwide, but mainly in Africa. That's according to Herve Verhoosel, the New York Representative of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership which was launched by UN agencies and the World Bank in 1998. As part of the effort against the [...]

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

Labour experts focus on boosting small businesses

Opening Session of the 104th International Labour Conference. Photo: ILO/Pouteau/Crozet

Labour experts from around the world are spending the next two weeks focusing on how to boost the success of small and medium-sized enterprises or SMEs. They're meeting at the UN's International Labour Conference currently underway in Geneva. With two-thirds of the world's workers employed in SMEs, policies to bolster their success is a priority [...]

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

"Arab Idol" joins call for a better future in Gaza

Singer Mohammad Assaf crossed from Gaza to Egypt before going on to win the TV talent show in 2013. He's now Goodwill Ambassador for UNWRA. Photo: UNRWA

Mohammed Assaf might not be a household name in the West, but to millions of people in the Middle East, he's a hero. That's because the 25-year-old singer risked everything when he escaped from Gaza to take part in Arab Idol, a, Egyptian TV talent show, which he ended up winning. Now a Goodwill Ambassador [...]

3 Jun 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 2 June 2015 (PM)

More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and the DRC. Photo: UNHCR/F. Scoppa

Consultations in Burundi aim to resume political dialogue Consultations are taking place in Burundi between the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Great Lakes and Burundian stakeholders, with a view to resuming the consultative political dialogue. Civil unrest broke out in the capital Bujumbura in April following the President's announcement to run for a third [...]

2 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Progress reported in cutting number of hungry people by half in Africa

Africa has made progress in cutting the number of hungry people, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Photo: FAO/Olivier Asselin

Africa has made progress in cutting the number of hungry people, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In its first edition of the Regional Overview of Food Insecurity in Africa, FAO says that West Africa in particular made notable strides, reducing the prevalence of undernourishment by 60 per cent. Bukar Tijani is [...]

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

UN Daily News 2 June 2015

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News and features from United Nations Radio.

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Daily News 2 June 2015

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Daily News from United Nations Radio.

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News in Brief 2 June 2015 (AM)

Since the start of 2015, 26 aid workers have been killed in Afghanistan. Photo: UNAMA (file)

"Appalling" murder of nine aid workers in Afghanistan The murder of nine aid workers in Afghanistan serving the non-profit "People in Need" has been described as "appalling" by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the country. Mark Bowden on Tuesday issued a statement following the attack on their compound in Zari district. No party has reportedly [...]

2 Jun 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Human rights gains in Afghanistan "will be sustained"

Georgette Gagnon, Director of Human Rights, UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). UN Photo/Mark Garten (file)

Gains made in the protection of human rights in Afghanistan "will be sustained" according to the outgoing director of rights issues at the UN mission in the country, UNAMA. Georgette Gagnon is leaving the country after five years. She's warning that, despite those gains, security, political and economic challenges continue to pose a threat to [...]

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

Gains made to end Ebola could be lost unless job completed

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

Gains made fighting the Ebola outbreak could be lost unless the job is completed. That's the message of caution the UN Secretary-General said he was delivering to the international community on Tuesday, at a General Assembly meeting in New York. More than 11,000 people have died from the highly infectious disease since it began to [...]

2 Jun 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Ebola outbreak in West Africa "not yet over", says UN envoy

Dr David Nabarro, Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Ebola. UN File Photo/Loey Felipe (file)

The deadly Ebola outbreak which killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa is not yet over, according to the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Ebola. The number of cases has dropped dramatically but the three most affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are now feeling the economic fall-out. Dr David Nabarro recently attended [...]

2 Jun 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

"Political failure" is reason why UNRWA exists

The Long Journey of Palestine Refugees. Photo: UNRWA/Mia Grondahl (2002)

Political failure accounts for the existence of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was on Tuesday speaking at an event to mark the 65th anniversary of the UN agency which he described as a "lifeline" to millions of Palestinians. UNRWA says they face numerous [...]

2 Jun 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

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