News in Brief 06 April 2017 (AM)

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A girl takes a shot during a basketball training session in Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Sport a force for physical well-being and social empowerment: Bokova

Sport, a passion shared by women and men across the world, is a force for physical well-being and social empowerment, the head of UNESCO, the Director-General of the UN scientific and cultural agency has said.

Irina Bokova issued this message to mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

It's also a powerful platform for promoting shared values and an engine for equality, especially gender equality, she said.

Sport also promotes solidarity, respect, teamwork, responsibility, honesty, self-esteem and motivation, Ms Bokova added.

However, despite the positive benefits, 3.2 million deaths are attributed to physical inactivity every year.

To counter this, UNESCO has joined forces with the World Health Organization (WHO) to combat sedentary lifestyles.

Syria: at least 27 children killed in Idlib attack says UNICEF

At least 27 children have been confirmed killed in the attack in Idlib, north-west Syria, UNICEF said on Thursday.

A further 546 people, among them many children, have been injured. Casualty figures are expected to rise.

The suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held Khan Shaykhun area took place on Tuesday.

"The killing of children in Syria cannot be allowed to continue," said UNICEF Regional Director, Geert Cappelaere.

He called on all parties to the conflict and those with influence on them to "immediately put an end to this horror."

UNICEF and partners continue to support three mobile clinics and four hospitals in order to provide first aid treatment, and nine ambulances to refer and transport patients to hospitals in the area.

The agency is also delivering medical supplies and working with health partners to raise awareness about how best to respond to chemical attacks.

Investors in renewables get "more bang for their buck": UN Environment

Investors are getting "more bang for their buck" as record new renewable capacity is being added globally at lower cost, according to new research by UN Environment and its partners.

The UN-backed report, co-authored with Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, a so-called "think and do tank" and Bloomberg New Energy Finance , was published on Thursday.

Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and waste-to-energy are all sources of renewable energy.

These energy sources added 138.5 gigawatts to global power capacity in 2016, up 8 per cent from the year before.

Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuel generation.

The proportion of electricity coming from renewables, excluding hydro-power plants, rose from 10.3 per cent to 11.3 per cent.

This prevented the emission of an estimated 1.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide.

Recent figures from the International Energy Agency cited the switch to renewables as one of the main reasons for greenhouse gas emissions staying flat in 2016, for the third year running.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’55″

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