News in Brief 06 July 2017 – PM

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Elayne Whyte Gómez, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) and President of the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. Photo: UN Photo/ Manuel Elias

"Historic" treaty on multilateral nuclear disarmament due for adoption Friday

The first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty to be concluded in more than 20 years, is due to be adopted at UN Headquarters on Friday.

Briefing reporters in New York, the chairman of the UN Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading towards Their Total Elimination, Elayne Whyte Gómez, said it was an 'historic" moment.

Discussions have been underway in the General Assembly since late March on the treaty, and the Costa Rican Ambassador, Ms Whyte Gómez, said she was convinced it was "a robust and comprehensive agreement on prohibition of nuclear weapons".

"The conference will reconvene to formally adopt the treaty. This will be an historic moment, and it will be the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty to be concluded in more than 20 years."

She said compromises had been made by many delegations to reach agreement.

Almost 40 countries chose not to take part in the talks, many arguing that the treaty would not lead to effective progress on global nuclear disarmament.

Ms Whyte Gómez added that the door would be open to non-signatories to join at a later date.

"Inclusive and sustainable solutions" needed for the stateless and displaced

"Inclusive and sustainable solutions" are needed to overcome the problems associated with displacement and statelessness.

That's according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, speaking at the end of his first visit to Myanmar, where he met with the country's State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other ministers.

The UNHCR chief said he was "very happy" to hear her say that refugees were welcome to return from neighbouring Thailand.

He also visited Rakhine state, home of the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Around 168,000 have fled Myanmar in the past five years, including many Rohingya in recent months who crossed the border into Bangladesh amid reports of brutal human rights violations.

In Rakhine, Mr Grandi met internally-displaced Muslims in Sittwe's Dar Paing camp, who expressed a strong desire to return home.

"There are many difficulties with access of education for the children, there are issues about having access to health, other than the most basic health services. And then there is the fundamental issue of the status of these people. These people deserve a better future than the present condition of extreme poverty, deprivation and isolation."

Armed clashes continue around Kunduz in Afghanistan: UN

Armed clashes are continuing around the Afghan city of Kunduz, driving people to leave their homes, said the UN on Thursday.

Heavy fighting has been continuing for days, according to news reports, as Afghan government forces worked to clear Taliban extremists' checkpoints on the highway between Kunduz and Kabul.

Taliban forces briefly held the strategically-important northern city in 2015 and in 2016.

Reports say Taliban fighters occupied one of six districts within Kunduz province over the weekend.

More details from UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"Some 3,500 people have been displaced by the most recent fighting, with nearly 1,000 having arrived in Kunduz. Humanitarian partners are monitoring the situation, coordinating the IDP assessment and response in the city, and they are working to preposition food stocks. Our humanitarian colleagues say markets remain functioning, but continued blockage of the road access to Kunduz could hamper availability and drive prices up."

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 3'02"

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