News in Brief 01 March 2016 (PM)

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Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura updates the press on the Intra-Syrian Geneva Talks. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Syria peace talks resume next Wednesday

Peace talks aimed at ending the conflict in Syria will resume next week, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura announced on Tuesday.

The UN-sponsored negotiations which began in early February in Geneva were temporarily suspended days later.

The process saw members of the Syrian government and opposition holding so-called "proximity talks" with the UN envoy, meaning that they held separate meetings with him.

Mr De Mistura said the talks will begin again next Wednesday, 9 March.

He said they were initially set to resume two days earlier, but the new date allows adequate time to address logistical and practical concerns.

More than 250,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, which is entering its sixth year.

The crisis has generated an unprecedented wave of displacement, both inside and outside the country.

Human rights experts on mission to Burundi

Three independent experts appointed by the UN to investigate human rights violations in Burundi met with senior officials in the capital, Bujumbura, on Tuesday.

The team is on a week-long mission to the country which has been experiencing political turmoil and violence following the President's decision to run for a third term last April.

Hundreds have been killed and more than 200,000 citizens have fled to neighbouring countries.

The experts said their aims include helping Burundi to ensure accountability for human rights violations and abuses, including by identifying alleged perpetrators.

So far, they have met with the Ministers responsible for Human Rights and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Minister of the Interior.

They also plan to meet with the Human Rights National Commission, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other parties.

The experts will present their initial findings to the UN Human Rights Council later this month, with their final report due in September.

School meals: an investment in the future

Providing needy children with school meals today is an investment in a better tomorrow.

That message comes from the heads of the African Union (AU) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) on the first observance of Africa Day for School Feeding, this Tuesday, 1 March.

They said school feeding programmes encourage more regular attendance at school and also contribute to protecting children in emergencies.

They are also a key long-term investment in the future, in local economies and in reducing hunger.

The inaugural Africa Day for School Feeding focused on so-called Home-Grown School Meals, which is when the food used in the meals has been produced by local farmers.

The partners said this not only benefits students but also farmers and local communities.

WFP reported that more than 10 million children in 41 countries in Africa benefited from its school meals programmes in 2014.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'59"


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