Home » 31 Jul 2015 Entries posted on “July 2015”

Ebola crisis impedes over 70,000 birth records in Liberia

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

More than 70,000 unregistered babies born during the deadly Ebola outbreak in Liberia will receive birth certificates thanks to a national registration drive supported by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The new identity documents will make it easier for the children to obtain basic health and social services, and reduce their risk of being trafficked [...]

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

News in Brief 31 July 2015 (PM)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday. UN Photo.

  UN chief condemns "murder" of Palestinian child The perpetrators behind an arson attack in the West Bank which killed a Palestinian child and severely wounded his family must promptly be brought to justice, the UN Secretary-General has said. Ban Ki-moon condemned what he characterized as the "murder" of Ali Dawbsha who burned to death [...]

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Ebola response mission closes although crisis not over yet

Fatoumata Lejeune. Photo: UNifeed

"Considerable progress" has been made in combating the deadly Ebola disease in West Africa but the UN remains steadfast in its commitment to getting to zero cases. That's according to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who officially closed the UN's emergency response mission in the region, UNMEER, on Friday. More than 11,000 people died in [...]

31 Jul 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Sustainable agriculture could increase yields" by up to 500 per cent"

Members of the Cooperative Agriculture Maraicher for Boulbi, water and hoe their vegetable fields in Kieryaghin village, Burkina Faso. Photo: Dominic Chavez/World Bank

Crop yields in Africa could be increased by up to 500 per cent if farmers use what's been called an eco-system based or EBA approach to agriculture; that's according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). EBA promotes the sustainable use of land and discourages deforestation and the overuse of fertilisers to increase yields. UNEP is [...]

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

News in Brief 31 July 2015 (AM)

The Ebola vaccine is administered to a participant in the trial in Guinea. Photo: WHO/S. Hawkey

Ebola vaccine trial a "promising development" Analysis that shows an Ebola vaccine trial has been highly effective is "an extremely promising development," according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Preliminary results on the vaccine, known as VSV-EBOV, were published on Friday in the medical journal The Lancet. WHO said while the vaccine shows 100 per [...]

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UN Daily News 31 July 2015

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UN Ebola mission officially ends

The World Health Organization (WHO) has around 2,000 people under observation in Guinea and Sierra Leone.  Photo: WHO/P. Haughton

A United Nations operation to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has completed its objectives, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon on Friday announced the official end of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). The World Health Organization (WHO) will now spearhead the organization's response to the virus, which has killed [...]

31 Jul 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Death of Palestinian child in arson attack a "terrorist crime"

Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov. UN File Photo/Devra Berkowitz

An arson attack which killed a Palestinian toddler and severely injured his family has been condemned as a "terrorist crime" by the UN envoy for the Middle East Peace Process. Nickolay Mladenov said he was outraged by the incident, which occurred early on Friday in the village of Duma in the Occupied West Bank. The [...]

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

Liberia gears up for post-Ebola birth registration drive

Over 70,000 births were not registered during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia putting these children at risk. Photo: UNICEFLiberia/S.Grile

Liberia is facing the challenge of registering more than 70,000 children whose births were not recorded as a result of an outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease across West Africa. The UN children's agency, UNICEF, said the crisis caused many health facilities to close or reduce their services, resulting in a nearly 40 per cent drop [...]

31 Jul 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Emergency medical supplies reaching pregnant woman in Yemen

WHO mobile teams in Alluhaya district of Hodeida, Yemen, delivering health services. Photo: WHO Yemen

Life-saving equipment and medical supplies from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) are arriving in Yemen to help pregnant women in the war-torn country deliver their babies safely. An estimated 470,000 women trapped by the conflict are pregnant and 70,000 of them may experience complications such as infection, miscarriage, abortion as well as rape over the [...]

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

Afghan women need greater participation in the peace process

More women should have a greater role in the Afghan peace process. Photo: UNAMA

Encouraging Afghan women to join the peace process requires safer work conditions and an equal right to participate in political issues. That's according to Huma Khan who is part of the gender equality team at the UN mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA. Civil rights advocates have been meeting in the capital, Kabul, to discuss a range [...]

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

News in Brief 30 July 2015 (PM)

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

UN envoy meets with congressmen and armed groups in Libya The UN Special Representative in Libya, Bernardino León, has met with a delegation from Azzawiya, a port city in the northwest, to discuss the next steps in the country's political dialogue. Members of the House of Representatives, the municipality and revolutionaries have stressed their full [...]

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Women: focus on reproductive health, peace and a multilingual competition

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

Emergency medical supplies reaching pregnant woman in Yemen Life-saving equipment and medical supplies from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) are arriving in Yemen to help pregnant women in the war-torn country deliver their babies safely. An estimated 470,000 women trapped by the conflict are pregnant and 70,000 of them may experience complications such as infection, [...]

30 Jul 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan and Mandela Prize

Stephen O'Brien (center right) tours a Protection of Civilians site in South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS/JC McIlwaine

UN Humanitarian Coordinator makes the case for peace in South Sudan South Sudan's leaders have been urged by the UN Humanitarian Affairs chief to pursue peace and to allow aid workers to perform their tasks in safety. Stephen O'Brien recently visited a UN-run camp in the town of Bentiu, in Unity State, where up to [...]

30 Jul 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

General Assembly adopts resolution on wildlife trafficking

African elephants are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as the animals are poached for their ivory tusks. Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Peter Prokosch

The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution to combat wildlife trafficking. It calls for effective measures to prevent and counter the problem of crimes that have an impact on the environment, particularly illicit trafficking in wildlife and wildlife products. According to the UN, wildlife crime has transformed into one of the largest [...]

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

UN Calling Asia: focus on human rights, climate change and public-private partnerships

Coastal erosion remains a critical environmental issue for many of the islands in the Maldives. Photo: UNDP Maldives/Ahmed Yaamin

Sanctions on Iran need phasing out, says expert The time has come for “phasing out” sanctions on Iran in order to protect the most vulnerable members of society, a leading human rights investigator has said. Idriss Jazairy, who’s the UN’s first independent expert on human rights and sanctions, insisted that in Iran’s case, punitive measures alone [...]

30 Jul 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

UN Daily News 30 July 2015

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Small island developing states detail peace and security woes

Climate change poses a threat to survival in the Southwest Pacific, and in most of the small islands around the globe. Photo: FAO/Sue Price

The big issues facing small island developing states (SIDS) were the focus of debate in the UN Security Council on Thursday. These challenges include tackling climate change, combatting transnational organized crime and meeting development goals. Although they comprise less than 40 countries, SIDS span from the Caribbean to Africa and the Pacific. They are also [...]

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

News in Brief 30 July 2015 (AM)

Palestine refugee from Syria in Jordan. © 2015 UNRWA Photo

Palestinian refugees from Syria living in Jordan receiving support from EU The European Union (EU) has donated US$ 2.2 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to support emergency response for Palestinian refugees from Syria living in Jordan. UNRWA said the donation will help preserve the resilience and mitigate the vulnerability of the [...]

30 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Nepali families unknowingly send their children to child traffickers

© UNICEF Nepal/2015/Newar

Lured by promises of education and health care, families affected by the earthquake in Nepal are unknowingly sending their children to facilities which exploit them. Youths are also being lured by traffickers who offer fake opportunities to work abroad. That's according to Virginia Perez, Chief of Child Protection in Nepal for the UN children's agency, [...]

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

Food distributions begin in Yemeni port city of Aden

These food items are ready for distribution at the warehouses of a World Food Programme (WFP) local partner SHS in Aden, Yemen, after being moved from ships that began reaching the port on July 21. Photo: WFP/Ammar Bamatraf

Around 340,000 people in eight of the worst-affected areas of the southern Yemeni port city of Aden have begun receiving food from the UN World Food Programme (WFP). On Thursday, the agency announced it is distributing two-month food rations to locations which have not been reached since April due to conflict. Fighting between a Saudi-led [...]

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

Iraqi journalists' "heinous" killing prompts call for justice

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova condemned the killing of two Iraqi journalists in separate incidents in the north of Iraq. Photo: UN

The reported killing of two Iraqi journalists by extremists has been condemned by the head of UNESCO, the UN's cultural agency. Newspaper editor Suahaa Ahmed Radhi and cameraman Jalaa Al-Abadi were targeted in separate incidents involving militants, UNESCO said Thursday. In a statement, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called for the killers to be brought to [...]

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

Economic growth predicted at 0.5% in Latin America and Caribbean

The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) holds press conference at its headquarters in Santiago, Chile, to launch the Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2015. Photo: ECLAC/Carlos Vera

Economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean will average out at half a per cent in 2015, according to  the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Growth is expected in Central America and Mexico as well as the Caribbean but economies are expected to contract in South America. The economic [...]

30 Jul 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Thai student says language is "key to understanding different cultures"

Siwathep Singh Khanderpor speaking at the Global Youth Forum on Multilingualism. Photo: UN Web TV

A medical student from Thailand who's studying at a university in China says the only way to understand another culture is through its language. Siwathep Singh Khanderpor, known as "Thep," is living proof of his mother's belief that if you speak one language, you're one person, but if you speak more than one language, then [...]

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

Trafficking: extreme rights abuses are still tolerated, says expert

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is marked on 30 July. Photo: UNODC campaign image #igivehope.

Human trafficking is a growing global problem which requires a fundamental shift in policy if the terrible exploitation it causes is to be stopped, a top human rights expert said Thursday. Speaking on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons marked annually on 30 July, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro said that more than a decade of trying to [...]

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

Russia vetoes resolution to create tribunal for downing of MH17

The Security Council met in New York on Wednesday. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Russia has vetoed a resolution of the UN Security Council aiming to establish an international tribunal to persecute persons responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The plane was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam on 17 July 2014 when it crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people. An investigation by the [...]

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

Somali economy "growing rapidly"

Livestock is one of the main drivers of Somalia's economic growth. File Photo: AU-UN IST/Stuart Price

Somalia's economy is on track to grow 2.7 per cent in 2015, according to the first review of the nation's economic well-being in 26 years. The review by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) describes the progress the Horn of Africa country has made towards rebuilding its institutions and restoring normalcy after more than two decades [...]

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

News in Brief 29 July 2015 (PM)

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

West Bank building condemned by UN chief The decision by Israel to approve the construction of some 300 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Beit El has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. The planning and construction of nearly 500 housing units in a number of settlements in East Jerusalem has also been [...]

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UN Daily News 29 July 2015

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New report on how to make gender equality a reality

UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri speaking at the launch event for UN Women's flagship report in New York, earlier this year. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

A new report has been launched by the UN agency for gender equality, UN Women, which discusses how to transform economies to realize women's rights. The study entitled "Progress of the World's Women" unveils new policies to make gender equality a reality. It calls on the global community to imagine that at the current pace [...]

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

News in Brief 29 July 2015 (AM)

Security Council meeting: The situation in Cyprus. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Renewal of two peacekeeping mandates by UN Security Council The mandates of the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and Iraq have been renewed by the UN Security Council, for a period of six months and one year respectively. Members of the Council said they welcomed the resumption of negotiations to reach an agreement on [...]

29 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Developing countries to lead global population growth

The number of people living on the planet is expected to rise from just over seven billion today to 8.5 billion by 2030. UN Photo/World Population Report

The number of people living on the planet is expected to rise from just over seven billion today to 8.5 billion by 2030, the UN announced on Wednesday. Most of this growth will be concentrated in a handful of countries, the majority of them in Africa, according to the latest report by the UN Department [...]

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

Political solution only way to end Syrian crisis and ISIL advance

Syrian refugees arrive across the border into Jordan. File Photo: UNHCR/A. Harper

The crisis in Syria has to come to an end as no one is benefiting from the violence except terrorists, according to the UN envoy for the country. Staffan de Mistura said the ongoing fighting—which has killed more than 250,000 people and created a massive humanitarian crisis— has only resulted in fatigue on the part [...]

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

Way forward to end Syria conflict outlined by UN

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

A plan to reach a political solution to end the conflict in Syria has been outlined by the United Nations. On Wednesday, senior UN officials briefed the Security Council on a proposal which they said "all parties claim to support". At least a quarter-million people have been killed in the civil war in Syria over [...]

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

“Constructive engagement” way forward for human rights in Belarus

Sanaka Samarasinha, UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus. Photo: UNDP

The human rights situation in Belarus remains a concern for the United Nations, but "constructive engagement" is the way forward, according to the UN's senior representative in the country. A UN independent expert said earlier this year that the past two decades there have been characterized by a systemic denial of human rights to citizens. [...]

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

Sanctions on Iran and Cuba need phasing out, says expert

Idriss Jazairy, the UN's first independent expert on human rights and sanctions, said it was rarely the elite who suffer from punitive measures. Photo: UN

The time has come for a "phasing out" of sanctions on Cuba and Iran to protect the most vulnerable members in society, a leading human rights investigator said Wednesday. Idriss Jazairy, who's the UN's first independent expert on human rights and sanctions, insisted that in Iran's case, punitive measures alone had not forced the country [...]

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

Multilingualism "catalyst" for achieving sustainable development

Likki-Lee Pitzen, winner of UN-backed essay competition

Greater emphasis should be placed on nurturing multilingual students, according to a winner of a UN-backed essay competition entitled "Many Languages One World." Students from around the world submitted papers on the post-2015 development agenda of the United Nations; those papers had to be written in a language other than their mother tongue. Masters student [...]

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

Better cattle breeding through nuclear science

Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania. Photo: IAEA/Louise Potterton

Cattle breeders around the world have been trained in a process which can detect if artificial insemination has worked at an early stage. The procedure has proved to be a good way to get better quality and healthier livestock. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has worked with breeders in the use of a nuclear [...]

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

News in Brief 28 July 2015 (PM)

Shrapnel from exploded artillery shells in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen. Photo: UNICEF/Mohamed Hamoud

Largest single attack in Yemen kills 55 civilians The largest single attack in Yemen since the escalation of the conflict in March has killed at least 55 civilians, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The attack took place in Al Mukha District in the Taizz Governorate. WHO says the number of deaths is likely [...]

28 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Security Council resolution reflects "strong commitment" to Somalia

The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2232 (2015), authorizing the African Union to maintain deployment of its Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) until 30 May 2016. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

A resolution affirming the international community's commitment to peace and reconciliation in Somalia was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council on Tuesday. The resolution sought to maintain the UN and African Union presence in the country, and stressed the importance of strengthening the national security forces. Dianne Penn reports. The 15 Security Council members [...]

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

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Syria crisis a "shameful blot on the world's humanitarian conscience"

Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in Syria. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The Syrian crisis is "the most acute, unrelenting and shameful blot on the world's humanitarian conscience." That's what UN humanitarian affairs chief Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council on Tuesday. He urged the international community to show the Syrian people that they have not been forgotten. Dianne Penn reports. Mr O'Brien said a political solution [...]

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

News in Brief 28 July 2015 (AM)

Thousands of people, mainly women and children, are scattered across the arid land of Nguigimi, Niger, after fleeing Boko Haram violence in Nigeria. Photo: WFP Niger/Vigno Hounkanli,

Continued threat of Boko Haram terrorists of concern to UN Security Council Concern at the continued threat posed to international peace and security by the terrorist group Boko Haram was expressed by the UN Security Council on Tuesday. The message was delivered in a statement by the Ambassador of New Zealand, who is acting as [...]

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Increase in vulnerable refugees in Jordan seeking shelter in camps

View over Za'atari Refugee Camp in Jordan housing over 80,000 Syrian Refugees. This Wednesday marks three years since it was set up. Photo: UNHCR/C. Herwig

Refugees living in Jordan have become increasingly vulnerable as their savings are depleting after years in exile, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). As a result, there has been a very large increase in the number of refugees seeking shelter in camps across the country. Meanwhile, Jordan's Zaatari camp, the largest in the Middle [...]

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

Reports of "violent clampdown" on people fleeing ISIL in Iraq

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. UN File Photo

Reports suggesting a violent clampdown on people attempting to flee ISIL-controlled areas in Iraq have been received by the UN human rights office (OHCHR). It appears that civilians have been attempting to escape the terrorist group by taking a very difficult journey through the Hamrin mountain chain in the north east of the country. At [...]

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

Palestine refugee agency facing unprecedented financial crisis

UNRWA is facing an unprecedented financial crisis which could force Palestinian children across the Middle East out of school. File Photo: UNRWA

The UN agency that works with Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, will delay opening its schools in the region for the first time if it fails to raise more than $100 million in the next few weeks. An emergency session with UNRWA's main donors and host governments on Monday has not led to an increase in incoming [...]

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

Drug firms urged to help stem killer meningitis outbreak

The UN health agency says access to diagnosis and treatment for hepatitis remains a key challenge in many parts of the world. Photo: WHO

A global shortage of vaccines against the killer meningitis disease could result in a large outbreak in Africa, the UN said Tuesday. The warning comes amid a resurgence of meningitis C in Sub-Saharan Africa which has not been seen since the 1970s. Niger and Nigeria are in the grip of the latest outbreak, with 12,000 [...]

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

Unsafe jabs targeted in new push against hepatitis

Unsterilised needles are a major cause of infection which people need to be made aware of, WHO says. Photo: UN/Marie Frechon

The risk of dying from the hepatitis virus has been cut massively in some parts of the world, but it remains a major threat in others, UN experts said Thursday. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hepatitis B and C are responsible for 80 per cent of all deaths from liver cancer and kill [...]

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

Millions suffer from poor diet and fewer meals in strife-torn South Sudan

FAO says 4.6 million people in South Sudan are at risk of hunger. FAO File Photo/C. Spencer

People in South Sudan cannot afford a balanced diet and regular meals due to the ongoing fighting in the country, according to the UN food agency. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says 4.6 million people are at risk of hunger and some households are surviving on limited food sources. Sebit William has been speaking [...]

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

News in Brief 27 July 2015 (PM)

UNRWA holds emergency session of donors and hosts do discuss the agency's financial situation. Photo: UNRWA

Funding shortfall may delay opening of Palestinian schools Half a million children may not start school on time this year in the Occupied Palestinian Territory due to a severe funding shortage at the UN agency which supports Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. The agency said it is facing a US$101 million deficit this year, which it called [...]

27 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Harrowing" situation for people in Aden, Yemen

Abdallah and his six-year-old son stand in what used to be the entrance of their home, in Sana'a's Bayt Mayad neighbourhood. Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans

The situation for people living in the Yemeni port city of Aden has been described as "harrowing" by the top United Nations relief official in the country. An intensification of violence and conflict over the past four months has devastated the city and destroyed the lives and livelihoods of the majority of its people. Johannes [...]

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

Elections in Burundi "not conducive to credible electoral process"

A soldier stands guard during elections in Burundi. File Photo: MENUB

The overall environment during presidential elections in Burundi was not conducive to an inclusive, free and credible electoral process, according to the UN Electoral Observation Mission in the country (MENUB). On Monday, the mission presented its preliminary conclusions on the conduct of the 21 July elections which took place after being postponed twice. In April, [...]

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

Positive tone set in Cyprus reunification talks

Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide. UN File Photo/Loey Felipe

The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities have set a positive tone for full-fledged reunification talks, according to a senior UN official. The United Nations has been working to bridge differences on the divided island of Cyprus since 1964. The UN's special adviser to the country, Espen Barth Eide, said the recent [...]

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

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A street scene in Mogadishu, the Somali capital. Photo: AU-UN IST (file) /Stuart Price

Terrorist attack in Somalia condemned by UN A terrorist attack on the Jazeera Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, which resulted in several deaths and injuries, has been condemned by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the country. Nicholas Kay said the killers will not succeed in impeding the progress being made by the Somali [...]

27 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Addis Ababa Action Agenda endorsed by UN General Assembly

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the General Assembly on the Consideration of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A new plan to end extreme poverty has been endorsed by the UN General Assembly. On Monday, the UN Secretary-General said the Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides a new framework for financing sustainable development. This agenda is the outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, a four-day meeting which took place [...]

27 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Sustainable Development Goals, Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Today's News | Read More »

States urged to end trauma of forcible returns

Chairperson of the UN Committee Against Torture, Claudio Grossman. Photo: UN

The issue of states which refuse to shelter vulnerable refugees or migrants came under the UN spotlight at a high-level human rights hearing on Monday. The practice, which is known as refoulement, is just one of several topics up for discussion by the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT), which meets in Geneva. Daniel Johnson has [...]

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

"Catastrophic" humanitarian consequences in Yemen

The World Health Organization (WHO) delivering water to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Al-Dhalea governorate, Yemen. WHO Yemen File Photo

The humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Yemen have been described as "catastrophic" by a top UN official. Johannes Van Der Klaauw, who is the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Middle Eastern country, said the conflict has devastated the city of Aden and destroyed the lives and livelihoods of the majority of Yemenis. An estimated 23,000 [...]

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

Prevention is the watch word for head of UN force in Lebanon

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeepers patrolling in armored personnel carriers in Southern Lebanon.  UN Photo/Jorge Aramburu

For nearly 40 years, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been monitoring cessation of hostilities between that country and Israel. The force's mandate was expanded under Security Council resolution 1701 in the wake of the 2006 war between Israel and the outlawed group Hizbollah. Major General Luciano Portolano of Italy is the chief [...]

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

Closing the gender gap in Maldives

A woman from the Island of Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll Thinadhoo Island on her way to collect water with her two grandchildren. Photo: UNDP Maldives/Ni Jin

The gender gap is closing in Maldives, albeit slowly, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The Indian Ocean country has achieved gender parity in primary education while more girls are enrolling in higher levels of schooling. However, women's political participation remains a challenge as they make up only six per cent of politicians. Dianne [...]

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

Life as an Indian in Haiti

Traffic in Port-au-Prince. For Mr Ranganath, the traffic in the Haitian capital reminds him of India. MINUSTAH File Photo

As an Indian living in Haiti, Prasad Ranganath feels it is very important that he preserve some of the traditions from back home. When he arrived three and half years ago to work for the UN's local radio station as a broadcast technician, he says he had no idea what to expect about his new [...]

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

Iraqi student praises the power of multiculturalism

Wide view of the General Assembly Hall during an event honouring the 70 winners of the United Nations-sponsored Many Languages, One World, contest . UN Photo/Bo Li

When Ahmed Fahad left Iraq two years ago to pursue a PhD in the United States, he had what he described as "scary expectations." However, strong English language skills and a belief in what he called "the multicultural sense of communication" helped the father of three to survive. Ahmed was one of 70 students from [...]

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

News in Brief 24 July 2015 (PM)

Three months after a devastating earthquake hit Nepal, hundreds of thousands of survivors continue to rely on humanitarian assistance. Photo: OCHA

70,000 affected by flooding in Myanmar Heavy seasonal rains have caused flooding throughout the Sagaing region of Myanmar, the UN humanitarian office, OCHA, has said. 70,000 people have been affected by the floods in 11 townships. Nine people have died and more than 12,000 houses damaged. Food, water and other basic necessities are being provided [...]

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Former Portuguese President honoured for democracy activism

Jorge Sampaio speaking at the UN Awards First-Ever Mandela Prize event.
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Former Portuguese president Jorge Sampaio has been honoured by the United Nations for his decades of public service to the international community. Mr Sampaio is one of the recipients of the first UN Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize, named after the first democratically elected leader of South Africa. Also receiving the award is Dr Helena Ndume, [...]

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

UN Daily News 24 July 2015

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Case for peace in South Sudan made by humanitarian chief

Stephen O'Brien (center right) tours a Protection of Civilians site in South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS/JC McIlwaine

South Sudan's leaders have been urged by the UN Humanitarian Affairs chief to pursue peace and to allow aid workers to perform their tasks in safety. Stephen O'Brien on Friday visited a UN-run camp in the town of Bentiu, in Unity State, where up to 1,000 people are arriving each day to escape ongoing violence. [...]

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

Malaria vaccine hailed as potential major milestone in global fight

Malaria is caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through mosquito bites. WHO File Photo

A new malaria vaccine that could change the way the disease is confronted is a potential "major milestone" in public health, the UN's health agency said on Friday. The World Health Organization (WHO) made the announcement after the vaccine received a positive assessment from the European drug-testing agency EMA. WHO estimates that more than half [...]

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

European Union urged to help Greece with refugee crisis

Two boys rest next to their tent outside the screening centre at Moria. Refugees and migrants live in tents until there is space available to accommodate them inside the centre. Photo: UNHCR/S.Baltagiannis

The European Union has been urged by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to do more to help Greece with an influx of people. Around 100,000 refugees have arrived in Greece so far this year, the majority from Syria. Daniel Dickinson reports UNHCR said it was extremely concerned by developments in Greece, adding that the situation [...]

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

News in Brief 24 July 2015 (AM)

Hospital in Somalia. UN File Photo/Tobin Jones

Somalia facing cuts in health services Somalia is facing cuts in health services due to a lack of international funding, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. The agency said that over the past three months, at least 10 hospitals in the Horn of Africa country have either been closed or have majorly curtailed their [...]

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Top rights official "did not resign over abuse claims"

Flavia Pansieri had emergency eye surgery earlier this month, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said. Photo: Jean-Marc Ferré

Questions over the UN's handling of abuse allegations about peacekeeping troops in Africa had nothing to do with the recent resignation of a high-profile official, the UN's human rights chief insisted Friday. Dismissing media "insinuation" surrounding the departure of Flavia Pansieri – the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights – her boss Zeid Ra'ad Al [...]

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

Yemen schoolchildren “write on ground” amid shortages

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

Around 1.8 million children have had their schooling interrupted by fighting in Yemen and some youngsters are trying to write on the ground amid shortages, the UN children's agency UNICEF said Friday. Citing months of intensive bombardment and street fighting in the Arabian peninsula country that have killed 365 children since late March, the humanitarian [...]

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

More global action needed to thwart foreign terrorist fighters

Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Approximately 20,000 foreign combatants are fighting for extremist groups in conflicts such as the ongoing crisis in Syria. That's according to the Counter-Terrorism Committee which was established by the UN Security Council. The Committee is meeting on Monday in Madrid, Spain, on strategies to address the threat presented by foreign terrorist fighters. Carlota Fluxa spoke [...]

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

Namibian eye doctor honoured for fighting blindness

2015 UN Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize Laureates Helena Ndume. UN Photo/Ryan Brown and Helena Ndume

An eye doctor from Namibia who has provided no-cost treatment to more than 30,000 people is a recipient of the first United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize. Dr Helena Ndume originally wanted to be a fashion designer but switched to ophthalmology because her country had a greater need for doctors. The prize, which is named [...]

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

Envoy calls for decisive action to save two-State solution

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process Nickolay Mladenov briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Decisive action and a fundamental change in policy are needed to reverse the growing perception that the two-State solution is on life support, the UN's Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told the Security Council on Thursday. Nickolay Mladenov welcomed Israel's decision to increase work permits for Palestinians in the West Bank, but [...]

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

Women: focus on local politics, migrant workers and the gender gap in Maldives

Women-Baudouine-Kamatari-350x300

Reforms give Haitian women greater role in local politics New legislative changes and a more open public debate are helping women in Haiti secure a greater role as decision-makers in local government. That's according to Baudouine Kamatari, who works as a senior gender advisor with the UN's mission in the country, MINUSTAH. Around six million [...]

23 Jul 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Remittances from Europe could transform rural communities

Money from migrant workers in Europe could transform rural communities back home. Photo: IFAD video caption

Migrant workers in Europe sent nearly $110 billion to their home countries last year, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). With 40 per cent of that amount going to rural areas, IFAD says remittances can play a role in transforming vulnerable communities. The UN fund has launched a report which recommends reducing [...]

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

UN and Africa: focus on human rights, bird flu and armed groups in DRC

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the world's inability to act on Syria was "utterly shamerful". Photo: UN

Rights chief hails trial of Chad's former dictator Habré The news that Chad’s former dictator Hissène Habré is to stand trial for crimes against humanity has been called a “milestone for justice in Africa.” Habré’s trial is being held at a special court in Senegal where he faces charges relating to his eight-year rule from [...]

23 Jul 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on Indonesia, Papua New Guinea entrepeneurs and Indian traditions

A scavenger picks through garbage in a low-income neighbourhood of Jakarta, Indonesia. World Bank File Photo/Farhana Asnap

The challenge of reducing Indonesia's "pockets of poverty" Reducing poverty in Indonesia by helping up to 80 million people who live on under US$2 a day remains the key challenge for Indonesian authorities, a UN aid expert said last week. Although the Asian country is seeing massive economic prosperity, “pockets of poverty” remain hard to [...]

23 Jul 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

News in Brief 23 July 2015 (PM)

Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria. Photo: UN / Jean-Marc Ferre

Talks with Syrian ministers take place ahead of key international meeting Preparations are continuing for a key UN Security Council debate on Syria slated for next week. The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, visited the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Thursday, the latest stop in the region on his round of talks with [...]

23 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

France urged to bring African abuse troops to trial

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

A top UN human rights committee has urged France to ensure that those responsible for alleged abuse against minors in the Central African Republic are brought to trial. The recommendation is among those issued by the committee which has just finished assessing how the French state and six other UN member nations apply international human [...]

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

Daily News 23 July 2015

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"Sanctity of life paramount" says humanitarian chief

Stephen O'Brien arrived Wednesday in South Sudan, for a four-day visit to the country. Photo: UNMISS

Civilians in South Sudan need to be protected as a priority against the ongoing violence in the country, according to the UN humanitarian chief. Government forces continue to battle rebels backing the former Vice-President, Riek Machar. Two million people have been driven from their homes since the conflict erupted in December 2013. Ana Carmo reports [...]

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

News in Brief 23 July 2015 (AM)

Burundians voted on 21 July 2015 in presidential elections. Photo: UN Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB)

"Broadly peaceful" elections in Burundi welcomed Presidential elections in Burundi have been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General as "broadly peaceful." Burundians went to the polls on Tuesday with President Pierre Nkurunziza making a bid for a controversial third term. An estimated 144,000 people have fled the country as a result of pre-election violence. The Secretary-General [...]

23 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Agricultural sector "decimated" in Syria

The ongoing conflict in Syria has pushed more than half the population into hunger and poverty. Photo: WFP File Photo/Abeer Etefa

The ongoing conflict in Syria has pushed more than half the population into hunger and poverty, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP). Five years of fighting has decimated the country's agriculture sector and caused food prices to rise, the agencies say in a joint report released [...]

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

Reforms give Haitian women greater role in local politics

Baudouine Kamatari, senior gender advisor for the UN's mission in the country, MINUSTAH. Photo: UN Radio/Eleutério Guevane

New legislative changes and a more open public debate are helping women in Haiti secure a greater role as decision-makers in local government. That's according to Baudouine Kamatari, who works as a senior gender advisor with the UN's mission in the country, (MINUSTAH). Around six million Haitians are expected to go to the polls starting [...]

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

Foreign fighters pose human rights concerns at home and abroad

Some light and heavy weapons. UN File Photo/S. Waak

As many as 20,000 foreign combatants from 80 countries are fighting in Syria, Iraq and other conflict areas, according to a UN expert group. While most of these fighters are motivated by ideological reasons, some are also paid for their services which is why the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries is monitoring [...]

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

Elections "complicate" political crisis in Burundi

Electoral workers conducting voter registration in Burundi, earlier in April. MENUB File Photo

Presidential elections in Burundi have complicated the political crisis in the Great Lakes country, according to a senior United Nations official in the region. Burundi has been in political turmoil ever since the incumbent President decided to run for a third term. An estimated 144,000 people have left the country since pre-election violence began in [...]

22 Jul 2015 | Posted in From the Field, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 22 July 2015 (PM)

Residents of Sana'a, capital of Yemen, collecting water at one of the few public distribution points earlier in June. Over half a million people received water from local water corporations because of diesel made available by humanitarian partners. Photo: OCHA/P. Kropf

Staple food and fuel in short supply in Yemen Wheat flour and cooking gas are in very short supply in Yemen and prices are rising beyond the reach of many people, according to the UN humanitarian office, OCHA. The price increases come against the backdrop of continuing conflict in the country. The UN and other [...]

22 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Envoy calls for continued international support for Iraq

Ján Kubiš, Special Representative the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation concerning that country. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Iraq has been living through one of the most difficult phases of its modern history, the head of the UN mission in the country told the Security Council on Wednesday. Ján Kubiš briefed the Council on how a terrorism onslaught, but also political stagnation and a grave humanitarian situation, are affecting the country. One-third of [...]

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

UN Daily News 22 July 2015

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Attack against aid convoy in CAR condemned

WFP providing lifesaving assistance to people in Central African Republic (CAR). Photo: WFP/Daouda Guirou

An attack against a food convoy in the north-west of the Central African Republic has been condemned by the UN humanitarian coordinator for the country. The driver of one truck was shot dead. Daniel Dickinson has more details. The truck convoy of 20 vehicles was carrying aid provided by the World Food Programme (WFP) for [...]

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

Record number of people sheltering in UN bases 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

A record number of people are sheltering in UN bases in South Sudan, the UN mission in the country, UNMISS, has confirmed. A total of 160,000 civilians are now accommodated in what are called Protection of Civilians sites or PoCs. Ongoing conflict in South Sudan has driven over two million people from their homes. Lucy [...]

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

Water cuts threaten 500,000 people in Aleppo

A young girl carries a jerrycan she just filled at a water tank in the Tishreen camp for displaced people in Aleppo, Syria. Photo: UNICEF/Razan Rashidi

Half a million people in war-torn Aleppo, Syria, are struggling to receive enough water to survive despite efforts to restore supplies, the UN children's agency UNICEF said Wednesday. In recent weeks, the taps have run dry in the northern city owing to fighting and frequent power cuts. That's increased fears of water-borne disease and prompted [...]

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

News in Brief 22 July 2015 (AM)

Staffan de Mistura.  UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré.

Syrian government urged to halt use of barrel bombs The Syrian government has been urged by the UN to halt the use of improvised weapons, such as barrel bombs, on its own cities. The call has come from the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, after the heavy bombardment of Zabadani, a town [...]

22 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Killing of 19 civilians in Afghanistan condemned

Special Representative for Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom. Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi

The killing of at least 19 civilians and the injuring of at least 28 others in a bomb attack in northern Afghanistan has been condemned by the UN mission in the country, (UNAMA). The bombing on Tuesday was the latest in a series of assaults on civilians, as Daniel Dickinson reports. The bomb attack took [...]

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

Zambia death sentence clemency hailed

Rights expert Christof Heyns hailed the decision but urged Zambia to vote in favour of a global moratorium banning the death penalty. Photo: UN / Yubi Hoffmann

Zambia's decision to drop death sentences for hundreds of individuals is to be welcomed but the country should consider banning the punishment altogether, leading UN human rights experts said Wednesday. UN investigators Christof Heyns and Juan Mendez made their comments after Zambia President Edgar Lungui announced that 332 inmates at a maximum security prison are [...]

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

News in Brief 21 July 2015 (PM)

More than 1,200 cholera cases, including 39 deaths, have been reported in South Sudan. WHO File Photo/Ali Ngethi

Cholera deaths in South Sudan reach 39 More than 1,200 cholera cases, including 39 deaths, have been reported in South Sudan, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. Health care providers have responded to the outbreak by setting up cholera treatment centres and oral rehydration points in the two affected counties, Juba and Bor. On [...]

21 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Food shipment for 180,000 people arrives in Yemen

The MV Han Zhi carrying enough food to feed 180,000 people for one month docked today at Aden's oil port of Al-Buraiqa. Photo: WFP/ Ammar Bamatraf

A ship carrying food which will feed 180,000 people for a month has arrived in the Yemeni port city of Aden. The World Food Programme (WFP) said it was the organization's first chartered ship to berth at the southern port since conflict erupted in Yemen in March. Daniel Dickinson reports. The MV Han Zhi with [...]

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

News in Brief 21 July 2015 (AM)

A soldier stands guard during elections in Burundi. File Photo: MENUB

UN chief calls for peaceful elections in Burundi The authorities in Burundi have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to do everything possible to ensure peaceful elections. Voters have been going to the polls on Tuesday to vote for a new President. There were reportedly shootings in Bujumbura which killed at least two people. Experts [...]

21 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 21 July 2015

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Maldives tackles climate change and gender inequality

Coastal erosion remains a critical environmental issue for many of the islands in the Maldives. Photo: UNDP Maldives/Ahmed Yaamin

Maldives is making strides in confronting challenges such as climate change and achieving gender parity, according to the UN. Located in the Indian Ocean, the island nation has been described as "ground zero" for monitoring the impact of climate change. Shoko Noda is Resident Coordinator for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Maldives. She tells [...]

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

World experiences hottest six months on record

Cooling down on a hot day in Omdurman, Sudan. Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel

The first six months of 2015 were the hottest on record, both on land and in oceans, according to data gathered by the UN's World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The overall average temperature was 0.85 degrees Celsius above the average of 15.5 degrees recorded for the 20th century Daniel Dickinson reports Most of the world’s land [...]

21 Jul 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Today's News, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Nigeria refugees head deeper into Cameroon

Refugees in Minawao camp , Cameroon, after fleeing violence by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria. WFP File Photo/Sofia Engdahl

Around 700 refugees from Nigeria, who are fleeing violent attacks in the West African country's Borno state, are arriving at a camp in Cameroon each week; that's according to the UN Refugee Agency, (UNHCR). The agency says they're seeking shelter some 100 kilometres inland at the Minawao camp. Daniel Dickinson reports. UNHCR field staff say [...]

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

Yemen death toll rises amid air strikes, mortar fire

Ethiopian migrants have been subjected to torture in Yemen by traffickers, UN-partner IOM says. Photo: IOM

Fighting in Yemen has continued with deadly attacks against residential areas, mosques and markets, the UN's human rights office, OHCHR, said Tuesday. Airstrikes, but also mortar attacks and sniper fire have been reported in the war-torn country, claiming the lives of at least 165 civilians in an 11-day period up to 15 July, OHCHR said. [...]

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

News in Brief 20 July 2015 (PM)

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

Turkey attack condemned by UN A terrorist attack in the Turkish town of Suruc which has reportedly claimed the lives of at least 28 people has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. More than a hundred others were also injured in the assault on Monday. Here's the UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq. "No cause or [...]

20 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 20 July 2015 (AM)

The Mani peninsula in the southern Peloponnese, Greece. Photo: Ari Gaitanis

Greece repays arrears to IMF Greece has repaid the totality of its arrears to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the agency has confirmed. The European country is in the grip of a financial crisis which has left it unable to pay its debts and threatened its exit from the group of countries that use the [...]

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Security Council unanimously welcomes Iran nuclear deal

The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2231, on 20 July 2015. UN Photo

The recent international agreement on Iran's nuclear programme has been unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council. Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal affirms that Iran will not seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons under any circumstances. Council members on Monday welcomed the political and diplomatic efforts leading to the [...]

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

Price of HIV early infant diagnosis reduced by 35%

UN-backed initiave announces deal to sharply lower price of HIV early infant diagnosis. UNAIDS File Photo/D. Kwande

The price of diagnosing the HIV virus in infants has been reduced by 35 per cent, the UN has announced. Half of all children born with HIV will die by the age of two and the majority will die by the age of five. Daniel Dickinson reports. The World Health Organization, (WHO) recommends that all [...]

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

19.3 million displaced by natural disaster in 2014

An child lies injured after an Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake. Photo: UN Photo/Logan Abassi

Natural disasters forced more than 19 million people from their homes in 2014 and the trend shows no signs of letting up, displacement experts said Monday. And they say that more often than not the fact that millions of lives are devastated by earthquakes and flooding is because of man-made factors, rather than Mother Nature. [...]

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

Bird flu outbreak threatens West Africa

A poultry farm in Chad, one of the countries at risk following a recent bird flu outbreak in neighbouring Nigeria. Photo: FAO/Sia Kambou

An avian influenza outbreak in five West African countries could affect the region and beyond unless "timely intervention" occurs. That warning comes from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which is appealing for $20 million to prevent the spread of the disease, commonly known as bird flu. The outbreak began last December and FAO [...]

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

Rights chief hails trial of Chad’s former dictator Habré

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. UN File Photo/Violaine Martin

The news that Chad's former dictator Hissène Habré is to stand trial for crimes against humanity has been called a "milestone for justice in Africa" by the UN's top human rights official, his office said Monday. Habré's trial is being held at a special court in Senegal where he faces charges relating to his eight-year [...]

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

The challenge of reducing Indonesia's "pockets of poverty"

A scavenger picks through garbage in a low-income neighbourhood of Jakarta, Indonesia. World Bank File Photo/Farhana Asnap

Reducing poverty in Indonesia by helping up to 80 million people who live on under US$2 a day remains the key challenge for Indonesian authorities, a UN aid expert said last week. Although the Asian country is seeing massive economic prosperity, "pockets of poverty" remain hard to reach. But tackling poverty is just one of [...]

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

Bomb attack on Iraq market a “heinous crime”

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

A "devastating" bomb attack in Iraq has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. More than 100 people reportedly died when a suicide bomber exploded a truck in a crowded market in Khan Bani Saad, a town north of the capital, Baghdad, on Friday. The Secretary-General said his thoughts and prayers are with their families and [...]

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

For Ethiopian coffee exporter, development begins with farmers

Asnakech Thomas. UN Photo/Priscilla Lecomte

An Ethiopian coffee exporter has been explaining why farmers are crucial to her country's development. Asnakech Thomas said coffee has fuelled change in her community of Amaro, about 500 km from the capital, Addis Ababa. From her family farm Ms Thomas began with a team of five coffee growers which has expanded to a district [...]

18 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

Secretary-General remembers victims of Malaysia Airlines crash

Security Council Chamber.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

The anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is a stark reminder of the "continuing dire situation" in eastern Ukraine. That was the message on Friday from the UN Secretary-General in a statement marking one year since the commercial aircraft went down in Donetsk Oblast. Ban Ki-moon said his thoughts were with the [...]

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

Eid bombings by Boko Haram in Nigeria "an assault on the beliefs of all people"

After fighting began between Nigerian forces and Boko Haram, a family from Borno state fled to Niger. Photo: UNHCR/C. Arnaud

Recent bombings by the terrorist group Boko Haram that killed more than 60 people in northeast Nigeria have been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon described the attacks, which took place at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, as "an assault on the beliefs of all people." Three girls reportedly carried out [...]

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

Elections in Haiti "major moment" for country

Jean Jackson, a law student living in Port-au-Prince, will vote for the first time in the upcoming elections in Haiti. Photo: UN Radio/Stephanie Coutrix

The electoral period in Haiti is being described by top UN officials as a major moment for the people of the Caribbean nation. Around six million Haitians are expected to vote in municipal, parliamentary and presidential elections beginning on 9 August. The UN has been working to ensure that the country's institutions can fully take [...]

17 Jul 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

"Take action, Inspire change" on Nelson Mandela International Day

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

People worldwide are being urged to take inspiration from Nelson Mandela's legacy of service to humanity. The call comes from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message for Nelson Mandela International Day, observed this Saturday. The annual celebration on 18 July commemorates the birthday of South Africa's first democratically elected president, who died two years [...]

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

News in Brief 17 July 2015

Sandra Honoré addresses the Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

  International community reaffirms commitment to Haiti ahead of elections Haiti's upcoming elections represent a "major opportunity" to reaffirm international solidarity with the country. That’s according to the head of the UN stabilization mission in the country, (MINUSTAH). Sandra Honoré was speaking in New York where Haiti's Prime Minister joined senior UN officials and members [...]

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UN Daily News 17 July 2015

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Brazil youth homicides double over 20-year period: UNICEF

UNICEF logo

The number of children and teenagers killed in Brazil more than doubled over a 20-year period, the UN children's agency, (UNICEF), reported. The agency said Brazil recorded 10,500 adolescent homicides in 2013, compared to 5,000 cases in 1993, which represents a 110 per cent increase. The findings come in a UNICEF report marking the 25th [...]

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

Secretary-General "saddened and angered" by car bombing in Saudi Arabia

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

A car bomb attack in Saudi Arabia on Thursday has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. The incident took place at a police checkpoint in the capital, Riyadh. The driver of the vehicle was killed and two police officers were injured in the explosion. Dianne Penn reports. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was particularly [...]

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

Protecting victims of irregular migration in Asia

A Rohingya woman and her child at a makeshift camp outside Sittwe in Myanmar's western Rakhine State. IRIN File Photo.

Over the past year nearly 90,000 people, mostly Rohingya people from Myanmar and citizens from Bangladesh, have risked their lives crossing the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this month convened a ministerial meeting on what's known as irregular migration. Among its recommendations was establishment of a [...]

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

Women's economic participation critical to sustainable development

Women's Economic Empowerment Project, Addis Ababa. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

A lack of investment in gender equality and women's empowerment has created barriers to achieving global development goals, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking during a panel discussion on the margins of the Third International Conference on Finance for Development held this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The panel was organized by [...]

17 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

Nuclear technology used to stop spread of animal diseases

Nuclear technologies are being adapted by the UN to diagnose animal and bird diseases. FAO File Photo/Tariq Tinazay

Nuclear technologies are being adapted by the UN to diagnose animal and bird diseases in hours rather than the days which conventional methods typically take. Highly contagious infections can travel easily across borders and can lead to the death of livestock. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are [...]

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

Women: focus on sustainable development, financing for development and Haiti

Women-Ethiopia-16JUL15

Women's economic participation critical to sustainable development A lack of investment in gender equality and women's empowerment has created barriers to achieving global development goals, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking during a panel discussion on the margins of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development held this week in Addis [...]

16 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Women | Read More »

Haiti's future "depends" on women's access to leadership positions

Nadège Beauvil. UN Photo/Stephanie Coutrix

The future of Haiti will depend on more women accessing leadership positions, according to UN Women, the United Nations agency dedicated to gender equality. Nadège Beauvil, who works as a programme specialist in the Caribbean island, says the current focus of her work is getting more women involved in the upcoming local, legislative, and presidential [...]

16 Jul 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

UN and Africa Reports from Addis Ababa

Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The international community has been meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss how to finance future development goals. The Third International Conference on Financing for Development  wrapped up on Thursday after Member States adopted what has been called the “Addis Ababa Action Agenda”. Priscilla Lecomte was in Ethiopia covering the 4-day conference, from where she presented this special [...]

16 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, UN and Africa | Read More »

News in Brief 16 July 2015 (PM)

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

Fighting in South Darfur between ethnic groups "of serious concern" Serious concern has been expressed by the African Union–UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) over reports of escalating tensions and clashes between the Reizegat and the Habaniya ethnic groups earlier this week. These are taking place south-east of Nyala, in South Darfur. With more details, here's [...]

16 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on malaria, humanitarian aid and migration

A woman and a child sleep under an insecticide-treated net in Laos. File Photo: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

US$100b n cost  of  beating malaria Malaria can be beaten in the next 15 years but it’s going to take US$100 billion to do it, UN health partners have said. South-East Asia is second to Africa in terms of malaria deaths. The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), which calculated the staggering sum, said the global [...]

16 Jul 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

News in Brief 16 July 2015 (AM)

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). OCHA Photo /Naomi Frerotte

Immediate action needed to prevent Burundi from sliding back into conflict The UN Security Council has been urged by United Nation human rights experts to take immediate action to prevent Burundi from sliding back into violent conflict ahead of presidential elections. The experts said this could cause a crisis which will affect other countries in [...]

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"Major step forward" with Addis Ababa Action Agenda

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking to the journalists in Addis Ababa. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

A major step forward in building a world of prosperity and dignity for all has been achieved, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was commenting on the outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which ended on Thursday. In Ethiopia, Member States adopted what has been called the "Addis Ababa Action [...]

16 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

Need to "step-up work" to develop police sector in Somalia

Awale Ali Kullane briefing the UN Security Council on the latest developments in  Somalia. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

It's time for Somalia to step-up the work to develop its police sector, according to the chargé d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of the country to the United Nations. Awale Ali Kullane was briefing the UN Security Council on Thursday on the latest developments in the Horn of Africa nation. Somalia has been subject to [...]

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

"Challenging" task protecting civilian sites in South Sudan

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

Maintaining law and order and ensuring the safety of people in UN bases in South Sudan is a challenging task according to the UN mission in the country, (UNMISS). Ongoing conflict in South Sudan has driven over two million people from their homes. One hundred and forty-three thousand are sheltering in so-called UN protection of [...]

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

"Reinvigorated" global partnership at development conference

In many rural economies, the forest enterprises of families and communities are major contributors to local livelihoods. FAO file photo/Giuseppe Bizzarri

Four days of deliberation in Addis Ababa have resulted in what the UN described as "a strong and reinvigorated partnership for development." The Third International Conference on Financing for Development wrapped up in Ethiopia's capital on Thursday with countries agreeing on measures to generate investments to tackle economic, social and environmental challenges. Dianne Penn reports. [...]

16 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

Countries meeting global immunization target doubled

Unsterilised needles are a major cause of infection which people need to be made aware of, WHO says. Photo: UN/Marie Frechon

The number of countries reaching and sustaining 90 per cent coverage of children with routine life-saving vaccinations has doubled since 2000. That's according to a new joint report by the UN Children's Fund, (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO). The new data also highlight that 65 countries will require what have been called "game [...]

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

Stronger tax systems promote sustainable development

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Developing countries are getting assistance with strengthening their tax systems in order to promote development. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) say the move will allow countries to raise more revenue for spending on public services and social support without compromising growth or fairness. Priscilla Lecomte caught up with Sean Nolan, Deputy [...]

16 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

Agreement reached on financing new development agenda

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses a press conference before departing from Addis Ababa, after attending the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The international community has agreed to what is being described as a "series of bold measures to overhaul global finance" to support a new sustainable development agenda. The deal was reached on Wednesday by the 193 UN Member States attending the Conference on Financing for Development, being held in Addis Ababa. Daniel Dickinson reports The [...]

15 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 15 July 2015 (PM)

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is "untenable", according to OHCHR, which has called for all parties to the conflict to allow aid into the country. Photo: UN Photo/WFP

Deep concern over the "catastrophic humanitarian situation" in Yemen The UN's top humanitarian official, Stephen O'Brien, has said he is deeply concerned by what he called "the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen." Fighting is continuing in the Gulf State as the exiled government continues to take on rebels in the capital, Sana'a. Here's the UN [...]

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Supporting "pro-poor" investments in agriculture

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. FAO Photo/Zacharias Abubeker

Policies that support small-scale farmers must also be part of the global push for sustainable development that benefits all people and the planet, the UN food agency has argued. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said combing social protection with private or public sector funding will yield what it called "pro-poor investments" in agriculture. FAO [...]

15 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

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News in Brief 15 July 2015 (AM)

Refuggee families receive support. UNRWA File Photo/Shareef Sarhan

Thousands of refugee families in Gaza to receive living support Close to 2,500 families in Gaza are to benefit from US$1.46 million in funding for outstanding rental subsidy payments and to replace their lost household goods. That's according to the UN agency working to assist Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. The families can reportedly access the assistance [...]

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Investing in youth "smartest investment"

A young man at a vocational education and training centre, participating in the World Bank's National Initiative for Human Development Support Project (INDH). Photo: Dana Smillie/World Bank

Never before have there been so many young people on the planet: nearly two billion, according to the United Nations. But while young people represent one-quarter of the working age population, worldwide they make up 40 per cent of the unemployed. On the first commemoration of World Youth Skills Day on 15 July, the UN [...]

15 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

"Too many Libyans continue to die", says UN envoy

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

Too many Libyans continue to die and far too much destruction has taken place in the country, according to the Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. Bernardino León was briefing the UN Security Council on Wednesday on the situation in the North African nation, plagued by factional fighting since the overthrow of [...]

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

Progress made in combating armed groups in DRC

Aveba, Ituri district, DR Congo: A young girl riding her toy wooden bicycle flashes a confident smile as a patrol of MONUSCO peacekeepers passes by. Photo MONUSCO/Abel Kavanagh

Progress has been made in combating armed groups in the volatile eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the head of the UN mission in the country (MONUSCO). MONUSCO chief Martin Kobler said joint operations between its forces and the Congolese army have resulted in the surrender of members of [...]

15 Jul 2015 | Posted in From the Field, Today's Features | Read More »

Greece bailout fund must respect people's core rights, says expert

Juan Bohoslavsky. OHCHR PHOTO

The austerity measures expected of Greece must not come at the cost of the Greek people's basic human rights, a leading rights expert said Wednesday. The country is in the grip of a financial crisis which has left it unable to pay its debts and threatened its exit from the euro zone. UN-appointed independent expert [...]

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

Achieving sustainable development through data revolution

Workshop participants practice using software on computers as part of training. UN File Photo/Patricia Esteve

Data resources, or the collection of information through technology, can help bring positive change to communities in developing countries and foster sustainable development. That was the focus of one of the events on Wednesday at the Financing for Development Conference currently underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Panellists discussed the importance of harnessing what they called [...]

15 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

Resilience of Nepalis praised by humanitarian chief

John Ging. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The resilience of the people of Nepal has been praised by the UN humanitarian office, OCHA, director of operations. The country was struck by two massive earthquakes in in April and May which left over 8,000 people dead and destroyed thousands of buildings. The recovery effort is continuing. The OCHA operations director, John Ging, recently [...]

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

Sustainable development requires more investment in gender equality

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The international community has not sufficiently invested in gender equality over the past two decades, not since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, according to the UN Secretary-General. This Declaration, signed in 1995, is considered the most progressive framework for securing women’s equal rights. But speaking at the Third International Conference on Financing for [...]

14 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 14 July 2015 (PM)

UN Photo/Loey Felipe

  "Constructive partnership" with government crucial to UN's work in DR Congo The success of the United Nations' mandate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo rests upon a continued constructive partnership with the government, according to the Head of the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO. Martin Kobler was briefing the Security Council on [...]

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World achieves MDG target by providing 15 million people with HIV treatment

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The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of providing 15 million people with life-saving HIV treatment has been achieved, the United Nations said on Tuesday. The announcement came in a report launched by UNAIDS on the sidelines of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The agency said this means [...]

14 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 14 July 2015 (AM)

In Ukraine, residents of conflict-affected Stakhanov, Luhansk oblast, collect drinking water. UNICEF File Photo.

  "Serious" water crisis in eastern Ukraine Up to 1.3 million people in eastern Ukraine face a serious water crisis due to damaged or destroyed infrastructure and acute shortages. That's according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, which recently took stock of the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The agency and its partners have [...]

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Incitement to violence against LGBT people in Turkey of "deep concern"

Photo: UNAIDS

Deep concern has been expressed by the UN human rights office (OHCHR) over recent attacks, discriminatory treatment and incitement to violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Turkey. OHCHR says these incidents follow reports that the police had used unwarranted force against individuals who were peacefully assembling and participating in the recent [...]

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

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"Historic" deal on Iranian nuclear programme welcomed by UN

The IAEA director Yukiya Amano and Iranian Vice President Ali Akhbar Salehi in Vienna. IAEA Photo/D. Calma

An agreement reached between international negotiators and the Government of Iran has been welcomed by the United Nations, and was described as a "historic" deal by the UN Secretary-General. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the agreement sets out a road map which enables it to assess possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme [...]

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

Low spending on mental health must change globally, says WHO

A woman poses in front of a graffiti representing the sun on the occasion of the observance of the World Mental Health Day. UN/M. Perret

Mental health problems affect rich and poor countries alike, but targets aimed at providing support to those who need it are still way off being met, UN health experts said Tuesday. Citing huge global inequalities in the care provided for sufferers depending on where they live, the World Health Organization (WHO) said stigma and confusion [...]

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

New multi-stakeholder approaches to foster industrialization

UN File Photo/G. Frayne.

Supporting public policies that attract investment and encourage job creation was the focus of an event on Tuesday at the global conference on financing for development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), it looked at ways of aligning private finance with the industrial strategies of governments Dianne Penn [...]

14 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

Yemen's warring groups urged to back ceasefire pledge

Smoke rises above Yemen's capital Sana'a following an air strike in April this year. Photo: UNICEF/ Mohammed Hamoud

Warring parties in Yemen who hold "guns in their hands" should heed calls to stop the fighting and end the suffering, a top UN official said Tuesday. Ahmad Fawzi, who's the UN's spokesperson in Geneva, made his comments as fighting continues in Yemen despite apparent assurances that a ceasefire would be respected by those involved [...]

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

CAR refugee election veto is “a setback to peace"

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

A surprise announcement denying nearly 200,000 refugees from Central African Republic (CAR) the right to take part in key elections needs to be reversed if the country is to return to peace, the UN said Tuesday. Some 460,000 mainly Muslim refugees have sought shelter in countries outside CAR after years of sectarian conflict; 190,000 are [...]

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

News in Brief 13 July 2015 (PM)

An additional 74 tonnes of medicines and medical supplies from WHO's warehouse in Sana'a will be distributed during the humanitarian pause to 14 locations throughout Yemen. Photos: WHO Yemen

  "Very disappointing" that humanitarian pause in Yemen did not take hold The UN has said it is disappointed that a ceasefire in Yemen to allow the delivery of humanitarian supplies did not take hold over the weekend. The break in fighting had been expected to last seven days starting last Friday. Despite continued airstrikes [...]

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New sights set on financing to eradicate malaria

Denis and Wycliff Atieno, aged 6 and 5, live in Ulumbi, a Millennium Village near Sauri in Kenya that has benefited from the use of Olyset nets, the only WHO-approved long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs). Photo: © UNICEF/PFPG2014-1178/Hallahan

Tremendous progress has been made in the past decades in the fight against malaria, and the new development agenda sets an opportunity to put an end to the disease. That's according to UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who was speaking on Monday at a side-event on malaria financing during the International Conference on Financing for [...]

13 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 13 July 2015 (AM)

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

Measures to de-escalate fighting in Colombia welcomed by UN The announcement by the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) of their intention to de-escalate the current fighting in the country has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. The Colombian government has been battling insurgents of FARC for decades. The new [...]

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Ethiopia conference marks new era in global cooperation

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) greets Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at the opening of the FFD3 conference in Addis Ababa. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Heads of state meeting in Ethiopia this week are not only looking at ways to finance a more equitable future for all people. They're also initiating the start of a new era for cooperation and global partnership, according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr Ban delivered the opening address at the Third International Conference on [...]

13 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

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ISIL fighters kill Iraqis in “grim public spectacle”

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

  Vicious fighting in Iraq continues to take a terrible toll on civilians, with at least 15,000 killed and 30,000 injured since January last year, the UN said Monday. In a new report into human rights violations in Iraq, investigators have described how civilians have been murdered in "grim public spectacles" by fighters from the [...]

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

Exclusion of Central African refugees in electoral process of "serious" concern

Refugees from Central African Republic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: UNHCR File Photo/B.Sokol

The refusal by the authorities to allow Central African refugees to vote in the upcoming presidential elections has been described as a deeply concerning situation by top UN humanitarian officials. The warning on Monday was issued by the entire humanitarian community in the Central African Republic, including the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the country and [...]

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

UN Secretary-General calls for “reboot” of development finance

Opening of Financing For Development Conference.

Development finance needs a “reboot” if world leaders want to ensure the well-being of all people and the health of the planet. That's what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told heads of state and government at the opening of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Monday. The [...]

13 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

End "quick-fix thinking" on catastrophes, says disaster chief

Preparing for the worst is key to countries' future development, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) says. Photo: UNISDR

Failing to protect against catastrophes is putting an unnecessary brake on development, the head of UN disaster risk reduction agency (UNISDR) said Monday. As Margareta Wahlstrom heads into a key conference on sustainable finance in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, one of her key messages is that more countries need to make planning for disaster an integral [...]

13 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

Africa looking for self-funding blueprint

Christopher Mvunga. UN PHOTO.

Africa should be looking at finding a blueprint to become economically independent and to be able to fund its own development projects; that's according to the Deputy Minister of Finance of Zambia. The international community is gathering in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, this week to discuss how to finance sustainable development and thus improve [...]

13 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

Countries work out differences ahead of the start of development conference

Civil society representatives put development in focus at the Financing for Development conference in Ethiopia. UN Photo/E. Debebe.

While a positive air precedes the start of a major global conference on development financing, a few issues critical to its outcome remain unresolved. That message comes from Alexander Trepelkov, a senior UN official  attending the Third International Conference on Financing for Development which opens on Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He said countries are [...]

12 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

Secretary-General: Chad market attack shows terrorism knows no bounds

Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Rick Bajornas

A suicide bombing in Chad over the weekend has been condemned by the United Nations Secretary-General. At least 15 people were killed and scores others injured in the attack which took place on Saturday in the main market in the capital, N’Djamena. It reportedly was carried out by a man dressed in a burqa, a [...]

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

Libya political agreement a “very important step on the road to peace”

Bernardino Leon. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The United Nations is hailing the initialing of a political agreement on Libya as an encouraging step on the path to peace. Most of the country's warring parties signed the plan during a ceremony held in Skhirat, Morocco, on Saturday. Libya has been plagued by factional fighting since the overthrow of President Muammar al-Qhadafi in [...]

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

Secretary-General highlights civil society role in financing for development

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/E. Debebe.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) from around the world have been urged to pressure governments and the business sector to ensure they make investments that are long-term and sustainable. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the call in an address to a forum for these groups held on Sunday in Addis Ababa. It came as Ethiopia's capital [...]

12 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

All countries need to bring ideas on poverty, says ITC chief

Arancha Gonzalez says cutting our tax avoidance by multinationals is one way of eradicating global poverty. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

As world leaders gather in Ethiopia to decide how to eliminate global poverty, one UN agency chief says all countries need to come with their own suggestions on how to do it. While calling for rich nations to stick to their development spending commitments, International Trade Centre (ITC) chief Arancha Gonzalez said other measures such [...]

12 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

Commemoration in Srebrenica to remember the victims of genocide

In 1995, a government soldier reads out the names of soldiers who are confirmed survivors or escapees from the fallen city of Srebrenica. UNICEF/NYHQ1995-0553/LeMoyne

The lives of thousands of people "atrociously cut down" 20 years ago in the Bosnian town Srebrenica must always be remembered, the UN Deputy Secretary-General said on Saturday. Jan Eliasson was speaking at a commemorative event in Potočari, a village where a genocide memorial honors the lives of 8000 individuals, mostly Muslim men and boys, [...]

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

World Population Day: Remembering women and girls displaced by conflict

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Protecting the health of women and girls who have escaped conflict and humanitarian disasters is the focus of this year's commemoration of World Population Day, observed annually on 11 July. A record 60 million people worldwide are displaced, the largest number since the end of the Second World War in 1945, according to United Nations [...]

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

Moving towards "normalization" in Haiti

Rehabilitation project in Haiti. UN File Photo/Logan Abassi

Haiti is undergoing a transition, moving away from a culture of constant emergencies towards a more normalized situation, as described by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the country. Mourab Wahba says these changes impact the nature of humanitarian work in the Caribbean nation. Last March, the Haitian Government and the UN launched what is known [...]

11 Jul 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Pacific region issues clear and strong message on climate change

Climate change poses a threat to survival in the Southwest Pacific, and in most of the small islands around the globe. Photo: FAO/Sue Price

With four of the world's 10 most disaster-prone countries located in the Pacific, the region is making sure its concerns about climate change are being heard globally. Representatives from across the region met recently in New Zealand for consultations ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit to be held next year in Turkey. Dianne Penn spoke [...]

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

Ebola conference ends with US$5 bn in pledges for affected countries

David Nabarro. UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann

A high-level conference at the United Nations ended on Friday with more than US$5 billion in pledges to support the three African countries battling Ebola. The funds and commitments will help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone implement recovery programmes over the next two years. Dianne Penn reports. Although most of the affected region is free [...]

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

News in Brief 10 July 2015 (PM)

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

Relief agencies gear up for humanitarian pause in Yemen A break in the fighting in Yemen will allow humanitarian agencies to deliver food, water and other supplies to millions of desperate people, the UN has said. Warring parties in Yemen have agreed to implement a ceasefire beginning just before midnight, local time, on Friday. It [...]

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The Young Professionals Programme UN YPP 2015

Participation in the programme Every year the United Nations seeks highly qualified candidates who are ready to launch a professional career as an international civil servant. The young professionals programme (YPP) is a recruitment initiative that brings new talent to the United Nations through an annual entrance examination. This year we will hold the written [...]

10 Jul 2015 | Posted in Young professionals programme | Read More »

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WHO says universal coverage key to meeting global health goals

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

Some 400 million people worldwide do not have access to essential health services, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). To address this imbalance, the UN agency is encouraging governments to implement universal health coverage. It says it's the best way to guarantee progress on new global health goals to be launched by world leaders [...]

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

News in Brief 10 July 2015 (AM)

The city of Benghazi, Libya, in the early morning sunlight. Photo: UNSMIL/Iason Athanasiadis

Libya: Benghazi violence undermining political dialogue The escalation of fighting in Benghazi, Libya has been strongly condemned by the UN representative in the country. Bernardino Leon said the violence is taking a heavy toll on citizens; he called for an immediate end to indiscriminate attacks. At least 10 fatalities were reported this week alone which [...]

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Secretary-General calls for "historic push" to end Ebola

Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF File Photo/UNI171713/Griggers

The recovery from the deadly Ebola disease epidemic in West Africa must continue to be an international priority even after the outbreak subsides, the UN Secretary-General told heads of state in New York on Friday. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at an international global conference on Ebola aimed at raising US$3.2 billion to support the three [...]

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

US$267bn needed to eradicate world hunger

Final Phase Digital

An estimated US$267 billion dollars a year is needed to eradicate world hunger by 2030 according to a report released by the UN's Rome-based food agencies. The UN estimates that despite progress, 800 million people around the world, most of them in rural areas, still do not have enough food to eat. Launched ahead of [...]

10 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

Haitians leaving Dominican Republic "feel desperate"

Approximately 200,000 Haitian migrants live in bateyes – communities located on or near to sugar cane plantations in the Dominican Republic. Photo: UNHCR/Jason Tanner

Haitians leaving the Dominican Republic are desperate and concerned about the future, according to a UN Police Officer stationed at a border crossing between the two countries. Jose Diaz has been working for nearly a year in the UN Police Station of Malpasse, located about 50 kilometers from Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince. Increasing numbers of people [...]

10 Jul 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

US$100bn cost of beating malaria

Protective mosquito nets such as the one above in Ghana are an essential element of the global campaign against the disease. Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel

Malaria can be beaten in the next 15 years but it's going to take US$100 billion to do it, UN health partners said Friday. The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), which calculated the staggering sum, said the global approach to the deadly disease in 94 countries needs to change. That means that rather than being [...]

10 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

Concern mounts over spreading Burundi election violence

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

Elections in Burundi will be hard to take seriously amid mounting violence in the run-up to the presidential poll, the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR) said Friday. More than 145,000 people have fled the country in recent months, fearing for their lives, while the UN body has expressed concern at a growing number of armed [...]

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

Women bearing brunt of conflict in South Sudan

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka visits Protection of Civilians site 3 near UN House in Juba on 8 July. Photo: UNMISS/JC McIlwaine.

Women in South Sudan are bearing the brunt of the ongoing conflict in the country according to the head of the UN agency focusing on gender issues. Fighting in South Sudan, which has been celebrating the fourth anniversary of its independence, started in December 2013. Around one and a half million people have been displaced [...]

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

Security Council expresses "profound disappointment" with South Sudan leaders

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

Tens of thousands of people have died in South Sudan and more than two million have been displaced all because their political leaders have failed to pursue peace. That was the message from the UN Security Council on Thursday, the fourth anniversary of the country's independence. In a statement, Council members expressed their "profound disappointment" [...]

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

Ebola conference to generate funding and solidarity for West Africa

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

The international community cannot afford to wait to support Ebola recovery, according to the senior UN official leading the fight against the outbreak. Dr David Nabarro, UN Envoy on Ebola, was speaking ahead of an international pledging conference that will be held in New York on Friday. The conference will generate commitments and financial resources [...]

9 Jul 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on forced displacement, climate change and heatwave warning system

03-25-2013myanmarthailand

Forced displacement on the rise in Asia The number of people in Asia forced by conflict and instability to flee their homes went up by 31 per cent last year, 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 [...]

9 Jul 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan, “New resolve” to take on Boko Haram and services sector

Hervé Ladsous. Photo: UN File Photo

Joy turns to complete tragedy in South Sudan The joy the people of South Sudan felt at independence four years ago has turned to "complete tragedy"; that's the view of the chief of UN peacekeeping operations, Hervé Ladsous.The newly independent African country has suffered internal conflict and violence since the deposed former Vice President turned [...]

9 Jul 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

News in Brief 09 July 2015 (PM)

Billboard of Guinea's junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara in the capital Conakry. August 2009 File Photo IRIN/Nancy Palus/

  Indictment of former Guinea leader "important step" in fight against impunity The indictment of Guinea's former president in connection with violence committed rally six years ago has been welcomed by a senior UN official as "an important step" in the fight against impunity. Moussa Dadis Camara was the country's ruler when at least 156 [...]

9 Jul 2015 | Posted in Food Crisis | Read More »

Women: focus on investment, conflict in South Sudan and zero tolerance for exploitative sexual relations in Haiti

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  Targeted investment in women needed to break gender inequality Investments which target the development of women and girls around the world are needed to break gender inequality and discrimination, according to the UN agency with deals with gender issues. The international community is meeting in Ethiopia from Monday to discuss how best to finance [...]

9 Jul 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

Cost of food hits lowest point since 2009

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

The price of a range of food commodities on world markets is the lowest it's been since September 2009, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The monthly Food Price Index for June published by the UN food agency shows a decrease of almost one per cent over the previous month. The index is [...]

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

Humanitarian pause in Yemen to deliver aid to millions in need

Smoke rises above Yemen's capital Sana'a following an air strike in April this year. Photo: UNICEF/ Mohammed Hamoud

Warring parties in Yemen are being asked by the UN Secretary-General to help prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in their country. Ban Ki-moon said he looks forward to all sides committing to an unconditional humanitarian pause beginning this weekend which will allow aid agencies to reach millions of people on the brink of famine. The pause [...]

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

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  UN refugee agency shocked by Thailand's deportation of ethnic minority Thailand's decision to deport some 100 members of an ethnic minority to China has been labelled "a flagrant violation of international law" by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). The people, who are of Turkic origin, were reportedly flown out of the country early on [...]

9 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Africa’s services future “is more than flipping burgers”

Investment is needed in basic services such as transport to attract much-needed foreign investment, UNCTAD says. Photo: UN.

  African countries urgently need to shake up their services sector if they're to compete in the global market place and achieve key sustainable development goals, UN economists said on Thursday. The warning comes from the UN's Trade and Development agency UNCTAD, whose latest report also calls for massive investment in basic services such as [...]

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

Security Council briefed on human rights deterioration in Burundi

Security Council chamber. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The decision by Burundi's president to run for a third term has undermined a decade of progress in building democratic institutions and a sense of national unity, the UN human rights chief told the Security Council on Thursday. Speaking from Geneva, High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein expressed concern about the deterioration of human rights [...]

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

Ebola health worker deaths could lead to rise in maternal mortality in West Africa

Two midwives in Ebola protective gear supplied by UNFPA hand over a newborn to her mother at the Star of the Sea Clinic in West Point, Monrovia, Liberia. UNFPA Liberia File Photo.

The loss of health workers to Ebola could lead to a sharp increase in maternal mortality in three West African countries, according to a World Bank report. It says an additional 4,000 women in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could die as a result of complications in pregnancy and childbirth because they won't have access [...]

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

Syria refugees pass 4 million mark, says UNHCR

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

More than four million Syrians have fled war and persecution and are now refugees in neighbouring countries, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Thursday. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres described the development as the worst crisis his agency had faced in nearly 25 years. An additional 7.6 million people are also displaced [...]

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

Zero tolerance for exploitative sexual relations in Haiti

MINUSTAH peacekeepers on patrol. Photo: MINUSTAH

Sexual relations between UN personnel and the local population in Haiti are firmly prohibited when the relationship is exploitative, which is most often the case in the Caribbean country. That's according to a Conduct and Discipline Officer of the UN mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH. Charles Mengalle says sexual relations are strongly discouraged by the UN, [...]

9 Jul 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

"New resolve" to take on Boko Haram

Mohamed Ibn Chambas. UN PHOTO

The Nigerian government has demonstrated a "new resolve" to take on the outlawed Boko Haram terrorist group according to the Head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA). The group has continued to attack civilians in the north of Nigeria and in neighbouring countries, but has suffered what's been described as "significant reversals." The [...]

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

Joy turns to “complete tragedy” in South Sudan

Hervé Ladsous. Photo: UN (file)

The joy the people of South Sudan felt at independence four years ago has turned to "complete tragedy"; that's the view of the chief of UN peacekeeping operations, Hervé Ladsous. The newly independent African country has suffered internal conflict and violence since the deposed former Vice President turned on the government in December 2013. The [...]

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

News in Brief 08 July 2015 (PM)

UNHCR staff collect plastic sheeting from a warehouse before it is distributed to people in eastern Nepal affected by the devastating earthquake. UNHCR File Photo/D.R. Uprety

  Humanitarian aid delivery in Nepal stalled due to "bureaucratic impediments" Customs procedures and taxation are hampering the delivery of aid to earthquake victims in Nepal. The UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) said "bureaucratic impediments" have created backlogs of essential shelter materials at the airport in the capital, Kathmandu, and at the border with India. [...]

8 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development | Read More »

Secretary-General repeats call for urgent action on climate change

At Norway's high Arctic region, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) visits Blomstrandbreen glacier to be briefed by scientists and observe first-hand the advances of climate change since visiting in 2009. Seated to his right is Foreign Minister, Børge Brende of Norway. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The international community has been warned by the UN Secretary-General that it has to take action now against climate change. Ban Ki-moon is in Norway where he was reminded of the impact of global warming during a visit to a glacier. World leaders are expected to adopt a climate change treaty when they meet in [...]

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

South Sudan: Hope in "short supply" four years after independence

A group of women and children are sheltered under a tree in Al Salam camp for Internally Displaced Persons. UN File Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Hope is in short supply in South Sudan four years after independence, according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He said instead of progress and development, the world's newest nation is facing "unconscionable levels of violence", widespread displacement and food insecurity. South Sudan has been ravaged by a political crisis which began in December 2013. As [...]

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

News in Brief 08 July 2015 (AM)

Security Council chamber. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Security Council fails to pass Srebrenica genocide resolution A resolution condemning the Srebrenica genocide and any suggestion to deny that it took place failed to pass in the Security Council on Wednesday. The vote was held as the chamber met to remember the 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed in the Bosnian town in July [...]

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Talks between Afghanistan and Taliban hailed as "important first step"

Nicholas Haysom, the UN Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.  Photo: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA

Direct talks between representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban have been labelled an "important first step" on the road to peace. Nicholas Haysom, the UN representative in Afghanistan, welcomed the discussions which took place on Tuesday in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. For the past 20 years the extremist Taliban group have been a threat [...]

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

Security Council remembers victims of 1995 Srebrenica genocide

Jan Eliasson. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

One of the darkest chapters in recent European history was remembered on Wednesday when the UN Security Council held a briefing on the Srebrenica genocide. The 15 Council members met to pay respect to the 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed 20 years ago in the Bosnian town during the Balkan wars. Dianne Penn reports. [...]

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

Face 21st century realities on disarmament, says UN's Kim

Kim Won-soo, Acting UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, addresses the 2015 session of the Conference on Disarmament. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Efforts to kick-start talks on ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction have begun in Geneva, with a call for an end to the "stalemate" that's bogged down disarmament discussions for decades. The call for action came from the UN’s Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo. Kim echoed repeated entreaties from UN [...]

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

"Physical and psychological scars" remain one year after Gaza conflict

Gaza. UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarhan

Physical and psychological scars remain one year after the conflict in Gaza, the the UN agency working to assist Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has said. Nearly two thousand people died in the 51-day conflict between Israel and the Palestinian faction, Hamas. People living in the walled enclave continue to rely on humanitarian aid. Dianne Penn reports. [...]

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

A call for a humanitarian pause in Yemen as millions face famine threat

Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans

Parties to the conflict in Yemen are being urged to allow aid agencies "immediate and unimpeded" access to people in need. The call comes from UN humanitarian affairs chief, Stephen O'Brien, who said millions of Yemenis face famine because food aid is not reaching them. The UN estimates that as many as 21 million people—80 [...]

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

Water management software aims to increase crop productivity

Rice harvest in Timor-Leste. UN Photo/MartinePerret

Researchers from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region have been learning how to calculate the expected yields from crops in areas where water is scarce. The AquaCrop Software has been developed by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency and the Food and Agriculture Organization. It's expected to improve agricultural water management and ultimately help farmers to [...]

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

Targeted investment in women needed to break gender inequality

Lakshmi Puri. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Investments which target the development of women and girls around the world are needed to break gender inequality and discrimination, according to the UN agency with deals with gender issues. The international community is meeting in Ethiopia from Monday to discuss how best to finance future global development programmes. The deal agreed in the Horn [...]

8 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 07 July 2015 (PM)

Displaced civilians in South Sudan. Photo: UNHCR/S. Kuir Chok

  Scores of displaced South Sudanese sheltering at UN sites More than 150,000 people are sheltering at UN protection sites around South Sudan, according to the UN Humanitarian Affairs Office (OCHA). This figure includes nearly 40,000 people who have fled to a location in Bentiu, a town in the north of the country, since violence [...]

7 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Heroin and synthetic drugs on the rise in Asia

Source: UNODC

The use of heroin and synthetic drugs are on the rise in Asia according to a new report released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The 2015 World Drug Report shows that Afghanistan is the major producer of heroin around the world, producing 85 per cent of opiates. Myanmar is the second [...]

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

Protection of civilians urged in Yemen after refugee deaths

Children attend classes in Yemen, where over 600 schools have been damaged as a result of conflict. Photo: UNICEF

The warring parties in Yemen have been urged by the United Nations to ensure the protection of civilians in the country following the death of 12 refugees. Yemen has endured heavy fighting after rebels took over the capital Sana'a last year. A recent rocket attack on a kindergarten in Aden left 12 refugees dead and [...]

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

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Taxing tobacco "efficient and effective" way to reduce consumption

Photo: Unifeed/WHO

Raising taxes on tobacco reduces consumption of products such as cigarettes, but too few governments are taking this step, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. WHO on Tuesday released its latest findings on the global tobacco epidemic, which it described as one of the biggest public health threats worldwide. The UN agency said tobacco [...]

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

"Gaza is still in crisis, one year after war ended"

Palestinian families seek shelter at an UNRWA school after evacuating their homes north of the Gaza Strip. Photo: UNRWA.

Gaza is still in crisis one year after conflict ended with Israel, UN humanitarian workers said Tuesday. As well as 1,462 civilian deaths on the Palestinian side and the six Israelis killed during 51 days of fighting, 100,000 people are now displaced inside Gaza, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [...]

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

Education as a human right reaffirmed at Oslo summit

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the opening of the Oslo Summit on Education for Development. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Education is essential to a life of dignity for all. That's according to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who was speaking to a global education summit in Oslo, Norway, on Tuesday. For Mr Ban, the gathering was an opportunity to mobilize political commitment and to reaffirm what he called "the human right to education." Dianne [...]

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

News in Brief 07 July 2015 (AM)

Juan Bohoslavsky. OHCHR PHOTO

Foreign lending by China should benefit people as well as governments China's investments in other countries should not only be a "win-win" for governments and business but also for ordinary citizens. That's the message from the UN independent expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Bohoslavsky, who has just completed his first official mission [...]

7 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Over 2.25m displaced four years after independence for South Sudan

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

Four years after South Sudan declared independence, the country remains beset by conflict and displacement on an huge scale, UN humanitarian experts said Tuesday. UN refugee agency UNHCR said that more than 2.25 million people have now been displaced by civil war, with tens of thousands of civilians fleeing into the bush and swampland in [...]

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

Africa loses US$50bn annually in illicit financial flows

Abdallah Hamdok. UN PHOTO.

The illicit transfer of approximately US$ 50 billion from Africa each year is denying the continent the much needed resources for its development. That's the conclusion of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows, which was inaugurated in 2012 by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union to look into [...]

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

News in Brief 06 July 2015 (PM)

Idriss Jazairy. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Sanctions expert calls for US to lift Cuba embargo Restoring normal relations between the United States and Cuba must imply lifting the decades-old economic, commercial and finance embargo against the Caribbean nation, according to a UN expert on sanctions. Idriss Jazairy has welcomed the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries but pointed out [...]

6 Jul 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News | Read More »

"Reality" of modern slavery needs to be understood

Wagner Moura. UN PHOTO

People around the world need to be made aware that 21 million globally are victims of modern day slavery; that's the wish of the Brazilian actor, Wagner Moura, who is supporting a UN campaign to end the practice. The 50 for Freedom campaign has been launched by the UN's International Labour Organization, (ILO) and aims [...]

6 Jul 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

Further inquiry needed to determine cause of crash that killed former UN chief

Dag Hammarskjöld. UN File Photo/MB

Member States of the United Nations are being asked to declassify or make available information related to the circumstances surrounding the death of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld more than 50 years ago. The appeal comes from the current UN chief, Ban Ki-moon. He said further investigation will be needed to determine what caused the plane [...]

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

Millions of lives saved thanks to poverty goals

©UN MDGs

The lives of millions of people around the world have been saved thanks to poverty goals agreed by the international community 15 years ago; that's according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at the launch of the final assessment report for the Millennium Development Goals or MDGs. The eight anti-poverty goals focus on [...]

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

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Rights expert Christof Heyns hailed the decision but urged Zambia to vote in favour of a global moratorium banning the death penalty. Photo: UN / Yubi Hoffmann

  Mexican authorities urged to consider new evidence in Tlatlaya operation Authorities in Mexico are being urged to consider new evidence related to a military operation last year in the town of Tlatlaya in which 22 people died. A 15-year-old girl was amongst the dead. The authorities said the deaths occurred during what it called [...]

6 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Many still left behind amid MDG success

Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

While the global community should celebrate the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), many of the world's people are still being left behind, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon on Monday launched the MDG 2015 Report which highlights progress made in areas such as health, education and gender equality since the goals were [...]

6 Jul 2015 | Posted in Financing for Development, Today's News | Read More »

More vaccines set to boost fight against cholera

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

Efforts to bring cholera deaths down to zero have been stepped up amid news that disease levels are unchanged, UN health experts said Monday. Conflict and displacement has fuelled the spread of the water-borne disease in countries such as South Sudan and Tanzania. But the World Health Organization (WHO) believes it's winning the public health [...]

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

MDG success shows the power of setting global development targets

©UN MDGs

The most successful anti-poverty movement in history has yielded dramatic results in reducing poverty, promoting gender parity and fighting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. The findings come in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report 2015 which highlights significant global achievements since world leaders launched the eight MDGs in the year 2000. The report was [...]

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

Global plan approved to drive down road noise

UN Office at Geneva. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

  Noise from road traffic can be annoying – and deafening – UN health experts say. But while accelerating cars and rumbling lorries are a modern-day bugbear for many of us, new UN-led regulations should see quieter streets in future. That's according to Serge Ficheux, chair of a UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) global [...]

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

A woman's place is…at work, says UN Geneva's new chief

Delegates during a meeting of the 56th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva, Switzerland. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

Diplomats, UN agencies and the private sector needs to do much more to break down the barriers that hold back women in the workplace, the UN's new chief in Geneva said on Wednesday. In a call for greater equality promoted by the US Mission in Geneva, United Nations Office at Geneva Director-General Michael Moller said [...]

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

A safe space for survivors of gender-based violence in South Sudan

Women in South Sudan. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Survivors of gender-based violence in South Sudan's Central Equatoria State now have a safe place to call their own. The UN mission in the country (UNMISS) has handed over a temporary shelter to the local government where survivors will have access to legal, medical and psycho-social support as well as accommodation. The safe house was [...]

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

Cuba achieves global milestone in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis

PAHO-WHO have been working with partners in Cuba and other countries in the Americas to implement a regional initiative to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Photo: PAHO/WHO

Cuba has become the first country to receive validation from the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. WHO and its regional office, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), have been working with Cuba and other countries since 2010 to reduce the number of transmissions. The announcement was made this [...]

5 Jul 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Papua New Guinea entrepreneurs challenged to develop new business ideas

Kumul Game Changers training with Sillicon Valley experts. Photo: UNDP

Entrepreneurs in Papua New Guinea are being challenged to develop innovative business ideas that contribute to the South-East Asian country's development. Forty projects have been chosen as part of the Kumul Game Changers initiative launched by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The teams behind those projects will receive training on how to pitch their ideas [...]

4 Jul 2015 | Posted in From the Field, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 03 July 2015 (PM)

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. File Photo: IAEA/D. Calma

  Better understanding of way forward for Iran nuclear deal A "better understanding" of the way forward to secure a deal on Iran's use of nuclear technology is emerging according to the Director General of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Yukiya Amano was in the Iranian capital, Teheran on Thursday to meet President [...]

3 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

New Ebola containment effort under way in Liberia

Workers from an Ebola Treatment Units in the west African region where the deadly disease has killed more than 11,200 people. Photo: UN/Martine Perret

The international community's emergency response is under way following news that the deadly Ebola virus has killed again in Liberia, the UN said Friday. In addition to a 17-year-old boy who died from the disease in the west African nation in recent days, two other infected individuals have been identified. And after three months with [...]

3 Jul 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

United Nations Daily News, 3 July, 2015

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News in Brief 03 July 2015 (AM)

The UN Secretary-General address the CARICOM Summit in Bridgetown, Barbados. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

  Caribbean praised for role on climate change The Caribbean region has been praised by the UN Secretary-General as one of the "strongest leaders" in responding to the challenge of climate change. Ban Ki-moon said the region, which is characterized by many low-lying island nations, is among the smallest contributors to the phenomenon. Mr Ban [...]

3 Jul 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Small Island Developing States | Read More »

Heatwave is “unusual”, say weather experts

FAO@PHOTO

  As much of Europe continues to swelter amid record temperatures, UN weather experts insisted on Friday that there's no reason to expect a repeat of recent deadly heatwaves on the continent. Tens of thousands of people died in previous heatwaves in Europe in 2003 and 2010, but the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says that [...]

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

Yemen set to receive three million tons of aid supplies

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

Three million tons of food and fuel are expected to be delivered by ship to Yemen over the coming week, the World Food Programme (WFP) has confirmed. The Gulf state continues to endure civil conflict following the seizure of the capital, Sana'a, by rebels in September 2014. Daniel Dickinson reports. More than 21 million Yemenis, [...]

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

Punitive laws and stigma contributing to HIV and AIDS epidemic in Caribbean

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) and Prime Minster of Barbados, Freundel Stuart (left), unveil a plaque during the Secretary-General's visit to Barbados.
UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Punitive laws and stigma are contributing to the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean according to the UN Secretary-General. Speaking in Barbados, Ban Ki-moon said that governments in the region were also struggling to finance their response. Daniel Dickinson reports The UN estimates that a quarter of a million people are living with HIV [...]

3 Jul 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's News | Read More »

Lack of solidarity has failed Greece, says rights expert

Alfred de Zayas. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The Greek premier Alexis Tsipras has no option but to hold a referendum at the weekend, a leading rights expert said Friday. The comments by Alfred de Zayas follow the international community's failure to help the debt-stricken nation. Mr de Zayas, a UN Human Rights Council-appointed investigator on democracy and equity, said that reforms demanded by [...]

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

Young activist issues stern climate change message for adults

Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Roske Martinez. (UNTV video capture)

A teenage activist has some strong words for adults when it comes to taking action on climate change. Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Roske Martinez, 15, wants grown-ups to quit "having a party on the planet and leaving it for us to clean up." He said while some young people either don't know or don't care about the [...]

3 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Dimension" main challenge for UN peacekeepers in DR Congo

MONUSCO Force Commander, Gen. Carlos Alberto dos Santo Cruz. UN File Photo/Sylvain Liechti

The huge size of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the main challenge facing UN peacekeepers, according to their Force Commander. General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz was recently at UN headquarters to brief on the UN Mission in the African country, known as MONUSCO. He said progress is being made in helping the [...]

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

Poverty rates in Tanzania still high despite economic growth

Women plucking tea leaves on a tea plantation in Tanzania. UN Photo/B Wolff

Poverty rates in Tanzania have not come down enough despite strong economic growth in the east African country; that's according to UN's most senior official there. People in rural areas in particular are not getting the health services that they deserve and thousands of children are dying before the age of five. Assumpta Massoi has [...]

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

Women: focus on eliminating mother-to-child disease transmission, gender-based violence in South Sudan and workplace issues

PAHO-WHO have been working with partners in Cuba and other countries in the Americas to implement a regional initiative to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Photo: PAHO/WHO

Cuba achieves global milestone in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis Cuba has become the first country to receive validation from the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. WHO and its regional office, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), have been working with Cuba and other countries since [...]

2 Jul 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on Burundi elections, “atrocities” in South Sudan and retirement of UN Radio staff

06-30-hcr-burundi

10,000 flee Burundi in run-up to elections, borders close The start of elections in Burundi has seen 10,000 people leave the country in a matter of days, the UN has said. The spike in registrations in neighbouring countries happened before Burundi closed its borders on the evening of Sunday June 28th, according to UN Refugee [...]

2 Jul 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

News in Brief 02 July 2015 (PM)

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

  Violence in Burundi, death of 6 people, deplored by UN chief Reports of violence in Burundi, where at least 6 people were reportedly killed on Wednesday in the capital Bujumbura, have been deplored by the UN Secretary-General. In a statement, Ban Ki-moon urged Burundians to express their views peacefully and pressed the authorities to [...]

2 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on North Korea, food insecurity, and the rise of drug use

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. Photo: UN Multimedia

North Korea the focus of new UN rights hub in Seoul Millions of people in North Korea also known as the DPRK face “appalling suffering” that’s to be the focus of a new UN field office based over the border in South Korea. Marking the opening of the office in the South Korean capital, Seoul, [...]

2 Jul 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Need to address "unique needs" of Caribbean countries

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

Caribbean leaders have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to strengthen partnership opportunities during what he described as a "vital year for humanity". Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a High Level Symposium on sustainable economic development in the Caribbean, being held in Barbados. He said some of the most vulnerable countries in the world are [...]

2 Jul 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 02 July 2015 (AM)

Mongi Hamdi. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Deadly attack against peacekeepers in Mali condemned by UN An attack near Timbuktu in Mali which reportedly killed six peacekeepers and injured five others has been strongly condemned by the UN mission in the country, MINUSMA. Reports indicate that around 9 am local time, unidentified armed men targeted two UN convoys and destroyed them. Ground [...]

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West Africa poised to experience "huge" agricultural growth

A woman farmer in Ganta, Liberia. Photo: UNMIL/Christophe Herwig

There are huge opportunities for agricultural growth in West Africa where a growing population and rising middle class have led to increased consumer demands for greater food diversity, convenience and affordability. That's according to a report released on Thursday which says the time is right as many regional countries have been relying on food imports [...]

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

Syrian refugee children as young as six forced into work

The children's agency says this nine-year old boy works in construction 12 hours a day. Photo: UNICEF/MENA

The Syrian conflict has forced an increasing number of children into work, with some as young as six helping to support their families, a UN report warned on Thursday. The problem affects the war-torn country and regional neighbours, with 3,300 young refugees at work in Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp, according to latest figures. In Iraq, [...]

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

Activation of highest level of emergency response in Yemen

Smoke fills the sky above the Yemeni capital Sana'a. File Photo: IRIN/Almigdad Mojalli

The highest level of emergency response, level 3, has been activated by the UN and international non-government organizations working together in Yemen. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 4.4 million Yemenis have reportedly been reached with aid in the past three months, but the [...]

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

Urgent action needed to tackle child labour in Syria

Two young boys carry water at Qah, a makeshift camp for displaced people in northern Syria, near the Turkish border.  Photo: Jodi Hilton/IRIN

The conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria are pushing an increasing number of children into exploitation in the labour market, according to UN. A report released on Thursday by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the organization Save the Children stresses that much more needs to be done to reverse the trend. The civil war [...]

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

Iraqi city of Hatra inscribed on list of "World Heritage in Danger"

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The city of Hatra in Iraq has been inscribed on the list of World Heritage in Danger following damage inflicted to the property by armed groups, according to the UN cultural agency, UNESCO. World Heritage Committee members voiced concern about the state of Iraqi heritage following acts of what they called "intentional destruction". For the [...]

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

News in Brief 01 July 2015 (PM)

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

Restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and US welcomed by UN The reopening of embassies by Cuba and the United States in Washington, DC and Havana has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General, as an "historic step". Ban Ki-moon said the restoration of diplomatic ties will support the normalization of relations. He added that in [...]

1 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Srebrenica genocide: Remember the victims, recommit to peace

In 1995, a government soldier reads out the names of soldiers who are confirmed survivors or escapees from the fallen city of Srebrenica. UNICEF/NYHQ1995-0553/LeMoyne

The 8,000 Muslim men and boys who were killed in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995 have been remembered at a commemorative event at UN Headquarters on Wednesday. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the organization and the international community had failed to protect these innocent civilians. Dianne Penn spoke to Adama Dieng, [...]

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

Emergency food operation scaled up in eastern Ukraine

Displaced families and the elderly in Ukraine line up for WFP food vouchers, which enable them to obtain food including milk, fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

The emergency operation of the World Food Programme (WFP) in eastern Ukraine is being scaled up, the UN agency announced on Wednesday. It said it will provide 500,000 conflict-affected people in the region with food assistance until the end of the year. This is almost triple the number of people WFP has been reaching since [...]

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

News in Brief 01 July 2015 (AM)

Palestinian families seek shelter at an UNRWA school after evacuating their homes north of the Gaza Strip. Photo: UNRWA.

Egypt plays pivotal role for peace in Middle East Egypt has a pivotal role in achieving a sustainable and just Israeli-Palestinian peace, according to the Envoys of the Middle East Quartet. The diplomats from the European Union, Russia, the US and the UN were in Cairo for two days as the first step in their [...]

1 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

“Horrific” Boko Haram crimes in Nigeria

Refugees and returnees who have fled Boko Haram violence in Borno State, Nigeria, sheltering in Niger's Guesseré village on the border. IRIN File Photo/Anna Jefferys

More details of dreadful violence by Boko Haram fighters emerged on Wednesday at the UN where the organisation's human rights chief called for a response "of commensurate magnitude." In his speech to the Human Rights Council, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein spoke of vicious and indiscriminate attacks stretching back years in and around northern Nigeria. Zeid [...]

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

Daily News 01 July 2015

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Daily News from United Nations Radio.

1 Jul 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Victims of Srebrenica genocide remembered and honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the memorial site for the victims of the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica.
Mr. Ban (second from right) gives a joint press conference at the conclusion of his visit to the memorial with Bakir Izetbegović (right), Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.UN File Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The thousands of lives lost in the genocide in the Bosnian town, Srebrenica, 20 years ago were remembered at UN Headquarters on Wednesday. Speaking at a commemorative event in New York, the UN Secretary-General said the atrocious murder of Muslim men and boys will forever weigh on the collective conscience of the international community. Eight [...]

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

Food prices expected to decline over next decade

Buying food at a market in São José, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

Rising incomes and population growth in developing countries will spur increased demand for food over the next 10 years. That's according to the Agricultural Outlook 2015-2024 launched on Wednesday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). However, despite increased demand, prices for agricultural products are [...]

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

Record 137,000 migrants cross Mediterranean in 2015

Afghan refugees wade ashore in Mytilini, on the Greek island of Lesvos. Photo: UNHCR/Jowan Akkash

A record number of people have crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe since the start of 2015, the UN refugee agency said Wednesday, with conflict the main push factor. According to UNHCR, from January to June, 137,000 refugees and migrants made the journey. That's over 80 per cent more than for the same six-month period [...]

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

Heatwave warning system launched to tackle health threat

Clare Nullis. UN File Photo/ Jean-Marc Ferré

Killer heatwaves can catch governments by surprise, but that could be a thing of the past thanks to a new early warning system that's now available, UN experts said Wednesday. Led by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the "heatwaves and health" initiative provides governments with procedures that they can [...]

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

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