News in Brief 10 December 2015 (AM)

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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 the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

The Declaration lays out the inherent rights of all people, including the right to life, liberty, and equality before the law.

Mr Ban called for a recommitment to guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms and protecting the human rights of all.

UN mission condemns Taliban attack at Afghanistan airport

An attack this week by the Taliban in Afghanistan which killed 54 people and injured 42 others has been condemned by the United Nations.

The incident occurred at the airport compound in Kandahar, located in the south of the country.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said civilian areas were targeted in fighting which continued over a 24-hour period.

This included residential areas for families of Afghan security forces and airport staff.

Those killed included 39 civilian men, four of whom were boys.  Thirteen soldiers and two police officers also died.

The majority of the civilians were reportedly shopkeepers and customers at a nearby bazaar, according to the UN mission.

Food convoys reach besieged Yemeni city

Two food convoys from the World Food Programme (WFP) have arrived in a city in Yemen where residents have been living under a virtual siege for the past months.

The 31 trucks will provide enough food to feed nearly 145,000 residents of the city of Taiz for one month.

A third convoy is also on the way.

WFP said it has been overcoming "enormous access challenges" to deliver food aid to the city as intense fighting and airstrikes have made road travel difficult.

Taiz is located in a governorate where the UN agency described the situation as being "one step below famine."

WFP said nearly eight million citizens in Yemen require urgent external food assistance as a result of the conflict between government forces and rebel groups.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’20″

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