News in Brief 16 March 2016 (AM)

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Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, speaks at a media event at UN Headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Time for  Canada "to step up" says new leader at UN Headquarters

It's time for Canada to "to step up" and play a bigger role at the United Nations, according to its new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

In his first official visit to UN headquarters after winning election late last year, the 44-year-old Liberal leader said he had come to revitalize the North American country's relationship with the world body.

"Canada is ready once again to take a seat at the UN Security Council. Our last term concluded a decade and a half ago. With a renewed commitment to international peace and security, now is the time for our return. We are determined to help the UN make even greater strides in support of its goals for all humanity. It's time for Canada to step up once again."

Mr Trudeau committed to accepting 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of last month.

The Canadian premier is taking part in a high-level event on gender equality at the UN, as part of the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Some European countries showing "complete disregard" for migrant rights

Some European countries are showing "complete disregard" for human rights in advocating for the "mass expulsion" of refugees.

That's according to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau.

In a statement ahead of the European Union Migration Summit, which begins on Thursday, he said he was deeply concerned over the proposal to send migrants who had crossed the Mediterranean Sea back to Turkey.

He accused countries supporting the idea of shrugging off their responsibility in the midst of the greatest refugee crisis since World War Two.

He said that failure to observe proper asylum procedure would contravene international law.

UN chief congratulates Myanmar's first democratic president in 50 years

The UN Secretary-General has congratulated the newly-elected president of Myanmar, the country's first civilian head of state in more than five decades.

Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that the selection of Htin Kyaw by Myanmar's parliament on Tuesday was a "defining moment of transition" away from military rule.

The new president is closely allied with Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, which won a landslide victory at the polls last November.

She was prohibited from running for president, according to constitutional rules.

Mr Ban called on the new president to work towards "a smooth and peaceful consolidation of unity and stability" for Myanmar.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'12"

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