News in Brief 06 January 2017 (PM)

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António Guterres, UN Secretary General. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

"Game-changing" strategy urged to counter sexual exploitation

A "game-changing" strategy is needed to respond to sexual exploitation and abuse within the UN according to the Secretary-General, António Guterres.

A number of allegations relating to abuse over the past two years have been made against UN peacekeepers serving in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Here's the UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"The Secretary-General, in consultation with members of the Executive Committee, has asked Ms Jane Holl Lute, the Special Coordinator for improving the Organisation’s response to sexual exploitation and abuse, to convene a high-level task force to develop as a matter of urgency, a clear, game-changing strategy to achieve visible and measurable further improvement in the Organisation's approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse."

The task force is expected to present its strategy in February.

Bangladeshi peacekeeper killed in Central African Republic

The death of a United Nations peacekeeper serving in the Central African Republic has been announced by the UN.

The Bangladeshi soldier was killed last Tuesday whilst on patrol.

It follows the killing of two Moroccan peacekeepers on the same day.

The UN Security Council said that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute a war crime.

133,000 people displaced in Mosul, Iraq

In Iraq, more than 133,000 people have been displaced as a result of ongoing military operations in Mosul, the UN has confirmed.

An Iraqi government offensive to retake the city from extremists began in October and is ongoing.

Some 87 per cent of those people have sought shelter in camps for internally displaced people as well as in emergency sites around the Mosul area.

The available camp space is currently keeping pace with the rate of displacement.

Ivorian soldiers protest at overdue payments

Disgruntled soldiers of the army of Côte d'Ivoire who are claiming overdue salary payments have been protesting in three towns in the West African country, the UN mission there, UNOCI, has said.

Incidents ,which included barricading and gunfire, were reported in the towns of Bouake, Daloa and Eissia.

There were no reports of casualties and the situation remained calm but unpredictable.

UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric again.

"Helicopters belonging to the UN Mission conducted air reconnaissance in Bouake as a show of force. Peacekeepers from the Mission’s Quick Reaction Force have also been deployed to Bouake in support of national authorities to protection civilians should the situation deteriorate. The Mission continues to closely monitor the situation."

 "Panda Champions" named for development goals

Seventeen people from around the world have been chosen by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) as so-called Panda Champions for the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.

The habitat of pandas is rapidly disappearing due to demographic changes, biodiversity losses and climate change, challenges which are central to reaching the SDGs.

The 17 champions were chosen from hundreds of people who submitted videos about their favourite goal of the 17 goals.

They'll travel to China to meet UNDP's first Animal Ambassadors, a pair of panda cubs who were born at the time when world leaders agreed to the SDGs.


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