Home » 31 Mar 2017 Entries posted on “March 2017”

News in Brief 31 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / An overloaded boat of refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe as seen from the deck of the Italian Coastguard ship, the San Giorgio, during a Mediterranean patrol in 2014. Photo UNHCR/Alfredo D'Amato

  UNHCR relieved shipwreck victims now safe More than 100 victims of a shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea this week were later rescued by an aid group, a spokesperson from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. UNHCR had previously reported that 146 people may have died or gone missing when their vessel began [...]

31 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

We're not yet there on Syria, says UN negotiator

Listen / Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria briefs the press on the last day of the Intra-Syrian talks, Geneva. 31 March 2017. UN Photo / Violaine Martin

The latest round of Intra-Syrian talks has concluded in Geneva where UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura told journalists on Friday evening, "we're not yet there". Before this fifth UN-meeting meeting between the Syrian government and opposition delegations, Staffan de Mistura had played down expectations of progress amid renewed fighting in the country. The Syrian conflict, [...]

31 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Researcher says people with autism lack "basic human rights"

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In terms of civil liberties for people with autism, the international community overall is living in "the Dark Ages," an autism expert said at the UN on Friday. Professor Simon Baron-Cohen is the director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. He was at UN Headquarters for an event marking World Autism [...]

31 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 31 March 2017

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  Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: there's been a dramatic increase in food insecurity according to a new UN-led report. We'll have the full details. And, we hear about the moment in the 1950s when the UN's most iconic [...]

31 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 31 March 2017 (AM)

Listen / Construction workers in the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Such Israeli settlements have expanded in recent years. Photo: Annie Slemrod/IRIN (file)

  UN chief disappointed over plan for new Israeli settlement in West Bank The UN Secretary-General has expressed "disappointment and alarm" over Israel's decision to build a new settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory. The country's government on Thursday approved the construction of the first new settlement in the West Bank in two decades. The [...]

31 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Dramatic increase" in food insecurity: FAO report

Listen / A family compound in Terekeka, South Sudan. Photo: FAO/Albert González Farran

There has been a "dramatic increase" in food insecurity around the world the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Friday. FAO was one of the UN agencies contributing to a new report on food crises, along with the European Union (EU), the United States development agency USAID, and others. Around 108 million people were [...]

31 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN chief calls for greater support for Mosul displaced

Listen / UN Secretary-General António Guterres interacting with a child at the Hassan Sham camp in northern Iraq. Photo: UNAMI

The UN Secretary-General has called on the international community to show more solidarity with people fleeing the Iraqi city of Mosul. António Guterres made the appeal during a visit to a camp for people displaced by the ongoing military campaign to liberate the northern city from the grip of the terrorist group ISIL, also known as [...]

31 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Dag Hammarskjöld led life of 'duty and humanism' says biographer

Listen / Swedish historian and biographer Henrik Berggren at UN Headquarters on 28 March 2017 to discuss his recently published book entitled "Dag Hammarskjöld Markings of His Life".UN News/Jocelyne Sambira

"If there is a conflict, leave it to Dag" became a popular phrase in the 1950s when the late Dag Hammarskjöld was Secretary-General of the UN. Swedish historian and biographer Henrik Berggren, made the observation at UN Headquarters while discussing his recently published book on "the man and the diplomat". During his years as UN [...]

31 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 30 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Harvesting rice in Viet Nam. Global rice consumption trends are rising. Photo: FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam

FAO deal promotes sustainable rice production A partnership between the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) aims to support the sustainable production of a staple food enjoyed by millions each day. The agreement, signed on Thursday, will enhance rice farming, including by helping governments to implement policies that [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on Syria refugees, nuclear disarmament and Slavery

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Syria refugee numbers hit 5 million: UNHCR The number of Syrian refugees is now more than five million and their situation is getting worse, the UN said on Thursday. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, wants more countries to fulfil their pledges on resettling those fleeing the conflict in Syria, which is now in its seventh [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on DR Congo, climate pollutants and Somalia

Listen / An aerial view of the town of Kananga in DRC's Kasaï-Central province outside which the remains of the two experts were found. (File) Photo: MONUSCO/Myriam Asmani

UN to conduct inquiry into deaths of DRC experts The United Nations has confirmed the deaths of two members of a Security Council expert group who had been missing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for more than two weeks. Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalán, accompanied by four Congolese nationals, were in the Kasaï [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UNICEF sounds alarm over rising child malnutrition, disease in Somalia

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Rates of child malnutrition and disease are rising sharply in Somalia as famine looms in the country, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday. The agency reports that an increasing number of youngsters are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and cholera or acute watery diarrhoea, a combination that killed many children in a famine [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 30 March 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: The number of Syrian refugees now stands at 5 million, and their plight is intensifying says UNHCR…. And, the head of UN Peacekeeping tells us in his final interview that it's grown more efficient [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Stakes for Syrian civilians could not be higher: UN humanitarian chief

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The stakes for Syrian civilians as warring parties engage in the latest round of peace talks could not be higher, said the UN relief chief on Thursday. Humanitarian Coordinator Stephen O'Brien was updating the Security Council on the latest developments, as the battered country enters its seventh year of war. Hundreds of thousands have died, [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief on solidarity visit to Iraq

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It is important that the world fully understands the crimes committed in Iraq by the extremist group ISIL, also known as Daesh, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday. António Guterres was speaking at a press conference in the country's capital, Baghdad, alongside the Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi. The UN chief described his visit as one [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: Sexual violence, women farmers and women entrepreneurs

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Scars of rape last "longer than the war": UN Special Representative Addressing sexual violence in conflict is the "great moral challenge of our time," the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict has said. Zainab Hawa Bangura, who's stepping down from her post soon, was speaking at a panel discussion at UN Headquarters [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

Sea tragedy "shows need for rescue boats"

Listen / An overloaded boat of refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe as seen from the deck of the Italian Coastguard ship, the San Giorgio, during a Mediterranean patrol in 2014. Photo UNHCR/Alfredo D'Amato

The death of nearly 150 people whose vessel sunk en route across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe this week highlights the need for more effective search and rescue operations, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said on Thursday. The sole survivor of the tragedy, a 16-year-old boy from The Gambia, said that the boat starting taking [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Afghan conflict deserves global attention: outgoing UN official

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There is danger that one of the world's most protracted crises could be "partially forgotten" by the international community, a former senior UN official fears. Mark Bowden was speaking about the situation in Afghanistan, where civilian casualties reached a record high of more than 11,000 in 2016. Mr Bowden spent more than four years as Deputy [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 30 March 2017 (AM)

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UN official strongly condemns "heinous" terrorist attack in Iraq A suicide bombing in Iraq on Wednesday has been strongly condemned by the senior UN official in the country. Several people were killed in the terrorist attack which targeted a police checkpoint in southern Baghdad, the second such incident in just over a week. In a [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Syrian refugee numbers hit five million: UNHCR

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The number of Syrian refugees is now more than five million and their situation is getting worse, the UN said on Thursday. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, wants more countries to fulfil their pledges on resettling those fleeing the conflict in Syria, which is now in its seventh year. From neighbouring Jordan, UNHCR's Scott Craig [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Change happens when women “stand up” and demand rights

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The only way for women to receive equal rights is for them to "stand up" and "demand" them, a women's rights activist told a meeting at UN Headquarters this week. Zainab Salbi is the founder of Women for Women International, a non-profit organization that provides financial, interpersonal and educational aid to women survivors of injustice, [...]

30 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 29 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Volker Türk. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Latest Mediterranean tragedy shows value of search-and-rescue: UNHCR Saving lives at sea must remain a top priority, according to a senior official with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The comments by Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Türk follow reports of a shipwreck in the Mediterranean which may have left up to 146 people dead [...]

29 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 29 March 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: the scars of rape in war, last long after the guns have fallen silent, the UN's special representative on the issue tells us. And, as an international conference gets underway to stop the Red [...]

29 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Atrocity crimes "on the rise" along with "Responsibility to Protect"

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With atrocity crimes on the rise around the world, countries have an increasing responsibility to protect their citizens, according to the UN Special Adviser on the issue. Ivan Šimonović reports to the UN Secretary-General on what's known as the Responsibility to Protect – R2P for short – which the General Assembly adopted in 2005, outlining [...]

29 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 29 March 2017 (AM)

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WHO initiative seeks to halve medication-related errors A global initiative to improve the way medicines are prescribed, distributed and consumed was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday. It seeks to reduce medication-related errors by half over the next five years. Medication errors can result from several factors such as health worker fatigue, [...]

29 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Red Palm Weevil "serious concern" for date production

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A small red beetle that destroys palm trees is spreading rapidly, created "serious concern" for the global production of dates and coconuts, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Wednesday. Over the past three decades, the so-called Red Palm Weevil has advanced throughout the Middle East and North Africa and into southern Europe, causing [...]

29 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Bachelet calls for renewed push for international cooperation

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The plight of Syrian refugee children and the rise of xenophobic hate-speech must be countered by greater cooperation between members of the international community. That was the message Chilean President Michelle Bachelet delivered to the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday. Daniel Johnson has more. Michelle Bachelet launched a strong defence of the UN and [...]

29 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

At Arab League Summit, UN chief urges leaders to shape "a new Arab world"

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the Summit of the League of Arab States in Jordan. Photo: UN News

Leaders in the Arab world have been urged to resolve their differences through dialogue and cooperation. The appeal was made by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in an address on Wednesday to the Arab League Summit taking place at the Dead Sea in Jordan. Dianne Penn reports. The Secretary-General told leaders "At this time of transition [...]

29 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Unsafe water threatening malnourished children in four countries: UNICEF

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Water shortages, inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene and disease outbreaks are posing an additional threat to the lives of severely malnourished children in four countries that are facing famine or at risk of it, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday. The agency is working "around the clock" to save young lives in northeast Nigeria, [...]

29 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Scars of rape last "longer than the war": UN Special Representative

Listen / SRSG_Zainab_Hawa_Bangura_1 350

Addressing sexual violence in conflict is the "great moral challenge of our time," the outgoing Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict has said. Zainab Hawa Bangura was speaking at a panel discussion at UN Headquarters about preventing sexual violence in conflict, when she made the statement. Following the discussion, Ms Bangura [...]

29 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Women farmers can boost "under-performing" food production : FAO

Listen / Libor Stloukal. Photo: UN News/Matthew Wells

Women need better opportunities and resources to help improve "under-performing" smallholder food production, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. That's according to Libor Stloukal of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); who specializes in Gender, Equity and Rural Employment issues. He was at UN Headquarters for the Commission on the Status of Women, discussing [...]

29 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN to conduct inquiry into deaths of DRC experts

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

The United Nations has confirmed the deaths of two members of a Security Council expert group who had been missing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for more than two weeks. Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalán, accompanied by four Congolese nationals, were in the Kasaï Central region when they disappeared on 12 March. Their remains were [...]

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

News in Brief 28 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Peacekeepers serving with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) on patrol. UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti (file)

  International concern over unrest in Kasaï provinces in DRC Four international organizations have expressed deep concern over what they described as the "grave situation" in the Kasaï provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The partners have condemned the recent killing of 40 police officers by a militia there, labelling it a [...]

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UN Daily News Programme 28 March 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: life-saving aid funding is on a knife-edge in Yemen, as famine looms, the UN humanitarian coordinator there warns us. And …a leading UN economist explains why famine represents "collective failure".

28 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

As famine looms, Yemen "on a knife's edge": UN Coordinator

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With famine looming in Yemen, the country is "on a knife's edge" and in desperate need of cash from international donors to avert disaster, said the UN Resident Coordinator in the country on Tuesday. Jamie McGoldrick said there are seven million "who don't know where their next meal is coming from", as Yemen enters its [...]

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

Famine, war, drought threatening millions of children in 4 countries: UNICEF

Listen / 03-28-2017Famine-350-300

Time is running out for more than one million children in four countries affected by famine, drought and war, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday. UNICEF is appealing for nearly US$255 million to respond to immediate needs in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, where over 20 million people are going hungry [...]

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

Famine is "a collective failure": WFP chief economist

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The descent into famine represents "a collective failure" from which many child survivors will never recover. That's the stark assessment of Arif Husain, Chief Economist and Food Security Analysis Director at the World Food Programme (WFP). With pockets of famine already evident in South Sudan; and north-east Nigeria, Yemen and parts of Somalia teetering on [...]

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

News in Brief 28 March 2017 – Geneva (AM)

Listen / A family climbs out of their destroyed home to flee minutes after an ISIS suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle on the street outside their home in the Al Andalus neighbourhood of Mosul, Iraq. Photo: UNHCR/Ivor Prickett

Mosul airstrikes "may target civilians disproportionately" Iraqi forces and their partners have been urged to take "the greatest care" possible in their campaign to liberate Mosul from ISIL militants amid reports that hundreds of civilians have been killed in airstrikes. The appeal from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) comes after [...]

28 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

In camp visit, UN chief appeals for more support for Syrian refugees

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Failure to support refugees only helps extremist groups to recruit more people into their ranks, the UN Secretary-General said on Tuesday. António Guterres was speaking to reporters during a visit to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, home to nearly 80,000 Syrians who have fled the conflict in their homeland. He called on the international [...]

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

Women's participation in peace talks empower Syrians “as a whole”

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In order to create a "lasting peace" in Syria, women need to have a seat at the policy-making table, a Syrian peace activist has said. Mariam Jalabi is Director of the Syrian National Coalition's office at UN Headquarters in New York. She took part in a recent UN panel discussion on the role of women [...]

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

Fast-response "vanguard brigade" of Peacekeepers now a reality

Listen / Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, addresses journalists in New York during his final briefing. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

A "vanguard brigade" of UN Peacekeepers which can be deployed within 60 days to new trouble-spots, would have been "impossible" to envisage just two years ago. But not any longer, according to Hervé Ladsous, the out-going Peacekeeping chief, who said in his final interview with UN News that the department (DPKO) had become more efficient [...]

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

News in Brief 27 March 2017 (PM)

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Health situation in East Ghouta "deteriorating" warns UN health agency The deteriorating health situation in Syria's eastern Ghouta region in Rural Damascus, where more than 300 000 people are besieged, is a serious cause for concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning on Monday as well as a call for "uninterrupted humanitarian access" [...]

27 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Stronger cooperation needed to improve situation of refugees in Greece: UNHCR

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Joint efforts and strengthened cooperation are crucial for improving the situation of asylum-seekers and refugees in Greece, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has urged. The agency issued eight recommendations on Monday aimed at putting in place a sustainable refugee response in the European country. As of 20 March, only 10,000 asylum-seekers had left Greece for [...]

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

The situation has “never been worse” in Yemen: UNICEF

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"Time is running out" to avoid a famine in Yemen and children will be hit the hardest, an expert from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said. Dr Sherin Varkey, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Yemen says US $236 million is needed to deliver essential life-saving aid. The conflict in Yemen enters its third year this [...]

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

Urgent “need for progress” on nuclear disarmament

Listen / An atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, on 1 November 1952. Photo: US Government

The "need for progress" on creating a world free of nuclear weapons has "rarely been as urgent" according to the UN chief António Guterres. His message was delivered at the start of an historic conference that began at UN Headquarters on Monday in the General Assembly, to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 27 March 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: An unprecedented General Assembly conference seeking to eliminate nuclear weapons gets underway, although more than 30 states say they won't take part. And …two years on since conflict erupted in Yemen, conditions have never [...]

27 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Conflicts, crises block progress to end hunger in Near East and North Africa

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Conflicts and protracted crises are blocking efforts to end hunger in the Near East and North Africa, a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said. Before 2010, the two regions were growing more food, while successfully fighting stunting, anaemia, undernourishment and poverty, the agency said. Severe food insecurity in those areas [...]

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

News in Brief 27 March 2017 (AM)

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  Still time to avert catastrophe in Yemen: UN humanitarian chief warns A catastrophe can still be averted in Yemen, but without immediate funding, it will be too late, the Under-Secretary-General of Humanitarian Affairs has warned. Stephen O'Brien, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, issued a statement on Monday marking the second year [...]

27 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Killing of 6 aid workers in South Sudan an "appalling and pointless loss": UN

Listen / An armed individual in the town of Pibor, in Jonglei state. Pibor has seen violent clashes and confrontations that have resulted in displacement as well as destruction of livelihood and property. (File photo) OCHA/Cecilia Attefor

The killing of six aid workers in an ambush in South Sudan has been described by the head of the UN Mission there (UNMISS) as an "appalling and pointless loss of life," that must be thoroughly investigated. David Shearer, who is also UN Special Representative to the world's youngest country, called on Sunday for an [...]

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

UN "doing everything possible" to "find and help" missing experts

Listen / The International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members marks the anniversary of the abduction of UN staff member Alec Collett. UN Photo/Milton Grant

The UN is "doing everything possible" to "find and help" two members of an experts' group established by the Security Council, who are missing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan were on assignment in the Kasai Central region of DRC, when they disappeared on 12 March, along with [...]

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

UN Syria envoy “deeply concerned” by escalation in fighting

Listen / Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria briefs the press in Geneva. 24 March 2017. UN Photo/Violaine Martin

The UN Special Envoy for Syria said on Saturday he was “deeply concerned” at the recent escalation in fighting in Damascus and elsewhere around the country. Intra-Syrian talks are under way in Geneva amid what Staffan de Mistura called "difficult" conditions created by the intensifying fighting of recent days. The Syria conflict is now in [...]

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

News in Brief 24 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres (seated left) with Peter Thomson (right), President of the seventy-first session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

  Descendants of slaves have "made their mark" in every field: UN chief The descendants of slaves have "made their mark" in "every field of human endeavour" said the UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday. He was speaking on Friday during a commemoration event at UN Headquarters in New York, marking the International Day of [...]

24 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Slavery last great "unmentionable" that shaped the world: historian

Listen / Lonnie Bunch.  UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Slavery is the last great "unmentionable" that has profoundly shaped every corner of the world although it happened centuries ago, the Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture has said. Dr Lonnie Bunch III made the remarks ahead of a UN General Assembly event to mark the International Day of Remembrance [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 24 March 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 destruction of cultural heritage by terrorists is a "war crime," says the head of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO. And … Keeping with the theme of culture: African rhythms permeate the music of [...]

24 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Cultural cleansing" by terrorists is a war crime: UNESCO chief

Listen / Destruction at the World Heritage site of Palmyra in Syria. Photo: ©UNESCO/Francesco Bandarin (file) 26979

The destruction of cultural heritage by terrorists, described as "cultural cleansing" by the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is a war crime. Irina Bokova made the remarks on Friday after members of the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on the protection of cultural heritage sites in armed conflict. UNESCO, [...]

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

“Short-lived climate pollutants” more potent than CO2: experts

Listen / Helena Molina Valdes (L) and Rita Cerruti (R) of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) at a UN event on Climate Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda on 23 March 2017. UN Photo/J.Sambira

  Curbing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, or SLCPs, such as as black carbon and methane, can slow down the warming of the planet, Rita Cerruti and Helena Molina Valdes of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) have said. Speaking on the margins of a High-Level UN event on Climate Change and the Sustainable [...]

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

#RememberSlavery: African rhythms permeate Cuban music

Listen / Traditional batá drum maker in Cuba. Photo: UN Television/J. Park

More than 15 million African men, women and children were brought to the New World due to the transatlantic slave trade, which the UN has described as one of the darkest chapters in human history. The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, commemorated annually on 25 March, [...]

24 Mar 2017 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

Massive campaign to stamp out polio once and for all in Africa

Listen / Polio vaccination in South Sudan. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

One of the largest polio vaccination campaigns ever will be carried out in Africa over the coming week, two UN agencies announced on Friday. Some 116 million children in 13 countries will be immunized as part of urgent measures to permanently stamp out the disease on the continent. The announcement was made by the World [...]

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

News in Brief 24 March 2017 – Geneva (AM)

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Myanmar violations to face international inquiry An international probe has been set up to investigate rights abuses against Muslim communities in Myanmar. The decision was taken at the Human Rights Council on Friday. It follows what the UN human rights office described as "unprecedented" violence in Rakhine state in October, allegedly involving abuses by government [...]

24 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Prevent famine in Somalia from recurring, UN mission head urges

Listen / A mother gives her daughter a drink of rehydrating salts at a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia. March 2017. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Following successful elections, the longer-term objective for Somalia and the international community "has to be" to prevent famine from "ever happening again." That's the view of the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, UNSOM, Michael Keating. He was at UN Headquarters in New York to address the Security Council on conditions in Somalia, [...]

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

News in Brief 23 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / A MINUSCA patrol in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). Photo: MINUSCA

  Heavy fighting in south eastern CAR: UN mission Heavy fighting in the Central African Republic (CAR) has broken out between two rival armed groups, the UN mission in the country, MINUSCA, reported on Thursday. The FPRC, the Popular Front for the Renaissance in the Central African Republic, and the UPC, the Union for Peace [...]

23 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

South Sudanese government yet to show "meaningful concern" for citizens

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres (left) addresses the Security Council. At his side is Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom and President of the Security Council for March.

The government of South Sudan has "yet to express any meaningful concern" for its own people, or take any responsibility for ending the violence that's left the country on the edge of the "abyss". That's according to UN chief António Guterres, who addressed the Security Council on Thursday. He said that regional African organizations together [...]

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

UN and Africa: focus on South Africa, DR Congo and South Sudan

Listen / DayAgainstRacism-21MAR17-350-300

State-sponsored xenophobia "unacceptable": South African Minister says State-sponsored xenophobia against migrants and refugees is unacceptable and must be addressed by the international community, South Africa's Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women has urged. Susan Shabangu made the call to Member States on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, observed annually on [...]

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

Somalia experiencing moment of hope and tragedy: UN special envoy

Listen / The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2346 (2017), renewing the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until 16 June 2017. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias

"Somalia is experiencing a moment of both tragedy and hope", the UN special envoy for the Horn of Africa country said during a briefing to the Security Council on Thursday. The meeting on security and famine was chaired by the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. The Council members began by observing a moment of [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 23 March 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: Somalia is experiencing a moment of hope and tragedy, the UN special envoy to the country told members of the Security Council today. And governments are being urged by the UN to "act soon" [...]

23 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: Syrian women, workplace sexual abuse and agricultural workers

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"Invisible" impact of Syrian civil war destroying family life: UNFPA The dignity and hopes of Syrian women and girls are disintegrating after six years of brutal civil war, along with the whole fabric of family life. That's according to Henia Dakkak, technical adviser with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), who has worked with refugees and [...]

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

"Only way out" for DR Congo is through a “political solution"

Listen / Maman Sidikou (right) speaking to Jérôme Longué. Photo: UN

The only way of stemming the violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is through political negotiation between government and opposition groups, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General said after briefing the Security Council on Tuesday. Maman Sidikou, who is also the head of the UN Mission in the country (MONUSCO), urged [...]

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

News in Brief 23 March 2017 (AM)

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

  "We are failing the children of Syria," says UNICEF director The fact that a dozen children were among the 53 killed in an attack on a school on Wednesday is a reminder that the world is "failing the children of Syria." That's the view of the UN Children's Fund's Regional Director, Geert Cappelaere, speaking [...]

23 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on climate change, wastewater and Yemen

Listen / A view of the Pacific Ocean from Monterey Bay, California. 2016 made history with a record global temperature high, WMO reports. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Action must be taken "soon" to mitigate climate change: WMO Governments need to “act soon” to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and keep global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius, according to the World Meteorological Organization , WMO. New figures from the UN agency show that 2016 made history with a record global [...]

23 Mar 2017 | Posted in Focus on Climate Change, Sustainable Development Goals, UN Global Perspective | Read More »

Climate change "threat" to SDGs "not a question of opinion": UN chief

Listen / United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

Climate change is an "unprecedented and growing threat" to "peace, prosperity" and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said UN chief António Guterres on Thursday. The Secretary-General was speaking at a High-Level SDG Action event in New York, convened by the UN General Assembly. More details from Matthew Wells. Mr Guterres said that he had two [...]

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

Zeid had "no choice" but to repeat Yemen probe call

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Ongoing grave rights abuses in Yemen linked to the war have left the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with "no choice" but to repeat his call for an international probe there. That was the message delivered to the Human Rights Council by Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's deputy, Kate Gilmore. She told Member States meeting [...]

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

Over half a million people still trapped in western Mosul in Iraq: WFP

Listen / A couple at Scorpion Junction, heading for a bus to take them to a screening centre at Hamman al-Alil. Photo: WFP/Inger Marie Vennize

The UN food agency, WFP, says it is "extremely concerned" about the welfare of more than half a million people trapped in western Mosul in Iraq. Iraqi forces and their allies are fighting to liberate the area from the extremist group ISIL, also known as Daesh. The agency is calling on all parties to facilitate [...]

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

"Important" for more Ukrainian women to enter politics

Listen / Hanna Hopko. Photo: UN News/Matthew Wells

It's important for Ukrainian women to be an empowered voice in politics and represent vulnerable groups such as those displaced by conflict in the east. That's according to Hanna Hopko, a leading member of the Ukrainian parliament who was at UN Headquarters last week to attend meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. On Wednesday, the UN [...]

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

News in Brief 22 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Manuel Elías

UN "gravely concerned" at serious rights violations across Libya The head of the UN Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) said he was "gravely concerned" on Wednesday at continued reports of serious rights' violations across the country. Martin Kobler called on all parties and warring factions to "send a strong message" that those violations are unacceptable, [...]

22 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Action must be taken “soon” to mitigate climate change: WMO

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Governments need to "act soon" to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and keep global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). New figures from the UN agency show that 2016 made history with a record global temperature high. While 2017 is unlikely to match those [...]

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

Big cat's lake appearance makes a splash in Geneva

Listen / Jaguar.   Photo: UN News/Daniel Johnson

Switzerland is famous for many things but not big cats, so imagine the surprise when a spectacular jaguar was spotted in downtown Geneva on Wednesday. The 10-metre long feline, which is in fact the handiwork of Brazilian artist Eduardo Srur, is on display to raise awareness of World Water Day 2017, marked on 22 March. [...]

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

Cancer a "growing burden" on low- and middle-income countries: IAEA

Listen / The IAEA Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy supports low and middle income countries in the implementation of comprehensive national cancer control programmes. Photo: IAEA

There is a need for more funding for cancer control initiatives in low- and middle-income countries to help them cope with the "growing burden" of the disease. That was the starting point behind a meeting co-organized by the UN Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Development Bank, which concluded [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 22 March 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: a new approach to wastewater can help save the lives of children who die from illnesses linked to poor sanitation; and we'll hear how people with Down syndrome are working and engaging in their [...]

22 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Sri Lanka hears new call for international justice commission

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Sri Lanka's efforts to repair the damage done and injustices linked to decades of civil war could be speeded up with the help of an international probe, UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said on Wednesday. Zeid was addressing the Human Rights Council where he spoke of a "consistent failure" to punish serious [...]

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

Former "Lost Boy" bringing water to South Sudan

Listen / Salva Dut. Photo: UN News/Dianne Penn

Small grassroots organizations can make a "great difference" in the communities where they work, according to the founder of a not-for-profit that is providing villagers in South Sudan with access to water. Salva Dut is a senior adviser with Water for South Sudan which has drilled nearly 300 wells since 2005. The former 'Lost Boy' [...]

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

News in Brief 22 March 2017 (AM)

Listen / A wastewater treatment facility in Manila, the Philippines. Photo: Danilo Pinzon / World Bank

"Everyone can do their bit" to re-use more wastewater Everyone around the world "can do their bit" to reduce and re-use wastewater. That's the key message from the Chair of UN-Water and head of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder on Wednesday. In a video message marking World Water Day 2017, he said wastewater [...]

22 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

People with Down syndrome have a "valuable contribution to make"

Listen / Andrew Boys. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

There needs to be a "paradigm shift" towards understanding that people living with Down syndrome have the right and the ability to work and engage in communities, a Down syndrome advocate has said. Andrew Boys is Director of Down Syndrome International. He has a brother with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that is associated with [...]

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

Wastewater offers huge potential despite "yuck factor": UN report

Listen / A trickling filter at a wastewater treatment plant in Danbury, Connecticut, in the United States. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Water that has been used in agriculture, industry or the home is an untapped resource that can help address growing water scarcity. That's the premise of the latest World Water Development Report launched this Wednesday in Durban, South Africa. It looks at how wastewater, including water used for washing dishes or even to flush the [...]

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

Wastewater, a sustainable development tool

Listen / Children play in the bay of Cité Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

One thousand children die every day from illnesses linked to poor sanitation but a new approach to wastewater could help do something about it. That's one of the messages from UN Water, ahead of World Water Day, which is celebrated on 22 March. Agency spokesperson Daniella Bostrom explains to Daniel Johnson how the more efficient [...]

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

News in Brief 21 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Hervé Ladsous (left), outgoing Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, during his visit to South Sudan with his successor, Jean-Pierre Lacroix (right). UN Photo/Isaac Billy

  "Political solution" is only solution to South Sudan crisis A "political solution" is the only solution to the conflict and humanitarian crisis that has befallen the world's youngest nation, South Sudan. That's according to the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, at the end of a fact-finding mission to the country, where nearly two [...]

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

"Growing sense of insecurity and uncertainty" in DRC

Listen / North Kivu province, DR Congo: Malawian soldiers of the Force Intervention Brigade on patrol between the localities of Oicha and Erengeti, in Beni territory. Photo MONUSCO/Anne Herrmann

The "growing sense of insecurity and uncertainty" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a "source of major concern" the UN Special Representative told the Security Council on Tuesday. Maman Sidikou pointed to the spread of violence at the hands of armed groups, often along ethnic lines, to formerly peaceful parts of the [...]

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

FAO calls for "greener" charcoal production

Listen / UNDP's Cash For Work program partners with the Sant Triyaj Fatra at Kafoufey to use paper trash collected from the streets to create paper briquets to be used as an alternate means of cooking fuel instead of charbon made from cutting down Haiti's trees.  Deforestation is a serious problem in Haiti. UN Photo/Sophia Paris

Making charcoal manufacturing more efficient can help address climate change and improve rural livelihoods. That's the message from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the International Day of Forests, observed this Tuesday, 21 March. FAO says about half the wood taken from forests is used to produce energy for cooking and heating, of [...]

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

Fear of migrants fuelling racial hatred and profiling: UN experts

Listen / Children behind fence that separates them from the white community near Johannesburg, during the time of apartheid in South Africa. UN Photo/Pendl

Governments around the world are being urged to take action to stop the fear and misinformation about minorities and migrants that is inciting racial hatred and profiling. The call was made by UN human rights experts on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, observed annually on 21March. A debate was held on [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 21 March 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 fear of migrants is fuelling racial hatred and profiling, UN experts warn; and you'll hear about the hidden impact of war on the women of Syria.  

21 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Groups "in every society left behind" in human development: UNDP

Listen / Change agents and leaders, from all sectors and of all ages, are setting the Sustainable Development Goals into motion. Photo: UNDP Peru/Mónica Suárez

There are specific groups in every society around the world that have been "left behind" in the past 25 years, according to a new report from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) released on Tuesday. That's one of the key findings in the Human Development Report 2016, entitled "Human Development for Everyone". Despite undoubted social progress, [...]

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

News in Brief 21 March 2017 (AM) – Geneva

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UNHCR alarm over Cameroon forced returns to Nigeria Thousands of refugees have been sent back against their will, from Cameroon to Nigeria's conflict-ravaged north, the UN Refugee Agency said on Tuesday. UNHCR's Babar Baloch told journalists in Geneva that more than 2,000 people have been returned since February to north-eastern Nigeria, where the threat from [...]

21 Mar 2017 | Posted in UN Radio News Bulletin | Read More »

FAO expert calls for empowering African women agricultural workers

Listen / Women farmers plow their fields in preparation to plant corn in Gnoungouya Village, Guinea. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez

The women who feed the African continent are "thirsty for change" and "aspiring for a better future," according to a senior gender officer with the UN Food and Agriculture Programme (FAO). Tacko Ndiaye says her agency is helping to empower Africa's women agricultural workers, for example by providing them with labour-saving technologies, climate-smart farming techniques, [...]

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

"Invisible" impact of Syrian civil war destroying family life: UNFPA

Listen / Henia Dakkak. Photo: UN News/Matthew Wells

The dignity and hopes of Syrian women and girls are disintegrating after six years of brutal civil war, along with the whole fabric of family life. That's according to Henia Dakkak, technical adviser with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) who has worked with refugees and internally-displaced Syrian women across the Middle East. She spoke at [...]

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

News in Brief 20 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Maman Sambo Sidikou. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

  "High number of deaths" reported in Kananga area of DRC The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO, has received "credible reports of high numbers of deaths" in clashes between militia and government troops in the Kananga and Kasai regions. Maman Sambo Sidikou, head of MONUSCO, called for the "immediate cessation [...]

20 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

“Global Happiness Council” launched at UN Headquarters

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By working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN can play an "important role" in promoting global happiness, the official Minister for Happiness from the United Arab Emirates said on Monday. H.E. Ohood Al Roumi was at UN Headquarters on the International Day of Happiness, marked each 20 March, to launch the Global [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 20 March 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: indigenous women in the Philippines need to “assert their rights”, a human rights defender has urged; And musicians from the Middle East and North Africa join the UN to warn asylum seekers against embarking [...]

20 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Indigenous women in Philippines need to “assert their rights”

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Indigenous women in the Philippines have "many problems," including a lack of recognition of their ancestral land rights, so they need to be empowered in order to stand up for those rights, a human rights advocate has urged. Angelina Baltazar – Ortiz, an Indigenous Mansaka woman from the Compostela Valley in the Philippines, was at [...]

20 Mar 2017 | Posted in Asian Voices, Today's Features, Women | Read More »

News in Brief 20 March 2017 (AM)

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"Fundamentally not appropriate" that disabilities committee has lone woman The fact that only one woman has been elected by Member States to serve on the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is "fundamentally not appropriate." That's the clear message delivered on the opening day of the 17th Session of the committee, in Geneva, [...]

20 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Palestine Territories "face recurring rights violations"

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Human rights violations are continuing against the people of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a UN Special Rapporteur said Monday. Michael Lynk, who's mandate from the Human Rights Council is to report on the Palestinian territories that have been under Israeli control since 1967, said that the people living there face "recurring and persistent" abuses. These [...]

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

Hate speech dangers are growing, says Zeid

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We all need to do more to combat racism, hate speech and ethnic crimes. That's the message from UN Human Rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is marked each 21 March. Daniel Johnson has more. The dangers of "demonising" people based on their [...]

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

Art helps people understand “we are all the same”: Tunisian painter

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All people experience the "same feelings", no matter which country they're from, and art can help "open the heart", a Tunisian artist has said. Zeineb Tlili Ghali is a painter who specialises in images of women and landscapes in her North African homeland. Her work is currently on display at UN Headquarters as part of [...]

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

UN celebrates International Day of Happiness with the Smurfs

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Voice actors who play the “Smurfs” in an animated movie joined UN officials on Saturday to celebrate the International Day of Happiness and launch a campaign to promote a more peaceful, equitable and healthy world. The small blue cartoon characters will encourage children, young people and adults to learn about and support the 17 Sustainable Development [...]

18 Mar 2017 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's News | Read More »

Think before making the dangerous crossing to Yemen, musicians urge

Listen / The recording artists who performed 'Dangerous Crossings', a UNHCR-produced song raising awareness of the dangers of migrating to Yemen, are photographed in the studio. Photo: UNCHR/Timothy Kaldas

During 2016, more than 117,000 refugees arrived in war-stricken Yemen, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), despite the escalating conflict there. Many were lured by smugglers to take a perilous boat journey from Africa across the Gulf of Aden, or the Red Sea, in search of a better future. UN figures released on Wednesday [...]

18 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Rural women can be “powerful economic agents”: FAO

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Rural women can be "powerful economic agents" but policy makers should recognise their needs in order for them to "unleash" their potential, an expert from the UN food agency has said. Hajnalka Petrics is a Gender and Development Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Ms Petrics was at UN [...]

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

South Sudan refugee crisis "world's fastest growing": UN Refugee Agency

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South Sudan is now the world's fastest growing refugee crisis and no neighbouring country is immune, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has warned. People are fleeing into Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR), the agency says. Jocelyne Sambira has the details. An average of 2,800 [...]

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

Children face greater risks a year after refugee route to Europe closed: UNICEF

Listen / Although she used to be in Grade 6, 12-year old Ayesh, who fled to Turkey from the Idlib Governorate of Syria does not attend school. Photo: UNICEF/Shehzad Noorani

Children seeking asylum in Europe are facing greater risks of deportation, detention, exploitation and deprivation a year after a main refugee route was closed and a deal over migration between the European Union (EU) and Turkey was passed, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned. The so-called “Balkan border” includes countries like Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia [...]

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

Implementing gender parity will be a "battle", the UN chief warns

Listen / António Guterres. UN Photo/Mark Garten

It's going to be a "battle" to have an equal number of men and women serving in governments, legislatures, public services and other areas of the economy and society, the UN Secretary-General warned on Friday. António Guterres met with women's civil society groups on the margins of the 61st session of the Commission on the Status [...]

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

News in Brief 17 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Somali refugees on the coast of Yemen after having undertaken a gruelling sea journey from the Horn of Africa. Photo: UNHCR/R. Nuri (file)

  UNHCR condemns attack on refugee boat off Yemen The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has condemned a helicopter assault on a boat carrying refugees across the Red Sea from Yemen to Sudan. A number of Somali refugees were reportedly among those killed and injured, the agency said, although details of the incident remain unconfirmed. The [...]

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

UN Global Perspective Special: Victim rights', dignity come first in fight against sex abuse

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The UN is putting the "rights and dignity of victims first" in its fight against sexual abuse and exploitation, the Secretary-General has promised. António Guterres unveiled a new approach to rid the organization of the scourge, including the appointment of an advocate for the victims. Last year, 145 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation involving both [...]

17 Mar 2017 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 17 March 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: "tremendous progress" has been made stabilizing Central African Republic but security's still volatile. We'll hear from the top UN representative there. And support for people with disabilities facing disasters, needs to become more than [...]

17 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Tremendous progress" in CAR, but situation "remains volatile"

Listen / Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bambari, Central African Republic. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

"Tremendous progress" has been made in stabilizing the Central African Republic (CAR) since the election of a new government early last year, but the situation "remains volatile." That's according to the head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission there (MINUSCA), Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, who's  been at UN Headquarters calling on Member States to honour a US$2.2 billion [...]

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

News in Brief 17 March 2017 (AM)

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South Sudan refugee crisis "world's fastest growing": UN Refugee Agency South Sudan is now the world's fastest growing refugee crisis and no neighbouring country is immune, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has warned. People are fleeing into Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR), the agency [...]

17 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Support for the disabled facing disasters "still in a symbolic stage"

Listen / Carlos Kaiser speaking to Matthew Wells. Photo: UN Radio

Support for people with disabilities around the world who are preparing for disasters is "still in a symbolic stage". That's the frank assessment of veteran activist and NGO chief executive, Carlos Kaiser from Chile, speaking at a recent UN-backed conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas. A global conference on the issue takes place [...]

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

UN peacekeeping chief urges donors to honour CAR pledges

Listen / Hervé Ladsous. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Countries that pledged to assist the Central African Republic (CAR) with its recovery efforts during a conference in Brussels last year are being urged to honour their commitments. The appeal was made by the UN peacekeeping chief, Hervé Ladsous, during a briefing to members of the Security Council regarding the overall situation in the country. [...]

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

Women “much more vulnerable” to workplace abuse: ILO

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Women whose jobs are insecure or "precarious" face a higher rate of sexual abuse in the workplace, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has said. Manuela Tomei is the Director of the ILO's Conditions of Work and Equality Department. She was at UN Headquarters for the 61st Commission on the Status of Women and took part [...]

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

Drugs-resistant microbes "formidable threat" to sustainable development

Listen / Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed (left) briefs journalists on antimicrobial resistance. She was joined at the briefing by Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). UN Photo/Mark Garten

Drugs-resistant microbes pose a "formidable threat" that could prevent the world from reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, said the UN deputy chief on Thursday. Amina Mohammed was announcing the formation of an interagency coordination group on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which she will co-chair, along with the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Margaret [...]

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

"Rush" to host people fleeing western Mosul in Iraq: UN official

Listen / A nine year-old girl clutches her worn-out doll, one of the few belongings she managed to take with her when she fled with her family from Tal al-Ruman area of west Mosul, Iraq. Photo: UNHCR/Saif Al-Tatooz

Around 45,000 people are fleeing fighting in western Mosul in Iraq every week, triggering an "absolute rush" to get the displaced sites "up and running". That's what Lise Grande, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, told reporters via video-conference on Thursday. An estimated 800,000 people were living in the city before the [...]

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

News in Brief 16 March 2017 (PM)

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Abrupt funding cuts undermine impact of longer-term reform efforts: UN Abrupt funding cuts can force the adoption of ad hoc measures that will undermine the impact of longer-term reform efforts, a Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General has said. Stephane Dujarric made the remarks following the release of a blueprint of the 2018 US budget by [...]

16 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: CSW61; gender pay gap and Afghanistan

Listen / Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

#CSW61 focuses on women in the changing world of work Gender inequality in the workplace could cost the world an estimated US$12 trillion in global growth over the next decade, according to a 2015 study. UN Secretary-General António Guterres quoted the staggering figure in his first address to the Commission on the Status of Women [...]

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

UN and Africa: focus on Somalia; South Sudan and Mali

Listen / Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/Stuart Price.

Hospital treats children affected by drought in Somalia Hunger-related illnesses have killed 47 children over the past two months at just one government-run hospital in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. The UN has been warning the world of the dire consequences of drought in the Horn of Africa country, where nearly three million are at [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 16 March 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: Torture, rape and unlawful killings "have become the norm" in South Sudan, a UN human rights body reports And … How health care has also become a casualty of the Syrian conflict

16 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Half the population in CAR in "dire need of humanitarian aid": UN

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Half the population of the Central African Republic (CAR) is in dire need of humanitarian assistance, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said. A recent upsurge in violence and the spread of hot spots between September last year and the first quarter of 2017 has brought the number of displaced [...]

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

Women's economic empowerment a faster route to ending poverty: ITC

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At a time when women's rights are coming under fire in some parts of the world, it is important that the UN sends the message that women's economic empowerment matters. That's the opinion of the head of the International Trade Centre (ITC), which helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries to access global [...]

16 Mar 2017 | Posted in 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 16 March 2017 (AM)

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Families fleeing West Mosul in Iraq get frontline emergency aid from UN In an effort to assist Iraqi families fleeing western Mosul, the UN is providing frontline emergency interventions in the camps for internally displaced persons. Iraqi forces and their allies are fighting to liberate the area from the extremist group ISIL, also known as [...]

16 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Torture, rape "have become the norm" in South Sudan

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Torture, rape, unlawful killings, arrests and detentions "have become the norm" in South Sudan, as the human rights situation continues to deteriorate. That's the stark conclusion of a report by the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday. The world's youngest country has been [...]

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

Health care a casualty of the Syrian conflict: WHO

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Accessing health care is a challenge for most people in Syria, where six years of conflict have left more than half of all public hospitals and primary health centres closed or only partially functioning. That information comes from the World Health Organization (WHO) which adds that nearly two-thirds of health workers have fled the country. [...]

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

Stronger need than ever, to "stay true" to UN ideals: Angelina Jolie

Listen / Angelina Jolie. Screen grab from UN Web TV.

There's a stronger need than ever before to "stay true" to the ideals of the UN, the actor and Special Envoy Angelina Jolie said on Wednesday. Speaking in Geneva, the Hollywood star and UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) envoy delivered a speech honouring the former head of the UN Mission in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, [...]

15 Mar 2017 | Posted in Celebrity Partners, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 15 March 2017 (PM)

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

Peace in Syria is a "moral and political imperative": UN chief The UN Secretary-General has issued two "urgent" appeals to all parties involved in Syria's civil war, as it enters its seventh year this week. In a statement released on Wednesday, António Guterres said that Syrian civilians were "victims of one of the worst conflicts [...]

15 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Musicians' stories shine a unique light on Mali conflict

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Making a documentary about the conflict in Mali was inherently risky, but those risks "were nothing" compared to those facing the people of Mali since 2012, a filmmaker has said. Johanna Schwartz is the director of the documentary "They Will Have to Kill Us First"; a film about musicians in Mali after Islamist groups took [...]

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

Security Council debates stamping out human trafficking

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Better data and funding will be critical in the global fight to stamp out human trafficking, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday. Ambassadors were discussing ways to disrupt the networks that profit from crimes such as forced labour, which the UN says brings in US$150 billion each year alone. Dianne Penn [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 15 March 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: Security Council debates ways to stamp out human trafficking And … An Oscar-winning actress supports UN efforts to close the gender wage gap

15 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 15 March 2017 (AM)

Listen / HealthCare-Syria-15MAR17-350-300

More than half of Syria's hospitals closed or "partially functioning" After six years of brutal civil war less than half of Syria's hospitals are still working normally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday. The majority have been forced to close or are only partially functioning, said  WHO, and two-thirds of all healthcare [...]

15 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Actress Patricia Arquette joins UN fight to close gender pay gap

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Activists, celebrities and governments are joining the UN to combat what they describe as the "great robbery" of pay inequality On global average, women workers earn 23 per cent less than their male counterparts doing the same job, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates it will take 70 years to close this gender wage [...]

15 Mar 2017 | Posted in 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Celebrity Partners, Today's Features | Read More »

Drought a bigger problem than hurricanes for Caribbean farmers

Listen / Donovan Stanberry of Jamaica's Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries. Photo: UN News/M. Wells.

Drought is a bigger, more "insidious" problem for vulnerable farmers in Jamaica and the Caribbean than the more headline-grabbing disasters such as hurricanes. That's the firm view of Jamaica's top civil servant at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry, speaking at a recent UN conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in Canada. Despite [...]

15 Mar 2017 | Posted in Caribbean News, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 14 March 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matthew Wells and Daniel Johnson. In today's programme: an award-winning entrepreneur urges women to make use of tech to benefit their own communities; and we”ll hear why the private sector has a key role to play in reducing disaster risks worldwide.  

14 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN launches "Equal Pay Platform of Champions" to accelerate efforts

Listen / Oscar Award-winning American actress Patricia Arquette speaking at the launch of the Equal Pay Platform of Champions at the UN General Assembly in New York. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Award-winning American actress Patricia Arquette and soccer superstar Amy Wambach have joined the UN and a diverse group of gender equality advocates to launch an "Equal Pay Platform of Champions.” The announcement was made at an event organized by UN Women and the International Labour Organization (ILO), on the margins of the 61st Session of [...]

14 Mar 2017 | Posted in 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 14 March 2017

Listen / 20160719_OHCHR_RavinaShamdasani_DJohnson_350300

  Conflict in Libya's east linked to executions, hostage-taking Serious rights violations in Libya have been reported since the recent outbreak of fighting in the oil-rich east. The country has been dogged by violence since the overthrow of former President Muammar Gadaffi in 2011. In the latest escalation, conflict erupted on 3 March when the [...]

14 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Zeid: Syria has become a torture chamber

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The seven-year war in Syria has turned the country into a torture chamber. That's the grim message from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. He was speaking at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, where he said that there are "very probably" tens of thousands of people still being held inside [...]

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

Reality “catching up” with short-term thinking on development: UNDP

Listen / Matilde Mordt, senior UN Development Programme official for Latin America and the Caribbean. Photo: UN News/Matthew Wells

When it comes to the whole "action agenda" on sustainable development, "reality is catching up" with governments which fail to think long-term. That's according to a senior UN Development Programme (UNDP) official for Latin America and the Caribbean, Matilde Mordt. The UNDP Sustainable Development team leader was speaking at the recent Platform for Disaster Risk [...]

14 Mar 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Private sector "key role" in reducing disaster risk "collectively"

Listen / Canada-CraigStewart-13MAR17-350-300

The private sector has a key role in reducing disaster risk as part of a "collective" process involving all parts of society. That's the view of Craig Stewart, Vice President with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, speaking at the recent Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas. His organization represents 90 per [...]

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

"No stone should be left unturned" in Myanmar violence probe: UN expert

Listen / Yanghee Lee. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Calling for a "prompt, thorough, independent and impartial" investigation into the recent killings and other violations in Myanmar, a UN expert urged that "no stone be left unturned." 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 [...]

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

Hospital treats children affected by drought in Somalia

Listen / Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/Stuart Price.

Hunger-related illnesses have killed 47 children over the past two months at a government-run hospital in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. The UN has been warning the world of the dire consequences of drought in the Horn of Africa country, where nearly three million are at risk of famine. UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently appealed [...]

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

News in Brief 13 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / 11-12-2014Opium_Poppy-350-300

UN anti-drug chief details efforts made to rein in narcotics The latest efforts of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to counter the world's illegal drug problem have been outlined by the agency's Executive-Director. Yuri Fedetov spoke at the opening of the 60th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs or CND, in [...]

13 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 13 March 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: Women and the changing world of work is the focus of the latest session of a UN commission looking at gender equality; And … The Security Council hears why Afghanistan remains difficult place to [...]

13 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

#CSW61 focuses on women in the changing world of work

Listen / Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Gender inequality in the workplace could cost the world an estimated US$12 trillion in global growth over the next decade, according to a 2015 study. UN Secretary-General António Guterres quoted the staggering figure in his first address to the Commission on the Status of Women which opened in the UN General Assembly Hall on Monday. CSW, [...]

13 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features, Women | Read More »

News in Brief 13 March 2017 (AM)

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Suffering of Syria children "hit rock bottom" in 2016, UNICEF says The suffering of children in war-torn Syria "hit rock bottom" in 2016, a report by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has found. According to the agency, at least 652 children were killed last year; a 20 per cent increase compared to 2015. Almost half [...]

13 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Women's equality can add US$ 12 trillion to global growth: UN chief

Listen / CSW-13MAR17-350-300

Equality for women can add US$ 12 trillion to global growth in the next decade, the UN Secretary-General said on Monday quoting a recent study on the topic. António Guterres made the remarks at the opening of the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on Monday. The Commission is one [...]

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

UN Secretary-General condemns twin bomb attacks in Syria

Listen / Street in Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNHCR/J. Wreford

Twin bombings in Syria's capital, Damascus, have been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. More than 40 people were killed and scores others injured in the attacks, which occurred on Saturday. Most of those killed were pilgrims who were travelling by bus to a holy site at a cemetery, according to news reports. Dianne Penn reports. [...]

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

More than bright ideas behind new African development exhibition

Listen / Lumières d'Afriques exhibition. Paa Joe, Electric Bulb. Photo: UN News/Daniel Johnson

An original and personal vision of what development means to Africa has been unveiled in a new exhibition at the UN in Geneva. With artwork from all 54 countries on the continent, organizers of the Light of Africa show claim it's the first time such a feat has been achieved. Curator Jean-Michel Champault, from UN [...]

11 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Global action can avert famine threat, UN relief chief tells Security Council

Listen / Stephen O'Brien, speaks to a woman at the Dayniile IDP camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, on March 6, 2017, about the various challenges facing the community as a result of a drought in the country. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Without major international action, 20 million people in four countries are at risk of starving to death, the UN's top humanitarian official told the Security Council on Friday. Stephen O'Brien was briefing ambassadors on the situation in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria, which either are facing famine or on the brink of it. [...]

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

Better data can help fight hunger, advance development: FAO

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Better data can help in the fight against hunger and bring about sustainable development, the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Chief Statistician, Pietro Gennari, said on the margins of a meeting organized by the UN Statistical Commission (UNSD). The UNSD sets international standards for statistics in order for countries to share data and compare experiences. [...]

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

News in Brief 10 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Newly displaced people from Mokha in Yemen's governorate of Taiz receive UNHCR assistance in Bayt al Faqih, in neighbouring Hudaydah governorate. Photo: UNHCR/Shabia Mantoo

  UNHCR assisting thousands of newly displaced in Yemen Renewed fighting across western and central Yemen has uprooted more than 62,000 people in recent weeks, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has reported. The majority of the people have fled Taizz governorate on Yemen's western coast. Most of them are in dire need of assistance and [...]

10 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Afghanistan remains difficult place to be a woman: UN special envoy

Listen / Women in Afghanistan. Photo: UNAMA/Sayed Mohammad Shah

Afghanistan remains one of the most difficult places in the world to be a woman, although the country has taken steps to advance women's rights. That's what the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the country, Tadimichi Yamamoto, told members of the Security Council on Friday. The Government recently launched a plan that recognises [...]

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

WHO Zika update reveals more "at-risk" countries

Listen / Mosquito prevention and control in Salto, Uruguay. Photo: PAHO

Dozens more countries have been added to the list of those at risk from Zika, the virus that's been linked to birth defects and neurological complications. The new World Health Organization (WHO) data includes countries where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is present, but where there is no sign of the virus. The insect is considered [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 10 March 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 people of Burundi are living in fear because of widespread repression, a UN Special Adviser warns the Security Council; and the Americas region adopts a "historic" regional action plan to reduce disaster risk [...]

10 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Violence still displacing Colombians despite peace deal: UNHCR

Listen / A passenger truck travels on the road between Riohacha and Uribia on La Guajira peninsula, Colombia, the territory home to the indigenous Wayuu people. UN Photo/Gill Fickling

Violence continues to displace thousands of people in Colombia despite the signing of a peace agreement last year, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported on Friday. UNHCR said fighting by armed groups battling for territorial control has uprooted more than 3,000 people in the country's Pacific Coast region. Dianne Penn reports. The Colombian Government and [...]

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

Commission for Darfur peace accord concludes latest meeting

Listen / A section of the Kalma camp for internally displaced people (IDP), near Nyala, in South Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran

A commission that reviews implementation of a peace agreement for Darfur wrapped up its latest meeting in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, this week. Members of the Implementation Follow-up Commission (IFC) of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) discussed progress and challenges experienced since they last met in May 2016. Darfur has been on the [...]

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

News in Brief 10 March 2017 (AM) – Geneva

Listen / Residents of Silvan, a city in Diyarbakir Province, southeastern Turkey, walk past their bullet-riddled homes. Photo: IRIN/Jodi Hilton

  Mass destruction and killings linked to Turkey security operation Details have been released of widespread destruction and death in Turkey during Government security operations against Kurdish separatists. In its first report on violence in Turkey, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Friday that heavy weaponry destroyed housing in the south-east between July [...]

10 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Inseparable" man and dog rescue team are UN conference celebrities

Listen / Kit Huffer and Baillie. UN News/Matthew Wells

The "inseparable" rescue team of Kit Huffer and his canine companion Baillie, have become the conference celebrity couple everyone wants to meet in Montreal this week. The Canadian search-and-rescue duo have been attending the UNISDR-organized Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, which ended on Thursday with agreement over a historic Regional [...]

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

Americas region adopts "historic" Montreal Declaration on reducing disaster risk

Listen / Thousands of buildings including this one in Portoviejo, Ecuador, were destroyed in the April 2016 earthquake. Photo: UNDAC/Manabí

Around 50 countries and territories of the Americas agreed a Regional Action Plan on Thursday to better protect their citizens from the destruction caused by natural and man-made disasters. The plan, which is the centerpiece of the Montreal Declaration outcome document, marks the end of three days of deliberation and discussion by close to 1,000 [...]

9 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 9 March 2017 (PM)

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Deadly attack on wedding party "ugly crime": UN Iraq mission chief A terrorist attack in Iraq which targeted a wedding party has been condemned by the senior UN official in the country as "an ugly crime against the innocent." Dozens of people were killed or injured when two suicide bombers used explosive belts to blow themselves [...]

9 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

“We need more innovation”: disability advocate

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Technological innovation can help break down the barriers to success people with disabilities can face in the workplace, a disability activist says. Casar Jacobson is an entrepreneur and disability activist, and a former Miss Canada. She was at UN Headquarters for a panel discussion celebrating International Women's Day, marked on March 8. She spoke to [...]

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

"Burundians live in fear," UN Special Adviser tells Security Council

Listen / At Ndutu refugee camp in Tanzania, Abdul Yamuremye in his tent with his wife Hadija Umugure and their family fled violence in Burundi after their house had been attacked killing Abdul's two brothers, a friend who stayed with them and her three children. Photo: UNHCR/Benjamin Loyseau

Many Burundians live in fear because of "widespread repression and increasing intimidation by the ruling party's youth militia, the Imbonerakure", the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Conflict Prevention told the Security Council on Thursday. Members of the opposition political parties as well as perceived opponents, such as human rights defenders, continue to be [...]

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

Victims' rights top new strategy to combat sexual abuse by UN personnel

Listen / Nancee Bright, office of the Secretary-General's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.  UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Victims are at the centre of a new UN strategy to combat sexual abuse committed by personnel serving with the global organization. It was announced in a report by UN Secretary-General António Guterres published on Thursday. Senior UN officials outlined some of the main points to journalists in New York. Dianne Penn reports. Last year, [...]

9 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 09 March 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: The UN Human Rights chief calls for a probe on allegations of human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); And … a "sustainable entrepreneur" says un-politicized data can help people [...]

9 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Secretary-General outlines new strategy to address sexual abuse by UN personnel

Listen / Headquarters press briefing on new UN approach for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (left to right) Nancee Bright, office of the Secretary-General's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict; Lisa Buttenheim, Assistant Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support; Maria Luiza Viotti, Chef de Cabinet; and Christian

The United Nations has unveiled a new strategy to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse committed by those serving under its flag. The proposals come in a report issued by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday. The UN chief has also recorded a video message outlining the approach. Dianne Penn reports. The report [...]

9 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Syria crisis will only worsen unless drastic measures taken: UNHCR

Listen / A boy cycles past the rubble of a destroyed house in Qara, where fighting erupted in 2014, dragging the town into the brutal Syrian conflict. Photo: UNHCR/Qusai Alazroni

With the Syrian conflict entering its seventh year, the international community is being urged to redouble support to ease the suffering of millions in the country and across the region. The appeal was made by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which released a statement on Thursday reminding the world of what it called "another tragic [...]

9 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 9 March 2017 (AM)

Listen / Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi

Security Council condemns terrorist attack on Afghan military hospital A terrorist attack on a military hospital in Afghanistan on Wednesday has been condemned in the strongest terms by the UN Security Council. Affiliates of the extremist group ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack in which more than 120 people were killed or injured. The Security [...]

9 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Don't politicize data," sustainable entrepreneur urges

Listen / Julie Moffitt. Photo: UN News/Lucy Dean

Eco-friendly innovators need to use clear and un-politicized data to "let people understand" the environmental impact of their actions. That's according to Julie Moffitt, cofounder of ForeLight Inc., a biomanufacturer of naturally derived replacements for colours and dyes used in the cosmetic, food and animal feed industries. Ms Moffitt was at UN Headquarters as a [...]

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

Teachers shouldn't be responsible for disaster planning too: UNESCO

Listen / Jair Torres.  Photo: UN News/Matthew Wells

Schoolteachers have enough on their plate in the classroom, without being expected to be disaster risk managers too. That's the view of Jair Torres, a disaster risk reduction specialist with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He said governments and NGOs need to offer them support in the form of expertise, as part [...]

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

"Silent disasters" that destroy crops, too often ignored: FAO

Listen / Anna Ricoy.  Photo: UN News/Matthew Wells

When it comes to preserving crops and agricultural livelihoods, "silent disasters" often go un-reported and can be more numerous and more destructive than hurricanes or floods. That's the view of Anna Ricoy, a South American-based officer specializing in disaster risk, with the Food and Agriculture Organization. She was speaking after a High Level side event [...]

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

News in Brief 8 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / A wide view of the Human Rights Council. UN Photo/Elma Okic

UN expert urges respect for right to privacy in the Internet age Governments are being urged to respect people's privacy as "a truly universal right" in the digital age. The call has been made by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, Joseph Cannataci, who presented his latest report to the Human Rights [...]

8 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa Special: Somalia

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres arrives in Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/ Laura Gelbert

UN humanitarian chief meets Somalis displaced by drought A severe drought is affecting Somalia where more than six million people, or roughly half the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance. UN Humanitarian Coordinator chief Stephen O'Brien arrived in the country on Monday to assess the impact. Laura Gelbert accompanied the relief chief on his [...]

8 Mar 2017 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

“Young” democracies doing better at women's representation: IPU

Listen / Female politicians at a meeting of women lawmakers from Arab States and members of the European Parliament in November 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: UN Women/Emad Karim (file)

Young democracies are doing better at enhancing women's representation in parliament than the established democracies of Europe, Martin Chungong, the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), has said. IPU released its flagship report, "Women in Parliament in 2016: The year in review," ahead of International Women's Day on 8 March, calling for renewed momentum [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 08 March 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Dianne Penn. Happy International Women's Day to all! In today's programme: UN Women is putting the spotlight on workplace equality; and you'll hear from a digital entrepreneur who is pushing for equality online.  

8 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Global Perspective: focus on Disaster Risk Reduction, pollution and Women’s Day

Listen / On 24 October 2016 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, children pass in front of a flame fed by waste and rubber materials in order to make Kanda, a type of smoked meat, at an abattoir. Photo: UNICEF/Tanya Bindra (file)

Progress on reducing disaster risk "but not nearly enough": UNISDR chief There's been "enormous progress" in reducing the risks associated with disasters throughout the world "but not nearly enough". That's the passionate view of Robert Glasser, UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, and head of the UN agency dedicated to the issue, UNISDR. He [...]

8 Mar 2017 | Posted in UN Global Perspective | Read More »

Empowering rural women is crucial in fight against hunger: FAO

Listen / Thoeun harvests corn from her farm in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. Photo: Chhor Sokunthea/World Bank (file)

Women in rural areas can play an important role in fighting hunger and malnutrition and poverty, a senior official with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said. Brave Disale, Director of FAO's Social Policies and Rural Institutions Division, has been speaking to Muriel Sarr ahead of International Women's Day. In developing countries, women make [...]

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

UN mission in Afghanistan condemns "morally reprehensible" attack on hospital

Listen / Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi

A deadly attack on a military hospital in Afghanistan on Wednesday has been condemned by the UN mission in the country, UNAMA. The attack on the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital in the capital, Kabul, was carried out by assailants, some of whom reportedly were disguised as medical doctors. They detonated a vehicle at the [...]

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

Greater women's participation in society bolsters development: UN chief

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres meeting with youth leaders and women political aspirants in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: UN Habitat/Julius Mwelu

The UN Secretary-General has appealed for greater women's participation in all aspects of society. António Guterres was speaking in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, on Wednesday, International Women's Day, alongside the country's President, Uhuru Kenyatta. Dianne Penn reports. Mr Guterres, a former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, reflected on his time in that post. He said he [...]

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

UN Gender Focus Special: International Women’s Day

Listen / Phumzile-Mlambo-Ngcuka-IWD-08MAR17-350-300

This week we're bringing you a special programme to celebrate International Women's Day, marked annually on the 8th of March. This year, the UN's gender entity, UN Women, is putting the focus on work issues, including unpaid care and domestic work, and their impact on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 SDGs aim to transform [...]

8 Mar 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN human rights chief calls for probe on DRC abuses

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Allegations of grave human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) should face a high-level international probe, the UN Human Rights chief said on Wednesday. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's announcement at the Human Rights Council in Geneva follows the discovery of new mass graves there. Elsewhere in Africa, Zeid condemned horrific violence [...]

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

News in Brief 8 March 2017 (AM)

Listen / The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution, condemning in the strongest terms the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 9 September 2016, and strengthening the sanctions regime imposed on that country. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

  Security Council condemns latest DPRK missile launch The UN Security Council has strongly condemned the latest ballistic missile launches by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The country reportedly fired four ballistic missiles on Monday, a violation of successive Council resolutions. The 15 ambassadors have issued a statement saying such activities increase tension [...]

8 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Indigenous "specialized knowledge" aids disaster response: Arctic mayor

Listen / Madeleine Redfern. Photo: UN News/Matthew Wells

The "specialized traditional ecological knowledge" of indigenous communities is important to effective disaster response, according to one mayor from the eastern Arctic, speaking at a UN regional conference on the issue. Madeleine Redfern is the mayor of Iqaluit, a city of 8,000 residents in the newest and most northern territory of Canada, Nunavut. She's one [...]

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

Digital entrepreneur pushes for equality online

Listen / 20170308_IWD_ITC_XeniaTchoumi-350300

The internet could provide an "easy, accessible and cheap" way for millions of women to make a living and promote equality, one influential digital entrepreneur believes. Xenia Tchoumi promotes fashion online to more than seven million people; she says that if more women had access online, the impact could be "massive". For International Women's Day, [...]

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

UN Women: Workplace equality focus of International Women's Day

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Although technological advances and globalization are providing unprecedented opportunities in the workplace, women on average still earn around a quarter less than men, for the same job. That's according to the UN's gender entity, UN Women, which is collaborating with companies across the globe to tackle workplace inequality. On International Women's Day, observed annually on [...]

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

Progress on reducing disaster risk "but not nearly enough"

Listen / Robert Glasser (right) speaking to Matthew Wells. Photo: UNISDR

There's been "enormous progress" in reducing the risks associated with disasters throughout the world "but not nearly enough". That's the passionate view of Robert Glasser, UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, and head of the UN agency dedicated to the issue, UNISDR. He was speaking on the opening day of the Fifth Regional Platform [...]

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

UN chief visits camp for people displaced by severe drought in Somalia

Listen / Women displaced by drought waiting to meet Secretary-General António Guterres during his visit to Baidoa, Somalia, where the focus was on famine and cholera. Photo: UN News/Laura Gelbert

A severe drought is currently placing Somalia on the brink of famine but "there is a chance to avoid the worse" the UN Secretary-General has warned. Antonio Guterres visited the African country on Tuesday in an effort to shed light on the crisis in the country and to ask the global community to support the [...]

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

News in Brief 7 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / This three-year-old boy arrived just two days ago at one of UNHCR's camps for displaced families fleeing conflict in West Mosul. Photo: UNHCR/Caroline Gluck

  UNHCR building more camps to accommodate Mosul displaced More than 195,000 people who have fled the Iraqi city of Mosul are sheltering in 21 camps built by the United Nations and the Government. That information comes from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which this week opened its latest camp to manage the spike in [...]

7 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

The world can avoid a tragedy in Somalia, UN chief urges

Listen / Pictuted, internally displaced peoples in Baidoa, Somalia.Photo: OCHA/ Cecilia Attefors (file)

The world can avoid a tragedy in Somalia like the one that happened in 2011, the UN Secretary-General urged on Tuesday, in reference to a famine that was concentrated in the south-central part of the country at the time. Briefing the press in Baidoa, in south-central Somalia, António Guterres appealed for US $ 825 million [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 07 March 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 world can avoid a tragedy in Somalia, the UN chief urges; and girls in Afghanistan are making their voices heard by becoming journalists.

7 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Hungary's decision to detain all asylum-seekers violates international law: UNHCR

Listen / Pakistani migrants in Kos, Greece, showing a map he received with information about the closure of Hungary border and suggesting to go through Croatia instead. Photo credit:  IOM

A new law in Hungary that allows all asylum-seekers to be detained at the border will have a terrible impact on people who have already suffered immensely, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned. The Hungarian Parliament passed the law on Tuesday and it is due to come into effect next week. Dianne Penn reports. [...]

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

Disasters in Americas show challenge of meeting Sendai risk reduction targets

Listen / A man walks through rubble of collapsed buildings in downtown Port au Prince, Haiti, which was rocked by a massive earthquake, on Tuesday 12 January 2010, devastating the city and leaving thousands dead. Photo: MINUSTAH/Marco Dormino (file)

Disasters in the Americas over the past year such as Hurricane Matthew, show the challenge the world faces meeting the risk reduction targets established by the UN's Sendai Framework. That's according to Robert Glasser, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), addressing the opening of the Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk [...]

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

News in Brief 7 March 2017 (AM) – Geneva

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Somalia: action needed urgently to avoid famine, says OCHA Action is needed urgently to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Somalia, where drought has left more than six million people in need of help. The appeal comes from UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who's been visiting the country. OCHA, the UN's agency that coordinates humanitarian aid, says [...]

7 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Women will be the “recipients” of climate crisis implications: WHO

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Unless public health systems improve, women will continue to suffer disproportionately from changes in the climate. That's because women often undertake caring roles within their communities with little external support, Dr Nata Menabde, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) New York office, told Lucy Dean. In times of climate related crises, the physical [...]

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

Kenyan firm wins ITC business investment challenge

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A digital entrepreneur from Kenya is urging young women in the tech industry to find creative solutions to problems in their own communities. Hellen Odegi is with Nairobi-based Skylon Global Company, winner of a business investment challenge launched by the International Trade Centre (ITC). The joint agency of the UN and the World Trade Organization [...]

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

UN chief appeals for international support to address Somalia drought

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres arrives in Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/ Laura Gelbert

The UN Secretary-General is urging the international community to support Somalia which is in the grip of a severe drought. António Guterres arrived in the country on Tuesday, where nearly half of the population requires humanitarian assistance. Dianne Penn reports. The UN chief said there is a chance to avoid the worst in Somalia. And [...]

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

“Many girls” want to “raise their voice”: Afghan radio journalist

Listen / Meena Mostayed, head of Radio Sana. Photo: UNAMA/Torpekai Amarkhel

Working as a female journalist in Afghanistan "is not easy" because it's not safe, but many girls still decide to do it. That's what Sadaf Ahamdi, a member of the Afghan Women Journalists Union told Shamsuddin Hamedi of the UN Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA. Ms Ahamdi was speaking with Mr Hamedi to mark International Women's [...]

7 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's Features, Women | Read More »

UN humanitarian chief meets Somalis displaced by drought

Listen / A group of women in Mogadishu, Somalia, after leaving Toro-Toro, 100 kilometres away, because of a lack of water and food. Photo: OCHA

A severe drought is affecting Somalia where more than six million people, or roughly half the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance. UN Humanitarian Coordinator chief Stephen O'Brien arrived in the country on Monday to assess the impact. Laura Gelbert accompanied the relief chief on his visit to a site for displaced people known [...]

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

UN Security Council concludes visit to Lake Chad Basin region

Listen / Residents of Teachers Village IDP Camp, Maiduguri, Nigeria, during a visit by a delegation of UN Security Council ambassadors. Built to educate children, thousands now call it home. Photo: UK/UN Mission

Jobs, education and other long-term solutions are required in order to resolve the multiple crises affecting Nigeria, the head of a UN Security Council delegation said on Monday. United Kingdom Ambassador Matthew Rycroft was speaking in the country's capital, Abuja: the final stop on the Council's visit to four countries in the Lake Chad Basin [...]

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

UN 'working overtime' to avert another famine in Somalia

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The United Nations is "working overtime" to avert another disaster in Somalia like the one that claimed 260,000 lives six years ago. That's what Joseph Contreras, the Spokesperson for the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), said following media reports that 110 people starved to death in a single region in the southwest of the [...]

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

News in Brief 6 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Stephen O'Brien (right), visits a water point in the Dayniile IDP camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, on March 6, 2017. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

  UN relief chief in Somalia to assess drought impact The UN Humanitarian Coordinator has called for stepped up efforts to enable aid workers to access drought-stricken areas of Somalia. Stephen O'Brien arrived in the country on Monday to assess the impact of the severe drought that has left the country on the brink of [...]

6 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Exploring space together can help promote world peace: UN official

Listen / Simonetta Di Pippo, UN Photo/ Runa A

Collaborating on space ventures such as exploring the solar system and galaxy can help promote peace and prosperity on Earth, according to the Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Simonetta Di Pippo told Elena Vapnitchnaia that the UN and its Member States could build a platform for what she called [...]

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

UN nuclear energy chief “seriously concerned” about DPRK

Listen / IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (left) arrives for the 1453rd Board of Governors Meeting. IAEA, Vienna, Austria, 6 March 2017. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma  (26836)

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has once again been urged to fully comply with UN Security Council resolutions. The appeal was made by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), speaking in Vienna on Monday. The IAEA is the UN agency which promotes scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field. [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 06 March 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: stop polluting the future, the World Health Organization urges; and a regional action plan for the Americas to reduce the risks posed by disasters will be top of the agenda in the Canadian city of Montreal [...]

6 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Unhealthy environment blamed for 1.7 million child deaths a year

Listen / A polluted environment is a deadly one – particularly for young children. Photo: WHO/D. Licona  (26835)

Dirty air and water are behind more than one in four deaths among children under five years old, UN health experts said on Monday. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), many of the most common causes of death – such as diarrhoea and pneumonia – are preventable. Some 200,000 malaria-related deaths could also be [...]

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

News in Brief 6 March 2017 (AM)

Listen / Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti causing widespread damage in the western cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

  Haiti recovery plan needs strong support Countries are being urged to support a nearly US$3 billion plan to help Haiti recover from Hurricane Matthew, the deadly storm which hit the island nation last October. The appeal was made on Monday by the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction. Robert Glasser said the [...]

6 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Stop polluting the future, WHO urges

Listen / On 24 October 2016 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, children pass in front of a flame fed by waste and rubber materials in order to make Kanda, a type of smoked meat, at an abattoir. Photo: UNICEF/Tanya Bindra (file)

If you smoke, burn fossil fuels like coal or drive a vehicle, chances are, you're polluting the air and harming the health of those around you, the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning. Every year, according to the agency, 1.7 million children die from indoor and outdoor pollution because their developing organs and small bodies [...]

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

Disaster Risk Reduction plan takes centre stage in Montreal

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A regional action plan for the Americas to reduce the risks posed by disaster will be at the top of the agenda in the Canadian city of Montreal this week, when a UN-led conference gets underway. What's officially known as the Fifth Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas begins on Tuesday, with [...]

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

UN Security Council in Niger to witness 'scale of humanitarian crisis'

Listen / Security Council representatives speak to journalists during the Council's first ever visit to Niger. Photo: Amadou Djibo/UNDP

Members of the UN Security Council are in Niger to witness the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the country and to help find long-term solutions, the head of the delegation said. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, the president of the Council for the month of March, made the remarks during a briefing to the press in [...]

5 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan 'rapidly escalating': UN relief chief

Listen / In South Sudan, a mother kisses her baby, who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition with complications, including tuberculosis. Photo: UNICEF/Sebastian Rich

The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is rapidly escalating, and hunger and malnutrition have reached new disturbing levels, the UN relief chief has warned. Stephen O'Brien made the remarks after concluding a two-day visit to Africa's newest nation. He called for "immediate and unhindered access" to people in need of aid as well as funding [...]

5 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Security Council ‘shines spotlight’ on Lake Chad Basin

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Members of the UN Security Council are visiting the Lake Chad Basin to "shine a spotlight" on the ongoing humanitarian challenges in the region, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN has said. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft made the remarks in Chad, one of the four West African countries affected by the security [...]

4 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Syria talks end with intention to hold fresh round

Listen / Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Violaine Martin (file)

The fourth round of the Intra-Syrian talks has ended in Geneva where "a clear agenda" and "common ground" have been found on the future of the war-torn country. That's the message from UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura, after nearly 10 days of meetings in the Swiss city. The Special Envoy also told journalists that he [...]

3 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 3 March 2017 (PM)

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

US$24 million appeal launched for Somalia by Migration Agency The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a US$24.6 million appeal to help more than one million Somalis suffering the effects of drought. Humanitarian agencies are reporting worrying similarities between the current food crisis and the 2011 famine in Somalia, in which more than a [...]

3 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Development expert: SDGs cannot succeed without collaboration

Listen / Ishbel Matheson. © photothek/Ina Fassbender

The UN sustainable development agenda cannot succeed without collaboration, a British development expert attending a global conference in Germany said on Friday. Ishbel Matheson, the Director of Communications for the Overseas Development Institute was speaking to Cristina Silveiro on day three of the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development, taking place in Bonn. Young [...]

3 Mar 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Tech experts, gamers use skills to achieve UN development targets

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Hands-free gardening for a greener future, using video games to achieve the UN global development goals – these are just some of the ideas that are being shared at a conference in the German city of Bonn. The first-ever Global Festival of Ideas on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) wrapped up on Friday, after three [...]

3 Mar 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 03 March 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Matthew Wells. In today's programme: Preventing hearing loss is easier than treating it, health experts advise; And… Tech experts, gamers are using their skills to achieve the UN development targets;  

3 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Indigenous often “overlooked” in conservation effort: FAO

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Indigenous peoples have a "key role" in wildlife conservation because of their "deep understanding" of the native ecology. That's according to Sheila Wertz, a senior officer with the Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) Forestry Division. She spoke with Sandra Ferrari about FAO's latest quarterly forestry report which was released to coincide with World Wildlife Day, [...]

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

"Speak out and stand up for the world's wildlife" urges UN deputy chief

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Young people throughout the world should "speak out and stand up for the world's wildlife" according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General, and everyone needs to heed their call. Amina Mohammed was speaking at a high-level event at UN Headquarters in New York, to mark World Wildlife Day, celebrated each 3 March. The discussion focussed on [...]

3 Mar 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 3 March 2017 (AM) – Geneva

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Sri Lanka's slow progress on justice for past crimes "risks derailing peace" A lack of progress in bringing to justice those responsible for gross human rights crimes in Sri Lanka risks derailing a lasting peace there. The UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR, issued the warning on Friday, saying that police abuse and torture are still [...]

3 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Preventing hearing loss “infinitely easier” than treating it: WHO

Listen / 02-28-2014Ear_Care 350

Over five per cent of the world's population is living with hearing loss, but preventing the condition is "infinitely easier" than treating it. That's according to Dr Shelly Chadha, an expert on hearing loss and deafness prevention from the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr Chadha added that over one billion adolescents and young people are [...]

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

News in Brief 2 March 2017 (PM)

Listen / Children in Aden, Yemen. Photo: WFP Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).

Seven million Yemenis "don't know where they will find their next meal" Around seven million Yeminis "do not know where they will find their next meal," according to the UN relief chief Stephen O'Brien, speaking on Thursday at the end of a fact-finding mission to the country. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator said that with nearly [...]

2 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa Special: Human rights issues in South Sudan, DRC and Somalia

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

"Pattern of excessive use of force" against dissenting voices in DRC There has been a pattern of excessive use of force in the repression of dissenting voices across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a senior UN official in the country has warned. Jose Maria Aranaz, the Director of the UN Joint Human Rights Office [...]

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

UN Gender Focus: UN deputy chief, UN Women forum and Indigenous women

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

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

UN Daily News Programme 02 March 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Matthew Wells.

2 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Climate change affects children most, rights experts warn

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Climate change poses "an existential threat" to children, the UN Human Rights Council has heard. At a discussion in Geneva, Member States and rights experts warned that climate change jeopardized youngster's access to food and water, as well as to health and education. Solutions should involve low-emission projects to promote sustainable development, the Council heard. [...]

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

UN Global Perspective: focus on trafficking, HIV/AIDS and SDGs

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Children bound for Europe "sell their bodies – their only currency" 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 [...]

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

Young people "best allies" in promoting sustainable agenda: UN official

Listen / Christina Gallach, head of UN Communications and Public Information.  © photothek/Inga Kjer.

The United Nations' best allies in promoting the sustainable agenda are young people, a senior UN official attending a global conference in Bonn, Germany has said. Christina Gallach, the head of UN Communications and Public Information, made the remarks on day two of the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development. The meeting aims to [...]

2 Mar 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's News | Read More »

"Unprecedented" threat from famine in four countries: FAO

Listen / Young boys head home after fishing for a day in the swamps of Nyal, South Sudan. Photo: FAO/Lieke Visser

The threat of famine facing four countries simultaneously is "unprecedented," according to a senior official with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FAO Assistant Director-General Kostas Stamoulis said that the formal declaration of famine in parts of South Sudan, and threat facing northern Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, "demands swift action". Ana Carmo has more. Mr [...]

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

News in Brief 2 March 2017 (AM)

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Taliban attacks which killed 15 in Kabul condemned by Security Council Terrorist attacks which killed at least 15 people in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Wednesday, have been strongly condemned by the UN Security Council. In a statement, the Council described the two separate attacks claimed by Taliban extremists  as "heinous and cowardly." Dozens were [...]

2 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Boost policies to address drug abuse among women: UN body

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Governments are being urged to provide more funding to prevent and treat drug abuse among women. The appeal has been made by the International Narcotics Board (INCB) which is also calling for more gender-sensitive drug policies and programmes, as well as better access to health care for drug-dependent women. INCB has released its latest annual [...]

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

Kids who "stick out" get bullied but it's worse for LGBTI: UN expert

Listen / New campaign calls on parents, teachers and governments to keep LGBTI kids safe from bullying. Photo: United Nations Free & Equal

Any kid who "sticks out" and is different gets bullied, but it's worse for those who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI), a UN human rights expert has warned. Charles Radcliffe, Chief of Equality and Non Discrimination at the United Nations Human Rights Office in New York, says that children are not born [...]

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

Housing "has lost its currency as a human right"

Listen / 20170302_HRC_SR_LeilaniFarha_02-DJ350300

Urbanization and financial speculation have created an unsustainable global housing crisis. That's the message from leading UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Leilani Farha, who blames the world's money markets for pricing people out of cities. Daniel Johnson has more. Everyone has a right to shelter and housing – it's written into [...]

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

UN expert on violence against women visits Australia

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Multiple forms of discrimination and exclusion are behind the "alarmingly high prevalence" of violence experienced by indigenous women in Australia, according to a UN human rights expert. Dubravka Šimonović said many of these women face sexism and racism, but they are also subjected to class-based discrimination due to their low socioeconomic status. The UN Special [...]

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

“We need to do everything now” to avert Yemen famine: UN relief chief

Listen / USG-O'Brien_Yemen_Hospital 350

Continuing conflict in Yemen has left millions without adequate access to food and water, and the international community needs to do everything it can “now” to fund a major relief effort. Stephen O'Brien, the UN emergency Relief Coordinator, said public services were under huge stress and in some cases, civil servants had gone six months [...]

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

News in Brief 1 March 2017 (PM)

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

  "Major milestone" as arms handover verification begins in Colombia In what's been described as a "major milestone", the UN Mission in Colombia began the official verification process of the laying down of arms by FARC rebels on Wednesday. It's another major step on the road to conclusively ending more than 50 years of armed [...]

1 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Pattern of excessive use of force" against dissenting voices in DRC

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

There has been a pattern of excessive use of force in the repression of dissenting voices across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a senior UN official in the country has warned. Jose Maria Aranaz, the Director of the UN Joint Human Rights Office of MONUSCO, the UN Mission in the DRC, made the remarks [...]

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

Trend against death penalty "increasingly strong" but concerns remain

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The global trend against the use of the death penalty "has become increasingly strong" but there's still much cause for concern. That's the view of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, speaking during the current session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Matthew Wells reports. The Human Rights chief made [...]

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

UN Daily News Programme 01 March 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Matthew Wells. In today's programme: UNAIDS says "make some noise" for #zerodiscrimination And…The world’s first “playable” policy conference kicks off in Bonn

1 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development kicks off in Bonn

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The first-ever conference that combines game playing and policy making got underway in the German city of Bonn this Wednesday. The Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development aims to promote new thinking for a better world. A live simulation game lies at the heart of the event, with participants collaborating on ways to achieve [...]

1 Mar 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Aerial attacks on Aleppo "were war crimes": UN probe

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The battle to control the city of Aleppo in Syria last year caused "unparalleled suffering" amounting to war crimes, UN rights investigators said on Wednesday. Based on nearly 300 testimonies, satellite imagery and other records, the UN Commission of Inquiry report details how Syrian and Russian war planes reduced eastern Aleppo to rubble. Armed opposition [...]

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

News in Brief 1 March 2017 (AM)

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Schools and clinics "severely devastated" by cyclone in Mozambique An emergency appeal has been launched to help around 550,000 people affected by the aftermath of Cyclone Dineo, which has caused "severe devastation" to areas of Mozambique, the UN team there said on Wednesday. The cyclone made landfall on 15 February, killing seven and injuring 101 [...]

1 Mar 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Somali human rights must not take back seat to security concerns

Listen / A street scene in Mogadishu, the Somali capital. Photo: AU-UN IST/Stuart Price (file photo)

Human rights must not end up being a "secondary consideration" as the new Somali government focusses on securing and stabilizing the country. That's what Kirsten Young, the Chief of Human Rights for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) told members of the Security Council in her brief on the situation in the country. [...]

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

UNAIDS says "make some noise" for #zerodiscrimination

Listen / This year, on 1 March, Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS is urging people to make some noise around zero discrimination, to speak up and prevent discrimination from standing in the way of achieving ambitions, goals and dreams. Image: Poster  #ZERODISCRIMINATION/UNAIDS

Discrimination in health care settings is forcing people with HIV and AIDS to "go underground," causing them to miss out on the essential medical services they need. That's according to the Joint United Nations programme on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS which says data from 50 countries shows that one in eight people with HIV reports [...]

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

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