News in Brief 22 October 2015 (AM)

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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 and Palestine, after a month of increasingly violent unrest, stemming from concerns over access to the Al-Aqsa Compound in Jerusalem.

Mr Ban appealed for an end to violence on all sides, and said Arab leaders in the region had a responsibility to "encourage calm".

He called for all sides to uphold the status-quo of visiting rights to holy places.

Concern mounts over violence ahead of  Republic of Congo referendum

Recent attacks involving opposition parties and the government must end ahead of this month's referendum in the Republic of the Congo, the UN Secretary urged on Thursday.

Ban Ki-Moon said in a statement that only "inclusive political dialogue" before the national vote on a new draft constitution, would resolve tensions peacefully.

He also called on the authorities to safeguard the right to demonstrate.

Somalia's Polio outbreak officially over

The outbreak of Polio which has affected nearly 200 people in war-torn Somalia, has been declared officially over by UN agencies on the ground.

The last recorded case was 14 months ago, and the UN said that containing the outbreak was a "remarkable achievement" on the part of government officials, health workers and parents.

More than 2.1 million children under five, were targeted for vaccination, after the first case was reported in 2013.

The mass, co-ordinated immunization campaign was supported by various UN agencies together with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Stars of film and TV, campaign to end modern slavery

Hollywood actors Robin Wright and David Oyelowo are among those supporting a global campaign to end modern slavery, launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) this week.

Together with ILO Goodwill Ambassador, Wagner Moura, they have voiced the real-life stories of people trapped in modern slavery, as part of the 50 For Freedom campaign.

It's part of an effort to persuade countries to ratify an ambitious new international treaty which would eliminate modern forms of slavery.

It's estimated there are 21 million people around the world, working against their will in mines, fields, households and factories.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’21″


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