Category Archives: News

Dialogues needed to tackle violence against women, ‘accountability deficit’ in Sudan – UN expert

Internally displaced women hold their ration tickets while waiting for a World Food Programme distribution in Mastura, West Darfur, Sudan. Photo: UNHCR/Helen Caux

Sudan, 27 May 2015 – More open and constructive dialogues should be held among Sudanese stakeholders as a top priority to address ‘the silence and the denials’ of crimes against women, a United Nations human rights expert concluded after her recent mission to the country.

“The silence and the denials, whether by State authorities or many civil society participants, regarding the subject of violence as experienced by women, is a source of concern,” Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, said in a news release which covered the events of her 12-day visit to Sudan. Continue reading

Syrian Crisis: United Nations Response No. 96 – 27 May 2015

SE de Mistura meets delegations from Iran, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, EU and political groupings and civil society from Syria

On 27 May, in the framework of the Geneva Consultations, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria met with a delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran, led by Mr. Mohsen Naziri Asl, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. Ambassador Asl shared the views of his government regarding the Syrian crisis. Separately, Mr. de Mistura also met with a delegation from the United Arab Emirates, led by Mr. Fares Al Mazrouei, Assistant Foreign Minister for Security and Military Affairs. Mr. Al Mazrouei shared his Government’s perspectives on the Syrian conflict. At the end of the consultations on 27 May, Mr. de Mistura stressed the importance of the contribution of the regional countries to a political solution to the Syrian conflict. He also underscored an urgent need to find ways to end the bloodshed in Syria. In this respect, the Special Envoy reiterated his support to humanitarian pauses in fighting as called for by the World Food Programme (WFP), so farmers in Syria can safely harvest and transport crops in the coming weeks within the country to reach all Syrians in need. Continue reading

UNHCR mulls solutions for refugees affected by xenophobia

A mother feeds her child in a family tent. They were displaced by xenophobic violence in Durban

DURBAN, South Africa, May 26 (UNHCR) Approximately 1,000 Burundian and Congolese refugees who sought new lives in South Africa are turning to the UN refugee agency for help, after xenophobic violence forced them to flee their homes last month.

According to reports, more than 1,200 of the 5,400 people who took refuge in the three shelters of Phoenix, Isipingo and Chatsworth in this port city have been successfully reintegrated into the communities from which they fled. More than 2,000 have voluntarily repatriated to Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. However, many remain displaced and they favour resettlement. Continue reading

Message on Africa Day, 25 May

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

New York, 25 May 2015 – Each year, Africa Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate Africa’s achievements and to reflect on its challenges. The dominant story of the year has been the Ebola crisis that swept West Africa, claiming at least 11,000 lives and threatening hard-won social, economic and political achievements. With great courage and determination, and with the generous support of African nations and the international community, the affected countries have made remarkable progress toward ending the outbreak. Now, we have to intensify efforts to “get to zero and stay at zero” cases, repair the damage, and strengthen social and institutional resilience throughout the continent. To help mobilize support for this important task I will convene an International Ebola Recovery Conference at the United Nations in New York in July. Continue reading

In Ireland, UN’s Ban says strong cooperation key to overcoming global challenges

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Ireland, 24 May 2015 – Amid an explosion of world conflicts, humanitarian crises and human rights challenges, the international community is enduring a “time of test” which demands strong global cooperation and bold action, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today affirmed.

“Today’s conflicts are increasingly complex,” the Secretary-General declared in remarks delivered upon receiving the Tipperary International Peace Award in a ceremony in Tipperary, Ireland.

“The lines between terrorists, transnational criminals and extremists are blurring. Civil wars have impacts well beyond their borders,” Mr. Ban continued. “Yet there remains an enormous gap between demands and our capacities.” Continue reading

Top UN official in South Sudan urges accountability for human rights violations

Children have been killed, raped and abducted in a series of recent attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/Porter

South Sudan, 24 May 2015 – The United Nations Special Representative for South Sudan, Ellen Margrethe Løj, has urged accountability and justice for those responsible for gross human rights violations committed as a result of South Sudan’s continuing fighting.

The announcement came as Ms. Løj completed a visit to a protection-of-civilians (PoC) site run by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Bentiu, located in the country’s Unity state, and following a recent enlargement of the camp. Continue reading

Burundi: UN chief condemns killing of opposition politician as tensions in country rise

The police in Bujumbura, Burundi, have increasingly broken up opposition party gatherings. Photo: IRIN/Desire Nimubona

Burundi, 24 May 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the killing of a Burundian politician and his bodyguard in a move that threatens to further destabilize the country amid simmering political tensions and a growing humanitarian crisis.

Zedi Feruzi, leader of the opposition Union pour la paix et le développement (UPD) Zigamibanga party in Burundi, and his bodyguard, were reportedly shot dead in the country capital of Bukumbura late yesterday evening. According to the UN spokesperson’s office, the killing comes just one day after a fatal grenade attack on Bujumbura’s central market that left two dead and many others wounded. Continue reading

Somalia: UN official condemns killing of parliamentarian, reiterates support for political process

Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay. UN Photo/Ilyas Ahmed

Somalia, 24 May 2015 – The top United Nations official in Somalia has condemned a deadly attack against two Somali Members of Parliament (MP) and reiterated the Organization’s support for the country’s democratic process.

Yusuf Muhammad Dirir, a Member of the Federal Parliament, was shot and killed on 23 May along with his driver while another MP, Abdullahi Boss Ahmed, was wounded in the same attack, according to a press release issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia earlier today. Continue reading

Government responsibility for equity and quality in education must be our first concern – UN expert

INCHEON, KOREA (21 May 2015) – “Governments’ responsibility for ensuring inclusive, quality education is the cornerstone of the post-2015 education agenda,” said the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, at the World Education Forum 2015, a gathering of over 130 world leaders seeking to set a roadmap for global education to 2030. Continue reading

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 21 May

Message from the Director-General of UNESCO for 2015

Seventy years ago, UNESCO’s founders voiced a simple conviction: just as ignorance of each other’s ways and lives exacerbated mistrust and misunderstanding between peoples, the search for peace calls for mutual knowledge of cultures and peoples to be strengthened, so as to promote a better understanding of each other. Continue reading