Home » 31 Aug 2017 Entries posted on “August 2017”

Disabilities needn’t be a show-stopper, say performers

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A deaf and partially sighted musical dance act from China is putting on a major show at the UN to convey a positive message about disability. The name of the troupe is My Dream China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe. They've already given more than 100 performances so far – but this is their first [...]

31 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 31 August 2017 – Geneva (AM)

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Cluster munition casualties almost exclusively in Syria Casualties from cluster munitions doubled in the last year and civilians accounted for nearly all of the victims, the UN and civil society partners said on Thursday. Of nearly 1,000 victims identified in 10 countries, almost all were from Syria, according to the Cluster Munition Monitor 2017. The [...]

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UN Daily News Programme 31 August 2017

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Listen to our daily bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, presented by Matt Wells. Today we’ve a special holiday edition, featuring an extended interview with UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, who’s stepping down from his key role on Thursday. He reflects on the challenges of providing relief to millions, and the frustrations [...]

31 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 30 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / Stephen O'Brien, UN relief chief, addressing the Security Council in June. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

  Stop Syrians from "paying the price of political failure": UN relief chief The Security Council needs to find a way to stop the Syrian people from having to pay the dreadful price of political failure. That's the parting message from UN relief chief, Stephen O'Brien, who leaves his post as Humanitarian Coordinator on Thursday. [...]

30 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

DPRK must give up missile bid, UN disarmament body told

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DPRK must be persuaded to give up missile bid, States tell UN The call to DPRK to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes was echoed by numerous Member States. It comes after North Korea launched a missile on Tuesday that flew over Japan before ditching into the sea. Daniel Johnson has more. The UN [...]

30 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 30 August 2017

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  Listen to our daily bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matt Wells and Daniel Johnson. In today's programme: The UN Secretary-General releases US$4 million in emergency funding for the stricken people of Gaza, and appeals for Palestinian unity on the ground. And, democracy in Venezuela is "barely alive" says the [...]

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News in Brief 30 August 2017 (AM)

Listen / A wide view of the Security Council meeting during which it issued a Presidential Statement on the recent launch of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). UN Photo/Mark Garten

  UN Security Council strongly condemns DPRK ballistic missile launch The UN Security Council issued a strongly-worded statement on Tuesday night condemning North Korea's launching of a ballistic missile over Japanese airspace. The Presidential Statement, unanimously agreed, followed urgent closed-door consultations over North Korea, or DPRK, describing the launch – together with a series of [...]

30 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN chief makes appeal for funding, and unity between Palestinians

Listen / The UN Secretary-General during his visit to the UNRWA school at Beit Lahiya, Gaza, on 30 August 2017. Photo: UN Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric.

UN chief António Guterres released emergency funds to help alleviate the suffering of people in Gaza on Wednesday, and appealed for unity between Palestinians. The Secretary-General was speaking at a school run by the UN relief and works agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza, the narrow strip of land which is controlled by the [...]

30 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Rights chief Zeid to call for action on Venezuela

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Democracy in Venezuela is "barely alive” and UN Member States should help prevent the situation from worsening, the UN's rights chief said on Wednesday. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein made his comments in Geneva, where he said he would be asking the Human Rights Council to consider action, after his office released a report indicating state [...]

30 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

South Sudan camp crime cut by half: UN police coordinator

Listen / UN Police Coordinator Francis Yiribarre of Ghana at the UNMISS protection camp, in Bentiu, South Sudan. Photo: Daniel Dickinson

  Residents of a camp for internally-displaced people in South Sudan have worked with the UN in the country to cut incidents of crime in the camp by half. The Protection of Civilians site (PoC) in Bentiu which was established by the UN peacekeeping mission, UNMISS, currently accommodates 115,000 people, all of whom have fled [...]

29 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 29 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / Deputy-Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and Maman S. Sidikou, Head of MONUSCO, at the UN Mission. Photo: MONUSCO/John Bompengo

  Prevention "the priority" for sustaining peace: deputy UN chief Measures which prevent conflict should be the priority for all Member States and the UN as they try to build a more peaceful world. That was the message delivered to the Security Council Open Debate on Peacekeeping Operations on Tuesday, by Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed. [...]

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UN Daily News Programme 29 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matt Wells and Daniel Johnson. In today’s programme: the UN migration agency tell us people need better options than having to trust people-traffickers along the deadly routes to Europe; and we hear from UN police in South Sudan who’ve cut crime by [...]

29 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Essential to restart a "serious and credible" peace process: UN chief

Listen / UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah give a press conference in Ramallah on 29 August, 2017. UN Photo.

It is "essential" to restart a "serious and credible" peace process between Israel and Palestine based on a two-state solution, the UN chief said on Tuesday. Secretary-General António Guterres is on a three-day visit to the region and was speaking during a press conference alongside Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah. Matt Wells reports. The Secretary-General [...]

29 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

DPRK launch of missile over Japan violates UN resolutions: Guterres

Listen / UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks to journalists at a press encounter. UN Photo/Mark Garten (file photo)

The latest launch of a ballistic missile by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK, is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions said the UN chief on Tuesday. António Guterres called on North Korea's government to fully comply with its international obligations. More details from Matt Wells. News reports indicate that this is [...]

29 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in brief 29 August 2017 (AM) – Geneva

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  Myanmar urged to open borders for all fleeing Rakhine violence Access to communities in need of help in Myanmar's Rakhine state remains "severely restricted" amid what the UN has called a "dramatic worsening" of the security situation there. Violence erupted in the state last Friday when attacks on police buildings left dozens of people [...]

29 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN chief "deeply concerned" at reports of civilian killings in Myanmar

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Violaine Martin (file)

The UN chief António Guterres expressed his deep concern on Monday over reports that civilians have been killed during security operations in Myanmar's Rakhine State in the past few days. Insurgent attacks on government security forces at the end of last week, caused thousands of the mainly Muslim Rohingya minority to flee towards the border [...]

28 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

"Strengthen and unify" efforts to restore Libya, urges top UN official in Tripoli

Listen / The head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé, addressed the Security Council from the Mission's Tripoli office. Photo: UNSMIL Twitter feed

Libya's future prosperity and stability depends on the international community further strengthening and unifying its efforts on behalf of the whole country. That's the plea from the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé, addressing the Security Council for the first time in his key new role. Despite a nearly two-year-old [...]

28 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 28 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / President of the General Assembly Peter Thomson, addressing the 2017 World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. Photo: UNPGA Twitter feed

  "Ocean unites us": UN General Assembly President on World Water Week Safeguarding the ocean and meeting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on life below water, needs an inclusive and integrated approach. That's according to the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson, speaking at the opening session of World Water Week, in Sweden, organized [...]

28 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 28 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matt Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: “It hurts” when the UN’s humanitarian response to crises can’t match the needs of vulnerable people, the UN relief chief tells us as he prepares to leave; and natural disasters are a major brake [...]

28 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Paris summit explores solutions to migrant crisis

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The challenge for political leaders attending a summit on migration hosted by France on Monday will be to give people options other than having to trust smugglers, the UN has said. IOM, the UN migration agency, made the comments as representatives of Germany, Spain and Italy gathered in Paris, along with the leaders of Chad, [...]

28 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"It hurts" that humanitarian needs go unmet: UN relief chief

Listen / Stephen O'Brien, speaks to a woman at the Dayniile IDP camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, in March 2017, about the various challenges facing the community as a result of a drought in the country. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

"It hurts" when the humanitarian response to a man-made crisis is insufficient to meet the needs of vulnerable people, says the UN relief chief in a wide-ranging interview ahead of leaving his post at the end of August. Humanitarian Coordinator Stephen O'Brien said there was a "widening gap" between the level of need and available [...]

28 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 28 August 2017 (AM)

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on 28 Aug 2017. Photo: Shlomi

  UN chief committed to fighting anti-Semitism which is "alive and well" Stressing that anti-Semitism "should now be dead forever" the UN chief said on Monday that he was committed to fighting racism and bigotry in all its forms. Secretary-General António Guterres was speaking at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, during his first [...]

28 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Cholera cases drop by a third in Yemen

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The battle against cholera in Yemen is paying off, the UN said on Monday, amid a significant decline in the number of reported cases. UN Children's Fund UNICEF said that "massive collective efforts" involving unpaid health workers and volunteers in the war-torn country have helped to slow the spread of the disease. The agency has [...]

28 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Guterres "shocked" by expulsion of UN official in Guatemala

Listen / Secretary General  meeting with Head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala.

  The UN Secretary-General has expressed shock over the removal of the head of a UN-backed anti-corruption commission by the President of Guatemala. Commissioner Iván Velásquez, the head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) was declared "persona non grata" on Sunday. Mr Velásquez, a former auxiliary magistrate of Colombia's Supreme Court, was appointed [...]

27 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief lauds Kuwait for its 'leadership in humanitarian action'

Listen / In Kuwait, Secretary-General António Guterres takes questions from reporters. Photo: UN/Stéphane Dujarric

The United Nations Secretary-General has praised Kuwait for its leadership in humanitarian action and mediation efforts regarding the current crisis in the Gulf. António Guterres made the remarks during a press briefing on Sunday after meeting with the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He also recalled that during his tenure as UN [...]

27 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 25 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / UNICEF Representative in Syria Fran Equiza (center) speaks with Syrian children at the Mabrouka camp in Ein Issa, northern Syria. Photo: UNICEF MENA

  Children, families should be allowed to leave Raqqa: UNICEF Syria rep Ongoing conflict in Syria has robbed millions of children of their childhood and forced them to bear untold suffering, a senior official with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said. UNICEF Representative for the country Fran Equiza this week met with displaced children [...]

25 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 25 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn. In today's programme: the UN political chief underscores the organization's commitment to Somali; and good news from the World Health Organization as vaccination centres re-open in northwest Syria.

25 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Political affairs chief underscores UN commitment to Somalia

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The head of the UN's Department of Political Affairs has urged Somalia to continue its efforts towards reconciliation and state-building. Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman concluded a two-day visit to the Horn of Africa country on Friday where he met with leaders, including the President of the Federal Government, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. The President, whose nickname is [...]

25 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Good news from Syria: vaccination centres re-open

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Parents in north-west Syria now have access to more than 35 re-opened vaccination centres where they can bring their children for life-saving protection, the UN said on Friday. World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Christain Lindmeier explained that the move is hugely important for communities in Idlib and Hama left vulnerable to 10 preventable diseases, including [...]

25 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Podcast: South Sudan refugee influx threatens Uganda’s “open door”

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South Sudan has known no respite since fighting broke out last July, following the collapse of a peace deal between the government and opposition forces. People in Africa's newest nation have witnessed “barbaric” acts of violence carried out by armed groups, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), such as the sexual assault of women [...]

25 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 25 August 2017 (AM) – Geneva

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Deadly Myanmar violence condemned by top UN coordinator Deadly attacks on police outposts in Myanmar have been condemned by a top UN official in the country, who's called on "all parties" to halt the violence. Country Coordinator Renata Lok-Dessallien issued the statement on Friday after more than 30 people including State troops were reportedly killed [...]

25 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 24 August 2017 (PM)

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UN welcomes report on Myanmar's Rakhine State The United Nations has welcomed the release of a report on finding lasting solutions to the crisis in Rakhine State in Myanmar. The western state has seen deadly clashes between Buddhist and Muslim communities. The study follows a year of consultations by an Advisory Commission established by the [...]

24 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Leaders can bring South Sudan from "impending abyss:" UN official

Listen / Some 17,000 people who fled to a UN protection of Civilians site in Wau, South Sudan following recent violence, have access to water, and are putting up basic structures to shield from the hot sun. UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis

Although a National Dialogue in South Sudan has yielded some progress, achieving inclusivity and a free and secure environment remain challenges, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Thursday. Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, El Ghassim Wane provided ambassadors with an update on the situation in the country, the world's youngest nation. Rival [...]

24 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 24 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn. In today’s programme: No "worse place on earth" than Syria's Raqqa, says top aid official; and Somali police officers trained in tackling sexual violence.  

24 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Floods, landslides affecting 41 million in Bangladesh, India and Nepal

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Nearly 41 million people in three Asian countries have been affected by torrential monsoon rains, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, has reported. The rains have caused flooding and landslides which have killed at least 900 people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Dianne Penn has the story. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian [...]

24 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 24 August 2017 (AM)

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Europe: Refugee and migrant arrivals drop but dangers persist, says UNHCR Despite a decline in the arrival of refugees and migrants in Europe, the likelihood of death on the journey to the continent is still "alarmingly high." That's according to a report issued on Thursday by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which said many of [...]

24 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Somali police officers trained in tackling sexual violence

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Fifty-four police officers in Somalia's South West state have been trained to tackle sexual and gender-based violence as well as conflict-related sexual violence. They took part in a three-day workshop this week in the state capital, Baidoa, organized by the UN Mission in the country, UNSOM, together with the state's Ministry of Women and Human [...]

24 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on human rights in Burundi, hunger in DRC and human trafficking in Libya

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UN human rights experts concerned about situation in Burundi International human rights experts monitoring Burundi have seen “no sign of positive” change in the country in recent months. That’s according to a report commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council into allegations of ongoing grave abuses in the Great Lakes state. In June, UN investigators [...]

24 Aug 2017 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

No "worse place on earth" than Syria's Raqqa, says top aid official

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Needs are "beyond belief" for thousands of civilians trapped by ISIL fighters in the Syrian city of Raqqa, a senior aid official said on Thursday. Jan Egeland, who's Special Advisor to the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, made the comments after a meeting of an internationally-backed humanitarian task force in Geneva. The UN is [...]

24 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Disaster protection needn't cost billions: UN expert

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Natural disasters are a major brake on development but low-cost initiatives can counter the threat they pose. That's according to senior UN official Robert Glasser, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). His message comes ahead of the Fourth Central American Forum on Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management (PCGIR) in Panama beginning on [...]

24 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 23 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / Jane Connors, newly-appointed Victims' Rights Advocate for the United Nations. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

UN appoints first Victims' Rights Advocate The United Nations has appointed an advocate for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. Jane Connors of Australia will be the first person to hold the position, the global organization announced on Wednesday. She is currently the International Advocacy Director for Law and Policy with Amnesty International in Geneva, [...]

23 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: Iraqi women, Kenyan youth delegates and women drug addicts

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Appeal for justice for Iraqi rape survivors Thousands of Iraqi women and girls who survived rape and other sexual violence committed by extremists should receive care, protection and justice. Furthermore, children born to them as a result of such violence should not face a life of discrimination and abuse. The appeal was made in a [...]

23 Aug 2017 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 23 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn. In today's programme: we hear why the slave trade and its abolition are part of global common heritage; and … An appeal for justice for Iraqi women who have survived rape and other abuses committed by the extremist group, ISIL. [...]

23 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Appeal for justice for Iraqi rape survivors

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Thousands of Iraqi women and girls who survived rape and other sexual violence committed by extremists should receive care, protection and justice. Furthermore, children born to them as a result of such violence should not face a life of discrimination and abuse. The appeal was made in a report launched this week by the UN [...]

23 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 23 August 2017 (AM)

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Learning about slave trade history contributes to fairer societies: UNESCO Knowledge about the transatlantic slave trade is critical to building freer societies today. That's the message from the head of the UN's educational and cultural organization, UNESCO, for the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, celebrated annually on 23 [...]

23 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Charlottesville violence could prompt new outrages: UN panel

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Violence against protesters in the US town of Charlottesville that left one woman dead should be condemned "at the highest political level," a UN rights body said on Wednesday. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) issued the statement in Geneva. In it, the panel of rights experts highlight their concern at the [...]

23 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Slave trade remembrance a symbol of justice among people

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A slave uprising in the Caribbean nearly 300 years ago represents a symbolic victory for human rights and freedom. That's according to the UN educational and cultural organization, UNESCO, which celebrates the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition annually on 23 August. The day commemorates the anniversary of the [...]

23 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 22 August 2017 (PM)

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Senior UN official calls for re-commitment to two-State solution The recent crisis in Jerusalem has highlighted the need for a clear re-commitment by Israelis and Palestinians to ending occupation and realizing a two-State solution, the UN Security Council heard on Tuesday. Ambassadors were briefed by the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Miroslav Jenca, who [...]

22 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN supporting civilians fleeing Telafar, Iraq

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UN agencies in Iraq are gearing up to help thousands of civilians expected to flee the city of Telafar. The northern city has been under the control of the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh, for the past three years. The Iraqi military have launched an operation to retake Telafar and surrounding communities from [...]

22 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 22 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today’s programme: concern for civilians caught in the fight to retake the Iraqi city of Telafar; and a senior UN official in Libya explains why migration and human trafficking continues to be a major challenge there [...]

22 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Migration, human trafficking major challenges in Libya: UN official

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It is important to look at migration in Libya "not just as an internal problem, but as a regional issue." That's according to Maria do Valle Ribeiro, deputy head of the UN mission in the country, UNSMIL. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) recently reported that the North African country was the preferred "jumping-off point" for [...]

22 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UNICEF reports rise in use of child "human bombs" in northeast Nigeria

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More than 80 children have been used as so-called "human bombs" in northeast Nigeria so far this year, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has reported. The agency is sounding the alarm as the figure is already four times higher than it was for all of 2016, which the agency described as "appalling." Ana Carmo reports. [...]

22 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 22 August 2017 (AM)

Listen / Yazidi refugees, including several children, go about their lives in Nawrouz refugee camp, approximately 40 kilometres from the Syrian border with Iraq. Photo: UNICEF/Razan Rashidi

Appeal for justice for ISIL's women victims in Iraq Authorities in Iraq are being urged to ensure that thousands of women and girls who survived rape and other sexual violence committed by ISIL fighters receive care, protection and justice. Furthermore, children born to them should not face a life of discrimination and abuse. The appeal [...]

22 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 21 August 2017 (PM)

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  UN readying to support civilians fleeing from Iraqi city The UN and its humanitarian partners in Iraq are preparing for the exodus of thousands of civilians from Telafar as the army battles to retake the northern city and surrounding communities from the extremist group ISIL, also known as Daesh. The operation began on Sunday [...]

21 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 21 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn. In today's programme: UN human rights experts report no sign of "positive evolution" in Burundi; and a war surgeon explains why he feels more at risk of death saving lives during conflict.

21 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN human rights experts concerned about situation in Burundi

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International human rights experts monitoring Burundi have seen "no sign of positive evolution" in the country since June. That's according to Fatsah Ouguergouz, head of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, who has expressed concern over allegations of human rights violations and the restriction of certain freedoms. The Commission will present its latest report [...]

21 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

ILO Commission to investigate relationship between work and society

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A high-level group of international experts has been tasked with addressing challenges related to the rapidly transforming world of work. The members of the Global Commission on the Future of Work were announced on Monday by the International Labour Organization (ILO), based in Geneva. It will be chaired by the President of Mauritius and the [...]

21 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

War surgeon: I feel more at risk of death on front line

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A leading war surgeon has spoken of the increasing risks associated with saving lives in combat zones and the need for governments to "muster the courage" to protect humanitarians. Dr Marco Baldan, who's worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in numerous conflicts including most recently Yemen, was speaking at the UN [...]

21 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 21 August 2017 (AM)

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WHO working to prevent spread of diseases in the wake of Sierra Leone tragedy Preventing the spread of disease in Sierra Leone, where mudslides and flooding have killed hundreds of people, is "vital," the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. The UN agency is working closely with the government to halt the potential spread [...]

21 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"No sign" of improvement in Burundi: investigators

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International human rights experts monitoring Burundi have seen "no sign of positive" change in the country in recent months. That's according to a new report commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council into allegations of ongoing grave abuses in the Great Lakes state. In June, UN investigators highlighted the climate of fear and violence in [...]

21 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN stands with Finland following terrorist attack

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Violaine Martin (file)

A deadly attack in Finland has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. Authorities in the Nordic country are investigating it as a terrorist attack. Dianne Penn reports. The incident occurred on Friday in the south-western city of Turku when a man stabbed two women to death in a market square. Eight other people were injured [...]

19 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 18 August 2017 (PM)

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  UN relief chief laments lack of progress in Yemen There has been no significant improvement in the "deplorable, avoidable and completely man-made catastrophe" in Yemen over the past two years, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator told the Security Council on Friday. Yemen forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, have been battling Houthi rebels for control [...]

18 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 18 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: The UN relief chief underlines the value of providing humanitarian aid today; and tackling rising hunger in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

18 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN agencies supporting Sierra Leone relief efforts

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Relief efforts continue in Sierra Leone, where mudslides earlier this week killed more than 400 people, a quarter of them children. The mudslides were triggered by torrential rain, wiping out entire communities around the capital, Freetown. Ana Carmo has an update on how UN agencies and their partners are assisting. The UN humanitarian affairs office, [...]

18 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN chief calls for solidarity with civilians, aid workers caught in conflict

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People worldwide are being asked to stand in solidarity with the millions of civilians globally who have been affected by conflict and the aid workers who are supporting them. UN Secretary-General António Guterres made the appeal in a message for World Humanitarian Day, observed this Saturday, 19 August. The day also marks the 14th anniversary [...]

18 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 18 August 2017 (AM)

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Security Council expresses solidarity with Spain following Barcelona attack The UN Security Council has condemned the terrorist attack in Barcelona which killed 13 people and wounded more than 100 others. The incident occurred on Thursday in the Las Ramblas district, a popular spot located in the heart of the Spanish city. The Council has issued [...]

18 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

7.7 million people in DRC face "acute hunger" UN warns

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Around 7.7 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) face acute hunger; a 30 per cent increase over the last year, two UN agencies warned this week. A new report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) found that the number of people requiring urgent [...]

18 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Humanitarian aid a “fantastic investment,” says UN relief chief

Listen / UN refugee agency and its partners deliver aid to hard-to-reach neighbourhoods in Eastern Aleppo, Syria. Photo: UNHCR

Providing humanitarian aid today to the world's needy is a "fantastic investment" in the future. That's according to the UN relief chief, Stephen O'Brien, speaking ahead of World Humanitarian Day, marked each 19 August. The focus of this year's event is the targeting of civilians and humanitarian workers who are caught up in violent conflict [...]

18 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN chief condemns "heinous" Barcelona terrorist attack

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Mark Garten (file)

A terrorist attack in the Spanish city of Barcelona on Thursday has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. The attack took place in the historic Las Ramblas district in Barcelona, a popular tourist area. Thirteen people were killed and up to 100 injured when a white van crashed into a crowd, according to media reports. [...]

17 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 17 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / A young girl walks along the edge of a drainage chanel in in the in Protection of Civilian (POC) camp in the evening light in Bentiu, South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/UN043961/Holt

  UN campaign stresses that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget An online campaign by the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, is calling on world leaders to do everything in their power to protect civilians caught in conflict. The campaign, #NotATarget, has been launched ahead of World Humanitarian Day, observed this Saturday, 19 August The day [...]

17 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN-backed court orders extremist to pay reparations for Timbuktu destruction

Listen / The El Farouk monument in Timbuktu, Mali, destroyed by the extremists. Photo: MINUSMA/Sophie Ravier (file photo)

A former Islamic militant has been ordered to pay 2.7 million Euros, or just over US$3 million, for directing attacks against religious and historic buildings in the city of Timbuktu in Mali. The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday issued the reparations order against Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi who had been sentenced to nine [...]

17 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 17 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: The number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda passes the one million mark, and two young women from Kenya have a message for their peers: You can do anything you set your mind to. [...]

17 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

South Sudan refugees in Uganda pass one million mark: UNHCR

Listen / A young South Sudanese refugee cooks food at a camp in northern Uganda Photo: UNHCR/Will Swanson

The number of people from South Sudan seeking refuge in Uganda has reached one million, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned. An average of 1,800 South Sudanese civilians have been crossing into Uganda every day during the past year. Another one million or more South Sudanese are being hosted by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the [...]

17 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 17 August 2017 (AM)

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  UNICEF responding to Sierra Leone landslide tragedy Teams from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) are on the ground in Sierra Leone supporting displaced families affected by flooding and landslides which have killed several hundred people, including at least 109 children. The death toll is expected to rise, with more than 600 people, many of [...]

17 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on Sahel and South Sudan

Listen / Families fled their home in north-east Nigeria in fear of the militant group Boko Haram. They do not live in camps but are seeking refuge in local communities across the border, in Niger. File Photo: OCHA/Franck Kuwonu.

“Time running out" to stop terrorism's spread across the Sahel Time is "running out" to find and implement solutions to the spread of terrorist groups and their extremist ideology across Africa's Sahel region. That's according to El Ghassim Wane, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, briefing the Security Council on Tuesday. He was outlining preparations [...]

17 Aug 2017 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: Protecting LGBTI defenders in Honduras, justice in Afghanistan, and raising awareness of children in armed conflict

Listen / Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN Photo /Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

Experts call for more action to protect LGBTI defenders in Honduras Authorities in Honduras are being urged by UN human rights experts to do more to protect activists who defend the rights of sexual minorities in the Central American country.  The joint appeal was sparked by the attempted murder in July of Osmin David Valle [...]

17 Aug 2017 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

You can do anything you set your mind to: Kenya youth delegate

Listen / Winnie Michaels (left) and Miss Tourism Kenya, Mourine Soro. Photo: UN News/G. Kaneiya

Young people can do anything they set their mind to, a delegate from Kenya said during the 20th Session of the Youth Assembly at the United Nations. Winnie Michaels delivered this message on the margins of the conference which was held on 12 August, International Youth Day. Nearly 1,000 young leaders, changemakers and entrepreneurs from [...]

17 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 16 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / UN observers removing the last of more than 8,112 guns carried by the FARC-EP. Photo: UN Mission in Colombia

  UN mission concludes Colombia arms removal process The process of extracting arms and scrap ammunition from rebel camps in Colombia has been completed, the UN mission in the country has reported. More than 8,000 guns and other items have been collected from 26 camps of the group FARC, while weapons such as anti-personnel mines, [...]

16 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN chief calls for “dial up” in diplomacy to resolve Korean crisis

Listen / UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks to journalists at a press encounter. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The solution to the crisis on the Korean peninsula must be political, the UN Secretary-General said on Wednesday, stressing the importance of diplomacy and dialogue. António Guterres was speaking to reporters at UN Headquarters in New York. Dianne Penn reports. The UN chief noted that tensions on the Korean peninsula "are at levels not seen [...]

16 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 16 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Jocelyne Sambira. In today’s programme: Countries have been urged not to forget the millions of people going hungry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and only one in 5 women drug addicts seeks treatment, a UN expert warns.

16 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Only 1 in 5 women addicts seeks treatment, warns UN expert

Listen / A woman from a hill tribe in Thailand smoking opium. UN Photo/D. Gair (file)

Only one in five women addicts seeks treatment for drug abuse, the president of the International Narcotics Board (INCB) has warned. Viroj Sumyai highlighted these challenges during a presentation of his agency's annual report to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Furthermore, he warned that there has been a disproportionate increase in overdoses among [...]

16 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

New convention tackles dangers posed by mercury

Listen / Artisanal small scale mining is responsible for up to 35% of global emission of mercury into the environment. Photo: Global Environment Facility

A convention that protects people and the environment from the harmful effects of mercury has come into force, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced on Wednesday. Seventy-four countries have committed to the Minimata Convention on Mercury, which means they are now legally bound to address concerns posed by the heavy metal. The convention is named [...]

16 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 16 August 2017 (AM)

Listen / A mother with her children in Monguno, Borno state, northeast Nigeria. (file) Photo: OCHA

  UN chief condemns triple suicide bombings in Nigeria A series of suicide bombings in northern Nigeria on Tuesday has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General. At least 30 people were killed in the three attacks which occurred at a market and refugee camp in Borno State. In a statement condemning the violence, UN chief [...]

16 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 15 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / Children in the Mussungue reception centre for refugees in Dundo, Angola. Photo: UNICEF/M.Gonzalez

  UNHCR relocating scores of Congolese refugees in Angola An exercise has begun to relocate more than 33,000 Congolese refugees from overcrowded reception centres in northern Angola, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday. UNHCR and its partners are moving the people to a newly established settlement in in Lóvua, approximately some 100 km [...]

15 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 15 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matt Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: Time is running out to stop the spread of violent terrorist groups across Africa's Sahel region, the Security Council hears; and we'll have the latest from the UN rescue and recovery mission on the [...]

15 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Time running out" to stop terrorism's spread across the Sahel

Listen / Families fled their home in north-east Nigeria in fear of the militant group Boko Haram. They do not live in camps but are seeking refuge in local communities across the border, in Niger. File Photo: OCHA/Franck Kuwonu.

Time is "running out" to find and implement solutions to the spread of terrorist groups and their extremist ideology across Africa's Sahel region. That's according to El Ghassim Wane, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, briefing the Security Council on Tuesday. He was outlining preparations for the deployment of a new Sahel Joint Force, by [...]

15 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN human rights chief urges Kenyan leaders to act to avoid further violence

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Kenya's political leaders are being urged to ensure calm at this "critical juncture" in the wake of the country's recent presidential election. The appeal was made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein in a statement issued on Tuesday. Kenyans took to the polls a week ago, with incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta [...]

15 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Rescue mission turns to recovery after deadly Sierra Leone mudslide

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With hundreds reported to have died following mudslides and extensive flooding around the capital of Sierra Leone, UN agencies are joining in with the rescue and recovery effort. Access to water, food and medical treatment, together with widespread homelessness are expected to be immediate concerns for thousands around the capital Freetown, which has a population [...]

15 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 15 August 2017 (AM)

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IOM provides US$150,000 for Sierra Leone mudslide relief The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is racing to assist Sierra Leone in the wake of devastating floods and mudslides which have killed hundreds. The UN agency announced on Tuesday that it has released US$150,000 in support of the relief effort. "IOM is ready to work with [...]

15 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Addressing today's problems in the Pacific via its deep cultural roots

Listen / Nisha, Director of Office and Representative to the Pacific States, UNESCO (third left) with UNESCO and National University of Samoa's staff. Photo: Julia Dean

The centuries-old cultural practices and traditions of Pacific islanders are key to addressing some of the development problems of today, and working out sustainable solutions for tomorrow. That's the view of the Pacific Representative for the UN Cultural Organization, UNESCO, Nisha. The organization uses the term Intangible Cultural Heritage to refer to those traditions handed [...]

15 Aug 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

Hundreds feared dead in Sierra Leone mudslide, UN chief "saddened"

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Violaine Martin (file)

A mudslide in Sierra Leone on Monday has left at least 200 dead, according to news reports, burying dozens of homes following heavy rains. The UN Secretary-General said he was saddened by the deaths and devastation, which took place near the capital of Freetown. More details from Matt Wells. The mudslide occurred in the town [...]

14 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 14 August 2017 (PM)

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"Deep concern" for safety of Syrian civilians on Jordanian border UN agencies expressed deep concern on Monday for the safety of nearly 50,000 Syrian civilians who have been stranded for months on the border with Jordan. The displaced are mainly women and children, who have been trapped in an area known as the berm; an [...]

14 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Terror attack in Burkina Faso condemned by UN chief

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The UN Secretary-General has condemned a terrorist attack that took place in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, on Sunday. Eighteen people were killed when gunmen attacked a Turkish restaurant in the centre of the city, media reports say. Jocelyne Sambira has the story. In a statement released by his spokesperson, António Guterres extended his "heartfelt condolences" [...]

14 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 14 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matt Wells and Jocelyne Sambira. In today's programme: A "vicious circle" of conflict and malnutrition sees the number of Yemenis with suspected cholera, rise above the half-million mark. We'll hear from the World Health Organization; and in the wake of an attempted [...]

14 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 14 August (AM)

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7.7 million in DRC face "acute hunger" UN agencies warn Around 7.7 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) face acute hunger, a 30 per cent increase over the last year, two UN agencies warned on Monday. A new report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food [...]

14 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Vicious circle" in Yemen, as cholera cases hit 500,000

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A "vicious circle" of cholera being fuelled by malnutrition in war-torn Yemen, has seen the number of suspected cases of the deadly disease pass the half-a-million mark, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. Around 5,000 people are being infected every day, and nearly 2,000 have died since the outbreak began at the end [...]

14 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Refrain from violence" UN chief urges Kenyans in wake of election result

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Mark Garten (file)

The Secretary-General on Saturday praised the "peaceful participation" of Kenyans in re-electing President Uhuru Kenyatta, but urged those disputing the result to "refrain from violence". The country's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission declared President Kenyatta the winner on Friday, with just over 54 per cent of the vote. Matt Wells reports. In his statement, UN [...]

12 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 11 August (PM)

Listen / Secretary-General António Guterres meeting with youth leaders and women political hopefuls in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: UN Habitat/Julius Mwelu

  "Critical role" for young men and women in preventing conflict There's a "critical role" for young men and women to play in preventing war, and ensuring lasting peace. That's one of the key messages from UN chief António Guterres, to mark International Youth Day, which is celebrated every 12 August. The Summer Youth Assembly [...]

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UN Daily News Programme 11 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Jocelyne Sambira and Matt Wells. In today’s programme: Young people can really make a change, says the new UN Youth Envoy, and the UN in South Sudan says it maintains a “zero tolerance” approach to the militarization of protection camps.  

11 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Youth can make a change" says new UN Youth Envoy

Listen / UN Youth envoy, Jayathma Wickramanayake, arriving at the airport in Baghdad. Photo: Sanaa Kareem/UNAMI

Young people can really make a change today more than any time in history, the new UN Youth Envoy said ahead of International Youth Day observed every 12 August. Jayathma Wickramanayake arrived in Iraq on Friday to mark the day with young peace-builders in the war-torn country. The official theme for this year is "Youth [...]

11 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 11 August (AM) – Geneva

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1.6 million displaced Ukrainians "struggle to find safety" amid ongoing hostilities Parties to the conflict in Ukraine must respect the security of civilians, 1.6 million of whom are displaced and "struggle to find safety", the UN said on Friday. The appeal from the UN refugee agency UNHCR comes amid ongoing sporadic conflict in the east [...]

11 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Drought-stricken herders in Ethiopia in urgent need of support: FAO

Listen / A village in Ethiopia weathers the drought where many have lost their livestock. Photo: FAO/Tamiru Legesse

Drought-stricken livestock herders in Ethiopia are in urgent need of support as the number of people going hungry rises each day. That's according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which said on Friday that for families dependent on cattle, their animals' survival "can literally mean the difference between life and death". More details from [...]

11 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 10 August 2017 (PM)

Drought in Ethiopia. Photo: WFP/Melese Awoke

  5.6 million more going hungry in Ethiopia so far this year The number of people going hungry in Ethiopia has risen by 5.6 million so far this year due to poor rainfall, exacerbating severe drought conditions, the UN said on Thursday. The whole East Africa region has been badly affected by three years of [...]

10 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

More protection needed for LGBTI defenders in Honduras

Listen / Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN Photo /Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

Authorities in Honduras are being urged by UN human rights experts to do more to protect activists who defend the rights of sexual minorities in the Central American country. The joint appeal was sparked by the attempted murder in July of Osmin David Valle Castillo, a prominent human rights defender of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, [...]

10 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 10 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Matt Wells. In today's programme: Up to 20 migrants thought dead in second sea tragedy in 24 hours off Yemen coast, and UN agencies support Eritrea on the path to sustainable development.

10 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Investment "urgently required" to save lives of Iraqi babies and mothers

Listen / An Iraqi woman and her son, internally displaced from Mosul, stand beside a water truck on the road leading past the Garmava transit camp. Credit: UNHCR/S. Baldwin (file)

"Urgent" investment is required to help save the lives of pregnant women and their babies in Iraq, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). In a statement on Thursday, UNICEF said that decades of conflict and under-investment had placed a "huge strain" on the entire health system. Matt Wells reports. The agency said that in [...]

10 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Yemen sees second sea tragedy in two days

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Up to 20 migrants from East Africa are feared dead in a new tragedy off the coast of Yemen after they were forced overboard by traffickers, the UN said on Thursday. IOM, the UN migration agency, reported that the latest incident happened barely 24 hours after at least 50 Somali and Ethiopian nationals died in [...]

10 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 10 August 2017 (AM)

Listen / UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed addresses Security Council meeting on 'peace and security in Africa.' UN Photo/Manuel Elias

“Advancing peace" by advancing empowerment of women: Deputy UN chief The UN deputy chief briefed the Security Council this Thursday on the "first-of-its kind" high level mission to Africa which she led last month, devoted to advancing the empowerment of women. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed was joined on the trip by the Executive Director of [...]

10 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: Barbershop Conference, safety in South Sudan UN camps and access to sexual health care

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Barbershop Conference: Changing the conversation around gender equality Despite years of policies to promote gender equality in the workplace, no country has managed to make it a reality. That's one of the findings of a report launched at the second Barbershop Conference, held at UN Headquarters in July. The Barbershop Conference aims to change the [...]

10 Aug 2017 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan force, DRC atrocities, Eritrea development

Listen / A former site for internally displaced persons (IDPs) near Kalemie, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was burned down when it was attacked by a militia group in early July. Credit: OCHA/Ivo Brandau

Arrival of South Sudan force allows peacekeepers to patrol "insecure roads" The arrival of a UN regional force in South Sudan will enable the UN Mission in the country, UNMISS, to free up additional peacekeepers to mount "more patrols along insecure roads," the head of the Mission, David Shearer, has said.  Mr Shearer, who is [...]

10 Aug 2017 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

"Zero tolerance" for militarization of South Sudan camps

Listen / Bentiu Protection of Civilians site, in the north of South Sudan, which is home to more than 115,000. Photo: Daniel Dickinson/UNMISS.

A "zero tolerance approach" preventing protection camps in war-torn South Sudan from being militarized is the best way to keep civilians safe. That's the view of the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, UNMISS, David Shearer. He was speaking in Bentiu, in the north of South Sudan, where around 115,000 people are currently [...]

9 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 09 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / A person walks amid destroyed buildings and rubble in Tabqa city, Raqqa governorate, Syria. Photo: UNICEF/Souleiman

  Up to 25,000 civilians still trapped in Raqqa with no access to aid Up to 25,000 people remain trapped inside the Syrian city of Raqqa, as a US-led coalition battles ISIL, or Daesh, terrorist fighters for control of what was once their self-declared capital. The UN said on Wednesday that agencies were "deeply concerned" [...]

9 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 09 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matt Wells and Dianne Penn. In today’s programme: Indigenous people still face 'harsh conditions' 10 years after the adoption of a UN Declaration on their rights, and we hear how one UN agency is helping to train impartial and ethical young journalists [...]

9 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Indigenous still face “harsh conditions” despite UN Declaration

Listen / Albert Barume, chair of the UN's Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Photo: UN News/Dianne Penn

A decade after the adoption of a landmark declaration that upholds their rights, indigenous people worldwide still suffer racism, discrimination, unequal access to education and other injustices. That assertion has been made by three UN human rights experts in a joint statement issued this Wednesday, the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. Dianne Penn [...]

9 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

More resources needed to pull countries "back from the brink" of famine

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More resources are urgently needed to protect 20 million people at risk of famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and North-East Nigeria. That's according to a Statement by the President of the UN Security Council, issued on Wednesday. It also notes the "devastating impact on civilians" of on-going conflict and violence around the world. More [...]

9 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 09 August 2017 (AM)

Listen / Peacekeepers with the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) consult a map as they drive through vast desert areas in Smara, Western Sahara. UN Photo/Martine Perret

WFP welcomes US$1 million contribution to support Western Sahara refugees The World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a US$1 million contribution from the United States to support vulnerable refugees from Western Sahara, stranded in Algeria. For more than 40 years, refugees from the decades-long conflict over the region between Morocco and the Polisario Front independence [...]

9 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN agencies supporting Eritrea on sustainable development path

Listen / John Ging. Photo: OCHA/L. Fultang (file photo)

Helping Eritrea to confront challenges such as food insecurity and infant mortality is the goal of the latest five-year plan between the UN and the government. The Horn of Africa country ranks at number 179 out of 188 nations on the UN Development Programme's (UNDP) Human Development Index, which measures indicators such as life expectancy [...]

9 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

"Justice is key to the sustainable development goals" in Afghanistan

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Without justice, there can be no sustainable peace or development in Afghanistan. That's according to Sima Samir, a former Minister of Women's Affairs in the country, who was at UN Headquarters recently to talk about the whole issue of judicial rights. She currently chairs Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission, and although she says there is [...]

9 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 08 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / A young man waits at an IOM transit centre in Agadez, Niger. He along with his younger brother decided to return back to the country after a failed attempt to reach Europe. Photo: IOM 2016/Amanda Nero.

  UN migration agency rescues 1,000 migrants in northern Niger The UN migration agency (IOM) announced on Tuesday that since April, it had rescued 1,000 people in distress trying to make their way across the border between Niger and Libya. Late last month, IOM conducted an assessment mission of migratory routes in the desert in [...]

8 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Work together to deepen the rule of law" in Mauritania urges UN chief

Listen / Drought has affected residents of the Mbera refugee camp, Mauritania, in the Sahel region of Africa. Photo: WFP/Justin Smith.

Mauritanians need to work together in order to deepen the rule of law, and national unity, said the UN Secretary-General on Tuesday. António Guterres' call came following a national referendum at the weekend in the North-West African country, which was boycotted by opposition parties. More details from Liz Scaffidi. The controversial vote took place on Saturday, amidst [...]

8 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 08 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Dianne Penn and Matt Wells. In today’s programme: Phased deployment of a regional protection force begins in South Sudan, and Venezuela violence shows no signs of abating, the UN human rights office says.

8 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Escalating crisis for asylum seekers on Manus Island, UNHCR warns

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Refugees and asylum seekers are facing deteriorating conditions and an "escalating crisis" on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, where they are being housed in an Australian detention facility. That's according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in a statement on Tuesday, which said that refugees are suffering "acute distress" ahead of the planned closure later [...]

8 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Venezuela violence “shows no signs of abating,” UN rights office says

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Protesters in Venezuela have reported being shot at with nuts and bolts at close range by security forces amid what the UN on Tuesday called the "widespread and systematic" use of force during anti-Government demonstrations. The UN human rights office, OHCHR, made the announcement in Geneva after conducting interviews with victims and witnesses of the [...]

8 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 08 August 2017 – Geneva (AM)

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Recovery in Iraq’s Mosul is a “tale of two cities” says top UN country coordinator Whole neighbourhoods of Western Mosul have been destroyed and nearly a quarter of a million people have nowhere to return home  "anytime soon", a top UN humanitarian official said on Tuesday. Lise Grande, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, made [...]

8 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

South Sudan force will allow for more peacekeeper patrols

Listen / UNMISS chief David Shearer greets members of the Rwandan battalion of the Regional Protection Force (RPF) in South Sudan. UN Photo/Isaac Billy.

The arrival of a UN regional force in South Sudan will enable the UN Mission in the country, UNMISS, to free up additional peacekeepers to mount "more patrols along insecure roads," the head of the Mission, David Shearer, has said. Mr Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan, [...]

8 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Trials of refugee camp life inspire South Sudan singers

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The challenges of day-to-day life in a refugee camp have inspired two young singers in South Sudan to write a song about their experiences. The songsmiths, who go by the names of "Tony Gway 4" and "Ugly Facil," are now in their early 20s, but they grew up as teenagers in the Kakuma refugee camp, [...]

8 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 07 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / Ghassan Salamé, Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in the UN News studio with May Yaacoub. Photo: UN News/Mustafa al-Gamal.

  "Window of opportunity" for Libya to emerge from crisis: UN envoy There is a "window of opportunity" for Libya to emerge from conflict and economic collapse but a political agreement is vital, said the newly-appointed Special Representative for the country, Ghassan Salamé, speaking on Monday. He visited the capital Tripoli over the weekend and [...]

7 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Well-being of Yemeni people "remains of utmost importance" to UN

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The well-being of the Yemeni people "remains of utmost importance" as they face "an unspeakable humanitarian crisis." That's according to UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, briefing reporters at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday. Over the weekend, reported airstrikes killed at least 12 civilians, including women and children. Matt Wells has the details. The UN [...]

7 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Needs "acute" in Syria's Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour

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Fighting to drive out ISIL extremists from strongholds in Syria's Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour has compounded the "acute" needs of civilians, the UN said on Monday. The development comes as Syrian forces and opposition militias continue their assault on the extremists' strongholds in the north and east of the conflict-hit country. Daniel Johnson has more. [...]

7 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 07 August 2017 (AM)

Listen / The United Nation's Security Council arrived at the Zone of Normalization, in the Department of Meta. Photo: UN Mission in Colombia

  UN Mission in Colombia ambushed, one police officer injured The UN Mission in Colombia has confirmed that a team containing UN observers was ambushed over the weekend, while extracting explosives. The team, which included former FARC rebels and police officers, was working to remove hidden weapons and explosives, as part of the latest phase [...]

7 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Nothing can justify terrible acts of abuse" in Kasai region: UNICEF

Listen / In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a nurse from the Kabea Kamwanga hospital is treating a malnourished and malaria-infected child with medicines donated by UNICEF, on May 20th 2017. Photo/UNICEF/UN064905

"Nothing can justify" the terrible acts of abuse against women and children in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in recent months. That's the view of Marie-Pierre Poirier, the Regional Director for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in West and Central Africa, in a statement issued on Monday. The Kasais [...]

7 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Syria probe "must continue" after Del Ponte resignation

Listen / Carla Del Ponte, who is standing down from the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria after more than five years. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The international community's efforts to record rights violations in war-torn Syria "must continue" after the resignation of a leading member of a UN Commission of Inquiry, the panel's two remaining investigators said on Monday. In a statement, commissioners Paulo Pinheiro and Karen AbuZayd thanked Carla Del Ponte for her more than five years of service, [...]

7 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Encouraging impartial, competent young journalists in the Pacific

Listen / Pacific-03AUG17-350-300

A new generation of "impartial but competent" young journalists is on the rise across the Pacific, thanks in part to training being offered by the UN Educational and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. That's the upbeat assessment of UNESCO's Director of Office and Representative to the Pacific States, Nisha. Ms Nisha said it was important for all [...]

7 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

New UN Security Council sanctions target DPRK exports

Listen / The situation in the Middle East

The UN Security Council has voted to strengthen sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in response to the country's latest missile tests. In an emergency meeting held on Saturday, the 15 ambassadors unanimously adopted a resolution which clamps down on the country’s exports. The DPRK, also known as North Korea, launched what [...]

5 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Women UN Police help instill safety at camps for South Sudan displaced

Listen / UNPOL-officer-UNMISS-03AUG17-350-300

South Sudanese citizens who have been displaced to UN protection camps as a result of conflict say they feel safer when those camps are searched for weapons and other prohibited items. When the search is conducted by women, there's a higher sense of trust, confidence and security. That's according to Cynthia Anderson, an officer from [...]

5 Aug 2017 | Posted in From the Field, Today's Features | Read More »

UN informed of US plans to withdraw from Paris climate agreement

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The United States has officially informed the United Nations of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, the world body said on Friday. The deal adopted by world leaders in the French capital in December 2015 seeks to limit global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius. Dianne Penn reports. The [...]

4 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

IOM worried by rise in deaths of migrants crossing US-Mexico border

Listen / A woman fleeing from El Salvador walks along the train tracks in Chiapas, Mexico. This stretch of her walk began on Arriaga, Chiapas. She is on her way to the United States. Mexico. Central American Refugees. Photo: UNHCR/ Markel Redondo

The drowning of a five-year-old child in the Rio Grande river this week and the recent discovery of 10 bodies in the back of a tractor-trailer in Texas are harrowing reminders of the dangers undocumented migrants face in their attempts to enter the United States. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that so far [...]

4 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 04 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC. Photo: Carlos Vera/ECLAC.

  UN projects positive yet low economic growth in Latin America and Caribbean Latin America and the Caribbean will record "a positive, though still low" growth rate this year. That's according to the annual report by the UN Economic Commission for the region, ECLAC, launched on Friday. Here's UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric with more details [...]

4 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 04 August 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matt Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: horrific eye-witness accounts of human rights violations by government personnel and militia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Kasai region are catalogued in a new UN report; and we've the first studio interview [...]

4 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 04 August 2017 (AM)

Listen / 10-29-2015Mexico_Texas-350-300

IOM data shows rise in migrants deaths at US-Mexico border Undocumented migrants attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the United States are dying at a faster rate than in previous years, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported. There have been 232 fatalities so far this year, up from 204 during the [...]

4 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Absolutely horrific" militia and government attacks in Kasais

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The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) released a report on Friday of "absolutely horrific" accounts of killings and human rights violations against villagers in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The report was based on interviews with nearly 100 refugees from the volatile region who have fled to neighbouring Angola. UN [...]

4 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

More understanding needed of children in conflict

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Better understanding is needed of the UN's role championing children caught up in armed conflict, and the work that the world body does to stop armed groups recruiting child soldiers. That's according to Virginia Gamba, who took up her post as Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict just a few weeks ago. She praised [...]

4 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN-Habitat needs more "efficient structure" as part of major reform: UN chief

Listen / Over half of all people now live in urban areas – and 820 million live in slums like this one in Haiti. Credit: Julius Mwelu/UN-Habitat

UN-Habitat, the organization's urban development agency, needs a more "flexible, efficient structure" that delivers more to vulnerable city-dwellers. That's according to UN chief António Guterres, responding to a major report on the agency, carried out by a High Level Independent Panel looking into ways of strengthening UN-Habitat. More details from Matt Wells. Around 54 per [...]

3 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 03 August 2017 (PM)

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South Sudan protection force "on track": UN peacekeeping chief Efforts are underway to expedite the full deployment of a Regional Protection Force to South Sudan, the head of UN peacekeeping operations said on Thursday. Jean-Pierre Lacroix was speaking at the end of his three-day visit to the country, where political turmoil and inter-community violence have [...]

3 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

UN and Africa: focus on South Sudan peace process, mental health in Somalia and Sudan’s child soldiers

Listen / LaCroix-UNMISS-02AUG17-350-300

Engagement of regional countries "good thing" for South Sudan peace process The engagement of countries in eastern Africa in a process aimed at revitalizing the peace process and bringing an end to conflict in South Sudan is a "good thing" the head of global UN peacekeeping operations has said. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who is the UN [...]

3 Aug 2017 | Posted in UN and Africa | Read More »

UN Gender Focus: Breastfeeding Special

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This week we’re bringing you a special programme to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, which runs until 7 August. Breastfeeding protects both babies and their mothers from an array of diseases and helps boost their health long-term. But despite the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers, no country in the world fully meets recommended standards [...]

3 Aug 2017 | Posted in UN Gender Focus | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 03 August 2017

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Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matt Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: Mauritania's government needs to ensure a free and credible vote in the upcoming constitutional referendum there, the UN Human Rights office tells us. And – don't call us "crazy" – health professionals in Somalia [...]

3 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

News in Brief 03 August 2017 (AM)

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Syria Commission of Inquiry calls for justice for Yazidis A UN-mandated Commission of Inquiry on Syria is calling for justice for the Yazidi religious minority, victims of the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh. The Commission is urging the international community "to recognize the crime of genocide being committed by ISIL against the Yazidis [...]

3 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Mauritanian authorities must ensure "free and credible" vote

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The government of Mauritania has a responsibility to ensure that a "free, transparent and credible" voting process takes place in a constitutional referendum due to take place on Saturday. That's the call coming from the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Thursday, ahead of protests organized by opposition politicians, due to take place in the [...]

3 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 02 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / Press conference from Geneva.

  UN mission in DRC concerned over arrests The head of the UN's peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO, has expressed concern over arbitrary arrests and detentions in various parts of the country. MONUSCO chief Maman Sidikou said they followed peaceful civil society mobilization to protest delays in the publication of [...]

2 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Denying terrorists access to weapons "goes to the heart" of UN

Listen / SC-AM-terrorism-02AUG17-350-300

Denying terrorists access to weapons "goes to the heart" of the UN chief's efforts "to make prevention the core mission" of the world body. That's according to the officer in charge of the new UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, briefing the Security Council on Wednesday. Matt Wells reports. Duration: 3’06″

2 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 02 August 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matt Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: Denying terrorists access to weapons "goes to the heart" of the UN's core mission on preventing conflict, says a senior counter-terrorism official; and, engaging countries close to South Sudan is a "good thing" for [...]

2 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Engagement of regional countries "good thing" for South Sudan peace

Listen / LaCroix-UNMISS-02AUG17-350-300

The engagement of countries in eastern Africa in a process aimed at revitalizing the peace process and bringing an end to conflict in South Sudan is a "good thing" the head of global UN peacekeeping operations has said. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who is the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, was speaking on Wednesday in the South [...]

2 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

Security Council outlines continued concern over situation in Burundi

Listen / Thousands of people fleeing fear of violence in Burundi have arrived in Mahama Refugee Camp, Rwanda. File Photo UNHCR/Kate Holt

The UN Security Council has expressed its continued concern over the political situation in Burundi. The country has been plagued by two years of political impasse and violence stemming from President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term in office. Hundreds of citizens have been killed while more than 400,000 have fled to neighbouring [...]

2 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

Somali health professionals grapple with mental health stigma

Listen / unifeed-somalia-mentalhealth-02AUG17-350-300

Many Somalis commonly called "crazy" are actually suffering from mental illness, often brought on by years of conflict and loss. That's one of the lessons learned at a recent UN workshop for mental health professionals in Baidoa, the capital of Somalia's South West state, organized by the UN Assistance Mission in the country, UNSOM. The [...]

2 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

News in Brief 02 August 2017 (AM)

Listen / Afghanistan-350-300

Top UN officials condemn deadly mosque attack in Afghanistan A deadly assault on a Shia mosque in Afghanistan has been strongly condemned by the UN Secretary-General. At least 31 people were killed and scores injured in the attack, which took place in the north-western city of Herat on Tuesday evening. Two assailants entered the mosque [...]

2 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Increase support to Yemen, UNDP official urges

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The international community has been asked to redouble efforts to support Yemen as it faces looming famine and the world's largest cholera outbreak in the midst of conflict. The call has been made by the head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in the country, Auke Lootsma, who briefed journalists in New York on Tuesday. [...]

1 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 01 August 2017 (PM)

Listen / 14-7-17venezuela-350-300

UN rights chief concerned over arrest of Venezuela opposition figures Authorities in Venezuela are being urged by the UN Human Rights High Commissioner to release all those who are being held in custody for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein made the appeal on Tuesday in [...]

1 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

Breastfeeding protects babies and mothers "long-term": WHO expert

Listen / A mother in Nepal breastfeeding her infant. Photo: UNICEF

Breastfeeding protects both babies and their mothers from an array of diseases and helps boost their health long-term. That's according to Laurence Grummer-Strawn, a breastfeeding expert with the World Health Organization's (WHO) Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. WHO and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) published the Global Breastfeeding Scorecard on Tuesday, in collaboration [...]

1 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's Features | Read More »

UN Daily News Programme 01 August 2017

Listen / UN-Radio-micro32

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from the United Nations, with Matt Wells and Dianne Penn. In today's programme: old and young need to pool their wisdom, experience, energy and ideals to reach the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals says the UN chief; and we join personnel from the UN Mission in South [...]

1 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

"Wisdom, experience, energy and ideals" of old & young vital to SDGs

Listen / dpi-ngo-intergen-dialogue-social-350-300

The "wisdom, experience, energy and ideals" of the old and the young are vital to realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That was the key message from UN chief António Guterres, marking the start of a day of Intergenerational Dialogues, aimed at raising awareness of the valuable role youth and the elderly can play [...]

1 Aug 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

UN agencies and partners urge countries to improve breastfeeding rates

Listen / Breastfeeding-China-350-300

Despite the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers, no country in the world fully meets recommended standards for the practice. The finding comes in a "scorecard" published on Tuesday by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with an initiative to boost breastfeeding rates, known as the Global [...]

1 Aug 2017 | Posted in Today's News | Read More »

News in Brief 01 August 2017 (AM)

Listen / Lacroix-UNMISS-01AUG17-350-300

UN Peacekeeping chief in South Sudan Peace initiatives in South Sudan cannot advance unless fighting comes to an end and the humanitarian situation of the people improves, the head of UN peacekeeping operations has said. Jean-Pierre Lacroix was speaking to reporters in the country's capital, Juba, on Tuesday, following a meeting with the Foreign Minister. [...]

1 Aug 2017 | Posted in | Read More »

All SDGs contain an "environmental component": UNEP deputy chief

Listen / Thiam350

Understanding the link between fighting poverty and preserving natural resources is key to achieving development that benefits both people and the planet. That's the view of the Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Ibrahim Thiaw. Countries are pushing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with the promise to "leave [...]

1 Aug 2017 | Posted in Sustainable Development Goals, Today's Features | Read More »

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