News in Brief 06 October 2017 (AM)

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Arrivals in Bangladesh's Ukhiya area right after crossing the border with Myanmar's northern Rakhine state. Photo: UNHCR/Vivian Tan (file)

2,000 Rohingya refugees still crossing into Bangladesh each day: IOM

An estimated 2,000 Rohingya refugees are continuing to flee across the border into Bangladesh each day, with as many as 100,000 still waiting to cross over from Myanmar.

That's according to the UN migration agency, IOM, which says the mainly Muslim refugees who have been escaping systematic attacks by Myanmar forces in their native northern Rakhine State, routinely show signs of malnutrition.

"They arrive exhausted, hungry and usually with nothing more than the clothes on their back," said an IOM statement on Friday.

An estimated 515,000 Rohingya refugees have now fled into the Cox's Bazar region of Bangladesh since 25 August.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) says it's "very concerned" about the risk of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera affecting the vulnerable young population that are living in cramped makeshift camps.

Around 60 per cent of arrivals are children; 30 per cent of them under-five.

International community "much more confident" of progress in Afghanistan

One year on from the Brussels conference in support of Afghanistan, the international community is "much more confident" that progress is being made.

That's according to the UN Special Representative to the country, Tadamichi Yamamoto, addressing a follow-up meeting in the capital Kabul, involving government ministers, and representatives from civil society and the private sector.

The Senior Officials Meeting heard Afghan President Ashraf Ghani pledge the country's "unwavering commitment" to end corruption and promise Afghan citizens a future "free from terrorism and violence".

Mr Yamamoto said on behalf of the UN that he appreciated the "frank conversations" with the president and his team over implementing the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, he praised all Afghan participants in the conference for taking a strong and positive lead.

"The international community of course has listened to the Afghan government, the Afghan people this time, and we feel that we are much more confident that the progress that this country is making – fully aware of the problems and challenges which are of immense magnitude – will enable us to make further progress in the coming year."

More countries must join treaty against illegal fishing: FAO

All countries should join the so-called Port State Measures Agreement to curb illegal fishing worldwide, and preserve marine ecosystems.

José Graziano da Silva, the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), made the appeal on Friday at the Our Ocean Conference in Malta.

The treaty, signed last year, requires strict checks on fishing fleets in ports—not at sea—to tackle illegal fishing, as well as drug and human trafficking.

Mr da Silva said about 50 countries have ratified so far, but many more are needed to make it "highly effective."

FAO is allocating what it describes as "hefty" funds to provide technical, scientific, and legal support to small-scale fisheries in less-developed countries.

The FAO chief announced pledges of nearly US$42 million for fisheries programmes, including money to improve management and support jobs around the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

Duration: 2'50"

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