News in Brief 22 January 2016 (PM)

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In Madaya, Syria, local community members help offload and distribute humanitarian aid supplies. Photo: WFP/Hussam Al Saleh

UN chief supports global appeal for end to Syria crisis

The UN Secretary-General has continued to call for a cease-fire in Syria.

Ban Ki-moon was speaking on Friday in Zurich, Switzerland, where he addressed reporters following a meeting with the country's Foreign Minister.

As the Syrian crisis enters its sixth year, the UN estimates that 13.5 million people require humanitarian assistance.

"Yesterday, leaders of humanitarian organisations and UN agencies appealed to citizens around the world urge an end to the carnage in Syria. I strongly echo their call today. All parties must reach agreement on a ceasefire—nationally, a ceasefire—and a path to peace."

The UN chief called on the international community to support Syria and neighbouring countries at what he described as "this desperate time."

UN body commemorates 70 years of fostering international consensus

Now, more than ever, countries must focus on dealing with the root causes of conflicts, poverty and neglect.

That was the message delivered by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson at an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the UN Economic and Social Council.

Known by the acronym ECOSOC, it is the UN platform where countries forge consensus and coordinate efforts to achieve internationally-agreed goals.

Farhan Haq is a UN spokesperson.

"Mr. Eliasson said that the commemoration provides an important opportunity to honour the Council's past work, and to highlight its vital role across the spectrum of UN activities at this crucial time in history – especially with the historic adoptions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change."

ECOSOC is one of the six main organs of the United Nations.

The others are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice and the Secretariat.

UN and partners call for "responsibility and restraint" as Haiti vote looms

Recent acts of violence ahead of this weekend's presidential run-off in Haiti have been deplored by the United Nations and its partners.

They are calling on the authorities, political parties, candidates and voters to participate in the process "with responsibility and restraint."

The Caribbean nation goes to the polls on Sunday to choose a successor to outgoing leader Michel Martelly.

The international partners reiterated their continued support for the conclusion of an "inclusive and equitable" electoral process.

Known as "the Core Group," the members are the UN, Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, the United States, the European Union and the Organization of American States.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration:

 

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