News in Brief 15 October 2015 (PM)

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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 with violence and fighting, particularly along its border region for years. The agreement comes after two years of negotiations.

Increasing tension and violence in Iraq cause for concern

Recent political tension and violence has become a major cause for concern for the UN's top official in Iraq. While visiting Erbil, Ján Kubiš, the UN's Special Representative for Iraq, expressed concern about the latest instability in the region.

Mr Kubiš said that the political parties in the Kurdistan Region need to prioritize peace, security and stability, for the sake of the people, the region and the country. He condemned violence that broke out over the weekend that left dozens dead or injured, and called for perpetrators to be brought to justice.

New draft law threatens NGOs in Kazakhstan

A bill that changes the laws surrounding the activities of non-profit organizations has drawn criticism from a UN rights' expert. Maina Kiai , the UN's special rapporteur on the right to freedom of assembly and association, warned that the bill "may not only compromise the independence of associations, but challenge their very existence".

The draft law establishes an oversight body in the country charged with allocating both governmental and non-governmental grants, including those from international organizations and diplomatic missions.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

Duration: 1’30″

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