News in Brief 20 July 2017 (PM)

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El–Ghassim Wane. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas (file)

South Sudan "status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable": UN

The status quo for South Sudan's war-ravaged population "is unacceptable and unsustainable," said the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, briefing the Security Council on Thursday.

El Ghassim Wane said the peace process faced numerous challenges that must be overcome if the country is to make the most of the opportunity provided by the deployment of a new Regional Protection Force around the capital, Juba.

He stressed that South Sudan needed "an effective and credible ceasefire" and that the government had to follow through with its promise to hold an effective National Dialogue process.

The international community needed to send a strong message to all sides in the conflict which has displaced and killed hundreds of thousands, causing famine in some areas.

"The status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable. A change in behaviour is long overdue for the sake of the people of South Sudan and the pursuit of political objectives through violence should not be allowed to continue."

Close cooperation will aid cost-effectiveness of UN aircraft:Field Support chief

Close cooperation with the Russian Federation and other Member States in the form of new aviation technology will help increase the cost-effectiveness of UN air support.

That was the message taken to Moscow this week by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Atul Khare.

He was in the Russian capital to attend the third annual aviation talks on 18-19 July.

More details from UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

"The UN expressed appreciation for the Russian Federation's strong commitment to the organization's aviation and to ensuring that UN air operators uphold aviation standards and international requirements. The UN and the Russian Federation agreed to continue holding regular annual meetings, with the next one to take place in New York in 2018."

Sports ministers, officials from 115 countries, agree "universal access" deal

More than 50 ministers of sport and senior officials representing 115 countries have agreed on a new plan to provide universal access to sports and exercise for all ages.

The global action plan was adopted during the Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport, taking place in Kazan, Russia.

The Kazan Action Plan will tackle three priorities: universal access and maximizing the role sport can play for sustainable development and peace; as well as "protecting the integrity of sport."

This last priority refers to the safety of people taking part in sport, and good-governance of sports organizations and competitions.

The commitment comes after several leading international and national sports organizations have been impacted by scandal in recent years.

Nada Al-Nashif, UN Cultural Organization UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, said she believed the plan represented "a true breakthrough in international sport policy development".

Among those signing up are China, France, Japan and the Russian Federation.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’43″

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