News in Brief 29 July 2015 (AM)

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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 the reunification of Cyprus, which has been split since 1964.

Meanwhile, the 15-member body expressed grave concern at the current security situation in Iraq, as a result of what it called a "large scale offensive" carried out by terrorist groups.

Pakistan urged to halt ongoing surge in executions

Pakistan has been urged by a group of UN human rights experts to halt executions and commute, without delay, the sentences of those on death row.

The number of hangings has reportedly increased significantly over the past few months.

Over 8,000 people are currently on death row.

In March 2015, the Pakistani Government lifted its moratorium on the death penalty in all capital cases, including murder and rapes.

The moratorium on the death penalty for terrorist acts was lifted in December 2014.

Since then 182 prisoners have been executed in Pakistan.

New agreement between UN agency and large Muslim charity in UK

An agreement has been signed between the UN agency that works with Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, and the Al-Khair Foundation, the third largest Muslim charity in the United Kingdom.

The agreement creates a new partnership between the organizations, with over US$770,000 to help provide education to besieged children in the Gaza strip.

UNRWA's deficit to assist Palestinian refugees in need stands at over US$ 100 million.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’46″

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