Home » 31 Dec 2016 Entries posted on “December 2016”

UN chief urges world to make 2017 "a year for peace"

Listen / UN Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Geneva

The UN Secretary-General is calling on citizens, governments and leaders around the world to make 2017 a year for peace. António Guterres made the appeal ahead of New Year's Day, asking people to join him in making this shared resolution. The new threat of global terrorism affects everyone, he said, noting that whole regions are [...]

31 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Baghdad bombings condemned by UN special envoy

Listen / JanKubis-File-FEB2016-25JUN16-350-300

The UN special envoy for Iraq has condemned the bombing of a busy market area in the capital city Baghdad in which scores of people were killed and injured. According to media reports, 28 people died when the twin bombs exploded on Saturday morning. More than 2,800 Iraqis lost their lives in November this year [...]

31 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council endorses Syria ceasefire deal

Listen / The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2336 (2016) on 31 December in support of Russia-Turkey efforts to end violence in Syria. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

A ceasefire deal brokered by Russia and Turkey has been unanimously endorsed by members of the UN Security Council on Saturday. The nationwide truce between the Syrian government and rebel groups went into effect on 30 December at midnight. The UN resolution also calls for "rapid, safe and unhindered" access to deliver humanitarian aid throughout [...]

31 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

A look back at one year of our new podcast series ‘The Lid is On’

Listen / Emory Cohen (left) as "Tony" and Saoirse Ronan as "Eilis Lacey" in "Brooklyn". Photo by Kerry Brown. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Listen to a special holiday season programme: a look back at the best of our new podcast series launched in 2016, The Lid is On. It's the phrase you hear at the close of business each day at UN Headquarters, when the meetings are over. We thought it was a distinctive name for our more [...]

30 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 30 December 2016

Listen / UN-Radio-micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today's programme Human rights experts welcome the end to what they call a “discriminatory” counterterrorism measure in the United States; And, we hear about the plight of Syrian refugees in winter in Lebanon. Duration: 10:00

30 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

WFP delivers aid to more than one million people in NE Nigeria

Listen / wfp-350

More than one million people in conflict-affected areas of northeast Nigeria have received food aid or cash since the beginning of the month, the World Food Programme (WFP) reports. The UN agency describes this achievement as a "milestone," but warns that it still lacks necessary funding to assist more people in need. Northeast Nigeria has [...]

30 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Experts welcome end to US counter-terrorism measure

Listen / ahmed-350

Two UN human rights experts have welcomed the decision by the United States to dismantle what they viewed as a "discriminatory" counter-terrorism measure. The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) was adopted following the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. Under the system, non-citizens from 25 countries were required to register with the US authorities. [...]

30 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 30 December 2016 (AM)

Listen / Niger Families Face Drought

  More than one million people in northeast Nigeria receive food aid The UN food agency, WFP, has delivered food or cash to more than a million Nigerians in conflict-affected zones in the Northeast since the beginning of December. Over half of those in need of urgent humanitarian assistance have now been reached following the [...]

30 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 29 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / racism-350

  End of "discriminatory" US counterterrorism measure welcomed A decision by the United States to dismantle a controversial counterterrorism measure has been welcomed by two UN human rights experts. The UN Special Rapporteurs on, respectively, racism and xenophobia, Mutuma Ruteere and freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed, described it as "discriminatory and ineffective." The [...]

29 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 29 December 2016

Listen / UN-Radio-micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: Humanitarians concerned over a resurgence in attacks on aid workers in the Central African Republic… And, how the UN is assisting children displaced by the operation to free Mosul in Iraq. Duration: 10:00

29 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 29 December 2016 (AM)

Listen / Security Council

  Nationwide ceasefire in Syria welcomed by UN Special Envoy A nationwide ceasefire between the Syrian government and rebel groups has been welcomed by the UN Special Envoy for the country. The truce is expected to come into effect at midnight on Friday, 30 December. Staffan de Mistura expressed hope that the implementation of the [...]

29 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Concern over resurgence in aid worker attacks in CAR

Listen / aid-350

More than 300 attacks against humanitarians occurred in the Central African Republic this year, with five aid workers losing their lives in the line of duty. That information comes from the UN humanitarian affairs office in the country which reports that there has been a resurgence in attacks in the final months of 2016. Isabelle [...]

29 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Somali parliament urged to "move swiftly" to complete electoral process

Listen / Parliament_350

The recently-elected Somali lawmakers are being urged by the UN chief to "move swiftly" to complete the electoral process. About 283 Members of Parliament, or MPs, took an oath of office on Tuesday while interim speakers were appointed for both houses of the federal parliament. The electoral process in the troubled Horn of Africa country, [...]

29 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN and Africa Special: Sub-Saharan Africa

Listen / sub sahara-350

In this week's special programme during the holiday season: the International Monetary Fund or IMF, looks at what a drought, earthquake or pandemic can do to economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Natural disasters hold back a country's ability to produce, leading to an economic slowdown according to two top economists from the IMF. Sub Saharan Africa [...]

29 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Gender Focus Special: Making ‘Space for Women’

Listen / 'Women in space breakfast', at the High-level United Nations forum, aimed at exploring the role of space in socio-economic and sustainable development. UN File Photo

In July 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, famously proclaiming: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Women have also contributed to space exploration starting with Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, who made history seven years earlier when she became the first woman to orbit the Earth. Presenter: Dianne [...]

29 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

Film-maker unravels "untold story" of Jewish refugees

Listen / Vivienne_350

A filmmaker has been speaking at the UN about the "untold story" of 850,000 Jewish refugees who fled from Arab countries in the late 1940s. Vivienne Roumani is the creator of "The Last Jews of Libya", a documentary about one Jewish family forced to leave the North African country, due to persecution. Andita Listyarini spoke [...]

29 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Outer space critical to Africa's future development

Listen / Ganiyu Agbajea. (Screen grab from UNTV)

The key to Africa's future development lies in outer space, according to the head of a UN-affiliated space science institute on the continent. Dr Ganiyu Agbajea said space technology such as satellite imagery can provide a clearer picture of Africa's natural resources which can then be used, for example, in environmental protection efforts. Dr Agbajea [...]

29 Dec 2016 | Posted in High Level Forum: Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Global Perspective Special: UN Habitat III Conference

Listen / Koko Warner (left) and Alexandros Makarigakis . UN Photo/Matt Wells

For this end-of-year special programme, we're bringing you a thought-provoking discussion between two senior UN officials involved in October's milestone UN Habitat III Conference, on the future of world cities. Koko Warner of the UN Climate Change Secretariat tells us that cities are "the stage upon which human beings will shape" the battle to stop [...]

29 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

News in Brief 28 December (PM)

Listen / Religious leaders. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

  UN welcomes US move to equally protect atheists and non-believers A move by the United States to recognise the rights of atheists and non-believers to not profess or practise any religion has been hailed by a UN rights expert. US President Barack Obama signed the amendments to the International Religious Freedom Act last week. [...]

28 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Mosul operation displaces more than 50,000 children

Listen / This family fled the fighting in Mosul, Iraq. Photo: UNHCR/R. Nuri (file photo)

More than 50,000 children have been displaced by the ongoing operation to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from the terrorist group, ISIL, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has reported. The agency and its partners are supporting children who have escaped the area by ensuring that their basic needs are met and that they are [...]

28 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 28 December 2016

Listen / UN-Radio-micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: The outgoing UN deputy chief urges world leaders to stamp out xenophobia… And, an expert explains how poverty and lack of education push people into forced labour and slavery. Duration: 10:00

28 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

2016 "tragic" year for civilians in Syria

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2016 has been a "tragic year" for civilians in Syria, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, the head of a UN-mandated human rights inquiry for the country has said. The independent panel was set up by the Human Rights Council in 2011 to investigate and record all human rights violations and allegations of crimes against humanity and war [...]

28 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Outgoing UN deputy chief urges world leaders to end xenophobia

Listen / Farewell to DSG Eliasson

Global leaders are being urged to stop dividing the world into "us" and "them." That is the message from outgoing UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson who says farewell to the organization at the end of this year. Mr Eliasson has held the UN's second highest post for nearly five years and his accomplishments include contributing [...]

28 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 28 December (AM)

Listen / New parliamentarians are sworn in during an inauguration ceremony for members of Somalia's Upper House and the House of the People in Mogadishu on 27 December 2016. UN Photo.

Inauguration of new parliament "milestone" in Somalia history The inauguration of a new federal parliament is a "milestone" in the history of Somalia, the UN Assistance Mission in the country, UNSOM, has reported, citing a former Speaker of the House. About 283 new lawmakers took an oath of office by placing their right hands on [...]

28 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Syrian refugees in Lebanon most vulnerable during winter

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Syrian refugees in Lebanon are at their most vulnerable and need the most assistance during the winter months, according to a representative from the UN's Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in the region. Many of them have settled in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, where the heavy rain and cold temperatures during winter, makes it difficult just to stay [...]

28 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Poverty and lack of education" increases slavery

Listen / forced labour-350

Lack of education and poverty pushes people into forced labour and slavery according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour, the UN agency says. They are either trafficked or are forced to take jobs in order to repay their debts. Priyanka Shankar spoke to ILO's Houtan Homayounpour [...]

28 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 27 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / Scene from Les Cayes, Haiti, in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the category 4 storm which made landfall in the country on 4 October.UN Photo/Logan Abassi

    US $3.5 million grant awarded to restore Haiti schools Over US $3.5 million in grants has been awarded by the UN to rapidly restore schools that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Matthew. The funds are also earmarked to assist an estimated 30,000 returnees as well as people evicted from public schools where they [...]

27 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Concern over Somalia electoral process

Listen / Electoral officials count the votes during the electoral process to choose members of the lower house of the federal parliament in Baidoa, Somalia on November 16, 2016. UN Photo / Sabir Olad

The international community has expressed grave concern over Somalia's electoral process, the first in more than four decades. This follows a recent decision by national and regional leaders to expand the number of seats in the Upper House of parliament beyond 54, as stipulated under the provisional constitution. Furthermore, the UN and its partners are [...]

27 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 27 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today’s programme Concerns over the electoral process in Somalia… And, how terrorist groups are exploiting social media and other communication technologies to fund their activities. Duration: 10:00

27 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 27 December 2016 (AM)

Listen / somalia_elections_350

Integrity of Somalia electoral process "hangs in the balance" The integrity of Somalia's electoral process "hangs in the balance" the UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNSOM) has warned, quoting Somalia's international partners. Somalia's first democratic elections in 47 years are underway as the country continues to recover from civil conflict and the ravages of [...]

27 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Women's representation in Colombia's judiciary remains low

Listen / Colombia_Women-350

The number of women representing Colombia's judiciary remains low and this, in turn, exacerbates gender inequality problems in the country. That view is expressed by Belen Sanz, Country Representative of UN Women in Colombia. She says gender stereotypes make it "extremely difficult" for women to run for office in Colombia. Andita Listyarini has been speaking [...]

27 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Terrorist groups exploit social media, ICTs to fund activities

Listen / delphine-350

Terrorist groups are exploiting all the new social media platforms and communication technologies to expand and fund their activities, according to a representative from the UN's Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). Delphine Schantz, one of CTED's legal officers stated that internet sites and "crowdfunding" platforms are being misused to buy weapons online and raise funds for [...]

27 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 26 December 2016

Listen / UN-Radio-micro3

Listen to a special features programme today, looking back at some of the highlights of 2016 for the United Nations and the world. It's been a year of momentous events from Aleppo, to the refugee crisis, to brutal conflict in South Sudan and Yemen, and peace after decades of fighting in Colombia. Matthew Wells looks [...]

26 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Security Council resolution calls for end to Israeli settlements

Listen / A wide view of the Security Council.

Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are a "flagrant violation" of international law, according to a UN Security Council resolution adopted on Friday. It demands that Israel immediately and completely stop all settlement activity which is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, whereby Israel and Palestine exist peacefully alongside each other. Dianne Penn reports. [...]

23 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 23 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / 12-21-2016Syria-350

  Aleppo evacuation ends but scores of Syrians still in besieged areas The operation to evacuate civilians from the Syrian city of Aleppo has drawn to a close, but the situation in the country remains "catastrophic" with more than 13 million people in dire need of humanitarian assistance. That message was delivered to the Security [...]

23 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 23 December 2016

Listen / UN-Radio-micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today’s programme: Members of the Security Council fail to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan; And, there are fears that DR Congo violence is spreading.

23 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN fails to adopt arms embargo against South Sudan

Listen / South Sudanese refugees are crossing by foot the Kibali Bridge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). UNHCR partially rehabilitated the bridge which was in a state of disrepair in order to make possible the relocation. Photo: UNHCR/Gloria Ramazani

A vote to impose an arms embargo and targeted sanctions against South Sudan has failed to garner enough support among the 15 members of the UN Security Council. The draft resolution tabled by the United States on Friday received 7 votes in favour and 8 abstentions; each member of the Council has one vote. Tens [...]

23 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 23 December 2016 (AM)

Listen / Children and their parents gather around a fire to keep warm in the yard of a large warehouse in Jibreen, now used as a shelter for thousands of families who fled violence in eastern Aleppo. Photo: UNICEF/UN043357/Al-Issa

  Aleppo evacuations nearing end stage The evacuation of civilians from the Syrian city of Aleppo is believed to be in its final stages, according to the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA). More than 34,000 people have been evacuated from besieged neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo since 15 December, according to estimates from the International Committee [...]

23 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Mediterranean Sea deaths hit new record

Listen / Risking their lives to reach Europe from North Africa, a boatload of people, some of them likely in need of international protection, are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by the Italian Navy. Photo: UNHCR/A. D'Amato

Two mass drownings in the Mediterranean Sea in which an estimated 100 people died on Thursday have pushed this year's death toll to more than 5,000; a grim new record. Announcing the latest deaths on Friday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR) said that both incidents involved totally unsuitable [...]

23 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Fears that DR Congo violence is spreading

Listen / Fires burn in the streets of Kinshasa during demonstrations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 19 and 20 December 2016. Photo: MONUSCO

At least 40 civilians have been killed by security forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the past week, the UN said on Friday, a sign of growing instability in the country. Highlighting the violence that's followed President Joseph Kabila's refusal to leave office when his term ended earlier this week, UN [...]

23 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN "part and parcel" of Middle East history

Listen / Karim Makdisi. UN Photo/Mustafa Gamal

The UN is "part and parcel" of the modern history of the Middle East, but has also been "shaped" heavily itself by the region. That's one of the main themes of a new history of the world body's involvement there, entitled: Land of the Blue Helmets, the United Nations and the Arab World. Karim Makdisi [...]

23 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Trial results show vaccine provides high protection against Ebola

Listen / Ebola vaccines. Photo: WHO/M. Missioneiro (file)

An experimental Ebola vaccine provides "high protection" against the deadly virus. That's the message from the World Health Organization (WHO) following the publication this Friday of the final trial results for the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine in the medical journal The Lancet. The trial was led by WHO, together with Guinea's Ministry of Health and other international [...]

22 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 22 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / A wide view of the Security Council chamber. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

  Security Council to receive summary of report on Syria convoy attack A detailed summary of a United Nations report on a deadly attack on a humanitarian convoy in Syria in September has been submitted to the UN Security Council, the global organization has announced. The report is by the UN Headquarters Board of Inquiry [...]

22 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan, autism and outer space

Listen / Internally displaced persons (IDPs) line up early in the morning for a general food distribution at the UN Protection of Civilians Site, Malakal, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/Bannon

South Sudan "on a trajectory towards mass atrocities": UN chief South Sudan is "on a trajectory towards mass atrocities" and immediate action needs to be taken by the UN Security Council to prevent that from happening. That was the message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at a recent meeting of the 15-member council in New [...]

22 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 22 December 2016

Listen / UN-Radio-micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: Aid workers are racing against the clock to help thousands of people leave Syria's Aleppo city; And, the outgoing UN chief says world leaders need "passion and compassion" to bring about change;

22 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: trafficked women, girls' rights in Tanzania and female farmers

Listen / The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2331 (2016), condemning in the strongest terms all instances of trafficking in persons in areas affected by armed conflicts. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

"Blood money" of trafficked women now "lifeblood" sustaining terrorists The "blood money" of women and children has become part of the "lifeblood" that sustains terrorists in places like Syria and Iraq, the UN special envoy for sexual violence in conflict has said. Zainab Bangura briefed members of the UN Security Council during an open debate [...]

22 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

News in Brief 22 December 2016 (AM)

Listen / General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

  General Assembly mechanism will support Syria human rights inquiry A mechanism to support a UN human rights body which investigates violations committed in the Syrian conflict will be established by the UN General Assembly following the adoption of a resolution on Wednesday. The General Assembly comprises all 193 UN Member States and is the [...]

22 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Crucial" day for thousands fleeing Syria's Aleppo, says UN Envoy

Listen / 20161006_SDM_ElmaOkic_350300

A "race against the clock” has started to help thousands of people leaving Syria's Aleppo city, the UN said Thursday, amid a call from UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura that now is the time to push for new talks to bring an end to the conflict. Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Mr de Mistura [...]

22 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Global Perspective Special: Interview with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed a press conference, his last at United Nations headquarters, as his term of office draws to a close at the end of the year. Mr. Ban (left) on his way to the press briefing room, accompanied by his Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric (right). UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

In  this week's programme we have an exclusive and extensive interview with the outgoing UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon, who hails from South Korea, has led the organization for the past ten years. He steps down at the end of December and will be replaced by Antonio Guterres of Portugal. Ari Gaitanis sat down with Mr [...]

22 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

Leaders need "passion and compassion" says outgoing UN chief

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo

Leaders around the world need not just passion but also compassion to bring about change according to the outgoing United Nations Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon who is leaving the UN after 10 years leading the organization, says the new Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has those qualities. Ari Gaitanis has been speaking to Mr Ban ahead of his [...]

22 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Tanzanian girls cycle to better performance at school

Listen / Rebecca Gyumi. © UNICEF/UN032943/Markisz

A scheme to help increase girls' "performance at school" by giving them their own bicycle has just been launched in Tanzania, by the winner of a special UN award. Rebecca Gyumi is a lawyer and activist in the East African country, who founded the Msichana Initiative, which advocates for girls' rights and access to education. [...]

22 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 21 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

"Exercise maximum restraint" in face of political crisis DRC leaders warned Political leaders are being urged to "exercise maximum restraint" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during the on-going crisis caused by the refusal of President Charles Kabila to obey constitutional law, and step down. In a statement, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urged "all [...]

21 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Evacuations from Aleppo resume as extra UN monitors arrive

Listen / Disabled Bakri and 5 children who fled to safety in Jibreen, Aleppo, Syria, said they barely had food, were under constant fire and shelling. He also fell off his chair many times. Photo: IOM Syria

Evacuations of civilians from the Syrian city of Aleppo have resumed, and at least 20 extra staff members from the UN have been deployed to help ensure their safe passage. The UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq told journalists in New York that after being stalled for more than a day, the evacuation of besieged neighbourhoods [...]

21 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 21 December 2016

Listen / UN-Radio-micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations, with Daniel Dickinson and Matthew Wells. In today's programme: Clashes continue in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo… And, we hear why women are the "backbone" of agriculture across the world

21 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Situation in DRC's capital city "very volatile"

Listen / Kinshasa-350

The situation in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been described as "very volatile" by a representative from the UN's Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO). Clashes erupted between protestors and security forces over President Joseph Kabila's refusal to give up power. His 15-year rule was due to end on 19 December. [...]

21 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 21 December 2016 (AM)

Listen / Children play at UNRWA school. UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

Population of Palestinian Occupied Territory set to double by 2050 The population of the Palestinian Occupied Territory is set to double by 2050, signalling major social and economic problems ahead unless conflict with Israel can be resolved, according to a senior UN official. Anders Thomsen is the UN Population Fund's (UNFPA) State of Palestine representative. [...]

21 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

A third of trafficking victims are children: new global report

Listen / Trafficking-21DEC16-350-300

A third of all trafficking victims worldwide are children, rising to two-thirds in some regions. That's one of the conclusions of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, launched at UN Headquarters on Wednesday. The report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime emphasizes the growing link between armed groups and human trafficking. Matthew [...]

21 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Women are the "backbone" of agriculture

Listen / Colombia_Women_Farmers_350

Women are the "backbone" of agriculture across the world, according to the Director-General of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Speaking at a High-Level event in Rome, José Graziano da Silva noted that achieving gender equality and empowering women was a critical element in the fight against extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition. About 45 [...]

21 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Viennese restaurant turns Syrian refugees into "entrepreneurs"

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (rear centre right) and his wife Yoo Soon-taek (rear centre left), pose with the staff of the Habibi & Hawara Restaurant in Vienna. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

A new "fusion" restaurant in the Austrian capital Vienna, has found the special ingredient to turn Syrian refugees into budding entrepreneurs with a chance to open their own businesses. That's the dream of the founder of Habibi & Hawara, Katha Schinkinger, who was host to a special patron on his last overseas trip as UN [...]

21 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 20 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Rocio Franco/UN Radio

  UN condemns terror attack at market in Berlin The terrorist attack on a market in the German capital Berlin, which left 12 people dead, and 49 others injured, some seriously, has been condemned by the UN. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, who were killed [...]

20 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Castro was "symbol of resistance and inspiration" for Global South

Listen / Peter Thomson (left). UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The former Cuban President Fidel Castro, who died last month aged 90, was "a symbol of resistance and inspiration" for millions around the so-called Global South and beyond. At the beginning of a special commemorative event at UN Headquarters on Tuesday, the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson, added that he had embodied the [...]

20 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 20 December 2016

Listen / UN-Radio-micro3

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Daniel Dickinson. In today's programme: women and girls trafficked as the "spoils of war" have become a major income source for depraved terrorists, the Security Council hears. And, we'll hear how organized crime's influence on politics is a growing problem [...]

20 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Blood money" of trafficked women now "lifeblood" sustaining terrorists

Listen / The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2331 (2016), condemning in the strongest terms all instances of trafficking in persons in areas affected by armed conflicts. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

The "blood money" of women and children has become part of the "lifeblood" that sustains terrorists in places like Syria and Iraq, the UN special envoy for sexual violence in conflict has said. Zainab Bangura briefed members of the UN Security Council during an open debate on trafficking in persons in conflict countries on Tuesday. [...]

20 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 20 December 2016 (AM) – Geneva

Listen / 20161220_Philippines_DaniloPinzonWorldBank350300

Murder investigation call for Philippines President A murder investigation should be launched in the Philippines,  following the admission by the country's President that he personally killed people in the past, as part of his so-called war on drugs campaign, the UN Human Rights Chief said on Tuesday. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's appeal follows a statement [...]

20 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Growing problem" of organized crime corrupting politics worldwide

Listen / Catalina Uribe. UN Photo/Matt Wells

There is a "growing problem" of organized crime syndicates corrupting politics and politicians worldwide, especially at a local level. That's according to Catalina Uribe, Programme Officer for UN partner organization, the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, otherwise known as International IDEA. The Swedish-based institute organized a panel discussion at UN Headquarters this month on [...]

20 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Death of UN peacekeeper and police officer in DRC condemned

Listen / Input operators in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) receive electoral kits from the office of the Independent Electoral Commission. The material will be deployed to the different electoral centres in Goma. Photo: MONUSCO/Alain Wandimoyi

The killing of a UN peacekeeper from South Africa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. The UN chief expressed his deepest condolences to family of the deceased, who died during an exchange of fire with suspected fighters from the so-called Mayi-Mayi militia, in the [...]

19 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

South Sudan "on a trajectory towards mass atrocities": UN chief

Listen / Displaced civilians in South Sudan. UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein

South Sudan is "on a trajectory towards mass atrocities" and immediate action needs to be taken by the UN Security Council to prevent them. That was the message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, addressing Council members on Monday. He urged the council to impose an arms embargo on warring parties, in support of a revived [...]

19 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 19 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / Appointment of A. Guterres as SG of the UN - UNGA 71, 59th plenary meeting.

UN Chief condemns the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has condemned the assassination of Russia's Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov in the capital Ankara on Monday. The UN chief expressed his condolences to the family of Ambassador Karlov and said he was "appalled by this senseless act of terror" [...]

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Afghan citizens returning in "record numbers" says UN special envoy

Listen / Tadamichi Yamamoto. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Hundreds and thousands of Afghan citizens are returning home "with hope" from host countries like Pakistan and Iran, the UN special envoy for the country has said. Tadamichi Yamamoto made the remarks on Monday as he briefed members of the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan. Many will face an uncertain future with a [...]

19 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 19 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Matthew Wells. In today's programme: Afghan citizens are returning home in record numbers, according to the UN special envoy to the country; And, there's still a long way to go to incorporate women leadership in the UN.

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Security Council approves deployment of monitors for Aleppo evacuees

Listen / Children and their parents gather around a fire to keep warm in the yard of a large warehouse in Jibreen, now used as a shelter for thousands of families who fled violence in eastern Aleppo. Photo: UNICEF/UN043357/Al-Issa

The UN Security Council approved the deployment of monitors on Monday, to oversee the "voluntary, safe and dignified passage" of evacuees from east Aleppo. The resolution was passed unanimously, and demands that "all parties allow complete, immediate, unconditional" access for the UN and international partners, to ensure humanitarian assistance reaches those in need. Andita Listyarini [...]

19 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Syria Envoy slams use of blackmail in evacuations

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Claims that blackmail has been used in Syria to delay the evacuation of civilians from war zones are evidence that the war is among "the most horrible" the United Nations has encountered, UN Envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Monday. Speaking at a ceremony in Geneva to show solidarity for the country's people, Mr de [...]

19 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 19 December (AM)

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  Formation of new Lebanese government welcomed by UN chief The formation of a new government in Lebanon has been welcomed by the UN chief Ban Ki-moon. The Secretary-General congratulated Prime Minister Saad Hariri on what he described as his "swift progress" and encouraged Lebanese political leaders to "build on the momentum of national unity." [...]

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Australian indigenous "disproportionally represented" in justice system

Listen / Mutuma Ruteere. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Indigenous people in Australia are "disproportionally represented" in the country's criminal justice system according to a United Nations rights expert. Mutuma Ruteere, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, recently visited Australia to gather first-hand information on the situation of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance there. At the end of his [...]

19 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

DRC planned social media shutdown, UN "deeply alarmed"

Listen / High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

A social media shutdown by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) due to go into effect on Sunday night has been criticized by the UN Human Rights chief. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said he was "deeply alarmed" at the blackout and continuing ban on demonstrations by opponents of President Joseph Kabila. [...]

18 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Every migrant is a human being with human rights": UN Chief

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"Every migrant is a human being with human rights", according to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki- moon. In recognition of International Migrants Day, marked annually on 18 December, Mr Ban urged countries to reject the discrimination and abuse of migrants by expanding legal channels for safe migration and ensuring equal opportunities for all adults and [...]

18 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Libyans lack security they "need and deserve": UN chief

Listen / Two soldiers from forces operating under Libya's Tripoli-based government walking through the deserted streets of Bin Jawad, near the important oil port of Sidra. Photo: Tom Westcott/IRIN

One year on from the signing of a UN-brokered political agreement, the Libyan people still do not have the security and stability that they "need and deserve". That's according to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, in a statement to mark the anniversary of the Libyan Political Agreement, which paved the way for a new national unity [...]

17 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Far to go" to incorporate women leadership in the UN

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  Although the UN has made great strides towards gender equality within the organization, there's still "far to go". That's according to Ourania Yancopoulos, Project Manager and Lead Researcher of HERStory, an exhibition showcasing women leadership in the UN. As of June this year, she said, only 34 out of 159 senior level positions in [...]

17 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 16 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses a press conference, his last at United Nations headquarters, as his term of office draws to a close at the end of the year. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

  Risk of genocide in South Sudan "all too real" The risk of genocide occurring in South Sudan is "all too real" according to the UN chief, and countries and international organizations "must step up to their responsibility" to prevent it. In an article published in the magazine Newsweek, Ban Ki-moon said that the social [...]

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UN Daily News Programme 16 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: The world "must not give up" on helping forge peace between Israel and an independent Palestinian state says the UN chief. And, we'll hear how migrants often change their new homelands for the better, [...]

16 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Aleppo is now a synonym for hell", outgoing UN chief tells press

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses a press conference, his last at United Nations headquarters, as his term of office draws to a close at the end of the year. At his side is his Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

"The carnage in Syria remains a gaping hole in the global conscience and Aleppo is now a synonym for hell", the outgoing UN Secretary-General has warned. Ban Ki-moon made these remarks during his last end-of-year press conference on Friday. He will step down on 1 January after ten years on the job. Jocelyne Sambira reports. [...]

16 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"We must not give up" on Palestine and Israel's right to exist: UN chief

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. At his side is Román Oyarzun Marchesi, Permanent Representative of Spain to the UN and Council President for December. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

The international community "must not give up" on the right of both Palestine and Israel to exist as independent states, living in peace and security with their neighbours. That plea for the UN Security Council to reaffirm the so-called two-state solution came from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his final address to the council on the [...]

16 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Migrants make "positive" changes to their adopted homelands

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Migrants make "positive" changes to their new homelands, including boosting the workforce, the UN's educational, scientific and cultural agency UNESCO has said. Golda El-Khoury is UNESCO's Chief of Section for Social and Human Sciences Department. Speaking at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, she said European countries with ageing populations, could benefit in particular from a surge [...]

16 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

New UN approach to cholera in Haiti highly anticipated by victims

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The new UN approach to cholera in Haiti has been highly anticipated by the victims and their families, the Counsellor to the Permanent Mission of Haiti to the UN has said. A resolution on the new UN strategy to battle the disease was adopted without a vote on Friday. Haiti has been dealing with a cholera [...]

16 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 16 December 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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  Fears that women and children are still trapped in Syria’s Aleppo The halting of an operation to evacuate civilians from Syria's Aleppo city has prompted fears that "a high number" of women and children are still trapped in opposition-held areas. They are "desperate" to get out, the UN has said. The warning comes from [...]

16 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Schools without walls" transforming lives of women farmers in South Sudan

Listen / South Sudanese farmer, sows the seeds for her maize crop for next year. Photo: FAO/Jean Di Marino (file photo)

Women in South Sudan are learning key farming skills in what have been described as "schools without walls" as part of a project set up by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). There are some 600 farming schools in the country which focus on agricultural techniques as well as livelihood and other social issues. Sebit [...]

16 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 15 December 2016 (PM)

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First humanitarian drone testing corridor launched in Malawi An air corridor in Malawi has been established as the first location to test potential humanitarian use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) also known as drones, according to the UN's Children Fund, UNICEF. The UN agency is working with the Malawi government to use the drones to [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Emerging economies fare worst in global wages survey

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Concerns have grown for the world's emerging economies with the news that global wage increases are the lowest they've been in years. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), average take-home pay around the world increased just 1.7 per cent in 2015, a trend that it says has been driven by "serious economic slowdown" in [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Antonio Guterres names three women to top UN posts

Listen / Amina Mohammed. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Building on his promise to prioritize gender parity, the UN Secretary-General designate has named three women to top posts on Thursday. Antonio Guterres was recently sworn-in as the ninth Secretary-General succeeding Ban Ki-moon. In an effort to lead by example, the UN set a 50-50 gender balance goal for its staff to be achieved by [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 15 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Jocelyne Sambira and Matthew Wells. Today: The world must redouble efforts to stop the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction or WMDs; And, the UN is taking measures to protect cultural sites in war-torn areas like the Middle East.

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

No "right hands for wrong weapons," says deputy UN chief

Listen / Meeting on Ethics and SDGs organized by the Permanent Mission of Panama

There are no "right hands" when it comes to Weapons of Mass Destruction or WMDs, the deputy UN chief told Members of the Security Council on Thursday. Jan Eliasson made the remarks during an open debate on stopping the spread of these arms and making sure non-State actors cannot make or use them. The three [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan, malaria and albinism

Listen / The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Photo: UN Photo/Jess Hoffman

Scene set for "Rwanda-like" genocide in South Sudan  In South Sudan, the risk of genocide today is as real as it was in Rwanda in the 1990s. That was the message from independent experts at the UN Human Rights Council, which held a special session on the plight of the world’s youngest country in Geneva. [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Global Perspective Special: António Guterres sworn-in as ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Listen / António Guterres takes the oath of office. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

In this week's special programme: The UN must be ready for change, and address the global community's inability to prevent crises, António Guterres announced shortly after being sworn in as the next Secretary-General. The former Prime Minister of Portugal and UN refugee chief will serve an initial five-year term starting 1 January 2017, succeeding Ban [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: women in the UN, violence against men and women farmers in South Sudan

Listen / Maria Emma Mejia. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Exhibition showcases how women helped shape the UN Women are on the receiving end of violence in today's conflicts and therefore better at prevention and sustaining peace, the Ambassador of Colombia to the UN has said. Maria Emma Mejia spoke before the launch of a UN exhibition this month, showcasing how women helped shape the [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

News in Brief 15 December 2016 (AM)

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  Thousands of children recruited to fight in South Sudan More than 17,000 children have been recruited to fight in South Sudan's on-going conflict during the past three years, according to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. "Since the first day of this conflict children have been the ones most devastatingly affected" said UNICEF Regional Director, [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Cultural sites in the Middle East face "unprecedented" destruction

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Cultural sites in war-torn areas of the Middle East have been facing an "unprecedented" level of destruction, according to a representative from the UN cultural agency, UNESCO. Karim Hendili is the Program Specialist for the Arab States Unit at UNESCO's World Heritage Centre. Apart from the destruction caused by conflicts, he said, many cultural artifacts [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

New project aims to empower youth in the Mediterranean region

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Young people in the Mediterranean region, now have the opportunity to be a part of significant "decision making" in their own communities, through a project instigated by the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO). Networks of Mediterranean Youth or NET-MED Youth, is a three-year project which was implemented in 2014 by UNESCO, and funded [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Hopes rise for evacuation from Syria’s east Aleppo

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Hopes are rising that thousands of besieged civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo can finally leave the last rebel-held areas, possibly on Thursday. Special Adviser to the UN Jan Egeland said that UN monitors will be present, at the request of Russia. Outside Aleppo, he noted that 750,000 people remain in besieged locations across [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Billions" living in coastal areas will benefit from eco-friendly ferries

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Eco-friendly ferries are the best method of transport for "billions" living in coastal areas, according to the winner of a million-dollar UN grant, speaking on Wednesday. Alexandra Bech Gjorv is the chief-executive of SINTEF, an independent research institute based in Norway. Her institute won the US$1 million competition, organized by the UN Department of Economic [...]

15 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Victims of human rights violations in CAR seek justice

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Victims of human rights violations and abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR) are calling for "justice to be done", a senior UN official with the peacekeeping mission in the country (MINUSCA) has said. A new report by the Mission detailing some of the violations carried out in the West African nation from June to [...]

14 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 14 December (PM)

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  Continuing nightmare in Syria "deepest regret" of outgoing UN chief The outgoing UN Secretary-General has said the "continuing nightmare" in Syria is his "deepest regret" about leaving office. Ban Ki-moon was addressing the Security Council which met to pay tribute to his ten years of service as the UN chief. Mr Ban said the [...]

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UN Daily News Programme 14 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Jocelyne Sambira and Daniel Dickinson. Today: The risk of genocide is real in South Sudan, top UN human rights experts warn; And, you'll hear from a South Korean artist behind out-going UN chief Ban Ki-moon's portrait.  

14 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Terrorist groups prevent civilians leaving Aleppo, Syria

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Terrorist groups and some opposition fighters in the embattled city of Aleppo are preventing civilians from leaving, according to new allegations received by a UN-backed commission looking into human rights violations in Syria. The battle for the control of Aleppo is reportedly coming to an end after four and a half years of fighting which [...]

14 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

SG portrait "the most special" of my career says South Korean painter

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The new portrait of out-going UN chief Ban Ki-moon that was unveiled on Wednesday ranks as "the most special project I have ever worked on" says its renowned artist. South Korean artist, Lee Won-hee, has painted presidents and other leading politicians at home, but his portrait of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is his most significant work [...]

14 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 14 December 2016 (AM)

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  "Outrageous act" of disrespect towards Gambian people The takeover by the military in Gambia on Tuesday of the premises of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General as an "outrageous act of disrespect of the will of the Gambian people." President Yahya Jammeh had conceded defeat in elections on [...]

14 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Scene set for "Rwanda-like" genocide in South Sudan

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In South Sudan, the risk of genocide is as real as it was in Rwanda, and the international community should to take action urgently to prevent it. That was the message from top rights experts at the UN Human Rights Council, which held a special session on the plight of the world's youngest country in [...]

14 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Lack of recognition" in addressing sexual violence against men, boys

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There has been a "lack of recognition" in addressing sexual violence against men and boys, according to a gender specialist, speaking at UN Headquarters. Kelli Muddell is Director of the Gender Justice Program at the International Center for Transitional Justice, a UN partner organization that specializes in providing redress for human rights abuses in post-conflict [...]

14 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 13 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

  Battle for Aleppo should not be start of broader military campaign in Syria The battle for the control of the city of Aleppo in Syria should not represent the start of a broader military offensive in the war-ravaged country, the UN Secretary-General has told a special session of the Security Council. Syrian government forces [...]

13 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Poor access to treatment and lack of funds make malaria a threat

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Lack of funds and access to "life saving" interventions  continue to make malaria a threat according to a representative from the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s Global Malaria Programme. Richard Cibulskis stated that some households consistently do not have access to resources which could treat the disease, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. This year's [...]

13 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Exhibition showcases how women helped shape the UN

Listen / Maria Emma Mejia. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Women are on the receiving end of violence in today's conflicts and therefore better at prevention and sustaining peace, the Ambassador of Colombia to the UN has said. Maria Emma Mejia spoke ahead of a UN exhibition showcasing how women helped shape the United Nations throughout the years. Along with a coalition of 66 UN [...]

13 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 13 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Jocelyne Sambira and Daniel Dickinson. Today: Civilians are paying a "brutal price" as the Syrian military and its allies take back Aleppo City, the UN human rights office warns. And, an exhibition showcases how women helped shape the UN

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"World has wealth" to help every single person in "dire straits"

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The world has the wealth to help every single person in "dire straits" according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking in New York at the annual pledging conference of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), a fund which supports the provision of rapid humanitarian aid across the world. Andita Listyarini has more details. The [...]

13 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 13 December 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Migrants in Libya "treated as animals" in detention In Libya, fresh evidence has emerged that tens of thousands of migrants are subjected to serious human rights abuses and "treated as animals", the UN has announced. From arbitrary detention to beatings with sticks, rocks and bricks, investigators say that individuals hoping to use the north African [...]

13 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Deep foreboding for Aleppo civilians amid alleged executions

Listen / A child standing amid debris on a street in Aleppo. (file) Photo: OCHA/Romenzi

Reports have emerged from Syria's Aleppo city that dozens of civilians – including women and children – have been executed by pro-government forces as they close in on the last remaining neighbourhoods still held by opposition groups. The UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR, said that civilians have paid a "brutal price" as the Syrian military [...]

13 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Malaria control improves for vulnerable in Africa, but still "off-track"

Listen / A smiling mother stands holding her young boy beneath an insecticide-treated net, in Arusha, Tanzania. Photo: ©UNICEF/PFPG2014-1191/Hallahan (file photo)

The control of malaria for vulnerable people in Africa has improved, but the progress being made is still "off-track" according to new figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO). It's estimated that the disease, which is carried by mosquitoes and which is preventable, infected 212 million people and killed 429,000 worldwide in 2015. Daniel [...]

12 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 12 December 2016 (PM)

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Strengthen international cooperation to fight terrorism The international community needs to cooperate more closely in the fight against terrorists, according to the head of the UN’s anti-terrorism body (UNCTED). Jean-Paul Laborde was addressing the UN Security Council in a debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. Groups like Al-Shabaab, Boko [...]

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UN Daily News Programme 12 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Jocelyne Sambira and Daniel Dickinson. Today: Antonio Guterres was sworn-in as the ninth Secretary-General succeeding Ban Ki-moon who steps down after ten years on the job.

12 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

The UN must be ready for change, says incoming Secretary-General

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The UN must be ready for change and address the global community's inability to prevent crises, the incoming Secretary-General told delegates and diplomats after taking the oath of office on Monday. Antonio Guterres was sworn-in as the ninth Secretary-General succeeding Ban Ki-moon who steps down after ten years on the job. The former Prime Minister [...]

12 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Tributes paid to outgoing UN Secretary-General

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Tributes have been paid to the outgoing United Nations Secretary-General, who is stepping down after ten years leading the global organization. Ban Ki-moon was praised at a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York which also marked the inauguration of the next United Nations chief. Matthew Wells reports. The decade that Ban Ki-moon has led [...]

12 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Reconstruct relations" between people and leaders

Listen / António Guterres, Secretary-General-designate of the United Nations, takes the oath of office for his five-year term, which begins on 1 January 2017. The oath was administered by Peter Thomson, President of the 71st session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The incoming Secretary-General of the United Nations has said he will use his role as the world's top diplomat to "reconstruct relations" between people and their leaders. António Guterres made the pledge in the UN General Assembly hall as he read the oath of office before he officially takes up the position on 1 January, [...]

12 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 12 December 2016 (AM)

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  Malnutrition amongst children in Yemen at "all-time high" Malnutrition amongst children in Yemen is at an "all-time high" with some 2.2 million affected according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). Conflict in the Gulf state between government forces and Houthi rebels has led to the death of around 10,000 people. Even before the escalation [...]

12 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Ukraine and Russia respond to abuse allegations

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Concerns over human rights abuses in Ukraine have been in the spotlight at the UN Human Rights Council. Addressing Member States on Monday, UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein highlighted violations against civilians, particularly those living near the "contact line" between government and opposition forces in the east. Responding to allegations of abuse, [...]

12 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

All our lives "absolutely dependent" on biodiversity: UNEP chief

Listen / Erik Solheim.  UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Human existence is "absolutely dependent" on healthy biodiversity, from the food we eat, to the viability of the global economy. That's the passionate view of Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, UNEP. He was speaking at a major UN conference on biodiversity which took place in the Mexican coastal city of Cancun [...]

12 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Nearly four billion remain unconnected to the internet

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Nearly four billion people are still not connected to the Internet, according to the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU). People in least-developed countries are the most affected, because very few technology companies are willing to invest in broadband access for rural areas, said Malcolm Johnson, the ITU's Deputy Secretary-General. Jorge Miyares spoke to him in [...]

12 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Africans "yet to understand the meaning of autism"

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African societies have yet to understand what "autism" means according to Uganda's Ambassador to the UN. Richard Nduhuura said that generating awareness about autism across the continent, was an important step towards removing stigma surrounding it. The disorder affects the nervous system, making social interactions and verbal and non-verbal communications difficult. Priyanka Shankar spoke to [...]

12 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Bombing of Coptic Church in Egypt condemned

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A terrorist attack at the St. Peter’s Church attached to St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, has been condemned by the UN Security Council. At least 25 people were killed and more than 49 injured in Sunday’s attack. Islamist militants have claimed responsibility for the attack, media reports say. Jocelyne Sambira [...]

11 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

The Gambia’s outgoing President urged to respect election outcome

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia has been urged by the UN chief to “fully respect” the outcome of the Presidential election that took place on 1 December. Ban Ki-moon also called on all political actors and their supporters to do the same. He issued a statement on Saturday expressing his dismay over the outgoing [...]

11 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Incoming UN chief promises to make human dignity the core of his work

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with António Guterres, Secretary-General-designate. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

  UN Secretary-General-designate António Guterres has promised to make “human dignity the core of his work”. The former Prime Minister of Portugal and UN High Commissioner for Refugees made the remarks ahead of his swearing-ceremony on Monday. Jocelyne Sambira reports. In October this year, António Guterres was nominated as the next United Nations Secretary-General in [...]

11 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief condemns terrorist attacks in Turkey

Listen / A busy street in in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: World Bank/Simone D. McCourtie

The terrorist attacks carried out in Turkey’s commercial capital Istanbul have been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Turkish police personnel were reportedly targeted in Saturday’s bombings in which dozens of people were killed and injured. Jocelyne Sambira reports. In a statement released by his Spokesperson, the UN chief offered his deepest sympathy and condolences to [...]

11 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Biodiversity "critical" to sustainable development

Listen / Braulio Ferreira (left). UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz (file photo)

The rapid loss of biodiversity across the world is putting sustainable development at risk according to a senior UN official working on the issue. Braulio Ferreira, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity says that the variety of life on Earth is essential to ensure food security as well as access to clean water [...]

11 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Asteroids recognized as a "global concern"

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Asteroids have been recognized by the UN as a "global concern" because of the potential destruction they could cause on Earth. That's according to Simonetta di Pippo, head of UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). The UN agency has proclaimed 30 June as the new International Asteroid Day, which will be observed for the [...]

11 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Nepal's mountain communities feeling effects of global warming

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Climate change and global warming are the main challenges faced by communities living in the mountains of Nepal, according to a representative from the country's Mountaineering Association. Ang Tshering Sherpa said that temperature rises combined with the huge earthquake of April 2015, changed the course of rivers, adversely affecting the lives of many inhabitants in [...]

10 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

“Everyone can make a difference” to human rights

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Anyone and everyone can make a difference when it comes to human rights. That's the message behind a new UN campaign launched on Human Rights Day, celebrated every year on 10 September. It commemorates the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Laurent Sauveur from the [...]

10 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Women face cultural and safety barriers in entering the digital economy

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Women are more reluctant to engage in the digital economy because of cultural and safety barriers, coupled with a lack of technical skills. That's according to Barbara Wanner, Vice President for information, communications and technology (ICT) at the United States Council for International Business. She's been attending the Internet Governance Forum in Mexico, organized by [...]

10 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

The world must be serious about saying "never again" to genocide

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People everywhere must be serious about saying "never again" to genocide, the UN deputy chief has warned. Jan Eliasson shared this message on the second International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. It's been set aside as a day to pay tribute [...]

9 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 9 December 2016 (PM)

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  "Stubborn" digital divide exacerbates inequalities A "stubborn" digital divide is exacerbating inequalities among countries and delegates attending the UN Internet Governance Forum are calling for it to be closed. Particular attention was also paid to youth, gender and the technological gap that exists between developed and developing countries. After four days of intense debates, [...]

9 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 09 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. Today: Concern deepens over North Korea's human rights abuses against its own people. And, on International Anti-Corruption Day, we'll hear why corruption is likely to remain an on-going problem for "generations to come".  

9 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Concern has only deepened" over "appalling" rights violations in DPRK

Listen / A wide view of the Security Council Chamber UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

"Concern has only deepened" over "appalling" human rights violations carried out by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK, against its own people, the UN Security Council heard on Friday. That was the message from Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour, briefing the Council, which was divided over whether the issue should even be [...]

9 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Families in Aleppo "eating grass and garbage to survive"

Listen / Group of children push a cart trying to sell some radish in Al-Sha'ar neighbourhood in Aleppo, Syria. Photo: UNICEF/Zayat (file photo)

The situation in the besieged areas in Syria is "horrific" and families in Aleppo City are eating grass and garbage to survive, Canada's permanent representative to the UN has warned. Ambassador Marc-André Blanchard made the remarks ahead of a vote in the UN General Assembly on a draft resolution regarding the humanitarian crisis in Syria. [...]

9 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 9 December 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Aid access to Myanmar ruled out amid ongoing violence In Myanmar, violence is ongoing in Rakhine state and thousands of people have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, the UN said on Friday. The information comes from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR; it cited reports that some of the state's Muslim minority have been raped and killed, [...]

9 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Corruption "steals" from everyone in society

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Corruption "steals" from everyone in society according to a representative from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The agency's Jason Reichelt said that corruption came in many forms including fraud, bribery, and theft from private or public institutions, depriving governments of valuable development funding. According to the World Bank, about $1 trillion is [...]

9 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Security Council urged to "save civilians and spare" Aleppo City

Listen / Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, briefs journalists at the Security Council stakeout following Security Council consultations on the situation in Syria. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

"Put humanity first, save civilians and spare the city of Aleppo", the UN Special Envoy for Syria urged the Security Council on Thursday. Staffan de Mistura made the appeal during a closed-door meeting on the Middle East and Syria. Council members also heard that Syria's army has suspended its military offensive in eastern Aleppo to allow [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Over 500 million children live in conflict or disaster-stricken countries

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More than half a billion children live in countries affected by conflict or disaster, without access to medical care, quality education, proper food and protection. New figures, released by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), also show that 50 million of those children have been uprooted and driven from their homes. Jocelyne Sambira has more. On [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 08 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre left) and his wife Yoo Soon-taek (centre right), with the staff of the Habibi & Hawara Restaurant in Vienna. The Secretary-General visited the establishment to showcase the UN-System-Wide Campaign,

Restaurant in Vienna hires refugees to promote integration Refugees can be a "good mix" with local communities in Austria because they bring new culture, religious perspective and potential, the UN chief said on Thursday. Ban Ki-moon made the remarks while visiting the "Habibi and Hawara" restaurant in the capital Vienna, where he had lunch and [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on Aleppo, world’s biodiversity and UN brings benefits to New York City

Listen / Jan Egeland. UN Photo/Daniel Johnson

Desperate appeals to evacuate injured from Aleppo "Desperate appeals" are being made for humanitarian workers to evacuate the sick and injured from the embattled city of Aleppo in Syria, amid continued intense fighting, the UN has said. In a call for a pause in the violence, so that civilians can emerge from their shelters without [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

Protect refugee children on the move, UNHCR chief urges

Listen / A Syrian boy photographed at a refugee transit site in Arsal, Lebanon.  Photo: UNHCR/M. Hofer

Refugee children must be protected, especially if they are unaccompanied or separated from their families, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi has urged. A two-day forum opened in Geneva on Thursday aimed at finding solutions to the enormous risks these children face when they are on the move. They make up more than [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on civilians in Central Africa, Libya and sustainable industrial development

Listen / François Louncény Fall. UN Photo/Norbert N Ouendji

Lord's Resistance Army continues to cause "unspeakable suffering" The Lord's Resistance Army rebel group, is continuing to cause "unspeakable suffering" for civilians in central African countries where it operates, according to the UN's Special Representative for the region. François Louncény Fall, acting head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa, UNOCA, was briefing Security [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: ending violence against women, digital economy and youth unemployment

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Violence against women, the worldwide scourge As many as one in three women continue to be the target of violence all over the world and it’s about time governments took action to stop it. That’s the message from the World Health Organization (WHO), as 16 days of activism against gender-based violence get under way, ahead [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 08 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Daniel Dickinson and Jocelyne Sambira. Today: Desperate appeals for humanitarian access to eastern Aleppo in Syria as intense fighting continues… And, up to 246 million children around the world are victims of school-related violence, according to UN estimates…

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

246 million children are victims of school-related violence

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An estimated 246 million girls and boys worldwide are subject to school-related violence every year, according to latest figures from UN Women and the UN Educational, and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. The forms of violence children experience range from classroom bullying through to sexual violence and exploitation. According to UN Women Knowledge Management Specialist, Philippe Lust-Bianchi, [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Desperate appeals to evacuate injured from Aleppo

Listen / Jan Egeland. UN Photo/Daniel Johnson

"Desperate appeals" are being made for humanitarian workers to evacuate the sick and injured from Syria's Aleppo amid continued intense fighting, the UN said on Thursday. In a call for a pause in the violence, so that civilians can emerge from their shelters without being attacked, UN Special Adviser Jan Egeland said that aid teams [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 08 December 2016 (AM)

Listen / In the photo: Ahmed, 3 years old, receives treatment for moderate acute malnutrition in a hospital in Hajjah, Yemen. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

  Countries in need of food aid on the rise due to ongoing conflicts  The number of countries in need of food assistance is on the rise because of ongoing conflicts and weather-related shocks, a UN report has found. The "Crop Prospects and Food Situation" report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Ukraine civilians face ongoing rights violations

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The unresolved conflict in Ukraine continues to claim civilian lives and leave thousands of people at risk from a host of rights violations, the UN warned on Thursday. In a new report into the insurgency which began in 2014, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) cites that communities on the front line in the east [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Harsh winter increases humanitarian needs in Eastern Ukraine

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The humanitarian needs of displaced people in Eastern Ukraine are increasing this winter, contrary to the expectations of the UN's Refugee agency (UNHCR) in the region. The conflict in Ukraine between government forces and separatist rebels in the east, along the border with Russia, began in 2014 and is still ongoing, displacing more than a [...]

8 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 07 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / This family fled the fighting in Mosul, Iraq. Photo: UNHCR/R. Nuri (file photo)

  Nearly 84,000 people in Mosul displaced by fighting so far: UN The number of people displaced from Iraq's second city of Mosul by the ongoing military offensive against ISIL terrorists, has reached nearly 84,000, the UN has confirmed. Most of the displacements in the last week happened on the eastern side of the city, [...]

7 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 07 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. Today: The Lord's Resistance Army continues to cause "unspeakable suffering" in Central Africa, the Security Council hears…. And …with continued diligence and basic improvements for Haitians still recovering from a devastating hurricane, cholera CAN be beaten once [...]

7 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Lord's Resistance Army continues to cause "unspeakable suffering"

Listen / François Louncény Fall.  UN Photo/Norbert N Ouendji

The Lord's Resistance Army rebel group, is continuing to cause "unspeakable suffering" for civilians in central African countries where it operates, according to the UN's Special Representative for the region. François Louncény Fall, acting head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa, UNOCA, was briefing Security Council members in New York on the main [...]

7 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 07 December 2016 (AM)

Listen / A view of the Palais des Nations, seat of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

  Concerns persist over Sri Lanka torture allegations In Sri Lanka, reports persist that torture remains "a common practice" in police investigations, UN experts warned on Wednesday. Meeting in Geneva, the UN Committee Against Torture said it remained "seriously concerned" at the allegations along with many other potential violations committed by state actors. These include [...]

7 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Seven million people in Syria receiving medical supplies from UN

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More than 5 million people per month are receiving life-saving, humanitarian assistance in Syria and more than 7 million are being provided with medical supplies, the UN has confirmed. Syrian citizens continue to suffer as the war there between the government and rebel forces edges towards its sixth year. Andita Listyarini has more details. The [...]

7 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Pain of Korea's separated families is felt every day

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Families torn apart by decades of enforced separation in the Korean peninsula risk never being reunited amid rising tensions in the region, the UN has warned. Since war between the north and the south in 1953 cut the country in two, nearly 130,000 people have registered for a reunion with their families. More than half [...]

7 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

With right Haiti response "cholera will go"

Listen / David Nabarro meeting and supporting people in Jeremie, Haiti, which was severely affected by Hurricane Matthew. © UN Haiti

With the resources to keep responding effectively and improvements in water and sanitation for all Haitians, "cholera will go". That's according to David Nabarro, the UN Special Adviser responsible for the organization's on-going cholera response in Haiti. He was speaking after the UN apologized last week for its response to the initial cholera outbreak in [...]

7 Dec 2016 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

UN brings economic, cultural and educational benefits to New York City

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A new study has found that the UN brings significant economic, cultural and educational benefits to the people of New York City. According to Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner of NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs, the UN has generated thousands of jobs and huge economic output for the city. Referencing the centrepiece of the American football [...]

6 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Libyan political accord "stands firm, but stuck"

Listen / Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Runa A

The political accord in Libya "stands firm" but is "stuck," according to the head of the United Nations Support Mission in the country, (UNSMIL). The accord, which was signed a year ago this month, is aimed at ending conflict in the North African country following the ouster of former President Muammar al-Qhadafi in 2011. Almost [...]

6 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 06 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / Nickolay Mladenov briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

"Legalization bill" to diminish prospect of Arab-Israeli peace A bill that will protect illegal settlements and outposts built on Palestinian property in the West Bank threatens to "greatly diminish" the prospect of an Arab-Israeli peace. The warning comes from the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov. If adopted, he said, [...]

6 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Essential services" provided to mankind by biodiversity

Listen / Tehuacán-Cuicatlán has one of Mexico's highest rates of biodiversity and endemic species. Photo: Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Reserva de la Biósfera

Biodiversity, or the variety of life on Earth, provides "essential services" to mankind, according to the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Development and scientific experts gathered a few days ago on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, to discuss how to protect the world's biodiversity. UNDP has been working with developing countries across the [...]

6 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN generates over US$3 billion a year to NYC's economy

Listen / A view of the UN headquarters complex, as seen from the Visitors' Entrance. UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann

The UN generates US$3.69 billion in total economic output to New York City, a new study by the Mayor's Office for International Affairs has found. The report, launched on Tuesday, illustrates the UN community's role as a major employer and purchaser of local goods and services. It also highlights New York City's special role as [...]

6 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 06 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. Today: the Internet Governance Forum gets underway to discuss how almost four billion more people can access the benefits of being online… And, the senior UN development official tells us why biodiversity provides "essential services" to the [...]

6 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Fight against hunger slows down in Asia Pacific

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The fight against hunger in the Asia Pacific region has slowed according to a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The region is home to more than 60 percent of the roughly 800 million hungry people in the world. Since 1990, the region as a whole managed to reduce hunger by half. Priyanka Shankar [...]

6 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Internet forum addresses challenge of connecting 3.9 billion

Listen / Lenni Montiel. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

With nearly four billion people still unable to get online, the UN Internet Governance Forum provides a valuable "space" to discuss ways of connecting even the poorest rural areas of the world. That's the view of the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Lenni Montiel, speaking ahead of the 11th annual forum, being held in Mexico [...]

6 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 6 December 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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  Kenya food rations cut amid funding shortfall Rations have been cut for hundreds of thousands of refugees sheltering in Kenya because of a lack of funding. Announcing its decision on Tuesday, the World Food Programme (WFP) said 434,000 individuals in Dadaab, Kakuma and Kalobeyei have been on half rations since the start of the [...]

6 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Industrial transformation a "very big challenge" for Africa

Listen / Li Yong. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The transformation from agrarian- to industrial-based economies is a "very big challenge" for countries in Africa, according to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The UN agency's role is to eradicate global poverty by assisting developing and middle income countries in achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Speaking to LiLing Huang on the 50th [...]

6 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Security Council fails to reach "common ground" regarding Aleppo truce

Listen / Al-Riad shelter, Aleppo, Syria. Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

Members of the UN Security Council have failed to reach a "common ground" regarding a decision to call for a seven-day truce in the Syrian city of Aleppo. That's what Egypt's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, told reporters at UN headquarters on Monday. The UN resolution was drafted by Egypt, [...]

5 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 05 December 2016 (PM)

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Syria approves delivery of aid into besieged areas, including Aleppo The Syrian government has approved a plan by the UN and its partners to send an aid convoy to hard-to-reach and besieged areas, including eastern Aleppo. That's according to UN spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric. The UN and its partner, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, only have [...]

5 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN calls for better protection of refugees in the EU and globally

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Refugees need to be better protected in the European Union (EU) and globally, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), has urged. In a paper presented on Monday, the agency also called for a "far-reaching" reform of Europe's global engagement with refugees. Over one million refugees and migrants reached Europe by sea in 2015 while close to [...]

5 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 05 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. Today: The UN's biggest humanitarian appeal ever is launched to help 93 million people in need next year. And…on World Soil Day we hear how healthy soil and growing pulses can help fight global warming…

5 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Healthy soil "enables" life on earth and mitigates climate change

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Healthy soil "enables" life on earth and is one of the biggest bulwarks against climate change, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). About a third of the world's soil has been degraded; the impacts of which range from food shortages and drought, to landslides and floods. Soil degradation particularly affects subsistence farmers, [...]

5 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 05 December 2016 (AM)

Listen / UN Youth Volunteer Stepanka Pechackova, is fully funded by the Czech Republic, and works as a Communications and Outreach Youth Officer with UNV and UNDP in Mongolia. Photo: UNV (file photo)

  Give volunteers much-deserved "global applause" says UN chief People around the world are being urged to give volunteers much deserved "global applause" for their commitment to make the world a better place. That's the UN Secretary-General's message for this year's International Volunteer Day observed annually on 5 December. According to UN estimates, there are [...]

5 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Thai king's legacy on soil "can benefit families of farmers" globally

Listen / Virachai Plasai. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

The former King of Thailand's focus on improving soil quality can help "families of farmers around the world" reach the Sustainable Development Goals, the internationally agreed targets to fight poverty. That's according to Thailand's ambassador to the UN, Virachai Plasai, speaking ahead of World Soil Day, marked each December 5. The late King Bhumibol Adulyadej [...]

5 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Record aid appeal launched to help 93 million people

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Unprecedented levels of suffering not seen since the end of the Second World War has prompted a US $22.2 billion appeal for funds – the biggest humanitarian appeal yet by the United Nations. Launching the appeal in Geneva, the UN's aid chief Stephen O'Brien said that the objective was to help 93 million people with [...]

5 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Affordable, absolutely green" housing showcased at UN conference

Listen / Eco-friendly house. UN Photo/Matt Wells

Housing that is "fast, affordable and absolutely green" will free up cities of the future to build without using any concrete. That's according to the chairman of a Spanish environmental housing company, which built one of their new homes in just 32 days, as part of the UN's recent Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador. [...]

3 Dec 2016 | Posted in Habitat III Conference, Today's Features | Read More »

"Make cities accessible, keep persons with disabilities visible"

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One of the ways to break down the stigma faced by persons with disabilities is to make cities more accessible to them. That's the view of Victor Calise, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, who oversees accessibility projects throughout the "Big Apple". Mr Calise became involved with protection of [...]

3 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Persons with disabilities must be part of global development push: UN chief

Listen / Sign language interpreter at the special session on the inclusion of persons with disabilities into humanitarian action, at the World Humanitarian Summit. Photo: UN News Centre/Stéphanie Coutrix (file photo)

Much remains to be accomplished before persons with disabilities can realize their full potential as equal and valued members of society. That's the message from the UN Secretary-General on the International Day of Disabled Persons, observed this Saturday, 3 December. Dianne Penn reports. The Secretary-General pointed out that this month marks 10 years since the [...]

3 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Social media a "powerful channel" for space industry

Listen / Scott Kelly. Photo: UNOOSA

Space exploration is the story of "very passionate people that do ground-breaking stuff" and is not only about rockets and satellites, according to a social media specialist who works in the industry. Remco Timmermans spoke about the connection between social media and space during a recent forum in Dubai organized by the UN Office for [...]

3 Dec 2016 | Posted in High Level Forum: Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 02 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / Worsening drought conditions have left hundreds of thousands of Somalis facing severe food and water shortages. Photo: OCHA Somalia

  Somalia drought "extremely worrying," UN aid official warns Humanitarians are racing against time to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of Somalis who are facing severe drought and water shortages, a senior UN official has warned. UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, Peter de Clercq, explained that a prolonged drought in Puntland and [...]

2 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Fear can't put dreams asleep": Stevie Wonder marks disability day

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The celebrated music icon, Stevie Wonder delivered a powerful message to people with disabilities at the UN on Friday, through the lyrics of his song: "Fear Can't Put Dreams Asleep". The musician and UN Messenger of Peace, from the United States, stated that raising awareness about people with disabilities is as important as "us taking [...]

2 Dec 2016 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 02 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn. Today: Full inclusion and equality for persons with disabilities is vital if the world's to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals… And….a rapid global response is needed to stop extremism operating online, a senior UN counter-terrorism official tells [...]

2 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

"Full inclusion" of persons with disabilities, vital to reach SDGs

Listen / A disabled man operates a mobile phone repair business in Sri Lanka. Photo: ILO (file photo)

The "full inclusion and effective participation" of persons with disabilities in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals is vital if they are to succeed. That's the message from UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday, speaking at a High Level Panel discussion on the 10th anniversary of The Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He [...]

2 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

US$1 billion appeal launched to address Africa's largest humanitarian crisis

Listen / Displaced girl suffering from malnutrition in Kuya camp, Monsuno, Nigeria. Photo: UNHCR/Hélène Caux

Humanitarians are appealing for US$1 billion to meet the needs of nearly seven million people affected by insecurity in north-east Nigeria. They are calling on the international community and the private sector to respond to what they say is the "largest crisis on the African continent". Dianne Penn reports. The funding will be used to [...]

2 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief welcomes ratification of Colombia peace agreement

Listen / Internally displaced children, victims of conflict in Colombia. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The ratification of Colombia's peace agreement has been hailed by the UN Secretary-General as "a major milestone." Colombia's parliament this week ratified a revised version of the deal signed by the Government and the rebel group FARC, which it is hoped will end more than five decades of conflict in the South American country. An [...]

2 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 2 December 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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  Shelter at capacity for Aleppo's embattled displaced Shelter for thousands of people fleeing fierce fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo has reached capacity and there are fears that buildings housing refugees could collapse as they are heavily damaged, the UN said on Friday. The warning from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, comes amid [...]

2 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Preserving "Chapei Dang Veng" important to Cambodia's heritage

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Safeguarding a traditional Cambodian music style called "Chapei Dang Veng" is important to the country's heritage according to Phoeung Sakona, Cambodia's Minister of Culture and fine arts. The ancient art form has been recently added to the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (UNESCO) list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. Chapei [...]

2 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Zero waste guru gives UN Radio a sustainability check-up

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Do you think it's possible to create just a single litre of rubbish in a year? Zero waste activist Béa Johnson has been doing just that for the last decade, with the help of her very own 5R formula: Refuse, Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Rot. She's been giving a talk about her sustainability crusade at the [...]

2 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Global response needed to stop use of ICTs to commit terrorist acts

Listen / Jean-Paul Laborde. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

A global response is needed to stop extremism on the internet and in social media, the head of the UN's anti-terrorism body (UNCTED) has urged. Extremist groups have been using information and communications technologies (ICT) to spread propaganda, recruit, generate funds, share training materials and engage in the illicit weapons trade. Some of the most [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 01 December 2016 (PM)

Listen / Observers from the UN Mission in Colombia and the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC-EP), start work at the national headquarters of the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism in charge of overseeing the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in the country. Photo: UN Mission in Colombia

  Colombian ceasefire monitoring body finds violations A ceasefire monitoring mechanism set up in Colombia has determined that clear protocol violations took place during an incident that led to the deaths of two rebel fighters last month. The FARC members died in the Santa Rosa municipality, and the "information collected shows that there were significant [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN apologizes for Haiti cholera and calls for US$400 million to address crisis

Listen / Secretary-General visits temporary shelter for victims of Hurricane Matthew.

The United Nations has apologized for its response to the cholera outbreak in Haiti that claimed more than 9,000 lives and has pledged to provide both immediate and long-term support for those affected. Over the last six years, cholera has afflicted nearly 800,000 people on the Caribbean island. Daniel Dickinson has more details Speaking at [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on Syria’s civilians, HIV-AIDS and space-based information

Listen / Al-Riad shelter, Aleppo, Syria. Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

Protect Syria's civilians for the sake of "humanity" A senior UN humanitarian official has appealed to the international community's "common threads of humanity" to save civilians in the besieged city of Aleppo. Tens of thousands of people remain in rebel-held areas in Aleppo in Syria, as a government offensive to retake the eastern part of [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

Thousands of children left without water in Mosul, Iraq

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Thousands of children and their families in the Iraqi city of Mosul are in dire need of water, according to the UN Children Fund's (UNICEF). It follows the destruction of a major water pipeline in territory controlled by the ISIL terrorist group. Without access to clean water, children are more susceptible to suffer from water-borne [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: HIV-positive youth, ending violence against women and gender equality

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HIV-positive women face more discrimination than men HIV-positive women face more discrimination than men with HIV according to a young activist from India. Lalchhuanzuali was at the UN to talk about the problems facing young people with HIV, especially in accessing vital services. She represents Youth LEAD, an NGO which works with people up to [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

Space-based information saving lives on Earth

Listen / Luc St-Pierre.  Photo credit: Runa A.

Satellite imagery, global navigation systems and other applications developed for space exploration are being used by the United Nations to help countries save lives on Earth. An online platform administered by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) ensures developing nations can access space-based data, for example in the wake of natural disasters. Luc [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in High Level Forum: Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 01 December 2016

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn. On World Aids Day, HIV-positive women are facing more discrimination than men living with HIV. And …we'll hear how data gathered in outer space, is saving lives on earth…

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan, CAR and Timbuktu reconstruction

Listen / Human Rights Council

"Serious human rights violations" continuing in South Sudan "Serious human rights violations" are continuing in South Sudan and are more serious than previously thought according to a visiting UN Human Rights Commission. Civil conflict erupted in the African country three years ago leading to the deaths of thousands of people and forcing almost three million [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Make nutrition a public issue to address malnutrition impacts: FAO chief

Listen / A family having a meal in Kyrgyzstan. Photo: FAO/Sergey Kozmin

With malnutrition estimated to cost the world US$3.5 trillion a year, nutrition must be considered a public health issue, the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday. José Graziano da Silva was speaking at an international symposium in Rome looking at ways to encourage countries to shift to healthier diets [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Scale up efforts to prevent HIV infections in youth: UNICEF

Listen / Young people play an

New HIV infections among adolescents could reach 400,000 a year by 2030 if progress stalls in reaching this segment of the population, according to a new report from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). Nearly two million people worldwide aged 10 -19 were living with HIV in 2015, with sub-Saharan Africa being the most impacted region. [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 01 December 2016 (AM)

Listen / 20160530_Benghazi_Libya_UNSMIL_350300

  Nearly 40 killed in November due to Libyan conflict Eight children were among the 38 people killed last month as a result of the ongoing conflict in Libya, according to statistics from the UN mission in the country, UNSMIL. The majority of those killed died as a result of air strikes, followed by gunshots, [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in | Read More »

Shelter "urgently needed for displaced from Syria's Aleppo"

Listen / 20160519_Syria_SDM_350300

Some 30,000 people who fled fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo in recent days are getting humanitarian aid, but hundreds of thousands more need help, the UN has warned. Speaking in Geneva on Thursday, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said that 400,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Aleppo so far. [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

HIV-positive women “face more discrimination than men”

Listen / Lalchhuanzuali. UN Photo/Daniel Dickinson

HIV-positive women face more discrimination than men with HIV according to a young activist from India. Lalchhuanzuali was at the UN to talk about the problems facing young people with HIV, especially in accessing vital services. She represents Youth LEAD, an NGO which works with people up to the age of 27 who are considered [...]

1 Dec 2016 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

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