Category Archives: News

Security Council looks forward to weekend signing of Mali peace accord by armed groups

Wide view of the Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

New york, 18 June 2015 – The United Nations Security Council, reiterating today its support to the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, said it looked forward to the expected signing of the accord this weekend by the so-called ‘Coordination’ armed groups.

“Recognizing the aspiration of all Malian citizens to enjoy lasting peace and development, the members of the Security Council urged the Coordination and Plateforme armed groups to refrain from any action that could undermine the peace process and to demonstrate responsibility and courage in the supreme interest of peace in Mali,” the Council said in a press statement. Continue reading

Unspeakable violence against children in South Sudan must stop – UNICEF chief

A child receives ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), at the UNICEF-supported Al-Shabbah Children’s Hospital, in Juba, South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/Sebastian Rich

New York, 18 June 2015 – The head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has appealed “in the name of humanity and common decency” for a halt to the worsening violence against children in South Sudan that has seen boys reportedly castrated and left to bleed to death and girls as young as eight who have been gang raped and murdered.

“The violence against children in South Sudan has reached a new level of brutality,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement issued Wednesday. “The details of the worsening violence against children are unspeakable, but we must speak of them.” Continue reading

UN health agency ramps up efforts against Tanzania cholera outbreak

Burundian refugees being treated for acute diarrhoea in a cholera treatment centre in Kigoma, Tanzania. Photo: UNHCR/B. Loyseau

Tanzania, 18 June 2015 – The cholera outbreak in Tanzania continues to spread among the populations in the country’s western Kigoma region amid an influx of refugees from neighbouring Burundi, the United Nations health agency warned today as it detailed its ongoing response aimed at stemming the epidemic.

“Carrying out social mobilization, including door-to-door campaigns and health education is a key component to educate populations and inform district and community leaders about the disease,” Dr. Rufaro Chatora, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for Tanzania, declared in a press release. Continue reading

Older persons are still subjected to abuse and violence on a daily basis, UN rights experts warns

Ms. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons Photo: UNHR

Ms. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons Photo: UNHR

In May 2014, the Human Rights Council appointed Ms. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte as the first Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons (HROP).

Ms. Kornfeld-Matte served as the National Director of the Chilean National Service of Ageing where she designed and implemented the National Policy of Ageing.She has a long career as an academic and is the founder of the programme for older persons at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo highlighted the need to look at these issues from a gender perspective, age being an established contributory factor for risk of violence.

“Older women, due to their age and related physical, social and economic disadvantages are indeed particularly vulnerable to violence”, she said. “But the ways that older women’s rights are abused and the forms of violence affecting them have been so far seriously overlooked and neglected.” Continue reading

Adopting resolution, Security Council condemns violence against journalists, urges end to impunity

A crowd of journalists in Maluku transit camp, on the outskirts of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where citizens of that country, deported from Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, have gathered. (23 May 2014). UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti

New York, 27 May 2015 – Deeply concerned by the frequency of acts of violence in many parts of the world against media professionals in armed conflict, the United Nations Security Council today adopted a resolution condemning all violations and abuses committed against journalists and strongly deploring impunity for such acts.

The unanimously adopted resolution, which affirmed that the work of a free, independent and impartial media constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, “and thereby can contribute to the protection of civilians,” urged States to take appropriate steps to ensure accountability for crimes committed against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in situations of armed conflict and to ensure accountability for crimes committed against journalists. Continue reading

Ban tells European Parliament to work together to address challenge of migration

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: © European Union 2015 – European Parliament

Brussels, 27 May 2015 – In Brussels today, where he was addressing the European Parliament, the United Nations Secretary-General today the important role played by the European Union in boosting the UN agenda, particularly on matters of peace, development and human rights.

Within that context, he stressed the importance of addressing the challenge of migration, in the Mediterranean and in Southeast Asia, in his speech to the parliament. Continue reading

UN health agency devotes World No Tobacco Day 2015 to combatting illegal tobacco trade

Credit: WHO

Geneva, 27 May 2015 – One in every 10 cigarettes consumed is illicit, making them cheaper and more accessible to people from low-income groups, as well as to children, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned ahead of this year’s World No Tobacco Day, devoted to combatting the illegal tobacco trade.

“The tobacco epidemic is one of the world’s biggest-ever public health threats, killing nearly six million people annually,” WHO said in a factsheet on tobacco released today. “Unless urgent action is taken, the annual death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030.” Continue reading

Condemning use of sexual violence, UN envoy warns Boko Haram aims to destroy family structures

A group of refugees in Diffa, Niger, after fleeing Boko Haram violence in Nigeria. Photo: OCHA/Franck Kuwonu

Nigeria, 27 May 2015 – The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict has condemned Boko Haram militias in Nigeria for “waging war on women’s physical, sexual and reproductive autonomy and rights” by repeatedly raping their female captors and treating them as vessels for producing children for fighters.

“In this context, sexual violence is not merely incidental, but integral, to their strategy of domination and self-perpetuation,” Zainab Hawa Bangura said in a statement. Continue reading

Joint UN report says rate of world hunger dropping amid wider eradication efforts

A farmer in The Gambia shows a dry tuft of rice in a drought period. Photo: FAO/Seyllou Diallo

Rome, 27 May 2015 – The number of the world’s chronically undernourished has dropped below the 800 million mark as an increasing number of countries hit their Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets on hunger, according to a new United Nations report released today by the Organization’s three food agencies.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015 (SOFI) report, which was jointly published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), reveals that the number of hungry declined to 795 million – 216 million fewer than in the 1990 – 1992 biennium and nearly 100 million fewer than in 2012. This, the agencies said in a press release, is due in large part to successes in the world’s developing regions. Continue reading