News in Brief 30 March 2016 (PM)

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Girls play in the schoolyard at Santo Niño Elementary School in the town of Tanauan, Philippines. Photo: UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

Trust fund for victims of sexual abuse formally established

A trust fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse at the hands of United Nations personnel has been formally established.

The UN Department of Field Support notified all 193 Member States on Wednesday that it was now in operation.

The fund is one of the key proposals of the Secretary-General, announced in his recent wide-ranging report on combating and rooting out abuse by UN peacekeepers and other UN personnel.

Here’s UN spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric

"The contributions will be used to provide medical, legal and psycho-social assistance to the victims and children born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse. This Trust Fund was one of the key proposals of the Secretary-General in his report on Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse."

Member states are being asked to make voluntary contributions to the fund, and the Secretary-General will also seek to divert salaries or other funds withheld from individual UN personnel found guilty of sexual abuse, to the new fund.

Arrival of Libyan politicians in Tripoli hailed as major step forward

The arrival of Libya's Presidential Council in the capital, Tripoli, on Wednesday, has been warmly welcomed by the leading UN official in the country.

Special Representative Martin Kobler commended the "courage, determination and leadership" of the council, led by the Prime Minister designate, Fayez Sarraj.

The UN-backed body together with the Government of National Accord called for an orderly transfer of power earlier this month, with a view to uniting warring factions across the country.

But a self-declared rival government, based in Tripoli since 2014, had warned the council not to come, according to news reports.

Mr Kobler said the international community stood "firmly behind" the council and was ready to provide whatever help and support it required.

He added that all sides had a responsibility to refrain from violence during this crucial transition period for the country.

"Multi-dimensional solutions" needed to achieve SDGs in Asia, Pacific

"Multi-dimensional solutions" are needed across the Asia and Pacific region in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

That was the key message at the close of the meeting of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, or ESCAP, on Wednesday.

Among the top themes under discussion at the inter-governmental meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, were youth unemployment, women's empowerment, and supporting the disabled and the elderly.

ESCAP Executive Secretary, Shamshad Akhtar, said that social development was a key condition for ensuring that "no-one is left behind" and asked for a multi-dimensional approach to meeting the 17 targets of the SDGs.

She added that a "powerful nexus" of reducing poverty, and improving social stability and equality would have to be achieved to meet the goals.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’20″

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