MINUSCA peacekeepers on patrol in the Central African Republic. Photo: MINUSCA
Central African Republic, 26 March 2015 – The Security Council has agreed to boost the United Nations peacekeeping presence in the Central African Republic (CAR) amid the country’s continuing instability and simmering sectarian tensions.
In a unanimous resolution adopted earlier this morning, the 15-member Council agreed to increase the number of ‘blue helmets’ serving in the UN mission in the CAR, also known by the acronym MINUSCA, by 750 military personnel, 280 police personnel and 20 corrections officers. Continue reading
The 11 South African Model UN students in the chamber of the United Nations Security Council, New York,
17 March 2015 (Photo: Sudeshan Reddy)
Pretoria, 26 March 2015 – “We are bringing this home” enthused an excited Ketho Tshipala, a Grade 12 learner from Atteridgeville, a township outside Pretoria. Ketho holds a plaque proclaiming that the South African Schools team at the Washington Model United Nations Conference had won the award for Outstanding Small Delegation.
Ketho is a member of a group of 11 high school learners from all nine provinces of South Africa, from resourced and under-resourced schools, who joined 1300 other students from around the world as they simulated a series of debates in Washington DC earlier this month. In addition to the Outstanding Delegation award, four of the South Africans were awarded the title of Best Delegation in their individual committees. Continue reading
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre left) and Sam Kutesa (centre right), President of the General Assembly, cut the ribbon at the unveiling ceremony of “The Ark of Return,” the Permanent Memorial to honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
New York, 25 March 2015 – United Nations officials today welcomed the unveiling at the world body’s New York Headquarters of a permanent memorial to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade which they acknowledged was one of the most horrific tragedies of modern history.
“This memorial stands as a strong and permanent reminder – not only of this gross injustice but of the goals that the UN set for itself 70 years ago,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the unveiling. “This poignant and powerful memorial helps us to acknowledge the collective tragedy that befell millions of people. It encourages us to consider the historical legacy of slavery and, above all, it ensures that we never forget.” Continue reading
A girl looks out of her house window in Benghazi, Libya. Photo: UNSMIL
Libya, 25 March 2015 – Armed groups across Libya have targeted human rights defenders seeking to shed light on abuses, according to a new United Nations report that outlines a litany of violent attacks and threats against defenders in the country, and in some cases even after they are forced to leave.
The joint report produced by the UN human rights office (OHCHR) and the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), documents attacks, including killings, abductions, torture and other ill-treatment, unlawful deprivation of liberty and death threats by phone and on social media since the escalation of fighting in May 2014. Continue reading
The remains of more than two-thousand persons cremated during the height of the Ebola outbreak were brought to an enclosed Palava Hut in the Liberian National Cemetery in Disco Hill, and will stay in this special place until national consultations determine how the remains can be buried in a dignified and proper way. Photo: UNMEER/Samuel Shilajiru
Monrovia, 25 March 2015 – The first case of Ebola in three weeks was found in Liberia, prompting heightened vigilance, while the United Nations health agency noted some improvements in Guinea, where the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Guinean Scouts held campfire sensitization sessions as part of its efforts to overcome community resistance to health interventions.
“Investigations into the origin of the newly reported case in Liberia are ongoing,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest update. “Heightened vigilance is being maintained throughout the country” along with efforts to reinforce surveillance networks and cross-border controls. Continue reading
Women process cassava for food preparation in Mbaiki, Central African Republic. $6.2 million is urgently needed to prevent further worsening of the food security situation. Photo: FAO/Riccardo Gangale
CAR, 23 March 2015 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched an urgent appeal to help provide farmers in the Central African Republic (CAR) with seeds and tools for the country’s upcoming planting season, warning that without additional assistance vulnerable populations risked a further deterioration of their livelihoods.
In a news release issued today, the UN agency reported that some 1.5 million people in CAR remain food insecure amid ongoing hostilities throughout the country and cautioned that the figure was likely to rise should immediate support not be provided. Continue reading
African elephant populations continue to face an immediate threat to their survival from high-levels of poaching for their ivory, especially in Central and West Africa where the situation appears to have deteriorated. Photo: CITES
New York, 23 March 2015 – An ongoing decline in overall elephant numbers remains likely as the poaching of African elephants continued to exceed population growth rates throughout 2014, a new United Nations-backed report warned today.
“African elephant populations continue to face an immediate threat to their survival from high-levels of poaching for their ivory, especially in Central and West Africa where the situation appears to have deteriorated,” said John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Continue reading