News in Brief 22 August 2016 (AM)

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The United Nations and the Olympic flags. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Experts push for an end to junk food ads during the Olympics

With the Rio Olympics now over, two human rights experts are hoping that commercials for unhealthy processed food and sugary drinks will not be a part of future Games.

The experts, UN Special Rapporteurs on the right to food and the right to health, respectively, said advertising junk food through sports "sends the wrong message."

They point out that eating highly processed foods contributes to heart disease, diabetes and diet-related cancers.

They are urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take action to regulate the advertising of these products, especially when children and families are targeted.

UNICEF envoy brings music and hope to Syrian refugee children in Jordan

Syrian children at the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan were treated to music and a message of hope this weekend from the newest envoy for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Accompanied by a grand piano, pianist Zade Dirani, who is from Jordan, made his first field visit since being appointed UNICEF Regional Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa last week.

Mr Dirani visited a UNICEF-supported centre at the camp which provides learning opportunities and psychosocial support for children and youth.

There are more than 200 of these centres, known as "Makani," Arabic for "My Space," around Jordan.

Mr Dirani also visited a Makani centre in a town near the camp where he met with marginalized children and youth from different backgrounds who are not in formal education.

Officers honoured for critical contribution to Somalia

Seventeen uniformed personnel serving with the United Nations in Somalia have been honoured for their bravery while working in what the senior UN official in the country described as "an extremely challenging environment."

They were awarded the UN Special Services Medal during a ceremony held in the capital, Mogadishu, this past weekend.

The award recognizes military personnel and civilian police officers serving with the UN other than at established peacekeeping missions and UN Headquarters.

The officers are from military, police and corrections components with the UN Assistance Mission in the country, UNSOM, and the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).

UNSOM chief Michael Keating said their service was critical in a country which is undergoing what he called "a totally extraordinary political transition" following 35 years of conflict.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'27"

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