News in Brief 07 October 2015 (AM)

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Volker Türk, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection; H.E. Ambassador Regina Maria Cordeiro Dunlop, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN and Mr Beto Ferreira Martins Vasconcelos, National Secretary of Justice, 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 travel to Brazil.

They include Syrians and other nationalities affected by that country's ongoing crisis.

So far, 8,000 people have received the visas.

Brazil and UNHCR this week formalized an agreement to make the programme more efficient and secure.

Rice varieties added to global seed info vault

The genome sequences of more than 3,000 varieties of rice are now stored at a global seed data pool as a means to develop more sustainable crops and ensure food security for future generations, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said.

A genome sequence is like an instruction book which tells living things how to grow and react to the environment.

FAO says developing more productive crop varieties is crucial, due to a growing global population and the impact of climate change on agricultural production.

Paraguay urged to ensure right to health

Authorities in Paraguay are being urged by a UN human rights expert to demonstrate their sustained commitment to ensuring citizens have the right to health.

Many sectors in the country still face discrimination, including when it comes to accessing healthcare services, according to UN Special Rapporteur Dainius Pūras.

Women, girls, adolescents, people living with HIV/AIDS, drug users, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, are some of the examples he listed.

The UN expert has welcomed some of the social reforms in Paraguay such as the introduction of successful nationwide vaccination campaigns and a reduction in maternal and child mortality rates.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’56″




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