News in Brief 12 April 2017 (PM)

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Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

International Day of Human Space Flight celebrates international cooperation

The International Day of Human Space Flight, marked each 12 April, is an opportunity to celebrate how much humanity has achieved through cooperation.

That's the view of the official UN champion for Space, former astronaut Scott Kelly, in a video message on Wednesday.

The date marks the 56th anniversary of the first human space flight, which saw Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin head into orbit, in 1961.

Mr Kelly holds the record for the most number of consecutive days spent in space by an American astronaut, and during his so-called "year in space," he partnered with the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).

"The International Day of Human Space Flight is an opportunity for us to recognize how much humanity has achieved thanks to international cooperation in space and the benefits space technology and applications have brought us, for making our world a better place."

Migrants and refugees with disabilities must be priority in new global compact

Resources must be dedicated to persons with disabilities in the new global framework on refugees and migrants, said a UN expert on Wednesday.

Catalina Devandas Aguilar is the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

She said the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, due to be adopted by the UN in 2018, needed to dedicate "human and financial resources" to ensure persons with disabilities were not disadvantaged further.

The compact will enhance coordination on international migration.

Jose Brillantes, chair of the UN Committee on the Protection of the rights of All Migrant Workers, and members of Their Families, said that persons with disabilities should not be forgotten when it comes to protection rights on a global scale.

New senior appointments announced for top UN posts

The UN chief announced three senior appointments on Wednesday in areas of child protection, preventing sexual violence, and safeguarding the rights of developing countries.

The Secretary-General's new Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict is Virginia Gamba of Argentina, who is currently the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

For the position of Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, António Guterres has chosen Pramila Patten of Mauritius who has served since 2003 as a Member of The Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW.

And the new High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, is to be Fekitamoeloa Katoa 'Utoikamanu, of Tonga, who has led his country's Ministry of Tourism, since the beginning of this year.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’25″

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