Home » 31 Aug 2015 Entries posted on “August 2015”

Time to help people "live their dreams", says IPU president

Saber Chowdhury, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). UN File Photo/Eskinder Debebe

It is time to help people live their dreams by ensuring that commitments made by governments are kept, according to the president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Saber Chowdhury is currently at UN Headquarters in New York for IPU's Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament. Held every five years, the focus in 2015 is [...]

31 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 31 August 2015 (PM)

Girls herding goats in Somalia where in certain areas drought has contributed to severe water shortages and livestock deaths. Photo: FAO/Simon Maina

Somalia food security situation "critical," says UN aid agency More than 850,000 people in Somalia are facing food insecurity, a situation the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, has described as "critical." OCHA reports that the number of Somalis in this category has risen 17 per cent over the past six months. It says the situation [...]

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Daily News 31 August 2015

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UN Daily News 31 August 2015

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Parliamentarians key to ending global poverty and inequality

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Opening Session of Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Parliamentary leaders from around the world have been called on by the UN to help end global poverty and give hope to the disenfranchised. Parliamentary officials from nearly 140 countries are participating in the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament at Headquarters in New York this week to look at ways to tackle global [...]

31 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

New low-cost device to help prevent deaths from air pollution

UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner and Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Prof. Judi Wakhungu launch the pilot air quality monitoring system. Photo: UNEP

A new device to measure air quality could potentially help avert deaths from air pollution, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). UNEP plans to make the blueprints publically available, allowing governments and organizations to manufacture it themselves. The system will cost approximately 100 times less than existing solutions, according to the agency. Siobhán Garside reports. [...]

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

WHO appeals for "safe corridor" in Yemen

World Health Organization Representative for Yemen Dr. Ahmed Shadoul briefs the press. Photo: WHO Yemen

Warring parties in Taiz governorate in Yemen are being urged by the World Health Organization (WHO) to observe a ceasefire and demilitarize hospitals and health facilities to allow the safe delivery of humanitarian aid. Taiz is Yemen’s most populous governorate, but WHO reports that three main hospitals there are inaccessible or caught in frontline fighting. [...]

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

Aid groups unable to reach vulnerable communities in eastern Ukraine

A girl waits with her mother to get hygienic supplies after leaving their home near Donetsk airport, Ukraine, to escape shelling. Photo: UNICEF Ukraine/Pavel Zmey

Security concerns, bureaucratic hurdles and other challenges are preventing aid agencies from reaching the most vulnerable people affected by conflict in eastern Ukraine. That information comes from the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, which is sounding the alarm as winter approaches. Government forces and pro-Russian rebels have been fighting in the region since April 2014. [...]

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

News in Brief 31 August 2015 (AM)

Relatives of abducted children speak out for the disappeared in Lamwo district, northern Uganda. File Photo: IRIN/Philippa Croome

Expert group to discuss new UN principles against enforced disappearance Guidelines to protect individuals from secret detention, enforced disappearance and torture will be under discussion when a UN expert group meets this week in Geneva. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention says these basic principles, which will cover almost all situations of detention, will [...]

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"Final round" of Libya talks planned for Geneva

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

Talks to decide Libya's future are to return to the United Nations in Geneva later this week, the UN mission in the conflict-ravaged country (UNSMIL) has announced. The development follows recent discussions between Libyan representatives in Morocco where the UN negotiator Bernardino Léon repeated concerns that–as he put it–time was fast running out for Libya. [...]

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

Parliamentarians of critical importance to success of new development goals

Saber Chowdhury, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), addresses a press conference on the upcoming Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Parliamentary leaders will play a "critical" role in the global push for creating a sustainable future for all people and the planet. That's according to Saber Chowdhury, president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which is meeting this week at UN Headquarters in New York. Heads of State are expected to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals [...]

31 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

Dismay over Egyptian court decision to uphold sentence of Al-Jazeera journalists

Photo: UNAMI

The decision by an Egyptian court to uphold the sentencing of three Al-Jazeera journalists has been met with deep regret by the UN Secretary-General. On Sunday, the Egyptian government upheld the sentences of Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and other correspondents of Al-Jazeera working in the country. Maria Carlino reports. On Saturday, the Egyptian [...]

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

A call to end "alarming" number of enforced disappearances

Family members desperate to know the truth hold photographs of their 'disappeared' loved ones.  ©ICRC/HEGER, Boris

  An appeal to all Member States to join the global convention banning the secret abduction or imprisonment of persons has been made by the UN Secretary-General on the fourth International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. In a message on the Day, observed annually on 30 August, Ban Ki-moon denounced the "alarming" number of [...]

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

Detaining people without cause is a “strategy to spread terror”

Many carried photographs of loved ones who died or who disappeared on 12 November 1991 when the Indonesian military opened fire on a group of pro-independence supporters during a peaceful demonstration.  UN File Photo/Martine Perret

The detention of people, often without cause, is a repressive technique which violates fundamental human rights and is often used to spread terror within society. That is the message connected to the UN's International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, observed annually on 30 August. According to the United Nations, a "forced disappearance" qualifies [...]

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

Banning nuclear weapons testing "critical step" on road to nuclear-free world

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file)

A call on remaining states to join the global treaty on banning nuclear weapons so it can take effect has been made by the UN Secretary-General on the International Day against Nuclear Testing, observed on 29 August. Ban Ki-moon welcomed the voluntary moratoria on nuclear testing imposed by nations possessing nuclear weapons, but said it [...]

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

Philippines: Cyclone-prone areas to get evacuation centres

Two children walk past downed trees and other destruction caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban City. Photo: UNICEF (file)

State-of-the art evacuation centres in the Philippines are being set up by the UN to provide shelter for communities in cyclone-prone areas of the country. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have broken ground on the first of two such centres on the island of Samar. Maria Carlino reports. [...]

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

Impact of nuclear tests observed on International Day

Kairat Abdrakhmanov. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The ill-effects of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan are still being seen according to authorities, even though the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site closed over 20 years ago. Educating people about these devastating health consequences is a goal of the International Day against Nuclear Testing, observed annually on 29 August. Though Kazakhstan sponsored the resolution behind the [...]

29 Aug 2015 | Posted in From the Ambassador, Today's Features | Read More »

Secretary-General "horrified and heartbroken" over latest refugee deaths

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon records a personal message on the latest loss of lives of refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean and Europe. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The UN Secretary-General has said he is "horrified and heartbroken" over the latest deaths in Austria and at sea of refugees desperate to reach Europe's shores. Ban Ki-moon said such countless human tragedies require a collective response from the international community. Maria Carlino reports. Much more must be done to ensure the journey across international waters [...]

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

News in Brief 28 August 2015 (PM)

UN Secretary-General. Credit: UN File Photo/Amanda Voisard

  Concern over Colombia-Venezuela border crisis  The UN Secretary-General has expressed concern over reports of human rights violations at two border crossings between Colombia and Venezuela. Ban Ki-moon said he was encouraged to learn that the two countries are committed to using dialogue to address their border challenges. Colombia and Venezuela each recalled their ambassadors [...]

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Guinea-Bissau urged to resume dialogue and end power struggle

Miguel Trovoada. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Competing political parties in Guinea-Bissau have been urged by the UN's top envoy to the country to resume dialogue to end the power struggle threatening to further undermine stability in the West African nation. Guinea-Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz recently appointed a new prime minister, Baciro Dja, in a bid to end a power vacuum [...]

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

Latest release of child combatants "important step" in CAR

Children associated with the anti-Balaka militia take part in a release ceremony in Bambari in the Central African Republic (CAR) in May 2015. Photo: UNICEF/Donaig Le Du

More than 600 children have been released since May by an armed group to the conflict in the Central African Republic, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has reported. UNICEF and the UN mission in the country facilitated a ceremony on Friday where 163 children, including five girls, were handed over by the anti-Balaka militia. The [...]

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

News in Brief 28 August 2015 (AM)

Photo: IRIN/Nancy Palus (file)

Spike in cholera in Tanzania A new spike in cholera cases in the Dar es Salaam and Morogoro regions of Tanzania in the past two weeks has led to eight deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The Dar es Salaam region was the most affected, with 354 of the 404 cases reported. WHO [...]

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UN Daily News 28 August 2015

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28 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Hurricane Katrina "raised bar" for disaster risk management

New Orleans. UN Photo (file)

Hurricane Katrina, which hit the American city of New Orleans 10 years ago this month, has raised the bar for disaster risk management, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). The category 5 hurricane is considered the worst in the history of the United States. It inundated 80 per cent of New [...]

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

Refugee crossings into Europe top 300,000

Afghan refugees leave their dinghy and wade ashore in Mytilini, on the Greek island of Lesvos. UNHCR/Jowan Akkash

The number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean into Europe this year has exceeded 300,000, and some 2,500 have died or gone missing, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has announced. The figures mark a sharp increase from the roughly 219,000 people who made the same crossing during the whole of last year. Maria Carlino [...]

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

"Grim discovery" of 70 bodies in truck shows smuggler "ruthlessness": UNHCR

Melissa Fleming. Photo: UNifeed

The discovery of up to 70 bodies inside a truck abandoned at the Austria-Hungary border underscores the "ruthlessness" of smuggler networks and the desperation of people fleeing conflict, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. UNHCR has reiterated its call for European governments to provide safe legal ways for asylum seekers to enter the [...]

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

Campaign gets South Sudan schoolchildren 'Back-to-Learning'

© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0149/Brian Sokol South Sudan,

Children in South Sudan, who were forced out of school due to poverty, gender discrimination or conflict, are getting a second chance at an education. They’re returning to the classroom thanks to the Back-to-Learning Initiative launched this year by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) . The campaign targets 400,000 children who’ve had their education interrupted, or [...]

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

Myanmar floods: Devastation and “unprecendented” solidarity

Chin State, remote and mountainous and one of the poorest regions in Myanmar, was among the hardest-hit by floods. Photo: UNICEF/Mohammad Badrul Hassan

Humanitarian relief efforts continue in Myanmar, where floods and landslides brought on by monsoon rains have caused the deaths of more than 100 people and displaced hundreds of thousands. Renata Lok-Dessalien , UN Resident Coordinator, reports that the downpour of rain has also led to an "unprecedented amount of solidarity" on the part of concerned [...]

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

News in Brief 27 August 2015 (PM)

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bambari, Central African Republic. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

Concern over thousands fleeing violence in CAR Concern has been expressed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) over the thousands of people fleeing their homes in Bambari, a town in the Central African Republic (CAR). Kouassi Lazare Etien, the UNHCR representative in the country, said he was particularly worried about Sudanese refugees who are trapped [...]

27 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Set up of Security Council mechanism on chemical weapons in Syria advances

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file)

Recommended ways to set up a UN mechanism to determine who is responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria have been submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the Security Council. A fact-finding mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said last December that chlorine gas had most likely been [...]

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

UN Calling Asia: focus on Myanmar floods, lifeline in Iraq and evacuation centres in the Philippines

Chin State, remote and mountainous and one of the poorest regions in Myanmar, was among the hardest-hit by floods. Photo: UNICEF/Mohammad Badrul Hassan

Myanmar floods generate destruction and solidarity Humanitarian relief efforts continue in Myanmar, where floods and landslides brought on by monsoon rains have caused the deaths of more than 100 people and displaced hundreds of thousands. Renata Lok-Dessalien, UN Resident Coordinator, reports that the downpour of rain has also led to an "unprecedented amount of solidarity" [...]

27 Aug 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Women: focus on LGBT in the Middle East, women with HIV and Ebola response in Guinea

Samantha Power (right) and Subhi Nahas (left) speak to journalists, following an Arria-formula meeting of the Security Council on the plight of LGBT persons around the world, especially in the Middle East. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

LGBT in the Middle East under the spotlight at the UN  The situation of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) in the Middle East was recently discussed for the first time by the UN Security Council during what is known as an Arria formula meeting. This form of meeting is a relatively [...]

27 Aug 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Women | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan, UNSG visit to Nigeria and human rights violations in Darfur

Fighting in South Sudan's Greater Upper Nile region has remained intense and civilians have fled their homes in areas around Wau Chollo (Shilluk) district to the UNMISS protection site in Malakal. Photo: UNMISS

Peace agreement signed to end “unspeakable violence” in South Sudan South Sudan was the focus of global attention this week as President Salva Kiir on Wednesday signed a peace agreement aimed at bringing an end to nearly two years of fighting. This came one day after the UN Security Council held a briefing on the [...]

27 Aug 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Humanitarian chief deplores "tit-for-tat" airstrikes in Syria

Families evacuated from East Ghouta, Syria, congregate in the courtyard of the Dahit Qudsayya collective shelter for basic aid. Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

"Tit-for-tat" bombings that have reportedly killed hundreds of civilians in and around the Syrian capital, Damascus, are unlawful and must stop immediately, the top UN humanitarian official said Thursday. Stephen O'Brien, who heads the UN's emergency relief agency, OCHA, made his comments to the Security Council on Thursday following a three-day visit to Syria in [...]

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

UN Daily News 27 August 2015

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27 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

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

Libya talks enter final phase Talks aimed at finalizing a political agreement in Libya began on Thursday, the UN mission for the country (UNSMIL) reports. UNSMIL is facilitating the talks, which are being held in Morocco, and represent the final phase of seven months of dialogue. Libya has been plagued by instability and factional fighting [...]

27 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

New crop entering Arctic seed vault for preservation

Peruvians in Svalbard: representatives of indigenous Andean communities will deposit 750 potato seeds. Photo: Luis Salazar.

Potato seeds once thought lost to the Andean people who introduced them to the world will now be safeguarded for future generations in a seed vault in the Arctic. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced on Thursday that a ceremony is taking place in Svalbard, Norway, for scientists and delegations to witness the [...]

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

Safe water and sanitation helping to eradicate tropical diseases

Child drinks safe water. UN Photo/UNICEF/ZAK

Poor communities rife in tropical diseases are being helped by a new UN plan to improve access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene. The World Health Organization (WHO) unveiled a programme on Thursday to speed up progress in eliminating neglected tropical illnesses from the planet by 2020. Maria Carlino reports. More than half a million [...]

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

Kazakhstan to host global reserve of key nuclear fuel ingredient

LEU Cylinders (Photo: D.Calma/IAEA)

A reserve bank of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU)—the basic ingredient of nuclear fuel—will be established in Kazakhstan as part of global efforts to ensure its availability. That information comes from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which on Thursday signed an agreement with the Central Asian country to set up the facility. The bank will [...]

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

Women with HIV still face obstacles to treatment

Gender inequality contributes to the spread of HIV. File Photo: UNAIDS/P. Virot

A growing number of women infected with HIV are receiving treatment, but cultural and economic obstacles make staying on it a challenge, according to a new study sponsored by UN Women, the United Nations agency that deals with gender issues. For the first time, HIV-positive women are carrying out their own review of the barriers [...]

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

LGBT in the Middle East under the spotlight at the UN

Samantha Power (right) and Subhi Nahas (left) speak to journalists, following an Arria-formula meeting of the Security Council on the plight of LGBT persons around the world, especially in the Middle East. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The situation of people in the Middle East who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) was recently discussed for the first time by the UN Security Council during what is known as an Arria formula meeting. This form of meeting is a relatively recent practice, which enables members of the 15-member council to exchange [...]

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

Water at the core of a sustainable future for all

A girl carries empty buckets to get clean water at the water distribution point in Port au Prince, Haiti. Credit: UN File Photo/UNICEF/Marco Dormino

While there is enough water on the planet to meet global needs, there must be better management of this irreplaceable natural resource, according to the UN World Water Assessment Programme. Engin Koncugal, a senior officer with the programme, says this is particularly true for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which countries are set to [...]

27 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

UN chief welcomes signing of peace accord by South Sudan President

President Salva Kiir of South Sudan at the signing ceremony in the country's capital, Juba. UN Photo/Isaac Gideon

The signing of a peace agreement by South Sudan's President on Wednesday has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General as a "critical and necessary step" towards ending nearly two years of conflict in the country. Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that the accord will bring an end to violence that has killed tens of thousands of [...]

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

Tennis star Novak Djokovic latest UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

Novak Djokovic at a nursery school near Belgrade, Serbia. Photo: UNICEF/Nebojsa Babic

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has been appointed a Goodwill Ambassador with the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. The announcement was made during a ceremony in New York on Wednesday. Djokovic, the world's number one ranked tennis player, had previously been a UNICEF Serbia Ambassador. UNICEF described him as a "true champion for children around the [...]

26 Aug 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's News | Read More »

New European approach needed to handle refugee crisis in Europe

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres (right) greets French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (left). © UNHCR/A. Lechat

A new system is needed to protect and process the influx of asylum seekers flooding into Europe, according to Antonio Guterres, head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Mr Guterres spoke at a joint press conference in Geneva with French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve about the refugee crisis. Maria Carlino reports. To successfully deal with [...]

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

News in Brief 26 August 2015 (AM)

Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Photo: OCHA/D. Palanivelu (file)

Centre for vulnerable youth to open in Lebanon A centre for vulnerable Lebanese and displaced Syrian youth is set to open up on Saturday in southern Lebanon. The UN cultural agency, UNESCO, is joining with the government of Finland and other sponsors to open the centre in the town of Khiyam. The centre aims to [...]

26 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Final stages" of political negotiations in Libya

Bernardino Léon (shown on screen) briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The political dialogue process to find a peaceful solution to the crisis that has ravaged Libya for over one year is drawing to its final stages. That's according to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya, Bernardino León, who was briefing the Security Council on Wednesday. Libya has been unstable and plagued by [...]

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

UN Daily News 26 August 2015

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26 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"No time to waste" to reach global climate change accord

Joint Press Conference with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left), French Foreign Minister  Laurent Fabius (centre) and Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Peruvian Environment Minister (right)

As climate change is occurring faster than expected, there is "no time to waste" in forging a global deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the UN Secretary-General has said. Ban Ki-moon spoke to reporters in Paris on Wednesday about the need to ensure an ambitious agreement is reached at the climate change summit in the [...]

26 Aug 2015 | Posted in Today's News, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Thousands of stranded South Sudanese receiving assistance

Fighting in South Sudan's Greater Upper Nile region has remained intense and civilians have fled their homes in areas around Wau Chollo (Shilluk) district to the UNMISS protection site in Malakal. Photo: UNMISS

Tens of thousands of people in South Sudan who had been stranded for months due to insecurity have finally been reached by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP). Access problems and concerns for staff safety prevented humanitarian agencies from reaching people living in Wau Shilluk and other areas of rural [...]

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

Eiffel Tower to become huge generator of human energy

Yann Toma, the creator of "Human Energy", a project which will light the Eiffel Tower during the climate change summit in Paris, France, in December. UN Photo: Stephanie Coutrix

The Eiffel Tower is set to become a huge generator of human energy in December thanks to an original project created by a French artist. Yann Toma, who is accredited to the UN as an artist-observer, will be building a village under the Parisian monument where people will be invited to be active—by biking, dancing, [...]

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

News in Brief 25 August 2015 (PM)

Chris Gunness. Photo: UNTV

Armed clashes displacing Palestinians at refugee camp in Lebanon Heavy fighting between armed rival groups at the Ein el Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon has displaced as many as 3,000 people, according to the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said the agency lacks full access in and around [...]

25 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 25 August 2015 (AM)

People in Nepal. UN Photo/Sagar Shrestha

  Concern over rising political violence in Nepal Reports of continuing political violence in Nepal have raised the concern of the UN human rights office, OHCHR. Seven members of the security forces and three protesters were reportedly killed on Monday while five more protesters were killed earlier this month. Violent demonstrations and strikes have swept [...]

25 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Utter disrespect for human life" in South Sudan

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

Deep shock has been expressed by top UN officials regarding what has been described as "utter disrespect for human life" and "unspeakable violence" by all parties to the conflict in South Sudan. The UN Security Council on Tuesday was briefed on the situation in the world's youngest nation. Despite some positive developments to reach a [...]

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

UN Daily News 25 August 2015

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More funds needed to implement Iran nuclear deal

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano (centre) addresses a special meeting of the Agency's Board of Governors on Iran held at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma

Extra funds to implement the international agreement on Iran's nuclear programme have been called for by the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA. IAEA says more than US$10 million a year will be needed from Member States and funds are already running out. In mid-July, Iran and six world powers reached an agreement in which Iran [...]

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

"The beginning of the end of Ebola" in Sierra Leone

Tarik Jasarevic, WHO Spokesperson. Credit: UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

For the first time in over a year, there are no people in Sierra Leone being treated for the Ebola virus and no other confirmed cases in the country, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This 'milestone' was marked on Monday with a ceremony celebrating the release of the country's final Ebola survivor from [...]

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

Severe water shortages compound misery in Syria

Providingdrinking water to communities affected by siege-like conditions is UNICEF's biggest concern currently. Photo: UNICEF/Bassam Khabieh

People in war-torn Syria are deliberately being denied access to water, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). Amid the unremitting brutality of the war and a scorching summer heat wave, UNICEF says there is increasing evidence that parties to the conflict are using water to achieve military and political gains. Maria Carlino reports. In [...]

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

UN agencies respond to refugee influx in Western Balkans

Refugees arriving in Greece, mainly from countries experiencing war and conflict. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash

  As thousands of refugees and migrants from conflict areas continue to stream into the Western Balkans from Greece, UN agencies are stressing the importance of treating these people humanely. More than 10,000 people who've fled violence in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, have flooded into the region in the past days. Dianne [...]

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

Coordination among partners leads to "timely" Ebola response in Guinea

An Ebola survivor in Guinea is contributing to the humanitarian effort by providing care for a child whose mother is receiving treatment. UN File Photo/Martine Perret

The response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been a concerted effort between the UN and civil society, ensuring that help is "reaching the right people, in the right areas, in a timely fashion." That’s according to Rosalia Gitau from the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, who's based in Guinea. Though this sounds like [...]

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

Painting a thorough picture of what it means to be poor

A nurse measures the arm of a severely malnourished child at a clinic in Sudan. UN File Photo/Albert González Farran.

Although the World Bank defines extreme poverty as subsisting on less than US$1.25 a day, "poverty" as a concept is viewed differently across cultures, as researchers at Oxford University in the United Kingdom have found. They are devising a multidimensional poverty index (MPI) which takes into account malnutrition, child nutrition and other indicators to determine [...]

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

News in Brief 24 August 2015 (PM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file)

Agreement to restart inter-Korean dialogue welcomed  A new agreement between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to reduce tension on the Korean peninsula has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that the two nations' promise to hold a regular dialogue would lead to the resumption of [...]

24 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN assists refugees at border between Greece and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

A young Syrian refugee carries his brother across the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), near Eidomeni, Greece, in June 2015. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell

The swelling number of refugees and migrants stranded at border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are receiving assistance from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. UNHCR said the situation has been noticeably calmer and more orderly since Sunday, when almost 2,000 people crossed into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Siobhán Garside reports. The [...]

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

Call centre provides lifeline to displaced people in Iraq

Bathoul Ahmed

A call centre has been established in Iraq to provide a humanitarian lifeline for millions of people escaping ongoing fighting in the country. By dialling a hotline number, displaced people can get timely information on locations of food distribution points, medical services, shelter options and other assistance. Renewed conflict has forced more than three million [...]

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

Secretary-General remembers victims of deadly militant attack on UN in Nigeria

SG visit to Nigeria

The UN Secretary-General has paid tribute to the victims of a deadly terror attack on the UN's headquarters in Abuja four years ago. During a trip to Nigeria this week, Ban Ki-moon met with injured staff that survived the bombing by the Boko Haram militant group. Siobhán Garside reports. At a ceremony Monday commemorating the 2011 [...]

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

News in Brief 24 August 2015 (AM)

Gyorgy Busztin. Photo: UNifeed

  "Outrage" at murder of three women parliamentary candidates in Iraq Outrage has been expressed by the head of the UN mission in Iraq, UNAMI, at the news that the terrorist group ISIL executed three women parliamentary candidates in Mosul City. Gyorgy Busztin said the women were executed for no reason other than being candidates [...]

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How satellite imagery can help farmers grow "more crop per drop"

A woman pours water from an irrigation canal into fields near the Koroyomme area of Timbuktu. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Water scarcity in North Africa and the Near East could have severe consequences for food production— something the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says will intensify with climate change. FAO is creating a database to collect and analyze satellite imagery that will help countries to better manage water resources so that farmers can produce [...]

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

Critical health supplies reaching injured in southern Yemen

A WHO shipment of 17 tonnes of medicines, medical and surgical supplies arrives in Sana'a, Yemen. Photo: WHO Yemen (file)

Emergency medical supplies from the World Health Organization (WHO) are arriving in southern Yemen to aid the rising number of people injured and internally displaced by fighting. WHO is coordinating a rapid response to provide emergency healthcare to thousands of people caught up in the worsening humanitarian crisis in Taiz and Hodeida governorates. Dianne Penn [...]

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

"No substitute" for seeing humanitarian needs first-hand

In Nyal, South Sudan, several displaced women and men met with Mr. O'Brien and shared harrowing testimonies from their journeys as they fled violence.

There is no substitute for seeing the humanitarian needs of people first-hand according to the top UN relief official. Stephen O’Brien began his work as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs just a couple of months ago and has already travelled to a number of conflict zones in locations such as Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen. The [...]

24 Aug 2015 | Posted in From the Field, Today's Features | Read More »

Lebanese urged to exercise "maximum restraint" amid street protests

Sigrid Kaag. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A call for maximum restraint and political accountability amid anti-government street rallies in Lebanon has been made by the UN envoy to the country. Sigrid Kaag expressed concern over reports of violence and the destruction of public property following citizens' demands on Sunday for basic services and an effective functioning Government. Maria Carlino reports. UN [...]

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

Nigerian governors play "fundamental role" in shaping future

Young women and girls carry water in Nigeria. Photo: World Bank.

Governors in Nigeria play a fundamental role in the future of the country, the region and the continent, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a meeting with Nigerian state governors during a visit to Abuja on Sunday. He said that although many challenges exist such as the rise of extremism and [...]

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

Inter-Korean dialogue welcomed by UN chief

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

A high-level meeting between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. In a statement on Saturday, Ban Ki-moon said he took note of their agreement to continue discussions on Sunday. According to media reports, a tense standoff has prevailed since the countries exchanged artillery [...]

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

Using art to commemorate the end of the slave trade

"The Ark of Return" is the Atlantic Slave trade memorial at the United Nations Headquarters. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

A memorial at UN Headquarters dedicated to the millions of African victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade urges people to "acknowledge the tragedy, consider the legacy, lest we forget." It's an example of how art can promote reflection, thus invoking conversations which encourage tolerance, says Omyma David, focal point for the Remember Slavery Programme in [...]

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

News in Brief 21 August 2015 (PM)

Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

  "Deep concern" over violations of agreement between Israel and Syria Serious violations of an agreement between Israel and Syria, which jeopardize the ceasefire between the two countries, have been described as "deeply concerning" by the UN Secretary-General. Rockets were reportedly fired on Thursday across the ceasefire line into northern Israel. In response, the Israel [...]

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Situation in Kosovo "dramatically different" from four years ago

Security Council meets on Kosovo. UN Photo/Cia Pak

The situation in Kosovo has been described as "dramatically different" from four years ago by the top UN envoy in the territory. Farid Zarif, who leads the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, was briefing the Security Council on Friday on recent developments. The UN has been working to promote security, stability, and respect for human [...]

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

Widespread impunity in Darfur must stop: UN rights chief

Following attacks in January 2015, thousands of people, mostly women and children, fled from different villages and took refuge at a safe zone adjacent to UNAMID's base in Um Baru, North Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/Hamid Abdulsalam

The Sudanese government and armed opposition groups in the country are being urged by the UN to end widespread impunity of serious human rights violations in Darfur. A new report by the UN human rights office, OHCHR, says killings and rape in the strife-torn region last year have largely been dismissed by local police and [...]

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

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The Security Council decided to extend the present mandate of UNIFIL for one year, until 31 August 2016. Photo: UNIFIL

UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon extended for another year The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Friday to extend the UN's peacekeeping force in Lebanon for another year. Members of the council agreed that the situation in the Middle Eastern country continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security. The peacekeeping force, [...]

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Resistance of African slaves remembered on International Day

The Atlantic Slave trade memorial at the United Nations with the engraving "Acknowledge the tragedy". Credit: UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Nearly 225 years ago, enslaved Africans in what is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic rose up against their oppressors. Their fight for justice is remembered on the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, observed on 23 August. The day was established in 1997 by the UN cultural agency, [...]

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

More assistance needed in recently opened-up areas in Somalia

UN Photo/Stuart Price

Medical and other humanitarian supplies are reaching new areas of Somalia after years of isolation, according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the country. Peter de Clercq recently visited the towns of Baardheere and Diinsoor, in the Gedo and Bay regions respectively. After more than two decades of violence and political instability, the UN has [...]

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

"Endemic impunity" in Darfur revealed in UN report

Young residents at the Zam Zam camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North Darfur. UN File Photo/Albert González Faran

Serious human rights violations and abuses that occurred in Darfur in 2014, including killings and sexual violence, have largely gone uninvestigated and unpunished, according to a new report by the UN human rights office, OHCHR. The report is based on information provided by the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). It details cases of [...]

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

WHO to shake up global response to epidemics after Ebola

Health experts are preparing to meet in the coming days to hammer out new measures aimed at preventing a new Ebola-style epidemic, the UN said Friday. The initiative comes after World Health Organization (WHO) chief Dr Margaret Chan called for action to change the way that disease outbreaks are planned for and managed. WHO spokesperson [...]

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

Radio series encourages young Afghans to participate in politics

Young men and women at a college in Afghanistan. Photo: UNAMA / Fardin Waezi

A UN radio series on youth in politics is expected to reach hundreds of thousands of people across four northeastern provinces of Afghanistan, according to the United Nations mission in the country, UNAMA. The first out of four episodes, designed to encourage young people to participate in politics, was launched on Radio Roshani in the [...]

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

UN Calling Asia: focus on Japan, youth in politics in Afghanistan and Myanmar floods

Japanese students who handed over their petition to the UN Conference on Disarmament. UN Photo/Daniel Johnson

Disarm now, Japanese student tells member states Japan renewed its calls for the total elimination of nuclear weapons at the UN on Tuesday…with a little help from one high school student from Hiroshima. Tsugumi Inoue, one of 22 so-called Japanese "Peace Messengers" who've come to Geneva, presented a petition to ban nuclear weapons to the [...]

20 Aug 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

News in Brief 20 August 2015 (PM)

People demonstrate in Bujumbura against a decision by Burundi's ruling party to nominate President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term (April 2015). File Photo: IRIN/Desire Nimubona/

UN chief takes note of inauguration of Burundi President for third term The UN Secretary-General has taken note of the inauguration of Pierre Nkurunziza for his third term as President of Burundi. In a statement, Ban Ki-moon said he was reiterating his call for all Burundian stakeholders to undertake an inclusive and transparent political dialogue. [...]

20 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Cases of sexual abuse in CAR "taken extremely seriously" by UN

Diane Corner, Deputy Head of MINUSCA. UN Photo/Dany Balepe

Sexual exploitation committed by UN personnel in the Central African Republic (CAR) is a problem that leaders of the United Nations' mission there, MINUSCA, are taking extremely seriously. That's according to the Deputy Head of MINUSCA, Diane Corner, who briefed the media at UN Headquarters on Thursday via video conference. She said in total, the [...]

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

UN and Africa: focus on Ebola, Libya and Somali economy

Kadiatu Bangura and her 6-year-old son on the day that Camp Hope, a temporary Ebola quarantine facility, closed down. Kadiatu had been separated from her child as she was a high-risk contact. Photo: UNICEF Sierra Leone/2015/Kassaye

Strong community involvement prevented Ebola cases in Sierra Leone Sierra Leone is down to its last chain of Ebola virus transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Monday. The UN health agency said for the first time the country has not had any new cases of the disease since the outbreak began more than [...]

20 Aug 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Women: focus on World Humanitarian Day

Inna Modja. Photo Courtesy of Warner Music Group.

Giving "a voice to the voiceless" through social media Giving "a voice to the voiceless" is everyone's responsibility and not just a task for the UN, NGOs and celebrities. To raise awareness about humanitarian issues, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, ran a social media campaign which disrupted people's newsfeeds with stories from the field. [...]

20 Aug 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

France-UK agreement to address Calais refugee situation welcomed

Several thousand asylum-seekers and migrants from Syria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan are living in makeshift camps or in the streets in Calais, France. Photo: UNHCR/C. Vander Eecken

A new agreement between France and the UK to deal with the influx of migrants and refugees at a port city in northern France has been welcomed by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. UNHCR hailed steps aimed at improving the living conditions and ensuring the rights of the estimated 3,000 people who have sought refuge in [...]

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

More than 300,000 persons with disabilities in Ukraine deprived of rights

Because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine children with disabilities have been abandoned in conflict zones. File Photo: UNICEF/Alexey Filippov

A top government official from Ukraine told the UN on Thursday that because of the ongoing conflict there, no-one knew where more than 300,000 persons with disabilities were, or even whether they were alive. Valerii Sushkevych, who's a Presidential commissioner on disability reform in Ukraine, made his announcement to the UN Committee on the Rights [...]

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

Disarm now, Japanese student tells UN member states

Japanese students who handed over their petition to the UN Conference on Disarmament. UN Photo/Daniel Johnson

Japan renewed its calls for the total elimination of nuclear weapons at the UN on Tuesday…with a little help from one high school student from Hiroshima. Tsugumi Inoue, one of 22 so-called Japanese "Peace Messengers" who've come to Geneva, presented a petition to ban nuclear weapons to the UN Conference on Disarmament. In what has [...]

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

UN Daily News 20 August 2015

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

As critical health needs in Yemen grow, WHO steps up response The health system in Yemen continues to shut down, leaving civilians without access to critical life-saving care, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN agency has reported that almost 23 per cent of all health facilities in the Middle Eastern country are [...]

20 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Crucial connection" between conflict-related violence and security reform

Zeinab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, met with women's groups and victims of sexual violence in Bria, Central African Republic, during a field visit. UN File Photo/Cristina Silveiro

Preventing sexual violence crimes and ensuring accountability should be considered as a fundamental indicator of success of security sector reform programmes. That's according to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, who was briefing the Security Council on Thursday. Member States of the world body were meeting [...]

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

Climate change solution critical for sustainable development

Janos Pasztor, Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

Tackling climate change is critical to achieving a sustainable future for all people and the planet, according to a senior adviser to the UN Secretary-General. Janos Pasztor, UN Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change, says global agreement on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) complements efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. All 193 countries that make [...]

20 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

"Neighbours taking care of neighbours" after Myanmar floods

Floods in Kale Township, Sagaing Region of Myanmar. Photo: WFP/Khin Khin Aung

Recent floods in Myanmar highlighted the resilience of local communities, with people taking the initiative to look after their neighbours. That's according to Rosalia Gitau from the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA. Ms Gitau, who is normally stationed in Guinea, was on holiday in Myanmar when the floods occurred in early August. Siobhán Garside spoke [...]

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

Birth registration growing in Afghanistan

Birth registration numbers have grown in Afghanistan's northern region. File Photo: WFP Afghanistan/Fezeh Hosseini

Birth registration numbers have grown in Afghanistan's northern region, with the support of a UN project designed to help prevent child labour and child marriage. According to officials from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the number of parents registering their children in the north of the country has increased to 50 per cent in [...]

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

Women have all the skills to be leaders in humanitarian response

Silke von Brockhausen (right) assessing border security between Sierra Leone and Liberia with local security forces and UNIPSIL staff in March 2014. Photo: UNDP

Although women possess the skills and perseverance to be leaders in humanitarian work, they are still underrepresented in the field, according to an official with the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Silke von Brockhausen, a UNDP Communications Specialist, believes women humanitarian workers can more easily connect with women in the communities they serve, whose influence is [...]

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

News in Brief 19 August 2015 (PM)

Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefs the Security Council in August. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Scale of human suffering in Yemen "almost incomprehensible" The scale of human suffering in Yemen has been described by the UN's top relief official as "almost incomprehensible". Steven O'Brien, who recently returned from the Middle Eastern war-torn country, was briefing the Security Council on what he saw during his visit. He said he witnessed the [...]

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Global crises call for “quantum leap” in funding

High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and Humanitarian Envoy for Kuwait Abdullah Al-Matouq (left) visit an Informal Settlement for Syrian refugees near Ghaziye, southern Lebanon. File Photo: UNHCR/I. Prickett

A "quantum leap" in funding is needed to keep pace with the many humanitarian crises confronting the world, the UN's refugee chief said Wednesday. António Guterres, who heads the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that the humanitarian community is being asked to do more than it has the means to confront in the face of countless protracted [...]

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

News in Brief 19 August 2015 (AM)

UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl visiting the Abu Tue'ma school in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, on 14 September 2014, to celebrate the start of the new school year. Photo: UNRWA/Shareef Sarhan

  Schools to open on schedule for Palestinian refugee children Schools for half a million Palestinian refugee children across the Middle East will open on time, the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has announced. UNRWA said that a funding shortfall of US$101 million that threatened to delay the start of classes this year has [...]

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New series of "disturbing" allegations of misconduct in CAR

Peacekeepers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

A new series of disturbing allegations of misconduct have recently come to light in the Central African Republic, according to the UN mission in the country, MINUSCA. The events allegedly took place in recent weeks. These new allegations concern a report that three young women were raped by three members of a MINUSCA military contingent. [...]

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

UN Daily News 19 August 2015

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Yemen conflict a "particular tragedy" for children: UNICEF

Faisal, 18 months old is treated for severe acute malnutrition at Sabeen hospital in Yemen's capital Sana'a. Photo: UNICEF/UMI191723/Yasin

Nearly 400 children have been killed in Yemen since violence escalated in March, according to a report released on Wednesday by the UN children's agency, UNICEF. Fighting between government forces and rebel groups has created what the UN has described as one of the world's most pressing humanitarian emergencies. Some 21 million people in Yemen—roughly [...]

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

"Palpable" risk of escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine

Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, briefs the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The risk of escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine is palpable, according to a top United Nations political official. Jeffrey Feltman was briefing the UN Security Council on Wednesday on the situation in the Middle East. He said the past month has witnessed what he called "unconscionable crimes of hatred" by extremist elements. Stephanie [...]

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

#ShareHumanity campaign reaches more than half a billion on social media

#ShareHumanity online campaign was launched on Social Media platforms on Thursday. Image: OCHA

More than half a billion social media feeds have been saturated with real-life stories from survivors of humanitarian crises as part of a digital storytelling campaign launched by the UN last week. People around the world were asked to donate their social media feeds ahead of World Humanitarian Day, marked annually on 19 August. According [...]

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

Eight children killed or maimed every day in Yemen

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

Airstrikes and ground fighting in Yemen have caused the deaths of at least 398 children since March, UN children's agency UNICEF said Wednesday. In a report on the conflict since it escalated nearly five months ago, the UN agency says that scores of children are dying every month, while those who survive are in constant [...]

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

Musician Cody Simpson wants to help UN "move society in the right direction"

Cody Simpson. UN Photo: OCHA/Gwendolyn McClure

Australian singer-songwriter Cody Simpson is lending his voice—and social media reach—to get young people to support the work of the United Nations. Mr Simpson, who's 18, has used his Twitter account to share the story of a Syrian refugee as part of a campaign tied to World Humanitarian Day, observed 19 August. He also took [...]

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

Malian singer Inna Modja explains how music saved her life

Inna Modja. Photo Courtesy of Warner Music Group.

The personal struggle of an African singer has inspired her to advocate for the rights of women and girls. Inna Modja was subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as cutting, when she was a small girl in Mali.  The experience left her feeling worthless, but through music she found the power to be [...]

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

News in Brief 18 August 2015 (PM)

Israeli authorities demolished this residential structure in the Palestinian community of Al Jiftlik Abu Al Ajaj in Area C of the Occupied West Bank in April 2015. Photo: OCHA (file)

Demolitions by Israel in Palestinian refugee communities of "grave concern" Demolitions by the Israeli Civil Administration in vulnerable Palestinian Bedouin refugee communities have been described as of grave concern by top UN officials. A total of 22 structures were reportedly demolished in four communities, displacing 78 Palestinians, including 49 children. According to UN records, this [...]

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Concern mounts over militants claiming allegiance to ISIL in Libya

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

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, has expressed concern over recent events in a coastal city in Libya involving militants claiming allegiance to ISIL. Fighting erupted in Sirte after a local iman known for his vocal opposition to ISIL was killed on 10 August while apparently resisting abduction by the terrorist group. The district was [...]

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

"Vaccine hesitancy" highlighted by WHO in editorial

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO

People who delay or refuse vaccines for themselves or their children are presenting a growing challenge for countries seeking to close the immunization gap, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN health agency estimates that globally, one in five children still do not receive routine life-saving immunizations, and an estimated 1.5 million children [...]

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

UN Daily News 18 August 2015

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

Civilian casualties in Yemen continue to be reported Civilian casualties continue to be reported as a consequence of the armed conflict in Yemen, according to the UN human rights office, OHCHR. Estimates indicate that during the first two weeks of August, at least 119 civilians were killed or injured in the Middle Eastern country. Since [...]

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"Shifting security landscape" focus of Security Council deliberations

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Security Council's debate on the role of regional organizations in meeting the contemporary challenges of global security. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajorna

The changing nature of conflict has led to greater cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations such as the African Union and the European Union. The Security Council on Tuesday looked at how this partnership is working to address challenges to global security ranging from terrorism and the spread of violent extremism, to massive [...]

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

Boat victims died one by one, say survivors

Survivors from a previous Mediterranean crossing, rescued by the Italian Coastguard. Photo: UNHCR/F. Malavolta

Survivors of a boat tragedy that claimed the lives of 49 migrants have given graphic accounts of fellow passengers dying one by one, migration experts said Tuesday. UN partner the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that it learned the details from migrants who had been rescued from a vessel that got into difficulty soon [...]

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

New study on assisting Palestinian people to improve economic situation

Women and Children in Gaza City. UN File Photo/Shareef Sarhan

Economic and trade conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) would improve if Israel fulfils its obligations under a new global agreement on trade facilitation. That's according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which has released a new study on the issue. The agency illustrates what it calls the "problematic status quo [...]

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

"Lack of leadership" from Greece is making refugee crisis worse

The UN refugee agency UNHCR said 2,000 people arrived on the Greek islands on Tuesday morning alone. Photo: UNHCR/S. Baltagiannis

The Greek government has shown a "lack of leadership" over the refugee crisis on its islands, the UN said on Tuesday, warning that local authorities have been "overwhelmed" by the situation. In an appeal to Athens to take responsibility for what happens on its soil, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) also repeated its call for [...]

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

Syria market attack "may amount to a war crime"

UN human rights office spokesperson Rupert Colville said survivors spoke of two attacks on the marketplace in Douma, Damascus. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferre

In Syria, the suffering of civilians has been brought into focus by a government attack on a marketplace in Douma, which killed at least 111 people at the weekend. According to the UN's human rights office, OHCHR, the death toll is likely to rise from the assault, which may constitute a war crime. Terrible as [...]

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

News in Brief 17 August 2015 (PM)

A reminder of the deadly destruction in the conflict in Mykolaivka in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

  "Alarming" escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine The recent escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, which resulted in the death of civilians, has been described as of "serious alarm" to the UN Secretary-General. Government forces and pro-Russian rebels have been fighting in the region since April of last year. In a statement, Ban Ki-moon [...]

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How domestic reforms can help countries expand trade abroad

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

Countries need to shift their focus from international trade barriers to domestic reforms that will expand trade, innovation and business growth. That's according to Professor Douglas Irwin from the Department of Economics at Dartmouth College in the United States. He says reforms, such as improving infrastructure, would help entrepreneurs get their goods to port cities [...]

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

All allegations of sexual abuse in CAR to be "fully investigated" by UN

Vannina Maestracci, Associate Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, briefs the press at the daily noon briefing. UN File Photo/Rick Bajornas

The UN mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, says it is determined to fully investigate all allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by its forces and to hold perpetrators of such acts to account. New reports of abuse allegedly committed by UN peacekeepers in the country were revealed last week by the human rights [...]

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

Needs of persons with disabilities "must play bigger role" in post-2015 agenda

The needs of people with disabilities should play a bigger role in the UN's future development work, a top rights expert said on Monday. File Photo: UNICEF

The needs of people with disabilities should play a bigger role in the UN's future development work, a top rights expert said on Monday. The comments came from Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, who heads the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is meeting at the United Nations in Geneva. The world body's [...]

17 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

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Strong community involvement prevented Ebola cases in Sierra Leone

A bittersweet reunion for Kadiatu Bangura and her 6-year-old son Ali Sesay on the day that Camp Hope, a temporary Ebola quarantine facility, closed down. Kadiatu had been separated from her child as she was a high-risk contact. She lost her husband and youngest child to Ebola. Photo: UNICEF Sierra Leone/2015/Kassaye

Sierra Leone is down to its last chain of Ebola virus transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Monday. The UN health agency said for the first time the country has not had any new cases of the disease since the outbreak began more than a year ago. Dr Margaret Harris is WHO Spokesperson [...]

17 Aug 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 17 August 2015 (AM)

MINUSCA, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), on patrol in the capital Bangui. UN File Photo/Catianne Tijerina

UNICEF staff meet Central African girl, reported victim of rape Staff from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have met with a young girl in the Central African Republic who was reportedly raped by a UN police officer. The head of UNICEF, Anthony Lake, said the agency is providing her with what he called "every possible [...]

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Sierra Leone down to last chain of Ebola virus transmission

A week has now passed with no new Ebola cases for the first time since the beginning of the outbreak in Sierra Leone. File Photo: WHO/S.Gborie

Sierra Leone is down to the last chain of Ebola virus transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Monday. The UN health agency reported that the use of rapid response teams and strong community involvement in finding Ebola virus disease cases is yielding results in the West African country. A week has now passed [...]

17 Aug 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Humanitarian chief deplores latest Syria airstrikes

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

Airstrikes that have reportedly caused scores of civilian casualties in the Syrian capital, Damascus, are unlawful, unacceptable and must stop, the top UN humanitarian official said Monday. Stephen O'Brien, who heads the UN's emergency relief agency, OCHA, made his comments at the end of his first official visit to Syria. More than 220,000 people have been [...]

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

Giving "a voice to the voiceless" through social media

Share stories that matter – #ShareHumanity on World Humanitarian Day. Campaign Image: UNOCHA

Giving "a voice to the voiceless" is everyone's responsibility and not just a task for the UN, NGOs and celebrities. That's the message connected to this year's World Humanitarian Day, occurring on 19 August. To raise awareness about humanitarian issues, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, is running a social media campaign which will disrupt [...]

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

Youth involvement needed to achieve SDGs

Massive tree-planting campaign at one of the Haiti's last pine forests which had been depleted for charcoal production and to make room for farm land. UN File Photo/Logan Abassi (2011)

The new global development agenda cannot become a reality if the generation it impacts is excluded from the process. That's according to 15-year-old Kehkashan Basu, former Global Coordinator for Children and Youth with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). She believes youth involvement can be increased if organisations embrace social media platforms to create awareness about [...]

16 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

A call for more youth participation in global dialogue

Commemoration of International Youth Day 2015 on the theme

Young people should ensure their voices are included in global discussions on development issues. That's the message of Dana Podmolikova from the Czech Republic, this year's outgoing member of the Youth Advisory Board for UN-Habitat. The UN agency aims to increase youth participation and advocacy in sustainable urbanization and urban development. Siobhán Garside asked Ms Podmolikova [...]

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

Guinea-Bissau calm after dismissal of government

UN Security Council meeting. UN File Photo/Cia Pak

Guinea-Bissau remains calm after the president dismissed the government over a row with the prime minister, according to a senior UN envoy to the West African country. The army, quick to intervene in past political disputes in the coup-prone former Portuguese colony, has reportedly remained in their barracks. Marco Carmignani, deputy head of the UN's [...]

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

News in Brief 14 August 2015 (PM)

Despite the challenging operating environment, aid agencies deliver life-saving assistance in Nyal, in Southern Unity, through air drops. File Photo: OCHA/Guiomar Pau Sole.

Humanitarian supplies reach South Sudan city Critical supplies of medicines, fuel, food and water treatment chemicals are now reaching Malakal in South Sudan, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, has reported. This follows the lifting of restrictions last week which prevented barges and aircraft from accessing the city, located in Upper Nile State. Thousands of [...]

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Humanitarian Coordinator on mission to Lebanon and Syria

Destruction in Salah Ed Din neighbourhood, Syria. Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

The UN humanitarian chief has underscored the need for greater international support for Lebanon, which is hosting scores of Syrian refugees. Stephen O'Brien arrived in the country on Friday, where he met with Prime Minister Tamam Salam to discuss the partnership between the government and the UN. Mr O'Brien is on a five-day visit that [...]

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

Concern mounts over forced return of Nigerians fleeing violence

Minawao refugee camp, northern Cameroon. It is the largest formal refugee camp in the region for Nigerian asylum-seekers. Photo: UNHCR/A. Bahaddou

The forced return of thousands of Nigerians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries has raised the concern of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. UNHCR fears the deportations may curtail protection and humanitarian aid for the asylum-seekers. Maria Carlino reports. The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has expressed concern over the deportation of thousands of people from north-east [...]

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

UN Daily News 14 August 2015

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Release of three human rights defenders in Syria welcomed

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The release of three prominent human rights activists by the Syrian government has been welcomed by UN human rights investigators. Hussein Ghrer and Hani Al-Zaytani were released in mid-July and Mazen Darwish on 10 August after more than three years in prison. Maria Carlino reports. The three men were arrested at their workplace, the Syrian [...]

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

"Deliberate starving" of civilians in Yemen

WFP distributes food in Madinat Al Shaab district Yemen, in August 2015. Since April 2015, WFP has reached more than 2 million conflict-affected and severely food insecure people in thirteen of Yemen's governorates. File Photo: WFP/Ammar Bamatraf

A human rights expert has sounded the alarm on what she called the "deliberate starvation" of civilians in Yemen. Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, warned that the war-torn Middle Eastern country is spiralling into a major food crisis. Thirteen million people don't have adequate food as a result of [...]

14 Aug 2015 | Posted in Food Crisis, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 14 August 2015 (AM)

The number of displaced people in Iraq has reached more than three million, according to IOM. File Photo: UNHCR/S. Baldwin

Iraqi displaced surpasses three million The number of displaced people in Iraq has reached more than three million, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Friday. IOM coordinates with the Iraqi authorities in tracking displacement across the country. It said the majority of those displaced—nearly 90 per cent—come from three governorates: Anbar, Ninewa and [...]

14 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals | Read More »

Torture experts call for action on Iraqi detainees “held for years"

The torture panel presents its finding to the Press at the UN in Geneva. Photo: UN

  Iraqi authorities faced pressure to take a clear stance against torture on Friday as a UN rights committee called for them to close secret detention centres. Covering violations dating back to 2011, the UN Committee Against Torture said Iraq's judiciary needed to punish offenders – and come up with a firm definition of what [...]

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

Burundi leaders encouraged to pursue dialogue

People demonstrate in Bujumbura against a decision by Burundi's ruling party to nominate President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term (April 2015). File Photo: IRIN/Desire Nimubona/

The human rights situation in Burundi continues to deteriorate, with nearly 100 people killed and 600 detained or tortured since the start of election-related turmoil in April. That's according to the UN human rights office, OHCHR, which is urging the country's political leaders to renounce the use of violence and resolve their differences peacefully. Dianne [...]

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

Progress in South Sudan in fight against cholera

A health worker in South Sudan counts water purification sachets for distribution to patients upon being discharged from the cholera treatment unit, as part of concerted efforts to contain the outbreak. Photo: WHO/Matilda Moyo.

Progress is being made in South Sudan to protect children and at-risk populations against cholera, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN's health agency recently reported that the provision of life-saving treatment to thousands of people is helping bring down the number the cases. Since June, more than 1,500 cholera cases have been [...]

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

#ThanksHealthHero campaign highlights need to protect life-savers

A child receives the polio vaccine from a vaccination team in the Al Salam IDP camp, North Darfur, Sudan.  UN Photo/Olivier Chassot

Disturbing details about deliberate attacks on health workers show how important it is to come up with new measures to protect them, the UN said Friday. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and its #ThanksHealthHero hashtag social media campaign, more than 600 health professionals died in direct attacks in 2014, and nearly 1,000 more [...]

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

Women need greater role in humanitarian relief efforts

Kyung-wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

Women need a greater role in humanitarian relief efforts following war or natural disasters, according to the UN. Recently experts gathered at the UN to discuss strategies to ensure that women are included in making decisions during times of crisis. They also looked at how women can better protect themselves during periods of upheaval. Maria [...]

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

Security Council holds closed door talks on sexual abuse by UN forces

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

The Security Council has heard a proposal by the UN Secretary-General to include the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel on its agenda. Ban Ki-moon on Thursday addressed a closed door meeting of the chamber during which he described such misconduct as "a cancer" that is doing great harm to the people [...]

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

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan

south-sudan

Thousands of South Sudanese fleeing insecurity arrive in Malakal Thousands of people fleeing violence and food insecurity in South Sudan have recently arrived at the UN's Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, according to the UN mission in the country, UNMISS. The site was built to protect around 18,000 people, but UNMISS says 46,000 individuals [...]

13 Aug 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

News in Brief 13 August 2015 (PM)

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

UN chief underscores zero tolerance policy for sexual abuse and misconduct Senior leaders at UN peacekeeping operations have been reminded by the Secretary-General of their obligation to address sexual exploitation and abuse. Ban Ki-moon on Thursday held a video conference bringing together heads of mission, military and police chiefs, and other senior field personnel, during [...]

13 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on Hiroshima, Indigenous People’s Rights and Freedom of Expression

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“Work together for peace” says Hiroshima survivor A survivor of the atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima 70 years ago has said his dream is for the people of the world to work together for peace. He was talking to the Executive Secretary of the UN Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). Lassina Zerbo has [...]

13 Aug 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Women: focus on soccer clinics, women’s role in humanitarian relief and gender gap in Morocco

UNWomen_VCF_China_July2015

Gender equality promoted on the soccer field Soccer can teach young boys and girls across the world that they are equals, according to the United Nations. Professional players of the Spanish club, Valencia CF recently held a clinic for aspiring stars at the Beijing Royal School in China. It was organized in partnership with UN [...]

13 Aug 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

#ShareHumanity campaign aims “to alleviate millions of tragedies"

Share stories that matter - #ShareHumanity on World Humanitarian Day. Campaign Image: UNOCHA

An Internet campaign that uses the power of celebrity to raise awareness about the unprecedented scale of the world's crises has already proved a hit ahead of World Humanitarian Day, the UN said Thursday. With the help of stars such as tennis champion Maria Sharapova and Colombian singer Juanes, UN humanitarian agency OCHA says its [...]

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

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"World has learned from the Ebola experience"

A boy's temperature is taken as he arrives at school in Kenema, Sierra Leone (March 2015). File Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0768/Tanya Bindra

The world has learned from the Ebola experience, according to the head of the World Health Organization (WHO). Margaret Chan was briefing the UN Security Council on Thursday on peace and security in Africa related to the latest Ebola virus outbreak, which struck the continent in March 2014. Since then, the disease has claimed the [...]

13 Aug 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

WFP calls for more support for Syrian refugees

WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin with a Syrian refugee child. Photo: WFP/Dina Elkassaby

The international community has been urged not to forget the Syrian crisis which has displaced millions of people to neighbouring countries. Ertharin Cousin, head of the World Food Programme (WFP) made the appeal on Thursday at the end of a four-day visit to the region. WFP supports 1.5 million Syrian refugees in five countries but [...]

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

Distribution of cash vouchers for food begins in eastern Ukraine

A mother and son receiving a WFP food voucher in Ukraine. File Photo: WFP/Iuliiya Korzh

Cash vouchers from the World Food Programme (WFP) are being distributed in eastern Ukraine to help people in the strife-torn area buy food. This week WFP began distributing cash to 60,000 people, most internally displaced persons, in the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. Maria Carlino reports. Since fighting broke out between pro-Russian rebels and government [...]

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

News in Brief 13 August 2015 (AM)

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien, on visit to Yemen, talks with an elderly man who said his home was burnt to the ground during fighting. Photo: OCHA

Humanitarian chief gets first-hand view of Yemen devastation The entire population in Aden in Yemen—more than 800,000 people—is in need of food, water, emergency shelter and other aid relief, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator has said. Stephen O'Brien visited the governorate on Wednesday to hear how people have been affected by the civil conflict in the [...]

13 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Sports deal scores for grassroots development

Wilfried Lemke, head of the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace, said the deal focuses on the benefits of sport in communities. Photo: UNOSDP

Efforts to promote sport as a tool for development received a boost after the signing of an deal to foster fresh talent at grassroots level. The agreement, led by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development (UNOSD), targets promising future sports administrators from developing countries. They'll get the chance to study for a prestigious [...]

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

Baghdad market blast "an indiscriminate act of terrorism"

Civilians in Iraq. File Picture: UNAMI

A deadly truck bombing at a market in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Thursday has been condemned as "heinous and cowardly" by a senior UN official in the country. Gyorgy Busztin, acting chief at the UN mission in Iraq, UNAMI, called for the perpetrators to be swiftly brought to justice. Dianne Penn reports. More than [...]

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

#ShareHumanity campaign with star quality goes live

#ShareHumanity online campaign was launched on Social Media platforms on Thursday. Image: OCHA

An online media campaign with big star appeal has begun to raise awareness about humanitarian crises ahead of World Humanitarian Day 2015, the UN announced Thursday. Dozens of A-list personalities are now supporting the (hashtag) #ShareHumanity campaign by sharing compelling humanitarian stories on their social media accounts. The aim is to raise awareness…and funds. Daniel [...]

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

Inflation erodes consumer purchasing power in South Sudan

The price of locally produced grains like sorghum and maize has dropped in South Sudan due to an early harvest in the Great Equatoria region. File Photo: World Bank/Simone D. McCourtie

Inflation fueled by the high price of imported commodities in South Sudan is eating away at consumer purchasing power in the war-torn nation. That's according to Kennedy Nanga, an economic and specialist in South Sudan's markets. Mr Nanga said the price of locally produced grains like sorghum and maize has dropped due to an early [...]

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

"Dual discrimination" faced by aboriginal women

Professor Megan Davis. Photo: UN Radio

Aboriginal women in Australia are facing what has been described by a leading rights advocate as "dual discrimination." The indigenous peoples of Australia make up less than 5 per cent of the country's total population. Many face intolerance because of their ethnic background; women face the extra element of discrimination because of their gender. Professor [...]

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

News in Brief 12 August 2015 (PM)

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

  Latest round of Libya talks conclude in Geneva Talks on Libya concluded in Geneva on Wednesday with parties reaffirming their commitment to ending the country's political crisis and military conflict. That message comes from the UN negotiator, Bernardino Leon, who presided over the two days of dialogue. Libya has been plagued by a political [...]

12 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Young people must be "champions" in ensuring the success of the Sustainable Development Goals

Commemoration of International Youth Day 2015 on the theme

Young people must be "champions" in ensuring the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which promote economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection. That's the opinion of Raina Kadavil, a 17 year old American citizen of Indian heritage, who participated in the recent Youth Assembly held at UN Headquarters in New York. Civic engagement [...]

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

UN Daily News 12 August 2015

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Africa reaches important milestone in polio eradication

Survivors of polio in Kano State, Nigeria, sit on tricycles specially designed for people with disabilities. Photo: UNICEF/Sebastian Rich

Africa has reached an important milestone in becoming polio-free, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This week marks one year since the last wild polio case was detected on the entire African continent, a sign of important progress in eradicating the deadly disease. Maria Carlino reports. In the Horn of Africa, no wild polio [...]

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

Burundi called on to resume political dialogue

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

A call for restraint, leadership and vision to end the ongoing political impasse and instability in Burundi has been made by a team of international envoys. The envoys said that after months of unrest and violence in the Great Lakes country, talks between the Burundian government and opposition parties can begin to restore credibility. Maria [...]

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

No place for sexual exploitation and abuse in the UN: Secretary-General

Secretary-General Speaks to Press on Conduct of UN Troops in Central African Republic. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday announced the resignation of the head of the UN mission in the Central African Republic (CAR). This follows new reports of abuse allegedly committed by UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR). Mr Ban has also requested a special session of the Security Council on sexual exploitation and [...]

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

Thousands of South Sudanese fleeing insecurity arrive in Malakal

Civilians seek refuge at a compound of the UN Mission in South Sudan. UN Photo/Rolla Hinedi

Thousands of people fleeing violence and food insecurity in South Sudan have recently arrived at the UN's Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, according to the UN mission in the country, UNMISS. The site was built to protect around 18,000 people, but UNMISS says 46,000 individuals are now living within its walls. Nearly 20 months [...]

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

News in Brief 12 August 2015 (AM)

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

  UN envoy welcomes release of Syrian activist The release of a human rights activist and journalist in Syria has been welcomed by the UN envoy for the country. Mazen Darwish was freed on Monday after spending more than three years in prison. UN envoy Staffan de Mistura urged the Syrian government to release all [...]

12 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Syrian refugees in Jordan taking "drastic measures" to cope with aid cuts

View over Za'atari Refugee Camp in Jordan housing over 80,000 Syrian Refugees, which will on 29 July 2015, mark three years since it was set up. Photo: UNHCR/C. Herwig

A reduction in humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan is forcing families to incur debt and even take their children out of school and send them to work, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). WFP said these "drastic measures" are the result of cuts in food vouchers and other support to nearly half [...]

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

Geography and statistics supporting global development agenda

Climate change and sea level rise are shaping the Seychelles Islands in spectacular and dramatic ways. Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Lawrence Hislop

Geography and statistics are being used together to help countries around the world better fulfil the needs of humanity while protecting the planet. Knowing the location of areas stricken by issues like drought, disease or poverty can help governments create plans to promote sustainable development. That's according to Tim Trainor, one of the co-chairs of [...]

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

Thousands flee to Somalia from Yemen war

A young woman waits at a food distribution in Afgoye, Somalia. Credit: UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Nearly 30,000 mainly Somalia refugees have been forced to flee war-torn Yemen and return home where the humanitarian situation remains fragile, according to the UN. In its latest report on Somalia, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA says that the returnees started arriving back in the country in March, after fighting escalated in Yemen. Three-quarters of [...]

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

Young people urged to channel “amazing energy” to fight poverty

Ahmad Alhendawi. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Young people around the world are being encouraged to channel what’s been called their “amazing energy” into UN efforts to eradicate poverty and create a sustainable future for all. The call comes from UN Youth Envoy Ahmad Alhendawi in a message for International Youth Day, observed on 12 August. World leaders will endorse 17 Sustainable [...]

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

Youth urged by Secretary-General to speak out for progress

Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

Young people across the globe are being called on by the UN Secretary-General to demand and foster dramatic progress. Ban Ki-moon said that as world leaders prepare to adopt a bold new vision for sustainable development in September, the engagement of youth is more valuable than ever. Maria Carlino reports. Young people are proving to [...]

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

Awareness of indigenous people's rights increasing in Nepal

Dr Mukta Lama at the UN Radio studios, United Nations Headquarters, New York. UN Photo

Awareness of the rights of indigenous people in Nepal is increasing, but more needs to be done to ensure they have access to a range of services, according to an activist from the Asian nation. Nepal has 59 recognised indigenous groups, making up around 40 per cent of the population. The international community recently gathered [...]

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

Secretary-General "disappointed" by alleged abuse by peacekeepers in CAR

Stéphane Dujarric. UN File Photo

Allegations of abuse involving UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) have "personally dismayed and disappointed" the UN Secretary-General, his spokesperson has said. This follows reports raised on Tuesday by Amnesty International. Dianne Penn reports. UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters in New York that the UN was "very much aware" of the allegations [...]

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

News in Brief 11 August 2015 (PM)

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

Pakistan case highlights need for more action against child sexual abuse Reports of widespread child sexual abuse in the Kasur district of Pakistan show that more must be done to protect youngsters from these horrors, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday. Hundreds of children were reportedly abused over several years by a group [...]

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Irregular migrants from Dominican Republic receiving support in Haiti

Family at the Fond Bayard school in Fond Parisien near the Malpasse border after returning from the Dominican Republic. Photo: OM/Ilaria Lanzoni 2015

Irregular migrants returning to Haiti from the Dominican Republic are receiving support from UN agencies and partner organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Increasing numbers of people of Haitian origin have been leaving the Dominican Republic since June after missing a deadline to regularize their immigration status. The two nations share the [...]

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

Negotiator: give Libya talks benefit of doubt

The press conference at the UN in Geneva where negotiator Bernardino Leon said that every effort had been made to get all participants to the talks. Photo: UN

  Talks aimed at bringing peace to Libya got under way in Geneva on Tuesday with a call to all parties to give the discussions the "benefit of the doubt". UN negotiator Bernardino Leon made his comments to journalists in the Swiss city where he said he aims to bring opposing parties together for the [...]

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

UN Daily News 11 August 2015

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Health system in Yemen continuing to shut down

WHO mobile teams in Alluhaya district of Hodeida, Yemen, earlier this year. Photo: WHO Yemen

The health system in Yemen is continuing to shut down, leaving civilians without access to critical, life-saving health care, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 22,000 people have been injured since March, due to fighting between government and rebel forces. The UN's health agency announced on Tuesday that almost 23 per cent [...]

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

Thai courts under fire for "60-year" treason jail terms

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. Photo: UN Multimedia

Thai authorities faced a call Tuesday to reform the country's treason laws amid a sharp rise in the number and severity of sentencing for people found guilty of the offence. Violating Thailand's so-called lèse-majesté law led to a 60-year prison sentence for one defendant who criticised the Thai monarchy on a social media site, the [...]

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

Myanmar: Free speech "voices" vital to democracy

Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar Yanghee Lee. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The government in Myanmar is being urged to examine what a UN human rights expert has labelled "its fear and opposition to critical and independent voices." Yanghee Lee, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the country, said people exercising their right to free speech should be seen as vital partners, not threats. [...]

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

News in Brief 11 August 2015 (AM)

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

Iraqi anti-corruption reforms to bolster national unity Proposed reforms in Iraq aimed at streamlining state institutions and stamping out corruption will strengthen national unity and accelerate reconciliation, according to a senior UN official in the country. Gyorgy Busztin, deputy head at the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), has welcomed the reform plan which was [...]

11 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Fourth killing this year of blogger in Bangladesh condemned

David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression Addresses Human Rights Council. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The murder of a blogger in Bangladesh who supported the rights of women and minorities has been condemned by two UN human rights experts. Niloy Neel was reportedly hacked to death on Friday in his apartment in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, by an extremist gang. Before his death, Mr Neel wrote posts condemning the recent killings [...]

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

Mali prisoner release "sure to backfire"

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

In Mali, the mass release of prisoners accused of serious human rights violations is sure to backfire on the war-torn country, the UN said Tuesday. According to the UN human rights office, OHCHR, 44 prisoners have already been released despite either facing war crimes charges or having links with terrorist organisations. Another 100 detainees may [...]

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

Closing schools for Palestinian refugee children "unacceptable"

Putting the education of Palestinian children at risk is unacceptable, according to a senior official of UNRWA. File Photo: UNRWA

Putting the education of Palestinian children at risk is unacceptable, according to a senior official of the UN agency which supports Palestine refugees, UNRWA. UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Sandra Mitchell said the money needed to open schools on time for half a million Palestinian children has not been forthcoming. She said the agency does not have [...]

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

Photo exhibit tells stories of South Sudan

Female journalists participating on a workshop with international photojournalist Frederique Cifuentes. Photo: UNESCO/Lydia Gachungi

The struggles and triumphs of ordinary people in South Sudan have been displayed in a photo exhibit in Juba supported by the UN cultural agency, UNESCO. Twenty young journalists from the African country showcased pictures they took after completing a two-week photojournalism workshop on how to report on conflicts in a sensitive way. South Sudan [...]

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

Supporting indigenous people's right to health care access

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at ECOSOC: "Commemoration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples". UN Photo/Rick Bajorna

Indigenous people must not be left behind in global efforts to achieve a sustainable future, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday. Mr Ban was speaking at an event at UN Headquarters commemorating the International Day of Indigenous People. Access to health care is the focus of this year's observation, which the UN chief stated [...]

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

News in Brief 10 August 2015 (PM)

Syrian refugees in the southern Turkey town of Akcakale collect aid donated by private individuals and aid organizations. Photo: UNHCR

Turkey terrorist attacks condemned A series of terrorist attacks in Turkey on Monday have been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Six members of the country's security forces were reportedly killed in the incidents which took place in Istanbul, and in the south-east provinces. The United States consulate in Istanbul was also attacked. Ban Ki-moon, the [...]

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The "one shoe fits all" approach is leaving indigenous peoples behind

Dr Pricilla Migiro at UN Radio. UN Photo/Joshua W Mmali

The "one shoe fits all" approach to health and well-being means that indigenous peoples have poorer access to appropriate health care than other groups in their respective countries. That's according to Dr Pricilla Migiro, a paediatrician from the Masaai ethnic group in Kenya. Many Masaai people live in remote regions so have problems accessing health [...]

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

Students and teachers in Gaza counting on UN chief

Secretary-General has a conversation via WebEx with students enrolled in schools run by UNRWA. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Students and teachers in Gaza say they are counting on the UN Secretary-General to help keep their schools open and solve the current funding crisis. The UN agency that works with Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, recently announced it would delay opening its schools in the region for the first time if it fails to raise more than [...]

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

UN Daily News 10 August 2015

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News in Brief 10 August 2015 (AM)

A wide view of the Security Council in session. UN File Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Security Council condemns Afghanistan terrorist attacks Violent or terrorist acts cannot reverse Afghanistan's path towards peace, democracy and stability, the UN Security Council has said. The 15-member chamber condemned a recent spate of terrorist attacks in the country which killed upwards of 70 people and injured hundreds more. Council members also reaffirmed that acts of [...]

10 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN committee says "climate of impunity" a driver of violence in OPT

Session of the Human Rights Council. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

Israel's settlement expansion and the "climate of impunity" for Jewish settlers are the "root cause" of the escalating violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. That's the assessment of a UN special committee which examines the human rights situation in the occupied Syrian Golan; the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The committee [...]

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

Food aid and voucher cuts to affect nearly one million displaced Iraqis

Lack of funds forces WFP to halve its food rations to displaced Iraqis. Photo: UNAMI

Lack of funds has forced the World Food Programme (WFP) to reduce its food aid to nearly one million displaced people in Iraq. Monthly food parcels distributed to families will be cut by half, while food vouchers will drop from US$26 to US$16, the agency said on Monday. The move will affect displaced families living [...]

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

Cultural destruction a “blow to peace"

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

The deliberate targeting of cultural treasures is a terrifying experience for communities that can hamper the restoration of peace, the UN's heritage agency UNESCO warned on Monday. Highlighting the destruction of cherished heritage in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, UNESCO's Giovanni Boccardi said that it should be recognised as an urgent humanitarian and security issue. Boccardi, [...]

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

"Work together for peace" says Hiroshima survivor

Survivors of the 1945 atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki, Japan
UN File Photo/Yosuke Yamahata

A survivor of the atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima 70 years ago has said his dream is for the people of the world to work together for peace. He was talking to the Executive Secretary of the UN Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). Lassina Zerbo has been in Japan to attend ceremonies marking [...]

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

Sadness at death of toddler’s father

The West Bank barrier, along with checkpoints, roadblocks and permit system, has created a closure regime that has had a dire effect on all aspects of life for Palestine refugees. Photo: UNRWA/Isabel de la Cruz

The UN has expressed sadness at the death of the Palestinian father of a toddler who died in an arson attack in July. Ali Dawabsha was killed at his home in the Occupied West Bank in what was called a "terrorist crime". His father was severely injured in that attack. Daniel Dickinson has more. Sa’ad [...]

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

"Five" UN contractors die in Mali attack

Insecurity has led to the mass displacement of Malians
Photo MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

An attack in central Mali, which led to the death of at least one United Nations contractor has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. A number of soldiers from the Malian Armed Forces were also reportedly killed and wounded in the incident. Daniel Dickinson has more details. Media reports said that at least 13 people [...]

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

News in Brief 07 August 2015 (PM)

Refuggee families receive support. UNRWA File Photo/Shareef Sarhan

Rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza condemned A series of rocket attacks on Israel launched from Gaza has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. The attacks follow a number of incidents in recent days. A firebomb seriously injured an Israeli woman on Monday. There have also been reports of provocations by Israeli settlers in Hebron. [...]

7 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

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Mechanism set up to determine responsibility for chemical weapons use in Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. File Photo: US Dept. of Transportation

A mechanism to determine who is responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria has been unanimously agreed by the UN Security Council. A fact-finding mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, OPCW, said last December that chlorine gas had most likely been used as a weapon of war in the [...]

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

Calais death toll "highlights refugees' desperation"

Melissa Fleming said migrants and refugees did not trust the European asylum system. Photo: UN /Jean-Marc Ferré

The rising death toll among refugees and migrants at a French port requires urgent action from the authorities, the UN said Friday. According to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, at least 10 people have died trying to cross the Channel to the United Kingdom since June. UNHCR's Melissa Fleming told Daniel Johnson that the tragedies [...]

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

News in Brief 07 August 2015 (AM)

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

Killing of 8 civilians in Afghanistan condemned The killing on Friday of at least eight civilians in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has been condemned by the UN mission in the country, UNAMA. Two hundred people were also injured. A truck heavily packed with explosives detonated in the Shah Shahid area of the city in the [...]

7 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Greek state urged to "take control" of 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 Greek authorities have been urged by the UN to take control of what's been described as a refugee crisis on its shores. Some 124,000 people have arrived in Greece since the beginning of the year with 50,000 arriving in July alone. The UN warned that government inaction is hampering the aid effort. Here's Daniel [...]

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

UN: "Time is right" for Geneva Libya talks

Talks to help find a resolution to the conflict in Libya are slated to start again at the United Nations in Geneva because "the time is right" to do so, the UN said Friday. Libya has been divided and at war since 2011, following the overthrow of president Muammar al-Qhadafi. But in an apparent attempt [...]

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

No "band-aid" for world's problems

Amina J. Mohammed. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

New development goals agreed by the international community seek to get to the root of the world's problems rather than just, in the words of a senior UN official, put a band-aid on them. The Sustainable Development Goals, which are due to be endorsed by world leaders at the United Nations in September, replace the [...]

7 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

South African orphan commits to helping others

2015 Summer Youth Assembly at the UN. Photo: UN Web TV

A 17-year old orphan from South Africa says he was inspired by former President Nelson Mandela to follow his dream of helping disadvantaged people in his country. Richard Selebogo is attending a three-day Youth Assembly at the United Nations where young people are discussing new development  goals, which are due to be agreed by world [...]

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

News in Brief 06 August 2015 (PM)

Internally displaced persons find refuge in Baga Sola, Chad, after Boko Haram attacked their village. Photo: OCHA/Mayanne Munan

10,000 people flee terror group in Chad An estimated 10,000 people have fled their homes in western Chad following the fear of attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist group; that's according to the UN. The Government of Chad has also asked civilians to leave areas where ongoing military operations are being undertaken against the group. [...]

6 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on Ebola, food staples and cattle breeding

Fatoumata Lejeune. Photo: UNifeed

Ebola Response Mission Closes Although Crisis Not Over Yet “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, [...]

6 Aug 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Women: focus on education in South Sudan, breastfeeding week and Iraqi women

A campaign to return girls to school in war-torn South Sudan is due to get underway. File Photo: UNICEF

Girls head back to school in South Sudan A campaign to return girls to school in war-torn South Sudan is due to get underway, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The enrolment rate for girls has declined since the start of the conflict in December 2013, and many girls never make it past primary [...]

6 Aug 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on Afghan casualties, Myanmar floods and child trafficking in Nepal

Members of a family sit outside their simple home in northern Afghanistan's Faryab province. Photo: UNHCR/S. Sisomsack

Afghan casualty figures mask "horrendous" consequences, says mission head Nearly 5,000 Afghan civilians have been killed or injured as a result of ongoing violence in the country in the first six months of the year, according to a UN report released Wednesday. Mortar attacks, improvised explosive devices and other lethal weapons are behind the figures, [...]

6 Aug 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

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

New round of peace talks in Libya planned A new round of peace talks to resolve the conflict in Libya is due to get underway next Monday according to the UN mission in the country, UNSMIL. The North African country has been plagued by factional fighting since the overthrow of President Muammar al-Qhadafi in 2011. [...]

6 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"No more Hiroshimas" Secretary-General tells anniversary ceremony of bombing

The remains of the Prefectural Industry Promotion Building, later preserved as a monument - known as the Genbaku Dome - at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. UN Photo

On the seventieth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, the call by survivors for a world free of nuclear weapons has received the support of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Survivors gathered in Japan on Thursday at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima to honour the tens of thousands of people killed by the world's first [...]

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

UN peacekeepers determined to see rule of law in CAR

Luis Miguel Carrilho (facing camera), Police Commissioner of the MINUSCA, during a patrol through the streets of Bangui. UN File Photo/Nektarios Markogianni

UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic will continue to support authorities in their efforts to improve security despite the killing of a colleague; that's according to Luis Carrilho, Police Commissioner at the UN mission in the country, known as MINUSCA. The Cameroonian peacekeeper was killed on Sunday during a search operation for a suspected [...]

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

Ebola: challenges remain despite drop in cases

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

  Latest indications of a drop in new cases of Ebola in west Africa should not be taken as proof that the killer disease is beaten, UN medics say. The World Health Organization (WHO), which announced just one confirmed case of the virus in Guinea and another in Sierra Leone in its weekly report, said [...]

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

Girls head back to school in South Sudan

A campaign to return girls to school in war-torn South Sudan is due to get underway. File Photo: UNICEF

A campaign to return girls to school in war-torn South Sudan is due to get underway, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The enrolment rate for girls has declined since the start of the conflict in December 2013, and many girls never make it past primary school. That's according to Phuong Nguyen, UNICEF's chief [...]

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

Gender equality promoted on the soccer field

Beijing Royal School students train at the UN Women and Valencia CF Football Clinic. Photo: UN Women/ Valencia CF/ Lázaro Dela Peña

Soccer can teach young boys and girls across the world that they are equals, according to the United Nations. Professional players of the Spanish club, Valencia CF recently held a clinic for aspiring stars at the Beijing Royal School in China. It was organized in partnership with UN Women, which wants to replicate the awareness-raising [...]

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

Political process in CAR “moving forward”

Special Representative and head of the UN peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSCA, Babacar Gaye (left) encourages ex-combatants to join the road to peace in the Central African Republic (CAR). File Photo: MINUSCA

The political process in the Central African Republic (CAR) is moving forward despite ongoing tensions between rival communities, according to the UN's top envoy in the country. CAR has been mired in sectarian violence between Muslim and Christian militias for the past two years. The insecurity has forced over 820,000 people to flee their homes; [...]

5 Aug 2015 | Posted in From the Field, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 05 August 2015 (PM)

Special Representative and head of the UN peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSCA, Babacar Gaye (left) encourages ex-combatants to join the road to peace in the Central African Republic (CAR). File Photo: MINUSCA

CAR displaced returning home An improvement in the overall security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), has allowed internally displaced people to return home and economic activity to recover. That's according to the top UN envoy in the country, Babacar Gaye, who has been briefing the Security Council. CAR has been mired in sectarian [...]

5 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 05 August 2015

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Death sentence of Iranian doctor "absolute outrage"

UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein warned of a return to Burundi's "bloody past". UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The death sentence of an alternative medicine doctor in Iran has been called an "absolute outrage" by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Mohammad Ali Taheri, the founder of a spiritual movement and practitioner of alternative medicine, was charged by the Revolutionary Court for the crime of "corruption on earth". High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad [...]

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

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Floods in Kale Township, Sagaing Region of Myanmar. Photo: WFP/Khin Khin Aung

Aid reaches flood-affected people in Myanmar Aid has been delivered to 82,000 people in the most flood-affected parts of western Myanmar, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has announced. Flooding and landslides caused by heavy monsoon rains have impacted more than a quarter of a million people in 12 out of Myanmar’s 14 states. Nearly 208,000 [...]

5 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Somali refugees helped to return home

Somali refugees board a plane to return to Mogadishu from Dadaab camp in Kenya. Photo: UNHCR/A.Nasrullah

One hundred Somali refugees living in Kenya have been voluntarily repatriated according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The refugees were flown to the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday from Dadaab camp. Maria Carlino reports. Kenya is hosting more than 470,000 Somali refugees, the majority of whom are in the large Dadaab refugee complex in [...]

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

Myanmar battles deadly flooding

Flooded fields in Kale Township in the Sagaing Region of Myanmar. Photo: WFP/Khin Khin Aung

Monsoon flooding in Myanmar has killed nearly 70 people and affected more than 250,000, the United Nations said on Wednesday. UN agencies and their partners have been assisting the country in responding to the disaster. The UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) says despite blocked roads and dangerous river conditions, assessment teams have reached remote areas [...]

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

Comedy campaign is no laughing matter

The risks children face using digital devices are central to a new campaign entitled 'Stand Up Mobile'. © UNICEF/NYHQ2011-2000/LeMoyne

Comedy skits by renowned comedians in Latin America that highlight the risks children face using digital devices are central to a new campaign entitled 'Stand Up Mobile'. That's according to Stefan Stefansson, Regional Chief of Partnerships for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Latin America and the Caribbean. Working together with network provider GSMA and [...]

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

New vaccine to protect children from diarrhoea in Kiribati

Children on the Pacific island of Kiribati will be better protected from a potentially killer virus following the introduction of a new vaccine. File Photo: UNICEF

Children on the Pacific island of Kiribati will be better protected from a potentially killer virus following the introduction of a new vaccine, according to the UN. The small island nation is one of the first countries in the Pacific to roll out the rotavirus vaccine. Ana Carmo reports. In the past five years Kiribati [...]

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

Execution of Pakistan man condemned

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

The execution of a man in Pakistan, who was reportedly 14 years old when he was convicted of murder, has been condemned by the UN. Media reports say Shafqat Hussein was hanged at a prison in Karachi on Tuesday. Daniel Dickinson reports. Shafqat Hussein allegedly murdered a seven-year-old child in 2004. His lawyers claimed that [...]

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

Afghan casualty figures mask "horrendous" reality

UNAMA head Nicholas Haysom said politicians' commitments to peace need to be heeded by those behind the violence. Photo: UNAMA / Fardin Waezi

  Nearly 5,000 Afghan civilians have been killed or injured as a result of ongoing violence in the country in the first six months of the year, according to a UN report released Wednesday. Mortar attacks, improvised explosive devices and other lethal weapons are behind the figures, which were compiled by the UNAMA, the United [...]

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

News in Brief 04 August 2015 (PM)

US President Barack Obama (left) greets Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on his arrival at the White House. UN Photo/Mark Garten

President Obama lauded for human rights role The US President Barrack Obama has been lauded by the UN Secretary-General for his "strong support for human rights." Following a meeting with President Obama at the White House in Washington DC, Ban Ki-moon said the rights of people in conflict areas are being abused. He commended the [...]

4 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Social contract" critical to implement post-2015 agenda

Thomas Gass speaking to the press. UN File Photo/Yubi Hoffmann

A new social contract between governments and their people is critical if the UN's global development agenda is to deliver on its promise to end extreme poverty and inequality by 2030. That's according to Thomas Gass, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. On [...]

4 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 04 August 2015

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Iraqi women "looking forward" despite terrorism

Conference 'Empowering Women to Address the Impact of Terrorism', Erbil, Iraq. Photo: UNAMI PIO.

Terrorism and violent extremism in Iraq have increased the vulnerability of women and girls living there, according to a gender expert at the UN mission in the country. Idah Muema, gender adviser at the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said women have been subjected to displacement, sexual violence, loss of freedom, and the deaths [...]

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

News in Brief 04 August 2015 (AM)

Migrants try to reach Europe in search of a better life. File Photo:  IOM/Francesco Malavolta 2015

"Prioritize human dimensions" of Calais migrants The well-being of migrants who are camped at the French port city of Calais, has to be prioritized, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Up to 5,000 migrants are currently waiting in Calais, many of whom are trying to cross over to the United Kingdom. The UN [...]

4 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Three million in Iraq without access to health care services

Polio vaccination campaign in Iraq last year. Almost three million people in Iraq have been left without access to health care following the closure of services supported by humanitarian organizations.  File Photo: UNAMI

Almost three million people in Iraq have been left without access to health care following the closure of services supported by humanitarian organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN agency said the closures were due to a lack of funding. Ana Carmo reports. WHO said 84 per cent of health programmes provided by [...]

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

Millions lack healthcare in Iraq amid funding crisis

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

Funding shortages have forced the UN health agency to suspend more than 180 frontline health operations in Iraq, it said Tuesday. Almost three million people are now without access to urgently needed healthcare support after the closures last month, World Health Organization (WHO) said. Mainly northern governorates are affected, along with some central areas too, [...]

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

Yemen Envoy: still "momentum" for a ceasefire

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

The negotiator tasked with bringing an end to the Yemen conflict believes there's "momentum" for a ceasefire between the warring parties, the UN said Tuesday. The development comes as UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed continues his push for a peaceful end to the conflict in the Arab peninsula state. Meanwhile, the [...]

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

Tajik president urged to veto civil society law

Session of the Human Rights Council. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

The president of Tajikistan has been urged by the UN human rights office, OHCHR, to veto amendments to a law which it believes could negatively affect the work of civil society organizations in the country. OHCHR said the amendments could undermine legitimate human rights activities. Daniel Dickinson reports. The amendments to the Law on Public [...]

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

UN in South Sudan denies shutting out fleeing populations

UN is protecting almost 170,000 people in the war-torn country in South Sudan. File Photo: UNMISS/UN Military

Accusations that the UN Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, refused protection to civilians fleeing fighting in the country have been refuted by the mission.     On Saturday thousands of people sought refuge at the UN compound in Yambio, the capital city of Western Equatoria state, following clashes between government army units and local ethnic groups. [...]

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

Call for restraint in Burundi where "sense of fear" rules

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

Attacks on a journalist and a well-known human rights defender in Burundi prompted the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Tuesday to issue a call for restraint from all opposing groups. News agency journalist Esdras Ndikumana was allegedly assaulted by state security forces on Monday, while rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa was targeted in a [...]

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

Breastfeeding at work a "smart investment"

f-breastfeeding-ILO-03AUG15

Allowing women to breastfeed their infants at work helps women balance their professional and personal lives while increasing worker productivity, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). Despite the benefits of allowing nursing in the workplace, the ILO says that, in practice, many women actually lose their jobs when they have children. Susan Maybud, a [...]

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

US climate change plan shows "visionary leadership"

Sustainable energy. Photo: World Bank/Dana Smillie

A plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations by nearly a third within 15 years has been described as "visionary" by the UN Secretary-General. The United States relies heavily on power generated from coal, which leads to significant amounts of harmful emissions. The Clean Power Plan, unveiled by US President Barack Obama [...]

3 Aug 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

Countries sign off on new global development agenda

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses press conference in New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten

A global agreement has been reached at the United Nations which plots the way forward for sustainable development across the world. All 193 countries that make up the UN have signed off on an agenda which it's hoped will end poverty by 2030. It includes Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to promote shared economic prosperity, social [...]

3 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 03 August 2015 (PM)

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

Killing of Burundian general condemned The killing of a senior Burundian general and close aide to the country's president has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. General Adolphe Nshimirimana was killed after his car was hit in a rocket attack in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, on Sunday. Here's the UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric. "The Secretary-General [...]

3 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Thirst for knowledge" among children of war-torn South Sudan

Children attend the launch of the Back to Learning campaign in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, earlier in February. File Photo: UNICEF/Andreea Campeanu

Despite the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, children there have issued a simple and clear message: we want to stay in school. That's according to Save the Children which is issuing a report this Tuesday on the plight of the country's youngsters. At just four years old, South Sudan is the world's newest nation.  But [...]

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

UN Daily News 03 August 2015

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Hundreds of fearful Congolese to return to DR Congo

Young Congolese refugees in Zemio camp in Central African Republic. Photo: UNHCR/A Kitidi

Hundreds of refugees are to be airlifted out of Central African Republic (CAR) and returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), years after they fled attacks by rebels, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Monday. So far nearly 40 refugees have been flown back to DRC, out of a total of nearly 630 [...]

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

Women-owned cooperatives closing gender gap in rural Morocco

Women in remote mountain communities in Morocco. Photo: IFAD/video caption

Small loans to women-owned cooperatives from the UN's agricultural development fund, IFAD, are helping to close the gender gap in Morocco. Women in remote mountain communities of the country are able to start their own small livestock and agribusinesses thanks to a microfinance project between IFAD and the Moroccan government. Once relegated to domestic chores, [...]

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

Global progress on breastfeeding "stalled"

Women at work need a supportive environment to breastfeed. That's why World Breastfeeding Week 2015 focuses on empowering women to breastfeed at work. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-3645/NESBITT

An effort to increase the number of newborns who are breastfed has stalled across the world, according to two UN agencies. The UN set a global target of increasing breastfeeding rates for children under six months of age to at least 50 per cent by 2025. Ana Carmo reports In a statement to mark World [...]

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

Getting West African food staples to market

Agriculture is the economy's key sector in Benin, West Africa. File Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud

With a population of more than 340 million—and growing—West Africa is home to a third of the African continent. But the region is struggling to feed its people. The World Bank believes governments can overcome this situation by creating an integrated regional trade market for food staples. While rice, maize and cassava make up the [...]

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

Children in Myanmar facing "double catastrophe"

Vulnerable children in Myanmar face a 'double catastrophe' as floods add to the hardship faced by children living in poverty and those recovering from violence and conflict. Photo: UNICEF Myanmar

Children in Myanmar are facing what's been described by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) as a "double catastrophe." The agency said that floods caused by recent heavy rains have added to the hardship faced by children living in poverty and those recovering from violence and conflict. Daniel Dickinson reports The Myanmar Government said that 36 [...]

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

News in Brief 03 August 2015 (AM)

MINUSCA peacekeepers on patrol in the Central African Republic. Photo: MINUSCA

Killing of peacekeeper in Central African Republic condemned The killing of a United Nations peacekeeper in the Central African Republic has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Peacekeepers from the UN mission in the country, MINUSCA, were attacked by an armed group during a search operation for a suspected criminal in the capital Bangui on [...]

3 Aug 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Myanmar at an “important juncture”, says rights expert

Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar Yanghee Lee. Photo: UN / Jean-Marc Ferré

The international spotlight shifted to Myanmar on Monday as a special UN investigator arrived for an official visit of the country ahead of elections there. It's the third time independent human rights investigator Yanghee Lee has visited the country where she's highlighted tensions between the Buddhist majority and minority Muslim Rohingya community. Daniel Johnson has [...]

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

Agreement on post-2015 development agenda welcomed by UN chief

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

An agreement reached by Member States of the United Nations on the post-2015 development agenda has been welcomed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In September, world leaders are expected to formally adopt the document called Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will set new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will replace [...]

2 Aug 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

Ghanaian student finds value in intercultural exchange

Emmanuel Tetteh.

A Ghanaian medical student in Russia says learning the language helped him to not only understand the people but to bear with predicaments ranging from the cold weather to racism. Emmanuel Tetteh, who has been living in Volgograd for three years, is proud that he learned Russian well enough to write a 2,000-word essay in [...]

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

Reducing disputes related to private financing of public works in India

Public-private partnership in building infrastructure in India has been both a blessing and a bother, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). File Photo: World Bank

Public-private partnership in building infrastructure in India has been both a blessing and a bother, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Through this partnership, huge public projects have been built over the past decade, such as highways and railway networks, with most of the actual work handled by private companies. However, the IMF says [...]

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

Jordanian student wants more youth involvement in UN

Sara Arafeh from Jordan speaking at the Global Youth Forum on Multilingualism: Many Languages, One World 2015. Photo: UN Web TV

A winner of a UN-backed multilingual essay competition wants more young people to be involved in the global organization's work. Sara Arafeh from Jordan was one of 70 university students from 42 countries who were at the UN this month to celebrate their achievement in winning the Many Languages, One World contest. Participants had to [...]

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

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