News in Brief 30 June 2017 (PM)

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Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ( centre ) with Mustafa Akinci ( right ) Turkish Cypriot leader and Nicos Anastasiades ( left ) Greek Cypriot leader during Cyprus talks. 30 june 2017. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

Security concerns still to be overcome at Cyprus talks

Efforts to reunite Cyprus have "overcome significant challenges" but "a lot of work" still needs to be done before a deal can be reached, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday.

Mr Guterres was speaking during talks underway in Switzerland involving the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot leaders.

According to the UN chief, each of the island's leaders had overcome "significant challenges" in an effort to re-unite the island that's been split for more than four decades.

Mr Guterres called on them to listen to demonstrators in Cyprus who have been calling for a settlement, but said that "sensitive" issues remained, not least on security:

"Discussions over the past few days have again shown that there is a commitment to find mutually acceptable solutions on security and guarantees that address the concerns of both communities, but it is clear that the security of one community cannot come at the expense of the other."

The ongoing meeting in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana also involved delegations from the island's guarantor powers: Greece, Turkey and the UK.

Project seeks to improve early warning systems in DRC and Niger

A UN-led initiative to improve early warning systems and increase resilience will be expanding to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger with two new projects.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric has more on the announcement from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

"The initiative is also assessing progress in existing projects in Burkina Faso, Mali and the Pacific, and is planning new ones in the Caribbean and Papua New Guinea. WMO said the ultimate goal is to mobilize more than US$100 million dollars by 2020 for early warning systems in least developed countries."

The project in Niger will establish early warning systems for rapid-onset events such as flash floods, while authorities in the DRC will be supported in protecting agriculture against severe weather, among other measures.

People first, not profits, UN experts tell business leaders

Governments and business leaders must put people first, not profits, as countries push to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

That was the message UN human rights experts delivered to a major business forum in Paris on Friday.

The 17 SDGs aim to bring about a more just and equitable future for people and the planet by the year 2030.

The UN experts pointed out that the goals call for partnerships between the private sector and governments as a means to solve development challenges.

However, they said, "unless these business contributions are based on accountability and respect for human rights, the private sector risks undermining rather than supporting sustainable development."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’48″

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