Home » 28 Feb 2017 Entries posted on “February 2017”

News in Brief 28 February 2017 (PM)

Listen / Children sitting in front of a school that was badly damaged in the conflict in Yemen. Photo: UNICEF/Abu Monassar

UN relief chief "extremely disappointed" by denial of access to Taiz The UN relief chief Stephen O'Brien has said he's "extremely disappointed" by rebel fighters' refusal to allow aid into Taiz city in Yemen. The Humanitarian Coordinator has spent several days travelling around the war-torn country this week, where almost 19 million are in need [...]

28 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Sanctions resolution on chemical weapons use in Syria vetoed

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A UN Security Council resolution which would have established sanctions in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria was vetoed by permanent members Russia and China on Tuesday. The resolution would have set up a committee and panel of experts to hold accountable those found to have used chemical weapons during the course [...]

28 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

People in South Sudan "live in fear", warns human rights expert

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People in South Sudan are "living in fear" because of ethnically-based killings and other violations such as rape, arbitrary arrests and kidnappings, the Director of Human Rights at the UN Mission in South Sudan has said. Eugene Nindorera, who is also the representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the African country, was [...]

28 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"We must reinvent ourselves" to serve world better: UN deputy chief

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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires the UN system to "reinvent" itself in order to better serve Member States. That's according to Amina Mohammed, making her first speech at UN Headquarters shortly after being officially sworn in as deputy chief of the organization. She played a key role in the launch of the 17 [...]

28 Feb 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 28 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Matthew Wells. In today's programme: the UN must "reinvent itself" to serve the world better, the UN deputy chief says; And… children bound for Europe are forced to sell their bodies to survive, a UNICEF report warns.

28 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Children bound for Europe "sell their bodies – their only currency"

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Disturbing new details have emerged of the abuse suffered by children travelling from North Africa to Europe on people trafficking routes through Libya. The findings by UN Children's Fund UNICEF show that three-quarters of youngsters said they had experienced violence, while one in two women and children reported sexual abuse – often many times in [...]

28 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 28 February 2017 (AM)

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Conflict continues to hamper humanitarian response to South Sudan famine Ongoing fighting in South Sudan is preventing aid from reaching famine-hit communities, the UN has warned. Some 100,000 people face starvation in parts of the country where famine was declared on eight days ago. A further one million are on the brink of famine. Since [...]

28 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

First Global Festival of Ideas promotes new SDG thinking

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Gaming experts are joining representatives from government and the private sector as well as policy makers, activists and students for what's being billed as the world's first "playable" policy conference. The Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development, taking place in Bonn, Germany, seeks to provoke new thinking for a better world. Some 1,000 participants [...]

28 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 27 February 2017 (PM)

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  "Inconsistent progress" in Kosovo: UN mission chief There has been "inconsistent progress" in recent months over talks to diffuse tensions regarding Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008. That's according to Zahir Tanin, the head of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). He told UN Security Council members on Monday that there had [...]

27 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Philippines' war on drugs "is needed to avoid a narco-state"

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Drugs threaten to turn the Philippines' into a so-called "narco-state" which is why the country will continue to do all it can to eradicate them, its Secretary for Foreign Affairs said on Monday. Speaking on the opening day of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Perfecto R. Yasay Jr told Member States that the authorities [...]

27 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

WFP concerned about humanitarian situation in western Mosul

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Increased fighting in western Mosul in Iraq is making it difficult for people to leave their homes while the price of food rises as availability decreases. That information comes from the World Food Programme (WFP) which reports that more than 750,000 people there are living in dire conditions. Iraqi forces and their allies are fighting [...]

27 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Peace museums provide a "discourse of caring": genocide expert

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War museums will "continue to predominate" but peace museums can "give daylight" to stories that are often hidden, an expert on genocide says. Dr Joyce Apsel is the President of the Institute for the Study of Genocide as well as a Clinical Professor at New York University and the International Network of Museums for Peace [...]

27 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 27 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Matthew Wells. In today's programme: the UN chief warns of the danger of denying people their human rights, likening it to a "disease" that is spreading across the globe And the World Food Programme expresses concern over Iraqis caught [...]

27 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 27 February 2017 (AM)

Listen / Peter Thomson.  UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Human rights fundamental to "the future we want" and reaching SDGs Human rights are fundamental to "the future we want for this world" and the success of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. That's the view of Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly, addressing the opening of the new four-week session of [...]

27 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

WHO publishes list of bacteria that pose a threat to human health

Listen / More countries need plans to preserve anti-microbial medicines such as antibiotics, says WHO. Photo: WHO/S. Volkov

For the first time ever, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published a catalogue of 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. The move is part of the agency's efforts to address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines. The list is divided into three categories according to the urgency of [...]

27 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Human rights? It's personal, Guterres tells Council

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The denial of human rights is a disease which is spreading "north, south, east and west", UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday. Addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the UN chief said that its Member States could be part of the cure, by upholding the rights of all people and all states. Mr [...]

27 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Western Sahara: UN chief concerned over tensions near UN buffer strip

Listen / A Military Liaison Officer of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), looks through binoculars during a ceasefire monitoring patrol in Oum Dreyga, Western Sahara (June 2010). UN Photo/Martine Perret

The UN Secretary-General has expressed concern over increased tensions near Guerguerat village in the buffer strip in southern Western Sahara. António Guterres' comments came in a statement issued on Sunday by his spokesperson. Western Sahara is located on the north-west coast of Africa and is bordered by Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria. The Territory was administered [...]

26 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Learning languages gives you many chances in life: South Sudan journalist

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A radio journalist at the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is highlighting the benefits of multilingualism. Sebbit Abdu, who speaks 10 languages, says he automatically feels at home in the places where they are spoken. Mr Abdu spoke to Sebbit William on International Mother Language Day, observed annually on 21 February. The two colleagues, [...]

25 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UNEP launches #CleanSeas campaign to reduce plastic use

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Unless people stop dumping plastic items such as bottles, bags and cups after using them just once, there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. That's according to estimates cited by the UN Environment Programme  (UNEP) which has launched the #CleanSeas campaign to combat marine litter by reducing plastic production and [...]

25 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 24 February 2017 (PM)

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  Tighter rules needed to combat air pollution, UN experts urge Countries have a duty to strengthen legislation that prevents and controls exposure to toxic air pollution, UN human rights experts have urged. The appeal for better regulation comes from the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, together [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Armed conflict hampering aid delivery in two CAR provinces

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Humanitarians care calling for unimpeded access to thousands of displaced people affected by deadly clashes between armed groups in two provinces in the Central African Republic (CAR). The renewed violence in Ouaka and Haute Kotto provinces has also generated gross violations of international humanitarian law, and the warring parties are being urged to protect civilians [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Oslo conference raises US$672 million for Lake Chad region crisis

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A total of US $672 million was raised on Friday at a humanitarian conference in Oslo, Norway, to address the crisis in the Lake Chad region, the UN says. Co-hosted by the Scandinavian country, Nigeria, Germany and the UN, the meeting aimed to address the huge crisis unfolding in a region where 17 million lives [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Syria Envoy lays foundations for "long and difficult" process

Listen / Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, attends a bilateral meeting between representatives of the Syrian government and opposition on 24 February 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.UN Photo/V.Martin

The first full day of talks aimed at ending the conflict in Syria ended in Geneva on Friday where the office of UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura repeated his assessment that the way ahead will be "long and difficult". The UN Special Envoy for Syria's comments follow meetings with the government of the war-torn country [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Women forum highlights importance of safe urban spaces

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Up to 90 per cent of women report that they've been harassed on their way to work, according to information cited by UN Women. The agency is holding a four-day forum in Mexico City looking at ways to make public spaces safe and empowering for women and girls. More than 200 urban experts and community [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 24 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: More than one billion dollars needed to save lives in Lake Chad region, the UN relief chief says; and urban experts meet in Mexico to share strategies on making cities safe for women and girls.

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Peacekeeper says women can "do much more" in UN peace operations

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Women peacekeepers have the power to do "much more” in peacekeeping operations and also in encouraging post-conflict resolution. That's according to Lieutenant Colonel Ratih Pusparini, an Indonesian "blue helmet" who has served with UN peacekeeping missions in Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Lebanon. The Lieutenant Colonel participated in a recent panel discussion [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in Asian Voices, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 24 February 2017 (AM) – Geneva

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Israeli soldier's sentence for shooting "excessively lenient": UN The punishment handed down to an Israeli soldier found guilty of shooting dead a wounded Palestinian is "excessively lenient", the UN Human Rights Office said on Friday. The statement by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is in reference to the 18-month prison [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Syrian parties urged to engage in negotiations 'in good faith': UN chief

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Syrian parties taking part in the negotiations in Geneva are being urged by the UN Secretary-General to engage in good faith. The statement was released by his spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, late on Thursday, as the warring sides held face-to-face talks in the Swiss city. António Guterres also commended the work of his Special Envoy, Staffan de [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Agricultural support critical for people displaced by Boko Haram

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More than seven million people in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin could remain "trapped in cycles of severe hunger" if farmers there do not get the support they need, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. Humanitarians are meeting in Oslo this Friday to mobilize funds to address the regional crisis generated by [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

In Niger, Orlando Bloom meets families affected by Boko Haram violence

Listen / UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom on a visit to Niger to meet with children and families affected by Boko Haram violence.© UNICEF

Orlando Bloom, British actor and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) recently travelled to Diffa in south-east Niger where he met with children and families displaced by an insurgency led by Boko Haram militants. The Diffa region currently hosts over 240,000 internally displaced persons, refugees and returnees, including 160,000 children. Governments are being [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

US $1.5 billion needed to save lives in Lake Chad region: UN relief chief

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US $1.5 billion is  urgently needed to deliver humanitarian aid to people living in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, the UN relief chief has said. Under-Secretary General (USG) and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien made the appeal ahead of the Oslo Humanitarian Conference which opens on Friday. Extremists, including those belonging to the Boko [...]

24 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UNDP addressing suffering in NE Nigeria

Listen / On 12 August 2016 internally displaced children waiting for ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) distribution in Banki IDP camp, Borno state, northeast Nigeria. Photo: UNICEF/Andrew Esiebo

Humanitarians are meeting in Oslo this Friday to address a crisis which they say has reached grave proportions: the suffering of millions in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region at the hands of Boko Haram militants. The group's violent operations, including suicide bombings and raids, have caused death, destruction and displacement in four countries, with [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

We must not fail: UN Envoy appeals to parties as Syria talks begin

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Talks to decide the future of Syria have begun in Geneva, where the UN's Staffan de Mistura said that he hoped it would be remembered as the moment when the "long, hard journey towards peace" began. Addressing the Syrian government and opposition delegations in a rare face-to-face encounter, the UN Special Envoy for Syria appealed [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 23 February 2017 (PM)

Listen / UNEP Patron for Oceans, Lewis Pugh, is swimming the Seven Seas to urge policy makers to protect at least 10 per cent of the world's seas. In the Arabian Sea off Oman, the seabed was a rubbish dump. No fish. No coral. Just tyres, plastic packets, bottles, cans. Photo: UNEP

UN launches global campaign to rid oceans of plastic A global campaign has been launched by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to rid the world's oceans and seas of plastic. People are being urged by the agency to change their throwaway habits before irreversible damage is done. Forgoing plastic at the grocery and using green [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan crisis, Southern Africa and multilingualism

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South Sudan famine aid effort hampered by security fears The fighting must stop in South Sudan if at least 100,000 people are to be saved from famine, UN aid agencies said on Monday. The World Food Programme (WFP) – one of the organizations to launch the joint appeal – said that the current crisis is [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: climate crises, Pacific women and public employment

Listen / Patients with cholera are treated by a doctor at the hospital in L'Estere, Haiti, where hundreds of cases of the epidemic are seen per day. UN Photo/Sophia Paris

Resilient health care systems "bread and butter" in helping women cope with climate crises: WHO A resilient and adaptable health care system is the "bread and butter" of any effective response to a climate-induced crisis. That's according to Dr Nata Menabde, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) New York office. Speaking with Lucy [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN Global Perspective Special: Looking ahead to The Ocean Conference: safeguarding life below sea

Listen / Boys in wooden goggles catch fish off Atauro Island, Timor-Leste. UN Photo/Martine Perret

The Ocean Conference is being convened by the UN in June, as a call to action for Member States to conserve the world's seas, and advance Sustainable Development Goal 14, which focusses on safeguarding all marine life and ecosystems. More than 3.5 billion people rely on the ocean for their primary source of food, and [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 23 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: Why resilient health care systems are critical to women's ability to cope in climate crises; and a Syrian refugee family gets new life in US.

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Syria's parties urged to put children first as negotiations begin

Listen / United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura welcomes a delegation of Syrian women during the Intra-Syrian talks, Geneva. 23 February 2017. UN Photo/Violaine Martin

Parties to Syria's six year long war are being urged to "show bold leadership" for the rights of children as they meet in Geneva for a new round of negotiations following a nearly a year-long hiatus. The appeal was made on Thursday by Geert Cappelare, the Regional Director for the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF. Syrian [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 23 February 2017 (AM)

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Security essential to reinvigorating South Sudan "bread basket" Improved security is essential to reinvigorating what has been called the bread basket of South Sudan, the  head of the UN Mission in the country, UNMISS, David Shearer, has said. Mr Shearer was making his first field trip to the town of Yambio in the Western Equatoria [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Rising depression rates reveal huge gaps in treatment for sufferers

Listen / Depression causes persistent sadness, a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy and an inability to carry out daily activities. Credit: WHO

Depression is a far more common mental illness than many people realize and the number of sufferers is growing, UN health experts said on Thursday. In a bid to raise awareness about the issue, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that more than 300 million people live with the condition – an 18 per cent [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Resilient health systems support women in climate crises: WHO

Listen / A Cholera outbreak originating in the Central Artibonite region of Haiti has killed around 250 people and effected over 2500 in the region.

A resilient and adaptable health care system is the "bread and butter" of any effective response to a climate-induced crisis. That's according to Dr Nata Menabde, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) New York office. Speaking with Lucy Dean following a panel discussion on women and children's health, she began by explaining why [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Access to besieged Syrian towns remains 'greatest obstacle': UN relief chief

Listen / A young boy sits in front of a destroyed building in Homs, Syria. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

The lack of safe, unimpeded and sustained access remains the greatest obstacle to reaching Syrian people in besieged and hard-to-reach-areas. That's what the top UN humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, said during his briefing to the Security Council on Wednesday. Some 13.5 million people in Syria are in dire need of protection and humanitarian assistance, the UN [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Public employment schemes help combat inequalities: ILO

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Women are often employed in unpaid work, but public employment programmes can help address this inequality. That's according to Terje Tessem, chief of the Development and Investment Branch in the Employment Policy Department of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Speaking with Lucy Dean following a panel discussion at UN Headquarters about preventing conflict through decent [...]

23 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

New agreement aims to streamline global trade

Listen / Trade Facilitation Agreement has come into force. Photo: UNCTAD

A new global agreement that makes trade cheaper, easier and faster has been welcomed by the UN trade body, UNCTAD. The Trade Facilitation Agreement could reduce costs by as much as 23 per cent, resulting in export gains of between US$750 billion and US$1trillion. The deal, which came into force on Wednesday, aims to streamline [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Over 20 million people in four countries 'going hungry': UN chief

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Over 20 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and north-east Nigeria are going hungry and facing devastating levels of food insecurity, the UN chief said on Wednesday. António Guterres was speaking at a press conference aimed at drawing the world's attention to the scale of humanitarian crises unfolding in the four countries. He was [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in Food Crisis, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 22 February 2017 (PM)

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The forced relocation of the Palestinian Bedouin community in the West Bank is "unacceptable and it must stop", the UN Humanitarian Aid Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory has urged. Robert Piper issued a statement on Wednesday together with Scott Anderson, the Director of the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) Operations in the West Bank. [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Syria: UN envoy cautions against “spoilers” on eve of negotiations

Listen / United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura takes questions at a press conference in Geneva prior to the Intra-Syrian negotiations. UN Photo/Violaine Martin

The countdown has begun to Intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva where UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura on Wednesday stressed the need to "outpace" those who wished to see the deliberations come to nothing. Downplaying expectations of an immediate "breakthrough" between the warring sides, Mr de Mistura said that it was time for delegations to show [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 22 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: Future global food security in jeopardy unless countries take action now, a report from UN food agency FAO warns; and nearly half a million children are at "high risk of death" in Yemen, says UNICEF. [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Malnutrition affecting nearly half a million children in Yemen: UNICEF

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More than 460,000 children in Yemen are "at high risk of death" due to severe and acute malnutrition, according to a senior official with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). Dr Sherin Varkey, UNICEF Acting Representative in the country, says youngsters are bearing the brunt of two years of conflict between government forces and rebels. UNICEF [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 22 February 2017 (AM)

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Global UN-backed trade agreement enters into force A global trade agreement has come into force on Wednesday making it easier, faster and cheaper for countries to trade, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was brokered by members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2014. [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

FAO report outlines multiple challenges to future food security

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Increased pressures on natural resources, rising inequality and the effects of climate change are placing global food security "in jeopardy," the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns. FAO says unless countries make additional investments in their food systems, they will not meet the global goal of ending extreme hunger by 2030. The agency's latest [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Road safety film festival lifts curtain on global scourge

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Road accidents are a global pandemic that more countries around the world could help to eradicate through the power of cinema. That's the message from Michelle Yeoh, actress and road safety advocate, who's been taking part in a film festival hosted by the UN agency which is responsible for traffic issues: the Economic Commission for [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Syria: 5,000 civilians trapped by fighting in Al Bab town

Listen / In Madaya, Rural Damascus, children and their families wait for permissions to leave the besieged Syrian town. Photo: UNICEF/Omar Sanadiki

The UN has expressed "deep concern" over the fate of an estimated 5,000 civilians trapped by fighting in and around the town of Al Bab in northern Syria. On Tuesday, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria Ali Al-Za'tari urged all parties to the conflict to immediately ensure a safe passage for people trying [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Syrian refugee family gets new life in US

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A Syrian refugee who recently moved to the USA with the help of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) wants to give back to his host community and improve people's perception of his culture and religion. Abdel Moein and his family spent years in Lebanon waiting to be resettled in Florida to begin a new life. Their [...]

22 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 21 February 2017 (PM)

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Famine looms in Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan and Somalia: UNICEF Close to 1.4 million children are at "imminent risk of death" from severe acute malnutrition this year as famine looms in Yemen and in three African countries, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned. In northeast Nigeria, the number of children with severe acute malnutrition [...]

21 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Security Council holds debate on maintaining peace in Europe

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Resolving existing conflicts in Europe and preventing tensions from escalating into new crises is essential to stability and cooperation on the continent and beyond, the UN Secretary-General said on Tuesday. António Guterres was speaking in the Security Council during an open debate which looked at cooperation between the UN and regional bodies in responding to [...]

21 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 21 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: the Security Council held a debate about maintaining peace in Europe; and on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day, we'll hear about the dangers of "repressing" mother tongues.

21 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Yemen conflict comes at great cost to civilians: UN envoy

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The escalation of conflict and militarization of Yemen's Western Coast is coming at a great cost to civilians, the humanitarian coordinator in the country, Jamie McGoldrick, has warned. Fighting and displacement have mainly been concentrated in Al Mukha and Al Dhubab districts in Taizz governorate. Since the beginning of the conflict in March 2015, some [...]

21 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Repressing mother languages "playing with fire": UN language expert

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Languages provide "strong emotional links," so repressing the use of mother languages is "playing with fire". That's according to Fernando Lopez Murcia, coordinator of the Spanish Language programme at the United Nations Headquarters. Speaking to Lucy Dean in the lead up to International Mother Language Day, marked on 21 February, he said endangered languages should [...]

21 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UNESCO chief calls for multilingual education for all

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Students must have access to education in their mother tongue and in other languages, the head of the UN scientific and cultural agency, UNESCO, has urged. Irina Bokova made the call ahead of International Mother Language Day, celebrated every year on 21 February. People learn better in their mother tongue, she argued, calling for multilingual [...]

21 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 21 February 2017 (AM) – Geneva

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Gaddafi regime trial "fell short of international standards" The trial of members of the former Libyan government under Muammar Gaddafi was flawed and "a "missed opportunity for justice", the UN's human rights chief has said. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein made his comments in a statement following a UN report into legal proceedings against 37 high-profile [...]

21 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Harmful social norms" make Pacific women more vulnerable to disaster

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Gender inequality – including "harmful social norms" – makes women and girls in the Pacific region more vulnerable to the impacts of disasters. That's according to UN Women's Multi-Country Representative Aleta Miller, who said that disastrous events such as Cyclone Pam in 2015, and Cyclone Winston last year, have become "the new normal", increasing in [...]

21 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 20 February 2016 (PM)

Listen / Children look over the wall on the roof of their house at clouds of smoke from oil wells which were set on fire by ISIL when they fled Qayyarah, a town south of Mosul. (file) Photo: UNICEF/Mackenzie

Aid agencies in Iraq brace for impact of western Mosul military campaign In the western part of the Iraqi city of Mosul, food and fuel supplies are dwindling, markets and shops have closed, running water is scarce and electricity is either intermittent or cut off in many neighbourhoods. That's according to recent surveys by the [...]

20 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Minute of silence observed at UN to honour late Russian Ambassador

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Members of the UN General Assembly observed a minute of silence following the sudden death of the Russian Permanent Representative to the UN. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin passed away on Monday, a day before his 65th birthday, according to media reports. The seasoned diplomat had a career spanning several decades. Jocelyne Sambira reports. Vitaly Churkin took [...]

20 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Remaining FARC-EP rebels lay down their weapons: UN

Listen / Last of the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army) arrive to the Veredales zones. Credit: UN Mission in Colombia

The remaining 300 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces or FARC-EP rebels have arrived at the Agua Bonita transition site in central Colombia, to lay down their arms. That's according to the UN mission in the country, whose team of international unarmed observers is responsible for monitoring the ceasefire as well as the disarmament and [...]

20 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 20 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: Security fears hamper aid efforts to address the famine in South Sudan; and why development and job opportunities are critical to stemming migration from rural areas.

20 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Decent job opportunities "crucial" to tackling rural migration

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Creating decent employment opportunities in rural areas is "crucial" to preventing people there from leaving because they feel they have no other job options, a phenomenon known as distress migration. That's according to Cristina Rapone, a rural employment and migration specialist from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Distress migration is migration caused [...]

20 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

South Sudan: Access to famine areas essential, says FAO

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With famine now declared in parts of South Sudan, it is "absolutely fundamental" that aid workers can reach people in need, a top official with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has stated. Luca Rossi, FAO senior advisor on resilience, said allowing humanitarian access to affected areas will ensure people get food as well [...]

20 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 20 February 2016 (AM)

Listen / Kenya/Somali refugees fled Somalia because of ongoing fighting and food shortage. Photo: UNHCR/B. Bannon

Severe food shortages hit Africa's refugees hard, UN agencies warn Severe food shortages are affecting some two million refugees in 10 countries across Africa, two UN agency heads have warned. Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, issued a joint statement on [...]

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Security fears hamper South Sudan famine aid effort

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The fighting must stop in South Sudan if at least 100,000 people are to be saved from famine, UN aid agencies said on Monday. The World Food Programme (WFP) – one of the organizations to launch the joint appeal – said that the current crisis is man-made, in reference to the ongoing civil war. WFP's [...]

20 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Lack of decent jobs driving people's worries, feeding uncertainties: ILO

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The lack of decent jobs and the fear that aspirations for a better life will remain unfulfilled is a powerful force driving people's worries and uncertainties. That's what Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), said on the World Day of Social Justice. These sentiments are shared by young people around the [...]

20 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

The power of bearing witness: how rape became an act of genocide

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During the Rwandan genocide in 1994, "rape was as much a tool of genocide as the machete," the UN special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Bangura has said. Women from the ethnic minority Tutsi group in the African country were "systematically targeted and raped" during that period, investigations by the UN International Criminal [...]

20 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Meth use in Aghanistan "has potential" to become more severe

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Methamphetamine, or "crystal meth", isn't as widely used as heroin in Afghanistan, where much of the world's opium crop is grown, but it has the "potential" to become more severe. That's according to Martin Raithelhuber, an expert on illicit synthetic drugs with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He was one of [...]

20 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

CAR armed groups urged to end hostilities

Listen / A woman holds a child in Bambari, a town in Ouaka prefecture in the CAR where armed group violence has caused significant population displacement. (file photo) Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes

Five regional and international organizations are calling for an end to hostilities in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the wake of ongoing violence involving two militant groups. The appeal was made in a statement issued on Sunday by The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the African Union (AU), the International Organization of [...]

19 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Sustainable development important to conflict prevention: UN Secretary-General

Listen / UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the Munich Security Conference. Image: Video screen grab.

The UN Secretary-General has emphasized the need for more preventive diplomacy in a world where conflicts are multiplying and increasingly interlinked, including to the new threat of global terrorism. António Guterres was speaking on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, an annual forum held in Germany that brings together world leaders and other decision-makers. Mr Guterres also [...]

18 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief: Germany a symbol of tolerance and hospitality

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres (left) at a press encounter alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Source: Video screen capture

The UN Secretary-General has praised Germany for being an example of tolerance and hospitality for people seeking protection, something which other nations should emulate. António Guterres was speaking to journalists in Munich on Friday alongside the country's Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Dianne Penn reports. The Secretary-General pointed out that today's world is a place where conflicts [...]

17 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 17 February 2016 (PM)

Listen / On 13 February 2017, when there seemed to be a pause in the shelling and fighting, Sasha, 6, carefully ascends the steep steps that lead outside of the cellar of her home, about 15 kilometres from the contact line in Toretsk, Donetsk Region, Ukraine. Photo: UNICEF/Pavel Zmey

  One million children affected by Ukraine conflict: UNICEF The number of children requiring humanitarian assistance as a result of the conflict in eastern Ukraine has nearly doubled since last year. That information comes from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) which says one million girls and boys are now affected. Fighting between government troops and [...]

17 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Human rights violators in South Sudan must face consequences

Listen / Over 9,000 displaced people seeking a safe place to stay have moved into the church compound in Wau, South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/UN027524/Ohanesian

Those who commit atrocity crimes in South Sudan must be held accountable, UN Assistant Secretary-General for human rights Andrew Gilmour has said. Mr Gilmour on Friday completed a four-day visit to the country where ongoing fighting between government and opposition forces has left tens of thousands dead and displaced millions, despite a 2015 peace agreement. [...]

17 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 17 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: New and alarming patterns of enforced disappearance are emerging around the world, the UN human rights chief warns; And … Cargo ships hit "hundreds" of whales every year, a conservationist tells panellists at a [...]

17 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"New and alarming patterns" of enforced disappearance emerging: Zeid

Listen / A wall of photos at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the site of infamous Security Prison S-21, documents the Khmer Rouge's brutal treatment of detainees. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The practice of enforced disappearance is not decreasing, it's "morphing", the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein made the remarks in a video message to a High-Level plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly, where he warned about "new and alarming patterns" that are emerging in the context of [...]

17 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Agencies call for urgent action to address Somalia drought

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The world must act now to save lives in Somalia where a devastating drought is affecting more than six million people, or nearly half the population. The warning comes from two UN agencies who say only a "massive and immediate scale-up of humanitarian assistance can help the country avoid falling into another catastrophe." The drought [...]

17 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Fall armyworm pest spreading fast across Africa from Americas

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The so-called "fall armyworm" pest is a "new threat" to agriculture and the economy of Southern Africa which has already spread to seven countries since the beginning of the year. That's according to an emergency meeting convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, this week, to work out how [...]

17 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 17 February 2016 (AM)

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  UN underlines support for Pakistan after series of deadly terrorist attacks The UN has underlined its support for Pakistan in the wake of a week of bloody terrorist attacks across the country. The latest incident occurred on Thursday when a suicide bomber killed scores of worshippers at a Sufi shrine in Sindh province, located [...]

17 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Cargo ships hit "hundreds" of whales every year: conservationist

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The number of whales hit by cargo ships annually is "in the hundreds", according to one expert in the field, taking part in a panel discussion at UN Headquarters on Thursday. Dr Howard Rosenbaum is the director of the Ocean Giants Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society. He says the negative impacts of ship noise [...]

17 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Ukraine sexual violence cases "may amount to war crimes": UN

Listen / Many homes on the front line in Ukraine have been so badly damaged by shelling that they remain abandoned. Photo: Daniel Gerstle/IRIN

Survivors of sexual violence committed in the context of armed conflict in Ukraine are often denied justice and left without adequate care, causing them to be victimized twice. That's according to a report by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in the country, released on Thursday, which also warns that some of these cases "may [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Aid official alarmed by deadly attack on funeral gathering in Yemen

Listen / Jamie McGoldrick. Photo: UN OCHA Yemen (file)

The UN's top aid official in Yemen said he is "extremely saddened and appalled" by a deadly airstrike on Tuesday that hit mourners at a funeral. Jamie McGoldrick has issued a statement expressing his alarm over the incident, adding that peace is the only solution to the ongoing crisis there. The UN and its partners [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 16 February 2016 (PM)

Listen / Fall army worm new pest affecting crops in Southern Africa. Photo © FAO/ Obert Maminimini

    African countries unite to tackle crop pest infestation Sixteen countries in east and southern Africa have agreed on taking action to boost their ability to manage emerging crop pests and livestock diseases. That was the outcome of a three-day emergency meeting organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which wrapped up [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 16 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the "only way" says UN envoy; And … Aid obstacles are a matter of life and death for besieged Syrians;  

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on counter-terrorism cooperation, Syria and young people

Listen / Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Counter-terrorism cooperation "has been limited," Security Council hears Counter-terrorism cooperation between Member States to protect "critical infrastructure" needs to be more extensive, according to a senior UN official. Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti this week briefed the Security Council, which unanimously adopted a resolution, designed to improve international responses to terrorist attacks on [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on East Africa, Gambian youth and World Radio Day

Listen / Drought in Ethiopia. Photo: WFP/Melese Awoke

East Africa drought pushing food prices up sharply Food prices in some East African markets have almost doubled in the past 12 months because of an ongoing drought, an economist with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. In FAO's latest Food Price Monitoring and Analysis Bulletin, the agency reports that local prices [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict "only way"

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"The two-state solution remains the only way to achieve the legitimate national aspirations" of Israelis and Palestinians, the UN Special Coordinator of the Middle East Peace Process told the Security Council on Thursday. Speaking via video-teleconference, Nickolay Mladenov also expressed concern about the threat of what he described as an "abyss of radicalism that is [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Gender Special: Women and Girls in Science

Listen / Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite. UN Photo/Mark Garten

International Day for women in science was "best present": Iraqi princess The adoption of the International Day for Women and Girls in Science by the UN General Assembly was the "best present" ever given to women in the field. That's the passionate view of Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite of Iraq, who is Executive Director of the [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN concerned for displaced in South Sudan's Upper Nile region

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The UN's top official in South Sudan has expressed concern over the status of thousands of displaced people in the Upper Nile region. David Shearer, head of the UN mission in the country, UNMISS, has described the lack of information about the situation of roughly 20,000 people there, as "a real problem." Mr Shearer was [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 16 February 2016 (AM)

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DRC leaders urged to conclude dialogue Political leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are being urged to conclude talks related to elections scheduled for the end of the year. The appeal has been made by four international organizations concerned about the continuing impasse in the dialogue: the African Union (AU), the United [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Aid obstacles are a matter of life and death for besieged Syrians

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Assurances have been given to humanitarians by the Syrian government that obstacles to aid deliveries will be removed across the war-torn country, the UN said on Thursday. UN Special Adviser Jan Egeland told journalists in Geneva that an "administrative quagmire" has prevented all aid from reaching besieged populations by road so far this year. Ahead of a [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Future food "more likely to be found in oceans than on land"

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If the international community can manage fishing more sustainably, then future food is "more likely to be found in oceans than on land.” That's according to Kim Friedman, Senior Fisheries Resources Officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He was speaking at a preparation meeting taking place in UN Headquarters this week, ahead of [...]

16 Feb 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

UN chief urges countries to bet on youth empowerment

Listen / Youth Forum.  UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Youth employment schemes must be at the heart of national and global economic plans. That's the hope expressed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a wide-ranging address to students at Cairo University in Egypt on Wednesday. Dianne Penn reports. The Secretary-General outlined some of the challenges facing the world, such as increasingly interrelated conflicts, terrorism [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

No "Plan B" for Israelis and Palestinians: UN Secretary-General

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres (left) meets with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt in Cairo. Photo: Office of the Presidency of Egypt

Everything must be done to preserve the two-state solution for resolving the crisis between Israelis and Palestinians as there is "no Plan B," the UN Secretary-General said on Wednesday. António Guterres was speaking to reporters in Cairo alongside Egypt's Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry. Dianne Penn reports. The UN chief is in the midst of a [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 15 February 2016 (PM)

Listen / Street scene in downtown Banjul, The Gambia. File Photo: IRIN/Nicholas Reader

  UN team assessing peace and security in the Gambia A United Nations mission is in the Gambia this week to assess the peace and security situation. The West African country experienced a peaceful handover of power in January with the installation of President Adama Barrow following more than two decades of rule by former [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"UN determined to protect civilians in CAR" says peacekeeping chief

Listen / A UN peacekeeper on patrol in Bria, Central African Republic. (file) UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis

The UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) is "determined" to protect civilians against armed groups even if it means using force. That's what UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Herve Ladsous, told members of the Security Council on Wednesday as he briefed them on the situation in the country. Clashes between the mainly Muslim [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 15 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: The UN Mission in Central African Republic says it's determined to protect civilians there even if it means using force; And… small-scale fisheries are key to the so-called "blue growth" of seas and oceans;

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Pros and cons of 21st century "anytime, anywhere" working revealed

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Mobile technology makes it possible to work outside the office to the benefit – and detriment – of companies, workers and their families, the UN said on Wednesday. In a study of 15 countries, a joint International Labour Organization (ILO) – Eurofound report noted that new information and communications technologies have revolutionized work in the [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 15 February 2016 (AM)

Listen / Displaced families and the elderly in Ukraine line up for WFP food vouchers, which enable them to obtain food including milk, fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

WFP to continue assisting thousands in eastern Ukraine The World Food Programme (WFP) will continue to support some 220,000 people in eastern Ukraine this year, the UN agency announced on Wednesday. Nearly three years of fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists has affected more than three million people. WFP reports that the situation is [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Small-scale fisheries are key to "blue growth" of seas and oceans

Listen / The future of global food security hinges on the better management and sustainable development of the planet's oceans and fisheries. Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark

Small-scale fisheries account for 90 per cent of all jobs in the industry worldwide and their so-called "blue growth" is essential to make fishing more sustainable. That's the view of Nicole Franz, a Fishery Planning Analyst with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), who is taking part in a preparatory meeting at UN Headquarters for [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

UN human rights office launches US$253 million appeal

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Investing in human rights today is the best way to provide a more stable future tomorrow. That's the message from the UN rights office (OHCHR) which on Wednesday launched a US$253 million appeal to support its work this year. Dianne Penn reports. This is the office's most ambitious annual appeal yet and it comes at [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

More than 75% of epilepsy cases in developing countries "untreated"

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Effective treatment for epilepsy can cost as little as US$5 per person a year, but more than 75 per cent of cases in developing countries go untreated. That's according to Dr Tarun Dua, an epilepsy expert from the World Health Organization (WHO). Approximately 50 million people are living with epilepsy worldwide, a neurological disorder which [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

International Day for women in science was "best present": Iraqi princess

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The adoption of the International Day for Women and Girls in Science by the UN General Assembly was the "best present" ever given to women in the field. That's the passionate view of Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite of Iraq, who is Executive Director of the Royal Academy of Science International Trust. Exactly two years on from [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Journalists should "use their power" to help eradicate poverty

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Journalists need to have more understanding of the complexities of poverty and the best way to do this is to talk to those affected by it. That was the conclusion of an international panel of journalists and innovation experts, who met for a discussion at UN Headquarters, organized by the UN Department of Economic and [...]

15 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Report shows growing concern over synthetic drugs in Afghanistan

Listen / Afghan opium smokers. UN Photo/UNODC/Zalmai

Synthetic drugs are of growing concern in Afghanistan, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Its first report on the subject reveals that the authorities there are increasingly seizing the drug methamphetamine, also known as meth or crystal meth. Afghanistan leads the world in opium production, with 4,800 metric tonnes in 2016. [...]

14 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 14 February 2016 (PM)

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Temporary reduction in aid operations in eastern Mosul There has been a temporary reduction in humanitarian operations in eastern Mosul in Iraq due to security incidents, the UN reported on Tuesday. They include the use of drones by the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh, which caused light injuries to several aid workers, as [...]

14 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 14 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today’s programme: Drought in East Africa is pushing food prices up sharply, the UN food agency reports; And… Yemen’s health system is “on the brink of collapse” the World Health Organization warns

14 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Despite current lull, Ukraine fighting "could scale up again"

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The increased presence of heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine is an indication that fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels could soon flare up again. That's the assessment of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Neal Walker, who briefed journalists in Geneva on Tuesday. Nearly four million people have been affected by the conflict, [...]

14 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

East Africa drought pushing food prices up sharply

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Food prices in some East African markets have almost doubled in the past 12 months because of an ongoing drought, an economist with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. In FAO's latest Food Price Monitoring and Analysis Bulletin, the agency reports that local prices for maize, sorghum and other cereals are "near [...]

14 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Yemen's health system is "on the brink of collapse": WHO

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Yemen's entire health system is "on the brink of collapse" according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which is deploying medical teams to help thousands of newly displaced civilians. WHO Spokesperson in the country, Tarik Jašarević, said that after nearly two years of escalating conflict between government forces and Houthi rebels, 17 per cent of [...]

14 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 14 February 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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DRC soldiers "opened fire on militia armed with spears" At least 100 people are believed to have been killed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in clashes between government troops and tribal militia. The UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR, says that the militia fighters were shot in Kasai Central Province by government FARDC [...]

14 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Job creation and entrepreneurship programme for Gambian youth

Listen / From left to right: Isatou Touray, Gambia's Trade Minister; Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, and Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, at the launch of the Youth Empowerment Project. Photo: ITC

Fostering economic opportunities for young people in the Gambia is the goal of a new initiative launched this month by the country, together with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the European Union (EU) Emergency Trust for Africa. The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project also aims to reduce the number of young people risking their lives [...]

14 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Security Council strongly condemns DPRK ballistic missile launches

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

The UN Security Council has strongly condemned recent ballistic missile launches by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the latest of which occurred over the weekend. Members held closed door talks in New York on Monday following which they issued a statement to the press. Dianne Penn reports. The Security Council said the launches [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Haiti radio drama teaches people how to stay alive during disasters

Listen / People cross a flooded river with the help of a rope and porters after the bridge was washed away in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.UN Photo/Logan Abassi

A popular UN-backed radio drama series is teaching people in Haiti how to stay alive when disasters hit, the producer of the show, Christina Guerin, has said. While Haiti was still recovering from a devastating earthquake that ravaged the island nation in 2010, Hurricane Matthew caused further deadly destruction in October last year. The UN [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features, World Radio Day 2017 | Read More »

"Agriculture for development" aids end of hunger, poverty by 2030

Listen / Kostas Stamoulis. UN Photo/Matt Wells

Not enough has been done yet to harness the power of "agriculture for development" in order to meet the global goals of ending hunger and poverty by 2030. That's the firm view of Kostas Stamoulis, Assistant Director-General for economic and social development at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He was at UN Headquarters in [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 13 February 2016 (PM)

Listen / Members of an Indian farmers group measure local groundwater levels at an observation well. Photo: FAO/Noah Seelam

Help small farmers adapt to climate change: FAO Agriculture holds the key to eradicating poverty and hunger in addition to helping keep climatic conditions stable, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The UN agency is urging greater support for small farmers in developing countries to help them adapt to rising temperatures, as the [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Sustainable Development Goals | Read More »

Secretary-General highlights importance of reform at UN and beyond

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Reform in the way countries deal with each other and in the way international organizations operate is crucial to re-establishing global trust, the UN Secretary-General has said. António Guterres’s comments came in an address to the World Government Summit in Dubai on Monday. Dianne Penn reports. The UN chief's remarks focused on the issue of [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Radio is "tool to enact change": South Sudan reporter

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Radio can be used as a tool to enact great change, according to a journalist working with the United Nations radio station in South Sudan (UNMISS). Sebit William Ker was speaking on the line from Juba about the importance of World Radio Day (WRD) as well as radio's role in connecting people across the country. [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features, World Radio Day 2017 | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 13 February 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: Counter-terrorism cooperation between Member States "has been limited," Security Council heard this morning; And… From Zika to landmines, radio's life-saving role shouldn't be underestimated

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Counter-terrorism cooperation "has been limited”

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Counter-terrorism cooperation between Member States to protect "critical infrastructure" needs to be more extensive, according to a senior UN official. Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti was briefing the Security Council on Monday, which unanimously adopted a resolution designed to improve international responses to terrorist attacks on public services such as energy and water [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

“From Zika to landmines, radio is a life-saver”

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Helping to protect people affected by conflict or disease is a key role for radio around the world. That's the message from Sarah Marshall, of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), and the World Health Organization's (WHO) Dr Gaya Gamhewage. To celebrate World Radio Day, both speakers told Daniel Johnson how they had joined [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features, World Radio Day 2017 | Read More »

In times of conflict, radio unveils realities on the ground

Listen / To mark World Radio Day, UNAMID Communications and Public Information Section (CPIS) distributed solar powered wind-up radios to the students of Al Salam 26 Basic School for Girls at Al Salam IDP camp, in El Fasher, North Darfur. In the picture, a CPIS's radio unit staff member explains how to operate the radio. Photo: UNAMID/Amin Ismail

In times of conflict, radio unveils the realities of what is happening on the ground, according to the head radio at the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Jumbe Omari Jumbe made the remarks during a celebration of World Radio Day (WRD) at a girls' school in the El Salaam camp for displaced persons or [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features, World Radio Day 2017 | Read More »

US$1.6 billion humanitarian appeal for South Sudan

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Humanitarians are appealing for US1.6 billion to address what they describe as "unprecedented needs" in South Sudan. The "devastating combination" of conflict, economic decline and climate shocks has led to a dramatic deterioration in the humanitarian situation there, according to UN agencies and their local and international partners. They're calling for "swift action" ahead of [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Radio "a force for human rights and dignity," says UNESCO chief

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The enduring power of radio to bring people together is being celebrated by the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, this Monday, World Radio Day. In her message for the day, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova described radio as "a force for human rights and dignity." World Radio Day, observed annually on 13 February, also marks the establishment [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News, World Radio Day 2017 | Read More »

News in Brief 13 February 2016 (AM)

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UN chief condemns DPRK ballistic missile launch UN Secretary-General António Guterres has strongly condemned the latest ballistic missile launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The country, also known as North Korea, reported that it had tested an intermediate-range missile on Sunday. In a statement issued on Monday by his spokesperson, Mr Guterres [...]

13 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

World needs “comprehensive approach” to fight terrorism

Listen / UN Secretary-General António Guterres with Foreign Minister, Adel bin Ahmad Al-Jubeir of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 12 February 2017. Photo/UN Spokesperson.

Terrorism is being fed by the lack of political solutions in several situations, including Syria, the UN Secretary-General said during his visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday. António Guterres held a joint press conference with the Kingdom’s Foreign Minister, Adel bin Ahmad Al-Jubeir. He spoke about the “strong cooperation” between the UN and Saudi Arabia, as [...]

12 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Partnerships “key” to tackling global humanitarian challenges : UN chief

Listen / UN Secretary-General António Guterres (R) visiting the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre in Saudi Arabia on 12 February 2017. Photo/UN Spokesperson.

Strengthening partnerships between humanitarian organizations is key to tackling the enormous suffering in today’s world. UN Secretary-General António Guterres made the comment during a visit to the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KS Relief) in Saudi Arabia. The Centre was established in 2015 and has donated millions to provide aid to countries in crisis [...]

12 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN welcomes probe into “tragic events” that took place during Baghdad protests

Listen / Street scene in Baghdad, Iraq. File Photo: UNAMI/Sanaa Kareem

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has expressed concern over demonstrations in Baghdad, which resulted in casualties among protesters and security forces. According to media reports, supporters of the Shia cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr took to the streets to demand a reform of the electoral system. UNAMI also welcomed Prime Minister Abadi's institution of a [...]

11 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Efforts to fight terrorism in Syria cannot succeed without political solution: Guterres

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul during his first bilateral visit since taking up the position. Photo/UN Spokeperson

Efforts to fight terrorism and extremists in Syria cannot succeed without a political solution supported by its people, the UN Secretary-General said on Saturday. António Guterres met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his very first bilateral visit since assuming his position in January. Turkey is the first leg of a trip that will also [...]

11 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council strongly condemns continued fighting across South Sudan

Listen / Civilians have borne the brunt of fighting in Wau and across South Sudan. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Connell (file photo)

The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned continued fighting across South Sudan as well as the attacks directed against civilians. In a statement issued on Saturday, the Council called on all parties to cease hostilities “immediately.” It also urged the Transitional Government of National Unity to take measures to ensure that those responsible for [...]

11 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Access to information is needed to "escape marginalization": Blind Union

Listen / International Day of Persons with Disabilities

"Information is power" but people with vision impairments simply have no access to the vast majority of what's written down. That's according to Fredric Schroeder, the president of the World Blind Union, an international organization that has consultancy status with the United Nations. Mr Schroeder said that only around five per cent of printed materials [...]

11 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features, World Radio Day 2017 | Read More »

The world needs science and science needs women: UNESCO chief

Listen / Students conducting a research at a university laboratory in Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. Photo: Nafise Motlaq / World Bank

Humanity cannot afford "to ignore half of its creative genius", the head of the UN agency for education, science and culture (UNESCO) has urged. Irina Bokova made the call ahead of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science observed every year on 11 February. According to UN estimates, women account for only 30 [...]

11 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief urges countries to "match generosity" of Turkey as refugee host

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres (left) at a joint press conference in Istanbul with Turkish Prime Minister Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

The UN Secretary-General has called on countries to help share the burden of hosting refugees by "matching the generosity" of Turkey. António Guterres made the remarks during a joint press conference in Istanbul, Turkey with the nation's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. Turkey remains the largest host country of refugees with over 2.7 million Syrians, according [...]

10 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Love is the "only thing" that can disrupt hate: Goodwill Ambassador

Listen / Deeyah Khan. UN Photo/Violaine Martin

  Societies need to "commit" to their young people in order to fight violent extremism effectively, a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador said. Deeyah Khan is the UN Cultural Organization UNESCO's Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. For her film, Jihad: A story of the Others, Khan spent two years interviewing active and [...]

10 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"The voice of civilian Syria" speaks out for World Radio Day

Listen / Syrian refugees with passports lining up to board the night ferry from the Greek island of Kos to Athens where they can be registered. Photo: UNHCR/S. Baltagiannis (file)

Daily broadcasts from a network based in Paris known as Radio Rozana provide Syrian civilians with a vital voice they can trust at home, and abroad. That's the view of Editor-in-Chief Lina Charwaf, speaking to the UN Cultural Agency, UNESCO, in a special interview to mark World Radio Day, celebrated on 13 February. She set [...]

10 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features, World Radio Day 2017 | Read More »

News in Brief 10 February 2016 (PM)

Listen / This building in Yemen was destroyed by airstrikes. Photo: OCHA/P. Kropf

  Civilians in Yemen trapped by "intense" fighting Intense fighting in Yemen's southwestern port of Al Mokha in Taizz Governorate has made it impossible to access the area and verify civilian casualties, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has warned. On Friday, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, said he was [...]

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UN Global Perspective: focus on Yemen, child protection in conflict and Ukraine

Listen / yemen-info-350-300

"Mass starvation" in Yemen likely without $US2.1 billion in aid "Mass starvation" for millions across Yemen is likely without a massive emergency aid package totalling US$2.1 billion, according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country. Speaking on the day that the UN emergency relief agency OCHA and partners launched their biggest ever aid appeal [...]

10 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 10 February 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: a "huge jump" in food insecurity across Yemen means there are 3 million more in need, since last summer. We'll have the latest on the conflict-driven food crisis there. And can getting more women into [...]

10 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 10 February 2016 (AM) – Geneva

Listen / Over 9,000 displaced people seeking a safe place to stay have moved into the church compound in Wau, South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/UN027524/Ohanesian

South Sudan refugee numbers hit 1.5 million More than 1.5 million people have now fled conflict in South Sudan, making it Africa's largest refugee crisis. The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR raised the alarm in Geneva on Friday, saying that the scale of the situation in South Sudan is now only surpassed by Syria and Afghanistan. [...]

10 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Women in space industry working to bridge gender gap in science

Listen / Space for Women: Sandy Magnus, former US astronaut; Minoo Rathnasabapathy, Space Generation Advisory Council; Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, UNOOSA; Laura Jamschon Mac Garry, Argentine Consul in Vienna and Chiaki Mukai, former Japanese astronaut. Photo: UNIS-Vienna/Nikoleta Haffar.

American astronaut Peggy Whitson is making history as the first woman ever to command two missions aboard the International Space Station. However, back on Earth, the UN is concerned that comparatively few women are launching careers in the space sector or studying the so-called STEM subjects; that is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This Saturday, [...]

10 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Huge jump" in food insecurity across Yemen: FAO

Listen / Around 200 displaced families live in an informal settlement in Dharwan, Yemen. Here, a 12-year old girl keeps watch over her younger brothers. Photo: UNHCR/Mohammed Hamoud

There's been a "huge jump" in food insecurity across Yemen, with three million more in need compared with seven months ago, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Friday. Salah El Hajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Yemen, said that given agriculture was the main source of livelihood for most of the country, the spike [...]

10 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: FGM; child soldiers and sexual abuse

Listen / 20170206_WHO_FGM__350300_creditWHO

WHO: we can stop genital mutilation of girls More than 200 million girls and women around the world are victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), a practice that the UN says is spreading, along with global migration. For the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM on Monday 6 February, new guidelines were published by [...]

9 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on ICC; Libya and ending FGM

Listen / Adama Dieng. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Withdrawing from ICC undermines international justice: UN expert Although the International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating cases involving African countries, this doesn't mean that it is targeting the continent. That's the opinion of the UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, addressing the announcement that some countries plan to pull out of [...]

9 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

News in Brief 9 February 2017 (PM)

Listen / The new President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, is sworn in after he was declared the winner of the election held at the Mogadishu Airport hangar. UN Photo/Ilyas Ahmed.

Somali president faces “formidable” set of challenges, international partners say Somalia’s new president faces a “formidable” set of challenges in meeting the expectations of the Somali people, the country’s international partners have said. The United Nations, African Union, European Union (EU), the African regional trade bloc, IGAD, Ethiopia, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the [...]

9 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Child protection "part and parcel" of UN peacekeeping operations

Listen / Child soldiers released in South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/2015/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich

More than 5,000 child recruits were freed from armed groups last year thanks to the efforts of UN peacekeeping missions, a senior official with the world body has reported. UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping El Ghassim Wane said child protection is now "part and parcel" of mission mandates due to two decades of international efforts [...]

9 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 09 February 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Daniel Johnson. In today’s programme: Somalia has a new president. We’ll hear reaction from the UN Mission there, and what it might mean for the country’s future. And “mass starvation” could be the reality facing millions of Yemeni civilians [...]

9 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Under-reporting of sexual abuse in India "pandemic": youth advocate

Listen / Trisha Shetty, UN Photo/Priyanka Shankar

Confronting "pandemic" under-reporting of sexual crimes and "victim-blaming" practices are key challenges in the fight against gender inequality in India. That's according to Trisha Shetty, founder of SheSays, an online platform designed to rehabilitate and empower women to combat sexual abuse. Ms Shetty is also a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [...]

9 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Signs of normality" returning for some children on frontline in Ukraine

Listen / Mariya with with her two children Liliya and Alina. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-3166/Zmey

There are some "signs of normality" returning for children living on the frontline between Ukrainian government forces and separatist rebels, after an escalation in fighting over the past week. That's according to UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative in Ukraine, Giovanna Barberis, who said on Wednesday that 675 children were able to return to the classroom [...]

9 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Secretary-General welcomes Colombia peace talks with ELN rebels

Listen / António Guterres. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The UN Secretary-General has welcomed the launch of formal peace talks between the Government of Colombia and the ELN rebel group, also known as the National Liberation Army. António Guterres issued a statement through his spokesperson on Wednesday after the two parties met in Ecuador's capital, Quito. The left-wing ELN rebel group is the second [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN withdrawal from Côte d’Ivoire "imminent"

Listen / UNOCI peacekeepers in western Côte d'Ivoire. Photo:UN

The departure of the UN operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) is "imminent", the Special Representative for the Secretary-General in the country has said. Ms. Aïchatou Mindaoudou made the announcement on Wednesday during her briefing to members of the Security Council. The Mission's withdrawal after 14 years is a sign that the people of the West [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN looks forward to working with new Somali president

Listen / The flag of the Federal Republic of Somalia (centre) flying at United Nations headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The UN has congratulated Somalia's new president who was elected by parliamentarians in the capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday. Mohamed Abdullahi, known by the nickname “Farmajo,” is a former Somalian prime minister. He emerged the victor from a field of more than 20 candidates, including the incumbent. The presidential vote closes out an electoral season which [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 8 February 2017 (PM)

Listen / Child carrying his rifle in northwest Central African Republic. Photo: UNICEF/ Pierre Holtz

  Over 100,000 children released from armed forces and groups: UN More than 100,000 children have been released from the ranks of state forces and armed groups thanks to the efforts of Governments, the UN and civil society partners. That's what Maria Luiza Viotti, the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, told delegates at a [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Mass starvation" in Yemen likely without $US2.1 billion in aid

Listen / Jamie McGoldrick, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, holds press briefing in Sana'a. Photo: UN OCHA Yemen

"Mass starvation" for millions across Yemen is likely without a massive emergency aid package totalling US$2.1 billion, according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country. Speaking on the day that the UN emergency relief agency OCHA and partners launched their biggest ever aid appeal for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick said nearly 19 million people were [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

No "Band-Aid" solution to rehabilitating former child soldiers

Listen / Ilwad Elman. (Photo: UN News/ J.Sambira)

There is no "Band-Aid" solution to rehabilitating and reintegrating former child soldiers, a Somali activist warned UN Member States on Wednesday. Ilwad Elman, Director of Programs and Development at the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre in Somalia, made the remarks ahead of an event to commemorate 20 years of work to protect children. The [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 08 February 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: Libyan leaders need to make 2017 a year of decisive action to bring the country back together, the Security Council hears. And as the UN commemorates 20 years of work focussed on children and [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 8 February 2017 (AM)

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

  Security Council condemns "heinous and cowardly" attack on Afghan court The Security Council has described the terrorist attack outside Afghanistan's Supreme Court in the capital Kabul on Tuesday as "heinous and cowardly." At least 21 were killed, and more than 40 wounded. Many of the victims were women, said the UN Mission in Afghanistan, [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

2017 "must be a year of decisions" for Libyan national solidarity

Listen / Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), briefs the Security Council.UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

2017 "must be a year of decisions", where political deadlock in Libya is broken in order to restore "basic services" to the people. That's one of the key messages delivered by the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Martin Kobler, to the Security Council on Wednesday. The UN brokered the signing of [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Yemen appeal launched amid famine fears

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

The largest humanitarian appeal yet for Yemen has been launched – totalling US $ 2.1 billion – to provide life-saving help to millions of people and prevent possible famine. Two years of war between government forces backed by a Saudi coalition and Houthi separatists have devastated the country, the head of the UN's emergency relief [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

12 million people in Yemen depend on aid for "their survival"

Listen / Food Assistance to Internally Displaced Yemenis

A US$2.1 billion appeal to help 12 million Yemenis who depend on aid "for their survival" has been launched by the UN and its humanitarian partners. Without international support, UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien warns in a statement released on Wednesday, Yemen could face famine this year. Since March 2015, violent conflict has created a [...]

8 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Withdrawing from ICC undermines international justice: UN expert

Listen / Adama Dieng. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Although five of the 10 cases currently being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) involve African countries, this doesn't mean that the court is targeting the continent. That's the opinion of the UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, addressing the announcement that some countries plan to pull out of the [...]

7 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Terror attack outside Afghan Supreme Court condemned

Listen / Traffic in the Afghan capital Kabul. Photo: UNAMA/Nasim Fekrat

A suicide attack outside Afghanistan's Supreme Court in the capital city of Kabul has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. At least twenty people were killed in the incident, many of them women, the UN Mission in the country, UNAMA, reports. Jocelyne Sambira has more. The indiscriminate attacks against Afghan civilians, including court employees, cannot [...]

7 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Huge sense of anticipation" ahead of Somalia presidential vote

Listen / A policeman directs traffic at a checkpoint in downtown Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones (file)

There is "a huge sense of anticipation" in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, ahead of presidential elections on Wednesday, according to UN Special Representative in the country, Michael Keating. Twenty-three men, including incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, are vying to lead the Horn of Africa country which has not had a central government for decades. The UN and [...]

7 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN chief expresses "regret" over Israeli settlement bill

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres. Photo: World Economic Forum/Boris Baldinger (file)

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed "regret" over the adoption of a bill that would enable the continued use of privately-owned Palestinian land for Israeli settlements. Israel's parliament, the Knesset, passed the so-called "Regularisation Bill" on Monday. The law reportedly provides legal immunity to settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank. Jocelyne Sambira reports. [...]

7 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 7 February 2017 (PM)

Listen / A fourth grade student, writing on the blackboard in a classroom lined up with sandbags to reinforce the windows and prevent them from shattering during the frequent mortar shellings in Ukraine's Donetsk region. UNICEF Photo/Hetman

Surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine forces children out of school Thousands of children have been forced out of schools in eastern Ukraine following last week's surge in fighting, humanitarian organisations in the country have confirmed. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and its partners have strongly condemned the indiscriminate shelling of schools and are calling [...]

7 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 07 February 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: Conflict that drives and fuels terrorism must be addressed more, the UN Political Affairs chief tells the Security Council. And extreme poverty affects 125 million disabled people worldwide. We'll hear from the UN's disability [...]

7 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Conflicts that "drive" terror must be addressed: Political Affairs chief

Listen / Jeffrey Feltman. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Efforts to counter ISIL extremists must include stepped up efforts to "prevent and resolve" the conflicts that "drive and are made worse" by terrorism. That was the message delivered to the Security Council from UN Political Affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman on Tuesday. He was outlining the Secretary-General's latest report on the threat posed by ISIL, [...]

7 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 7 February 2017 (AM) – Geneva

Listen / 20160227_DaMistura350300

Alarm at "failed" humanitarian access in Syria Humanitarian aid deliveries to desperate Syrians last month largely "failed", top UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura said on Tuesday. The announcement from the Special Envoy for Syria was made in Geneva by his spokesperson, Yara Sharif: "January marked the worst month since March 2016 and there is an [...]

7 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

“Strong link” between disability and poverty, says UN rights expert

Listen / Catalina Devandas Aguilar, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, briefs journalists on the eighth session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD. UN Photo/Mark Garten

At least 125 million people with disabilities are living in "extreme poverty" worldwide, according to a United Nations disability rights expert. Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar is the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. Speaking during a panel discussion on the links between poverty and disability at UN Headquarters in New York, [...]

6 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 6 February 2016 (PM)

Listen / In east Aleppo City, Syria, boys and a man collect water from a UNICEF-supported water point in Shakoor neighbourhood. Photo: UNICEF/Khuder Al-Issa

  Syria: Millions in Aleppo without water The United Nations is expressing grave concern over a water crisis in Aleppo, Syria, where nearly two million people have been cut off from their main source, which is under the control of the extremist group ISIL, also known as Daesh. The situation has existed for more than [...]

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UN Daily News Programme 06 February 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: More than 11.400 civilians were killed or maimed in Afghanistan last year – a record number, says the UN mission there. And in the fight to end Female Genital Mutilation, the World Health Organization [...]

6 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN ready to help relocate ex-South Sudan opposition fighters from DRC

Listen / Said Djinnit. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine (file)

The United Nations stands ready to help South Sudan address the issue of former opposition fighters who fled the country for neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the wake of deadly violence last July. That's according to UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, speaking to reporters in the capital, [...]

6 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Repression is growing in Burundi, say rights experts

Listen / 20170206_BurundiRefugee_UNICEFRobBeechey_350300

A ban on non-governmental associations in Burundi has been condemned by UN rights experts who have pointed to the "growing repression" of civil liberties there. The move has been accompanied by new legislation which seeks oversight on how such organizations are funded from abroad. The UN experts also point to allegations of a major increase [...]

6 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan at record high: UN Mission

Listen / A family struggles through a dusty environment in Afghanistan. Photo credit:  UNAMA / Fraidoon Poya

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan reached record levels last year, according to the UN Mission there, UNAMA, on Monday. The figure of 11,418 conflict-related casualties for 2016 includes a two-thirds increase in those killed or maimed by so-called "unexploded remnants of war" such as landmines, the vast majority of which were children. The UN called on [...]

6 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 6 February 2016 (AM)

Listen / Nickolay Mladenov. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Israel urged to reconsider "Regularization Bill" on settlements Authorities in Israel are being urged by a senior UN official in the region to reconsider legislation which would enable continued use of privately-owned Palestinian land for Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said if [...]

6 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Challenges ahead are enormous" implementing Colombia peace deal

Listen / Jean Arnault. Photo: UNIC Bogotá (file)

"Enormous challenges" lie ahead for the Colombian people and their international partners in turning the historic deal with FARC rebels into a lasting peace. That's the view of Jean Arnault who is tasked with leading the UN Mission there to monitor and verify the laying down of arms by rebel fighters. He was speaking at [...]

6 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

WHO: we can stop genital mutilation of girls

Listen / 20170206_WHO_FGM__350300_creditWHO

More than 200 million girls and women around the world are victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), a practice that the UN says is spreading, along with global migration. For the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM on Monday, 6 February, new guidelines have been published by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help [...]

5 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Building a bridge with Africa and beyond to end FGM

Listen / Composite photograph. Credit: UNFPA

Encouraging the African diaspora to advocate for the rights of women and girls on the continent is among the goals of this year's commemoration of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), observed on 6 February. FGM is practiced in nearly 30 African countries but can also be found in places [...]

5 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 3 February 2016 (PM)

Listen / Ben Emmerson. UN Photo/Cia Pak

Tunisia's efforts to fight terrorism should be grounded in human rights Tunisia's efforts to prevent violent extremism, although commendable, should be grounded in human rights, a UN expert said on Friday as he wrapped up a five-day visit to the country. Ben Emmerson, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights [...]

3 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 03 February 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Matthew Wells In today's programme: A human rights report depicts grave violations against Myanmar's Rohingya people And: Early diagnosis can help more people survive cancer, says UN health agency WHO

3 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Report depicts violations against Rohingya in Myanmar

Listen / 02-03-2017-Myanmar-350-300

Members of the minority Rohingya community in Myanmar have reported mass gang rapes, killings, beatings and other violations they have suffered at the hands of the security forces. The stark findings come in a report published this Friday by the UN human rights office (OHCHR) based on interviews conducted with Rohingya in neighbouring Bangladesh. They [...]

3 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 3 February 2016 (AM) – Geneva

Listen / 20170203_Ukraine_Damage_350300_WFPAbeer Etefa

Ukraine humanitarian situation is dire, fighting must stop, says UN An immediate pause in fighting is needed in Ukraine to prevent more people dying and to repair essential services. That's the appeal from the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR, issued on Friday, following another night of shelling in the east of the country. In the [...]

3 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Early diagnosis can help more people survive cancer, says WHO

Listen / WCD-04FEB17-350-300

Diagnosing and treating cancer early can improve the chances of survival for people living with the disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Launched ahead of World Cancer Day observed annually on 4 February, new guidelines from the agency call for more access to effective diagnostic services, including imagining, laboratory tests and pathology. Early [...]

3 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Life-saving assistance" and protection needed for vulnerable Ukrainians

Listen / A woman and her daughters sit in candlelight in a bomb shelter on the outskirts of the city of Debaltsevo in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. Photo: UNICEF/Aleksey Filippov

"Life-saving assistance and protection" is urgently needed for millions of Ukrainian civilians caught up in escalating fighting in the east of the country. That's according to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien, briefing the Security Council on Thursday. Intense fighting in parts of the Donetsk region has disabled some power and water supplies, threatening [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 2 February 2017 (PM)

Listen / A mission planning team during its first regional visit in the country. Photo: UN Mission in Colombia (file)

More than 6,000 FARC fighters heading to camps for civilian transition More than 6,000 members of the FARC rebel group in Colombia are gathering in UN-monitored zones in order to begin the transition to civilian life. Some men and women made the journey at the weekend using 36 different routes, in 14 different areas of [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: gender equality, Somalia and youth

Listen / Lakshmi Puri. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Women should be able to "leapfrog" into evolving world of work The world of work is changing and women should be empowered to "leapfrog" into high-tech or green jobs in the future, the Deputy-Executive Director of UN Women has said. Lakshmi Puri shared this message with delegates at a multi-stakeholder forum on "Women's Economic Empowerment [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on Africa, children and youth

Listen / UNSG A. Guterres addresses journalist at the SC stakeout.

Spur African development by focusing on successes, not crises: UN Secretary-General If Africa is to achieve sustainable development, then more emphasis should be placed on its successes, not crises, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters in New York in his first major press conference. The UN chief, fresh from the African Union (AU) Summit in [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 02 February 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Matthew Wells In today's programme: Security Council hears of the need to support Iraq in the "post-Daesh period" And a youth advocate from Uganda explains how sex education in schools can protect young people from HIV  

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on Gambia, Uganda and Congolese refugees in Tanzania

Listen / Mohammed Ibn Chambas (centre) in the Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas (file photo)

Gambia transition "clear evidence" of "preventive" diplomacy in action The peaceful transition of power in the Gambia to President Adama Barrow is "clear evidence" that "preventive diplomacy" works. That's according to Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Head of the UN’s Office for West Africa and the Sahel, who was a key figure in resolving the political crisis [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

Security Council hears of need to support Iraq in "post-Daesh period"

Listen / UN Special Representative in Iraq Ján Kubiš at Security Council meeting on the situation concerning Iraq. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

With the operation to liberate Mosul underway, the international community is being asked to look to the day when the Iraqi city will be totally free from the grip of the extremist group ISIL, also known as Daesh. UN Special Representative in Iraq Ján Kubiš has stressed that the country will require "continuous" international support [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Take "decisive action" on Mediterranean migration route, UN urges

Listen / A group of refugees travelling in an inflatable raft across the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell

European leaders are being urged to take "decisive action" to protect migrants and refugees travelling along the so-called central Mediterranean route. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Migration Agency (IOM) issued a statement on Thursday, saying that countries of the European Union needed to engage with the crisis beyond their own borders. Ana Carmo reports. [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 2 February 2017 (AM)

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4 dead following attack on UN monitoring team near Nigeria-Cameroon border Four people have been killed during an attack by unknown assailants on a UN monitoring team, close to the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. One independent contractor, three Nigerian nationals, and a Cameroonian died, and others were injured, when the team came under fire [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Plea to halt execution of juvenile offender in Iran

Listen / The appeal to Iran came from rights experts including the chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, based at Palais Wilson in Geneva. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The imminent execution of a juvenile offender must be halted, UN human rights experts announced on Thursday, amid concerns that torture was used to obtain a confession. Iran reportedly hanged two other prisoners last month who were minors at the time of their alleged crimes. Daniel Johnson has more from Geneva. The appeal by no [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Affordable vaccines "key" to preventing thousands of cervical cancer deaths

Listen / In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a young girl receives the HVP cervical cancer vaccine, given at public and private schools throughout the county and in the 36,000 vaccination centers of the national health system (March 2014). Photo: PAHO/WHO

Making vaccines affordable could save the lives of thousands of women each year who die from cervical cancer. That's according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Matthew Wells has the story. Each year, cervical cancer kills more than 250,000 women around the world, [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Youth must have a say in decisions about their sexual health: advocate

Listen / Hayley Glesson, Coordinator of ACT!2015, a joint project of UNAIDS and the International Planned Parenthood Fund speaking to UN News English
on the margins of the 2017 ECOSOC Youth Forum. (Photo: UN News/ J.Sambira)

Stigma around sexuality in young people can hinder conversations with policy makers, but young people have a "right to participate" in decisions about their sexual health, a youth advocate says. Hayley Gleeson is coordinator of ACT!2015, a global youth-driven initiative that calls for government accountability around HIV and encourages solidarity between youth organizations working with [...]

2 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 1 February 2017 (PM)

Listen / A young displaced Ukrainian boy finds shelter from the cold in a tent in Slovyansk. His family hope to move to Kyiv after leaving the conflict-torn town of Debaltseve. Photo: UNHCR/B. Kinashchuk (file photo)

Ukrainian children face life-threatening cold as fighting escalates Around 17,000 Ukrainians, including 2,500 children, are being forced to live in freezing conditions following days of intense fighting in the Donetsk region, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). At least 10schools have closed in and around the town of Avdiivka due to the violence between [...]

1 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Ruins speak for themselves" says UNHCR chief in Aleppo

Listen / Grandi-Aleppo-01FEB17-350-300

The ruins of east Aleppo "speak for themselves" said the High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grande on Wednesday, standing in the rubble of the Syrian city that's now under full government control. The UNHCR chief said it was an "urgent" priority to accelerate humanitarian aid in Aleppo, as well as besieged and hard to reach [...]

1 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 01 February 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Matthew Wells In today's programme: the UN chief calls for more focus on Africa's success to help spur sustainable development on the continent And stability and security are top concerns for displaced people in Wau, South Sudan

1 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Spur African development by focusing on successes: UN chief

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres addresses journalists following his return to UN headquarters after attending a Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

If Africa is to achieve sustainable development, then more emphasis should be placed on its successes, not crises, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters in New York on Wednesday. The UN chief, fresh from the African Union (AU) Summit in Ethiopia, also addressed issues such as the recent suspension of the refugee programme in the [...]

1 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Conditions must be established for "future of hope" in South Sudan: Guterres

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres addresses reporters at UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Conditions must be put in place to provide South Sudan with a "future of hope", said the UN Secretary General António Guterres on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters at UN Headquarters, he said that progress had been made towards ending years of violence and division across the world's newest nation, during the recent African Union summit [...]

1 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Stability and security top concerns for displaced in Wau, South Sudan

Listen / UNMISS_Wau_SouthSudan-2016-350-300

Ensuring that displaced people in Wau, South Sudan, can return to their homes is a shared goal of both the Government and the United Nations, the head of the UN mission in the country, UNMISS, said on Wednesday. David Shearer was speaking following his first visit to the north-western town where nearly 30,000 people are [...]

1 Feb 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 1 February 2017 (AM)

Listen / WestBank-FilePhoto-FEB2017-350-300

Israeli settlement expansion could be "obstacle" to peace The decision by the Israeli government to approve the building of more than 5,000 new housing units on land in the occupied West Bank, could be an "obstacle" to peace. That's according to a statement issued by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, issued on Wednesday. [...]

1 Feb 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

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