News in Brief 24 May 2016 (PM)

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. 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 of political parties there to elect a President.

Lebanon has been without a President for two years.

The UN chief repeated his call for political leaders to "act responsibly to elect a President without further delay, in accordance with the country's constitution."

He said national unity "will remain fragile and incomplete" as long as the vacancy persists.

Mexico: Investigate "heinous" murder of veteran editor

Authorities in Mexico are being urged by the head of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, to investigate the killing of a veteran journalist.

Manuel Santiago Torres González , editor of a news website, was shot on 14 May in the city of Poza Rica, located in the eastern state of Veracruz.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has issued a statement condemning his murder, calling it a "heinous crime."

She said attacks on the media undermine freedom of expression and affect every member of society.

Africa: Use economic growth to ensure "no African left behind"

African leaders are being encouraged to channel economic growth towards ensuring that "no African is left behind."

The appeal has been made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message marking Africa Day, celebrated this Wednesday, 25 May.

African economic growth is set to increase to 4.4 per cent this year, up from 3.7 per cent in 2015, the UN chief reported.

He urged the continent's leaders to use this growth to address rising social and economic inequalities.

Africa Day marks the founding of the Organization of African States in 1963, which later led to the establishment of the African Union.

The Secretary-General added that this year's observance is being held under the AU theme of 'Human Rights with a Particular Focus on the Rights of Women.'

This, he said, demonstrates leaders' commitment to placing women at the "front and centre" of efforts to realize global development goals.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’20″

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