News in Brief 14 September 2017 (PM)

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UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Yury Fedotov (centre) participated in a special event in Vienna on 14 September 2017 for UNODC's 20th anniversary. Photo: UNODC

UN Office on Drugs and Crime celebrates 20 years

Helping justice take root is essential for preventing conflict, promoting international peace and security, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

That was the message delivered by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a video message on Thursday commemorating the 20th anniversary of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Mr Guterres also expressed pride about the support UNODC provides to countries to tackle what he described as "the interlinked problems" of drugs, organized crime, terrorism and corruption.

In a speech delivered at an event in Vienna to mark the day, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedetov observed that two decades ago, there was no globally agreed definition of crimes such as human trafficking, while corruption was not always considered a criminal offence.

He said today, conventions and other measures addressing crime and corruption have been ratified by nearly every country in the world, though he acknowledged that these threats are always evolving and emerging.

UN concerned about civilians trapped in Raqqa, Syria

The UN has expressed concern over the condition of more than 15,000 people trapped in the Syrian city of Raqqa, most of whom are women and children.

It said humanitarian, health, living and security conditions there remain dire for most of the population.

More than 51,000 people have been displaced in Raqqa; nearly 30,000 in August alone.

UN agencies have been supporting people in need by providing food, hygiene kits and medical treatment, among other items.

Nearly 600,000 affected by CAR violence

An upsurge of violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) has resulted in a 50 per cent increase in the number of internally displaced people in the country.

That information comes from the United Nations which put the figure at close to 600,000, most of whom are in the south-east.

The fighting is affecting areas which had been relatively stable, according to UN humanitarians.

They report that over the past 12 months, eight of the CAR's 16 provinces have been affected by violence and nearly 70 per cent of the territory is in the hands of armed groups.

Meanwhile, a US$497 million humanitarian appeal is only 30 per cent funded.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’28″

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