News in Brief 10 May 2017 – (AM)

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UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, arrived in the CAR on Wednesday. Photo: Claude Adrien de Mun/MINUSCA

UN chief urges investigation into deadly peacekeeper ambush in CAR

The UN Secretary-General has called for an investigation into Monday's deadly attack on peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Four blue helmets were killed when armed men ambushed their convoy near the village of Yogofongo, located near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Ten others were evacuated to the capital, Bangui, while one peacekeeper is still missing.

In a statement issued late on Tuesday, UN chief António Guterres strongly condemned the attack, underlining that such incidents may constitute a war crime.

He urged the authorities in the CAR to investigate the incident and to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.

Meanwhile, the president of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, arrived in the CAR on Wednesday:

"I’m here in Central Africa to spread the word on the Sustainable Development Goals but I’m also here to show solidarity with our United Nations people on the ground, particularly our peacekeepers. I think you will hear from me those strong messages on sustainable development and on the solidarity that we have with what the UN mission is here.  The United Nations is here to help with the recovery of Central Africa, and I’m here to underline that role that the United Nations has here.”

Buddhist message of compassion "timeless": UN Secretary-General

The teachings of Lord Buddha and his "timeless" message of compassion are being remembered by the United Nations this Wednesday, the Day of Vesak.

It celebrates the birth of the Buddha and is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists worldwide.

In his message for the day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said everyone can draw inspiration from Lord Buddha, who began life as a sheltered prince but went out into the world to confront and overcome human suffering.

Mr Guterres cited one of the Buddhist sutras, or teachings, which says "Because all living beings are subject to illness, I am ill as well."

He said "this message of compassion is timeless."

The UN chief called on people everywhere to celebrate the wisdom of Lord Buddha by taking action for others "with a strong spirit of solidarity."

FAO chief praises healthy Japanese diet

Japan has been praised by the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as a global model for healthy diets.

The commendation by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva came during his visit to the country on Wednesday.

Mr Graziano da Silva noted that Japan's "healthy" and "unique" food culture includes many vegetables, fruits and fish.

He said the country has the lowest rate of obesity among developed countries: below four per cent.

The FAO also cited a set of skills, knowledge and traditions relating to the preparation and consumption of food known as Washoku.

It is based on "respect for nature" and the use of fresh, seasonally-available, low-fat ingredients, which combined represent a well-balanced diet.

Mr Graziano da Silva also announced the appointment of two FAO National Goodwill Ambassadors for Japan: a television news anchor and a celebrated  chef.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 3'17"

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