News in Brief 15 August 2016 (AM)

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The flag of the People's Republic of China (centre) flying at United Nations headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

China joins ranks of world's "most-innovative" economies 

China has joined the ranks of the world's 25 "most innovative" economies, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016 launched on Monday.

Meanwhile, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, the USA, Finland and Singapore lead the 2016 rankings in the GII.

The UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) co-authored the Index which ranks the innovation performance of 128 countries and economies around the world.

Highly developed economies have historically dominated the top of the Index throughout its nine years surveying the innovative capacity of countries.

However, the UN specialized agency says an "innovation divide" persists between developed and developing countries despite China's rise.

Policymakers though are becoming increasingly aware that fostering innovation is crucial to a vibrant, competitive economy.

Massacre of 36 civilians in eastern DRC condemned

The massacre of at least 36 people, including women, in the area of Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has been condemned by the UN.

The UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Said Djinnit, released a statement on Monday expressing his condolences to the Government and people of the African nation.

According to media reports, the victims were hacked to death with machetes.

The attack was carried out over the weekend in Rwangoma district by a rebel group of Ugandan origin called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) operating mainly in eastern DRC.

Here's Said Djinnit:

"Once again, we are outraged by yet another incident of massacre against the innocent population in the Beni area. I issued a statement in support of many other statements that have been made to condemn strongly and reject these acts of terrorism, in fact, because the way they have been perpetrated are very close to the methods of terrorists, because really attacking innocent population, vulnerable innocent population, is really something that is unacceptable."

Mr Djinnit said the attack would not deter from the collective aim to neutralize all so-called negative forces that continue to carry out atrocities in eastern DRC.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in DRC, Maman Sambo Sidikou, also condemned the attack which he described as "barbaric".

UNICEF appoints "piano prodigy" as Regional Ambassador

A world renowned pianist has been named Regional Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Zade Dirani from Jordan will focus on advocating for the most marginalised children, especially those caught in conflict, violence and poverty.

He is also the founder of the Zade Foundation for International Peace and understanding which helps young musicians promote peace and cultural understanding.

Mr Dirani has worked with musicians over the past years to spread the message of peace and co-existence, even organizing a concert for peace called "One Night in Jordan" where he was accompanied by musicians from some 40 countries.

According to UNICEF, his appointment will be a strong contribution to furthering the rights of children.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 3’09″

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