Home » 31 Dec 2015 Entries posted on “December 2015”

UN Daily News 01 January 2016

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Daily News 31 December 2015

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UN Daily News 31 December 2015

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Collaboration, information sharing key to addressing peacekeeping issues

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

The UN Security Council has issued a statement on the importance of greater collaboration on peacekeeping issues. The statement took particular note of the lack of consultations on critical issues related to conduct and discipline in peace operations. Veronica Reeves has more. The Council's statement noted the "lack of effective dialogue" between the Security Council, [...]

31 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 31 December 2015 (AM)

UNHCR Dadaab camps, Kenya. Photo: UNHCR

  Health workers fight cholera outbreak at world's largest refugee complex Efforts continue in the battle against a deadly cholera outbreak at the world's largest refugee camp, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports. UNHCR and its partners have been working with officials in Kenya to stamp out the disease at the Dadaab refugee complex in [...]

31 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Gender – Year Ahead 2016

Shantanu Mukherjee.  UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Value of women's unpaid work deserves recognition The value of women's unpaid work deserves greater recognition in societies around the world. That's one of the findings of the UN's latest Human Development Report, which among other things, highlights how women's contributions can help improve our quality of life, both now and in the future. Veronica [...]

31 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

International Year of Pulses set to get underway

Logo for the International Year of Pulses. (FAO).

The United Nations has declared 2016 as the "International Year of Pulses". Dried beans and peas make up the pulse family. In many parts of the world they are an important part of people's diet and seen as a highly nutritious source of protein and micronutrients. Veronica Reeves has the story. Despite being an essential [...]

31 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen cause for concern

05-07-2015Bread_Yemen-feature

The "rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation" in the city of Taiz in Yemen is the cause of deep concern for the World Food Programme (WFP). People have reportedly been going hungry for weeks as WFP struggles to reach the area. Yemen has been gripped by conflict for most of the year, as government forces and Houthi [...]

31 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN and Africa – Year Ahead 2016

Hervé Ladsous,(centre).UN Photo/Abdul Fatai

Protecting citizens expected to be major challenge for UN in 2016 Protecting citizens is expected to be a major challenge for the United Nations in 2016, according to a top UN official. Hervé Ladsous, head of UN Peacekeeping Operations says about 80 per cent of uniformed peacekeepers are now serving missions in Africa. A major [...]

31 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Global Perspective – Year Ahead 2016

Due to fuel shortages, donkey carts are still used as an alternative transportation method to deliver safe water to health facilities and camps for internally displaced persons in Hodeida, Yemen. Photo: WHO Yemen

Amount of money required to meet global humanitarian needs "tremendous" The amount of money required to meet global humanitarian needs in 2016 is "tremendous," according to the man heading up the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Turkey in May. The UN and other partners recently launched their annual humanitarian appeal, asking for nearly [...]

31 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

More wealthy people seeking residency in "desirable" countries

Photo: IMF

  More and more people are using their wealth to acquire residency or citizenship in countries that are considered more "desirable". That's according to two experts from the International Monetary Fund who have written about the trend in which people buy properties or make investments that allow them to gain legal status in more developed [...]

31 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Cost of keeping HIV-sufferers alive putting countries in debt

11-30-2015AIDSDay-featured

The cost of keeping those suffering from HIV alive is putting some countries, most notably in Africa, in insurmountable debt. Far more people with HIV are now living longer, thanks to new antiretroviral drug treatments. But experts warn that the cost of treating those people is putting many countries in sub-Saharan Africa at risk of [...]

31 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Daily News 30 December 2015

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UN Daily News 30 December 2015

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News in Brief 30 December 2015 (AM)

Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

  UN chief congratulates new Burkina Faso President The UN Secretary-General has congratulated the new President of Burkina Faso. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was sworn in during a ceremony on Tuesday in the capital, Ouagadougou. He is the first new leader in Burkina Faso in nearly 30 years following the overthrow of former President Blaise [...]

30 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Over one million refugees and migrants arrive in Europe by sea in 2015

© UNHCR/A. Zavallis

Over one million refugees and migrants have fled to Europe by sea this year, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The majority of those people landed in Greece and Italy, with many of them travelling on dangerously inadequate vessels run by people smugglers. Veronica Reeves has the story. Nearly half of the one million [...]

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

Elections underway in Central African Republic

UN peacekeepers keep a watchful eye on proceedings at a polling centre as the Central African Republic (CAR) voted in presidential and legislative elections. Photo: MINUSCA

After several years of turmoil and several postponements, elections are underway in the Central African Republic (CAR). As people across the country take to the polls, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged a "peaceful and credible" electoral process. Veronica Reeves has the story. With presidential and legislative elections taking place Wednesday in the Central African Republic, [...]

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

New year to usher in new global development goals

UN Photo/Cia Pak

As the world prepares to welcome a new year, people around the globe are also preparing to usher in a new development era. Following its adoption by world leaders last September, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be officially launched on 1January. Contained within that Agenda are 17 specific goals that will guide development [...]

30 Dec 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

Value of women's unpaid work deserves recognition

Families cook their meal in Quetta, Balochistan Province, Pakistan. UN Photo/WFP/Amjad Jamal

The value of women's unpaid work deserves greater recognition in societies around the world. That's one of the findings of the UN's latest Human Development Report, which among other things, highlights how women's contributions can help improve our quality of life, both now and in the future. Veronica Reeves spoke with Shantanu Mukherjee from the [...]

30 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Refugee crisis unlikely to recede in early 2016: UNHCR spokesperson

In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, refugees take shelter beneath a metal pavilion on a rainy day, near the town of Gevgelija, on the border with Greece. Photo: UNICEF/Tomislav Georgiev

The refugee crisis which has seen nearly 4.4 million Syrians flee their homes is unlikely to recede in the New Year. That's according to Melissa Fleming, the senior spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency. With thousands of refugees and migrants still crossing the Mediterranean each day looking for a safe haven in Europe, she said [...]

30 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 29 December 2015

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Daily News 29 December 2015

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29 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 29 December 2015 (AM)

UN Photo/Kibae Park

People of African descent must be involved in climate change solutions People of African descent must have more say in addressing climate change. That's according to a group of UN experts, which says that implementation of the new climate change agreement reached earlier this month in Paris must take into account the needs of people [...]

29 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Responsive" UN force helps keep the peace in Darfur

UN Photo/Stuart Price

The security situation in Darfur has stabilized over the past two years, according to the Force Commander at the joint African Union/United Nations operation there, known as UNAMID. However, Lieutenant General Paul Mella says peacekeepers continue to face numerous challenges including armed attacks as they carry out their core mandate of protecting millions of internally [...]

29 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Guinea marks "important milestone" with end of Ebola transmission

After being kept closed for three months due to the Ebola outbreak, schools across Guinea reopened in January 2015 with the help of UNICEF and other Ebola response partners. Measures include temperature screening at the entrance, washing hands with soap and water, and instructions on what to do when someone gets sick at school. File Photo: UNMEER/Martine Perret

The Ebola outbreak in Guinea has ended, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday. This is an "important milestone," according to the UN agency, as the first infection of the disease started in the West African country two years ago this month. Guinea was one of three countries in the region hardest hit by [...]

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

Ebola transmission ends in Guinea

Truckers from Guinea wait to be screened for Ebola at the busy Konadu checkpoint in Lofa County, Liberia. File Photo: WHO/M. Winkler

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the end of the Ebola transmission in Guinea. The WHO said there have been no new cases of Ebola in Guinea for 42 days. The country will now enter a 90-day period of heightened surveillance before it can be declared "Ebola free". About 11,000 people died in Guinea, [...]

29 Dec 2015 | Posted in Ebola Outbreak, Today's News | Read More »

Rising global humanitarian needs require "tremendous" funding

Due to fuel shortages, donkey carts are still used as an alternative transportation method to deliver safe water to health facilities and camps for internally displaced persons in Hodeida, Yemen. Photo: WHO Yemen

The amount of money required to meet global humanitarian needs in 2016 is "tremendous," according to the man heading up the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Turkey next May. The UN and other partners recently launched its annual humanitarian appeal, asking for nearly US$20 billion. Antoine Gérard is Chief of the World Humanitarian [...]

29 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Deal allows UN and partners to help evacuate hundreds from four Syrian towns

A Syrian refugee family in an informal tented settlement in Jdita town Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, where nearly 35 other families have lived for more than three years, after fleeing the war in Aleppo. Photo: WFP/Sandy Maroun

  More than 450 people, some of whom were wounded, have been successfully evacuated from four towns in Syria following a local agreement, the UN and its partners announced on Monday. The people were transported by land and air through Turkey and Lebanon to agreed final destinations where those requiring longer term medical care will [...]

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

News in Brief 28 December 2015 (PM)

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

  UN Secretary-General welcomes agreement on so-called "comfort women" The UN Secretary-General has welcomed the agreement between Japan and South Korea on issues related to so-called "comfort women". The term refers to the hundreds of thousands of women, many of them Korean, forced to work in Japanese brothels during the Second World War. Ban Ki-moon [...]

28 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 28 December 2015

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28 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Daily News 28 December 2015

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28 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 28 December 2015 (AM)

Internally displaced persons in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Photo: OCHA/Mohammad Sadiq Zaheer

  Civilians hit hard by violence in Kunduz receive humanitarian assistance More than 100 families affected by recent fighting in the city of Kunduz in Afghanistan have received humanitarian assistance packages. The effort was carried out as part of the Afghan Civilian Assistance Programme, which provides support to those affected by conflict, mines and explosive [...]

28 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Talks aimed at bringing peace to Burundi resume in Uganda

Jamal Benomar. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Talks aimed at bringing peace to Burundi resumed Monday in Uganda. Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan President and East African Community mediator, is leading the negotiations just outside Kampala. Hundreds have been killed in Burundi this year, following the announcement by Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza that he would run for a third term. Veronica Reeves has [...]

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

Risk of conflict high without "free and fair" elections in central Africa

Abdoulaye Bathily. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

With several countries in central Africa due to hold elections in 2016, the need for "free and fair" electoral processes is being emphasized. UN officials in the region have warned about the possibility of conflict if planned elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo and Burundi do not go [...]

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

Safer cities for women: one project takes off in the Philippines

Quezon City. UNIFEED (video capture)

One suburb of the Filipino capital, Manila, is trying to confront the issue of violence against women using a novel form of community patrolling. Women's Safety Audits are a "participatory tool" being piloted as part of the UN Women Safe Cities initiative. The idea is to discourage physical or sexual violence against women and girls [...]

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

Date for Syria peace talks announced

Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

Talks aimed at bringing peace to war-torn Syria are set to begin in late January. The UN's Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said the talks would start on 25 January 2016, with the aim of bringing all "relevant Syrian parties" to the negotiating table in Geneva. Around a quarter of a million people [...]

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

Daily News 25 December 2015

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UN Daily News 25 December 2015

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25 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

CAR elections postponed

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

Elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been postponed, the UN mission in the country, MINUSCA, reported on Thursday. The vote was set to take place this Sunday but will now be held next Wednesday, 30 December. Citizens will be electing a President and representatives for the National Assembly as part of an ongoing [...]

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

Life Begins at Ten

roosevelt

American actors Doris Day and Gregory Peck join Eleanor Roosevelt to raise awareness on the life of refugees in Europe. Duration: 14’21″

24 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Secretary-General applauds adoption of UN budget for next two years

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left).  UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The Secretary-General has applauded the adoption of the UN budget that will guide the organization's expenditures for the next two years. The US$5.4 billion budget includes cuts in several operating areas, while dedicating additional resources to development issues. Veronica Reeves has the story. The 193 countries that make up the United Nations approved the budget [...]

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

UN agency condemns destruction at ancient cultural site in Syria

Ancient City of Bosra, Syrian, World Heritage site. Photo: ©UNESCO/Véronique Dauge

The destruction of parts of a major archaeological site in southern Syria has been condemned by the head of the UN cultural agency (UNESCO). The Ancient City of Bosra, which contains ruins from Roman, Byzantine, and Muslim times, was an important stop on the ancient caravan route to Mecca. The Syrian Directorate of Antiquities and [...]

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

UN Daily News 24 December 2015

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Daily News 24 December 2015

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24 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Colombia deal a "significant" step for peace

Displaced by Colombia's armed conflict, this family now lives in Arjona, an impoverished community outside Cartagena on the northern coast. Photo: Kristy Siegfried/IRIN

Displaced by Colombia's armed conflict, this family now lives in Arjona, an impoverished community outside Cartagena on the northern coast. Photo:Kristy Siegfried/IRIN A new agreement signed between the government of Colombia and the Farc rebel group is an important breakthrough for bringing peace to the country, according to a top UN official in the country. [...]

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

People in Houses

Photo: United Nations

Princess Grace of Monaco stars in this drama about the life of refugees in Europe.   Duration: 28’46″

24 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN70 RADIO CLASSICS | Read More »

News in Brief 24 December 2015 (AM)

A view of the old town of Benghazi, Libya. Photo: UNSMIL/Iason Athanasiadis

  Envoy urges Libyans to back peace agreement Libyans are being encouraged to unite and support the establishment of the country's new unity government. The appeal was made by Martin Kobler, head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), in a message on Thursday to mark the country's 64 years of independence. Two rival [...]

24 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Global temperature rise bound to affect human health

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

Human health is bound to suffer if global warming goes beyond the limits agreed in December at the Paris climate change conference. That's the view of Jörg Hacker, a member of the UN Secretary-General's Scientific Advisory Board. At the climate summit, Mr Hacker spoke to Cristina Silveiro, who asked him to forecast how human health [...]

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

UN Gender Year in Review 2015

Police Unit from Bangladesh. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

UN marks 15 years since landmark resolution on women, peace and security Fifteen years after the adoption of a ground-breaking resolution focused on the link between gender equality and international peace and security, the world gathered in October to take stock of progress made in this critical area. More than 100 countries participated in the [...]

24 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN Global Perspective Review 2015

Security Council summit. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

Terror brings fear worldwide Throughout 2015, terrorist attacks took place around the globe with increasing frequency, with often devastating consequences. In the Middle East, the terrorist group ISIL gained ground and claimed responsibility for a string of especially heinous attacks. Radicals who pledged their allegiance to ISIL went on to carry out attacks in other [...]

24 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

Africa Year in Review 2015

Photo: WHO/C. Banluta

Spread of Ebola in West Africa remains a concern for UN As Africa welcomed a new year, fears of the deadly Ebola virus continued to cause concern across several countries in West Africa. The United Nations Ebola response mission (UNMEER) was working with partners in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to contain the spread of [...]

24 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

World passing through "delicate" human rights moment

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The world is passing through a very "delicate" moment with regard to human rights. That's according to Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who is concerned about the rise of repressive efforts by governments that are struggling to contain violent extremism in their countries. Ari Gaitanis recently sat down with [...]

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

Security Council resolution shows “clear” support for Libya: UN envoy

Martin Kobler. UN File Photo / Kim Haughton.

The international community is "united for peace in Libya" following Wednesday's unanimous adoption of a Security Council resolution endorsing a peace deal for the country, according to the senior UN official in the country. Martin Kobler, head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), called the resolution an important step on the road to [...]

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

Security Council endorses Libya peace deal

UN Security Council. UN File Photo/Loey Felipe

A peace deal to end conflict in Libya and establish a Government of National Accord has been welcomed by the UN Security Council. The overthrow of former leader Muammar Al-Qaddafi four years ago led to two rival governments battling for power in the North African country. The UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement was signed last week [...]

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

Yemen parties urged to adhere to cessation of hostilities agreement

Homes in Yemen destroyed by coalition airstrikes. Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

Warring parties in Yemen are being urged by the UN Security Council to adhere to a cessation of hostilities agreement. In a statement on Wednesday, Council members also called on the sides to "exercise maximum restraint" should violations occur. Government forces and Houthi rebels have been battling for power in Yemen for most of this [...]

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

News in Brief 23 December 2015 (PM)

Palestine refugees from Syria have fled to the over-crowded refugee camps of neighbouring Lebanon. Photo: UNHCR/S. Malkawi

  Winter grants for Palestine refugee children in Lebanon Palestinian refugee children in Lebanon are getting help to cope with the winter cold thanks to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. The agency is providing caregivers with US$40 winter grants for each eligible child through a programme run by the UN agency that works with Palestine [...]

23 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Vulnerability of Syrian refugees in Lebanon "skyrocketed" in 2015

A Syrian refugee family in an informal tented settlement in Jdita town Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, where nearly 35 other families have lived for more than three years, after fleeing the war in Aleppo. Photo: WFP/Sandy Maroun

The vulnerability of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has "skyrocketed" over the last year, according to a new report released by a group of UN agencies. An estimated 70 per cent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are now living below the country's extreme poverty line. That's up from 49 per cent in 2014, according to the [...]

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

ICC prosecutor warns against election violence in the CAR

Fatou Bensouda. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warning ahead of the general elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) this weekend. Fatou Bensouda underlined that her office will record any incidence of violence or incitement to violence. Citizens go to the polls this Sunday, 27 December to elect a President and [...]

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

UN Daily News 23 December 2015

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23 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Daily News 23 December 2015

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23 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 23 December 2015 (AM)

Photo: UNESCO

  UN disaster risk chief welcomes World Tsunami Awareness Day The decision by the UN General Assembly to recognize a day that promotes public awareness about tsunamis will help focus attention on ways to reduce both natural and man-made hazards. That's the assessment of the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta [...]

23 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Peacekeepers on quest to reach highest peak in Africa

Peacekeepers from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Photo: UNMISS

Three peacekeepers from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are on a quest to reach the top of Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. The trio consists of two peacekeepers from India and one from Romania and plans to raise the UN flag at the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro on Christmas day. Sani [...]

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

Cotton: A matter of life or death for some Indian farmers

ifad-cotton-2015-featured

For some farmers in India, cotton yields have become a life-or-death matter. In India’s Maharashtra state, three million farmers depend on cotton for their livelihoods. In 2014, failed harvests resulted in such dire financial circumstances, that nearly 1,000 farmers committed suicide. Now, the UN is helping farmers learn new ways of growing cotton that are [...]

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

Access must be granted for humanitarian aid in Syria: UN Security Council

Families evacuated from East Ghouta, Syria, congregate in the courtyard of the Dahit Qudsayya collective shelter for basic aid. Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

The UN Security Council has passed a resolution demanding access routes be opened up for humanitarian aid in Syria. The resolution calls on all parties, particularly the Syrian authorities, to immediately open up access corridors for humanitarian aid across conflict lines and borders. More than a quarter of a million people are believed to have [...]

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

News in Brief 22 December 2015 (PM)

Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Secretary-General expresses solidarity with China following massive landslide The UN Secretary-General has extended condolences to the families of victims of a landslide in the city of Shenzhen in southern China. More than 80 people have been reported missing as a result of the landslide which happened on Sunday, affecting more than 30 buildings in an [...]

22 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Europe receives one million refugees in 2015

A family flees an active conflict neighbourhood in eastern Ghouta, Syria, using a cart to carry their belongings. Photo: UNICEF/Amer Al Shami

One million refugees and migrants fled to Europe this year, according to data released by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and its partner, the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The majority, more than 970,000, came by sea while an estimated 34,000 crossed from Turkey into Bulgaria and Greece by land. Half a million of those [...]

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

Syria talks to resume in Switzerland next month

Michael Møller. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Talks aimed at bringing an end to the conflict in Syria will resume in Geneva in early next year. That's according to Michael Møller, the Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva. At a press briefing on Tuesday, Mr. Møller said that the intention is for negotiations to resume near the end of January. Nicki [...]

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

Daily News 22 December 2015

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UN Daily News 22 December 2015

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Security Council urged to "intensify" action on Yemen

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The UN Human Rights High Commissioner has urged the Security Council to step up diplomatic efforts aimed at bringing about a ceasefire and, ultimately, peace, in Yemen. In a briefing to the chamber on Tuesday, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said failure to act could have consequences that extend beyond the country's borders. Nine months of [...]

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

Zambia urged to withdraw gender post given to convicted rapist

United Nations Secretariat shines in orange light kicking off Orange YOUR Neighbourhood anti-violence campaign for the International Day to End Violence against Women. November 2014. File UN Photo/E. Debebe

Two UN human rights experts are calling on Zambia's government to withdraw the appointment of a gender rights ambassador who had been convicted of raping a teenager. Clifford Dimba, a singer, was last year sentenced to 18 years in prison for the rape of a 14-year-old girl. He was pardoned by the country's President after [...]

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

News in Brief 22 December 2015 (AM)

Marie-Thérèse Keita Bocoum. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

    Human rights key to CAR elections Upcoming elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) should be a "major step" towards reconciliation and reconstruction. That's the opinion of a UN expert on the human rights situation in the country, Marie-Thérèse Keita Bocoum. The election is set for this Sunday, 27 December, and Ms Keita [...]

22 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Drastic improvement in security situation in Pakistan

Marc-Andre Franche. UN Photo.

The security situation in Pakistan has drastically improved according to the country director of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) there. A year ago this December around 140 people, the vast majority children, were killed in an attack on a school in Peshawar. The outlawed Taliban group claimed responsibility. Since then its fighters have been pushed [...]

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

Humanitarians encouraged by Security Council resolution on Syria

Kyung-wha Kang. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Although UN agencies and their humanitarian partners continue to provide assistance to millions of people affected by the Syrian conflict, more is needed, the Security Council heard on Monday. UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-wha Kang briefed the chamber on the ongoing needs. She said a recently finalized plan calls for nearly US$3.2 billion [...]

21 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 21 December 2015 (PM)

Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Cia Pak

    Lebanon: UN chief calls for restraint following rocket fire toward Israel The UN Secretary-General is urging "maximum restraint" following the firing of rockets from Lebanon towards Israel on Sunday. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ban Ki-moon called the incident a serious violation of a 2006 ceasefire established in the wake of [...]

21 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Conflict in Lake Chad region forces more than one million children from school

Aisha pretends to draw at the tip of a pencil painted on a wall mural in a camp for internally displaced people in Yola, the capital of Adamawa. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0477/Esiebo

More than one million children have been forced from school due to conflict in northeastern Nigeria and neighbouring countries, the UN children's agency (UNICEF) reports. Insecurity resulting from the activity of the terrorist group Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region has also led to the closure of more than 2,000 schools. Dianne Penn reports. [...]

21 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Situation in Afghanistan "cannot continue indefinitely"

Members of a family sit outside their simple home in northern Afghanistan's Faryab province. Photo: UNHCR/S. Sisomsack

The war in Afghanistan, which is preventing political and economic progress in the country, "cannot continue indefinitely." That's according to the head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, who briefed the Security Council on Monday about the current situation there. Following last year's withdrawal of international civilian and military personnel, Afghanistan had experienced increasing violence, [...]

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

Daily News 21 December 2015

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UN Daily News 21 December 2015

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Human rights challenges: "no room for complacency"

Joachim Ruecker.  UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

There is "absolutely no room for complacency" when it comes to addressing human rights challenges globally. That message comes from the president of the UN Human Rights Council, Joachim Ruecker, in a statement reflecting on the chamber's work over the past year. Forty-seven countries serve on the Human Rights Council which was established nearly a [...]

21 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 21 December 2015 (AM)

A boy stands outside a building damaged during fighting in Aleppo City, Syria. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Connell

  Syria resolution provides "solid platform" for peace A Security Council resolution endorsing a road map for peace in Syria has been welcomed by a UN human rights body as "a crucial first step" towards ending nearly five years of fighting. The Commission of Inquiry on Syria, which is investigating human rights violations in the [...]

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New campaign in Hungary "fuelling xenophobia"

Mostly Syrian refugees crossing a stretch of wasteland between Hungary and Austria. Photo: UNHCR/Mark Henley

Hungary is being urged to refrain from "policies and practices that promote intolerance". The call came from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), following the Hungarian government's launch of a new campaign that portrays those fleeing war and conflict as criminals, invaders and terrorists. UNHCR says the public outreach effort, which was launched this month, promotes [...]

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

Urgent action needed to stop violence in Burundi

Recent violence in Burundi has left hundreds dead. Photo: Photo: Désiré Nimubona/IRIN

Escalating violence in Burundi has resulted in calls from the UN Security Council for immediate action to stop the bloodshed. The Presidential statement issued by the 15-member body said mediation efforts need to be stepped up. Hundreds have been killed in months of violence that was touched off when the president of Burundi announced he [...]

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

Yemen talks to resume in January

UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Credit: UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

  UN-sponsored peace talks aimed at ending nearly nine months of conflict in Yemen have ended in Switzerland without a break through. Nearly 6,000 people been killed as government forces battled Houthi rebels for control of the Gulf state. The talks are planned to resume on 14 January. Veronica Reeves has the story. UN Special [...]

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

UN Security Council adopts first resolution charting path to Syrian peace

The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2254 (2015), requesting the Secretary-General, through his good offices and the efforts of his Special Envoy for Syria, to convene representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition to engage in formal negotiations on a political transition process on an urgent basis, with a target of early January 2016 for the initiation of talks.UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The international community has sent a "clear message" that the war in Syria has to stop now. That's what the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, told the United Nations Security Council after the 15-member body passed the first resolution to chart a path towards peace in Syria. Daniel Dickinson reports. Around 250,000 people have [...]

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

News in Brief 18 December 2015 (PM)

A group of asylum-seekers waiting at a reception centre to be registered for a temporary transit visa, near the town of Gevgelija in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) after crossing the border from Idomeni in Greece, on 27 August 2015. Photo: UNICEF/Gjorgji Klincarov

Measures released for strengthening security and refugee protection Guidelines to help countries deal with security concerns over the arrival of refugees while maintaining standards of protection have been released by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The guidelines say that national security and international protection for refugees are not mutually exclusive. Concern has been raised by [...]

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"We are moving" on peacekeeping reform into 2016, says UN chief

Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, greeting UN peacekeepers during a visit to the Central African Republic (CAR). UN Photo/Jean Claude Bitsure

"We are moving" to enact necessary reforms to UN peacekeeping in 2016, says the top official in charge of operations. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), said that 2015 had been a very important year for his team, with the publication of a major review on its work, in June. That High-Level Independent Panel [...]

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

Concerns over traditional and cultural practices in Liberia detailed in report

A young girl in Monrovia, Liberia. UN Photo/Staton Winter

The negative impacts of traditional and cultural practices on human rights in Liberia have been detailed in a new report from the United Nations. Such practices include, among other things, female genital mutilation, forced initiation into secret societies, accusations of witchcraft and ritualistic killings. More now from Matthew Wells. The report released by the UN's [...]

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

News in Brief 18 December 2015 (AM)

Syrian refugees arrive across the border into Jordan. Photo: UNHCR/A. Harper

2015 "likely to exceed" records for global forced displacement 2015 is likely to exceed all previous records for global forced displacement, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned. The global refugee total, which a year ago was 19.5 million, had as of mid-2015 passed the 20 million threshold for the first time since 1992. Almost [...]

18 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

World should not have been "too surprised" by migrant crisis

Children look out a train window at a reception centre for refugees and migrants in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson VII

The world should not have been "too surprised" by this year's migrant and refugee crisis. That's according to the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), William Lacy Swing. Mr Swing said that all the warning signs were there that a crisis involving the mass movement of people could soon be at hand [...]

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

News in Brief 17 December 2015 (PM)

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Agreement made to cut off funding sources for ISIL and other terrorist groups The international community has agreed to stop the flow of money to ISIL and other terrorist groups in a resolution adopted in the UN Security Council. At its first ever meeting at Finance Ministers' level, the Council stepped up its efforts to [...]

17 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan, Western Sahara and African economy

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The people of South Sudan "are suffering" The people of South Sudan "are suffering"; that's according to Ellen Løj, the head of the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Ms Løj was speaking ahead of a recent Security Council meeting, during which the mandate of UNMISS was extended through next July.  The country, which only [...]

17 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: sexual violence in Syria, rights of women in Montenegro and Pacific countries

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Most Syrians fleeing country because of fear of sexual violence  Most of the Syrians who are fleeing their war-torn country, are doing so out of fear of sexual violence; that's according to a senior UN humanitarian coordinator in the region. The brutal civil war in Syria has driven more than four million people to seek [...]

17 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on UNSG end-of-year press conference, Human Development Report and Syrian refugees in the US

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2015 brings both breakthrough and horror The year 2015 has brought both "breakthrough and horror" according to the United Nations Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at his end-of-year press conference at UN headquarters in New York in which he reviewed global events over the past 12 months. Matthew Wells reports.   No "automatic link' between [...]

17 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

Internet, social media help ISIL recruit 30,000 fighters

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The terrorist organization ISIL has used the internet and social media to recruit at least 30,000 foreign fighters from more than 100 countries to fight in Syria and Iraq. That's according to a top UN official, speaking Thursday at an unprecedented event, exploring the exploitation of new technologies by terrorist groups. Veronica Reeves brings us [...]

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

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17 Dec 2015 | Posted in 70th General Assembly | Read More »

UN to act on handling of Central African Republic abuse allegations

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon receives the report of the External Independent Review of the United Nations Response to Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Central African Republic (CAR). UN Photo/Mark Garten

The United Nations Secretary-General has pledged to urgently review the recommendations made by an independent panel on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by troops in the Central African Republic. The troops were not under UN command. Ban Ki-moon's statement comes in response to the publication of the panel's review on Thursday. Matthew Wells reports. [...]

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

Level of suffering outpacing funding for UN emergency response fund

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The level of suffering is outpacing funding for the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund, or CERF. Donors from around the world met on Thursday, the 10th anniversary of the fund, for a High-Level Pledging Conference. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said that the CERF remained a "vital tool" for helping the world's most vulnerable people cope [...]

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

News in Brief 17 December 2015 (AM)

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"Robust action" needed to avert civil war in Burundi "Robust action" is needed by the international community to avert civil war in Burundi the UN human rights chief has warned. At least 400 people have been killed in political violence in the Great Lakes country since April. Some may have been summarily executed. 220,000 Burundians [...]

17 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Libya peace deal welcomed by UN

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The signing of a deal to end civil conflict in Libya has been welcomed by the UN's senior envoy to the North African country. The deal signed in Morocco on Thursday was brokered by the UN and it's hoped it will lead to the formation of a unified national government. Matthew Wells reports. Libya has [...]

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

Emergency fund "vital tool" to help most vulnerable

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An emergency fund to respond to humanitarian crises has been described as a "vital tool" to fulfil the international community's promise to help the world's most vulnerable people. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the comment at a meeting at the UN in New York to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the [...]

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

First-hand account of brutality of ISIL terrorists heard in Security Council

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A first-hand account of the brutality of ISIL terrorists in Iraq has been heard in the UN Security Council. A woman representing the Yazidi ethnic group briefed the Council on Wednesday as it debated the trafficking of people in conflict situations. Matthew Wells reports. The ISIL terrorist groups controls large areas of Syria and Iraq [...]

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

150 million migrants in the global workforce

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Migrant workers account for around 150 million of the world's approximately 232 million international migrants, according to a new study by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The majority of migrants are working in North America and Europe, but there's also a high proportion in Middle Eastern countries. Matthew Wells has more details. The ILO Global [...]

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

News in Brief 16 December 2015 (PM)

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"Political dialogue" needed to halt violence in Burundi "Political dialogue" is needed between warring parties in Burundi in order to prevent an ethnic conflict, the President of the UN Security Council for December, Samantha Power has said. Burundi has been plagued by political conflict since April when the country's president announced he would seek a [...]

16 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 16 December 2015

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Conflict and natural disasters pushing record number of people from homes

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Conflict and natural disasters are pushing an unprecedented number of people from their homes, according to the High Commissioner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Speaking at the agency's annual high level dialogue on protection challenges, António Guterres said from the Middle East to Africa, wars and conflict had resulted in a record number of [...]

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

2015 brings both “breakthrough and horror”

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The year 2015 has brought both "breakthrough and horror" according to the United Nations Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at his end-of-year press conference at UN headquarters in New York in which he reviewed global events over the past 12 months. Matthew Wells reports. "The year 2015 has brought both breakthrough and horror." That's the [...]

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

News in Brief 16 December 2015 (AM)

Miroslav Jenca, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Bloodshed in Israel and Palestine should not be considered "the new normal" Bloodshed in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories should not be considered "the new normal" a senior UN official has told the Security Council. Tension remains high between the two communities and although the number of attacks has decreased this month, 34 Palestinians [...]

16 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Every Tunisian home to have internet "within five years"

Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy of Tunisia speaks during the General Assembly Meeting on Implementation of Outcomes of World Summit on Information Society. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Every family in Tunisia will have access to the internet in their home "within five years." That's according to Noomane Fehri, the north African country's Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy. He was at UN headquarters on Wednesday, attending the World Summit on the Information Society. Isabelle Dupuis asked him why Tunisia was investing [...]

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

Security worse, but humanitarian access improves in Afghanistan

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The security situation in Afghanistan has worsened over the last year, although humanitarian access has improved in the country. The UN's top humanitarian official in Afghanistan has said that 2015 saw a marked increase in violence, which has forced an estimated 200,000 Afghans from their homes. Veronica Reeves spoke with Mark Bowden, the UN Humanitarian [...]

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

News in Brief 15 December 2015 (PM)

Street scene in Camajuaní, a municipality and town in the Villa Clara Province of Cuba. Photo: PAHO/WHO

Concern voiced over arbitrary arrests in Cuba Concern has been voiced by the UN over the arbitrary arrest and detention of individuals in Cuba. The UN Human Rights Chief said that human rights defenders and dissidents had been targeted in recent weeks, a situation which he described as "harassment". Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein added that [...]

15 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

History to be made with selection of next UN Secretary-General

Mogens Lykketoft. UN Photo.

UN Member States will for the first time be included "totally" in the selection process of the next United Nations Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly has said. The selection of the next UN chief officially got underway on Tuesday following the issuing of a letter to the 193 Member States. The Secretary-General is [...]

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

UN Daily News 15 December 2015

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The people of South Sudan "are suffering"

UNMISS-SouthSudan-featured

The people of South Sudan "are suffering"; that's according to Ellen Løj, the head of the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Ms Løj was speaking ahead of Tuesday's Security Council meeting, during which the mandate of UNMISS was extended through next July. The country, which only gained its independence in 2011, has been plagued [...]

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

News in Brief 15 December 2015 (AM)

Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), speaks during the Security Council's meeting on the situations in Sudan and South Sudan. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Sudan President remains "fugitive from justice" The President of Sudan remains a "fugitive from justice" the Prosecutor of the UN-backed International Criminal Court or ICC has told the Security Council. An arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir was issued by the ICC in 2009, but has not yet been acted upon. The warrant relates to [...]

15 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Syrian refugees prepare for new life in US, despite opposition

Resettlement-offers-American-DreamtoSyrianrefugees-UNHCR-featured

Syrian refugees are continuing to arrive in the United States, despite public fears and political opposition. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that around 1,200 of them have been resettled from Jordan to the US this year. Matthew Wells reports on the hopes of one Syrian restaurant owner who's bound for the state of Tennessee [...]

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

UN "hopeful" political process can still move ahead in Western Sahara

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The UN remains "hopeful" the political process can still move ahead in Western Sahara, nearly 25 years after the peacekeeping mission was authorized there. Western Sahara was administered by Spain until 1976, but then claimed by neighbouring countries; Morocco and Mauritania. The UN Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was established in 1991 to keep the [...]

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

Yemen peace talks begin in Switzerland

12-07-2015Yemen-featured

UN-sponsored peace talks on Yemen aimed at ending 9 months of fighting that has killed nearly 6,000 people have begun in Switzerland. Government forces have been battling Houthi rebels for control of the Gulf state, but now both parties have agreed a ceasefire. Daniel Dickinson reports. Deep mistrust between the warring parties in Yemen has [...]

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

Burundi takes "new step towards outright civil war"

10-15-2015Burundi_Violence-featured

Burundi has taken what the UN has called a "new step towards outright civil war". It follows the deaths of dozens of people on Friday who were killed in attacks against several military camps in the capital Bujumbura and the heavy fighting that followed. Matthew Wells has more details. Burundi has been plagued by political [...]

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

Pacific countries focus on increasing women in parliaments

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Countries in the Pacific are looking at how to get more women into legislative positions, a process that the UN is supporting. Just five per cent of parliamentarians in the region are women. They face a number of barriers in getting into politics. Daniel Dickinson has been speaking to Roy Trivedy, the United Nations Development [...]

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

News in Brief 14 December 2015 (PM)

12-14-2015NewBorn-featured

World leaders to sign climate deal at UN in New York World leaders are expected to gather at the United Nations in April next year to officially sign a climate change deal agreed in Paris, France on Saturday. The agreement puts the onus on countries around the world to initiate plans to halt global warming [...]

14 Dec 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

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"Historic choice" of world countries to "work as one"

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks with the press upon his return from COP21. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Countries around the world have made an "historic choice" to "work as one" following the adoption of a new universal climate change agreement. That's according to the United Nations Secretary-General, who was speaking on his return to UN headquarters in New York following the adoption of the deal in Paris, France on Saturday. Daniel Dickinson [...]

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

No "automatic link' between work and human development

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There is no "automatic link" between work and human development, according to a new UN report on the topic, released Monday. The 2015 Human Development Report highlights that although work is vital, it is the quality of that work that matters most. The report pays particularly attention to the 1.5 billion people in developing countries [...]

14 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

CAR political transition in "most sensitive phase"

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The political transition in the Central African Republic is entering its "most sensitive phase" according to the UN peacekeeping chief. Hervé Ladsous was briefing the Security Council following a constitutional referendum in the country on Sunday. Daniel Dickinson reports. The referendum was on a new constitution, which it's hoped will play a key role in [...]

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

News in Brief 14 December 2015 (AM)

03-13-2015Zaatari_Refugee-featured

International community welcomes "huge" climate deal An historic deal adopted by the international community to limit global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius has been welcomed by world leaders as well as the UN. US President Barack Obama called it "huge." The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said on the social media platform Twitter [...]

14 Dec 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Most Syrians fleeing country because of fear of sexual violence

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Most of the Syrians who are fleeing the war-torn country are doing so because they fear sexual violence; that's according to a senior UN humanitarian coordinator in the region. The civil war in Syria has driven more than four million people to seek refuge in other countries. The sexual violence affects both men and women [...]

14 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Climate deal "monumental triumph for people and planet"

COP21-SG-finalAgreement-FEATURED

The international community has reached an historic agreement on climate change in Paris, which has been described by the UN Secretary-General as "a monumental triumph for people and planet". The deal commits countries across the world to keep global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius. Negotiators from 196 Parties to the UN Framework Convention [...]

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

"Moment of truth” for Paris climate talks

COP21-SG-Fabius-finaldraft-FEATURED

The "moment of truth has come". Those were the words of the President of the United Nations COP21 talks, Laurent Fabius, as the final draft document on a universal climate change deal was released in Paris. The international community has been meeting for two weeks in the French capital the hope of agreeing a deal [...]

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

Pedal-power takes charge at COP21

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At the UN climate change conference, delegates don't just stand around charging their phones while drinking juice and listening to the latest beats: they have to pedal hard for them. Since COP21 began last week, the public has been invited to explore and exchange ideas about climate change in an open space called Generations Climats. This [...]

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

Hostilities decrease in Ukraine, but people "continue to die"

Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Although hostilities in Ukraine have decreased considerably in recent months, people "continue to die" in the country. That's according to a top UN human rights official, who said that explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices continue to hurt and kill people in Ukraine. Veronica Reeves has the story. In a briefing to the [...]

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

News in Brief 11 December 2015 (PM)

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Fresh violence in Burundi draws condemnation from UN chief Fresh violence in Burundi has drawn condemnation from the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon said the attacks against military camps in Bujumbura early on Friday, risk further destabilizing the central African country. Burundi has been plagued by political conflict since the country's president announced this spring that [...]

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UN in Geneva is not a specific target, says spokesman

Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Heightened security at the United Nations Office in Geneva is in line with increased security measures in the city of Geneva overall. That's according to a UN spokesman in the major Swiss city, which is home to a large number of UN bodies. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, extra security measures at [...]

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

Canada welcomes first group of the Syrian refugees

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The arrival of the first group of Syrian refugees to be resettled in Canada has been welcomed by the United Nations, which is encouraging other countries to take part in similar programmes. Last night, 163 people arrived in Canada from Lebanon to start a new life in the country as part of a recently announced [...]

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

"Time for compromise" on climate deal, says negotiator

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"It's time for compromise": the words of the minister heading Kenya's delegation at the COP21 climate change talks, as negotiations continue into the weekend. Despite some progress at the summit in Paris, sticking points remain, and a new – and delegates hope – final text, is due to be presented on Saturday morning, local time. [...]

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

Negotiations extended at UN Climate Conference

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Negotiations on a new, universal climate deal have been extended at least through Saturday. It was hoped agreement would be reached on Friday, but negotiators at the UN climate conference, known as COP21, say they need more time to reach consensus on a number of important issues. Cristina Silverio is at the summit and files [...]

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

News in Brief 11 December 2015 (AM)

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Negotiations extended at UN climate conference Negotiations on a new, universal climate deal have been extended at least through Saturday. It was hoped agreement would be reached on Friday, but negotiators at the UN climate conference, known as COP21 in Paris, say they need more time to reach consensus on a number of important issues. [...]

11 Dec 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

UN "global plan of action" to prevent violent extremism more than "just talk"

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A UN global plan of action to prevent violent extremism is being drawn up that will amount to much more than "just talk." That's according to the senior official coordinating the effort, Jehangir Khan, who is the director of both the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) and the UN's Counter-Terrorism Centre. His office is working [...]

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

"Huge impact" of climate change in UAE

Thani-Al-Zayoudi. Photo: UNFCCC

Climate change could have a "huge impact" on the United Arab Emirates, according to a senior negotiator from the Gulf state who is currently attending the COP21 climate talks in Paris. The UAE, which is a major oil producer, has come to the talks with a series of plans, known as INDCs, which will help [...]

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

President who outlined "four freedoms" honoured in NY

Human Rights Day is commemorated at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Photo: Matthew Wells

US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, who played a major role in establishing the modern human rights system, were honoured at a UN ceremony on Thursday. The event took place on the island that bears the President's name, in New York's East River, to coincide with Human Rights Day. It brought together [...]

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

News in Brief 10 December 2015 (PM)

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Secretary-General "very optimistic" about climate deal After two weeks of deliberations, the climate change talks in Paris are coming down to the wire. The conference is due to wrap up on Friday when it is expected that negotiators will reach agreement on limiting global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has [...]

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

Modest growth in global economy in 2016

Trade in Cambodia's ports. Photo: World Bank/Chhor Sokunthea

The world economy can expect only "modest improvement" over the next two years, according to a United Nations report launched on Thursday. The World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report predicts growth will reach 2.9 per cent in 2016 and 3.2 the following year. It calls for stronger and more coordinated policies to achieve inclusive [...]

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

UN Gender Focus: climate change, gender equality and rights of LGBT

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Women impacted “disproportionately” by climate change Women are disproportionately impacted by climate change, especially those living in developing countries. That’s the view of Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, Lakshmi Puri, who’s one of the leading voices arguing for greater acknowledgement of the problems they face, at the COP21 summit in Paris. Cristina Silveiro caught [...]

10 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan, DNA and refugee camp in Djibouti

Ellen Margrethe Løj. UN Photo

Implementation of peace deal "light at the end of the tunnel" for South Sudan The "light at the end of the tunnel" for South Sudan is the implementation of the peace agreement reached this past summer. That's according to the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Ellen Margrethe Løj. President Salva Kiir [...]

10 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on emergency relief, refugees at Jordanian border and climate change

Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien (right), refugee agency chief António Guterres (centre) and Director-General of WHO Margaret Chan (left) arrive for the launch of the Global Humanitarian Appeal 2016 to support people affected by disasters and conflicts. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Major appeal launched with record level of suffering, and record funding gap Human suffering has reached levels not seen since the Second World War, said the UN's humanitarian affairs chief at the launch of a major appeal on Monday. Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien, said that 125 million people around the world will need humanitarian [...]

10 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

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Civil society urged to "keep leaders accountable" on climate change

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, together with Al Gore, former United States Vice President and Chair of the Climate Reality Project, had a joint encounter with civil society representatives and the press during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21).UN Photo/Mark Garten

Civil society groups around the world have been urged to "keep governments accountable" on climate change. The call by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, came as the international community continues to negotiate a universal agreement aimed at keeping global temperature rises below two degrees Celsius. Cristina Silveiro reports from the COP21 meeting in Paris where [...]

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

News in Brief 10 December 2015 (AM)

Eleanor Roosevelt holds and English version poster of the Universal Declaration Human Rights (November 1949). UN File Photo

UN celebrates Human Rights Day The United Nations is this Thursday reaffirming its commitment to protect human rights as the foundation of its work. That message comes from the UN Secretary-General in a message marking Human Rights Day, observed annually on 10 December. It commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by [...]

10 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Mass dog vaccinations key to eliminating rabies

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A new approach to rabies launched on Thursday could save tens of thousands of lives and relegate the disease "to the history books," the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced. Rabies is mainly spread by dog bites and is almost always fatal, but the UN health agency and its partners say it is "100% preventable" [...]

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

Human rights need to be "at the centre" of climate change policy

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Human rights need to be "at the centre" of climate change policy, according to a senior UN envoy. Climate change Special Envoy, Mary Robinson, who is also a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was speaking at the COP21 climate change conference in Paris. Delegates are working towards a deal that will limit global [...]

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

When LGBTI community suffers "we all suffer"

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When the rights of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community are denied, "we all suffer". That's according to Charles Radcliffe, of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), marking international Human Rights day on Thursday. He was highlighting the financial and social cost of discriminating against LGBT people [...]

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

News in Brief 09 December 2015 (PM)

A young resident of Santa Rita, Bolivia during Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's visit. This year's Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Food trade rules must balance national priorities with global goal of  fighting hunger Rules to expand the international trade of food and agriculture products must support national and global objectives related to food security and development. The recommendation comes in a new report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). As trade varies enormously [...]

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Rwanda tribunal draws to a close

Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, addresses the Security Council.UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The first international court to deliver verdicts related to genocide and to recognize rape as a means of perpetrating this crime completes its mandate this month. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has indicted more than 90 people in connection with the 1994 genocide in that country. It was also the first international tribunal to [...]

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

New climate deal draft on table in Paris

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A new draft for a climate deal has been handed to delegates meeting at the UN climate change conference in Paris. It's hoped a deal which will include limiting global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius, will be agreed by Friday, the official end of the COP21 conference. Cristina Silveiro has sent this update [...]

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

24 million people targeted for aid in the Sahel

A young mother with her malnourished child at a screening centre in Gamdji. UN File Photo/WFP/Phil Behan

Around 24 million people are being targeted by the UN for aid in the Sahel region of Africa. On Wednesday, the UN launched a US$2 billion appeal to support humanitarian relief there. Up to 600,000 children alone, could die from malnutrition in the coming year unless they receive life-saving treatment. Toby Lanzer is the UN [...]

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

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Ukraine: Hostilities decrease but human rights concerns remain

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Despite a "significant reduction" in hostilities in eastern Ukraine over the past months, serious human rights concerns persist, including continuing impunity, torture and the absence of the rule of law. That's according to a UN human rights report launched on Wednesday which says that although the fighting has slowed down since August, the situation is [...]

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

News in Brief 09 December 2015 (AM)

Families fled their home in north-east Nigeria in fear of the militant group Boko Haram. They do not live in camps but are seeking refuge in local communities across the border, in Niger. File Photo: OCHA/Franck Kuwonu.

US$2bn appeal for Sahel Two billion US dollars are being requested by United Nations agencies and their partners to support millions of people in Africa's Sahel region who are facing what they have described as "the triple crisis" of poverty, insecurity and climate change. The funds will be used to provide vital assistance such as [...]

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"Milestone" resolution to bolster youth and counter extremism

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An historic resolution to bolster youth in the global fight against extremism has been hailed as a "milestone". As members of the UN Security Council passed the resolution on Youth, Peace and Security unanimously on Wednesday morning, there was a rare round of applause. The resolution is an "unprecedented acknowledgement", according to the text, of [...]

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

Regional and local communities have role to play in climate deal

A flooded street in Baghdad, after heavy rain in late October 2015 inundated several areas of Iraq. Québec announced $6 CAD million to Least Developed Countries Fund, at COP21. Photo: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

Regional and local communities have a vital role to play in addressing climate change issues. That's one of the messages coming out of the negotiations in Paris, where world leaders have gathered to hash out a new climate change agreement. At the UN climate conference, or COP 21, the role of regional and local communities [...]

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

Boosting representation and rights of women in Montenegro

Fiona McCluney, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro | File Photo: UNDP/Luka Bošković

Boosting the representation of women running for local office is just one of the ways in which the UN is bolstering rights and development in Montenegro. That's according to the UN's Resident Coordinator for Montenegro, Fiona McCluney, who has been in post in the small Balkan country, that became independent nine years ago, for just [...]

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

UN observes first International Day in Commemoration of Victims of Genocide

Adama Dieng. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The United Nations is reaffirming its commitment to preventing genocide by remembering the victims of what the Secretary-General has called "this serious international crime." The International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime is being observed for the first time this Wednesday, [...]

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

Rapidly ageing East Asia facing health and workplace challenges

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Developing countries in East Asia are at risk of getting old before they get rich, a new study by the World Bank warns. As the region is ageing faster than any other in history, some of its middle-income and wealthier economies could lose as much as 15 per cent of their working-age population by 2040. [...]

8 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 08 December 2015 (PM)

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Universal health coverage key to realizing health development goals Universal health coverage is the "linchpin" in efforts to fight infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, and to address other global health concerns, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN agency has released a study laying out actions that the international community [...]

8 Dec 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals | Read More »

Call to break "gender imbalance" at UN climate conference

Titi Akosa leads singing and dancing on "Gender Day" at COP21, highlighting the need for more women to be involved in negotiating the new climate change agreement. Photo credit: UN News Centre/Stephanie Coutrix

Gender equality must be featured in a new universal climate change agreement and so far it does not figure prominently enough. That's according to dozens of non-governmental organizations who are attending the UN climate change conference, or COP21, in Paris. The second week of negotiations to reach a climate deal are underway and due to [...]

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

Millions of malaria deaths averted but "massive" caseload remains

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Investment in malaria has averted more than six million deaths over the past 15 years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Its World Malaria Report 2015 highlights progress achieved under the Millennium Development Goals, but also the "massive unfinished agenda" to reduce incidence by 2030. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes and is preventable and [...]

8 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Business leaders want "strong" climate change deal

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As the race against the clock continues for negotiators at the climate change conference in Paris, nearly 400 business leaders gathered to focus on one of Tuesday's central themes: business. They called for a strong climate change agreement to help the private sector implement actions in key areas such as carbon pricing, finance, responsible policy [...]

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

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Local action vital, to ensure global warming goal is met

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Local climate action is vital to ensure that the goal of keeping global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius is met. That's the message from the COP21 climate change conference in Paris on Tuesday, which is focussing in part, on how cities and regions can play their part in keeping global warming to an acceptable [...]

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

Refugees lives at risk, stranded on Jordanian border

Fifteen year old Mohammad sits in front of the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan, where he lives with his family and goes to a UNICEF supported school. Photo: UNICEF/Badran

Concern is growing for some 12,000 people who are trying to flee Syria and are stranded in remote areas around the north eastern border of Jordan. The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday that these people are facing deteriorating humanitarian conditions and their lives will be "at risk' in the coming months, as winter [...]

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

News in Brief 08 December 2015 (AM)

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Report documents human rights violations ahead of DRC elections A clampdown on opposition, media and civil society in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could compromise the credibility of elections slated for next year. That's according to a UN human rights report which documents more than 140 human rights violations linked to the electoral [...]

8 Dec 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

US election campaign "rhetoric" putting UN refugee programme "at risk"

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There is concern that some of the rhetoric being used in the United States presidential election campaign could be putting an important UN refugee resettlement programme to the US "at risk". That's according to a spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) speaking on Tuesday from Geneva. Melissa Fleming was responding to a question about [...]

8 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Opportunity for Africa to "open new avenues" at climate conference

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There's an opportunity for Africa to "open new avenues" at the COP21 climate change conference. That's according to Carlos Lopes, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, who's in Paris hoping that the continent can help strike a historic deal for the world to limit carbon emissions. He told Eleuterio Guevane, that [...]

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

Women impacted "disproportionately" by climate change

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Women are disproportionately impacted by climate change, especially those living in developing countries. That's the view of Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, Lakshmi Puri, who's one of the leading voices arguing for greater acknowledgement of the problems they face, at the COP21 summit in Paris. Cristina Silveiro caught up with her at the UN [...]

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

News in Brief 07 December 2015 (PM)

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UN mission condemns deadly shelling of village in Afghanistan Parties to the conflict in Afghanistan, including pro-Government forces, are being urged by the United Nations to stop firing explosive weapons in civilian areas. This follows the recent deaths of nine people, four of them boys, after the Afghan National Army fired a shell into a [...]

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"Durable and fair" climate change deal urged by UN chief

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The international community has been urged by the UN Secretary-General to come up with a "durable, dynamic, credible and fair climate agreement." Ban Ki-moon was speaking as a second week of negotiations kicked off in Paris on Monday with the aim of reaching a new universal climate deal to limit global temperature rises to below [...]

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

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Major 2016 appeal launched with human suffering at record levels

Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien (right), refugee agency chief António Guterres (centre) and Director-General of WHO Margaret Chan (left) arrive for the launch of the Global Humanitarian Appeal 2016 to support people affected by disasters and conflicts. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Human suffering has reached levels not seen since the Second World War, said the UN's humanitarian affairs chief at the launch of a major appeal on Monday. Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien, said that 125 million people around the world will need humanitarian help to survive 2016. Matthew Wells reports. Duration: 2’50″

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

African growth spurring foreign direct investment

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Africa's strong economic growth in recent years has led to more foreign direct investment from countries like China; that's according to a researcher at one of the most established think-tanks in the United States. David Dollar, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, says while Chinese foreign investment in Africa is increasing, it still lags behind [...]

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

News in Brief 07 December 2015 (AM)

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UN-backed agreement basis for peace and unity in Libya, says envoy Libyans are being urged to support a UN-backed political agreement that has been described as the basis to end the conflict there. The call comes from Martin Kobler, head of the UN mission in the country. He said the Libyan Political Agreement opens the [...]

7 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Katy Perry forecasts climate change impacts on children

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry delivers a special weather report on the devastating effects of climate change for the world's children. Image: Video capture/UNICEF

The American pop star Katy Perry has partnered with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) to launch a unique video featuring a weather forecast that spells out the impacts of climate change on children. UNICEF says children often bear the brunt of climatic changes, particularly those in poorer countries. The new video has been launched as [...]

7 Dec 2015 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Focus on Climate Change, Today's News, UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Envoy calls for ceasefire in parallel with upcoming Yemen peace talks

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Warring parties in Yemen are being urged by the UN Special Envoy for the country to adhere to a ceasefire effective 15 December, the day they are to meet in Switzerland for peace talks. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed made the appeal during a briefing to journalists in Geneva on Monday. Fighting between government forces and [...]

7 Dec 2015 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Africa has "enormous stake" in success of climate conference says UN chief

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Africa has an "enormous stake" in the success of the COP21 climate change conference, said the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday. Speaking at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, taking place in Paris alongside the historic summit, he acknowledged that several "key issues" remained before a deal could be reached by the close [...]

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

Mozambicans learning to cook healthily to fight off AIDS

Fishing community in northern Mozambique.  IFAD TV  (video capture)

Fishing communities in northern Mozambique are learning how to cook and eat more healthily in order to fight off disease, especially HIV. More than 10 per cent of the adult population is HIV-positive and AIDS is the main cause of death in adults and young people in the south-east African country. Malnutrition rates are also [...]

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

Vets and microbiologists learn to map virus DNA

Cattle raising in Sudan. UN Photo/Tim McKulka

Veterinarians and microbiologists from Africa and Asia have been learning how to map the DNA of viruses at a workshop organised by the UN's atomic energy agency, the IAEA. Understanding DNA can give scientists important information to find a cure for a disease and even stop it from spreading. It's hoped the technique can be [...]

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

"The stars are aligned" in favour of strong climate change action

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"The stars are aligned" like never before in favour of concerted action on climate change. The upbeat conclusion of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the end of the first week of the historic COP21 summit in the French capital, Paris. Earlier on Saturday, delegates agreed a draft deal text they hope will form the basis [...]

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

Climate Action Summit announced for next year: UN chief

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A Climate Action Summit to carry forward the hoped-for agreement on climate change at the on-going COP 21 conference in Paris was announced Saturday. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it would take place in May to show that concrete action was being taken to build on the COP21 climate change agenda. Bob Orr is the [...]

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

UN supports South Sudan's quest for peace, prosperity and development

Atul Khare. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The United Nations is walking "side-by-side" with the people of South Sudan as they pursue a path towards peace, prosperity and development, says the head of the Department that supports UN peacekeeping operations worldwide. Atul Khare was recently in South Sudan where the UN has been protecting thousands of civilians displaced by two years of [...]

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

African women "more affected" by climate change

Women filling an orange Water Roller at a water distribution point in the Abu Shouk Camp for internally displaced people, Sudan. UN Photo/Albert González Farran

Women and children in Africa are more impacted by climate change than men according to the head of the African Union Commission. The international community is currently meeting in Paris at the UN COP21 summit to discuss how to mitigate the effects of changing weather patterns on the world's most vulnerable people. It's hoped a [...]

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

News in Brief 04 December 2015 (PM)

Christiana Figueres. Photo: UNFCC

Local leadership vital to mitigate climate change effects More local leaders and governments around the world need to take a stand to mitigate the effects of climate change. That's the message from the UN Secretary-General at the COP21 summit in Paris. Addressing an event to highlight the work of the Compact of States and Regions [...]

4 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Degradation of the world's soil must be reversed: UN chief

A farmer plants acacia seedlings in Liguere, Senegal. Photo: FAO/Seyllou Diallo

The degradation of the world's soil is highly advanced and needs to be reversed, said the UN Secretary-General on Friday. Speaking ahead of the second World Soil Day, marked on December 5, Ban Ki-moon said that soil was the foundation of all food systems but the damage done so far, could be repaired. Matthew Wells [...]

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

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Investment needed to make cities more "green"

An overview of Mathare slum, Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: UN-Habitat/Julius Mwelu

Cities have a critical role to play in addressing climate change, but many face challenges in getting the financing needed to make them more climate-resilient. That's according to a new study published on Friday which identifies ways to boost investment for climate action in urban areas. The State of City Climate Finance report was launched [...]

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

Implementation of peace deal "light at the end of the tunnel" for South Sudan

Ellen Margrethe Løj. UN Photo

The "light at the end of the tunnel" for South Sudan is the implementation of the peace agreement reached this past summer. That's according to the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Ellen Margrethe Løj. President Salva Kiir and opposition leaders signed the deal in August, aimed at bringing an end to [...]

4 Dec 2015 | Posted in From the Field, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 04 December 2015 (AM)

Midwifery students demonstrating how to resuscitate a new born using the Neonatalie Newborn Resuscitation model donated by UNFPA at the handover ceremony at Public Health Nurses College, Nakawa. Credit: UNFPA/Evelyn Kiapi

Most newborn deaths "preventable": WHO The most dangerous time for babies and mothers is the first 24-hours after birth, but most of the deaths that occur are preventable. That's according to the new Safe Childbirth Checklist and Implementation Guide, published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday. Of more than 130 million births each [...]

4 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

Making agriculture more "climate compatible"

David Nabarro. Photo Credit: Stephanie Coutrix/UN News Centre

Irregular weather conditions such as frequent drought in Africa's Sahel region and extreme flooding in Myanmar, are having an impact on food systems and affecting millions of people worldwide. For this reason, agriculture must be part of the climate talks currently underway in Paris, according to Dr David Nabarro, the newly appointed Special Advisor to [...]

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

Concerns rise over Sunnis being targeted in former-ISIL territory

Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Photo: OHCHR

There are reports of increasing human rights violations and abuses committed against Sunni Arab communities in parts of Iraq that have been reclaimed from ISIL. That's according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The reports suggest that some forces loyal to the Iraqi government together with some Kurdish fighters are [...]

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

Private sector key to reaching new global development goals

Paloma Duran. Photo:Sustainable Development Goals Fund

Efforts are underway to ensure private businesses are leveraged for the achievement of the new global development goals, or SDGs. World leaders agreed the 17 goals at the UN in September. The Sustainable Development Goals Fund is working to foster public-private partnerships, saying they will be critical for reaching the objectives laid out in the [...]

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

Harsh conditions in Djibouti camp still a welcome relief for Yemini refugees

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The conditions may be harsh but for thousands of refugees from neighbouring Yemen, a UN camp in Djibouti represents a safe haven. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has registered nearly 6,000 Yeminis now in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, since violent conflict broke out at home in March. Matthew Wells reports on the Yeminis [...]

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

A "wake-up call" for more balanced representation of women in media

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When it comes to women's representation in the media, the news is grim, according to a UN-backed study. It reveals that although women make up half the population, they comprise less than one-quarter of people heard, seen or read about in newspaper, television and radio news. The same holds true in digital platforms, where the [...]

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

News in Brief 03 December 2015 (PM)

A Serbian maize farmer wraps up his 2015 harvest. Photo: FAO/Oliver Bunic

Food commodity prices fall, food insecurity increases Major food commodity prices fell in November, reversing about half their rise in the previous month. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says the cost of internationally-traded staples such as meat and grain fell across the board last month. The cost of sugar was the only exception. Food [...]

3 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on COP21, the UN Climate Change conference underway in Paris

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World leaders rally together on climate change Around 150 heads of state and government have gathered in the French capital in the hope of agreeing a deal which will, amongst other goals, keep global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius. The aim is to get countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions which trap [...]

3 Dec 2015 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, UN Climate Change Conference, UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on climate change, HIV/AIDS and child soldiers

A farmer in the drought-affected area of Senegal watering plants. UN Photo/Carl Purcell

Africa wants strong agreement on adaptation to climate change The international community must pursue a strong agreement at the climate change summit in Paris, in order to help Africa adapt to potentially-devastating changes in weather patterns. That's according to a senior voice within the African Union. Around 150 heads of states and government have been [...]

3 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: African women, women in media and equality through education

Women filling an orange Water Roller at a water distribution point in the Abu Shouk Camp for internally displaced people, Sudan. UN Photo/Albert González Farran

African women "more effected" by climate change Women and children in Africa are more impacted by climate change than men according to the head of the African Union Commission. The international community is currently meeting in Paris at the UN COP21 summit to discuss how to mitigate the effects of changing weather patterns on the [...]

3 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN chief expresses hope for climate deal that brings better future for all

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The climate change talks currently underway in Paris must result in an agreement that addresses the issue and puts the world on a path for long-term prosperity, stability and peace, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday. Mr Ban was speaking to journalists at UN Headquarters in New York where he updated them on the [...]

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

Access to health services crucial for women and girls during crises

Internally displaced women hold their ration tickets while waiting for a World Food Programme distribution in Mastura, West Darfur, Sudan. Photo: UNHCR/Helen Caux

Ensuring the health needs of women and adolescent girls affected by natural disasters and conflicts can accelerate recovery from these crises, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has said. Its State of World Population 2015 report finds access to basic sexual and reproductive health services by these groups is often neglected in humanitarian response. The agency [...]

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

Societies must be more inclusive of persons with disabilities

School for children with disabilities in Haiti. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

People with disabilities deserve to live in a more inclusive world. That was the message from political officials and persons with disabilities alike, as the United Nations marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday. An estimated 1.3 billion people around the world live with some form of disability, many of whom face [...]

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

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Digital map helps youth tell their climate change stories at COP21

UNICEF advocates. Photo: UNICEF

A digital mapping project created by the UN Children's Fund, or UNICEF, is helping young people around the world identify climate issues in their communities and find ways to address them. Called "Act now for tomorrow", the tool is reportedly engaging 500 young people from 65 countries. The project is one of many being presented [...]

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

WHO: 125,000 child deaths annually due to contaminated food

A laboratory technician works to identify a worm pest. Photo: FAO

Contaminated food kills 420,000 people each year, more than one-third of them children under five-years old, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported. WHO on Thursday released its first-ever estimates of the global burden of foodborne diseases which it says are most severe in low- and middle-income countries. These illnesses are linked to several factors, [...]

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

News in Brief 03 December 2015 (AM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

  Secretary-General condemns airstrike on MSF clinic in Yemen The UN Secretary-General has called for a "prompt, effective and impartial investigation" into airstrikes which destroyed a mobile health clinic in Yemen run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Seven people were reportedly injured in the incident which took place on Wednesday in the city of Taiz. [...]

3 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Youth take centre stage at climate conference

Ahmad Alhendawi. UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann

It's the turn of the young to take centre stage at the UN climate change conference, COP21, on Thursday in Paris. A number of youth-led meetings, workshops and activities are planned throughout the day; providing a unique opportunity for young people to weigh-in on the climate debate. Matthew Wells has the story. Many of the [...]

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

Climatic changes have put world into "unknown territory"

Michel Jarraud. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Climatic changes have put the world into what has been described as "unknown territory". That warning from the head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), as governments meet in Paris, France to try and reach a new universal climate change agreement. Sandra Miller spoke to WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, who told her that never before has [...]

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

Youth leaders demand climate action in Paris

Photo: UNFCCC

Youth leaders from countries most at risk from the effects of climate change have rallied in Paris, France. The young people were attending the UN climate change conference, COP 21, demanding that world leaders sign on to an ambitious agreement to tackle climate issues. Alejandra Salas is from Costa Rica and is a youth delegate [...]

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

Sustainable industrialization "key driver" of Agenda 2030

Sewing machine operators work at the "Multiwear" Factory at Sonapi Industrial Park, Port-au-Prince. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Industrial development, which is both sustainable and inclusive, will be crucial for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has said. In September the international community agreed the agenda which is comprised of 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal nine focuses on industrialization and fostering innovation. Isabelle Dupuis [...]

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

South Sudan peace deal at "critical stage"

Hervé Ladsous.UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A months-old peace agreement in South Sudan has been repeatedly violated by both sides in the country's conflict, the head of UN peacekeeping told the Security Council on Wednesday. President Salva Kiir and opposition leaders signed the deal in August, aimed at bringing an end to nearly two years of politically-motivated fighting in the world's [...]

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

News in Brief 02 December 2015 (PM)

Iraqi refugee children.  Photo: Iraqi Red Crescent/UNOCHA

Child casualties grow in Iraq says new UN report Boys and girls in Iraq are increasingly becoming victims of "extreme violence" according to a new UN report on children and armed conflict in the country. The UN has documented more than 3,000 child casualties during the period from January 2011 to the end of June [...]

2 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

UN takes aim at hate speech in the media

Photo: UN Alliance of Civilizations

A new initiative designed to shed light on the proliferation of hate speech in the media has been launched by the UN. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) kicked off the new effort on Tuesday with a symposium at UN headquarters in New York. The campaign is designed to bring greater attention to the [...]

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

UN Daily News 02 December 2015

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Water and climate change adaptation deal launched at climate summit

Women in Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

An agreement to make water systems more resilient to climate impacts has been launched at the UN Climate Change summit in Paris. A coalition of nations, river basin organizations, business and civil society announced US $1 billion to support the Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation. Daniel Dickinson reports. The Paris Pact aims [...]

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

News in Brief 02 December 2015 (AM)

Bonded child labourer, Pakistan. Photo: ILO/M.Crozet

  "End this outrage" of modern slavery, urges UN chief Modern slavery is an "outrage" that needs to end. That's according to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a message to mark the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Nearly 21 million people continue to be enslaved today he said, in many forms ranging [...]

2 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

"Incredible success" – gathering 150 world leaders to discuss climate issues

Janos Pasztor. UNTV (video capture)

An "incredible success" – that's how a senior United Nations official has described bringing together 150 world leaders in Paris to discuss climate issues. The heads of state and government have been attending the UN COP21 climate change conference at which the international community is expected to agree a universal deal to keep global temperature [...]

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

Former Sierra Leonean child soldier wants human face on suffering

UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War, Ishmael Beah, talks with children at a centre supported by UNICEF in Juba, South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/UNI202916/Holt

A former child soldier from Sierra Leone has said he wants to put a human face on the suffering of children who are forced to go to war. Ishmael Beah was recruited into the West African country's brutal civil war as a 13-year old but with the help of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) managed [...]

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

"Resilience" vital to resist natural disaster due to climate change

Manuel Pulgar Vidal. UN Photo.

Resilience is vital for countries facing natural disasters as a result of climate change. That's one of the key issues due to be highlighted at the COP21 climate change conference in Paris on Wednesday. Matthew Wells has more. December 2 has been dedicated to resilience issues as part of the so-called Lima-Paris Action Agenda. Hosted [...]

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

Development in the Sahel is slowing

A woman and her son leave a UNICEF supported health centre in Maradi Region. Photo: UNICEF/Olivier Asselin

The development of countries in the Sahel region is slowing due to radicalization, youth unemployment and the lack of participation by women in politics and the economy. That's according to the UN Office for West Africa, UNOWA. In 2014, a partnership was formed by the United Nations with Sahelian countries, called the G5, which aims [...]

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

News in Brief 01 December 2015 (PM)

People fleeing intense fighting in Mosul, the third largest city in Iraq, crossing into the Erbil governerate. Photo: UNHCR/Inge Colijn

  888 Iraqis killed in November Almost 900 Iraqis were killed and more than 1,200 wounded in acts of terrorism in November, according to casualty figures released by the UN mission in the country (UNAMI). The dead included nearly 500 civilians. Stéphane Dujarric is the UN Spokesperson "Ján Kubiš, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, [...]

1 Dec 2015 | Posted in | Read More »

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Africa wants strong agreement on adaptation to climate change

A farmer in the drought-affected area of Senegal watering plants.UN Photo/Carl Purcell

Africa is hoping the international community will pursue a strong agreement at the climate change summit in Paris which help the continent adapt to changes in weather patterns; that's what the head of the African Union is saying. Around 150 heads of states and government have been meeting in the French capital at the UN [...]

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

Africa has "enormous stake" in climate change agreement

Climate change is a growing cause of displacement in Africa, where some areas have been devastated by drought. Photo: UNHCR/B. Bannon

Africa has an "enormous stake" in efforts to reach a new climate change agreement. That was the message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who addressed African leaders at the UN climate change conference (COP21) in Paris Tuesday. Governments from around the world are meeting in the French capital in hopes of securing a universal agreement [...]

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

News in Brief 01 December 2015 (AM)

The Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Resources (IBAMA), a formal, unified system for federal, state, and municipal parks, conducts a meeting in the Tapajos National forest in Para, Brazil. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

  Managing forests sustainably, essential to climate change goals Managing the world's forests sustainably is essential to help meet global goals on climate change and fighting poverty. That's one of the key points emerging from a new international effort launched at the UN's COP21 conference on climate change in Paris on Tuesday. Around one billion [...]

1 Dec 2015 | Posted in UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Climate change map will help fight global hunger

Beneficiaries waiting in line to collect their ration at a food-distribution taking place at the UNMISS-compound in Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan (May 25, 2014) Photo: Jacob Zocherman/IRIN

An online research tool which examines how climate change may increase hunger vulnerability across the globe has been launched by the World Food Programme (WFP). The Food Insecurity and Climate Change Vulnerability map shows how strong adaptation and mitigation efforts will prevent the worst impacts of climatic variations on hunger across the world. It should [...]

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

Numbers continue to rise of women and child refugees and migrants in Europe

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

Unpredictable border restrictions and harsh weather are compounding the hardships and challenges for refugee and migrant children and women who now account for more than half of all arrivals by sea in Europe, according to the United Nations children's agency, UNICEF. From the beginning of 2015 until November, more than 876,000 people have arrived on [...]

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

"New hope" for World AIDS Day says UN chief

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This year's World AIDS day should be marked with "new hope" according to UN chief Ban Ki-moon. In his annual message to mark the day, held annually on December 1, Mr Ban paid tribute to health workers and human rights activists who battle the disease. Around 37 million people live with HIV around the world. [...]

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

"Cohesive society" of Burkina Faso needs protection from extremists

09-22-2015Burkina_Faso-featured

The "cohesive society" of Burkina Faso needs protection from extremism on its border, if the country is to avoid radicalization. That's the message from Pascal Karorero, UN Development Programme Resident Representative to the West African country. Presidential elections were held on Sunday, the first following the ousting of Blaise Compaore last year, and a failed [...]

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

World on "Fast Track" to end AIDS by 2030

UNAIDS-REPORT-2015-SIDIBE-featured

Although the number of people receiving treatment for HIV has doubled over the past five years, the UN is pushing to make sure even more people can access these life-saving services. Innovative approaches showing how countries are meeting this goal are documented in a report by UNAIDS, the UN agency working to end the disease. [...]

1 Dec 2015 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

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