News in Brief 24 May 2017 – (AM)

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MINUSMA peacekeepers patrol the streets of Kidal, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Sylvain Liechti

UN determined to bring peace to Mali despite attacks: UN chief

Attacks against peacekeepers in Mali will not weaken the UN's resolve to support the country in its quest for peace, the UN chief warned on Wednesday.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, António Guterres strongly condemned Wednesday's attack in Kidal that killed two Chadian soldiers serving with the UN Mission, MINUSMA.

He also wished a speedy and full recovery to a peacekeeper who was wounded.

Members of the Security Council also condemned the terrorist attack claimed by Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, a group whose name in English translates to "Support of Islam and Muslims".

They called on the Government of Mali to swiftly investigate the attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice, underlining that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.

UN launches programme to address "gender inequality of risk"

UN Women has launched a new flagship programme to address the disproportionate way women and girls are exposed to risk during and in the aftermath of disasters.

It was announced in Cancun, Mexico on the margins of the fifth Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

More women than men contracted the Ebola virus or died from it during the 2016 outbreak in West Africa, the agency says, because of their role as caregivers in their communities.

Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, women and girls are unduly affected during monsoon season because many of them cannot swim or are unable to leave their homes due to cultural barriers.

UN Women said women are the first responders when disaster strikes and they have a good knowledge of the land and environmental resources, but their skills are under-utilized.

According to the UN, 445 million people were affected last year by natural disasters.

Protecting cultural heritage, diversity can build peace in Middle East

People in the Middle East can overcome mistrust and division through dialogue if given the skills to do so.

That's what Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said on Thursday.

She made the remarks during an event in Madrid, Spain entitled "Victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East."

Participants at the meeting emphasized the need to protect cultural heritage and cultural diversity in the region.

They also stressed the importance of teaching people about tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Two years ago, an Action Plan was presented at a conference in Paris on the same topic, setting forth a roadmap for the international community to support those who are persecuted for ethnic or religious reasons.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’41″

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