News in Brief 04 November 2015 (AM)

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Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

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 out by countries, as well as religious and armed groups.

In places all around the world, human right defenders were being targeted, threatened, arbitrarily detained, tortured or killed, said Mr Forst at the launch.

The results of the survey will be shared with the UN Human Rights Council next March.

New UN head in Libya

Martin Kobler of Germany has been named by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the new head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

Mr Kobler has more than 30 years of experience, having served with the UN in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Kobler succeeds Bernardino León of Spain.  The leadership transition is expected to take place in the coming days.

The announcement comes at a delicate time, as the UN has urged the main political stakeholders in Libya to redouble their efforts to bring the country's political dialogue process to a successful conclusion.

Two rival governments have been fighting for power in Libya since the overthrow of former President Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.

World Science Forum 2015 opens in Hungary

The 2015 World Science Forum (WSF) opened Wednesday in Budapest, Hungary under the theme 'the enabling power of science'.

Participants at this year's forum will explore the ways science can improve people's quality of life for the betterment of whole societies.

The forum takes place every two years and is organized in collaboration with the UN Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), along with many other partners.

More than 600 participants are expected to take part in discussions aimed at linking advancements made in science and industry to policy makers.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

Duration: 1’49″

 

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