News in Brief 13 November 2015 (PM)

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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 society leaders, in an open letter published Friday.

The pressure group from the business world, known as the B Team, called in February for a goal of "net-zero" emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.

COP21 aims to secure agreement over limiting the temperature rise caused by emissions, to 2 degrees.

Among the international businesses involved are Unilever, Tiffany, Safaricom and Salesforce.

Attacks against aid workers in Mali on the rise

Attacks against aid workers in Mali are on the rise, according to the UN's humanitarian coordinator in the north-west African country.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been at least 30 attacks against aid workers and their facilities, with most coming in the last few months.

Coordinator for Mali, Mbaranga Gasarabwe, condemned all the attacks as a violation of international humanitarian law.

She said that aid was often "a question of survival" for vulnerable people, and interrupting it could have fatal consequences.

Regional strategy for Middle East and North Africa to counter "hate speech"

Around 30 faith leaders from the Middle East and North Africa have agreed a common strategy to try and counter "hate speech" and incitement to violence.

The religious leaders were in Jordan for their meeting, which was organized by the UN Office on Genocide Prevention.

Among the measures which they agreed, were the establishment of a multi-faith leaders' network to advise and act on incidents of incitement across the region.

Other proposals include the training of youth ambassadors working on social media, and working to increase awareness of religious incitement issues at a government level.

Novel inventions win through in "Wearables for Good" challenge

A necklace that tracks child immunization and a wearable soap that helps fight infections.

Those are the two winning ideas to come out of the Wearables for Good challenge, co-sponsored by the UN children's Fund, UNICEF.

The designs for wearable technology with a purpose, were both led by joint teams comprising of Indian and US nationals.

Khushi Baby is a data-storing necklace that sends and receives information, and SoaPen, is a personal hygiene tool in the form of a soap-crayon.

Both teams won a prize of US$15,000 each, and incubation funding from other business sponsors.

The competition was launched in May, and attracted 2,000 entrants, from 65 different countries.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’22″

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