Home » 31 Oct 2015 Entries posted on “October 2015”

Secretary-General expresses “deep sadness” over Russian plane crash

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

The UN Secretary-General has expressed sadness over the crash of a Russian plane in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Saturday. The Airbus 321 was travelling from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg when the incident occurred. Dianne Penn reports. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed "deep sadness" on learning about the crash, according to a statement issued by [...]

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

Barenboim in call to end Middle East conflict

Conductor Daniel Barenboim rehearsing for a concert ahead of World Human Rights Day at the UN in Geneva. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

World-renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim on Saturday called on global powers with influence to help stop the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because, as he put it, the two sides had "lost the feeling" that they needed to agree to a peace deal. Speaking ahead of a concert at the UN to celebrate World Human Rights Day on 10 [...]

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

UN and Red Cross chiefs appeal to end suffering

ICRC President Peter Maurer (left) and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to respect international humanitarian law. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

An unprecedented call for action to stop suffering by ending conflict has been issued by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, along with the head of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer. Speaking together at the UN in Geneva, both men warned that a disregard for basic humanity now [...]

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

Social protection systems must include persons with disabilities

Photo: World Bank/Masaru Goto

Social protection systems must address the unique needs of persons with disabilities. That's according to Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the issue. Ensuring social protection schemes take into account persons with disabilities can help prevent their exclusion or marginalization in societies as a whole. Rocío Franco spoke with Ms Aguilar and asked [...]

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

"Absolutely devastating" situation for children in Iraq

Students sit in front of new textbooks in one of 12 tented classrooms at Al Takiya Al Kasnazaniya camp for internally displaced persons in Karkh District, Baghdad Governorate, Iraq. Photo: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

The situation for children in Iraq has been described as "absolutely devastating" by the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. The agency says that ongoing conflict in the country is keeping two million young people out of school. UNICEF has built 40 new schools, set up temporary ones, and distributed educational materials to more than 200,000 children, [...]

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

News in Brief 30 October 2015 (PM)

A refugee camp in Iraq. Photo: UNAMI (file)

UN calls for swift investigation into "deplorable" attack on exile camp in Iraq Authorities in Iraq are being urged by the UN Secretary-General to investigate a deadly attack on a camp for asylum seekers located in the capital, Baghdad. Camp Hurriya— or Camp Liberty, in English—was hit by rockets on Thursday, killing 26 residents as [...]

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

Confidence building that world can meet global climate change target

Homes, water system and infrastructure in Shishmaref, Alaska, are being destroyed by a rising tide caused by climate change, to the point where homes are being abandoned as they literally fall into the ocean. Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Lawrence Hislop

There is growing optimism that a key global climate change target can be met, according to the UN climate change secretariat, the UNFCCC. In a report published on Friday, the UNFCC said that collectively, the national climate plans submitted by more than 140 countries could dramatically slow global greenhouse gas emissions. Governments are meeting in [...]

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

"Targeting" of political opposition in Cambodia must stop

Ravina Shamsadani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Photo: UN Multimedia

Political opponents are being targeted in Cambodia, and the government has a responsibility to stop it. That's the view of the UN human rights office, which highlighted a disturbing pattern of intimidation against Cambodian opposition figures in recent weeks. Matthew Wells has more: The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)  said on [...]

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

Whole future of the UN is "at stake" over peacekeeping reform

UN peacekeepers on patrol in Sudan's Abyei region. UN Photo/Tim McKulka

The whole future of the UN is at stake over the modernizing of its peacekeeping operations to face new challenges. That's according to the Deputy Secretary-General on Friday, addressing a meeting on the future of peacekeeping around the world. A top-to-bottom review is underway across the whole of the UN, following a recent report by [...]

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

UN Daily News 30 October 2015

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More protection needed for foreign nationals facing death penalty

Christoph Heyns. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Countries should do more to protect their citizens facing the death penalty abroad. That's according to a new report released by the UN's top expert on executions. The UN Special Rapporteur on executions, Christoph Heyns, has highlighted that hundreds of foreign nationals face the death penalty after trials that fail to reach the highest – [...]

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

Iraq conflict keeping millions of children out of school

Children in the Khanke Camp near Dohuk city, Iraq. File Photo: UNAMI

Conflict in Iraq is preventing nearly two million children from attending school, the UN children's agency (UNICEF) reports. Another 1.2 million youngsters are also at risk of dropping out, according to the agency. UNICEF describes the situation as "nothing short of devastating." Dianne Penn has the story. This week marked the start of the academic [...]

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

Peacekeepers set free in South Sudan, other hostages still held

Peacekeepers with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Jonglei state. UN Photo/Martine Perret

Eighteen United Nations peacekeepers taken hostage in South Sudan earlier in the week have been set free, the UN has confirmed. But 12 South Sudanese contractors working with the peacekeepers are still being held. All 30 were taken hostage earlier this week by heavily-armed opposition SPLA forces, which accused them of transporting weapons. The UN [...]

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

News in Brief 30 October 2015 (AM)

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

  Secretary-General praises peaceful Tanzania elections The conduct of Tanzania's people during and after the country's recent elections was a "concrete manifestation" of their commitment to democracy, peace and stability. That's according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has congratulated the East African country for the peaceful and orderly manner in which the vote took [...]

30 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Portraits of former UN chiefs celebrate organization's values

Portraits of the Secretaries-General, UN Headquarters in NY. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The portraits of former UN Secretaries-General that are hanging in UN headquarters in New York serve to celebrate the organization's core values. That's according to an art historian and portrait expert who has been taking a look at the paintings of the seven former UN chiefs. As the United Nations celebrates its 70th anniversary, Daniel [...]

30 Oct 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN70 | Read More »

An end to the "misery" is in sight, Somalis tell UN

In South Sudan, OCHA Director of Operations John Ging (left) and representatives from USAID and the UK DFID visit the UN Protection of Civilians site in Malakal during a one-day visit to Upper Nile State. Photo: OCHA/Guiomar Pau Sole

After 25 years of conflict and misery, the Somali people see an end in sight. That's according to John Ging, head of operations at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He was speaking at UN headquarters after returning from a fact-finding visit to Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia. He said that [...]

30 Oct 2015 | Posted in From the Field, Today's Features | Read More »

Unique initiative helps spread the word about new global goals

UN70 Belarus Express for SDGs

A train known as the UN70 Belarus Express is helping to spread the word about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) throughout the Eastern European country. The train has been making its way around Belarus this week. Film screenings, concerts, exhibitions and workshops on the goals have all been featured on board, in eight different [...]

30 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's Features, UN70 | Read More »

News in Brief 29 October 2015 (PM)

A group of refugees disembark from an inflatable boat after reaching the Greek island of Lesvos (30 September 2015). Photo: UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

More migrant deaths at sea At least 15 people have died and scores are missing following five incidents this week involving smugglers' boats carrying refugees and migrants to Europe, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reports. The most serious incident involved a wooden boat with at least 300 passengers which sank off the Greek island of [...]

29 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on Southern Africa, albinism attacks and Nigeria

Mozambique-featuredimage

Refugee camps and xenophobic attacks cause alarm in Southern Africa Another xenophobic attack in South Africa and refugees on the move across the Malawi border is a major cause for concern, according to UN agencies in the region. More than 100 refugees fled into Malawi from Mozambique in July, following clashes between government forces and [...]

29 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: DPRK, religious violence and a tour of portraits of former UN SGs

Marzuki-Darusman-s

No improvement in human rights situation in DPRK There has been "no significant improvements over the last 15 years" in the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). That's according to the UN's Special Rapporteur on human rights in the country, who has presented his findings in a report to the [...]

29 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: sexual violence against women and bringing hope to Afghan women

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Culture of "denial and silence" around sexual violence must be broken The "culture of denial and silence" around sexual violence against women in conflict must be broken according to a leading UN expert. Zainab Bangura, the UN's Special Representative on sexual violence in conflict, was the keynote speaker at a recent gathering in New York. [...]

29 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

Secretary-General welcomes upcoming meeting on Syria

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to the press in Madrid, Spain. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The UN Secretary-General has said he is encouraged that leaders from five "critically important" countries will meet this week to address the ongoing crisis in Syria. Foreign Ministers from the United States and several Middle Eastern and European countries will hold talks in Vienna on Friday. Nearly five years of fighting in Syria has killed [...]

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

Respect for human rights essential in "milestone" Myanmar elections

Yanghee Lee. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

Upcoming elections in Myanmar should take place in an environment that encourages participation by all sectors in society, an expert on the country's human rights situation has said. UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee said respect for human rights must be at the heart of the process. The South Korean law professor this week presented her [...]

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

Release of kidnapped civilians in Nigeria welcomed by UN

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

The release of civilians in Nigeria who had been kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group has been welcomed by UN. Nigerian troops rescued 338 people, mostly women and children, who were reportedly being held in the north-east of the West African country. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is providing support. Cristina Silverio has been [...]

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

Women fleeing gangs in Central America fuel new refugee crisis

Sulma Ortega and her family were victimized by the MS-13 drug cartel in Guatemala and granted asylum in Mexico. But they have received no help from the Mexican government to rebuild their lives there, and they are now looking to reach the US. Photo: Amy Stillman/IRIN

The number of women in Central America and Mexico fleeing gang violence is rising at an alarming rate, fuelling a new refugee crisis in the region. That's the conclusion of a new report from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), called "Women on the Run". In early 2014, thousands of children escaping gang violence [...]

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

Culture of "denial" around sexual violence must be broken

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

The "culture of denial and silence" around sexual violence against women in conflict must be broken according to a leading UN expert. Zainab Bangura, the UN's Special Representative on sexual violence in conflict, was the keynote speaker at a gathering at the organization's headquarters this week. The event was billed as an opportunity for Ms [...]

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

Daily News 29 October 2015

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Young athletes critical in the fight to stop doping in sports

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Educating young athletes about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs is the key to eradicating doping in sports. That's according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which is hosting a two-day conference on the subject. UNESCO said prohibited substances not only cause health problems; they also undermine fairness and ethics in sports. [...]

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

News in Brief 29 October 2015 (AM)

A group of asylum-seekers waiting at a reception centre to be registered for a temporary transit visa, near the town of Gevgelija in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) after crossing the border from Idomeni in Greece, on 27 August 2015. Photo: UNICEF/Gjorgji Klincarov

  Europe needs "migrant-sensitive" health systems The continued flow of refugees and migrants in Europe means the region must develop health systems that are "migrant-sensitive" to deal with the diverse health issues of people in transit. That's according to the regional director for the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab. Many migrants and refugees [...]

29 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Three new Ebola cases confirmed in Guinea

Ebola outbreak control measures in Guinea, where infection rates have remained at five confirmed cases or fewer for 13 consecutive weeks. Photo: WHO/Christopher Black

Three new cases of Ebola disease have been confirmed in Guinea in the past week, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Latest data from the UN health agency shows that all of the new cases had been identified as "high-risk contacts" before they contracted the virus, and that they had links to a known [...]

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

Social dialogue key for improving workplaces

Youcef Ghellab. Photo: ILO

Effective social dialogue between governments, workers and employers can improve compliance and produce better workplaces. That's according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), which says social dialogue includes all types of negotiation, consultation and an open exchange of information between partners. Peter Forster spoke to Youcef Ghellab, the head of the ILO's Social Dialogue and [...]

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

Saudi Arabia says its jets could not have attacked hospital in Yemen

Ambassador Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The Saudi Ambassador to the UN said his country's planes could not have carried out an attack on Monday on a Yemini hospital, run by an international medical charity. He was speaking after the Security Council met on Wednesday, to discuss humanitarian assistance to civilians in the war-torn country. Matthew Wells reports: In a meeting [...]

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

News in Brief 28 October 2015 (PM)

Burning barricades in Bujumbura, as turmoil erupted in Burundi. Photo: Desire Nimubona/IRIN

Security Council concerned about Burundi violence The UN Security Council has expressed concern over growing insecurity and continued violence in Burundi. Political unrest has killed more than 190 people there since April and caused more than 200,000 citizens to flee to neighbouring countries. In a statement, Council members made note of the increase in human [...]

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

UN chief highlights role of good governance in fighting terrorism

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses students after receiving a Medal of Honour from the Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Good governance is essential to combat terrorism, the UN Secretary-General said on Wednesday. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a conference in Madrid on preventing and countering violent extremism. A March 2004 terrorist attack in the Spanish capital killed 191 people and wounded 1,800 more. Dianne Penn reports. Mr Ban said extremist groups, such as ISIL [...]

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

No improvement in human rights situation in DPRK

Marzuki Darusman. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

There has been "no significant improvements over the last 15 years" in the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). That's according to the UN's Special Rapporteur on human rights in the country, who has presented his findings in a report to the UN General Assembly. Veronica Reeves spoke with Special [...]

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

WHO releases new findings on herpes infection

WHO headquarters, Geneva. WHO/P. Virot

More than half a billion people worldwide are infected with the virus that causes genital herpes, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports. The agency and its partners are working to speed up development of vaccines and other medicines to prevent future infections caused by the herpes simplex virus. Dianne Penn reports. The herpes simplex virus [...]

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

Only political settlement will end civilian suffering in Darfur

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

Only a "political settlement" between the Sudanese government and armed opposition will allow millions to return home in Darfur. That's according a the senior UN official briefing the Security Council on Wednesday. Assistant Secretary-General Edmond Mulet, briefed members on the stat e of the joint UN and African Union operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Matthew Wells [...]

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

Daily News 28 October 2015

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Despite decline in deaths, tuberculosis still a global killer

Regional Tuberculosis Program of PAHO / WHO in Peru. Photo:WHO/PAHO

Although the number of people dying from tuberculosis has dropped by nearly half since 1990, the disease killed more than one million people last year. That's according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) which highlights the need to close gaps in detection, treatment and funding. Dianne Penn reports. The report shows that [...]

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

UN appeals for calm following deadly helicopter crash in Libya

UNSMIL logo

The UN mission in Libya, UNSMIL, is calling for calm following reports of a deadly helicopter crash west of Tripoli on Tuesday. All passengers on board, who included military personnel, were reportedly killed. Dianne Penn reports. The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has issued a statement urging all sides in the country to exercise [...]

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

Violence could have grave consequences, says Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas appealed for help from the international community at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

The President of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Mahmoud Abbas, appealed to the UN on Wednesday to help stop the violence there, or else risk an "explosion" by his people that would have "grave consequences" for everyone. In a special address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr Abbas said that peace was still [...]

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

News in Brief 28 October 2015 (AM)

Catalina Devandas Aguilar. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Include the disabled more in social protection schemes: human rights expert Well-designed social protection schemes are essential to promoting the independence, inclusion and participation of disabled people, according to a human rights expert. UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of the disabled, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, is urging countries to make their social protection schemes more [...]

28 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Mobile apps bridge health care gaps in Myanmar

Michael Lwin, Koe Koe Tech's co-founder and managing director, at the N-Peace Awards Ceremony. Photo: UNDP

Lack of medical professionals is a problem in Myanmar, with only 1.3 health workers for every 1,000 persons according to the United Nations.  But a technology company there is putting health care in the palms of people's hands. Koe Koe Tech has developed mobile phone applications (or "apps") for the health sector, including one that [...]

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

News in Brief 27 October 2015 (PM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Amanda Voisard

Condemnation for airstrike on Yemen hospital The United Nations has condemned airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen which completely destroyed a hospital and injured several people in Sa'dah governorate on Monday. The Hayadeen Medical Hospital was run by Médecins Sans Frontières with support from the UN children's agency, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization. [...]

27 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Resolution on Cuba embargo ignores new "spirit of engagement" says US

A view of the voting panels. UN Photo/Cia Pak

The United Nations resolution passed on Tuesday, condemning the US embargo against Cuba, ignores the new "spirit of engagement", said a senior US official. The US was one of only two countries voting against the General Assembly resolution. It was the 24th year in a row that the blockade has been criticized at the UN, [...]

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

Pace of displacement in Syria "remains relentless"

In the Tishreen camp for displaced persons in Aleppo, Syria, residents go about their daily lives. File Photo: UNICEF/Razan Rashidi

The pace of civilian displacement across Syria "remains relentless". That's according to the UN's Humanitarian Affairs chief, briefing the Security Council on Tuesday. Stephen O'Brien said the number of Syrian civilians needing protection had increased by 1.2m so far this year. Syria's bloody civil war erupted in 2011 and around 250,000 people have been killed. [...]

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

UN Daily News 27 October 2015

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Asia-Pacific is world's most disaster-prone region

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

Natural disasters have killed half a million people in Asia and the Pacific over the past decade, according to a UN report released on Tuesday. The majority of these incidents are also cross-border, such as the earthquake in Afghanistan on Monday which also affected Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. The report says achieving sustainable development [...]

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

News in Brief 27 October 2015 (AM)

Smoke fills the sky above the Yemeni capital Sana'a after a series of airstrikes (12 May). File Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

More than 2,600 killed in Yemen since March Conflict in Yemen continues to take a devastating toll on civilians, with an estimated 2,615 people killed since March, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has reported. Yemen has been engulfed in fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels. The UN Human Rights Office said of those [...]

27 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Thousands flee to Yemen despite ongoing conflict

People waiting to board a boat to take them across the Gulf of Aden. File Photo: UNHCR/Alixandra Fazzina

Although Yemen is facing a deadly conflict and humanitarian crisis, 70,000 people have sought refuge in the country so far this year, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday. More than half had arrived since fighting erupted in March. Dianne Penn reports. The 70,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants mostly came from Ethiopia and [...]

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

Cholera fears for Iraq and Syria

Nearly 2,000 cases of cholera and two deaths have been reported in 15 of 18 Iraqi governorates, WHO says. Photo: WHO/Pauline Loyce Ajello

A massive cholera vaccination campaign starts this week in Iraq, UN health experts announced Tuesday, while warning of the need to be on "high alert" for an outbreak of the disease in Syria. The World Health Organization (WHO) has registered nearly 2,000 cases of infection in Iraq, where two people have also died after contracting [...]

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

Quake “shows why countries must prepare for worst”

Devastation at a school in Pakistan caused by an earthquake in 2005. Photo: UNHCR/Vivian Tan

Time "is running out" to help people trapped in the rubble nearly 48 hours after a massive earthquake struck the mountainous border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, UN experts said Tuesday. The bleak assessment by the UN disaster risk reduction agency, UNISDR, after the 7.5 magnitude tremor highlights the need for more governments to implement [...]

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

Australia and Nauru urged to help sex assault victim

UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Rupert Colville said the victim of the alleged rape remains afraid of reprisals by her attacker on the island of Nauru. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

Authorities in Australia and the Pacific Ocean state of Nauru faced calls on Tuesday to help a Somali woman who was allegedly raped on the tiny island nation, amid concerns about her fragile mental and physical condition. UN human rights office, OHCHR, said that the woman, who's identified only as "Abyan", is now 15 weeks pregnant [...]

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

Indigenous can play critical role in the fight against hunger

A Maasai woman searching for a cow to milk. ©FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

Indigenous peoples can play a critical role in the fight against hunger, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Given their invaluable traditional knowledge, the FAO says indigenous peoples can be key partners in alleviating food insecurity, as well as the attainment of some of the other sustainable development goals. Veronica Reeves spoke [...]

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

Women's entrepreneurship lights up rural Pakistan

Fiza Farhan, co-founder and CEO of the Buskh Foundation, at the N-Peace Awards Ceremony. Photo: UNDP

Women in 250 villages in Pakistan provide literally the light of their communities. They have been trained to operate solar lanterns which they then rent to their neighbours, thus allowing the women to earn an income while providing a much-needed service. Fiza Farhan is co-founder and CEO of the Buskh Foundation which is addressing energy [...]

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

"Climate of paranoia" fuels persecution in the name of religion

Heiner Bielefedt. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

A political vacuum leading to a "climate of paranoia" helps encourage religious persecution and violence. That's according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt. He has been reporting on abuses committed in the name of religion, during the past year, especially as they affect religious minorities, women and children. [...]

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

News in Brief 26 October 2015 (PM)

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

  UN at the ready, following Afghan earthquake United Nations agencies are mobilizing and are ready to support Afghanistan and Pakistan in the wake of an earthquake, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said. The magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck Badakshan province in the far northeast of Afghanistan on Monday, with shocks being felt in the capital, Kabul, [...]

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

Europe can't leave refugees to "fend for themselves"

A woman carrying a young child receives relief items for her family, at a Red Cross station set up outdoors at the reception centre for refugees and migrants, in the town of Šid, Serbia, on the border with Croatia. Photo: UNICEF/ Shubuckl

Europe can't be divided and leave refugees to fend for themselves in winter, said the president of the European Union on Sunday night. Jean-Claude Juncker was speaking at a special summit of European leaders along with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the EU border agency. The meeting of eleven EU countries and Balkan neighbours [...]

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

Peace talks on Yemen conflict soon to get underway

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. UN File Photo/Amanda Voisard

Negotiations aimed at ending the bloodshed in Yemen will soon get underway, aimed at restoring peace to the beleaguered country. That's according to the UN's Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheik Ahmed, who briefed the Security Council late last week on the situation there. The conflict is taking "a dreadful toll" on civilians, with [...]

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

UN Daily News 26 October 2015

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News in Brief 26 October 2015 (AM)

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).Photo: Fardin Waezi/UNAMA

  UN officials condemn deadly attack on Afghan human rights workers The killing of two human rights workers in Afghanistan has been condemned by the United Nations as "disgraceful" and "an atrocity." The employees with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission died when a minibus transporting its staff was struck by a remote-controlled improvised explosive [...]

26 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Processed meat “does cause cancer”

UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Eating red meat is "probably" likely to cause cancer, while processed meat is a definite carcinogen, UN health experts announced Monday. Among the cancer-causing meats are everyday favourites such as sliced ham, sausages and canned meat, according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Twenty-two experts from 10 countries [...]

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

People with albinism “fear attack from relatives”

People with albinism suffer daily stigma that can contribute to poor performance at school, aid workers say. Photo: UNIFEED (video capture)

A surge in attacks has been reported against people with albinism in several African countries in the run-up to national elections, a UN human rights expert has warned. Ikponwosa Ero, the first UN independent defender of the rights of persons with albinism, whose skin, hair and eyes lack colour because of a genetic disorder, has [...]

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

Secretary-General welcomes moves to restore calm at Jerusalem holy sites

The Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Photo: Flickr/Tony Kane

Israel's decision to uphold the status quo at holy sites in Jerusalem has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. Known as Temple Mount to Jews and Haram al Sharif to Muslims, the sites have been the focus of recent violence between the two sides. Dianne Penn reports. Mr Ban noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [...]

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

UN human rights team in South Sudan

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein. Photo: UNIFEED

A UN team has been deployed to South Sudan to assess the country's human rights situation following reports of violations and abuses committed by both sides in the conflict there. South Sudan celebrated four years of independence in July, but political crisis between the President and his former deputy has led to the deaths of [...]

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

Filipino indigenous communities brew coffee for peace

Joji Pantoja, Coffee for Peace's CEO, at N-Peace Awards Ceremony. Photo: UNDP

Coffee farming is helping indigenous people in the Philippines to protect the environment, preserve their ancestral lands and secure their financial future. They are doing so through an organization called Coffee for Peace, one of the winners of a UN-backed award that celebrates innovation. Coffee for Peace began eight years ago on the southern island [...]

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

Political dynamics in former Yugoslavia region "extremely complicated"

SergeBrammertz-UNFilePhoto

The political dynamics in the areas that once made up the former Yugoslavia remain "extremely complicated". That's the assessment of Serge Brammertz, Prosecutor of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, who recently returned from a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The trip was part of the preparatory work ahead of the Prosecutor's twice-yearly report [...]

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

UNFPA working to protect the elderly from domestic violence in Belarus

Around 14% of the Belarus population is 65 or over. UN File Photo/Gaston Guarda

Poverty has fallen dramatically in Belarus, but some groups remain vulnerable, particularly single-parent households, families with more than three children and the elderly. That's according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Around 14% of the Belarus population is 65 or over. UNFPA says these older people are particularly susceptible to domestic violence. The agency's [...]

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

Bringing hope and prosperity to Afghan women

Connie Duckworth, CEO of Arzu Studio Hope, at N-Peace Awards Ceremony. Photo: UNDP

Rural women in Afghanistan's Bamyan province are using a traditional craft to weave a brighter future for their families. By making rugs for which they receive a decent income, the women have been able to "lift their families from poverty" as well as change attitudes about women's value to the community. That's according to Connie [...]

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

UN marks 70 years since its founding

The Great Wall of China bathed in blue for UN70. UNDP office/China

It's a special day at the United Nations, as the organization celebrates 70 years since its founding. The festivities kicked off last night at UN headquarters in New York with a special concert featuring several world-renowned musical performers. Other events are taking place in communities, cities and nations around the world. Veronica Reeves has more on [...]

24 Oct 2015 | Posted in Today's News, UN70 | Read More »

Nations urged to share responsibility for stopping genocide

Mogens

It's the responsibility of all nation states to prevent atrocities, said the President of the UN General Assembly on Friday. Speaking at the launch of an initiative which aims to prevent mass atrocities and genocide, Mogens Lykketoft said the voluntary code of conduct would put pressure on the UN Security Council to improve its response. [...]

23 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 23 October 2015 (PM)

Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, has been rocked by political violence for months. Photo: Phil Moore/IRIN

"Rapidly-worsening" security conditions in Burundi Security conditions are worsening in Burundi, while human rights violations increase, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). A spokesperson for OHCHR said they were "particularly shocked" at the summary execution of nine people earlier this month, reportedly by police forces in the capital, [...]

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

Harlem meets South Korea at UN celebrations

Daniel Dickinson interviewing Kiaama Hudson. UN Photo

New York's famed Harlem neighbourhood meets South Korea on Friday evening as the celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations get underway. For decades, Harlem has been home to African-American culture. In a unique collaboration, Harlem Gospel Choir is performing with the Korean Broadcasting System Traditional Orchestra. Daniel Dickinson reports from UN [...]

23 Oct 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN70 | Read More »

Most desperate time for migrants may be yet to come

Migrants and asylum-seekers, mostly Syrian Kurds, sit in the yard outside a schoolhouse-turned-reception centre,  on the outskirts of the Bulgarian capital Sofia. Photo: Jodi Hilton/IRIN

The most desperate time for migrants and refugees who have arrived in Europe may be yet to come. With the first winter weather arriving in Central and South Eastern Europe, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is urgently distributing coats, blankets and other basic winter items to the hundreds of thousands of people who've arrived in [...]

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

UN Daily News 23 October 2015

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UN often first to listen to families of the disappeared

Bernard Duhaime, Vice-Chair of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, briefs journalists. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The more than 40,000 cases of people worldwide who have been arrested, detained or abducted against their will represent human beings, not numbers, a UN human rights expert has said. Bernard Duhaime is vice-chair of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. One of its main tasks is to assist families in determining [...]

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

Yemen ablaze in "catastrophic situation"

The World Health Organization (WHO) delivering water to residents of Taiz City, Yemen, where water scarcity is a major problem. Photo: WHO Yemen

The Gulf state of Yemen is ablaze and facing a catastrophic situation as the civil war there continues. That's the assessment of a senior United Nations envoy to the country, who on Friday briefed the UN Security Council. Daniel Dickinson reports. The civil war in Yemen shows few signs of abating. The conflict between the [...]

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

Level of incitement to violence in Israel, Palestine "utterly unacceptable"

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the press at the Security Council stakeout on the situation in the Middle East. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The level of incitement to violence in Palestine and Israel, fuelling the current conflict, has been "utterly unacceptable" said the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was speaking at UN headquarters on Friday, following his return from a three-day visit to the region, in an effort to restore calm. Almost daily attacks by Palestinians on Jews in [...]

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

News in Brief 23 October 2015 (AM)

WHO has provided 30 metric tonnes of medicines and medical supplies to Taiz governorate in Yemen, sufficient for 600,000 beneficiaries, including 250,000 people inside Taiz City. Photo: WHO Yemen

Conditions deteriorate fast for Yemini civilians Humanitarian conditions are deteriorating fast for civilians in the Yemini city of Taiz, following indiscriminate shelling. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), at least fifteen civilians were killed and 73 injured after shells fell in a residential area of the city. Eye-witnesses said that the [...]

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Tanzania elections: leaders urged to respect voters' rights

Tanzanians will elect a new President, parliamentarians and local government councillors in general elections on Sunday. UN File Photo/Julie Pudlowski

Political and community leaders in Tanzania are being urged by the United Nations to respect the rights of citizens as they head to the polls this weekend. Tanzanians will elect a new President, parliamentarians and local government councillors in general elections on Sunday. Assumpta Massoi spoke with the UN representative in the country, Alvaro Rodriguez. [...]

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

The United Nations at 70: Moments and Milestones Video Gallery

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The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is an opportunity to reflect – to look back on the UN's history and take stock of its enduring achievements. This slideshow, comprised of 70 photos set to an inspiring musical score, takes you on a journey through some of the most important and historic moments and milestones [...]

23 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN70 | Read More »

Jamaican Maroon story “had to be told”

World Premiere screening of "Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess" at UN headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The story of former African slaves who led a revolt over British rule in Jamaica "had to be told" according to the producer of a movie celebrating the historical event. “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” recounts the story of the one-time leader of the Maroons, the group that fought the British Empire for their freedom. [...]

23 Oct 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Promoting the rights of victims of terrorism

The Support Portal is dedicated to and highlights the importance of those individuals across the globe that have been attacked, injured, traumatized or lost their lives during terrorist attacks. Image: United Nations

An online portal for victims of terrorism represents the "impressive dual achievement" of acknowledging their suffering as a human rights abuse while also providing practical information to support their recovery. That's the assessment of Alfred Schandlbauer, Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism at the Organization of American States (OAS). The [...]

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

UN Gender Focus: women living longer, women in prison and Afghan women

An elderly woman in ZamZam camp.  UN File Photo/Stuart Price

Women living longer but still face serious challenges worldwide Women around the world are living longer than ever, but still face formidable challenges when it comes to issues of equality. That's just one of the findings of a new report on the lives of women released by the United Nations on Tuesday. The "World's Women [...]

22 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

News in Brief 22 October 2015 (PM)

UN Cholera station, South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF South Sudan

Stepping up the fight against cholera worldwide The fight against deadly outbreaks of cholera in Africa and the Middle East, is being stepped up by the World Health Organization (WHO). Close to eleven thousand cases of the deadly disease, including 170 deaths have been reported, in countries including Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Democratic Republic of the [...]

22 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN Radio News Bulletin | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on Somali refugees, nuclear power and protection of civilians in South Sudan

High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres meeting with Somali refugees at Dadaab camp in Kenya, in May 2015. File Photo: UNHCR/B. Loyseau

More than US$105 million pledged for Somali refugees More than US$105 million has been pledged at an international conference designed to help support Somali refugees. The money will be used to help millions of displaced Somalis while also increasing the security and resilience of neighbouring host countries. In opening the event, the head of the [...]

22 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on Middle East, refugee crisis and mineral wealth in the DRC

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson (centre) addresses the Security Council. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

"Never, never any justification for murder," Deputy Secretary-General tells Security Council There is "never, never any justification for murder", the UN Security Council has been told by the UN Deputy Secretary-General. The Council met Thursday on the escalating violence in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Nearly 60 people, the majority of them Palestinian, have been [...]

22 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

Work of doctor who helped treat rape victims focus of new film

Villagers fleeing their homes in Sake, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)'s North Kivu province, after fighting erupted between FARDC Government forces and rebel groups. UN File Photo/Sylvain Liechti (2013)

The work of a gynaecologist who treats rape victims who have been subjected to sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the focus of a film which has just been released. ‘The Man Who Mends Women’ tells the story of Dr Denis Mukwege. In 1999, the doctor set up a clinic [...]

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

Urgent access needed to prevent "catastrophe" in South Sudan

A health worker measures a baby girl's arm, at an outpatient therapeutic feeding centre at the Protection of Civilians site on the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Malakal, capital of Upper Nile State. Photo: UNICEF/Christine Nesbitt

Urgent access is needed to South Sudanese civilians caught up in their country's civil war, according to UN agencies working on the ground there. Fighting between troops loyal to the South Sudanese president, and opposing forces loyal to his former deputy, has been raging for nearly two years. Nearly four million people are facing extreme [...]

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

UN Daily News 22 October 2015

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"Systematic" human rights violations of migrants in Czech Republic

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

The treatment of migrants and refugees arriving in the Czech Republic has been described by the UN Human Rights Commissioner as a "systematic" human rights violation. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein also accused the Czech authorities of detaining people in "degrading" conditions. Daniel Dickinson reports. The strongly worded statement from the High Commissioner comes as European [...]

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

"Never any justification for murder," Security Council told

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson addresses the Security Council open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

There is "never, never any justification for murder", the UN Security Council has been told by the UN Deputy Secretary-General. The Council met Thursday on the escalating violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem. More than 50 people, the majority of them Palestinian, have been killed in the latest round of violence [...]

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

News in Brief 22 October 2015 (AM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Rick Bajornas

Reduce tensions at holy sites, urges Secretary-General Tensions at holy sites in Israel and the Occupied Territories need to be reduced, said the UN Secretary-General on the final day of his emergency visit to the region. Ban Ki-Moon was speaking after meeting King Abdullah of Jordan in Amman. Previously he visited top politicians in Israel [...]

22 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

More famous landmarks set to turn "UN Blue"

Sydney Opera House -  'Lighting of the sails for Vivid LIVE 2014'. Photo: Prudence Upton

The Great Wall of China and the Palace in Monaco have joined a growing list of famous landmarks that will be lit for the "Turn the World UN Blue" campaign. Well over 200 landmarks in more than 60 countries will be bathed in blue lights on Saturday, 24 October to mark 70 years since the [...]

22 Oct 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN70 | Read More »

Better air quality key to "healthier" and "greener" world

Event to promote a 'Clean India' in Delhi, India. WHO recommends cities to encourage cycling. File Photo: UNDP India

As many as seven million people worldwide die each year from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases associated with indoor or outdoor air pollution. That's according to the World Health Organization (WHO) which is calling for stronger action to reduce the impact of diesel, "dirty" household fuels such as coal and kerosene, and other types of what it [...]

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

News in Brief 21 October 2015 (PM)

Bernardino Léon, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), speaks to journalists. UN File Photo/Loey Felipe

You can't hijack Libya's peace process, hardliners told "Hardliners" will not be allowed to "hijack" Libya's stalled peace-process, according to the chief UN mediator there. UN Special Representative, Bernadino Leon, was responding to the refusal of some lawmakers from rival governments in the strife-ridden country, to accept a power-sharing arrangement. The UN-brokered deal is seen [...]

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Discrimination battle facing women in prison

At the Women's Prison in Pétionville, Haiti, 20-30 detainees cram into each prison cell where women and girls and young as 14 sleep on the floor. UN File Photo: Victoria Hazou/MINUSTAH

Reducing the number of women in jail around the world needs to become a bigger priority, according to a panel meeting at the United Nations this week. Women face discrimination, and censure if they end up in prison, the event heard, regardless of where they live. The event here at UN headquarters in New York, [...]

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

More than US$105 million pledged for Somali refugees

High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres meeting with Somali refugees at Dadaab camp in Kenya, in May 2015. File Photo: UNHCR/B. Loyseau

More than US$105 million pledged for Somali refugees More than US$105 million has been pledged at an international conference designed to help support Somali refugees.  The conference held jointly between the United Nations and European Union was held Wednesday in Belgium. In opening the event, the head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on-going [...]

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

Report lays out "baseline" for progress in gender equality

Mr. Lenni Montiel, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and
Ms. Francesca Grum, Chief of the Social and Housing Statistics Section, UN DESA. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Although women are outpacing men in achieving higher levels of education, they are still more likely to pursue the humanities as opposed to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That's according to the World's Women 2015, a UN report which looks at how women worldwide are faring in eight critical areas such as health, education, work, [...]

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

"Time is not on the side of peace" says Secretary-General

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon holds a joint press conference with Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

"Time is not on the side of peace," said the UN Secretary-General on Wednesday, during his second day of meetings to try and diffuse mounting violence in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Speaking in Ramallah after meeting Palestinian President Abbas, Ban Ki-Moon said that the UN would continue to support efforts towards a negotiated two-state [...]

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

News in Brief 21 October 2015 (AM)

Myanmar's children. Photo: UNICEF Myanmar/2015/Myo Thame

Support Myanmar's children through religious tolerance The leaders of Myanmar's four main religions have issued a statement calling for greater religious tolerance, for the sake of the country's children. It's been welcomed by the UN. The joint statement released by spiritual leaders from the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities, said that respect for religious [...]

21 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

World faces crisis of migration governance

Refugees at Reception Centre in Rome.  Over the last year humanitarian emergencies and conflict across the world have led to the worst displacement since the Second World War. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The world faces a crisis over the way it has managed migration according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Over the last year humanitarian emergencies and conflict across the world have led to the worst displacement since the Second World War. Daniel Dickinson reports. In 2015 alone, more than 650,000 people have fled [...]

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

Nuclear power's role in reducing emissions, focus of new study

Nuclear Power Plant. File Photo: IAEA

The important role nuclear power could play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the focus of a new report released by the UN Nuclear Agency, the IAEA. The Climate Change and Nuclear Power 2015 report studies the various designs of nuclear power plants in relation to their greenhouse gas emissions. The report comes six-weeks before [...]

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

Aid reaches Donetsk for first time in three months

In Ukraine, cash and food voucher assistance by WFP allow people to go to the market and pick the food they prefer. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

Much-needed aid has got through to the Donetsk region of Ukraine for the first time in three months, according to the UN World Food Programme (WFP). All humanitarian aid was suspended in July to areas in the east, not controlled by the Ukrainian government and its armed forces. Matthew Wells reports: So far, nearly five [...]

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

News in Brief 20 October 2015 (PM)

Tishreen camp for displaced persons in Aleppo, Syria.  File Photo: UNICEF/Razan Rashidi

50,000 people displaced from Syrian city The number of people displaced from the Syrian city of Aleppo and its surroundings has risen to an estimated 50,000. Residents have been fleeing their homes following renewed military offensives. Here's the UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq. "People need tents, water services, basic household kits and cooked meals. Our [...]

20 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Calls for greater transparency as Security Council debates working methods

Consideration of the draft report of the Security Council to the General Assembly. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

The UN Security Council must exercise greater transparency and effectiveness in the face of a multitude of worldwide challenges. That was the message from dozens of speakers Tuesday during the Council's annual debate on its working methods. The Security Council is made of up 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent member states and has the lead [...]

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

Israelis and Palestinians "stand on the brink" says Secretary-General

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) jointly addresses journalists with Reuben Rivlin, President of Israel, in Jerusalem. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Israel and Palestine stand on the brink of a "catastrophic" period of violence, said the UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon. Mr Ban, flew to the region on Tuesday, to help stem unrest there, and urge a return to negotiations. Matthew Wells has more: Violent clashes began a month ago over tensions surrounding access to a holy [...]

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

UN Daily News 20 October 2015

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70 Years, 70 Documents

1946-UN70

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library is presenting an exploration of the seventy key documents that have shaped the United Nations and our world. The 70 Years, 70 Documents exhibit can also be viewed on the first floor of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library building, in New York, until [...]

20 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN70 | Read More »

Women living longer but still face serious challenges worldwide

Press Conference on the launch of the World's Women Report. Francesca Grum, from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs briefs the press. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Women around the world are living longer than ever, but still face formidable challenges when it comes to issues of equality. That's just one of the findings of a new report on the lives of women released by the United Nations on Tuesday. The "World's Women 2015" report takes a comprehensive view of the state [...]

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

Refugees and migrants reaching Greece soar past half-million mark

In Greece, a crowd of Syrian refugees wait outside the Moria Identification Centre for their turn to register with local authorities before continuing their journey towards Central Europe. Photo: UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

The number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece this year has surpassed the half-million mark, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday. The agency said that the current spike in arrivals to Greece from countries including Syria and Afghanistan, was putting huge pressure on the Greek islands. UNHCR's Ron Redmond has been to [...]

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

News in Brief 20 October 2015 (AM)

Israeli first responders transport the wounded after an assailant rammed his car into a bus stop in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighbourhood. Photo: Oren Ziv/IRIN

Act fast to avoid "a broader crisis" urges Secretary General The UN Secretary General is visiting Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and urged leaders to "act fast", in order to avoid "a broader crisis." Ban Ki-Moon, flew to the region on Tuesday, to help stem violent unrest across the region. Violent clashes began a [...]

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Proposal to alter heritage status of Jerusalem deplored

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A proposal to change the status of one of Judaism's most holy sites has been deplored by the head of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO. The proposal to alter the heritage status of the Western Wall in Jerusalem has been put before the Executive Board of UNESCO. Daniel Dickinson reports. Six Arab countries reportedly submitted [...]

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

Unique events planned to mark UN's 70th anniversary

UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Cia Pak

Music, art and a first-of-its-kind lightshow are being planned around the world to mark 70 years since the founding of the United Nations. This Saturday, 24 October, is UN Day. The organization will celebrate its 7th decade with a series of events that will criss-cross the globe. Veronica Reeves reports that no matter what region [...]

19 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's News, UN70 | Read More »

News in Brief 19 October 2015 (PM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) jointly addresses a press conference with Miroslav Lajčak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Show "global solidarity" and compassion over refugees Europe's leaders need to show more global solidarity and compassion for the thousands of refugees flocking to their borders, said the UN Secretary General on Monday. Speaking to reporters at a humanitarian centre in Slovakia, Ban Ki-moon thanked those governments which had already taken in so many refugees. [...]

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Road traffic fatalities take an "unacceptable toll"

File Photo: WHO

Globally, 1.2 million people die each year on the roads, taking an "unacceptable toll" on communities. That's according to a newly released report from the World Health Organization (WHO), which says that people in developing countries are disproportionately suffering from preventable deaths on the roads. WHO's annual road safety report does offer some glimmer of [...]

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

UN Daily News 19 October 2015

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Rich yet Poor: The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Diamond mining in Democratic Republic of Congo. File Photo © UNEP (2011)

If there’s one country that exemplifies the difficulty in transforming mineral wealth into inclusive growth, it’s the Democratic Republic of Congo; that's according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF’s latest annual economic assessment indicates while growth rates in the African country for 2014 were as high as 9.2 per cent, the poverty rate [...]

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

News in Brief 19 October 2015 (AM)

File Photo: WHO

Road deaths still too high around the world. The high loss of life caused by road crashes around the world is unacceptable" according to a new UN agency report. Globally, 1.2 million people die each year on the roads, says the annual road safety report, from the World Health Organisation (WHO) published on Monday. The [...]

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Appeal launched for unreached children of Philippines typhoon

As Typhoon Koppu, known locally as Lando, headed for the Philippines, the World Food Programme, with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), provided the Department of Social Welfare and Development with transportation for thousands of family food packs to affected communities. Photo: WFP/KC Co

An appeal has been launched to help reach children in outlying areas of the Philippines, which have been battered by Typhoon Koppu since Sunday morning. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has appealed for US$2.8 million in extra aid to help ensure that all children who might be affected are safe, and to replenish much-needed supplies. [...]

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

US reaffirms strong ties to UNESCO despite late dues

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova
© UNESCO/P. Chiang-Joo

The US is deeply committed to the UN cultural organisation, UNESCO, Secretary of State John Kerry has said, despite an on-going rift with the US Congress over funding. He spoke at the organisation's headquarters in Paris, and said that the Obama administration would work with Congress to try and restore funding, after legislators cut off [...]

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

UN chief due to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders

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

The UN Secretary-General is due to meet the leaders of Israel and the Palestinians to break what he called the "cycle of violence and fear" Violence has recently escalated in the region which has led to the death of dozens of people on both sides. Daniel Dickinson reports. On Tuesday the UN chief, Ban Ki-moon [...]

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

Discrimination against dementia-sufferers cause for concern

Ashwani, a caregiver at a centre in India, shares a laugh with Didi. Photo: WHO/Cathy Greenblat

The number of people suffering from dementia worldwide is increasing, according to the United Nations. An estimated 44 million people suffer from the disease, which affects brain function, often leading to disability. The UN Economic Commission for Europe has released a detailed policy brief on dementia, and is calling for more to be done to [...]

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

Image of refugees in Lebanon wins UN70 photo prize

The powerful image of young children holding lanterns at a refugee settlement in Lebanon has been selected as a winning entry in a photo competition organized by the Beirut UN information centre. The photo captioned "Hope, Life and Free Energy" was submitted by a young amateur photographer as part of activities organized around the 70th [...]

19 Oct 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN70 | Read More »

Role of Slovak communities in development stressed by UN chief

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon meets with Andrej Kiska, President of the Slovak Republic
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The role local communities can play in development has been stressed by the UN Secretary-General. Speaking in Slovakia, Ban Ki-moon urged the eastern European country to "own" the global development goals agreed by world leaders in September. Daniel Dickinson reports. World leaders signed up to the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs at the [...]

18 Oct 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

Nuclear experts put emergency response under the spotlight

IAEA International Remediation Expert Mission examines Reactor Unit 3 during a visit to TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant. Photo: IAEA/Giovanni Verlini

Nuclear experts are gathering at the UN in Vienna, Austria to discuss how to best prepare for and respond to a nuclear or radiological emergency. The International Conference on Global Emergency Preparedness and Response, known as EPR, will look at the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011. More than 100,000 people [...]

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

Europe urged to do more to prevent trafficking

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro.  UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Countries of the European Union have been urged by a UN expert to prevent trafficking and protect the rights of people at risk. An unprecedented number of people are fleeing to Europe from the Middle East and Africa to escape insecurity and persecution. Many are being transported illegally by people smugglers. Daniel Dickinson reports. The [...]

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

"Very heavy heart" for UN chief after refugee meeting

The UN Secretary-General meets refugees at a centre in Rome, Italy
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The UN Secretary-General has spoken of his "very heavy heart" after meeting with refugees in Rome. Around 60 million people around the world have been displaced by conflict and insecurity. Many have arrived recently in Europe. Daniel Dickinson reports More than half a million people have arrived in Europe so far this year, many making [...]

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

More focus needed on excluded and marginalized

A mother feeds her son in Cite L'Eternel, a poor neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.UN Photo/UNICEF/Marco Dormino

The world community needs to focus greater attention on the excluded and marginalized members of the human family, the United Nations Secretary-General has said. The UN estimates that globally more than 900 million people continue to live in extreme poverty. Daniel Dickinson reports. In a statement to mark the International Day for the Eradication of [...]

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

News in Brief 16 October 2015 (PM)

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

Half a million children under age five in Yemen at risk of severe malnutrition Over 500,000 children under age five are at risk of severe acute malnutrition in Yemen, according to the UN Children's Agency, UNICEF. One in eight children is at risk of severe malnutrition, a threefold increase since March. UNICEF says Yemen's alarming [...]

16 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Fears for unaccompanied migrant children grow

A boy carrying his belongings in a large cloth bag over his shoulder is among people walking on railway tracks to cross from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia into Serbia. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-2203/Georgiev

Unaccompanied child migrants and refugees are increasingly vulnerable to abuse, as the European winter approaches, according to a UN spokesperson. Christopher Boulierac, of the UN Children's Agency (UNICEF) said the number of children travelling alone from countries like Syria and Afghanistan was increasing. He said European countries they were travelling through, were being overwhelmed, but [...]

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

UN Daily News 16 October 2015

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UN meets over Israel-Palestine violence

A wide view of the Council Chamber. UN File Photo/Evan Schneider

An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was held on Friday to address the continuing violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians. Tensions rose in September, over Palestinian concerns that Israel was planning to change visiting rules for the Al Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, a site revered by both Muslims and Jews. The Israeli government [...]

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

News in Brief 16 October 2015 (AM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the 3rd World Forum of Local Economic Development (LED). UNTV (video capture)

Local solutions key to unlocking global progress The important role of local communities for global development has been highlighted by the UN Secretary-General at the Third World Forum on Local Economic Development in Turin, Italy. Participants at this week's forum discussed how local communities can contribute to sustainable development and the achievement of the new [...]

16 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Surge in number of refugees arriving in Greece

Volunteers help newly-arrived refugees on 28 September 2015, as they disembark from a large rubber boat, on the shores near the town of Mithymna, on the Greek island of Lesbos, in the North Aegean region. File Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson VII

The number of people arriving in Greece by boat surged this week, leaving the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) struggling to cope. On Wednesday alone, some 85 boats arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos. At one point violence broke out at a crowded registration site on the island, forcing the evacuation of UNHCR staff members. [...]

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

Return of Ebola in Guinea was “expected”, says WHO

A treatment centre for Ebola victims run by the World Health Organization, which says the new cases in Guinea were expected. Photo: WHO/Christopher Black

Two new cases of Ebola have been identified in Guinea, bringing to an end a two-week period without any fresh infections in west Africa, the UN health agency announced Friday. World Health Organization (WHO) said the development was expected, and that there are still up to 150 so-called "high risk" contacts requiring monitoring in the [...]

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

Invest in agriculture to break poverty cycle

Women tend crops in rural Afghanistan.  UN Photo/Fardin Waezi

Investments need to be made in agriculture if the world's poorest people are to get enough to eat according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The UN estimates that around 800 million people are currently undernourished. On World Food Day, marked on 16 October each year, the UN is urging governments to spend [...]

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

$500 million needed to help returning Somali refugees

The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR has helped nearly 5,000 refugees in Dadaab camp in Kenya return to Somalia since December 2014. Photo: UNHCR

Efforts to help the people of Somalia rebuild their country need to be stepped up with the international community's help, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said Friday. Of more than one million Somali refugees, nearly 5,000 have returned to the country since December 2014, despite ongoing insecurity and a lack of prospects, UNHCR says. Now [...]

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

Political will needed to eradicate hunger

A meal being prepared at the Al-Riad shelter, Aleppo, Syria. Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

The international community is being urged to find the political will to help break the cycle of poverty by promoting the new global development goal on hunger. The UN says, 800 million people around the still do not get enough to eat. In September, 17 new targets were agreed to eradicate hunger by 2030. On [...]

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

New ways of working needed to meet development goals

Michael Møller (centre ), Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG ) with artist Michelangelo Pistoletto (left), and Maurizio Enrico Luigi Serra (right), Permanent Representative of Italy to UNOG. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

Twenty-fifteen is a critical year for the UN which needs to find "new ways of working" if it's to meet ambitious development goals, according to the head of the United Nations in Geneva. Michael Moller, Director-General of the UN in the Swiss city, made his comments as the organisation prepares to mark its 70th anniversary [...]

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

UN and Africa: focus on UN Africa Week

Maged Abdelaziz, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Africa, addresses a press conference. UN File Photo/Evan Schneider

Africa's "ambitious agenda" backed by UN Africa's plan to create a free trade zone across the continent will be fully supported by the UN, according to a senior official working on the deal. Senior politicians have set a target of 2017, for the Continental Free Trade Agreement to be implemented. It's one of the top [...]

15 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

News in Brief 15 October 2015 (PM)

UN Photo/Kim Haughton

Ceasefire agreement in Myanmar welcomed The nationwide ceasefire agreement signed by the Government of Myanmar, the country's defence forces and several armed groups has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. The UN chief said the agreement marked an important step in advancing national reconciliation and consolidating the reform process in the country. Myanmar has grappled [...]

15 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on Pakistan, Salford and #EndBullying

John Ging. UN Photo/Mark Garten

“Positive trajectory” for humanitarian situation in Pakistan The humanitarian situation in Pakistan is showing a "positive trajectory" despite an ongoing crisis, according to a senior UN official who just returned from visiting the country. Five million Pakistanis have been displaced by conflict in recent years, but many are now returning home. The country is also [...]

15 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: 15 years since the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325

An all-female Formed Police Unit from Bangladesh, serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, arrives in Port-au-Prince to assist with post-earthquake reconstruction. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Landmark resolution on women, peace and security turns 15 In October 2000, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1325 which stresses the important role women have in conflict resolution, peace negotiations and UN peacekeeping efforts. "1325," as it is known, has been called a landmark as it reflected a change in the way the [...]

15 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

Japan, Ukraine, countries to watch as new Security Council members

David Malone. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Five new non-permanent members have been elected to serve on the UN Security Council from next year, with Japan and Ukraine the countries to watch, says the co-editor of a new book on its role. The other nations with seats from January for a period of two years, are Egypt, Senegal and Uruguay. But the [...]

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

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New Security Council members elected

Conference officers hold up empty ballot boxes for inspection by designated tellers prior to the vote. UN Photo/Cia Pak

Five new countries have been elected to non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council. Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay were elected Thursday to take up two-year positions on the Council starting January 2016. They all ran unopposed and will now join the other five non-permanent countries currently serving on the Council, as well as [...]

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

News in Brief 15 October 2015 (AM)

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)in Kandahar City, Afghanistan in June 2010. Photo: ISAF/PAO/Matthew Chlosta

UN honours murdered staff member in Afghanistan The UN mission in Afghanistan has paid tribute to a staff member murdered in the country earlier this week. Toopaki Ulfat was remembered for her dedication to helping the most vulnerable in Afghanistan, including women and children. Ms Ulfat worked for more than five years for the UN [...]

15 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Development aid must benefit women

Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The international community is being urged to put commitments to gender equality into action by ensuring that development assistance to post-conflict countries also reaches women on the ground. The appeal was made by Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, the Special Envoy on Gender at the African Development Bank (ADB). Ms Fraser-Moleketi, who is from South Africa, was a [...]

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

“Strong logic” for Yemen talks amid terrorist gains

Jan Eliasson, United Nations Deputy Secretary‑General appealed to all parties involved in the conflict to ensure the talks took place. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

Talks to decide the future of Yemen could take place before the end of October despite the "deep mistrust" between those involved, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, said Thursday. Insisting that there's a "strong logic" for the talks to start now, Mr Eliasson highlighted how recent advances by terrorist groups threatened to destabilize [...]

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

Despite benefits, not enough people washing their hands with soap

A child washes her hands. UN Photo/UNICEF/Marco Dormino

Too few people are washing their hands with soap, resulting in serious risks to young people, according to the UN Children's Agency, UNICEF. As the world marks Global Handwashing Day on Thursday, UNICEF is calling for improvements in hygiene, including better access to water and sanitation. Veronica Reeves has the story. Describing it as one [...]

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

Telecoms should serve society, not just corporations

ITU (video capture)

Information technology should focus less on business and more on civil society, according to one media guru, speaking at the UN's major telecoms conference this week. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the UN's specialist agency for information and communications technologies, and delegates are gathering in Hungary from all over the world, to discuss core [...]

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

News in Brief 14 October 2015 (PM)

Displaced Syrian children play among tents at the Domiz refugee camp. File Photo: UNHCR/B. Sokol

Children's situations in conflict zones worsening due to "increasing disregard for international law" An "increasing disregard for international law" in many conflict situations around the world has led to a worsening of the plight of children. That's according to the UN's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui. In her annual report to [...]

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Drought in the Sahel region makes farming and gardening very diffcult for the women of Yelimne, Mali. File Photo: WFP/Daouda Guirou

  "Invest in agriculture" to beat climate change Investments in food security and agriculture should be at the centre of debates on climate change, according to a top UN official. Speaking at the Committee on World Food Security in Rome, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), warned that failure to do [...]

14 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Security threats, funding shortfalls hampering UN support office in Somalia

Atul Khare. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Constant security threats and funding shortfalls are hampering the UN's work in Somalia. That, according to the UN's head of field support, who briefed the UN Security Council Wednesday. The Horn of Africa country has experienced turmoil for more than two decades, since its government collapsed in 1991. More now, from Veronica Reeves. With the [...]

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

Afghan opium crop decreases nearly 20 per cent in 2015

A close-up of an opium poppy in Afghanistan. UN Photo/UNODC/Zalmai

Cultivation of opium poppies, the plant used to manufacture heroin, has dropped by 19 per cent year-on-year, according to a UN survey released on Wednesday. Afghanistan has provided the majority of the world's opium production since the early 1990s, and last year it rose to a record level, the United Nations Office on Drugs and [...]

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

Standing up to bullying

Panel discussion on "Protecting children from bullying". Photo: Office of the SRSG on Violence against Children/Miguel Caldeira

The expression "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me!" has been used by generations of English-speaking children as a defence against insults. But teasing, taunting and other forms of bullying can indeed harm children, say experts meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday. Dianne Penn reports on global efforts [...]

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

Cutting productivity gap crucial to small firms’ success

The UN International Trade Centre's Executive Director Arancha Gonzales highlighted the productivity gap between small and medium-sized firms in poorer and richer countries. Photo: UN / Laura Puigvert Alia

Smaller companies need to change the way they work, particularly in poorer countries, to ensure that employees aren't left behind by future economic gains, UN experts said Wednesday. Pointing to a large productivity gap between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and bigger companies, the International Trade Centre (ITC) says numerous obstacles stand in the way [...]

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

More than 100 million people in need of humanitarian assistance

A Syrian refugee registers with a UNHCR staff member in Lebanon to receive assistance. File Photo: UNHCR/M.Abu Asaker

More than 100 million people worldwide are in need of humanitarian assistance — a "staggering" number, according to the UN's top humanitarian official. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O'Brien was speaking at the opening of the global consultations ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit. The Summit is due to take place next May in [...]

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

"No safety" for women of Iraq

Yanar Mohammed. UNTV (video capture)

There's "no safety for women" in Iraq, according to the founder of a network which operates underground shelters there for female survivors of abuse. Yanar Mohammed, addressed the UN Security Council at an open debate to mark the 15th anniversary of a resolution on women, peace and security. She founded the Organization of Women's Freedom [...]

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

"Positive trajectory" for humanitarian situation in Pakistan

John Ging. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The humanitarian situation in Pakistan has a "positive trajectory" despite an ongoing crisis, according to a senior UN official who has just visited the country. Five million Pakistanis have been displaced by conflict in recent years, but many are now returning home. The country is also sheltering Afghan refugees who have fled insecurity over the [...]

14 Oct 2015 | Posted in From the Field, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 13 October 2015 (PM)

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

Violence in occupied Palestinian territories "deeply alarming" The UN agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, has expressed deep alarm over the escalating violence and widespread loss of civilian life in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. Near-daily attacks have left dozens of Israeli and Palestinians dead or wounded over the last several weeks. UNRWA has [...]

13 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Report on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 welcomed at UN

Members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine examine the MH17 crash site in July 2014. File Photo: OSCE/Evgeniy Maloletka

The release of a report into the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 issued by the Dutch Safety Board has been welcomed by the United Nations chief. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to the 298 victims of the air disaster and said from the very beginning, the United Nations had supported efforts to find out [...]

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

Subordination of women at centre of extremist ideology

UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The subordination of women is increasingly at the centre of extremist ideology around the world, according to the author of a report on the implementation of a landmark UN resolution. Security Council Resolution 1325, which was adopted 15 years ago, addresses the excessive impact of war on women. It also highlights the role that women [...]

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

Social protection critical in fight against poverty and hunger

Children in Timor-Leste. .UN Photo/Martine Perret

Social protection is emerging as a critical tool in the drive to eradicate hunger, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Still, despite the success of social protection schemes, the vast majority of the world’s rural poor are yet to have such programmes made available to them. Social protection initiatives include cash transfers, public [...]

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

Social protection breaking cycle of rural poverty

Zelifa Kampeza, 78, submits proof of her identity to administrators of a Social Cash Transfer programme in Malawi. Photo: FAO/Amos Gumulira

Social protection is emerging as a critical tool in the drive to end hunger, although the vast majority of the world's rural poor are yet to be covered. That's according to this year's State of Food and Agriculture Report (SOFA 2015) released by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). SOFA 2015 details the impact [...]

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

Landmark resolution on women, peace and security turns 15

An all-female Formed Police Unit from Bangladesh, serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, arrives in Port-au-Prince to assist with post-earthquake reconstruction. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Fifteen years ago this month, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution focusing on the link between gender equality and international peace and security. More than 100 countries are taking stock of progress on resolution 1325 which stresses the important role women have in conflict resolution, peace negotiations and UN peacekeeping efforts. Dianne Penn [...]

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

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Shipping news hails change for developing nations

For the first time, developing countries imported more goods than they exported in 2014, UNCTAD said. Photo: UNCTAD

A significant drop in the cost of global shipping in the last 20 years has not been passed on to developing countries, despite the fact that they are driving the world's economy, UN economists said Tuesday. The finding, which is highlighted in a UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) review of maritime transport, also [...]

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

News in Brief 13 October 2015 (AM)

Miklós Haraszti. Photo: OSCE/Ilgar Hasanov

Belarus elections peaceful, but neither free nor fair: UN Special Rapporteur  Recent elections in Belarus were largely peaceful, despite the fact they were neither free nor fair. That's according to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the country. Protests did take place following last Sunday's presidential election, but were not [...]

13 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Environment award from UN "fills people's hearts with joy"

Photo: UNISDR

Recognition from the UN for helping to alleviate the risk of flooding was met with joy and pride on Tuesday, in the English city of Salford. The historic city in the north of England was one of eight communities recognised as Champions of Disaster Risk Reduction, by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, based [...]

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

Ensuring a "just transition" to the new green economy

Esther Byer-Suckoo. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Transitioning to a "green" economy will require a buy-in from governments, businesses and employees, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). The UN agency has been studying how to ensure a "just transition" to economic growth that provides decent jobs and is also environmentally sustainable. Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, the Minister of Labour, Human Resources and [...]

13 Oct 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Attacks leave Chadians facing dire conditions

Displaced people from the Lake Chad region need urgent humanitarian help, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Photo: UNHCR/Ahmed Bahaddou

Tens of thousands of people displaced by fighting in Chad are living in a "war zone" after a double suicide attack at the weekend that left at least 47 dead and dozens injured, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said Tuesday. According to UNHCR, Saturday's attack was carried out by women and children and was the [...]

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

Africa committed to "silencing the guns" by 2020

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) destroyed weapons and ammunition recovered from civilians seeking refuge in the UNMISS base in Malakal, Upper Nile State. UN File Photo/JC McIlwaine

Although Africa is on the path to economic development and greater integration, conflict continues to be a "big obstacle" to progress, according to a senior officer with a regional organization on the continent. Daniel Yifru Sentayehu, Senior Peace and Security Adviser at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), is in New York for Africa Week [...]

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

News in Brief 12 October 2015 (PM)

Woman voting in the Hamdallaye area of Conakry, the capital of Guinea in June 2010. File Photo: IRIN/Nancy Palus

Peaceful elections in Guinea welcomed by UN Secretary-General A peaceful first round of presidential elections in Guinea has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. The UN chief has encouraged all political leaders and stakeholders to maintain the peaceful atmosphere that prevailed on election day as the country awaits the final results. In the run-up to [...]

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Hopes and dreams of African people headline start of UN's Africa Week

UN Photo/Kim Haughton

Africans are demanding, and in fact, deserve a better future. That's according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who helped kick off the organization's annual Africa Week on Monday. The week of events celebrate the continent's social, economic, political and environmental development. Veronica Reeves has the story. Africa Week is designed to showcase the many advancements taking [...]

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

Drones to help protect civilians of South Sudan

UN House in Juba. UN File Photo/Isaac Billy

Unmanned-drones used for civilian protection could be taking to the skies of South Sudan following changes to the UN mission's mandate there. The world's youngest nation has been wracked by civil war for the past 18 months, which has left thousands dead, and displaced more than two million people. More than 200,000 civilians are currently [...]

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

UN celebrates Africa Week

20151012africaweek

It's all about Africa as Africa Week kicks off this Monday at UN Headquarters in New York. During this special week the UN showcases the continent's advancement. It's also an opportunity to look at ongoing and emerging challenges. Raul De Melo Cabral is Director of the Advocacy Branch in the Office of the UN Special [...]

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

Violent extremism impacting increasingly on women

Women in Liberia. UN File Photo/Christopher Herwig

The threat of violent extremism is increasing on women and girls around the world, according to the UN agency which deals with gender issues, UN Women. That's one of the findings of a new global study on the implementation of resolution 1325. Daniel Dickinson reports The Security Council resolution which was adopted 15 years ago, [...]

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

News in Brief 12 October 2015 (AM)

Farhan Haq. UN File Photo.

  UN staff member assassinated in Afghanistan The assassination of a UN staff member working in Afghanistan has been confirmed by the UN mission in the country, UNAMA. The mission said one of its workers was murdered on Monday in the southern city of Kandahar. Here's the UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq. "The Secretary-General's Special [...]

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Dialogue on Syria “more urgent than ever”

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, speaking in Geneva on 12 October 2015. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

Russian military intervention in the Syria conflict has introduced a "new dynamic" that has made the need to find a diplomatic solution more urgent than ever, UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura said Monday. The UN Special Envoy, who warned of the need to avoid any further escalation of the situation, insisted that Syria's future could [...]

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

Refugees need to be treated with a human touch: UN Refugee Chief

António Guterres sits among two young boys from Syria who are playing with a Playstation in the Moria Identification Centre, Lesvos. © UNHCR/A. Zavallis

The continued lack of a large-scale, European-wide response to the refugee and migrant crisis is serious cause for concern for the UN Refugee Agency. That's according to the UN Refugee Chief, António Guterres, who was speaking at the conclusion of an official visit to Greece. While there, he thanked country for its efforts to manage [...]

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

Calling time on TB with the help of mobile phones

The World Health Organization (WHO) wants to make the most of the possibilities used by information technology to eradicate TB. Photo: WHO

A new approach to combating tuberculosis, or TB, has been announced by UN health experts, who say the mobile phone and the internet are potential key tools in the fight against the killer disease. Under proposals by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partner the European Respiratory Society (ERS), national governments will be encouraged to [...]

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

Secretary-General deplores use of young girls in Chad suicide bombings

Nigerian refugees arrive on Lake Chad islands in Niger after fleeing attacks in Doron Bagga in Borno state, Nigeria in September 2014. Photo: IRC (UNHCR partner in south Niger)

A wave of suicide bombings in Chad this weekend which killed more than 30 people and injured dozens has been strongly condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon also expressed dismay that young girls reportedly were used to carry out some of the attacks. Dianne Penn reports. The five simultaneous suicide bombings took place on [...]

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

Africa's "ambitious agenda" backed by UN

Maged Abdelaziz, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Africa, addresses a press conference. UN File Photo/Evan Schneider

Africa's plan to create a free trade zone across the continent will be fully supported by the UN, according to a senior official working on African issues. Political leaders have set the target of 2017 for the Continental Free Trade Agreement to be implemented. It's one of the issues that are expected to be discussed [...]

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

New global agenda must not leave indigenous people behind

SG-Cochabamba2

Indigenous people must not be left behind in the push to achieve a sustainable future for all people and the planet, the UN Secretary-General has said. Ban Ki-moon is in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, this weekend where he addressed the Peoples World Conference on Climate Change and the Defence of Life which focused on the [...]

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

International Day celebrates girls’ role in driving global progress

Girls Speak Out event. UN File Photo/Amanda Voisard

Despite global advances, girls continue to suffer discrimination, exclusion and severe disadvantages just for being young and being female, according to the head of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). This Sunday, 11 October, is the fourth International Day of the Girl Child and the focus is on adolescent girls and the new Sustainable Development Goals [...]

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

UN chief condemns terrorist attack on peaceful march in Turkey

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presents his annual report on the work of the Organization at the opening of the general debate of the General Assembly's seventieth session. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A deadly bomb attack during a peaceful gathering in Turkey on Saturday has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Nearly 90 people were reportedly killed in the incident, which occurred in the capital, Ankara. Dianne Penn reports. The UN Secretary-General expects the perpetrators of the terrorist bombings to be swiftly brought to justice, according to [...]

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

100 million people struggle as housing shortage bites

UNECE says at least 100 million people spend more than 40 per cent of their disposable income on housing, leaving little for other essentials. Photo: UNECE

A housing crisis is looming which has left at least 100 million people living in homes they cannot afford, the UN has warned. According to a UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) report that covers 56 countries, the problem threatens global Sustainable Development Goals, too. The 2008 financial crisis is believed to be largely responsible [...]

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

News in Brief 09 October 2015 (PM)

Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

Appeal for calm ahead of Guinea presidential elections The UN Human Rights High Commissioner is appealing for calm ahead of the first round of Presidential elections in Guinea this Sunday. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said his office has received "worrying reports" of violent unrest and looting in the capital, Conakry. Clashes last week between supporters [...]

9 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Key role of finance in achieving a sustainable future

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

Finance is central to realizing a sustainable future for all people and the planet, the UN Secretary-General told ministers meeting in Lima, Peru, on Friday. Ban Ki-moon is in the South American country for the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Dianne Penn reports. The UN chief told Finance Ministers [...]

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

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"Amazing and unexpected news" of Nobel Peace award

Kaouther Bizani speaking to UN Radio over the phone. Photo: UNIC Tunisia/ Samia Sffar Gorch

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to a quartet of Tunisian organizations has been described by the UN in the North African country as amazing and unexpected. The Nobel Committee in Oslo, Norway, said the four civil society groups had made a "decisive contribution to democracy" following a revolution in Tunisia in 2011. Kaouther [...]

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

Youth have role to play in ending extreme poverty

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim  at Annual Meetings Opening in LIMA, Peru. Photo: World Bank/ Simone D. McCourtie

Young people have the power to make a lasting impact on ending extreme poverty and addressing climate change, according to the World Bank. Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund are taking place in in Lima, Peru, where issues including the new global development goals are being discussed. World Bank President [...]

9 Oct 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Migrant vessels in Mediterranean to be targeted by EU forces

A refugee lies face down on the stony ground with his hands over his face after reaching shore, near the village of Skala Eressos, on the island of Lesbos, in the North Aegean region of Greece. Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson VII

Forces of the European Union (EU) have been given the go-ahead by the UN Security Council to intercept and seize vessels operated by people smugglers in the Mediterranean Sea. The UN says some 7,000 migrants are arriving each day on the Greek coastline alone. Many are fleeing persecution and conflict in the Middle East and [...]

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

UN salutes Tunisia civil society quartet on Nobel Peace Prize win

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Amanda Voisard

The awarding of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize to a group of four civil society organizations that contributed to building democracy in Tunisia has been welcomed by the United Nations. The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet brought together different sectors of society at a time when the democracy process appeared to be in danger of collapsing [...]

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

Mentally ill entitled to lives of dignity

World Mental Health Day 2015 - Dignity in mental health. Photo: WHO/S. Volkov

Those suffering from mental illness should be empowered to live lives of dignity.  That's the focus of this year's World Mental Health Day, which will be commemorated globally on Saturday. The World Health Organization (WHO) is using this year's Mental Health Day to highlight the stigma, discrimination and wide-ranging violations which often strip those with [...]

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

Investigate air strike on Yemen wedding party: UN humanitarian chief

Homes in Yemen destroyed by coalition airstrikes. Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

The UN humanitarian affairs chief has called for a "swift, transparent and impartial investigation" into an attack this week in Yemen which killed nearly 50 members of a wedding party. Stephen O'Brien said the incident is an example of the devastating impact of explosive weapons in the country's conflict between government forces and rebels. Fighting [...]

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

News in Brief 09 October 2015 (AM)

Special Representative for Libya and Head of the UN Support Mission in the country, known as UNSMIL, Bernardino León (left) holding talks in Geneva on a political agreement. Photo: UNSMIL

Libyan leaders urged to agree new unity government Parties in Libya are being urged by the UN Secretary-General to quickly sign an agreement on the country's proposed unity government. Ban Ki-moon has welcomed proposed nominees for the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord which were announced by the UN on Thursday. He called [...]

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Ukraine authorities urged to launch polio campaign

Significant vaccination gaps exist in Ukraine and 1.8 children are at risk from the disease, World Health Organization and UNICEF warn. Photo: UNICEF/Tom Pietrasik

  Around 1.8 million children in Ukraine are at risk of a polio outbreak unless a national vaccination campaign gets under way immediately, UN agencies warned Friday. The appeal, from UN Children's Agency UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) comes six weeks after two children were diagnosed with the disease, which causes paralysis. Neither [...]

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

Cautious welcome as EU refugee resettlement bid starts

Some 7,000 people a day now arrive on the Greek coastline, according to UN partner IOM. Photo: I. Prickett

News that the European Union-wide refugee resettlement scheme has begun has been welcomed by the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. Nineteen Eritrean asylum-seekers left Italy's Ciampino airport in Rome on Friday morning, bound for Sweden. They'd agreed to be relocated there after arriving by boat to Sicily. Under the EU scheme, participating member states have agreed [...]

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

Proposal announced for Libya unity government

Bernardino Léon, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), speaks to journalists. UN File Photo/Loey Felipe

A proposal for a unity government in Libya has been announced after nearly a year of negotiations. Bernardino Léon, UN representative for the country, outlined its makeup during a press conference in Morocco on Thursday. Two rival governments have been fighting for power in Libya which has been wracked by turmoil and division since the [...]

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

UN and Africa: focus on child rights, adolescent health and Mali peace process

Young girls in Somalia. UN File Photo/Tobin Jones

Somalia latest country to sign UN child rights treaty Somalia's decision to ratify a UN treaty on children's rights will reignite global commitment to make the world better for children. That's according to Marta Santos Pais, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Violence against Children. Somalia has joined more than 190 countries which have signed [...]

8 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

News in Brief 08 October 2015 (PM)

Malnutrition is a challenge throughout Sudan. File Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran

Child malnutrition "challenge" in Sudan Funding constraints and lack of access to communities is hampering delivery of food aid in Sudan where more than two million children under the age of five are malnourished, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, has reported. Malnutrition is a challenge throughout the country but OCHA said some of the [...]

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UN Global Perspective: focus on Afghanistan, counter-terrorism and ending hunger

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

Inquiry into fatal Afghan hospital strikes must be "independent and impartial." The UN strongly condemned the airstrike on a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday, which left more than 20 people dead. The facility was the only hospital in the war-torn city, where Taliban fighters have been grappling for control with Afghan [...]

8 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: Yazidis in Iraq, LGBTI issues and human trafficking

Iraqi women. UN File Photo/Rick Bajornas

We feel forgotten, say Yazidis battling sex-slavery An activist helping girls from the Yazidi minority of Northern Iraq escape sexual enslavement by ISIL fighters worries his people are being forgotten. Thousands of members of the Yazidi community were captured and sold into slavery last year by the terrorist group. At briefing at UN headquarters on [...]

8 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

Youth jobless rate "still well above pre-crisis levels"

Young women look for work at a job centre in Tianjin, China. Photo: ILO

More than 73 million young people are out of work in the world and the number is set to increase amid an uneven global economic recovery, UN labour experts said Thursday. The data, which is released annually by the the International Labour Organization (ILO), shows that global youth unemployment is still well above pre-financial crisis [...]

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

Austerity measures to continue at agency helping Palestinian refugees

UNRWA distributes life-saving assistance to displaced civilians. File Photo: UNRWA

Aid programmes for Palestinian refugees in the Middle East supported by the UN will continue to face austerity measures, it has been announced. The international community met at UN headquarters in New York on Thursday to discuss funding for UNWRA, the agency which serves five million Palestinian refugees. Its annual budget is around US$750 million. [...]

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

UN to launch audit following arrest of former General Assembly president

Stéphane Dujarric. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

An audit will be launched into the relationship between the United Nations and two private organizations following the arrest this week of a former UN General Assembly president in connection with an alleged bribery scheme. The announcement was made on Thursday by the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General. Dianne Penn reports. The audit will be [...]

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

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Violence will not be tolerated during Haiti elections

Voters turn out during the first round of Haiti wide elections in Cite Soleil, one of Port au Prince, Haiti's most volatile neighbourhoods - August 2015. Photo: UN Photo/Logan Abass

Political violence will not be tolerated during this month's elections, said the head of the UN mission in Haiti on Thursday. Briefing the Security Council ahead of the 25 October vote, Sandra Honoré, head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), also said the mission needed to be extended by at least a year. After [...]

8 Oct 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Envoy anticipates announcement of Libya unity government

Bernardino Léon, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), speaks to journalists. UN File Photo/Loey Felipe

The announcement of a unity government in Libya should be made this Thursday, according to the UN envoy for the country. Bernardino Léon met with parties to the national dialogue during consultations in Morocco on Wednesday. Libya has plagued by factional fighting and a political crisis since the overthrow of President Muammar al-Qhadafi four years ago. [...]

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

Human rights chief urges restraint following deadly West Bank clashes

UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Escalating tensions and violence in the West Bank are an indication of growing frustration and despair due to prolonged occupation, according to the UN Human Rights High Commissioner. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Thursday expressed "extreme concern" over the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Recent violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians have [...]

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

First-of-its-kind refugee campaign raises over US$1 million in one day

UNHCR launched a campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds to help refugees. Photo: UNHCR

Ordinary Americans are reaching into their wallets to support the growing number of refugees worldwide.  The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has launched a first-of-its-kind online campaign designed to solicit donations from the American public. The online platform Kickstarter is hosting the campaign, which raised more than US $1 million to help refugees in just one [...]

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

News in Brief 08 October 2015 (AM)

Students in Nepal, being taught how to take shelter beneath their desks in case of an earthquake.  Photo: Jim Holmes for AusAID

  Safer schools in earthquake zones The lack of building codes in the world's most dangerous earthquake zones can turn schools into "graveyards for children," the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has warned. Margareta Wahlström's comments come in a statement on Thursday marking the 10th anniversary of an earthquake in [...]

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We feel forgotten, say Yazidis battling sex slavery

Iraqi women. UN File Photo/Rick Bajornas

Thousands of members of the Yazidi community, which the terrorist group ISIL regards as apostates, were captured and sold into slavery last year. A briefing at UN headquarters on ISIL and its impact on women in Iraq heard testimony from one young victim who had been sold into slavery and then raped. Matthew Wells reports. [...]

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

Ebola: first week without a new case of disease

A mobile clinic in Liberia, which was declared free of Ebola virus transmission in early September. Photo File: UNMEER/Simon Ruf

The prospect of an end to Ebola could be drawing nearer, after UN health officials announced that for the first time, a whole week has passed in West Africa without any new cases of the killer virus. However, while the development is potentially very promising, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that there is still [...]

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

Syria chemical weapons arsenal “almost” completely destroyed

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

Destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile is almost fully complete, the president of the UN Security Council told journalists in New York on Wednesday. Roman Oyarzun Marchesi was speaking after a monthly meeting held in line with a 2013 Council resolution requiring the verification and destruction of the country's chemical weapons. Dianne Penn reports. The [...]

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

News in Brief 07 October 2015 (PM)

The police contingent of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), along with the country's National Police, conducting a joint operation in the capital Bangui. UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis

Peacekeeper killed in CAR The UN Secretary-General is calling for swift action to bring to justice the killers of a UN peacekeeper in the Central African Republic (CAR). Ban Ki-moon has condemned the incident and repeated his call for armed groups there to put down their weapons. The peacekeeper was part of a military escort [...]

7 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Political obstacles mount in DRC ahead of 2016 elections

Martin Kobler briefs the Security Council on the situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

The opportunity to hold free and fair elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is disappearing according to the UN's most senior official in the country. Voters are due to go to the polls next year, despite continued instability in the east of the country where government FARDC forces struggle to retain law and [...]

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

UN officials welcome new head at climate change panel

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) elected Hoesung Lee of Republic of Korea as its new Chairman. Photo: IPCC

The election of the new chief of a global body that assesses the science related to climate change has been welcomed by the UN. Hoesung Lee of the Republic of Korea was this week appointed chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Mr Lee is a professor in the economics of climate change, energy [...]

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

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"Nelson Mandela Rules" on prisoner treatment presented

Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

New rules to help improve the treatment of prisoners around the world, were formally presented at United Nations headquarters on Wednesday. The updated standards – also known as the "Nelson Mandela Rules" – outline standard minimum treatment practices for those who are incarcerated. The Secretary General's representative said they should be seen as a "work [...]

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

Envoy calls for "transparent" DRC elections

Martin Kobler, Special Representative for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) meets delegates from DRC. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are being urged to ensure next year's elections are "transparent, credible and inclusive." The appeal was made by Martin Kobler, head of the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, during a briefing to the Security Council on Wednesday. The DRC is set to hold legislative and [...]

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

Cuba tourism expected to grow with thawing of US relations

Havana, Cuba. Photo: UN Radio/Daniel Dickinson

  Cuba has been out of bounds for American tourists for more than 50 years due to the US embargo on the Caribbean country, but the number of US visitors is set to grow according to International Monetary Fund (IMF). The recent reestablishment of diplomatic relations could open the floodgates to a generation of tourists [...]

7 Oct 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Public asked to solve UN Charter mystery

Susan Kurtas, Librarian at the UN's Dag Hammarskjöld Library. Photo: UN Radio/Veronica Reeves

People across the world are being asked to help solve a mystery which has been troubling UN officials. The UN's Dag Hammarskjöld Library recently came across a six different copies of the UN Charter written in languages librarians are unable to identify. The library has launched a public appeal via social media for help in [...]

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

Film supports UN road safety efforts for children

Some 500 children worldwide are killed every day in road crashes. Image: #SaveKidsLives Campaign

Some 500 children worldwide are killed every day in road crashes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For this reason, renowned French film maker Luc Besson has joined UN efforts to make it safer for children to get to and from school. Dianne Penn reports. Luc Besson, director of blockbusters such as 'Lucy' and [...]

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

Afghanistan appeals for $550 million refugee fund

UN Refugee Agency chief Antonio Guterres said helping returning refugees is key to stabilising the situation in Afghanistan. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

Afghan authorities made an appeal at the UN on Wednesday for more than half a billion US dollars to help millions of refugees return home, and bring stability to their country. The call for international funding follows an entreaty from Antonio Guterres, head of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to the international community to do [...]

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

News in Brief 07 October 2015 (AM)

Volker Türk, UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Protection and H.E. Ambassador Regina Maria Cordeiro Dunlop, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN and Mr Beto Ferreira Martins Vasconcelos, National Secretary of Justice, President of the Brazilian National Committee for Refugees at the signing of the special visa programme for people affected by the Syria crisis. Photo:  UNHCR/B. Heger

Praise for Brazil's refugee visa programme Brazil's efforts to accommodate people affected by the Syrian conflict have been welcomed as "an important gesture of international solidarity" by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Since 2013, the country's consulates in the Middle East have been issuing so-called "special visas" under simplified procedures which allow asylum seekers to [...]

7 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Invest more to reduce threat of flash floods

Aerial View of Floods in Bangkok, Thailand. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

Urban areas around the world are being encouraged to invest more to reduce risks from flash floods. The call comes from Margareta Wahlström, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Recent flash floods have claimed hundreds of lives in Guatemala, the south of France and the southern United States. Dianne Penn reports. [...]

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

African countries using nuclear power for energy

Nuclear Plant. File Photo: IAEA

African countries are increasingly turning towards nuclear power to meet their growing energy needs and pull them out of the "dark". That's according to the head of Kenya's Nuclear Electricity Board, one of many African countries where nuclear power is being considered. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says worldwide, more than 30 countries are [...]

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

"Triple-win" strategy will help end hunger by 2030

Grain: harvest. File Photo: FAO/ J.Belgrave

Learning new ways to farm will help make hunger a thing of the past, according to a World Bank agricultural development expert. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are holding their annual meeting in Peru this week, following the adoption of ambitious new global development goals. A so-called "triple win" is possible, meaning [...]

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

IMF lowers global growth forecasts again for 2015

IMF Headquarters in Washington, DC. File Photo: IMF/Henrik Gschwindt de Gyor

Slower global growth is forecast yet again, in the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook. It's the third time this year the IMF's lowered expectations for overall growth. Advanced economies are likely to show some growth, according to the latest forecast released on Tuesday, but emerging economies are indicating a slowdown. Jennifer Beckman spoke to IMF [...]

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

News in Brief 06 October 2015 (PM)

Construction in the Israeli settlement of Ariel in the West Bank. Photo: Annie Slemrod/IRIN

Signed agreement only way to end Libya crisis Libyans are being encouraged by the UN Secretary-General to "seize the opportunity" to rebuild their country and confront the urgent challenges facing it. Ban Ki-moon's request comes in the wake of a high-level meeting held last week in the margins of the annual debate in the UN [...]

6 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

New policies need to shake off economic stagnation in developed countries

The UN's annual Trade and Development Report was released on 6 October. Image: UNCTAD

Policymakers in developed countries need to be proactive to finally bring about a full recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis. That's according to the UN's annual Trade and Development Report released Tuesday, which says that many developed nations need to make bold policy moves to shake off sluggish economic growth. Ana Carmo has the [...]

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

UN chief "shocked" by charges against former General Assembly president

Thematic Debate of the General Assembly 68th session

Allegations of corruption involving a former president of the UN General Assembly have shocked the man at the head of the organization. John Ashe, who presided over the chamber in 2013, was arrested in New York on Tuesday reportedly for accepting bribes. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was "shocked and deeply troubled" to learn of the [...]

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

UNICEF welcomes cessation of hostilities in Sudan

Children in Jawa village, in East Jebel Marra (South Darfur). File Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran

Proposals by warring sides in Sudan to silence their guns have been welcomed by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The decision could mean that thousands of children living in areas that have been inaccessible for four years would now receive lifesaving health care. Dianne Penn reports. UNICEF on Tuesday welcomed recent proposals from the Sudanese [...]

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

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Mali peace process "back on track"

Special Representative and Head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), Mongi Hamdi, briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

The peace process in Mali is "back on track" said the head of the country's UN mission – MINUSMA – on Tuesday. But Mongi Hamdi, told a Security Council meeting that regular violations of the ceasefire in recent months meant the path to peace was littered with obstacles. A peace agreement between the government, armed [...]

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

WHO supports medical services in Afghan city hit by air strikes

World Health Organization Logo.

A medical team mobilized by the Afghan Public Health Ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) has arrived in the city of Kunduz, the UN agency reported on Tuesday. Kunduz is located in northern Afghanistan and drew global attention following a deadly air strike this weekend on a medical facility run by the aid group [...]

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

New global standards to improve adolescent health care

WHO/UNAIDS set global standards to improve the quality of health services for all adolescents. Image: WHO campaign

Making health services more "adolescent-friendly" is one of the goals of new standards to improve the quality of health care for the young people worldwide. Launched on Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS, they are described as "simple yet powerful steps" that all countries can immediately take. The UN agencies say current [...]

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

Adolescent health care targeted by UN

A girl laughs during a skit on the prevention of HIV, at a youth centre in Moundou, Chad. Photo: UNICEF/P. Esteve

Young people around the world are expected to benefit from new guidelines issued by the UN aimed at improving adolescent health. Many children who suffer from mental health disorders, substance use, poor nutrition, intentional injuries and chronic illness such as AIDS currently do not have access to critical prevention and care services. The guidelines have [...]

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

Countries struggling to stop flow of foreign terrorist fighters

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

Many countries are struggling to put in place passport monitoring systems aimed at preventing the international flow of terrorist fighters, according to a top UN counter-terrorism official. The UN's Counter-Terrorism Committee has released its second report on Security Council resolution 2178, which calls on countries to implement specific measures to stem the flow of foreign [...]

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

News in Brief 06 October 2015 (AM)

Migrants fleeing Yemen arrive in Bossaso, Puntland in May 2015. File Photo: IOM/2015

Humanitarian plan for Yemen refugees A US$36 million plan to respond to the refugee crisis in Yemen has been presented to donors in Nairobi by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and its partner, the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The goal is to deliver protection and humanitarian assistance to the estimated 103,000 people who will [...]

6 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Putting Afghan women at the centre of farming development

Tomio Shichiri, FAO country director, Afghanistan. Photo: UNAMA

A lack of land and capital has been hampering the role of Afghan women in the countryside, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture representative there. FAO country director, Tomio Shichiri, was speaking just after the launch of a new national strategy for agriculture in Afghanistan, promoted by both the FAO and Afghan government. Funding [...]

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

Extreme poverty rate set to fall below 10% by end of 2015

A slum area in Cambodia. Photo: World Bank/Masaru Goto

The number of people living in extreme poverty around the world is likely to fall to under 10 per cent of the global population in 2015, according to World Bank projections. The bank is using an updated international poverty line of US$1.90 a day, up from the previous level of US$1.25. Daniel Dickinson reports. Using [...]

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

News in Brief 05 October 2015 (PM)

Street scene in the Old City of Jerusalem. Photo: UNESCO/Roni Amelan

UN chief troubled by praise for Jerusalem attacks The UN chief, Ban Ki-moon has said he is "deeply troubled" by statements from Palestinian militant groups praising attacks on Israeli citizens in Jerusalem and the West Bank. On Saturday in the Old City of Jerusalem, two members of the same family were killed. And in subsequent [...]

5 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Fighting escalates in South Sudan state

Livelihood kits being delivered to hard-to-reach areas in South Sudan through FAO's helicopter operation. Photo: FAO

Aid agencies in South Sudan have said they're concerned about the escalation in fighting over the past days in Unity State in the north of the country. Clashes have been reported around the towns of Koch and Leer. Political and ethnic infighting in the world’s youngest country has led to the deaths of thousands of [...]

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

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Inquiry into fatal Afghan hospital strikes must be "impartial”

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

The UN has strongly condemned the airstrike on a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday, which has left at least 22 people dead. The facility was the only hospital in the war-torn city, where Taliban fighters are grappling for control with Afghan government forces, backed by coalition air-power. It was run by [...]

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

Destruction of Syria monument condemned

Archaeological site of Palmyra in Syria. Photo: ©UNESCO/F. Bandarin

The destruction of a 2000 year-old monument in Syria has been condemned by the UN. The Arch of Triumph in Palmyra was reportedly wrecked by militants of the ISIL terrorist group. Daniel Dickinson reports The Arch of Triumph, built by Septimius Severus between 193 and 211 AD has been described by the UN cultural agency, [...]

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

First draft of new climate change deal presented to governments

Dryland: Island Nation of Kiribati Affected by Climate Change. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The first draft of the new, highly-anticipated climate change deal is now in the hands of governments. The presentation of the draft by the UN is considered a major step forward in efforts to reach a legally-binding international agreement by the end of the year in Paris, France. Veronica Reeves spoke to Nick Nuttall, a [...]

5 Oct 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Refugee crisis a "shame", but not a "surprise"

António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees makes his opening speech at UNHCR's 66th session of the Executive Committee on 5th October 2015.  Photo: UNHCR/J-M. Ferré

With more than 60 million refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons worldwide, the head of the UN's Refugee Agency has said the plight of the world's displaced can no longer be ignored. Speaking in Geneva on Monday, High Commissioner António Guterres said that the number of people fleeing conflict every day has nearly quadrupled in [...]

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

Work must begin immediately on new development agenda

President of the seventieth session of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft (centre), closes the annual general debate. UN Photo/Cia Pak

The previous two weeks of intense activity at United Nations headquarters were an "historic" convergence of high-level events, said the spokesperson for the President of the UN General Assembly. The Pope addressed the UN General Assembly as Member States voted to adopt new Sustainable Development Goals. The annual debate of world leaders followed immediately, with [...]

5 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 05 October 2015 (AM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Amanda Voisard

Airstrike on hospital in Afghanistan condemned by UN Airstrikes on the city of Kunduz in Afghanistan, that killed at least 22 people at a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital on Saturday have been strongly condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Kunduz has been a focus of military operations by the Afghan government after it was overrun by [...]

5 Oct 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak | Read More »

Empower and value teachers to reach new global goals

A girl stands next to a sign promoting girls education in the village of Kosiloko, Bombali district, Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF

Despite global recognition of their importance, teachers are too often undervalued and under-empowered, according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The agency is using World Teachers' Day, observed this Monday (5 October), to highlight the role of teachers in achieving the new global development goals. Dianne Penn has the story. One of [...]

5 Oct 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

Fishing kits and seeds part of aid relief in South Sudan

A girl plays as the sun sets in Nyal, South Sudan. The community has taken in those displaced. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Nearly three million people in South Sudan this year have received some form of livelihood assistance from aid agencies operating in the country, the UN Humanitarian Affairs office (OCHA) reports. The support has included food vouchers but also fishing kits and even locally-grown seeds, all with the goal of helping people to produce and procure [...]

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

The political will exists for lasting peace, says South Sudan vice-president.

James Wani Igga.UN Photo/Cia Pak.

The vice-president of South Sudan – the world's youngest nation – said that the "political will" exists to end months of violence in which thousands have died or been forced to flee their homes. James Wani Igga was speaking on Friday, the day after he addressed the UN General Debate, and hailed the fragile peace [...]

3 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's Features | Read More »

Burundi denies the country's taking a step backwards on human rights

Burundians arriving in Rwanda.  File Photo: UNHCR/Kate Holt

Burundi's foreign minister denied that the country's human rights record is deteriorating on Friday, following an upsurge in arrests and civil unrest. Earlier this week, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights described that bodies were being found in the streets of the capital "almost every day" – some showing signs of torture. The small [...]

3 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's Features | Read More »

Germany commended for trial of Rwandan rebel leaders

FDLR ex-combatants who voluntarily surrendered to the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). File Photo: MONUSCO

A German court’s trial of two leaders of a Rwandan armed group operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been commended by the UN Secretary-General. Dr Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni, president and vice-president, respectively, of the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), were charged with holding a leadership role [...]

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

Sudan bemoans sanctions and boycotts

Ibrahim Ahmed Ghandour. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The Foreign Minister of Sudan has told the UN General Assembly that his country has suffered politically motivated sanctions and boycotts. An arrest warrant for the country's President Omar al-Bashir was issued by the International Criminal Court in 2009, but has not yet been acted upon. Sudan also faces an arms embargo and travel bans [...]

2 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 02 October 2015 (PM)

09-24-2014Syria_Children

Planned UN humanitarian relief for Syria postponed. A planned humanitarian intervention by the United Nations in Syria has been postponed as part of the implementation of a ceasefire agreement, the UN has confirmed. People in four localities were due to receive aid but it has been put on hold due to the recent surge in [...]

2 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Syria: International community must stop terrorist flow

Walid Al-Moualem, Syria's Deputy Prime Minister, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly's 70th session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

  The "countdown" to ending the conflict in Syria can only begin if UN Security Council resolutions on combatting terrorism are implemented, according to the country's Deputy Prime Minister. In an address at the UN General Assembly on Friday, Walid Al-Moualem urged the international community to do more to stop terrorists from entering his country. [...]

2 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's Features | Read More »

Daily News 02 October 2015

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Daily News from United Nations Radio.  

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News and Features from United Nations Radio.

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Libyans urged to forge their own peace now

High-Level Meeting on Libya. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The warring parties in Libya have been urged to form a government of national unity, at a high-level UN meeting on the future of their country on Friday. Failure to do so, would only allow the extremist militants of ISIL to gain a stronger foothold in Libya, the meeting heard. Following decades of dictatorship and [...]

2 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 02 October 2015 (AM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left). UNTV (video capture)

  New development agenda can reduce violence The newly agreed goals for sustainable development could help to reduce violence, the UN Secretary-General has said. Speaking on the International Day of Non-Violence marked annually on 2 October, Ban Ki-moon said the goals would promote harmony between people and the planet and make the world a safer [...]

2 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Chemical industry told not to cheat on global goals

Achim Steiner (left), head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said the Volkswagen emissions saga could make the automotive industry focus on better air quality. Photo: UN

Achieving ambitious sustainable development goals is possible, but "cheating" like car giant Volkswagen is unacceptable, a UN environment chief said Friday. Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Environment Programme, (UNEP), called the German manufacturer's efforts to give misleading vehicle emissions data a "scandal". But he said that the episode could help meet ambitious sustainable [...]

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

"Genuine democracy" must be supported in Burkina Faso

Michel Kafando. UN Photo/Cia Pak

The international community has been asked to continue to support efforts to "anchor genuine democracy" in Burkina Faso. The appeal was made by the country's interim president in an address to the UN General Assembly on Friday. Michel Kafando heads a transitional government which came to power following a popular uprising in October 2014. He [...]

2 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's News | Read More »

500 children killed in Yemen in last six months

A classroom in Sana'a, heavily damaged during an air strike that hit the building next to the school. Photo: UNICEF/ Mohammed Mahmoud

More than 500 children's lives have been lost in Yemen since the conflict escalated in March, the UN said Friday. Children's Agency UNICEF said that six months of "unremitting violence" in the country have also left more than 700 youngsters injured. A further 1.7 million of them are also at risk of malnutrition as fighting [...]

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

Gender issues must feature in new climate deal

A woman washes her mud soaked clothes and sheets along the side of the road in the aftermath of the tropical storm "Hanna" that left the entire region flooded and thousands of people stranded. UN File Photo/Logan Abassi

The important linkages between gender issues and climate change are being emphasized as world leaders prepare to endorse a new, universal climate change agreement at the end of the year. Experts gathered for a panel discussion on the margins of the UN General Assembly to discuss the need to ensure that women's issues are taken [...]

2 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's Features | Read More »

Prime Minister proposes "Marshall Plan" for Somalia

Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia, addresses the general debate of the seventieth session of the General Assembly.

Somalia's Prime Minister has proposed a "Grand Development Plan" to rebuild his country and empower its people. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke said the initiative would be like a “Somalia Marshall Plan," a reference to the United States aid programme that revitalized Western Europe following the Second World War. Speaking in the UN General Assembly on [...]

1 Oct 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly, Today's News | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus UN General Assembly, CAR and South Sudan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses a high-level meeting on South Sudan, held on the margins of the general debate of the General Assembly's seventieth session. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

CAR entering delicate period ahead of elections The high-level session of the UN General Assembly started on 28 September in New York.  Heads of State have been discussing and presenting their visions on issues that are essential to their countries. High-level summits were held on a number of issues including the future of the troubled Central [...]

1 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Calling Asia: focus on General Assembly debate and Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai (centre), education advocate and Co-founder of the Malala Fund, addresses the General Assembly during the opening day of the UN's Sustainable Development Summit, taking place in New York from 25-27, September, 2015. She is joined by youth from all 193 Member States holding lanterns that represent the youth's hope for the future and committment to help meet the Global Goals set down in the Summit's agenda,

Reconciliation “imperative” to Sri Lanka’s future The reconciliation between former foes in Sri Lanka is "imperative" to the future of the country according to the island nation's president. Sri Lanka is recovering from more than 25 years of civil conflict in which an estimated 70,000 people died. Daniel Dickinson has more details. Terrorism and violent [...]

1 Oct 2015 | Posted in UN Calling Asia | Read More »

Somalia latest country to sign child rights treaty

Young girls in Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Somalia's decision to ratify a UN treaty on children's rights will reignite global commitment to make the world better for children. That's according to Marta Santos Pais, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Violence against Children. Somalia will join more than 190 countries who have signed the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the [...]

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

Women: focus on climate change, sustainable future and efforts to fight AIDS

Charlize Theron. UN Photo/Cia Pak

Gender issues must be taken into account in new climate deal The important linkages between gender issues and climate change are being emphasized as world leaders prepare to endorse a new, universal climate change agreement at the end of the year. Experts gathered for a panel discussion on the margins of the UN General Assembly [...]

1 Oct 2015 | Posted in Women | Read More »

News in Brief 01 October 2015 (PM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Walid Al-Moualem, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic, on the margins of the general debate of the General Assembly's seventieth session. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Terrorism in Syria a consequence of the lack of political dialogue The Deputy Prime Minister of Syria has been told by the UN chief that extremism and terrorism in his country have emerged largely because of the lack of political dialogue. A civil war which began in Syria in 2011 has left at least 250,000 [...]

1 Oct 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

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