Home » 31 May 2016 Entries posted on “May 2016”

Katy Perry advocates for "incredible dreams" of Vietnamese children

On 26 May in Viet Nam, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry gives her scarf to Ka Da Khang while visiting the Phuoc Thanh Commune Health Centre in Ninh Thuan Province.

US Singer-songwriter Katy Perry says that disadvantaged Vietnamese children deserve the right to see their "incredible dreams" for the future, become a reality. The international star and UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador, was speaking after visiting one of the poorest and remote regions of the South East Asian country. Matthew Wells has more. Katy [...]

31 May 2016 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 31 May 2016 (PM)

Boys play on a destroyed Syrian army tank in north-western Aleppo. Photo: UNICEF/Romenzi

UN concerned about 8,000 Syrians trapped in Aleppo The fate of Syrians living on the outskirts of the city of Aleppo in areas at risk of attack by the Daesh terrorist group has become a major concern for the UN. Around 8,000 civilians are trapped by fighting around two towns in northern Aleppo following advances [...]

31 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Situation in Fallujah "very dramatic", warns UN special envoy

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The situation in the Iraqi city of Fallujah is best characterized as "very dramatic," the UN deputy special envoy in Iraq has warned. Lise Grande, who is also the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, briefed reporters from Geneva on Tuesday. Close to 50,000 civilians are now trapped as Iraqi forces attempt to re-take control [...]

31 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

HIV: 17 million worldwide now accessing life-saving medicines

In Lesotho, A woman holds the AIDS anti-retroviral treatment medicine for her granddaughter. Photo: IRIN/Eva-Lotta Jansson

There has been an "extraordinary scale-up" in the number of people living with HIV who are now accessing life-saving medicines, according to a new UN report. The latest Global AIDS update estimates that 17 million people were receiving antiretroviral treatment at the end of 2015; up from 7.5 million in 2010. The report was launched [...]

31 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 31 May 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today’s programme… we hear about the extraordinary scale-up" in the number of people accessing life-saving medicines to counter AIDS . And, get ready for plain packaging on tobacco…find out why later in the programme.

31 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN sanctions on South Sudan renewed

UN Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

A resolution allowing for the renewal of sanctions against South Sudan for another year has been adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on Tuesday. The sanctions include travel bans and assets freezes against individuals and entities "responsible for or complicit in" threatening peace and stability in the war-torn country. The Council has also decided [...]

31 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 31 May 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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UNHCR: Mediterranean Sea crossings claimed "at least 880 lives" in one week A series of accidents involving migrants and what the UN has described as increasingly "ruthless" actions by smugglers have been blamed for the deaths of nearly 900 people in the last week in the Mediterranean Sea. The UN Refugee Agency, (UNHCR), made the [...]

31 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

WHO: get ready for plain packaging on tobacco

More countries are making progress towards implementing plain packaging on tobacco products, WHO says. Photo: Ahmed Ouma

Plain packaging of tobacco products saves lives by reducing demand, and more governments should follow the lead taken by Australia by adopting the measure, UN health experts say. For this year’s World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) has welcomed findings showing that more than 100,000 people have stopped smoking [...]

31 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Insurance "safety net" will help guard against farming disasters

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A bigger insurance "safety net" for farmers at risk of losing everything in a natural disaster is being extended by the World Food Programme (WFP). Greg Barrow, head of WFP's London office, said it was hoped that governments of countries most affected by adverse weather conditions, would step in to underwrite disaster insurance that could [...]

31 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Indigenous community in Panama winning fight against hunger

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Panama has made huge strides in reducing hunger, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports. The Central American nation has seen its hunger level drop from more than 26 per cent in the 1990s to less than 10 per cent today. But the UN agency says gaps still exist in making sure indigenous people there [...]

31 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 30 May 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Daniel Dickinson and Daniel Johnson. In today's programme from Geneva we hear how “peace is doable” in Darfur if there is global support. And an Afghan father and son duo bike 7000 miles in the name of peace.  

30 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 30 May 2016

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News and Features from United Nations Radio

30 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 30 May 2016

Communities living by Lake Chad have been displaced by what the UN Refugee Agency has called "war zone" conditions. Photo: UNHCR

  Conviction of former Chad president welcomed by UN The conviction of a former Chadian President of crimes against humanity, summary executions, torture and rape has been welcomed by the UN. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the verdict handed down by an African Union-backed court in Senegal against [...]

30 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Libya medical centre attacks condemned

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Successive attacks on a hospital in Libya have been condemned by the World Health Organization (WHO), which says the country's healthcare system is on the brink of collapse. According to the UN agency, Benghazi Medical Centre in the east of Libya was hit by rocket fire three times in two days last week. Here's Daniel [...]

30 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

NGO freedom under threat at UN

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The freedom of non-governmental organizations to work without interference is under threat at the United Nations according to the UN Secretary-General. Speaking at an international NGO conference in South Korea, Ban Ki-moon said the UN should be the "last place" where this should happen. Daniel Dickinson has more details Mr Ban said the freedom of [...]

30 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Deadly attack on peacekeepers in Mali condemned

Senegalese police officers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), patrol the streets of the city of Gao, in Mali. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Authorities in Mali are being urged by the United Nations to swiftly investigate a deadly attack on Sunday which killed five peacekeepers serving at its mission in the country, MINUSMA. The blue helmets, who were from Togo, were travelling in a convoy which was ambushed near the town of Sévaré in the central Mopti region. [...]

30 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Sowing new seeds to end hunger in Central African Republic

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A campaign to help around 50,000 subsistence-farming families in the Central African Republic (CAR) break out of their cycle of hunger has just got underway. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) are providing seeds and tools so that farmers can grow crops, and not just survive on aid. [...]

30 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Afghan father-son duo bike 7,000 miles for peace

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A father and son cycling team from Afghanistan have biked 7,000 miles to deliver a hopeful message of peace to UN Headquarters. They reached New York after leaving Istanbul, Turkey, completing the first leg of what they hope will be a round-the-world journey. They are raising awareness that despite the continuing violence and upheaval in [...]

30 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

With global support "peace is doable" in Darfur

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"Peace is doable" in the Darfur region of Sudan with support and encouragement from the rest of the world. That's the assessment of Martin Uhomoibhi, head of the UN mission in Darfur, UNAMID. Mr Uhomoibhi has been working as Joint Chief Mediator between the warring parties in the region. He spoke to Musi Khumalo about the [...]

30 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Tech bank for Least Developed Countries among outcomes of UN conference

Participants at the Midterm Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action, in Antalya, Turkey. 27 May 2016. Photo: UNOHRLLS

The proposed establishment later this year of a technology bank to help 48 of the world's poorest countries to increase their scientific and technological capacities is among the outcomes of a UN conference which concluded this Sunday in Turkey. The meeting focused on the progress made by these nations, collectively known as the Least Developed [...]

29 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

More action needed for countries to graduate from LDC group

Two women grind rice outside a water pump station in the area of Koroyomme, Timbuktu. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

More needs to be done to ensure the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs) move out of this category. That's according to Daniel Gay, an adviser with the Committee for Development Policy (CDP), the UN body which helps these 48 nations to understand the graduation process. The international community has set targets to enable half of [...]

29 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Agriculture key to transform world's Least Developed Countries

Farmers in South East Senegal. Photo: Video capture "Senegal: Let the Sun Shine"/IFAD

Agriculture is the "backbone" that will lift the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs) out of that category, according to a senior official from a UN agency that is working to eradicate rural poverty. Ashwani Muthoo is in Antalya, Turkey, where he is attending a conference to review progress in these 48 nations over the past [...]

29 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Graduation is not everything" for Least Developed Countries

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"Graduation is not everything" when it comes to the Least Developed Countries, or LDCs, lifting themselves out of the group. That's the key message coming from Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, the largest UN regional commission, which represents Asia and the Pacific. She's attending a UN conference on LDCs which began on Friday that will [...]

29 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Peacekeeping a "cause worth dying for"

UNAMID troops from South Africa get ready for a night patrol to Kassab camp for internally displaced persons in Kutum, North Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran

Peacekeeping is one way to help countries recover their physical, "moral, and psychological health." That's the passionate view of Paul Mucasa Sally, a UN Volunteer, working as a peacekeeper with the UN-African Mission in Darfur, UNAMID. A total of 154 troops and 47 police have died serving UNAMID in the troubled region of Sudan. In [...]

29 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Local journalists crucial for building buzz around LDC development

Journalists from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are covering the UN conference reviewing these nations' progress. Photo: S. Coutrix

More than 20 journalists from some of the world's most vulnerable nations are covering a United Nations conference on the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs) which wraps up in Antalya, Turkey, on Sunday. The gathering not only provides them with the chance to report on how their homelands are progressing socially and economically, but also [...]

28 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Conference reviews progress in world's Least Developed Countries

Gauri Pradhan of LDC Watch (left) and Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Photo: UN Radio/R. Abaza.

Many of the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have yet to meet an economic growth target critical for them to graduate from the category, a senior UN official has said. Gyan Chandra Acharya was speaking in Antalya, Turkey, on Saturday at a UN conference to review progress on the 2011 Istanbul Programme of Action (IPOA). Mr [...]

28 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Tax evasion by foreign firms costing poor African nations “billions”

Jeffrey Sachs with Cristina Gallach, head of the UN Department of Public Information, during a recent event at UN Headquarters. UN Photo.

Some of the poorest countries in Africa are losing “tens of billions of dollars” each year because foreign businesses operating in their territories are not fully paying their taxes, according to a prominent American economist and university professor. Jeffrey Sachs said the funds could be used to build roads and other infrastructure  that would make [...]

28 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

African least developed countries to benefit from Turkey discussions

#LeastNotLast - Madagascar has 3 marine protected areas managed by local residents. Photo: IFAD/R. Ramasomanana

An African free trade zone and the establishment of an electronic university for the continent are on the agenda at a United Nations conference of the world's Least Developed Countries or LDCs, underway in Turkey. There are 48 LDCs, of which the vast majority, 34, are in Africa. The meeting in the Turkish coastal city [...]

28 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Serving humanity has always been my dream" says peacekeeper

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"Serving humanity for peace and development" was always the dream of one woman from Sierra Leone, who's now laying her life on the line for the UN. Memunatu Sesay is currently serving with the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, UNAMID. She's been speaking with Setyo Budi ahead of the International day of United Nations Peacekeepers on [...]

28 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Female peacekeepers gain trust, valuable intelligence from local women

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Female peacekeepers deployed by the United Nations are able to gain valuable intelligence after winning the trust of local women in countries like Afghanistan. That's the candid view of Force Commander Major-General Kristin Lund, of the UN force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) the first woman ever to command a UN peacekeeping operation. In an interview to [...]

28 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Syria: Nearly 600,000 living under siege

Stephen O'Brien (on screen), UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Nearly 600,000 Syrians are living in besieged areas, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator told the Security Council on Friday. Stephen O'Brien said the numbers are "shocking," particularly in light of a cessation of hostilities that has been in place for several months. The UN humanitarian chief spoke via video conference from Geneva. Dianne Penn reports. Mr [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in brief 27 May 2016 (PM)

Some of the food distributed to the drought-affected communities of Las Hastas and Los Achiotes in the town of Orocuina, Choluteca, Honduras. Photo: WFP/Hetze Tosta

  Central America: 3.5 million affected by worst drought in decades Four Central American countries are experiencing their worst drought in decades, affecting millions of people, UN agencies and their partners report. El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua are facing problems brought on by the weather phenomenon known as El Niño. As a result, more [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

50,000 civilians at risk of becoming "human shields" in Fallujah battle

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Around 50,000 civilians trapped inside the Iraqi city of Fallujah, risk being turned into "human shields" by the terrorist group Daesh, according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the country. Lise Grande said that the UN and other agencies were doing all they can to protect them. An Iraqi government-led coalition launched an offensive to [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Syrian government asked to explain spike in drug imports

Destruction in Salah Ed Din neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria. File Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

The Syrian government has been asked by the UN to explain the importing of "significant amounts" of the legally traded drug, pseudoephedrine, which can be used to make the illicit stimulant, methamphetamine. Methamphetamine has been used in war time to heighten the attention and performance of soldiers. Daniel Dickinson has been speaking to Werner Sipp, [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 27 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Dianne Penn and Matthew Wells. In today's programme… 50,000 Iraqi civilians trapped in Fallujah are being turned into human shields by their terrorist occupiers, the UN's humanitarian chief there tells us. And, the Syrian government's being asked by the UN to explain [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Resolve South China Sea dispute through peaceful dialogue: UN chief

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Asian countries disputing territory in the South China Sea are being urged by the UN Secretary-General to resolve their differences through dialogue. Ban Ki-moon's comments came in a speech delivered at a G7 summit which concluded on Friday in Japan. Dianne Penn reports. The UN Secretary-General described what is happening in the South China Sea [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Least developed countries must go at "higher speed"

Uganda is part of the #LeastNotLast campaign. Photo: Nagarjun Kandukuru/Flickr

The Least Developed Countries, or LDCs, must go at a "higher speed" than the rest of the world, and "all too few" of them have managed to graduate from the group so far. That's the message from Mogens Lykketoft, the President of the UN General Assembly, speaking on Friday at the opening day of a [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

News in brief 27 May 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Greek refugee sites "are unfit for people to live in" In Greece, concern is growing over so-called "sub-standard" conditions facing refugees and migrants after they were moved from a makeshift camp in the north of the country. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, says that several locations provided by the authorities are not suitable for human [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Peacekeepers sacrifice lives to bring peace and security

Press briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Field Support.

Tributes are being paid to United Nations peacekeepers who have sacrificed their lives to "bring peace and security to those who have otherwise been deprived of it." Those are the words of Atul Khare, the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, whose department works closely with the UN Department of Peacekeeping. So far in 2016 alone, 37 [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Power of the pulse celebrated in new cook book

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People around the world are being encouraged by the UN to get passionate about the power of the pulse…that's pulse as in peas, beans and lentils. A number of international top chefs have got together with the help of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to produce a cook book featuring what the FAO is [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in Food Crisis, Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Support must be "continuous" for Least Developed Countries "graduating"

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International support for the 48 Least Developed Countries, or LDCs, needs to extend beyond the point where they "graduate" out of the group. That's one of the key messages being delivered by UN Under-Secretary-General Gyan Chandra Acharya, who is heading up a UN conference on LDCs, starting on Friday. That "continuous" support is one way to [...]

27 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Climate change "fundamental threat" to human security in Sahel

A wide view of the Security Council Chamber as Mohammed Ibn Chambas (shown on screens), Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), addresses via video teleconference the Security Council meeting on

Climate change is "a fundamental threat" to human security in the Sahel region of Africa; that's according to Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA). He was briefing the UN Security Council on Thursday on the impact of climate change and desertification on peace and security efforts. Daniel Dickinson [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Behind the scenes: a UN conference gets into gear

UN technical team. Photo: Stephanie Coutrix

If there's one thing the United Nations definitely excels at, it's collaborating on the organization of major international conferences. This week alone, two summits in Turkey have been taking place with the support of the Turkish government The technical arrangements for ensuring that a global conference on least developed countries can be followed by millions [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on peacekeepers, Humanitarian Summit and human rights for LGBTI people

USG Ladsous in his visit to Boeing, Central African Republic. UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis

Court-martial "where the acts have occurred" urges peacekeeping chief Countries whose peacekeepers have sexually abused people under their protection, should allow their troops to be court-martialled where the crimes took place. That's the view of Hervé Ladsous, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. He said there should not only be "zero tolerance" towards sexual abuse, but [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

News in Brief 26 May 2016 (PM)

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Humanitarians ready to assist civilians fleeing Iraqi city Humanitarian agencies are doing "everything" they can to assist people fleeing the Iraqi city of Fallujah, where at least 50,000 civilians are believed to be trapped. That's according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande. Fallujah has been under the control of the extremist group [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals | Read More »

ICC Prosecutor "optimistic" about justice efforts for Libya

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Despite limited resources, the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) says she is "optimistic" about efforts to bring about justice in Libya. Fatou Bensouda presented her latest report on the country to the UN Security Council in New York on Thursday. The ICC continues to investigate alleged crimes against humanity committed during the regime [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: safe birth, indigenous women and LGBTI community

Campaign Safe Birth Even Here. Image: UNFPA

Safe Birth" during emergencies campaign launched in Istanbul The needless deaths of women and newborns during humanitarian crises are being highlighted by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) with the launch of a campaign called "Safe Birth Even Here"   The campaign, which is supported by the apparel company Benetton, aims to raise awareness of the [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on displaced people in Nigeria, Zika virus, El Niño and Liberia sanctions

Aishatu Margima at the World Humanitarian Summit. Photo: UN/Fabrice Robinet

Nigerian nurse describes sheltering 50 people fleeing Boko Haram A retired nurse from Nigeria, has been describing how she gave shelter to 50 people who were fleeing fighters from the Boko Haram terrorist group. The fifty displaced people ended up staying for seven months and were fed and looked after by 59-year old Aishatu Margima, [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Daily News 26 May 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Dianne Penn and Matthew Wells. In today's programme…Countries should consider court-martialling blue helmets charged with sexual abuse, where the offences were committed, the UN peacekeeping chief tells us. And, the world needs to "wake up" to the reality of what Palestinian rights [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Court-martial "where the acts have occurred" urges peacekeeping chief

USG Ladsous in his visit to Boeing, Central African Republic. UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis

Countries whose peacekeepers have sexually abused people under their protection, should allow their troops to be court-martialled where the crimes took place. That's the view of Hervé Ladsous, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. He said there should not only be "zero tolerance" towards sexual abuse, but a firm objective of "zero occurrence" among peacekeepers. He [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Rights and dignity" of Palestinians only possible via "political solution"

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The "rights and dignity" of Palestinians will only be realized when the world "wakes up" to the need for a lasting political solution. That's according to the Commissioner General of the UN Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, Pierre Krähenbühl. He was speaking at the end of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul earlier this [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 26 May 2016 (AM)

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Asian countries urged to ratify climate change treaty Asia is critical to the fight against climate change and also a source of solutions to address it, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at the 11th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity in his homeland, the Republic of Korea. Mr Ban said [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in UN Climate Change Conference | Read More »

Syria children "will soon die because of aid delivery obstacles"

Al-Riad shelter, Aleppo, Syria, February 2015. File Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

Children are so malnourished in Syria that they will soon be dying because of aid delivery problems, the UN said Thursday. Humanitarian aid coordinator co-chair Jan Egeland issued the warning amid ongoing obstacles getting overland food convoys into besieged and hard-to-reach areas. This is despite agreements secured with government and opposition forces in the wartorn [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Attacks on health staff and centres "are not an accident"

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Medical workers around the world faced close to 600 attacks which caused more than 900 deaths in 2014 and 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday. The findings are revealed in the first report of its kind by the UN agency and are drawn from just 19 countries where data is available. One of [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Rwandan major "happy" to promote peace in South Sudan

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A Rwandan army major has said he is "happy" to be part of a mission which is working hard to promote peace in war-torn South Sudan. Major Apollo Rutaganda, is the Chief of Operations of the Rwandese Battalion of peacekeepers at the UN mission in the country, UNMISS. The mission is tasked with a range [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Challenges of decommissioning nuclear plants under spotlight

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The challenges of decommissioning nuclear power plants and rehabilitating  contaminated sites has come under the spotlight at a UN meeting in Madrid, Spain this week. Some 600 nuclear plants have been built around the world during the last 60 years. Around 160 have been shut down, however only 17 have been fully decommissioned. Patrick O'Sullivan [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Haiti "more secure" as a result of UN peacekeepers

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Peacekeepers working for the UN mission in Haiti have done what's been described as a "beautiful job" making the Caribbean island nation "more secure" than it was when they arrived 12 years ago. That's the opinion of the Force Commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, General Ajax Porto Pinheiro. Marking International [...]

26 May 2016 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 25 May 2016 (PM)

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Profound concern over political tensions in DR Congo The UN Secretary-General has said he is profoundly concerned by reports of increasing political tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo linked to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the country’s electoral process. Ban Ki-moon has called for the "strict respect of the fundamental freedoms and rights" enshrined [...]

25 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 25 May 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Daniel Dickinson and Matthew Wells. In today's programme…focussing on the Least Developed Countries over the next two decades could "really lift the world up" says a top UN development official. And we report on how satellite technology is helping fight hunger in [...]

25 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Celebrities campaign to bring animals back from "brink of extinction"

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Celebrities from across the world have joined the United Nations in a campaign to bring a range of endangered animals back from the "brink of extinction." The UN says a number of species, including elephants, rhinos, tigers and sea turtles, could soon become extinct due to the illegal trade in wildlife. Ana Carmo reports. Global [...]

25 May 2016 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's News | Read More »

Lifting of Liberia sanctions "a testament to what can be achieved"

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The complete lifting of UN Security Council sanctions against Liberia is "a testament to what can be achieved" when they work properly. That's the view of the United States Ambassador for Special Political Affairs to the UN. The current sanctions regime came into effect in 2003, following the end of Liberia's long-running and brutal civil [...]

25 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 25 May 2016 (AM)

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  Attack targeting judiciary in Afghanistan condemned A suicide attack on Wednesday in a suburb of the Afghan capital Kabul which killed eleven civilians and injured ten others has been condemned by the UN mission in the country, UNAMA. The suicide attacker detonated the bomb next to a bus transporting employees of a provincial court. [...]

25 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Public executions in Gaza "imminent"

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In Gaza, public executions may be "imminent", the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has warned. Responding to statements by the authorities in Gaza that "a number" of people are to be put to death, OHCHR has issued a reminder that death sentences may only be carried out when strict fair trial standards have been met. [...]

25 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Satellite information helps to fight hunger in Zimbabwe

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Information from satellite imagery is helping to assess the effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon in Zimbabwe and in the process fight hunger in the southern African country. That's according to Rogerio Bonifacio, Climate Analyst for the World Food Programme (WFP). WFP is teaming up with the European Space Agency to collect data on [...]

25 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Boosting least developed countries could "really lift the world up"

A man heading to the market in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. Photo: UN/Valeria Bove

There is a "huge opportunity" in the next 20 years to really change our world, according to a senior UN official who focuses on the development of least developed countries, or LDCs. Under-Secretary-General Gyan Chandra Acharya is heading up a UN conference on LDCs starting on Friday that will review progress made during the last [...]

25 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Nigerian nurse describes sheltering 50 people fleeing Boko Haram

Aishatu Margima at the World Humanitarian Summit. Photo: UN/Fabrice Robinet

A retired nurse from Nigeria has been describing how she gave shelter to 50 people who were fleeing the Boko Haram terrorist group. The fifty displaced people ended up staying for seven months and were fed and looked after by 59-year old Aishatu Margima in Adamawa state, in the north-east of the country. Ms Margima [...]

25 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Israel, Palestine cannot live "back to back"

Conductor and musician Daniel Barenboim leads the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in a performance at the World Humanitarian Summit, in Istanbul, Turkey. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Israel and Palestine cannot live "back to back" but must find a way to coexist according to the UN Messenger of Peace and classical music conductor, Daniel Barenboim. Mr Barenboim, whose West-Eastern Divan orchestra includes both Israeli and Palestinian musicians performed at the opening of the first ever World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul, Turkey. [...]

25 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 24 May 2016 (PM)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressing a meeting to mark the International Day against Nuclear Tests. UN File Photo/Rick Bajornas

Lebanon: Leaders urged to take steps to end Presidency vacuum Municipal elections in Lebanon are a testament to the country's "enduring democratic tradition," according to the UN Secretary-General. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Ban Ki-moon welcomed the process which is expected to conclude this Sunday. However, Mr Ban expressed continued concern over the lack [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

AU-UN partnership critical to security in Africa

Haile Menkerios, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union, addresses the Security Council. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Strengthening the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union is critical to achieving peace and security in Africa, the Security Council heard on Tuesday. Haile Menkerios, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to the African Union, made the statement during an open debate on cooperation between the two organizations. The meeting marked 10 years [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Aid given to groups that violate human rights must end

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Nations and organizations must stop giving aid, money, and arms to groups that systematically violate human rights. That's the view of Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council and Special Advisor to the UN envoy for Syria. Mr Egeland has been attending the World Humanitarian Summit this week in Istanbul. Stephanie Coutrix asked [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Not end point, but turning point" for international aid system

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The first ever World Humanitarian Summit has come to a close with the UN Secretary General, describing it as "not an end point, but a turning point." Ban Ki-moon said that governments, humanitarian and development partners had "agreed on a new way of working" by investing in "resilient communities" and "stable societies". The UN estimates [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 24 May 2016

United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on stage at the closing ceremony of the World Humanitarian Summit. 24 May 2016. Photo: UNOCHA

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Elena Vapnitchnaia and Dianne Penn. Today we bringing you a special programme from the close of the World Humanitarian Summit, here in Istanbul, Turkey. More than 5,000 delegates from across the world have gathered here to address the urgent and the long-term [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Report highlights global phenomenon of wildlife poaching

African elephants are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as the animals are poached for their ivory tusks. Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Peter Prokosch

Wildlife poaching and the illegal trade of species not only pose environmental dangers but also potentially fuel conflict. That's according to the first global assessment of wildlife crime, published this Tuesday by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The World Wildlife Crime Report calls for shared responsibility to combat what it labels [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

World Humanitarian Summit: Turn commitment into action

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Commitments made by governments attending the first ever World Humanitarian Summit should be translated into action, a senior UN human rights expert has said. Adama Dieng, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Genocide, was speaking on the final day of the conference being held in Istanbul, Turkey. Reem Abaza reports. Mr Dieng said his discussions [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 24 May 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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New Syria violence may be war crime, warns UN rights office A series of suicide and car bombings in Syria which reportedly left scores of civilians dead has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR. The coastal cities of Jableh and Tartous were targeted in Monday's destruction which OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville said [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

New humanitarian education fund is "powerful lever for change"

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A new humanitarian fund for education in emergencies launched at the World Humanitarian Summit, is "a powerful lever for change" that will help millions back into the classroom. That's the hope of Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, who launched the fund at the summit along with UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. He said [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Hunger levels 3 times higher during "protracted crises"

A vendor in a market in Niger's capital Niamey. File Photo: OCHA/David Ohana

"Protracted crises" brought on by conflict lead, on average, to a tripling in the number of people going hungry, according to a senior Food and Agriculture Organization official (FAO). Dominique Burgeon is Director of FAO’s Emergency and Rehabilitation Division and FAO’s Strategic Programme Leader on Resilience. He was speaking at the World Humanitarian Summit in [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Innovative solutions help save lives in humanitarian crises

Hospitainer at the World Humanitarian Summit. Photo: Hospitainer

Innovative solutions to saving lives during emergencies are being highlighted at the first ever United Nations World Humanitarian Summit, currently underway in Istanbul, Turkey. The UN is describing the summit as a wake-up call for action in the “service of common humanity.” A record 130 million people globally need some sort of aid to survive. [...]

24 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Jamie Oliver: I've never been more depressed by kids' diets

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Children's diets have never been so bad but there is a way to change this for the better, top chef Jamie Oliver told the UN on Monday. The British cook and food campaigner was speaking at the UN in Geneva during the World Health Assembly. Here's Daniel Johnson in Geneva. Surrounded by government ministers at [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief condemns latest Syria bombings

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All sides in Syria are being urged by the UN Secretary-General to refrain from attacks on civilians, and return to negotiations. Ban Ki-moon's call came in a statement issued on Monday condemning a series of bombings in the coastal cities of Jableh and Tartous which reportedly killed more than 120 people. The terrorist group ISIL, [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 23 May 2016 (PM)

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New partnership to boost response to organized crime and terrorism Tackling the challenges of transnational organized crime and terrorism is the goal of a new agreement between the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the international police organization, INTERPOL. The partners will share information and build on expertise to strengthen action to respond [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"This is the end of the world": powerful stories heard at WHS

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More people have been forced from their homes due to conflict or disaster, than at any time since the end of the Second World War, a major UN summit focussing on humanitarian crises has heard. It's not just governments and agencies who have come together under the UN umbrella at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 23 May 2016 – Special programme from the WHS

Opening Ceremony of the World Humanitarian Summit. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Stephanie Coutrix and Dianne Penn. Today we bring you a special programme from the opening of the World Humanitarian Summit, in Istanbul, Turkey. It's a unique and unprecedented event designed to address the fact that, in the words of the UN Secretary-General, [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Equality centre of 2030 discussions in Latin America and Caribbean

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC. Photo: Carlos Vera/ECLAC.

The issue of equality is expected to be at the centre of discussions getting underway in Mexico between representatives of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. They're meeting under the auspices of 36th session of ECLAC, the UN's Economic Commission for the region. ECLAC comprises 45 Member States and 13 associate members. The meeting [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Caribbean News, Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Global bid launched to speed up tuberculosis treatment

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A new approach to tackling tuberculosis (TB) is needed if deaths from the preventable disease are to be stopped, UN health experts said Monday. One-third of the world's population is thought to have the disease without realising it, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), while long and expensive treatments mean that it is not [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Panama's First Lady: Empowering girls is key to beating HIV

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Ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic will not be possible without doing more to prevent the world's 1.8 billion teenagers from being exposed to the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) believes. Spearheading the the effort via its #zerodiscrimination online campaign is UNAIDS, the UN agency, whose Special Ambassador for Latin America is Panama's First [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Greater allocation" needed for education in humanitarian funding

Drawing: Safe Schools, in exhibition at the World Humanitarian Summit. Photo: UN/Stephanie Coutrix

Education needs a "greater allocation" when it comes to humanitarian funding. That's the view of Sarah Brown, Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education, who's attending the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. She's also President of the children's charity, TheirWorld. On Monday, she joined her husband, the former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 23 May 2016 (AM)

Landfills are a major source of methane emissions. Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark

Environmental degradation behind millions of premature deaths globally Air pollution, chemicals, climate change and other environmental threats are responsible for almost one quarter of all deaths globally. That's according to a new UN report which found that more than 12 million deaths in 2012, or 23 per cent of the total, were attributable to these [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Political will and investment needed to end obstetric fistula

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Two million women and girls worldwide suffer from obstetric fistula, an injury caused during childbirth due to prolonged, obstructed labour without treatment. That's according to the UN Secretary-General, who adds that there are an additional 50,000 to 100,000 new cases each year. Ban Ki-moon warns that if this rate continues, most of these women will [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Safe Birth" during emergencies campaign launched in Istanbul

Campaign Safe Birth Even Here. Image: UNFPA

The needless deaths of women and newborns during humanitarian crises are being highlighted by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) with the launch of a campaign called "Safe Birth Even Here" The campaign, which is supported by the apparel company Benetton, aims to raise awareness of the critical needs of pregnant women, particularly in crises and [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"We are here to shape a different future": UN chief opens historic summit

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The world needs to "shape a different future" to give people "a chance at a life in dignity." That's according to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, opening the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey on Monday. He told an audience of Member States, development and humanitarian agencies and many other concerned organizations that a [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Tongan women break cultural norms to take decision-making role

Community meeting in Hunga island, Tonga. (Screen grab from IFAD Video)

Women on a remote Pacific island are breaking cultural barriers by taking on roles which will decide the future of their communities. A programme supported by the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on Hunga island, in the Tonga archipelago, gives women and men equal decision-making powers. Together they have agreed on a series [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Schooling a "priority" after disaster strikes

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When a natural or man-made disaster strikes the priority for children and families alike is to restart school as quickly as possible; that's according to the civil society organization, A World at School. It's one of several thousand participants at the World Humanitarian Summit, which is getting underway in Istanbul, Turkey on Monday. The summit [...]

23 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Humanitarian summit must become “action summit”

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Over 150 Heads of State and Government gathering in Istanbul for a humanitarian summit have been told by the UN Deputy Secretary-General that they have to take responsibility for helping those people who are most in need. The international community is meeting in the Turkish city at the first ever World Humanitarian Summit, which begins [...]

22 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Humanitarian conference about "helping people who have suffered"

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An international conference focusing on multiple global humanitarian crises is about supporting people who are affected by natural and man-made disasters, according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. More than 125 Heads of State and Government are expected to attend the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit which begins in Istanbul, Turkey on Monday. The United [...]

22 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Prioritize" migrant and refugee crisis at humanitarian summit

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The international community is being urged to "prioritize" the migrant and refugee crisis at a global UN humanitarian summit due to open in Istanbul, Turkey on Monday. Karen AbuZayd, the UN Special Adviser on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants said the large numbers of people who have fled their homes due to conflict [...]

22 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Huge" long-term problem for refugee children not in school

Refugee children on the border of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. Photo: UNICEF/Tomislav Georgiev

Refugee children and their families face "huge" long-term problems if they are not able to attend school, according to the UN Cultural Fund, UNESCO. The Global Education Monitoring Report produced by UNESCO and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than other children. [...]

22 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Security Council and Arab League need to improve coordination

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The UN Security Council and League of Arab States need to improve coordination of support in Somalia according to the British Ambassador to the UN. The 15-member Security Council met the Arab League in Cairo following a visit to Somalia and Kenya. Daniel Dickinson has more details. Speaking at what was described as the first [...]

21 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Indonesian LGBTI people face discrimination from all sides

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people in Indonesia face discrimination by the government, the religious majority and the media. That's according to Yuli Rustinawati, leader of Arus Pelangi or Rainbow Stream in English, a human rights group that fights for LGBTI people in the South-East Asian country. Ms Rustinawati recently attended what's been described [...]

21 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"I am with you" Ban tells Indigenous Peoples

A view of participants in the General Assembly Hall during the opening ceremony of the Fifteenth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The world's indigenous peoples have been urged to remain engaged in an on-going consultation process that may give them a bigger voice at the United Nations. UN chief Ban Ki-moon was speaking on Friday at the close of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. In his final address to delegates attending the annual event, he [...]

20 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 20 May 2016 (PM)

Matthew Rycroft (left). Photo: UN

  Security Council declares "shared interest" with Kenya in Somali success The UN Security Council and the Kenyan government have a "shared interest" in helping Somalia to achieve success. United Kingdom Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, spoke to reporters after council members met Kenya's president, and other leading politicians, in Nairobi. "President Kenyatta was [...]

20 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 20 May 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Daniel Dickinson and Matthew Wells. In today’s programme: a Zika strain is reported on an African island for the first time; and, a new online tool is helping indigenous groups across the world track rights violations.

20 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Indigenous Navigator: A tool to "revert injustice"

Max Ooft. Photo: UN Radio/D. Penn

Indigenous people in six countries are piloting a tool to document violations of their rights. The Indigenous Navigator, which is available online, will be used to gather data which can then be presented to governments and international bodies. Max Ooft, a Kalinya man and Policy Officer at the Bureau of the Association of Indigenous Village [...]

20 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Zika strain reported on African island for first time

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can carry Zika as well as Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma

A strain of a virus which can lead to brain defects in newborns has been discovered for the first time in Africa, the UN has confirmed. The Zika virus has been detected in some 26 countries in the Americas but has now been identified on the island archipelago of Cabo Verde off the west coast [...]

20 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Global temperature records "smashed" in April

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Global temperature records have been broken for the 12th consecutive month, with April 1.1 degrees Centigrade above the 20th century average. Announcing the findings, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that last month's data was the highest for April since global records began more than 130 years ago. The main driver of this heat rise [...]

20 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Surge in people fleeing conflict in South Kordofan state in Sudan

Thousands of people displaced by conflict in Kordofan State. Paul Banks/UNMIS

The number of people fleeing fighting between government forces and rebels in the Sudanese state of South Kordofan continues to rise, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has reported. Nearly 7,000 people have crossed into neighbouring South Sudan since January to escape aerial bombardments, hunger and a lack of educational opportunities for their children. UNHCR said [...]

20 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 20 May 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Concern at impunity in Mexico for alleged summary executions Almost two years after the alleged summary execution of at least 12 people in Mexico, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has voiced concerns that the investigation is going nowhere. At least 22 people were reportedly killed at a warehouse in Tlatlaya in June 2014, and [...]

20 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Racism, sexism plague Canadian indigenous women

Dawn Lavell-Harvard. Photo: UN Radio/D. Penn

Canada's decision to launch an inquiry into the disappearance and murder of hundreds of indigenous women over the past 30 years has been welcomed by an activist from the country. Dawn Lavell-Harvard believes the process will expose what she sees as "the very ugly truth" of how these citizens are treated. Ms Lavell-Harvard is president [...]

20 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Fighting obesity and micronutrient deficiency with nuclear science

Credit: FAO

Nuclear science is helping Latin American and Caribbean countries to combat what one expert calls "the double burden" of malnutrition and obesity. The condition arises when obese people do not get enough zinc, iron or other micronutrients to meet their bodies' daily needs, thus affecting their health. Steve Thatchet reports on how the International Atomic [...]

20 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

LGBTI community faces systematic attempt to stifle its voice

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The international community of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex people faces a systematic attempt to stifle their right to voice an opinion; that's according to Charles Radcliffe from the UN human rights office (OHCHR). His comments came after 11 civil society organisations representing LGBTI and other marginalized communities were refused permission to attend a [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 19 May 2016 (PM)

Amr Abdellatif (at table, right). Photo: UNSOM

  Security Council visits Somalia, stresses importance of "moving forward" Somalia needs to "move forward" with its timetable for fresh elections and deal with the continuing threat posed armed extremists. That was the message on Thursday, from the President of the Security Council, Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, of Egypt, after council members spent the day in [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on peacekeeping, South Sudan and Nigeria

Wreath laying ceremony ahead of International Day of UN Peacekeepers. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Fallen peacekeepers honoured at UN One hundred and twenty-nine United Nations peacekeepers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2015 were remembered at a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York. The blue helmets, as they are known, came from 50 different countries, many from Africa. They were honoured ahead of International [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on indigenous activists, migrants and decent jobs

Children, women and men who have fled their homes amid the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis, stand outside small tents in a park next to the bus and train stations in Belgrade, the Serbian capital. Photo: UNICEF/ Shubuckl

Recognizing indigenous contributions to a sustainable future The ability to "read" changes in weather patterns or in animal behaviour has saved indigenous communities from natural disasters for centuries. Indigenous activists, who've been meeting at UN Headquarters, are hoping that traditional knowledge like this will be recognized in global efforts to combat climate change and create [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

Environment will "continue to decline" unless we "work with nature"

Burnt and degraded forest within Tesso Nilo National Park, Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: World Bank/Flore de Preneuf

The world's environment will "continue to decline" unless governments act and begin to "work with nature". That's the message from the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, following the publication of what's being described as the agency's most authoritative study ever. Under the title Global Environmental Outlook: Regional Assessments, the report [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: FGM, women’s health and LGBTI gala

Omar Sharif Jr, Crown Prince, Alan Cumming. Photo: OutRight International

New guidelines to improve care for FGM survivors New guidelines on the management of health complications from Female Genital Mutilation or FGM have been released by the World Health Organization (WHO). FGM is the partial or total removal of external genitalia or other injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Globally, there are 200 [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

Pfizer decision on death row drugs welcomed by rights chief

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A decision by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer not to allow its drugs to be used in lethal injections of prisoners has been welcomed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said that all companies should "avoid causing or contributing" to rights violations. Here's Daniel Johnson in Geneva. American pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer says [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 19 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Daniel Dickinson and Matthew Wells. In today’s programme: 129 fallen UN peacekeepers are honoured; and, Countries are being encouraged to recognise the link between diet and environmental sustainability.

19 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Fallen peacekeepers honoured at UN

Wreath laying ceremony ahead of International Day of UN Peacekeepers. UN Photo/Mark Garten

One hundred and twenty-nine United Nations peacekeepers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2015 have been remembered at a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York. The blue helmets, as they are known, came from 50 different countries and were honoured ahead of International Day of UN Peacekeepers which is marked annually on [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 19 May 2016 (AM)

Senegalese police officers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), patrol the streets of the city of Gao, in Mali. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Five peacekeepers killed in Mali, UN chief condemns attack Five UN peacekeepers serving in the UN Mission in Mali, MINUSMA, have been killed in a deadly attack by unknown assailants that also left three injured. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the assault, which took place in the Kidal region of the North African country. [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Special Envoy holds off calling new Syria talks

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In Syria, the task of delivering aid to blockaded communities remains extremely difficult, but there is hope that the situation will improve with renewed international pressure, the UN said Thursday. The announcement was made in Geneva by Jan Egeland, the UN humanitarian task force coordinator for the wartorn country. At Egeland's side was UN Special [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

A voice from the desert appeals for peace and unity

Akli Sh'kka. Photo: UN Radio/D. Penn

Borders established by colonial powers in North Africa created new nations but devastated the region's indigenous people, according to an activist from Libya. Akli Sh'kka said his people, the Tuareg, are still experiencing the fallout from what he characterises as a "crime." Mr Sh'kka heads the Imouhagh International Organisation for the Sake of Justice & [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Dramatic" increase in life expectancy since 2000

Ties Boerma. Photo: UN

Life expectancy has increased dramatically, UN health experts said Thursday, pointing to a five-year improvement since 2000. According to new data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Japanese women and Swiss men live the longest, averaging around 86 and 81 years respectively. In Sierra Leone however, both sexes have the shortest life expectancy, at just [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Indigenous forum: An opportunity to engage and share

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. UN Photo/Rick Bajorna

For 15 years, indigenous people from around the world have had a space where they can share their experiences and concerns. The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues has been recognized as the global gathering that works to improve the lives of this population, which numbers more than 370 million. That assessment was made by [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Countries encouraged to see link between diet and sustainability

Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann

Although more people than ever before now understand that healthy eating is beneficial, few governments have made the connection between good nutrition and environmental sustainability. The finding comes in Plates, Pyramids, Planet, a report launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Food Climate Research Network at the University of Oxford in the [...]

19 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

ILO: lack of decent jobs “threatens poverty reduction”

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Decades of progress in reducing poverty could be undone by a lack of decent jobs and stagnating growth, top UN labour experts said on Wednesday. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), a third of workers in poorer countries earn less than US$ 3.10 per day. Here's Daniel Johnson in Geneva. Duration: 2'09"  

18 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"We're all working night and day" to free Boko Haram captives

A view from a rally held in May 2014 in Lagos, calling for the return of over two hundred Nigerian secondary school girls abducted in April by the extremist group Boko Haram. UN File Photo

The Nigerian government together with the UN and other agencies are "all working night and day" to try and free captives being held by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. That's according to the UN Humanitarian Affairs chief, Stephen O'Brien, who has been on a visit to the Lake Chad Basin region. He said reports that [...]

18 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Urbanization may be "greatest opportunity" to achieve sustainable development

Joan Clos.  UN Photo/Zach Krahmer

The migration of people to cities across the world may provide the "greatest opportunity" to achieve sustainable development. That's according to Joan Clos, the Executive Director of the United Nations settlements agency, UN Habitat, speaking on the day of launch of the World Cities Report 2016. With more than two-thirds of the global population expected [...]

18 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 18 May 2016 (PM)

In Diffa, Niger, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien (second left, seated) meets with a family who fled when Boko Haram attacked. Photo: UN OCHA

"Massive" humanitarian crisis unfolding in Niger, due to Boko Haram The world needs to pay more attention to the "massive humanitarian crisis" unfolding in Niger, said the UN Humanitarian Affairs chief on Wednesday. Under-Secretary-General Stephen O'Brien, was speaking after a two-day fact-finding mission to the north-west African country. He said violence at the hands of [...]

18 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Cities have "humanitarian duty" to accept migrants

Children, women and men who have fled their homes amid the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis, stand outside small tents in a park next to the bus and train stations in Belgrade, the Serbian capital. Photo: UNICEF/ Shubuckl

Cities, especially in Europe, have a "humanitarian duty" to accept migrants according to the chief of the UN settlements agency, UN Habitat. Last year, one and a half million Syrians arrived in Europe after fleeing their country, the majority of whom are hoping to build new lives in urban areas. Joan Clos, the Executive Director [...]

18 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 18 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Daniel Dickinson and Matthew Wells. In today’s programme: cities have a humanitarian duty to migrants; and, how the knowledge of indigenous peoples can protect against natural disasters.

18 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 18 May 2016 (AM)

The life cycle of a mosquito: An egg can develop into an adult mosquito within 7 to 10 days. The elimination of breeding sites is crucial to reducing the population of mosquitoes that transmit dengue disease, zika or chikungunya. Photo:PAHO

Zika likely to spread in Europe during summer months There is a "low to moderate" risk that the Zika virus will spread to Europe during the next few months, according to the latest assessment from the World Health Organization (WHO). So far, in Latin America, nine countries have reported infections among pregnant women due to [...]

18 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Role for indigenous in global sustainable future

Joan Carling, an indigenous activist from the Cordillera, Philippines, is an expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Photo: UN Radio/D. Penn

The ability to "read" changes in weather patterns or in animal behaviour has saved indigenous communities from natural disasters for centuries. Indigenous activists meeting at the United Nations are hoping that traditional knowledge like this will be recognized in global efforts to combat climate change and create a more equitable planet. Joan Carling is an [...]

18 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

US$500 million appeal launched for two million refugees

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War and conflict are behind a global displacement crisis that's left the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) needing half-a-billion US dollars to help two million people, it announced Wednesday. In a call for funds, UNHCR said that the past decade has seen a sharp rise in the number of people on the move, currently estimated at [...]

18 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Up to 70% drop in oil revenue hits Nigeria "hard"

Kemi Adeosun.(Screen grab from IMF Video)

A 70 per cent drop in oil revenue in Nigeria has hit the West African country "quite hard" according to Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun. Speaking on the margins of the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Ms Adeosun said that the government needed to diversify its revenue base by ensuring improved [...]

18 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Exhilarating" experience of Lebanese teenager at UN

Global Model UN Conference. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

A 16-year old Lebanese girl has been talking of the "exhilarating" experience of participating in the annual Global Model UN Conference at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The MUN, as it is sometimes known, is an academic competition for school and university students focusing on the study of diplomacy, international relations and the UN [...]

17 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Lack of attention and focus" over humanitarian crisis in Yemen

John Ging (right).  At his side is Stéphane Dujarric. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

A "lack of attention and focus" over the on-going humanitarian crisis in Yemen is being compounded by a "shocking fall-off" in donor funding. That's according to the Director of Operations for the UN's Humanitarian Affairs Office (OCHA) John Ging. He has just returned from a three day visit to Yemen. Matthew Wells has more. Mr [...]

17 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 17 May 2016 (PM)

A boy attends to vegetables in a market in Iraq. Photo: UNESCO/Giacomo Pirozzi (file)

Baghdad terror attacks strongly condemned by top UN official in Iraq A series of suicide bombings across Baghdad on Tuesday, have been strongly condemned by the UN's Special Representative for Iraq. Ján Kubiš offered condolences to the families of the victims of the attacks, that targeted busy markets in several neighbourhoods, as well as a [...]

17 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

LGBTI gala promotes rights at UN Headquarters

Omar Sharif Jr, Crown Prince, Alan Cumming. Photo: OutRight International

What's been described as the largest ever gathering at the UN of lesbian gay, bisexual Transgender and Intersex people shows the progress that has been made towards giving those people the rights they deserve. That's according to attendees of the event, which was organized by LGBTI rights group OutRight International. It took place Monday night [...]

17 May 2016 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 17 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Daniel Dickinson and Matthew Wells. In today's programme: 70% of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2050…Mayors tell the UN how to deal with growing urbanization. And, a celebration of what's been called the largest ever gather of LGBTI people [...]

17 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Air drops plan "could be extended to all of Syria"

A WFP air drop. Photo: WFP (file)

A plan to airdrop aid to all besieged locations in Syria could be implemented amid continuing difficulties reaching desperate communities in the war-torn country, it's been announced. US Secretary of State John Kerry unveiled the proposal after a meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Vienna on Tuesday. Matthew Wells reports. The World [...]

17 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 17 May 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Fears that Crimean Tatars "even more exposed to collective punishment" In Crimea, moves to ban political representation of the Tatar minority could leave them more exposed to human rights violations, the UN said Tuesday. The warning, from the UN Human Rights Office OHCHR, follows the designation of the Tatars' Mejilis body as an extremist organisation. [...]

17 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

New technologies "provide smart solutions" to change the world

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD-2016)

New information and communication technologies (ICTs) "provide smart solutions" to help change the world for the better and foster sustainable development. That's the message from UN chief Ban Ki-moon, marking World Telecommunication Day, on Tuesday. He said the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically single out the key role of ICTs in improving life for [...]

17 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

Mayors negotiate a New Urban Agenda

An aerial view of Quito, Ecuador. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Mayors from different parts of the world will help set a new global strategy around urbanization for the next two decades, the UN says. Half of the global population currently lives in urban areas, but the numbers are expected to peak at 70 per cent by 2050. For the first time, city officials met with [...]

17 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Family planning "fundamental" to sustainable development

A woman carries her child on her back. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

The right for women and girls to make their own choices about planning a family is "fundamental" to sustainable development according to the chief of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Babatunde Osotimehin was speaking from Copenhagen, where he's been attending the Women Deliver conference, the first major development gathering on maternal, sexual and reproductive health [...]

17 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Security is "key for the future" of Libya say ministers in Vienna

Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Manuel Elías

Restoring security in the face of "critical challenges" is the "key for the future" of war-torn Libya. That's one of the key points to emerge from a Joint Communique issued on behalf of dozens of countries following a high level ministerial meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Monday. The ministers reiterated their "full political backing" for [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 16 May 2016 (PM)

A wide view of the Security Council meeting on Kosovo.UN Photo/Evan Schneider

  Kosovo still facing "hard realities" despite election of new president Kosovo is still facing "hard realities" when it comes to national development and the economy, the UN Security Council heard on Monday. Delivering a briefing on the Balkan country, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, the UN Special Representative in Kosovo said that [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Historic" agreement to release children from Colombian armed group

Internally displaced children, victims of conflict in Colombia. UN Photo/Mark Garten

An agreement to release child soldiers serving with one of Colombia's main armed opposition groups has been welcomed by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The Government of Colombia and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) reached the deal in Havana, Cuba, on Sunday. Under the agreement, FARC will release children [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Misery to many generations" of schoolchildren unless world acts now

A mother watches as three of her children head off to school in Qamishli, northern Syria. Photo: UNHCR/F. Al-Khateeb

"Many generations" of schoolchildren caught up in warzones or disaster areas face "misery" unless the world helps to restore their education. That's according to the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown. He was announcing a new global education fund on Monday, which will be officially [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 16 May 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Jocelyne Sambira and Matthew Wells. In today’s programme: new guidelines to treat and manage health complications related to Female Genital Mutilation or FGM have been released by WHO. And, a UN backed conference in Denmark is looking at ways to improve the [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

New treaty tackles illegal and unregulated fishing

Net fishing in Colombia. Photo: World Bank/Edwin Huffman

Selling fish that was caught illegally will become more difficult when a new international treaty comes into effect in June, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday. The Port State Measures Agreement seeks to curb the US$23 billion annual trade from illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, or "IUU fishing." So far, 30 countries [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

New guidelines to improve care for FGM survivors

A woman holds a knife used in Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). Photo: UNICEF/Catherine Ntabadde

New guidelines on the management of health complications from Female Genital Mutilation or FGM have been released by the World Health Organization (WHO). FGM is the partial or total removal of external genitalia or other injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Globally, there are 200 million women and girls living with FGM, according [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Campaign to end gender-based violence in South Sudan

Women and children arrive in the Bentiu Protection of Civilians site for internally displaced people, in Unity State, South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/Sebastian Rich

Weak law enforcement institutions and some traditional cultural practices hinder victims of gender-based violence in South Sudan from reporting these incidents to the authorities. That's according to the UN mission in the country, UNMISS, which has launched a campaign targeting women in four camps for internally displaced people (IDPs). Leda Limann heads the UNMISS field [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

World's first binding accord on illegal fishing comes into force in June

Inspectors will be able to check on actual fish catches on visiting ships under the new Agremeent. Photo: FAO

The world's first binding accord on illegal fishing is due to enter into force next month, after reaching the required threshold of countries who have agreed to sign up. The so-called Port State Measures Agreement was drawn up by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2009. Thirty members have now formally agreed to its [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 16 May 2016 (AM)

Crop damage caused by Super Cyclone Pam on the Pacific Island of Vanuatu. Photo: UNICEF/Gaelle Sevenier

  Pacific governments head to summit for "once in a lifetime opportunity" A total of 15 high-level delegations from the Pacific region are heading to next week's first ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), hoping to reshape the aid agenda. The summit in Istanbul, Turkey, takes place from 23-24 May, and is expected to involve more [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Galvanizing action for better health for women and children

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Despite global progress in reducing maternal and child deaths, more than 300,000 women die each year giving birth while six million children do not live to see their fifth birthday, the United Nations reports. The majority of these deaths are preventable. Improving the health and wellbeing of women and girls is the focus of the [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Darfur could "become hell" if UN leaves, camp residents warn

A section of the Kalma camp for internally displaced people (IDP), near Nyala, in South Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran

Residents of camps for the internally displaced in the Sudanese region of Darfur have been voicing their concerns to the top UN official there. Joint Special Representative for the UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur, Martin Uhomoibhi, toured several camps in the region where rebels have been fighting Sudanese government troops for thirteen years. One camp [...]

16 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Courage of young refugees to "tell story" inspires new documentary

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The courage of young refugees to tell their story on stage has inspired a new documentary in Australia. Cast from the Storm follows a group of teenagers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, now living in Sydney, as they confront their darkest memories, taking part in a drama-therapy programme. Director David Mason spoke to May [...]

15 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Young indigenous women in USA need better protection

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Young indigenous women in the United States need to be better protected under the law. That's the opinion of Robin Minthorn, a citizen of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and a professor of Native American Studies at the University of New Mexico. Ms Minthorn represented the National Indian Youth Council at this week's Permanent Forum [...]

14 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Michael Douglas unveils the ultimate pin-up in Geneva: posters for peace

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A nuclear bomb unravelling into strings for children's kites, or a weapon of mass destruction made of nothing more harmless than flowers…. Just two of the many stunning entries in the United Nations Office Of Disarmament Affairs' (UNODA) poster competition. The unveiling of the posters in Geneva coincides with discussions at the UN in the [...]

14 May 2016 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

Lebanon urged to end presidential vacuum

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Leaders in Lebanon are being urged to set aside their differences to make way for the election of a president, the out-going UN envoy for the country has said. Lebanon has now been without a Head of State or military chief for two years. The president has to secure a two-thirds majority vote in parliament [...]

13 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 13 May 2016 (PM)

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Some 1,000 migrants from the Mediterranean The Italian Coastguard has helped rescue some 1,000 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR has said. Syrians, Iraqis and people from other nationalities were among the group, the agency confirmed. The disembarkation of people rescued took place on Friday at four different locations in Southern [...]

13 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Indigenous groups in Bangladesh face discrimination in state services

Press briefing by the incoming Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Indigenous groups in Bangladesh still face discrimination accessing basic state services including health care and education. That's according to Raja Devasish Roy, Chief of the Chakma, an indigenous people native to the South Asian country. Mr Roy is a member of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues which has been meeting at UN Headquarters in [...]

13 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 13 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today’s programme: Ethiopian children abducted by cattle raiders returned from South Sudan; and a report on suicide among indigenous youth worldwide.

13 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Prosecutions in UN sex abuse cases underway

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The criminal prosecution of peacekeepers accused of sex abuse is underway a number of countries, a senior UN official has confirmed. Member States heard a briefing on the progress and challenges encountered in stamping out Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (SEA) by UN personnel. A series of special measures aimed attending impunity for sex crimes by [...]

13 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 13 May 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Abducted Ethiopian children begin recovery after release  In Ethiopia, help is being provided to children who were abducted during a cattle raid in the west of the country but later released, the UN said Friday. UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that 10 children had been set free on Wednesday, in addition to the 19 released last [...]

13 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Children abducted in Ethiopia cattle raids returned from South Sudan

Alkatekach Primary School in Ethiopia. File Photo: UNICEF/Ethiopia/Sewunet

Twenty-nine Ethiopian children who were among a group of 146 children abducted last month and taken to South Sudan have so far been released, the United Nations has reported. The children were taken from Gambela in western Ethiopia after alleged cattle raiders from South Sudan crossed the border and attacked their villages. The UN Children's [...]

13 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Rights chief responds to Turkey call on violations probe

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Turkey's invitation to UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to visit the country following concerns over reported mass rights violations is welcome but does not go far enough, his office has announced. What's needed is full and unhindered access by human rights experts to affected populations in the south-east of the country, not [...]

13 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Suicide rates among indigenous youth are "just unacceptable"

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Suicide rates for indigenous youth that are sometimes more than ten times the national average are "just unacceptable". That's the stark assessment of the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, addressing the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues this week. And some of the youth leaders from indigenous communities around the world have been speaking [...]

13 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Rule of law institutions can support sustainable peace in Darfur

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The establishment of police stations and other rule of law institutions in Darfur could help internally displaced people (IDPs) to return to their homes. That's the assessment of Martin Uhomoibhi, head of the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). UNAMID's tasks include protecting scores of civilians fleeing ongoing fighting between Sudanese government forces [...]

13 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 12 May 2016 (PM)

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UN Chief calls for "calm and dialogue" in Brazil A call for "calm and dialogue" in Brazil has been issued by the UN Secretary-General following the suspension of President Dilma Roussef by the Senate. According to media reports, the country's Vice President has taken over as the interim leader. Here's the UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric. [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN report paints "bleak picture" of world economy

Press conference on the launch of World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2016. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The world economy is expected to grow by just 2.4 per cent this year, the same low rate as last year, a senior UN official has confirmed. A new report launched by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) on Thursday paints a bleak picture of the world's economy. In 2017, the world [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: wartime sexual violence, indigenous peoples and refugee mothers

Zainab Bangura.  UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Sexual violence in conflict crimes "so bad" in South Sudan Crimes of sexual violence during South Sudan's brutal civil war have been "so bad" that they need to become a key focus of the reconciliation effort. That's the verdict of the UN Special Envoy on wartime sexual violence, Zainab Bangura. More than two million people [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on countering terrorist narratives, Humanitarian Summit and indigenous heritage

Mohi El-Din Afifi. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

Countering terrorist narratives through solidarity and shared humanity Within weeks of the terrorist attacks in Paris last November, there were more than one million views of videos praising the gunmen and suicide bombers…that's what the UN Security Council has been told. The 15-member Council held an open debate on ways to counter what it calls [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

Peacebuilding valuable in avoiding cycles of violence and suffering

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A US$100 million fund that supports countries emerging from war or political crises is facing a "serious" shortfall, the UN Deputy Secretary-General said on Thursday. The Peacebuilding Fund has helped a number of African countries recover from conflict and instability. The international community discussed the fund at a meeting at the UN focussing on sustaining [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on reconciliation in South Sudan, migrants in Angola and refugee camps in Kenya

Women leaders at the POC site in Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan. UN Photo/JC McIlwaineUNA1916-05MAY16

Traditional Leaders urged to promote peace and reconciliation in South Sudan Traditional leaders in South Sudan are being called upon by the UN to promote peace and reconciliation as people return to their homes following conflict. The African country is beginning to emerge from two years of brutal conflict after the formation of a unity [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Daily News 12 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: Value of peacebuilding in avoiding cycles of violence and suffering. And, the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit represents a "massive opportunity" to deliver.

12 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Syria violence may create "de-facto" besieged zones

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In Syria, humanitarian aid workers face ongoing challenges as they try to help civilians with desperate needs, the UN said on Thursday. Aid convoys have been given permission to access less than half of the 905,000 people in need. Jan Egeland, who heads the UN-led Syria relief effort from Geneva, said that government forces were [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 12 May 2016 (AM)

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Yemen on verge of humanitarian disaster Yemen is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster due to food security issues and food shortages facing the country, the UN food agency, FAO, has warned. Food aid is needed during the April and May cereal and vegetable planting season and the summer fishing season to avert such [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Game-changing advances announced for TB treatment

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Significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis have been announced by UN health experts. The new World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations promise quicker detection of TB and better recovery rates than current methods for those with the more resistant form of the disease. Every year, TB kills 1.5 million per year, and those [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Air pollution in cities "is getting worse"

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The issue of air pollution in cities is getting worse and it's the most vulnerable members of society who suffer most, UN health experts have warned. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 80 per cent of people living in urban areas are exposed to unhealthy air quality levels. This pollution is a [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Traditional leaders urged to promote reconciliation in South Sudan

Women leaders at the POC site in Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Traditional leaders in South Sudan are being called upon by the UN to promote peace and reconciliation as people return to their homes following conflict. The African country is beginning to emerge from two years of instability after a unity government was formed. Thousands of South Sudanese who fled their homes are now returning. The [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Young people celebrate indigenous heritage through music

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Young indigenous people should celebrate their heritage and revitalize their native languages through making music. That's the message from Nils Rune Utsi, also known as SlinCraze, an up-and-coming rapper who is a member of the Sami community in Norway and the subject of a powerful new documentary, Arctic Superstar. He performed at UN Headquarters in New [...]

12 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Humanitarian summit represents "massive opportunity" to deliver

Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefs journalists on the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), scheduled to take place on 23-24 May in Istanbul, Turkey.
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Helping displaced people to "survive and thrive" is one key objective of the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator said on Wednesday. Stephen O'Brien expects more than 20,000 participants from over 150 countries will attend the summit, which seeks to address massive humanitarian needs and suffering across the globe. He said the [...]

11 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 11 May 2016 (PM)

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Yemen negotiators discuss prisoner release A proposal to release half of all detainees held by each party to the Yemeni conflict before the Holy Month of Ramadan is on the table, the UN has said. Discussions between Yemeni parties in Kuwait at the working group level are in full swing. The three working groups are [...]

11 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 11 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today’s programme: Countering terrorism through solidarity and shared humanity. And, we hear tragic stories of suicides and death due to hunger in South Sudan.

11 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Countering terrorism through solidarity and shared values

Mohi El-Din Afifi. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

Within weeks of the terrorist attacks in Paris last November there were more than one million views of videos praising the gunmen and suicide bombers, the Security Council heard on Wednesday. The 15-member Council has been holding an open debate on ways to counter what it calls "the narratives and ideologies of terrorism." Dianne Penn [...]

11 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 11 May 2016 (AM)

Vulnerable communities in Behara, in drought-hit southern Madagascar, participate in a food for assets programme funded by the European Union. Photo: WFP/Volana Rarivoson

Madagascar hunger report paints "alarming picture" A new UN report on the cost of hunger in Madagascar paints an "alarming picture", the Secretary-General said during an official visit to the country. Ban Ki-moon is the second Secretary-General to visit the island nation. Nearly half of all children in Madagascar suffers from stunting. Malnutrition costs more [...]

11 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Baghdad car bomb attack strongly condemned by UN

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A car bomb attack on a busy market in northern Baghdad has been described as "cowardly" by a senior UN official. According to media reports, the terrorist group ISIL has claimed responsibility for the attack and as many as 60 people have died. This latest attack comes after a car bomb was detonated near a [...]

11 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Thailand hears freedom of expression concerns

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International concern at human rights restrictions in Thailand have been raised at the UN. The South-East Asia nation was present at the United Nations in Geneva on Wednesday for an assessment of its rights record. During the meeting, some Member States voiced concern about treason legislation used by the Thai authorities since a military coup [...]

11 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Tragic stories of suicides and death due to hunger in South Sudan

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Tragic stories are emerging of deaths caused by rising hunger in the South Sudanese state of Eastern Equatoria. In one instance, a mother left her two children in order to try and sell firewood for food, only to return and find them both dead. She then hung herself. Children have also died after falling from [...]

11 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

More women in decision-making a first step towards gender equality

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Having more women in parliament and other high-level public offices will go a long way towards achieving gender equality, a UN expert on the issue has said. Baudouine Kamatari, Senior Gender Adviser at the UN mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, says women must be part of decision-making processes that will affect their lives. Ms Kamatari and [...]

11 May 2016 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Growth of Least Developed Countries "positive but not equally shared"

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The general economic growth of the least developed countries or LDCs in the past five years has been positive but the challenge is it's not equally shared by all. That's according to Gyan Chandra Acharya, the UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). He briefed the press [...]

10 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 10 May 2016 (PM)

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  Shooting and killing of civilians in Darfur condemned The shooting and killing of civilians close to a site for displaced people in Sortony North Darfur has been condemned by the UN. These unidentified men on gun-mounted vehicles opened fire, killing two children and wounding several others, including a peacekeeper with the African Union-UN Mission [...]

10 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Angola encouraged to develop comprehensive strategy for migrants

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Angola is being asked to develop "an all-inclusive strategy" for migrants in the country, many of whom are from neighbouring states. The appeal has been made by a UN expert on the human rights of migrants who has completed an eight-day visit to the country. Francois Crépeau said undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in [...]

10 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

New commitment for peace in a world of risks

Layman Gbowee speaks at the opening session of the high-level thematic debate on the United Nations, Peace and Security. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The changing nature of conflict presents new risks to peace and security. UN engagement in addressing these challenges is the focus of a two-day debate which opened in New York on Tuesday. Convened by the UN General Assembly, it builds on recent policy reviews including a report on the organization's peacekeeping operations and a Global [...]

10 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News 10 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: New commitment for peace in a world of risks. And, an education fund for children in crisis to be launched at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit.

10 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Probe call after 100 people "burned to death in Turkey"

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Reports that more than 100 people burned to death in shelters that were surrounded by the Turkish military must be investigated independently, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said Tuesday. The call for a probe by Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein follows a succession of alarming reports about violations allegedly committed by Turkish forces in [...]

10 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 10 May 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Death penalty appeal to Afghanistan after prisoner executions The execution of six prisoners in Afghanistan has been condemned by the UN's human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein amid reports that torture is used to extract confessions there. In an appeal for legal reform and a halt to the death penalty, UN High Commissioner for [...]

10 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

World Summit is "unique opportunity" to launch new education fund

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The World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul provides a "unique opportunity" to launch a "ground-breaking" new education fund for children caught up in crises. That's the view of Atif Rafique, of the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, who said the Education Cannot Wait initiative would raise new funds for millions of children affected by conflicts or natural [...]

10 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Sexual violence in conflict crimes "so bad" in South Sudan

Zainab Bangura.  UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Crimes of sexual violence during South Sudan's brutal civil war have been "so bad" that they need to become a key focus of the reconciliation effort. That's the verdict of the UN Special Envoy on wartime sexual violence, Zainab Bangura. More than two million people have been displaced in the world's youngest country over the [...]

10 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN calls for end to illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds

Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor). Photo: World Migratory Bird Day/ Mark Anderson

The head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has joined a chorus of voices calling for an end to the illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds. Achim Steiner delivered his message ahead of World Migratory Bird Day, observed annually on 10 May. Bird life is important to our planet, ecosystems and nature, he [...]

10 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Annual forum on indigenous issues opens at UN

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There are 193 countries in the UN family and perhaps their diversity is most evident during the annual forum on indigenous issues which began on Monday in New York. Brian Monongye is from the Fire Clan of the Hopi people who live in 12 autonomous villages in their traditional territory in north-eastern Arizona in the [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Young Professionals Programme 2016

Leda Letra participated in the Young Professionals Programme. UN File Photo.

Participation in the programme Every year the United Nations seeks highly qualified candidates who are ready to launch a professional career as an international civil servant. The young professionals programme (YPP) is a recruitment initiative that brings new talent to the United Nations through an annual entrance examination. The YPP 2016 written examination will take place [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 09 May 2016 (PM)

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"Calculated attacks" against civilians in Syria condemned Attacks against civilians and civilian installations in Syria have been described as "indiscriminate and seemingly calculated" by the UN genocide prevention adviser. Adama Dieng expressed outrage over the incidents in a statement released on Monday, responding to the deadliest two weeks since a ceasefire came into effect on [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 09 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today’s programme: 250 million people on the move globally. And, the annual forum on indigenous issues opens at UN.

9 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Mauritius "most competitive economy" in sub-Saharan region

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (center) attends a welcome event upon arrival in Port-Louis, Mauritius for an official visit to that country. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Mauritius is regarded as the "most competitive economy" in sub-Saharan Africa, the UN Secretary-General has said. Ban Ki-moon made the remarks during a visit to the island nation for an event on Sustainable Development Goals. Mauritius is also one of the first fifteen countries to sign and ratify the Paris agreement on climate change. Jocelyne [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

"Disconnection" is the greatest challenge facing indigenous peoples

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"Disconnection" from past traditions due to colonization is the greatest challenge that indigenous peoples must still overcome. That's according to Jandy Craig, a member of the White Mountain Apache tribe in Arizona. She been attending the Fifteenth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII15) at UN Headquarters in New York.She spoke to Janie [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

250 million people on the move globally

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War, human rights violations, underdevelopment, climate change and natural disasters are leading more people to leave their homes than at any time since reliable records began. That's according to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon speaking ahead of the release of a report called In Safety and Dignity which looks at the large movements of refugees [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Lebanon's "extraordinary commitment" to refugees from Syria

Phillipe Lazzarini, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Lebanon has shown an "extraordinary commitment" to hosting refugees from Syria which makes it a "model of acceptance" other countries should learn from. That's the upbeat view of Phillipe Lazzarini, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, speaking ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul later this month. A quarter of the population are now [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Laws to protect breastfeeding are "inadequate in most countries"

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The advantages of breastfeeding are scientifically proven, UN health experts say, but they warned Monday that there are still "far too many places" where heavily marketed substitutes make mothers think twice about it. The finding comes in a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF with the International Baby Food Action Network [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Alarm at Kenya proposal to close refugee camps

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The announcement by the Kenyan government that it's to close refugee camps is profoundly concerning and needs to be reconsidered, the UN said Monday. As many as 600,000 people could be affected by the decision to end hosting for asylum-seekers, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). It's now in talks with Kenyan authorities in [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 09 May 2016 (AM)

WHO and UNICEF recommend that babies are fed nothing but breast milk for their first 6 months, after which they should continue breastfeedin. Photo: UNICEF

Promote and protect breastfeeding in countries, UN says Countries are being urged to pass laws to promote and protect breastfeeding over the use of breastmilk substitutes, according to a new UN report. The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommend that babies are fed nothing but breast milk for their first 6 months because it [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Teachers are "on the frontlines" of preventing radicalization

Irina Bokova. Photo: UNESCO

Teachers are "on the frontlines" of preventing young people from turning to radicalism, according to Lydia Ruprecht, a gender and policy specialist with the UN cultural organization, UNESCO. UNESCO recently launched the Teacher's Guide on the Prevention of Violent Extremism. The guide provides practical tips to educators on discussing the subject in their classrooms. Ms [...]

9 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Climate action a matter of survival for small island states

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Seychelles National Assembly. Seated at right is Speaker Dr. Patrick Herminie. Photo: UNRIC Nairobi/Newton Kanhema.

Climate action and sustainable development are a matter of survival for small island states like the Seychelles, the UN Secretary-General said on Sunday. In a speech to the country's National Assembly, Ban Ki-moon also praised the contribution these countries have made to global efforts to address climate change. Dianne Penn reports. Mr Ban spoke about [...]

8 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

Syrians who stay behind must not be forgotten

Janine di Giovanni. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Syrians who chose to stay in their homes or were forced to remain in Syria, must not be forgotten as the war drags on. That's according to Janine di Giovanni, Middle East editor of Newsweek and contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Ms di Giovanni visited the UN to discuss her new book that tells the [...]

8 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Seychelles commended for its role in addressing climate change

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) and the President of the Seychelles, James Alix Michel (right). Photo: UNRIC Nairobi/Newton Kanhema.

Small island developing states have demonstrated that they have "big ideas and big political will" to tackle climate change, the UN Secretary-General said on Saturday. Ban Ki-moon was speaking in the Seychelles, where he met with President James Alix Michel and his cabinet, in addition to visiting the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a World Heritage site. Dianne [...]

7 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Psychological treatment for refugee mothers can greatly improve children's futures

Michael Wessells and Brigitte Khoury. UN Photo

Providing psychological treatment to traumatized refugee mothers can greatly improve their children's futures. That's according to Michael Wessells, Professor in the Program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia University. He recently co-chaired the task force that developed a set of guidelines on mental health support in emergency settings, initiated by the World Health Organization [...]

7 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

No women, no peace

Chinese women peacekeepers. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Women must be equal partners in peace efforts if post-conflict societies are to move forward. That's the message coming from Gender Advisers at 14 UN peacekeeping missions who met recently in Entebbe, Uganda. Clare Hutchinson is a Gender Adviser with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York. She talks to Ratomir Petrovic about [...]

7 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 06 May 2016 (PM)

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  Syrian prison crisis could turn deadly: UN human rights chief Authorities in Syria are being urged by the UN Human Rights High Commissioner to take steps to resolve a potential deadly assault on a prison in the west of the country. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussain has expressed alarm over developments at Hama Central Prison, [...]

6 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 06 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: Up to two million more Iraqis could be forced to flee their homes by the end of the year, the top UN official in the country warns. And, one in every two people living [...]

6 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Two million more Iraqis could be made homeless by end of 2016

Iraqis displaced from Ramadi District in Anbar Governorate. Photo: UN Iraq

Up to two million more Iraqis could be displaced by the end of the year if multiple crises are not addressed. That's the warning given to the UN Security Council on Friday by Ján Kubiš, head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, UNAMI. The Special Representative said that a failing economy and political stalemate [...]

6 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Despicable" air strike on Syria tent camp

UN vehicles, carrying a humanitarian aid team, pass a destroyed overbridge on their way to Idlib City, capital of Idlib Governorate, Syria, in October 2013. Photo: UNICEF/Mougabe Koslengar (file)

Deadly air strikes on two informal camps in northern Syria hosting hundreds of displaced families have been condemned by the United Nations. At least 28 people were reportedly killed in the attacks, which happened on Thursday in Idlib province. The UN Human Rights High Commissioner has called the bombing "despicable" and "murderous." He said it [...]

6 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 06 May 2016 (AM)

Tripoli, Libya. Photo: UNSMIL/Abbas Toumi

  Newborn deaths show scale of health system decline in Libya The death of 12 newborns over the past month at the only neonatal intensive care unit in southern Libya reflects the "major breakdown" of the country's health system, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. The infants died from a bacterial infection and [...]

6 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Mountain areas crucial for "survival of the planet"

Thomas Hofer. UN Photo

Mountain areas of the world are crucial for the "survival of the planet" and also home to some of the poorest and hungriest communities on earth. That's the stark assessment of Thomas Hofer, who is the Mountains and Water Team leader for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). A new FAO report on the vulnerability [...]

6 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

VIP protection passed from UN to Liberian government

UNMIL Peacekeepers supporting the Liberian National Police in 2011. File Photo: UNMIL/Emmanuel Tobey

The Liberian government is taking over control of VIP protection from the UN as part of a gradual transition towards assuming responsibility for all aspects of national security. The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has been supporting the West African country since 2003, but as long-term peace and stability returns, it is gradually reducing [...]

6 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on climate change, prevention of radicalization and the “knotted gun” sculpture

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World must "wake up from the fog of success" over climate change The world needs to "wake up from the fog of success" over the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to the President of the World Bank. Jim Yong Kim was speaking at the Climate Action 2016 summit in Washington DC, which began on [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

News in Brief 05 May 2016 (PM)

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

  Working groups hold first meetings at Yemen talks Three working groups at the Yemen peace talks held their first meetings on Thursday, the United Nations has reported. Parties formed the working groups to look at political transition, security issues and issues related to prisoners and detainees. Fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels has [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on VIP protection in Liberia, sub-Saharan Africa and illegal ivory trade

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VIP protection passed from UN to Liberian government The Liberian government is taking over control of VIP protection from the UN, as part of a gradual transition towards assuming responsibility for all aspects of national security. The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has been supporting the West African country since 2003, but as long-term [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Investing in midwives essential for reducing maternal and newborn deaths

Selina Akter, second-year midwifery student, plays the role of a mother as students practice postnatal care at the Dinajpur nursing institute in Bangladesh. Photo: Nicolas Axelrod/Ruom for UNFPA

Trained midwives could help avert roughly two-thirds of global maternal and child deaths annually, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) reports. This Thursday is the International Day of the Midwife, and the UN agency is paying tribute to these critical health care providers. UNFPA says that midwives sometimes work under very difficult circumstances, such as in [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: gender equality in natural disasters, no women, no peace and women farmers

In Yogyakarta, Indonesia, women at a community meeting discuss the reconstruction of their village in the wake of the 2006 tsunami and earthquake. Photo: World Bank/Nugroho Nurdikiawan Sunjoyo

"Gender equality saves lives when disaster hits" When natural disasters strike, a lack of gender equality can mean the difference between life and death. That's according to Robert Glasser, head of the UN' s disaster risk reduction office UNISDR. He's one of more than 100 heads of UN agencies and international organisations who've signed up [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN Daily News 05 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn. In today’s programme: "Wake up from the fog of success" over historic climate change agreement. And, we remember the sculptor behind one of the most iconic works of art here at UN headquarters: the knotted gun.

5 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

World must "wake up from the fog of success" over climate change

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) at the People's Climate March held in New York City. UN Photo/Mark Garten (file photo)

The world needs to "wake up from the fog of success" over the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to the President of the World Bank. Jim Yong Kim was speaking at the Climate Action 2016 summit in Washington DC, which began on Wednesday. He said that the achievement of last December's historic agreement which [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 05 May 2016 (AM)

A nurse washes his hands in the emergency room at Madina Hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

  Clean hands reduce surgical infections Approximately 40 per cent of health care workers do not follow standard hand washing practices, according to studies cited by the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN agency is highlighting the benefits of what it calls "proper hand hygiene practices" before, during and after surgery, as a means to [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Humanitarians appeal for action ahead of global summit

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Global leaders are being urged to find a solution to end the suffering that is affecting millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa. The appeal comes from eight UN aid officials in the region, ahead of the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey later this month. Dianne Penn reports. Widespread violence, conflict [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Knotted Gun" sculptor remembered at UN

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An iconic sculpture of a large gun, the barrel of which is tied in a knot, is the first thing that many visitors to United Nations headquarters in New York see as they enter the compound. Its official title is "Non Violence," although many people know it simply as the knotted gun. It's come to [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Gender equality saves lives when disaster hits"

In Yogyakarta, Indonesia, women at a community meeting discuss the reconstruction of their village in the wake of the 2006 tsunami and earthquake. Photo: World Bank/Nugroho Nurdikiawan Sunjoyo

When natural disasters strike, a lack of gender equality can mean the difference between life and death. That's according to Robert Glasser, head of disaster risk reduction office UNISDR since January this year. He's one of more than 100 heads of UN agencies and international organisations who've signed up to the International Geneva Gender Champions [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Stopping ivory trade is vital to sustainable development in Kenya

105 tonnes of ivory from over 7,000 elephants and 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn was burned in Nairobi, Kenya, on 30 April 2016, in an urgent call to action to end the poaching crisis. Photo: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Protecting elephants and combatting the ivory trade is vital to sustainable development in Kenya. That's according to Helen Clark, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme, (UNDP). Ms Clark recently attended the burning of over 105 tonnes of ivory in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, an event intended to show that the East African country is [...]

5 May 2016 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Help "support and sustain" Palestine refugees, urges UN chief

Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is in "dire need of resources" and help to "support and sustain" its work. That's according to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, speaking at a meeting on the sustainability of UNRWA on Wednesday. The Secretary-General said that the agency, which serves a community of 5.2 million, [...]

4 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Extend "day of silence" in Syria, says UN political chief

Jeffrey Feltman.UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Consolidating and extending a short truce in Syria would be an "important step in the right direction," the head of the UN's Department of Political Affairs said on Wednesday. Jeffrey Feltman was speaking during a Security Council meeting on the political, security and humanitarian implications of recent developments there. Aerial bombardments and shelling over the [...]

4 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 04 May 2016 (PM)

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. UN Photo/Elma Ocik

  Yemen peace talks resume Direct talks between the parties to the conflict in Yemen have resumed in Kuwait following a three-day suspension, the United Nations said on Wednesday. UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is overseeing the ongoing process which seeks to bring an end to fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels [...]

4 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Attack against aid workers in Mali a "concerning" development

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An attack on a humanitarian convoy in north-east Mali which targeted aid workers has been described by the UN as a "concerning" development. The theft of vehicles and supplies has happened before, but this is one of the first occasions where humanitarian staff members have been deliberately assaulted. The incident last Friday left three people [...]

4 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Foreign terrorist fighters returning home constitute a "real risk"

Security Council meeting. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Foreign terrorist fighters returning home from Syria and Iraq radicalized and "battle-hardened" pose a "real risk" to the entire international community. That's according to the chair of the UN Security Council Committee which oversees sanctions against the ISIL and Al Qaida terrorist groups. The council was briefed on Wednesday by the heads of several committees [...]

4 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Technology helps aid partners better understand food insecurity

WFP trucks loaded with wheat grain, oil and salt are ready to leave for Amran, a hundred kilometres north of Yemen's capital, Sana

Last month, about 70 per cent of families in each governorate in Yemen were borrowing food or relying on friends and relatives to help them out. This is an example of the insights gathered by two UN agencies that are boosting their partnership to share and visualize food security data. Dianne Penn reports. The World [...]

4 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 04 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: the Security Council highlights the global risk posed by radicalized foreign terrorist fighters returning home; and, new areas of the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo risk becoming no-go areas for humanitarian aid, the UN [...]

4 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 04 May 2016 (AM)

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom plays Lego with pupils at a school in Slovyansk, as part of a visit to conflict-hit eastern Ukraine. He was in the country to raise awareness of the global education crisis facing children in emergencies. UNICEF/UN017899/Georgiev

  UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom visits Ukraine British actor Orlando Bloom visited conflict-affected eastern Ukraine this week to highlight the importance of education in humanitarian emergencies. The Goodwill Ambassador with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) sat in classrooms that had been hit by shells. He also met schoolchildren who are receiving psychological counselling to [...]

4 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Fears over eastern Aleppo becoming new besieged zone

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Continued fighting in Aleppo has created new no-go areas and risks turning part of the Syrian city into a besieged zone where aid convoys cannot operate, the UN warned on Wednesday. Jan Egeland, chairman of a task force on humanitarian aid, said that "nothing was more important" than an end to the fighting in the [...]

4 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Nuclear technique helps health professionals rapidly detect Zika

Mosquito prevention and control in Salto, Uruguay. Photo: PAHO

Medical professionals from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa have been trained in a nuclear-derived technique that can quickly detect the Zika virus. Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) can detect the virus within three hours. More than 30 countries have been affected by the Zika virus, which is associated with microcephaly, a birth defect [...]

4 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Syria envoy "cautious" for re-launch of cessation of hostilities

Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The UN official overseeing peace talks on Syria has expressed his "cautious" hope for the re-launch of a cessation of hostilities in the war-ravaged country. Staffan de Mistura briefed journalists in Moscow on Tuesday alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Warring sides in Syria agreed to the ceasefire in late February. Dianne Penn reports. The [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Agency taking steps to avert education crisis for Palestine refugee children

UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl visiting the Abu Tue'ma school in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, on 14 September 2014, to celebrate the start of the new school year. Photo: UNRWA/Shareef Sarhan

Ensuring Palestinian youth receive an education is comparable to "a global public good," according to a senior UN official from the region. Pierre Krähenbűhl, head of the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, briefed reporters in New York ahead of a meeting aimed at shoring up its finances. UNRWA operates 700 schools across the [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 03 May 2016 (PM)

Syrian refugee Hanan Dacka takes part in the 2016 Olympic Games torch relay in Brasilia, Brazil, on May 3rd, 2016.

  Syrian refugee girl carries Olympic torch in Brazil A young girl who fled conflict in Syria was among those chosen to carry the Olympic torch in her new homeland, Brazil, host of this year's games. Twelve-year-old Hanan Dacka ran through the streets of the capital, Brasilia, on Tuesday, the first day of the torch [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News 03 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn. In today’s programme: the Security Council resolves to confront the "epidemic" of deliberate attacks on hospitals, patients and medical staff in conflict; and we hear from the author of a new report which shows there's been a [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Direct attacks" against medical staff and patients "must end"

A nurse taking care of an infant child in an incubator at the Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sana'a. Hospitals and clinics in Yemen have been paralyzed by the war: they have either been attacked, run out of medical supplies and fuel or the medical staff have been forced to flee. Photo: UNICEF/Mohamed Yasin

The "systematic destruction" of medical facilities, staff and patients during conflict is a violation of international law that "must end". That's according to the UN Secretary General, briefing the Security Council on Tuesday. Ban Ki-moon was speaking after members unanimously adopted a wide-ranging resolution condemning attacks on health facilities and workers during armed conflict. Matthew [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 3 May 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Refugees on the Pacific island of Nauru "need to be moved" Asylum-seekers on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru should be moved to more humane conditions urgently, the UN said Tuesday, following the death of a refugee who sustained fatal burns there. In its appeal, the UN Refugee Agency, (UNHCR), said it was deeply saddened [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa slows "markedly"

Mine workers at Greenside Colliery, an Anglo American thermal coal mine in South Africa. UN Photo/The Global Fund

Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa has slowed "markedly" over the past year according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Fund’s latest regional economic outlook is predicting another difficult year for the region due to what are being described as "multiple shocks." The IMF's Céline Allard, who co-authored the report, has been speaking to Bruce [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Journalist jailed in Azerbaijan wins press freedom prize

World Press Freedom Day

A radio journalist from Azerbaijan is the winner of the 2016 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. Khadija Ismaliyova will not be on hand to receive the award when it is presented this Tuesday in Helsinki, Finland, as she is in jail on charges relating to abuse of power and tax evasion. The UN Human [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Bring to book" people who harm journalists in South Sudan

Stop killing journalists. Photo: UNESCO

The perpetrators of violence against journalists in South Sudan should be brought "to book," according to the UN cultural agency, UNESCO. Seven media workers lost their lives in 2015: a period during which the African country continued to experience civil conflict. Tuesday marks World Press Freedom Day, this year the theme for which is Access [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Widespread communications technology is key to achieving SDGs

Computer lab in South Sudan. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can only be achieved with the help of widespread information and communication technology, or ICT. That's according to Daniel Sepulveda, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the United States Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. Ambassador Sepulveda is chairman of the 2016 World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) that [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Hunting an indicted war criminal in the former Yugoslavia: The Lid is On podcast

Slavko Dokmanovic (left, in white shirt) is read his rights by Vladimir Dzuro (right, in white shirt). File Photo (1997): Col. David Jones, US Army

Two United Nations policemen have been talking about the "horror stories" they heard from the families of victims of an indicted war criminal from the former Yugoslavia. The two policemen, Vladimir Dzuro from the Czech Republic and Kevin Curtis from the United Kingdom, made history in 1997 when they delivered the very first alleged war [...]

3 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 02 May 2016 (PM)

Two boys collect tree branches to make fire wood in Kafar Batna village in Rural Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNICEF/Amer Al Shami

  Syrian sides urged to recommit to ceasefire Warring parties in Syria have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to recommit to a cessation of hostilities and uphold their responsibility to protect civilians. Ban Ki-moon's comments came in a statement on Monday expressing his concern about the suffering, death and destruction in and around the [...]

2 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Commitment to action goal of first World Humanitarian Summit

Stephen O'Brien. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The upcoming World Humanitarian Summit represents a chance to build the political will that will lead to action to help millions of needy people worldwide. That's what UN Humanitarian Coordinator Stephen O'Brien told journalists in New York on Monday. The summit is the first of its kind and is the result of three years of [...]

2 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News 02 May 2016

UN Radio - micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Daniel Dickinson and Dianne Penn. In today’s programme: efforts are underway to restore Syria's "frayed" and "shredded" truce; and an interview on how "big data" can help social change.

2 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Time to implement SDGs: UN chief

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (second left) .UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The time has come to implement development goals that will eradicate extreme poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all people. That was the message UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York on Monday. Countries are meeting in the chamber to exchange views and recommendations [...]

2 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Solidarity emphasized during Nepal mission

Jan Eliasson (right). (Screen grab from UNDP Video)

Mobilization is a crucial component for helping communities recover from natural disasters and other calamities, the UN Deputy Secretary-General has said. Jan Eliasson was in Nepal this weekend as part of a 'Mission for Humanity' ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, later this month. Dianne Penn reports. The UN deputy chief spent [...]

2 May 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Efforts under way to restore Syria's "frayed" and "shredded" truce

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New efforts to restore Syria's "frayed" and "shredded" ceasefire are under way, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Geneva on Monday. Speaking after meeting with UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, Mr Kerry said that the United States is working with the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) to restore calm in the war-torn [...]

2 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 02 May 2016 (AM)

In the Warga Dalal camp of Iraq, children improvise games. 22 October 2014. Credit: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis

  "Continuing bloodletting" in Iraq takes lives of 741 citizens in April Terrorism, violence and armed conflict led to the deaths of 741 Iraqis last month, the UN mission in the country, UNAMI, has reported. Of that number, 410 were civilians while 331 were members of various security forces and militia. Meanwhile, more than 1,370 [...]

2 May 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Days of high profit and low risk from wildlife crime are over"

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A surge in wildlife crime is being met with unprecedented efforts by the international community to combat it, a leading UN expert said Monday. John Scanlon, who's the head of CITES, the global agreement that regulates the wildlife trade, said that transnational organised criminal gangs are now operating "on an industrial scale". But he told [...]

2 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Data is a "natural resource" for implementing social change

Robert Kirkpatrick. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Data is a key that can unlock information to get to the heart of some of the world's most pressing problems. That's according to Robert Kirkpatrick, Director of UN Global Pulse, an initiative of the Secretary-General. Global Pulse was created six years ago and uses large sets of data to analyse the effect of global [...]

2 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

African nations are ready to step up ahead of COP22

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African nations are ready to step into a greater role to fight climate change ahead of this year's UN Climate Change Conference, COP22. That's according Said Mouline, in charge of public and private partnerships for the COP22 planning committee. The conference will be held in Marrakech, Morocco from 7 November to 18 November. Janie Cangelosi [...]

1 May 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

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