UN Calling Asia: focus on Sri Lanka, afghan refugees and poverty reduction

Vijitha Pavanendran holds a photo of her husband who was killed by unknown attackers during Sri Lanka’s civil war. Photo: Amantha Perera/IRIN

War crimes court urged for Sri Lanka

Ten of thousands of people suffered human rights violations including torture and sexual abuse in Sri Lanka during almost a decade of civil conflict, according to a long-awaited UN report. The report covers the period between 2002 and 2011 when government forces battled Tamil separatists. Unveiled this week by the UN Human Rights commissioner in Geneva, it calls for a special court to try war crimes. Daniel Dickinson reports.

Afghan refugee exodus sign of people's "despondency"

Nicholas Haysom. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The migration of people from Afghanistan is a reflection of their "despondency" in their homeland, according to the senior UN official in the country told the Security Council on Thursday. Describing the migration as an "exodus", Nicholas Haysom underlined the need for continued international support for Afghanistan. The country continues to battle a bloody insurgency against a background of insecurity and economic uncertainty. Mr Haysom heads UNAMA, the UN mission which has been in Afghanistan since 2002. He said this year has seen a record rise in the number of civilian casualties. People are also leaving the country: a migration he described as an "exodus." Dianne Penn reports.

No shortcuts to ending poverty, says UN trade chief

File Photo: UNICEF

Poor countries will have to grow faster than China during its boom years if they’re to achieve ambitious development targets such as ending extreme poverty within a generation. The warning comes from the UN trade and development agency UNCTAD, which also insisted that developing countries face a funding gap of USD $2.5 trillion per year if they are to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNCTAD Secretary-General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi said that while China’s recent strong economic growth had done much to reduce poverty, it had not been enough to eradicate it. That shows that there are “no shortcuts” to boosting competitiveness, Dr Kituyi told Daniel Johnson, adding that poorer countries must embrace technology and innovation if they’re to make real progress on long-term development goals.

Presenter: Dianne Penn
Production Assistant: Sandra Guy
Duration: 10’00″

Filed under UN Calling Asia.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
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