Home » 30 Nov 2015 Entries posted on “November 2015”

"Dramatic" worsening of humanitarian conditions in Iraq: senior UN official

11-30-2015ErbilIraq-featured

The humanitarian situation in Iraq is getting "dramatically" worse, according to a senior UN relief official who is visiting the country. Kyung-wha Kang, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said that the human cost of the crisis was "devastating" and called on more international support for civilians caught up in extremist conflict areas. Matthew Wells [...]

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

News in Brief 30 November 2015 (PM)

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New International Solar Alliance launched at COP21 A new International Solar Alliance has been launched on the first day of the COP21 climate change talks in Paris, France. The move was welcomed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said promoting solar energy would strengthen energy security and access for millions across the developing world. He [...]

30 Nov 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Agriculture less of a "toxic issue" in climate change discussions

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Agriculture is becoming less of a "toxic issue" in climate change discussions according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). World leaders are meeting at the COP21 summit in Paris this week in the hope of agreeing a universal deal which will help to reverse changes to the world's climatic conditions. The UN food agency [...]

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

Almost half the world's households now online

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao addresses the 13th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS 2015) in Hiroshima, Japan. Photo: ITU/D. Woldu

By the end of this year, nearly half of the world's households, 46 per cent, will be online, up from 30 per cent just five years ago. That's according to the annual Measuring the Information Society Report, from the world telecoms body, the ITU. Matthew Wells reports. A total of 3.2 billion people are now [...]

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

UN Daily News 30 November 2015

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Daily News 30 November 2015

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This is a special programme from United Nations Radio with Stephanie Coutrix in Paris. She is at the historic UN Climate Change Conference. It's hoped this meeting of international leaders will conclude with an unprecedented agreement which will help to reverse changes to the world's climate. In the programme we'll be at the opening of [...]

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World leaders rally together on climate change

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World leaders meeting in Paris, France have been told they need to wake up to the severity of the dangers brought about by climate change. Around 150 heads of state and government have gathered at the UN Climate Change conference in the hope of agreeing a deal which will, amongst other goals, keep global temperature [...]

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

News in Brief 30 November 2015 (AM)

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"History is calling" world leaders at CO21, says UN chief "History is calling" world leaders to come up with a deal during climate change talks in Paris, according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon told around 150 leaders present at the COP21 talks which began on Monday, that they had a potentially-unique political opportunity to [...]

30 Nov 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Planting trees "part of solution" to climate crisis

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Planting trees is "part of the solution" to reversing climate change according to a young activist from Germany. Teenager Felix Finkbeiner has been named a "climate justice ambassador" and is attending the UN Climate Change Summit currently underway in Paris, France. He's part of a group called “Plant for the planet” which is hoping to [...]

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

Over 600 Tanzanian families to benefit from solar power

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More than 600 families are expected to benefit from a new solar power project supported by the UN in Tanzania. The US$150,000 project, which is centred around the capital, Dodoma aims to help local communities mitigate the effects of climate change. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) helped to launch the initiative, which includes innovative energy [...]

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

UN chief convinced world leaders will adopt "ambitious" climate deal

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The UN Secretary-General has said that he's convinced world leaders will adopt an "ambitious" climate deal at a summit which begins in Paris, France on Monday. Around 150 heads of state and government are expected to participate in the UN Climate Change conference, also known as COP21. It's hoped that a universal deal will be [...]

29 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Ebola-hit countries can't recover on their own

Peter Jan Graaff, UN's Regional Inter-Agency Coordinator on Ebola.
UN File Photo/Loey Felipe

The West African countries hit by the deadly Ebola virus can't recover from the ravages of the deadly virus without more help. That's the verdict of the UN's Regional Inter-Agency Coordinator on Ebola, Peter Graaff. The epidemic which led to around 11,000 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, beginning in December 2013, is mostly [...]

29 Nov 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Three die in attack on UN base in Mali

MINUSMA peacekeepers on patrol in Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

Two UN peacekeepers and one civilian contractor have been killed in Mali following an attack on a United Nations base on Saturday. The UN mission in the country, MINUSMA, said 20 others were wounded including four seriously. The Government of Guinea confirmed the peacekeepers were Guinean nationals. Daniel Dickinson has more details MINUSMA said the [...]

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

Nigerian city under pressure as displacement soars due to Boko Haram

Displaced Nigerians wait in line for a meal. File Photo: OCHA

The north-east Nigerian city of Maiduguri has more than doubled in size due to displacement caused by the extremist Boko Haram group. And the UN's most senior envoy on the Sahel region, Toby Lanzer, says that's putting its services under immense pressure, with no one clear on when it will be safe to go home. [...]

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

"Tent" school opened in Lebanon for Syria refugees

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Local public schools in Lebanon can accommodate only half of the 400,000 school-age Syrian refugee children in the country according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). More than four million people have fled Syria as a result of the four-year long civil war that has engulfed the country. Many parents have arrived in Lebanon and are hoping [...]

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

World leaders must "deliver" on climate change deal

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World leaders have been told by the UN Secretary-General that they must "deliver" on a climate change deal at the forthcoming meeting in Paris. The international community will begin talks in the French capital from Monday in the hope of securing a universal agreement which will reverse climatic changes. Daniel Dickinson reports. The meeting in [...]

27 Nov 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Today's News, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

News in Brief 27 November 2015 (PM)

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

Killing of UN peacekeeper in Sudanese town condemned by UN chief An attack on Thursday on the residence of a local leader on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, during which one Ethiopian UN peacekeeper and a young girl were killed, has been strongly condemned by the Secretary-General. The attack in Abyei town by [...]

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Adolescent deaths from AIDS triple in 15 years

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The number of adolescents who have died from AIDS has tripled over the last 15 years, according to new data released by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). AIDS is the number one cause of death among adolescents in Africa and the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally. Ana Carmo reports. In 2014, 60,000 [...]

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

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Calls for an end to conflict in CAR as the country prepares to welcome the Pope

IDPs in Kouango in the Central African Republic. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

As the Central African Republic prepares for the visit of Pope Francis to Bangui this weekend, the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, is urging the country's warring groups to be inspired by the visit to rebuild the national reconciliation process after a wave of violence that has triggered an 18 per cent increase in the [...]

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

Situation for children in South Sudan remains “grave”

Children in Juba, South Sudan, celebrate Universal Children's Day. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Continued violence and the impact of brutal fighting are taking an increasingly heavy toll on the lives of children in South Sudan, according to the United Nations children's agency, UNICEF. The agency says that since the beginning of 2015, the situation for children has worsened, with as many as 16,000 having been associated with armed [...]

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

News in Brief 27 November 2015 (AM)

Toby Lanzer. UN Photo/Isaac Billy

 "Extreme violence" driving instability in north-east Nigeria Extreme violence in the north-east of Nigeria is the most visible driver of instability and the need for emergency relief, according to the UN's most senior envoy on the Sahel. However, Toby Lanzer said that abject poverty and environmental degradation are the root cause of the crisis that [...]

27 Nov 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change | Read More »

Paris conference shows world "stands together" against terrorism

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The up-coming climate change conference in Paris shows that the international community "stands together" against terrorism. That's according to Wu Hongbo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. He praised France's "courage" for going ahead with the COP21 conference which begins on Monday, in spite of the deadly terrorist attacks of November 13. It's [...]

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

Change of tactics for Boko Haram following military push

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The outlawed group Boko Haram, which has been terrorizing populations in Nigeria has changed its tactics following recent military successes by the Nigerian authorities; that's according to the UN's most senior representative in the West African country. The government has pledged to defeat Boko Haram by the end of the year, but the group continues [...]

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

Nuclear power can play important role in reducing climate change

Nuclear Plant. File Photo: IAEA

Nuclear power can play an important role in reversing climate change, but it's not the only solution according to the UN's nuclear agency, the IAEA. World leaders are on their way to Paris for an international conference at which they will try and agree a universal climate deal. One of the goals is to reduce [...]

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

Malaria transmissions in Africa "fewest in history" as goal is met

Trey Watkins (right) at the reception to celebrate the successes made against the MDGs by the entire Roll Back Malaria Partnership. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Fewer people in Africa than ever before are being infected by malaria, but more than 400,000 continue to die each year from it the UN health agency has said. That's the challenge remaining for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, based at the World Health Organization, as it celebrates reaching the Millennium Development Goal set 15 [...]

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

UN Global Perspective: focus on ISIL terrorists, refugees at Balkan borders and foreign fighters

A group of asylum-seekers break the trek to rest at Tovarnik train station in Croatia. Photo: UNHCR/I. Pavicevic

Strong rallying call" issued against ISIL terrorists A resolution adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council provides a "strong rallying call" against terrorists operating in Iraq and Syria. That's according to the current President of the Council and British Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft. The 15-member body called on the international community to take [...]

26 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: end violence against women, “tent” school in Lebanon and women in parliament

Lakshmi Puri. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Violence against women a "global epidemic" Violence against women should be recognized as a "global epidemic" according to the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, the United Nations' gender agency. Lakshmi Puri was talking ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked annually on 25 November.  The international day kicks [...]

26 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

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UN and Africa: focus on Sahel region, Mali and Nigeria

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40 million youth in Sahel at risk of radicalization or migration The Sahel region risks becoming a hub for mass migration or recruitment of young people by extremist groups the Security Council heard on Wednesday. UN envoy Hiroute Guebre Sellassie told the 15-member body that security is the main concern for the region, whose countries [...]

26 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Pope Francis urges strong climate deal in Paris

Pope Francis and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner at UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. 26 November 2015. Photo: UNEP/Adam Hodge

World leaders have been urged by the head of the worldwide Catholic Church, Pope Francis, to make a strong agreement at next week's climate change conference in Paris, France. Speaking at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, he said the world was faced with a choice which cannot be ignored: [...]

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

Avian influenza still a threat in Africa

The IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano addresses the Board of Governors. Photo: Dean Calma/IAEA

Avian influenza continues to be a threat in a number of African countries according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Also known as bird flu, the virus can cause death amongst humans as well as bird species, especially poultry. Daniel Dickinson reports Concern has been raised over outbreaks of the H5N1 [...]

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

News in Brief 26 November 2015 (AM)

Climate change has serious implications for agriculture and food security. Photo: FAO/L. Dematteis

US$16 billion climate plan unveiled for Africa A new plan that calls for US$16 billion in funding to help Africa adapt to climate change and build up the continent's resilience to climate shocks has been unveiled by the World Bank. The Bank will present the Africa Climate Business Plan at the global climate talks which [...]

26 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Syria refugees in Lebanon caught in debt cycle

Members of a Syrian refugee family huddle around a stove inside their shelter in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. File Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell

Nearly 90 per cent of the over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon are caught in a vicious debt cycle, according to the UN. The almost five-year-long civil war in Syria has driven millions of people to find refuge in neighbouring countries like Lebanon. The majority has no legal right to work there and now [...]

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

Addressing climate change will be more expensive if delayed

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The issue of climate change needs to be addressed now otherwise it will become increasingly more expensive and more difficult to tackle, according to a senior UN envoy. The international community is due to meet in Paris, France, in December in order to agree a universal deal which, among other goals, will include keeping global [...]

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

Number of child brides in Africa could double to 310 million by 2050

Number of child brides in Africa could double by 2050. Photo: UNICEF/PFPG2014P-0868/Lynch Hamamatou

If current trends continue, the number of child brides in Africa could double to 310 million by 2050, the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF has said According to the agency, Africa is poised to surpass South Asia as the region with the highest number of women between 20 and 24 years old who were married as [...]

25 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 25 November 2015 (PM)

More than 200,000 Burundians have fled unrest in their country. Photo: Will Boase/IRIN

UN deplores decision to suspend non-governmental organizations in Burundi The UN's top human rights official has said he is concerned by the suspension of ten non-governmental organizations in Burundi.  Several of the organizations were working on peace and human rights issues, including torture and the rights of women and children.  The UN High Commissioner for [...]

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40 million youth in Sahel at risk of radicalization or migration

UN Security Council. UN File Photo/Loey Felipe

The Sahel region in Africa risks becoming a hub for mass migration or recruitment by extremist groups without sustained international engagement, the Security Council heard on Wednesday. UN envoy Hiroute Guebre Sellassie told the 15-member body that security is the main concern for the region, whose countries are among the poorest in the world. In [...]

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

Stronger national laws needed on pesticides

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Stronger national laws need to be put in place on the use of pesticides. That's the warning from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN agencies are calling on countries to review their regulatory frameworks on the use of pesticides to ensure they take into account the increased [...]

25 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 25 November 2015 (AM)

UN Security Council. UN File Photo/Loey Felipe

Attack on Presidential Guards in Tunisia met with condemnation An attack against a bus carrying Presidential Guards in Tunisia has been condemned by both the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council. The attack left more than a dozen people dead. In a statement, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the UN would continue to stand with Tunisia in [...]

25 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Kosovo focuses on ending gender-based violence

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Sixteen days of activism to end gender-based violence is underway across the world. The United Nations has described the problem as a global pandemic. In Kosovo, in eastern Europe, around 80 per cent of all victims of reported domestic abuse cases were women, while 90 per cent of perpetrators were men. Shpend Berbatovci has more [...]

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

Violence against women a "global epidemic"

Lakshmi Puri.  UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Violence against women should be recognized as a "global epidemic" according to the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, the United Nations' gender agency. Lakshmi Puri was talking ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked annually on 25 November. The day kicks off a 16 day campaign to stop [...]

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

News in Brief 24 November 2015 (PM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Cia Pak

UN chief "seriously concerned" over downing of Russian jet  UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said he is "seriously concerned" over the downing of a Russian jet along the border between Turkey and Syria Tuesday. UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said Mr Ban has urged all parties to take steps to de-escalate tensions in the region. "He [...]

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More than 80% of Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance

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More than 80 per cent of people in Yemen, some 21.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs. That's according to a new report issued by the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA). The report finds that the on-going violence in the country, which has claimed more than 2,500 lives [...]

24 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

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"Extraordinary" progress in fight against HIV/AIDS "Extraordinary" progress has been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS, worldwide.  That's according to a new report from UNAIDS, the UN agency working to combat the spread of the disease. About 15.8 million people are now accessing antiretroviral therapy, double the number of those being treated in [...]

24 Nov 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak | Read More »

Terrorists can't stop us, says UN humanitarian chief in Mali

UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) provides support to the authorities following the terrorist attack on a hotel in the country's capital, Bamako. Photo: MINUSMA/Mikado FM

The terrorists targeting civilians and aid workers in Mali won't stop the humanitarian effort there. That's according to the UN humanitarian coordinator in the north-west African country, Mbaranga Gasarabwe. She was speaking after extremist gunmen attacked a hotel in the capital Bamako on Friday, killing twenty people, most of whom were foreigners. There has been [...]

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

Rising tensions follow restrictions on refugees at Balkan borders

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Tensions are rising amongst migrants and refugees at the main entry point into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from Greece, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The agency says the situation has arisen following a series of new and uncoordinated restrictions imposed on several borders in the Balkans, which are being used as [...]

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

Russian jet shot down near border between Turkey and Syria

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A Russian jet has been shot down near the border between Turkey and Syria. The government of Turkey said its forces shot the plane down after it entered Turkish airspace. The Russian government said the plane was not in Turkish airspace when it was shot down and that the wreckage landed within Syria's borders. Russia [...]

24 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Motives of foreign terrorist fighters under the spotlight

Security Council holds meeting on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. UN File Photo/Loey Felipe

Understanding the reasons why foreign terrorist fighters leave their homes and risk their lives in conflicts abroad is the focus of a unique meeting at UN headquarters Tuesday. The UN's lead terrorism agency, the Counter-terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) is hosting the meeting.  Civil society, academia and other researchers have been invited to share ideas [...]

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

"Strong rallying call" issued against ISIL terrorists

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A resolution adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council provides a "strong rallying call" against terrorists operating in Iraq and Syria; that's according to the President of the Council and British Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft. The 15-member body called on the international community to take the war on terrorism to territory controlled by [...]

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

Climate change threatens children's survival and development: UNICEF

A girl carries her toddler sibling as she beside along a pool of floodwater in the city of Cotonou, Benin. File Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2010-2116/Asselin

Although children are least responsible for climate change, they are the ones who will live with its consequences, the UN children's fund (UNICEF) warns. The agency says more than half a billion children live in areas that are prone to extreme flooding, while another 160 million are in areas with high drought severity. Ahead of [...]

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

News in Brief 23 November 2015 (PM)

Refugees and migrants wait in line to be registered as asylum-seekers in Berlin, Germany. Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson VII

European health ministers come together on refugee and migrant health European health ministers are meeting in Rome to focus on the health of refugees and migrants arriving in the region.  The World Health Organization (WHO) organized the meeting in Italy with leading health officials to promote a common approach in meeting the health needs of [...]

23 Nov 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Governments must be held accountable on ending racial discrimination

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Governments around the world must be held accountable for safeguarding against racial discrimination in times of uncertainty. That was the message from the top UN human rights official at the opening session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva, Switzerland. Veronica Reeves has the story. Describing a world filled with "anxiety" [...]

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

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High human cost of weather-related disasters detailed in report

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The world is paying a high price for weather-related disasters, with nearly US$2 trillion in losses and more than 600,000 deaths in the past 20 years alone. That's the finding of a report launched Monday by the UN's disaster risk office (UNISDR) and Belgium's Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. The report shows [...]

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

Against backdrop of violence, UN marks day of solidarity with Palestinians

In October, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met families of victims of recent violence in Ramallah. UN File Photo/Rick Bajornas

The annual Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is being celebrated at the United Nations, against the backdrop of the recent dramatic uptick in violence in the region. More than 100 people have been killed in violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in recent months. Tension broke out over concerns that Israel would restrict [...]

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

"Climate irresponsibility" could wreck economic growth

Non-State actors such as companies, cities, regions and provinces have vital role in realizing bigger reductions in current and future emissions. UN File Photo/Kibae Park

"Climate irresponsibility" could undermine economic growth, but there's still time to act. That's the message ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP21, in Paris, from Professor Nick Stern, speaking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He argues that countries have to find ways of combining growth, with responsible policies that protect the environment, otherwise [...]

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

News in Brief 23 November 2015 (AM)

Syrian refugee Umfadi holds a solar powered lamp beside her 13-year-old niece Rama in her shelter at the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. File Photo: UNHCR/S. Baldwin

New fund-raising campaign aims to brighten lives of refugees A well-known chain of stores is teaming up with the UN with the aim of raising millions of dollars for refugees.  The IKEA Foundation is partnering with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign. For the next three weeks, IKEA will [...]

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Zanzibar women farmers fight for their rights by going back to school

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Women farmers on Zanzibar are going back to school to fight for their rights and boost family income. Most of the farmers on the tropical island off the coast of mainland Tanzania are women, but traditionally they have had very little control over their lives, or finances. But now a network of Farmer Field Schools, [...]

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

Asia progress critical to confronting global threats

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. UN Photo: Mark Garten.

Progress in Asia is "all the more critical now" as the world copes with climate change, violent extremism, poverty and other threats, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told regional leaders on Sunday. Mr Ban was addressing a summit held by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. He underlined that [...]

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

First woman Speaker of Parliament elected in Arab world

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon poses for a group photo with participants of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The Arab world has elected its first-ever woman Speaker of Parliament. Dr Amal Al Qubaisi has been elected as Speaker of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Parliament, making her the first-ever woman Speaker of an Arab national parliament. She has been a parliamentarian in the UAE since 2006, where she has been particularly active on [...]

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

Protecting Iraq's minorities "part of our humanity" says genocide expert

Adama Dieng. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Protecting Iraq's "mosaic" of minorities is "part of our humanity". That's according to Adama Dieng, the UN Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, who has just returned from visiting those parts of Iraq where minorities are most at risk from violence, and even extinction. He's especially concerned that the methodical atrocities carried out by [...]

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

Daesh and affiliates an "unprecedented threat" to peace, says Security Council

UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The terrorist group ISIL, or Daesh, is an "unprecedented threat" to world peace. That's according to a counter-terrorism resolution passed by the UN Security Council on Friday. All 15 members of the Council voted in favour of the resolution which was tabled by France in the wake of the bloody attacks in Paris a week [...]

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

World leaders confirm presence at Paris climate change talks

Janos Pasztor. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

More than 120 world leaders have confirmed their attendance at the global climate change conference which opens in Paris in just over a week. That information comes from the UN Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change, Janos Pasztor, who briefed journalists in New York on Friday. The conference aims to bring about a universal agreement that [...]

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

News in Brief 20 November 2015 (PM)

A sign outside the Monrovia City Corporation in Liberia aims at preventing the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNMIL

New Ebola cases in Liberia There have been three confirmed cases of Ebola in Liberia, which was declared free of the disease in September, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported. A 10-year-old boy from the capital, Monrovia, and two members of his family have tested positive with the virus. Dr Bruce Aylard is the [...]

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Hotel siege in Mali over

UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) deploys medical needs following the terrorist attack on a hotel in the country's capital, Bamako. Photo: MINUSMA/Mikado FM

A deadly hostage situation at a hotel in Mali which has reportedly led to the deaths of more than 25 people, is over, the UN has confirmed. Armed terrorists had entered the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital Bamako, early on Friday morning, taking more than 150 hostages. The hotel is popular with foreign business [...]

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

Climate action pledged by companies in Iceland

Whale-watching and fishing boats in the harbour of Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Peter Prokosch

Businesses in Iceland are being urged to "dig" into their operations to find ways to reduce harmful gas emissions. More than one hundred institutions and companies have met in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, where they signed a Declaration on Climate Issues aimed at encouraging local environmental initiatives. The declaration comes two weeks ahead of a [...]

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

"Scale and intensity" of conflict demands peacekeeping reform says UN chief

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) conducts a training exercise in riot control for its peacekeepers in Juba. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

The "scale and intensity" of modern conflicts, means that UN peacekeeping operations have to undergo major reform. That's the view of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who briefed the Security Council on his new peacekeeping recommendations on Friday. He said the Council needed to play a bigger role to help strengthen the whole peacekeeping system. Veronica Reeves [...]

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

Syria conflict "robbing" children of their future

Credit: UNICEF/UKLA2012-00867/KARIN SKERMBRUCKER (file)

Syria is at risk of losing a whole generation of children to "despair, illiteracy and darkness," a senior UN official has warned. Kevin Kennedy, UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria crisis, said nearly five years of fighting is robbing children of their future. He said tens of thousands have been killed or maimed in [...]

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

European restrictions leave refugees more vulnerable

Dozens of refugees arrived in Greece by sea in July 2015, mainly from countries experiencing war and conflict. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash

A range of restrictions put in place by governments against movements of refugees and migrants from Greece through the Western Balkans and further northwards will put already vulnerable people at risk according to the United Nations. A joint statement has been released by two UN agencies and the International Organization for Migration saying that the [...]

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

News in Brief 20 November 2015 (AM)

MINUSMA peacekeepers on patrol in Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

UN in Mali deplores terrorist attack on hotel The United Nations in Mali is supporting the country's authorities following a terrorist attack on a hotel in the capital, Bamako, on Friday. Gunmen had entered the Radisson Blu Hotel that morning and took dozens of hostages, freeing some and reportedly killing three people. The UN mission [...]

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African industrialization requires more investment in women and youth

Technical training in Bouaké,Côte d'Ivoire. UN Photo/Abdul Fatai

Africa needs to invest in training and education for women and youth to industrialize, grow the private sector and achieve sustainable development. That's the message from the UN Secretary-General in commemoration of Africa Industrialization Day, observed this Friday, 20 November. Daniel Dickinson reports This year the focus is on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as [...]

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

Brazilian celebrity same-sex wedding video premiered at UN

One of the brides with one of their daughters. Photo courtesy of Daniela Mercury

A video of a celebrity wedding which took place in Brazil is being premiered at the UN on Friday as part of an event to highlight a decade of progress in Latin America in protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex or LGBTI people. The video features Daniela Mercury a Brazilian singer [...]

20 Nov 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

UN refugee chief underlines challenges in assisting global displaced

guterres-19NOV-FEATURE-PHOTO

The increase in the number of displaced people worldwide has not been accompanied by a rise in resources to meet their needs, the head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Thursday. António Guterres was speaking during an informal meeting at the UN on ways to address the global humanitarian and refugee crisis. War, [...]

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

UN Gender Focus: LGBTI equality, HIV prevention in Zimbabwe and women in Afghanistan

One of the brides with one of their daughters. Photo courtesy of Daniela Mercury

Brazilian celebrity same-sex wedding video premiered at UN A video of a celebrity wedding which took place in Brazil is being premiered at the UN as part of an event to highlight a decade of progress in Latin America in protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex or LGBTI people. The video [...]

19 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on Sudan, Burundi and Sahel

Toby Lanzer. UN Photo/Isaac Billy

Final phase of measles vaccination campaign underway in Sudan The last phase of a measles vaccination campaign is underway in Sudan following a deadly outbreak of the virus nearly a year ago. More than 3,400 children have been infected with measles across its large land mass, since December 2014.  More than 70 of those children [...]

19 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on terrorist attacks in Paris

View of Paris, France, from UNESCO headquarters. UN Photo/Mark Garten

US fears over terrorist "fifth column" among refugees: "far from the truth" Fears are now being expressed in the United States over the possibility of terrorists entering the country along with Syrian refugees. The New York-based spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has said those fears are understandable, but [...]

19 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

News in Brief 19 November 2015 (PM)

UN Security Council. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

ISIL murder of two hostages a "heinous and cowardly act" The murder of two foreign hostages by the terrorist group ISIL has been condemned in the strongest terms by the UN Security Council. In a statement issued on Thursday, Council members called the execution of Fan Jinghui of China and Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad of Norway [...]

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Syria ceasefire "more likely than before"

Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

A nationwide ceasefire in Syria is "more likely than before" following recent meetings by the international community, the UN envoy for the country told journalists in New York on Thursday. Staffan de Mistura was speaking after an informal briefing he gave to UN Member States on the two recent conferences aimed at bringing an end [...]

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

"Never give up" on peace

Jeremy Gilley (right) and Ahmad Fawzi, Director a.i. of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva.  Photo: UNOG Library/C. Chappat

People around the world should never give up on striving for peace. Those are the words of the director of the movie "The Day after Peace" which was shown as part of the first ever Geneva Peace Week held at the UN in the Swiss city. Jeremy Gilley wrote and directed the documentary as part [...]

19 Nov 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

Hebron now "epicentre of violence" in Israel-Palestine unrest

A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The Council was briefed via video teleconference by Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The "epicentre of violence" in on-going clashes between Israelis and Palestinians has moved from Jerusalem, to the West Bank city of Hebron. That's according to Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, who briefed the Security Council on Thursday. He said that due to developments on the ground across Israel and [...]

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

UN Daily News 19 November 2015

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Malaria targets met but continued commitment needed to end the disease

A smiling mother stands holding her young boy beneath an insecticide-treated net, in Arusha, Tanzania. File Photo: ©UNICEF/PFPG2014-1191/Hallahan

Global targets to reduce malaria over the past 15 years have not only been met but surpassed, the UN's Roll Back Malaria Partnership reported on Thursday. Since 2000, more than 6.2 million deaths from the disease have been averted, 97 per cent of which have been among young children. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes and [...]

19 Nov 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

Final phase of measles vaccination campaign underway in Sudan

Photo: GAVI/Olivier Asselin

The last phase of a measles vaccination campaign is underway in Sudan following a deadly outbreak of the virus nearly a year ago. More than 3,400 children have been infected with measles in Sudan since December 2014. More than 70 of those children have died. In response, the UN Children's Agency (UNICEF) has launched a [...]

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

News in Brief 19 November 2015 (AM)

Iraqi IDP family in Tikrit inside the unfinished building that is their temporary home. File Photo: UNHCR/C. Robinson

  Norway supports Iraq stabilization A US$1.8 million partnership agreement between Norway and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) will boost stabilization efforts in areas of Iraq liberated from the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh. The funding will support priorities such as repairing clinics, police stations, water facilities and power grid. Small grants will [...]

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Targeted youth killings is "killing the future of Burundi"

People demonstrate in Bujumbura against a decision by Burundi's ruling party to nominate President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term (April 2015). Photo: Desire Nimubona/IRIN

Killing Burundi's children is tantamount to "killing the future" of the central African country, a senior UN representative on genocide issues has warned. Adama Dieng, the UN Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, told the Security Council that the potential for atrocity crimes and genocide, similar to Rwanda in 1994, was growing. The UN [...]

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

Afghan women want peace "but not at any cost"

Participants at civil society-led Afghan Peoples Dialogue for Peace initiative. Kabul, 15 January 2015. File Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi

Women in Afghanistan want peace "but not at any cost" according to a UN human rights and gender expert in the country. The central Asian nation continues to recover from decades of instability. The most recent threat has been the outlawed Taliban movement with which the government is trying to forge a peace deal. Federica [...]

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

Poor sanitation puts millions of children at risk of disease: UNICEF

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Lack of access to proper sanitation is placing millions of the world's poorest children at risk of disease and malnutrition. The finding comes in a report issued by the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF; the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Health Organization (WHO). It was launched in connection with World Toilet [...]

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

News in Brief 18 November 2015 (PM)

Displaced girls sleep on the floor in a rented house in Yola. IDPs in northeastern Nigeria often share overcrowded rooms and most times are left to fend for themselves. Photo: Fragkiska Megaloudi/IRIN

No political or ideological objective can justify bombings: UN chief A bomb attack in Nigeria that killed dozens of people and left scores injured has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. The incident occurred in the north-eastern city of Yola on Tuesday. Ban Ki-moon reiterated that no political or ideological objective could justify the loss [...]

18 Nov 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Ebola envoy: Survivors are "priority number one"

David Nabarro. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Although the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has declined in recent months, it is not completely over, says the official leading the UN's response to the illness. Dr David Nabarro on Wednesday reported on positive trends from countries in the region, but also ongoing risks. More than 11,300 people have died from the Ebola virus [...]

18 Nov 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, From the Field, Today's News | Read More »

Report makes the case for climate action now

Christiana Figueres. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Best practices from climate policies from across the world could accelerate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, a new UN report has found. The study by the UN climate change secretariat (UNFCCC) shows how countries can use these proven initiatives to meet the challenge of addressing climate change and sustainable development. [...]

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

"Biodegradable" plastics: more harm than help, says new report

Plastic bottles and garbage waste from a village in Timor-Leste wash on the shores of a river and then spill into the sea. UN Photo/Martine Perret

Biodegradable plastics are thought by most to be good for the environment, but the opposite may be true. That's the startling conclusion of a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report entitled: "Biodegradable Plastics and Marine Litter: Misconceptions, Concerns and Impacts on Marine Environments." UNEP estimates that as much as 20 million tonnes of plastic ends up [...]

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

Financing greatest challenge facing climate change

Achim Steiner. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Finding the money to pay for initiatives to slow down climate change is seen by many as the greatest challenge facing the international community, as it prepares for historic talks in France in December. It's hoped that a global deal will be agreed at the COP21 talks in Paris, which will limit temperature rises to [...]

18 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

"Absolute evil" of terrorist attacks has historical precedent

View of Paris, France, from UNESCO headquarters. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The terrorist attacks in Paris, France, which led to the deaths of 129 people have been described as acts of "absolute evil" by a Holocaust event participant, at UN headquarters. The event on Wednesday is focused on the promotion of peace in the aftermath of genocide. Menachem Rosensaft is General Counsel of the World Jewish [...]

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

US fears of terrorist "fifth column" among refugees "far from truth"

Syrians who fled across the Peshkhabour border into Kurdistan in northern Iraq walk towards a makeshift reception centre. File Photo: UNHCR/G. Gubaeva

Fears being expressed over a possible "fifth column" of terrorists entering the United States along with Syrian refugees are understandable, but unfounded. That's according to the New York-based spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). So far, 31 state governors out of a total of 50 say they want to [...]

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

UN Daily News 18 November 2015

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UN chief highlights benefits of investing in water management

UN Secretary-General. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Ensuring clean water and sanitation for all people while also strengthening management of water resources such as wetlands, rivers and lakes, will also address global concerns over food security and rapid urbanization. That statement comes from the UN Secretary-General during an address to a UN General Assembly meeting on the issue of water and disasters [...]

18 Nov 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

News in Brief 18 November 2015 (AM)

Relatives of missing persons from Sri Lanka's 26-year long civil war hold their pictures during a meeting in the capital Colombo. Photo: IRIN/Amantha Perera

Sri Lanka urged to step up support to families of the disappeared Authorities in Sri Lanka are being urged to adopt "urgent and profound measures" to address the rights of families of thousands of people who were disappeared during decades of conflict in the country. The appeal was made by the UN Working Group on [...]

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Nuclear techniques to help better understand causes of stunting

Community volunteers measure a child with malnutrition at a food distribution centre in the Rwanda camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs), near Tawila, North Darfur. UN File Photo/Albert González Farran

Work is underway to try and identify reasons for child stunting beyond poor nutrition, and the answer may be found with nuclear technology according to the UN. In 2014, one in every four children under five years of age was stunted, a total of 159 million globally. Nutrition interventions alone are not fixing the problem. [...]

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

Road safety "completely ignored" in some countries

The Fédération internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) launched a High-level Panel for Road Safety at UN Headquarters in New York. Participants of the launch, including Jean Todt (holding vest), Chairman of the Panel, who is also President of the FIA and the Secretary General's Special Envoy for Road Safety. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

The issue of road safety is being "completely ignored" in some countries according to a senior UN envoy. Some 1.25 million people are killed in car crashes around the world each year. Around 90 per cent of those fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries. In 2011, the international community set out to prevent some [...]

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

US$25 million appeal launched for children caught in Burundi conflict

Two Burundian child refugees in Mahama refugee camp, Eastern Province, Rwanda Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1378/Pflanz

An escalation of violence in Burundi over the past six months has killed 17 children and injured many more, the UN children's fund, UNICEF, reports. The agency is appealing for US$25 million to assist children there or who are living as refugees in neighbouring countries. The Burundi crisis began in April when President Pierre Nkurunziza [...]

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

News in Brief 17 November 2015 (PM)

One third of Internet users are children – they need to be empowered to use the Internet safely and smartly. Photo: UN Viet Nam/Aidan Dockery

Tech firms and governments unite to fight online child sexual abuse Leading technology companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google, have joined with governments and international organizations to protect children from sexual exploitation on the Internet. This follows a two-day summit in Abu Dhabi hosted by the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom which [...]

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Climate change "already killing tens of thousands of people" annually

Brick kiln production is responsible for air pollution in many cities of the world. Credit: UNEP

Shifting disease patterns, extreme weather events and degraded air and food quality are examples of how climate change is already killing tens of thousands of people each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday. The UN agency said the upcoming global climate change conference in the French capital, Paris is an "important opportunity" [...]

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

New development goals also address cancer

A whole body scan of a patient is being reviewed to assess the spread of cancer. It is expected that annual cancer cases will rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 within the next 2 decades. Photo: IAEA

The inclusion of goals related to cancer and other non-communicable diseases in the new global development agenda has been welcomed by the head of the UN's nuclear energy watchdog, the IAEA. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano was speaking in the General Assembly on Tuesday, just weeks after world leaders met there to agree on the new [...]

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

UN Daily News 17 November 2015

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“We have the tools” to combat global terror: UN Chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Cia Pak

"We have the tools" to do better in the fight against terrorism without compromising human rights. That was the message to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, from the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr Ban was briefing the Council debate on Security, Development and the Root Causes of Conflict. Matthew Wells reports. Duration: 2’34″

17 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Warnings voiced that refugees may be targeted after Paris attacks

A volunteer on the Greek Island of Lesvos gathers a baby girl in her arms, moments after her family arrived in an inflatable boat. Photo: UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

Refugees should not be turned into scapegoats following the terrorist attacks in Paris, France the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has urged. The agency said that it is 'disturbed' by language that demonizes refugees as a group and is concerned that some states may backtrack on commitments they've already made to help refugees in light [...]

17 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 17 November 2015 (AM)

UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France. Photo: UNESCO/Michel Ravassard

Paris attacks crime against culture The terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday may constitute a crime against humanity. They were also a crime against culture; that according to a UN human rights expert. Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, said language used by the assailants demonstrated the "hateful worldview" behind [...]

17 Nov 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Somalia needs international support to sustain human rights gains

Ivan Šimonović. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Somalia's international partners are being urged to increase their support to the country as it works to advance human rights. The call comes from Ivan Šimonović, UN Assistant Secretary-General for human rights, who concluded a five-day visit to the Horn of Africa country on Tuesday. Somalia's federal government took office in 2012. Prior to that, [...]

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

Climate change, poverty, terrorism taking toll on the Sahel

Toby Lanzer. UN Photo/Isaac Billy

The combined effects of climate change, poverty and terrorism are taking a heavy toll on the Sahel. That's according to the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the region, Toby Lanzer, who has been traveling throughout the nine countries in west and central Africa that make up the Sahel. Some 25 million people there are said [...]

17 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

No end to hunger without “ambitious” climate action

Woman waters seedlings in the Lake Tana area of Ethiopia's Amhara Region. Photo: IFAD/Petterik Wiggers

World hunger won't end unless "ambitious action" is taken to address the causes and effects of climate change. That's according to a senior expert at the World Food Programme (WFP). The United Nations says there are 795 million hungry people in the world, 98 per cent of whom are in developing countries. The international community [...]

17 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

"Hateful ideology" behind Paris terrorist attacks

View of Paris, France, from UNESCO headquarters. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The terrorists who carried out the multiple deadly attacks in Paris last Friday were promoting a "hateful ideology" according to a United Nations independent expert. The attacks which left 129 people dead were claimed by the ISIL terrorist group, also known in Arabic, as Daesh. The Islamist group controls large areas of Syria and Iraq [...]

17 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Better education means richer economies, but not more jobs: UN report

Yambio Primary School, South Sudan. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Rising education standards means greater productivity, but not necessarily better job prospects. That's according to a major new report from the UN's International Labour Organization (ILO). The new edition of its Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM) report also shows that middle-income countries are growing the fastest globally. Matthew Wells has more. A huge [...]

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

Security Council urged not to "squander" new momentum on Syria

Stephen O'Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief. UN File Photo.

The international community is being urged by the UN humanitarian chief not to "squander" momentum generated by this weekend's conference on Syria to bring an end to the country's ongoing conflict. Stephen O'Brien, head of the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, told the Security Council on Monday that the talks held in Vienna represented a [...]

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

News in Brief 16 November 2015 (PM)

A child and an elderly man stand on the roof of a building damaged when Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu in March 2015. File Photo: UNICEF/Vlad Sokhin

  El Niño to strengthen This year's El Niño weather system ranks among the three strongest in the past half century and is expected to strengthen in the coming months, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has reported. WMO Secretary General Michel Jarreau has welcomed "unprecedented" coordination by meteorological services worldwide in responding to the climatic [...]

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"Stand together" against terrorism urges UN at Paris forum

Irina Bokova. Photo: UNESCO

"We must stand together" against terrorism, the words of the UN cultural organization's chief marking its 70th anniversary on Monday in Paris. Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, was determined that the milestone event, including the organization's world Leaders' Forum, would go ahead, despite the terrorist attacks in the city on Friday. The day marking the [...]

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

700,000 children could die from malnutrition in Sahel

A nurse measures the arm of a severely malnourished child at a clinic in North Darfur. UN File Photo/Albert González Farran

Malnutrition could kill up to 700,000 children each year in Africa's Sahel region, the UN humanitarian coordinator there has stated. Toby Lanzer said structural issues such as poor governance coupled with the impact of climate change are behind what he described as this "terrible situation." Mr Lanzer took up his post in July and has [...]

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

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Misuse of antibiotics poses serious health risk, even death

World Antibiotic Awareness Week. Source: WHO

The misuse of antibiotics puts people at risk for serious, even-life threatening illnesses. That's according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which is using its first-ever World Antibiotics Week to warn people about the dangers associated with the misuse of antibiotics, including the risk of bacteria resistance. Veronica Reeves spoke to Dr Marc Sprenger from [...]

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

News in Brief 16 November 2015 (AM)

Robert Piper. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Israel urged to stop "unjust" home demolitions The demolition of the homes of alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis is "inherently unjust," according to a senior UN official in the region. Robert Piper, UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development in the occupied Palestinian territory, said such action punishes not only alleged perpetrators but also [...]

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Report finds "little regard" for civilian life in Libya

A girl looks out of her house window in Benghazi, Libya. Photo: UNSMIL (file).

All sides in Libya appear to be committing violations of international humanitarian law, including possible war crimes, according to a UN report published on Monday. The report documents indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, abductions, torture and executions, and other serious abuses. The report says civilians continue to bear the brunt of the violence, instability and [...]

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

Ending poverty and addressing climate change "one and the same"

Men chop down trees near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.UN Photo/Logan Abassi.

Tackling climate change is the only way to address poverty, according to the UN's leading expert on climate issues. In fact, Christiana Figueres, head of the UN climate secretariat, UNFCCC, sees these two global concerns as "one and the same." In just a few weeks' time world leaders will be meeting in Paris to agree [...]

16 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

UN Darfur mission likely to continue due to large number of displaced

UNAMID troops conduct a routine patrol in the camp for internally displaced persons. UN File Photo/Albert González Farran.

The large number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Sudanese region of Darfur means that the UN mission there (UNAMID) is likely to continue. That's according to the Acting UNAMID Police Commissioner, Dr Mutasem Almajali, who says the number of IDPs in the country has nearly doubled to almost 2.6 million people in the [...]

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

"Reinforce rule of law" to allow legitimate fishing

Fishermen unload their catch of mackerel at a fish market. UN File Photo/M Guthrie

The rule of law at sea must be reinforced to allow people not to suffer from illegal fishing; that's according to the International Criminal Police Organization, or INTERPOL. Experts are gathering in Singapore from Monday to discuss environmental security and law enforcement worldwide at a conference organized by INTERPOL and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). [...]

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

Work together to fight terrorism and climate change, Ban urges G20

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives at the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey,on 15 November 2015. UN Photo/ Eskinder Debebe

World leaders must work together to fight terrorism and the harmful effects of climate change, said the UN Secretary-General at the G20 summit in Turkey. Following the "barbaric" terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night Ban Ki-moon said that terrorism was a "threat to all mankind" but he also asked leading politicians to focus on [...]

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

UN condemns "despicable" terrorist attacks in Paris

View of Paris, France, from UNESCO headquarters. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The UN Secretary-General has condemned the "despicable terrorist attacks" carried out on Friday evening in Paris. In a statement he extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims. Matthew Wells reports. On Saturday, the ISIL terrorist group claimed that it carried out the shootings and bombings across Paris, which left at least 128 [...]

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

Millions of lives could be saved with proper diabetes treatment

A blood glucose test is used to check for gestational diabetes, which may appear for the first time during pregnancy. Photo: WHO/PAHO/Sebastián Oliel

That's the message from the World Health Organization, as the UN agency marks World Diabetes Day on Saturday. Diabetes is the direct cause of about 1.5 million deaths worldwide each year, with about 80 per cent of those deaths coming in low- and middle-income countries. Close to 350 million people around the globe suffer from [...]

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

UN Security Council condemns Beirut bomb attacks "in strongest terms"

A wide view of the Security Council meeting. Credit: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The UN Security Council has condemned Thursday's suicide bomb attacks, which killed at least 43 people in Beirut, in the "strongest terms." The members of the Council urged all states to cooperate fully with the Lebanese authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice. Matthew Wells reports. The terrorist attacks which consisted of two suicide bombings [...]

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

News in Brief 13 November 2015 (PM)

Agriculture, forestry and other land use activities emit more than 10 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases. File Photo: FAO/Daniel Hayduk

Goals of Paris climate conference are critical, say business leaders The long-term goals of the COP21 climate change conference beginning later this month are critical to the future of the global economy. That's the message to the dozens of UN Member States who will be in Paris, from a group of leading businesses and civil [...]

13 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Resolve to "move ahead" in Liberia

The thirty-third class of police officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP) participate in a graduation ceremony. UN File Photo/Christopher Herwig

Liberia is committed to moving ahead by assuming responsibility for security in the West African nation; that's according to the UN's most senior envoy in the country. Liberia is recovering from the recent outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease as well as the longer term effects of a bloody civil war. In June next year, [...]

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

Protecting people now critical for UN Police

Police officers from Rwanda. UN Photo/Isaac Billy.

Protecting people in some of the world's most dangerous places is now a critical component of the work done by the UN Police, or UNPOL, the Security Council was told on Friday. In a briefing to the Council, several high-ranking UNPOL officials said that their work, often done in hardship conditions, continued to be challenging, [...]

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

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Syria health system "broken down"

Photo: WHO Syria

Insecurity and a "very broken down" health system are affecting the delivery of medical care to millions of Syrians, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. WHO says nearly 60 per cent of the country's 113 hospitals have been closed or destroyed. The Syrian conflict is approaching its fifth year, with more than 250,000 [...]

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

News in Brief 13 November 2015 (AM)

@UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

More than 3,000 refugees arriving on Greek island of Lesvos each day Around 3,300 refugees are continuing to arrive on the Greek island of Lesvos each day. That's according to latest figures from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. Out of a total of 660,000 refugees and migrants who have reached Greece so far this year, [...]

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UN calls for road safety commitment ahead of major conference

Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark

Countries around the world are being urged to pay more attention to road safety to try to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the roads. Next week, at the second Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Brasil, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) together with the UN Special Envoy for Road [...]

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

Dramatic change of situation facing Palestine refugees

A mother and child receive UNRWA food assistance at the distribution areas in Yalda, on the southern outskirts of Damascus to the west of the Yarmouk Camp. File Photo: UNRWA

Five million Palestine refugees have faced a "dramatic change" in their situation over the past year according to the UN agency that supports them, UNWRA. Upheaval in the Middle East has forced millions of Palestinians to seek more assistance from the UN. In Syria around 95 per cent of the estimated 430,000 refugees there are [...]

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

"Indiscriminate" attacks against Syrian civilians on the increase

Matthew Rycroft. UN Photo/Mark Garten

"Indiscriminate" attacks on Syrian civilians by government forces have increased in the last year. That's according to evidence presented to the UN Security Council on Thursday, by the independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria. Matthew Wells reports: The Commission briefed Security Council members for several hours and said that violations and abuses against civilians by [...]

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

Suicide bombings kill 37 in Beirut, condemned by UN

Sigrid Kaag. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Twin suicide bombings that reportedly killed 37 people and wounded nearly 200 others in Beirut, Lebanon have been condemned by the UN. The UN Special Coordinator for the country was speaking on Thursday after the attack in a suburb of the capital. Matthew Wells reports. The bombers struck a southern suburb of the capital Beirut [...]

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

UN Global Perspective: focus on Iraq, Syria and death penalty

A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation concerning Iraq. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

ISIL poised to "prolong its reign of terror" in Iraq The terrorist organisation, ISIL, has the money and military capabilities to "prolong its reign of terror" in Iraq. That warning, from the top UN official in the country in a briefing to the Security Council. ISIL controls large portions of territory in the northern and [...]

12 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

News in Brief 12 November 2015 (PM)

pneumonia-vaccine-feature

  Pneumonia: world's leading killer of children under five Pneumonia is the world's leading killer of children under five-years-old. That's the grim statistic underlying World Pneumonia Day, which is being marked on Thursday by the World Health Organization (WHO), among others. An estimated 922,000 children under five have died from the infectious disease this year [...]

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UN mission in CAR taking sex abuse claims "very seriously"

MINUSCA, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), on patrol in the capital Bangui. UN File Photo/Catianne Tijerina

The UN mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has said it is taking new allegations of misconduct, sexual exploitation and abuse, "very seriously". The new allegations come following earlier claims of possible misconduct by UN staff in the country. The head of MINUSCA has condemned the alleged acts and said the UN is committed [...]

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

Security Council resolution condemns violence in Burundi

Security Council meeting. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The Security Council has condemned the increasing violence taking place in Burundi and threatened "additional measures" against those fuelling the crisis in the East African nation. At least 240 people have died and thousands have been displaced after several months of protest and conflict in Burundi. The crisis began in April, after the sitting president [...]

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

UN Gender Focus: maternal mortality, hospital in Sri Lanka and role of women in peacebuilding

Women receive maternal health support at "Maternité SONUB de Petite Place Cazeau", supported by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). 8 July, 2015. UN Radio/Stephanie Coutrix

Impressive drop in maternal mortality rates Maternal mortality rates worldwide have dropped by almost 44 per cent over the last 15 years. That's according to a report released by the United Nations. The report indicates that maternal deaths around the world fell from about 532,000 in 1990, to an estimated 303,000 this year. Maternal mortality [...]

12 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on Parliamentarians in Burundi, Women in Mali and Somalia

A boat carrying Burundian refugees arrives in Baraka, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). File Photo: UNHCR/F. Scoppa

"Step up to the plate" Parliamentarians in Burundi are urged International concern continues to mount over Burundi, where a months' long political crisis has led to hundreds of deaths, and forced thousands to flee to neighbouring countries. The situation began in April after President Pierre N-kurun-ziza sought a contested third term.The UN on Monday warned [...]

12 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

"ShareTheMeal" and feed Syrian refugee children

ShareTheMeal

Fifty cents—whether in Euro or United States coins—probably won't buy you much anywhere in the world. But this relatively small sum can feed a hungry child for an entire day, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). The UN agency is banking on ShareTheMeal, a new mobile phone application ("app") to support its school feeding [...]

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Concern over "attacks" against human rights workers in Venezuela

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Concern has been raised by the United Nations over "intimidation, threats and attacks" against human rights defenders in Venezuela. Speaking in Geneva on Thursday, the UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, also raised concerns about the independence of the judiciary in Venezuela. Daniel Dickinson has more: Venezuela's President, Nicolas Maduro was in Geneva [...]

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

Photo exhibit highlights women's roles in peacebuilding

Photo Exhibit

Women's contributions to ending war and bringing about peace are being honoured in a photo exhibition which has just opened at UN Headquarters in New York City. 'Poppies: Women and War' features portraits of women and girls whose lives have been affected by conflict alongside images of the flower that serves as a reminder of [...]

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

News in Brief 12 November 2015 (AM)

A girl is given a dose of oral cholera vaccine in Baharka IDP Camp, Erbil Governorate, Iraq, on 2 November 2015. Photo: UNICEF/Maulid Warfa

More than 250,000 Iraqis successfully vaccinated against cholera The first round of a cholera vaccination campaign targeting 255,000 refugees and displaced people in Iraq has been successfully completed. The government campaign, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) reached more than 90 per cent of its intended [...]

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Impressive drop in maternal mortality rates

Women receive maternal health support at "Maternité SONUB de Petite Place Cazeau", supported by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). 8 July, 2015. UN Radio/Stephanie Coutrix

Maternal mortality rates worldwide have dropped by almost 44 per cent over the last 15 years. That's according to a new report released Thursday by the United Nations. The report indicates maternal deaths around the world dropped from about 532,000 in 1990, to an estimated 303,000 this year. Maternal mortality is defined as a woman's [...]

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

Minor injuries for air crew in South Sudan crash

01-28-2013pibortown

Four Kenyan crew onboard a UN aid flight which crashed in South Sudan have escaped with minor injuries. A cargo plane chartered by the World Food Programme, (WFP) crash-landed in northern Upper Nile state, shortly after take-off on Tuesday afternoon. Earlier this month more than 30 people died after another cargo plane crashed in South [...]

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

Community spirit behind recovery of Filipino town hard hit by typhoon

Girls play in the schoolyard at Santo Niño Elementary School in the town of Tanauan, Philippines. Photo: UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

After Typhoon Haiyan slammed the Philippines two years ago this month, people in the town of Tanauan came together with "an innate desire to be of service." That's according to mayor Pel Tecson who believes this community spirit, or as it is known locally "bayanihan," was the reason why his hometown was able to bounce [...]

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

Agreement on global flight tracking could prevent "tragic loss" of planes

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. Photo: ITU/D. Woldu

A new agreement on radio frequency space for tracking airliners could help prevent the loss of another passenger plane like Malaysian Airlines flight, MH370. That's the hope of delegates attending the UN World Radio communication Conference in Geneva on Wednesday. Veronica Reeves reports. The agreement was made possible by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) which [...]

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

New sexual exploitation allegations made against UN troops in CAR

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga. UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis

New allegations of misconduct, sexual exploitation and abuse, have been made against United Nations troops in the Central African Republic or CAR. They follow earlier claims of possible misconduct by UN staff in the country. The UN mission there, MINUSCA, said the allegations were brought to its attention on Wednesday. Matthew Wells reports. The head [...]

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

News in Brief 11 November 2015 (PM)

Stéphane Dujarric. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Don't help refugees "at the expense" of long-term aid, countries are urged Don't fund emergency refugee programmes by cutting long-term aid budgets. That was plea to donor countries coming from the UN Secretary-General on Wednesday. UN chief Ban Ki-moon said that even though the world faced the largest crisis of forced displacement since the Second [...]

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ISIL poised to "prolong its reign of terror" in Iraq

A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation concerning Iraq. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The terrorist organisation, ISIL, has the money and military capabilities to "prolong its reign of terror" in Iraq. That warning, from the top UN official in Iraq during a briefing to the Security Council on the current situation in the country. ISIL controls large portions of territory in the northern and western parts of the [...]

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Parliamentarians urged to lead peace efforts in Burundi

A boat carrying Burundian refugees arrives in Baraka, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). File Photo: UNHCR/F. Scoppa

International concern continues to mount over Burundi, where a months' long political crisis has led to the deaths of hundreds of people and forced thousands to flee to neighbouring countries. The situation began in April after President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a contested third term. The UN's human rights chief earlier this week warned of the [...]

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

Locust surge warning for Yemen and north-east Africa

Locusts can devastate crops and pastures. Photo: FAO/Giampiero Diana

Heavy rains and cyclones that have plagued Yemen and northeast Africa could lead to a surge in desert locusts in the coming months. The warning came from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), on Wednesday which said that torrential downpours had the potential to trigger destructive swarms. Daniel Dickinson has more. Tropical cyclones Chapala and [...]

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

Women leading recovery in Mali

Head of Operations for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), John Ging (right), visits students in a classroom in Timbuktu, Mali. Photo: OCHA

Women are playing a key role in Mali's recovery from violent conflict, according to the UN's head of humanitarian operations. The government and rebels had been fighting for control of the West African country but a peace deal was signed in June this year. Around 3.1 million people are still in need of relief assistance. [...]

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

News in Brief 11 November 2015 (AM)

Nicholas Haysom. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Murder of Afghan civilians "may amount to war crimes" The murder of seven civilians abducted by militants in Afghanistan last month, may amount to war crimes. That's according to the head of the UN mission in the country, Nicholas Haysom. The seven were all members of the Hazara religious minority, and included two women, a [...]

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Elections important for "normal" parliament in Haiti

Officials in Haiti begin counting ballots at the end of polling on election day, 9 August 2015. File Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

Ongoing elections in Haiti are "important" as the Caribbean country has not had a functioning parliament since January. That's the assessment of Sandra Honoré, head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The electoral process began in August and preliminary results from the first round of presidential elections and parliamentary elections held last month [...]

11 Nov 2015 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Sri Lankan maternity hospital reborn after 2004 tsunami

Kerstin Jeska-Thorwart. Photo: Rotary International/Monika Lozinska

More than 160,000 Sri Lankan children born since the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami can thank a German lawyer for their safe start in life. Kerstin Jeska-Thorwart was celebrating Christmas at her home on the island nation when the tsunami struck, killing more than 200,000 people in 14 countries. Moved by the overwhelming loss and [...]

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

Science research and development budgets boosted by private sector

Women and technology. File Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh

Investment in research and development in the science sector has been boosted by private contributions as public funding has declined. That's according to the latest Science Report from the UN cultural and scientific organization, UNESCO. The report, which suggests that science will be essential to reach many of the newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals or [...]

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

News in Brief 10 November 2015 (PM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives for the opening of the Fourth Summit of Arab and South American Countries taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. UN Photo/ Rick Bajornas

Talk must give way to action on climate change Talk must now "give way to action" at the forthcoming climate change conference in Paris, France. That's according to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, speaking at the Fourth Summit of Arab and South American Countries, taking place in Saudi Arabia. With less than three weeks to [...]

10 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

"Tent" school opened in Lebanon for Syria refugees

Teacher Fatima with students. UNIFEED (video capture)

Local public schools in Lebanon can accommodate only half of the 400,000 school-age Syrian refugee children in the country according to the UN Refugee Agency, (UNHCR). More than four million people have fled Syria as a result of the four-year long civil war that has engulfed the country. Many parents have arrived in Lebanon and [...]

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

Using technology to benefit the world's neediest children

Gary Stahl. © UNICEF/BRZ/Lucia Oliveira

Start-up companies, artists, musicians and humanitarian workers have been examining how technological innovations can improve the lives of poor and marginalized children worldwide. They have been meeting in Helsinki, Finland, at a two-day summit organized by the government and the UN children's fund, UNICEF, which ended on Tuesday. Dianne Penn has been talking to Gary [...]

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

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El Niño poses increasing threat to millions of children

Children in Myanmar wait during distribution of household items for people affected by Cyclone Komen, in Ka Ye Nyaing, Maungdaw township, Rakhine State. Photo: UNHCR/L. Isla Rodriguez

An estimated 11 million children are at risk from hunger, disease and dehydration, in eastern and southern Africa, as a result of a strengthening El Niño, which is also causing droughts and floods in many other regions of the world. That's according to the United Nations children's agency, UNICEF. The agency says that the weather [...]

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

World should follow Canadian lead and take more Syrian refugees

Near the town of Gevgelija, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a young Syrian girl holds the hand of an adult waiting to board a train to the Serbian border. Photo File: UNICEF/Tomislav Georgiev

Countries around the world should follow Canada's example and take more refugees fleeing war-torn Syria. That's the message from the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), after Canada's new administration pledged to take an extra 25,000 Syrians by the end of this year. Matthew Wells reports. Canada had already agreed to take 10,000 refugees from [...]

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

News in Brief 10 November 2015 (AM)

A child receives a vaccination against meningitis at the community centre in Al Neem camp for Internally Displaced People in El Daein, East Darfur, Sudan. Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran

  Deadly infection almost eliminated in Africa's "meningitis belt" The deadly bacterial infection, Meningitis A, is close to elimination across a large part of Africa, thanks to a vaccine introduced just five years ago. The bacterial disease can cause severe brain damage or death within hours, but in the area that used to known as [...]

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Business skills training empowers women in Zimbabwe

Stella S. Dongo. Photo:Rotary International/Monika Lozinska

Programmes that promote women's entrepreneurship and educate adolescents about HIV and AIDS have changed the lives of more than 6,000 people in Zimbabwe. That's according to Stella S. Dongo who heads the Community Empowerment Project which was established as a means to buffer the blow of the 2008 global economic meltdown on citizens of the [...]

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

Internet, a "fundamental tool" for sustainable development

Lenni Montiel. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

Governments seeking to implement public policy initiatives and new globally agreed development goals have a "fundamental tool" that can help them: the Internet. That's according to Lenni Montiel, Assistant Secretary-General in the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs, who's making the case ahead of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) which opens on Tuesday in [...]

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

Vulnerability of Palestinian refugees reaching level not seen for generations

Palestinian families seek shelter at an UNRWA school after evacuating their homes north of the Gaza Strip. File Photo: UNRWA

The "vulnerability and isolation" of Palestinian refugees is approaching a level that has not been seen for generations. That's according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). There are 5.2 million Palestinian refugees living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and surrounding countries. Matthew Wells has more. The UNRWA Commissioner-General, [...]

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

Burundi "at a crossroads" and could descend into genocide

Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

Burundi is "at a crossroads" and the international community needs to "wake up" to the possibility of genocide. That's the stern warning given to the UN Security Council on Monday, by the UN's genocide expert. At least 240 people have died and thousands have been displaced after months of protest and violence in Burundi this [...]

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

System needed to remove children from Colombian armed groups

A view of Soacha, an impoverished suburb of Bogotá, Colombia. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

A system to release children from armed groups in Colombia needs to be set up as soon as possible, according to the UN's most senior envoy in the country. It follows a commitment made by FARC, Colombia's largest rebel group, to stop the recruitment of children under the age of 18. It's thought that tens [...]

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

News in Brief 09 November 2015 (PM)

UNAMID police. UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran.

Female police numbers at record high in UN, but more still needed More female police officers than ever before serve the UN, but many more are needed. In remarks to open the annual meeting of police personnel at UN headquarters, the Chef de Cabinet in the Secretary-General's office, Susana Malcorra, said that although numbers had [...]

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Killings of Syrian journalists condemned

Stop killing journalists. Photo: UNESCO

The killing of two Syrian citizen journalists found dead just over a week ago, has been condemned by the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Ibrahim Abdel Qader and Fares Hammadi were found dead in the city of Sanlirfa, in south-eastern Turkey. Matthew Wells reports: The two men were both independent [...]

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

After years as a failed state, Somalia is "coming together"

A street scene in Mogadishu, the Somali capital. Photo: AU-UN IST/Stuart Price

From a failed state to a country that is "coming together." That is how UN Special Representative Nicholas Kay has described Somalia, The envoy was addressing the Security Council which on Monday unanimously agreed to give more international support to the country as it gears up for elections next year while also confronting ongoing challenges [...]

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Greenhouse gas emissions hit new record

UN Photo/Kibae Park

The amount of harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached yet a new record high in 2014, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The UN agency's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin has been released just three weeks before the international community gathers in Paris, France in an attempt to reach a legally-binding climate deal. The [...]

9 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

News in Brief 09 November 2015 (AM)

11-06-2015Emission_UNEPfeature

Greenhouse gas emissions hit a new record The level of greenhouse gas emissions in the earth's atmosphere hit another record high during 2014. That's according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) which reports that since 1990 there has been a 36% increase in global warming due to CO2 and other emissions. The WMO's Secretary-General said [...]

9 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Nneka and MzVee use music to call for women's rights

Nigerian artist Nneka performing at the World Bank Headquarters. Photo: World Bank

Nigerian singer Nneka, and MzVee from Ghana are shining a light on women's rights through their music. They stopped by the World Bank Headquarters in Washington to participate in the series #Music4Dev. The initiative welcomes artists from around the globe to share their music while raising awareness about development issues. D'Banj, also from Nigeria, kicked [...]

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

New guidelines tighten disposal of radioactive materials at sea

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Stricter rules and guidelines against the dumping of radioactive material at sea will protect humans and marine life. That's according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN agency responsible for the methodology recently adopted by nearly 90 countries party to a 1972 Convention on preventing marine pollution. Although no highly dangerous radioactive waste [...]

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

Humanitarian aid to Ukraine "has to trump everything"

Girls are standing in a schoolyard in Sloviansk, Ukraine. Credit: UNICEF/Pavel Zmey, 2015.

Humanitarian aid to civilians in eastern Ukraine "has to trump everything" said the UN humanitarian chief after visiting the area. Stephen O'Brien, UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said he had had helpful discussions with Russian officials to prioritize aid. The UN estimates that 1.5 million people have been displaced, with almost 8,000 killed, since [...]

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

News in Brief 06 November 2015 (PM)

08-12-2015Burundi-featured

Alarm at escalation of violence in Burundi The UN Secretary-General has said he's alarmed by the ongoing escalation of violence in Burundi. Ban Ki-moon said the discovery of the bodies of civilian victims, many apparently summarily executed, has become a regular occurrence in several neighborhoods of the capital, Bujumbura. His comments follow the death of [...]

6 Nov 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Food insecurity could lead to famine in South Sudan

SouthSudan-file-humanitariansituation-featured

The lack of food in some parts of Unity State in South Sudan could lead to famine, according to the UN humanitarian office, OCHA. Fighting between government and rebel forces in southern and central Unity state intensified in October and thousands of people were forced to flee in search of safety. Daniel Dickinson reports. OCHA [...]

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

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Nations should protect the innocent, and abolish death penalty

Launch of the book "Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Arguments, Trends and Perspectives". From left to right: Italian Ambassador to the UN Sebastiano Cardi; Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and Kirk Bloodsworth, the first person to be sentenced to death and then subsequently exonerated by DNA evidence.  UN Radio Photo/Matthew Wells

Countries around the world have a duty to protect the innocent and abolish the death penalty. That was the message brought to the heart of the UN by Kirk Bloodsworth this week. On death row for two years, he was the first prisoner to be exonerated thanks to DNA evidence, more than 20 years ago. [...]

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

Iraq battles cholera outbreak

UNI199363-cholera-Iraq-featured

UN agencies and their partners are working to combat a cholera outbreak in Iraq that so far has resulted in more than 2,200 cases of the diarrhoeal disease. Cholera is caused by contaminated food or water.  It can lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not provided quickly. The UN children's agency, UNICEF, [...]

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

News in Brief 06 November 2015 (AM)

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. Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson VII

Reception facilities for migrants in Greece needed to stabilize situation An agreement to provide more reception places for refugees and migrants arriving in Greece will help to stabilize the ongoing crisis, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said. An estimated 20,000 people are currently on a number of Greek islands, placing considerable strain on the [...]

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Women and children most affected by global corruption

Martin Kreutner, Dean of the International Anti-Corruption Academy. Photo: UN Vienna

Women and children around the world suffer the "poisonous" effects of corruption the most. That's according to the chief of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), an organization co-founded by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Several of the newly-adopted Sustainable Development Goals tie in anti-corruption and the push for greater gender equality. That's a [...]

6 Nov 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Sierra Leone prepares for end of Ebola transmission

WHO_Ebola_Cuban_625415WHO-Stéphane-Saporito-featured

The countdown has begun to mark the end of Ebola transmission in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday. The announcement is expected on Saturday if no further cases of the killer disease are found between now and then, marking seven weeks of zero cases in the west African country. Despite the good [...]

6 Nov 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's Features | Read More »

Concern over cholera threat grows in Iraq

UNICEF-Cholera_Iraq_featured

Efforts are under way in Iraq to shield people from the effects of a cholera outbreak that has already infected more than 2,200 people, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said. Around 20 per cent of them are children, across 15 of the country's 18 governorates. There are concerns that the disease could spread further, [...]

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

"Historic breakthrough" ahead of climate talks

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The push to limit greenhouse gas emissions and keep global temperatures from rising unchecked has seen a "historic" breakthrough in the run-up to a key climate conference in Paris, the UN said Friday. Less than a month before governments meet in the French capital, the UN Environment Programme, UNEP, said that it's seen a "significant" [...]

6 Nov 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Today's News, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

East Africa braces for worsening El Niño conditions

10-12-2015Somalia_Weather_featured

The number of people who do not have enough to eat in East Africa could rise by more than 80 per cent in the coming months due to weather variations brought on by the climatic event known as El Niño. The UN estimates that more than 22 million people in the region might need food assistance [...]

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

Community-led development empowers Filipino indigenous community

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A social services project run by the Philippines government has changed life in indigenous village in the north of the country, according to one of the residents. Elsie Lomong-Oy is a member of the Igorot people in Besao mountain province where roughly half of the population falls below the poverty line. She recently spoke at [...]

5 Nov 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: refugees, entrepreneurship in Pakistan and women’s rights

Children on a train at a reception centre for refugees and migrants in Gevgelija in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson

Concern at "never-ending flow" of vulnerable EU arrivals Hopes that the colder weather might see a drop in the number of people risking their lives to reach Europe have proved groundless after the UN Children's Agency, UNICEF, on Wednesday said that the number of women and children seeking safety, has doubled in a month. The [...]

5 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

News in Brief 05 November 2015 (PM)

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Access to Cypriot burial sites welcomed by UN An agreement by Turkey to provide access to 30 suspected burial sites in military areas in the north of Cyprus has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. Over 2,000 Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots went missing as a result of conflict on the Mediterranean island in 1963 [...]

5 Nov 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Urgent" humanitarian access needed in eastern Ukraine

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Vulnerable communities caught in the middle of a conflict in eastern Ukraine urgently need relief aid, the UN Humanitarian Chief has said. Stephen O'Brien concluded a three-day visit to Ukraine on Thursday and called for "sustained and unimpeded access" to conflict-affected people. Daniel Dickinson reports. Around four million people in the east of Ukraine need [...]

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

UN Global Perspective: focus on peacekeeping reform, foreign nationals facing death penalty and Somalia

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

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

5 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on wildlife crimes, African descendants and food insecurity in Ethiopia

A southern white rhinoceros at Lake Nakuru, Kenya. File Photo: Ryan Harvey

"Surge" in wildlife crime reported A surge in wildlife crime, especially affecting African elephants and rhinos, is being fuelled by corruption according to the Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, also known as CITES. The CITES agreement was drawn up in 1973 to ensure the trade in specimens of wild animals [...]

5 Nov 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Libya conflict has “debilitating” impact on human rights

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Turmoil and instability in Libya are having a "debilitating" impact on the human rights situation in the country, the Security Council heard on Thursday. Libya has been engulfed in violence, instability and political division since the overthrow of  former President Muammar Al-Qaddafi in 2011. However, the proposed creation of a government of national unity is [...]

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

UN Daily News 05 November 2015

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More protection needed for defenders of human rights

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Michel Forst. Photo: MINUSTAH

Human rights workers need greater protection from governments around the world. That's according to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, who this week launched a new global survey. Michel Forst wants to identify the best ways of improving the effectiveness and safety of people working in the human rights field, [...]

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

Daily News 05 November 2015

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Black box still missing in South Sudan crash, despite divers' search

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The black box flight recorder that could help explain why more than 30 people died in a plane crash in South Sudan on Wednesday, is still missing. That's despite a search on Thursday by Bangladeshi scuba divers from the UN peacekeeping force (UNMISS), around the White Nile river crash site. According to media reports, police [...]

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

Justice and protection needed for writers in Bangladesh

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Justice and better protection is needed for writers in Bangladesh, following a series of high-profile murders, believed to have been carried out by religious extremists. That's according to the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who on Thursday strongly condemned continuing violent attacks against bloggers and publishers. At least five people have [...]

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

Trafficking in cultural property "source of enormous illicit profits"

Cultural heritage at the site of Palmyra, Syria. Photo: UNESCO/F. Bandarin

Trafficking in ancient artefacts provides a source of "enormous illicit profits" for terrorism according to the UN. Conflict in the Middle East and West Africa in recent years has led to the increased destruction, looting, and the illegal sale of cultural property. Daniel Dickinson reports. Instability and conflict in places like Mali in West Africa [...]

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

News in Brief 05 November 2015 (AM)

10-08-2015Migrants-featured

600,000 migrants expected in Greece in next 4 months Up to 600,000 more migrants are expected to arrive in Greece from Turkey over the next four months, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned. The agency said harsh weather conditions in southern Europe are likely to intensify the suffering of the refugees and migrants. More [...]

5 Nov 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Global community argues over climate deal "differentiation"

Janos Pasztor, Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

Countries negotiating an international climate deal are deadlocked over whether developed and developing countries should be treated the same, according to the UN. Some states are arguing that there should be differentiation between rich and poor countries with different rules to reflect varying national capacities. The international community is meeting in Paris in December in [...]

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

News in Brief 04 November 2015 (PM)

11-04-2015Climate_Change_featured

Now is the time for compromise and consensus building on climate change With just three weeks to go before world leaders meet in Paris to negotiate a new climate change agreement, the time for "compromise and consensus building" has come. That's according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who addressed Member States at a high-level event [...]

4 Nov 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Yemen cyclone downgraded but damage still extensive

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A cyclone which was headed for Yemen has been downgraded, but thousands of Yeminis have still lost their homes and land to flooding, according to the UN. The coastline of southern Yemen had been threatened by Cyclone Chapala on Tuesday, but by Wednesday it had weakened to a tropical depression. UN agencies working in the [...]

4 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 04 November 2015

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Slavery one of the "darkest chapters" in history of mankind

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Described as one of the "darkest chapters" in the history of mankind, UN member states met Wednesday to commemorate the end of the transatlantic slave trade. The plenary meeting was organized under the theme "Women and Slavery", as the UN marked the 200th anniversary of the end of slavery and the slave trade. Daniel Dickinson [...]

4 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Governments urged to collect better data to fight discrimination

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Governments across the world need to collect better data to help combat all forms of discrimination. That's according to the UN's Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Mutuma Ruteere. He said that that more detailed statistics on citizens' ethnicity, economic and cultural patterns, would lead to better awareness and better government policies. But in [...]

4 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 04 November 2015 (AM)

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Human rights activists facing increasing risks Human rights activists are facing increasing risks, according to a top UN human rights expert. UN Special Rapporteur Michel Forst launched a new worldwide survey Wednesday, aimed at identifying steps countries can take to better-protect human rights defenders. Mr Forst said violations against human rights activists are being carried [...]

4 Nov 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Time to “re-think” global goals on illegal drugs

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Countries need to agree what have been described as more "granular" goals on combating illegal drugs. The call comes in a report from the United Nations University called "What Comes After the War on Drugs – Flexibility, Fragmentation or Principled Pluralism?" It's designed to serve as a starting point for discussion at next year's General [...]

4 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Concern at “never-ending flow” of vulnerable EU arrivals

Children on a train at a reception centre for refugees and migrants in Gevgelija in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson

Hopes that the colder weather might see a drop in the number of people risking their lives to reach Europe have proved groundless after the UN Children's Agency, UNICEF, on Wednesday said that the number of women and children seeking safety has doubled in a month. The warning comes after the UN agency reported that [...]

4 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Combating corruption essential to implement SDGs

11-03-2015Scanlon_Fedotov-featured

Corruption is an obstacle to progress and prosperity and holds back development, according to the UN. The international community is gathering this week in St Petersburg, Russia, to discuss how to tackle corruption around the world and advance the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs [...]

4 Nov 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Scientist's formula to help UN meet global goals

Professor Hedwig Schopper, former Director-General of CERN, the nuclear physics laboratory, tells of the institution's role in breaking the US-Russian impasse on nuclear disarmament in 1985. Photo: CERN

If the UN is to achieve ambitious global goals that are designed to help the future of humanity, it could do well to look to science, a leading physicist believes. Professor Herwig Schopper, former head of the world-famous CERN research laboratory that's credited with developing the internet, along with other major discoveries, told a conference [...]

4 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Discrimination against Africans, a worldwide problem

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Discrimination against people of African descent remains a significant problem in many parts of the world. That's the reality underlying a special event at UN headquarters on Tuesday headlined "Confronting the Silence…Dialogue on Structural Racism against people of African Descent Worldwide." The meeting was one of a series of events being held to mark the [...]

3 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 03 November 2015 (PM)

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"Deepest sympathies" expressed by UN chief on anniversary of Israeli leader The UN Secretary-General has expressed his "deepest sympathies" to the citizens of Israel on the 20th anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin. Mr Rabin was assassinated in November 1995 by an Israeli radical who was opposed to the peace process [...]

3 Nov 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Climate change a "serious threat" to food security

Climate change has serious implications for agriculture and food security. Photo: FAO/L. Dematteis

Changes to typical climatic patterns in many parts of the world could mean that around two billion people will be battling hunger and malnutrition in the years ahead. That's according to the UN's Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, who says climate change remains a "serious threat" to food security. In December, [...]

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

Daily News 03 November 2015

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UN Daily News 03 November 2015

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Child statelessness needs attention before problem becomes "set in stone"

Born stateless, this baby acquired nationality in 2008 in Bangladesh. Photo: UNHCR/G.M.B. Akash

The issue of child statelessness needs to be addressed before it leads to problems that could haunt young people for the rest of their lives. That's according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres speaking at the launch of a report called "I am Here, I Belong: the Urgent Need to End Childhood [...]

3 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Prestige and reputation" of UN General Assembly at stake

General Assembly 70th session: 45th plenary meeting. UN Photo/Cia Pak

The "prestige and reputation" of the UN's General Assembly is at stake over recent corruption allegations, said the organization's chief, on Tuesday. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon addressed the assembly on Tuesday, as a debate got underway about revitalizing its work. At the beginning of October, federal prosecutors in the US made a series of corruption allegations [...]

3 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Aid workers reach out to Afghan city of Kunduz

In addition to continuing conflict, Afghanistan's civilians also suffered earthquake at the end of October. Photo: IOM

Efforts are under way in Kunduz, Afghanistan, to assess people's aid needs after heavy fighting in recent months, aid co-ordinators said Tuesday. According to UN partner the International Organization for Migration (IOM), thousands of families have been displaced in the province where security fears have prevented humanitarian access. Kunduz recently came to prominence after Taliban [...]

3 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Surge" in wildlife crime reported

A southern white rhinoceros at Lake Nakuru, Kenya. File Photo: Ryan Harvey

A surge in wildlife crime, especially affecting elephants and rhinos, is being fueled by corruption according to the Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, also known as CITES. The CITES agreement was drawn up in 1973 to ensure the trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their [...]

3 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 03 November 2015 (AM)

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Medical supplies reach besieged Syrians for first time since July Syrians in desperate need of medical supplies in besieged areas of the war-torn country, have been reached by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the first time since July. More than 290,000 life-saving treatments have been delivered to Dara'a and Hama. The vital shipments include [...]

3 Nov 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Yemen "unprepared for cyclone Chapala"

Clare Nullis from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that Yemenis have been taking a "crash-course" to prepare for cyclone Chapala. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

Preparations are under way to help Yemenis cope with a rare tropical storm that's hit the country, amid fears that up to 10 years' rain may fall before the skies clear, the UN said Tuesday. Tropical storm Chapala, which the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) describes as a "very severe cyclonic" weather event, has brought with [...]

3 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Uncertainty may be radicalizing Syrian refugee children

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Syrian refugees in Lebanon are fearful that uncertainty about the future might drive their children to join radical groups or make the treacherous sea journey to Europe. That's according to UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Philippe Lazzarini, who is calling for more global support for the country. Lebanon has a population of around five [...]

3 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 02 November 2015 (PM)

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Abduction of Congolese aid workers condemned The abduction on Sunday of 14 aid workers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been strongly condemned by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country. The people were working for a Congolese non-governmental organization in the Rutshuru area in North Kivu province in the east of the [...]

2 Nov 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Campaign tackles child malnutrition in South Sudan state

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A quarter of a million children in South Sudan's Warrap state are being screened for malnutrition through a campaign by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN children's fund, UNICEF. Although not directly affected by South Sudan's ongoing conflict, Warrap state has one of the highest rates of acute malnutrition in the country, according [...]

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

Yemen's fragile food security "deteriorating fast"

UN pleads for access to Yemeni city of Taiz to avert humanitarian tragedy. File Photo: WHO

Yemen's fragile food security is deteriorating fast, the World Food Programme (WFP) has warned. The UN food agency said that 10 out of Yemen's 22 governorates are classified as facing food insecurity at emergency level; that's one step below famine. Ana Carmo reports. Yemen has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the [...]

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

Daily News 02 November 2015

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Corruption must end in order to achieve sustainable development

No country, region or community is immune to corruption, a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. Photo: UNODC

Corruption and bribery must end if new development goals are to be achieved; that's according to the UN Secretary-General in an address to a meeting on the UN Convention against Corruption. In September the international community agreed the new Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, 17 anti-poverty targets that will frame global development over the next [...]

2 Nov 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

Asia-Pacific trade slowing following lower global growth

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Asia and the Pacific remains the most dynamic region of the global economy but growth in regional trade and investment flows is slowing, the UN said on Monday. The latest economic growth report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) emphasizes the need for countries to adjust to both [...]

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

Changing weather patterns lead to food insecurity in Ethiopia

Photo: IRIN/Siegfried Modola

More than eight million Ethiopians need food aid following crop failures brought on by the climatic phenomenon known as El Niño. The changing weather conditions caused by El Niño have led to reduced rainfall in large parts of Africa with Ethiopia being hit hard, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). The UN agency says [...]

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

News in Brief 02 November 2015 (AM)

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

Deep concern over hate speech in Myanmar The UN Secretary-General has expressed his deep concern at the continual use of hate speech in Myanmar. He said the incitement of what he called "communal animosities" and the abuse of religion for political purposes was being carried out by extreme elements among the majority community in the [...]

2 Nov 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UNHCR: 218,000 refugees reach Europe in October

Almost as many refugees crossed the Mediterranean in October as for the whole of 2014, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Photo: UNHCR/Ivor Prickett.

Europe's refugee crisis continues, the UN said Monday, with latest estimates showing that a record 218,000 people crossed the Mediterranean Sea last month alone. That's almost as many as for the whole of 2014, according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. Greece continues to be the main landing point for the travellers, along with Italy, [...]

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

Actor Danny Glover says recognize contributions of Afrodescendants

Danny Glover. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The world has been presented a unique opportunity to recognize the contributions and needs of people of African descent. That's according to actor and Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover, who is taking an active role in promoting the UN's International Decade for People of African Descent, which kicked off last December. Daniel Dickinson spoke with Mr [...]

1 Nov 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

One journalist killed every five days around the world

Ending Impunity. Image: UNESCO Poster

More than 700 journalists have been killed in the last decade – one every five days – according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In marking the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on Monday, the UN chief highlighted the urgent need to do more to protect journalists; and bring those who harm [...]

1 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council condemns Al-Shabaab attack on Somalia hotel

UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

A deadly attack against a hotel in Somalia's capital has been condemned in the strongest terms by the UN Security Council. At least 15 people were killed when Al-Shabaab militants stormed the Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu on Sunday after exploding car bombs at the gates. Dianne Penn reports. The Security Council issued a statement reaffirming [...]

1 Nov 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa weakens

Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/Stuart Price

Economic growth in sub-Saharan African has weakened in the last year, according to a newly released report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The strong growth momentum of recent years appears to have dissipated, according to the IMF's Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa. The report puts growth at less than 4 per cent, which [...]

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

Southern Africa: Alarm over attacks on foreigners and refugee camps

Medeliya Ludaviko and her family fled fighting in Mozambique in January 2014 and have been given temporary shelter in Kasipe 2 village in Malawi's Mwanza district . © Rex Chikoko/IRIN (File)

Another xenophobic attack in South Africa and refugees on the move across the Malawi border are 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 gunmen from the former rebel movement, RENAMO. And further south, [...]

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

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