News in Brief 08 December 2016 (PM)

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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. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

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 drank lemonade.

The restaurant employs refugees, mainly Syrian, to help them become independent entrepreneurs at a time when xenophobia and anti-refugee sentiments are on the rise in Europe.

Katha Schinkinger is one of the managers of the restaurant.

"Friends and I started, and also working associates had the idea last summer when we began to host refugees in nearby camps like …. and just started to come in contact with them, and we saw the huge potential. These are not the "refugee crisis"… we saw the potential of skilled persons, of entrepreneurs and we wanted to start a project like this."

The Secretary-General seized the opportunity to highlight the UN's "Together" global campaign which seeks to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants.

Developing situation in Northern Rakhine cause for "serious concern"

The UN remains "seriously concerned" about the developing situation in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state, the Secretary-General's special adviser to the country has said.

Rakhine State, home to some one million people whose citizenship is unclear, is located on Myanmar's west coast.

Most are members of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority living in the north.

Fighting in the area continues between the country's security forces and militants belonging to an organization calling itself the "Aqa mul Moujahideen."

Vijay Nambiar called on the country's security forces to exercise caution and avoid disproportionate responses that could cause violence to civilians or loss of innocent lives.

He appealed for "unimpeded humanitarian and media access" to the troubled regions as well as strengthened efforts to defuse tensions and promote harmony.

Meanwhile, Mr Nambiar warned tensions are also growing in other parts of the country and particularly in the ethnic states of Shan and Kachin in north-eastern Myanmar.

Security Council urged to assist detained UN war crimes judge

Members of the Security Council are being urged to assist a detained Turkish judge assigned to a UN war crimes panel.

According to media reports, Judge Aydin Sefa Akay was arrested in the aftermath of the failed coup in Turkey in July this year.

The President of the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals, Judge Theodor Meron, drew the Council's attention to the Turkish Judge's plight and the impact it has had on the Mechanism.

The international court tracks and tries the remaining fugitives from Yugoslavia and Rwanda who are accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’50″

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