News in Brief 26 May 2016 (AM)

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Ban Ki-moon speaking at the opening ceremony of the 11th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity. UN Photo/Mark Garten

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 Asia accounts for nearly one-third of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

He pointed out that countries like China, India and Bangladesh, have been addressing climate change by using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.

He called on all Asian countries to quickly ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change.

"We need 55 countries and representing 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. We have already 177 countries signed this Paris Agreement and 16 countries already ratified. I would urge the Korean Government to ratify, and all Asian governments, to ratify this Paris Agreement on climate change as soon as possible, preferably by the end of this year."

UNRWA refutes reports that its Gaza HQ will close

The UN agency which assists Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) is refuting media reports that it is closing its headquarters in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement on Thursday, UNRWA labelled the reports "false."

The agency said it is "fully committed" to remaining in Gaza, the largest of its five field operations across the region.

UNRWA has more than 11,000 staff there who support more than 1.2 million registered Palestinian refugees in areas such as education, health care, social services and emergency assistance.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Nana Mouskouri visits Greece

Acclaimed Greek singer Nana Mouskouri is this week visiting refugee and migrant children in her homeland in her capacity as a Goodwill Ambassador with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Her four-day mission will focus on UNICEF's work to help refugee and migrant children and their families in the cities of Athens and Piraeus.

The UN agency reports that 55,000 migrants and refugees are currently stranded in Greece, of whom roughly 22,000 are children.

They are being hosted in 35 camps and sites on the mainland and islands.

Ms Mouskouri will be joined by UNICEF Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe, Marie-Pierre Poirier.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’29″

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