News in Brief 2 November 2016 (PM)

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Displaced people shelter on the grounds of a church in Bossangoa. Until recently, religious institutions were considered safe havens for people fleeing conflict in the Central African Republic. Photo: UNHCR/B. Heger (file photo)

CAR leaders urged to put country's interests first

Leaders in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been urged by the UN Deputy Secretary-General to put the best interests of the country above all else.

Jan Eliasson is on a two-day visit to the nation, where he met with the President on Wednesday before addressing parliament.

Vladimir Monteiro is spokesperson at the UN mission in the country, MINUSCA:

"At the parliament, he had the opportunity to reiterate the UN's support to the country; the UN's role in trying to reinforce security for the people. At the same time, he also called on parliamentarians to work for their country, to place the interests of their country above everything. He also attended a very important meeting on DDR: Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration. As you know, it is one of the key projects of the elected government of President Touadéra. It is essential to disarm groups and to consolidate peace. "

The UN deputy chief is scheduled to meet with civil society and religious leaders on Thursday, in addition to visiting a camp for people displaced by more than three years of conflict in the country.

His visit comes ahead of a donor conference for the CAR that will be held in Brussels later this month.

Aid groups still struggling to reach hurricane-ravaged communities in Haiti

It has been almost a month since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti and aid agencies have managed to reach more than 320,000 people, according to the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA.

The agency said the World Food Programme (WFP) has also distributed nearly 3,000 metric tonnes of food.

However, OCHA reported that aid groups are still struggling to reach some communities by road due to damaged infrastructure.

Meanwhile, a US$120 million appeal for Haiti is only 33 per cent funded.

Elton John Foundation honours UN chief for LGBT advocacy

The UN Secretary-General is being honoured for his role in championing equal rights and fair treatment of LGBT people worldwide.

Ban Ki-moon will receive the Founder's Award during the Enduring Vision awards dinner being held in New York on Wednesday evening by the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The renowned British singer-songwriter and composer Elton John, together with his husband, David Furnish, will present the award to the UN chief.

Mr Ban leaves the United Nations in December after 10 years heading the global body.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has more on his advocacy for the world's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, referred to by the acronym "LGBT."

"Ban Ki-moon's two terms as Secretary-General have been a time when human rights abuses against LGBT people have received unprecedented attention at the UN, and the UN Human Rights Office has promoted LGBT equality with a global multimedia campaign — UN Free & Equal — that has reached billions of people around the world."

Post-conflict countries share peacebuilding experiences

Countries which have emerged from conflict are best positioned to share their own "home-grown peace initiatives" with other nations going through the same process.

That opinion has been expressed by Helder da Costa, who heads an association of 20 post-conflict countries known as the g7+.

Formed six years ago in Timor-Leste, it advocates for what he called "fragile-to-fragile cooperation."

Mr da Costa spoke to UN Radio on the margins of the UN Global South-South Development Expo taking place this week in Dubai.

"In order to have a sustainable peace at the country level, we are the ones who should solve our own problems. Our donors, our partners from the north, can come and help us, but support us from behind. Let us lead the process. So in a way, we are using home-grown peace initiatives for us to be able to talk to each other without too much interference."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 4’03″

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