Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone: WHO staff talking to mothers on getting children to health care. WHO/M. Harris
Geneva, 24 August 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today warned that infectious diseases have become “a much larger menace” under the unique conditions of the 21st century with its unprecedented global travel volume of nearly 100,000 flights carrying 8.6 million passengers every day.
WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan, said however, that “the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak likely represents our best chance ever to transform the world’s response to epidemics and other health emergencies. Continue reading
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is presented with a flower bouquet upon arrival in Abuja, Nigeria. UN Photo
Nigeria, 24 August 2015 – Commemorating the 4th anniversary of the “vicious terrorist attack” that killed 23 United Nations employees in Abuja, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today also paid tribute to the “extraordinary fortitude” and determination of the survivors, many of whom suffered terrible injury and trauma.
“Our fallen colleagues and partners will be remembered this morning with moments of silence in many places. But nowhere are the memories of these colleagues more immediate, more vivid and more compelling than here in Abuja. We will remember them forever as truly the best of humanity,” Mr. Ban stated in his remarks during a wreath-laying ceremony. Continue reading
Aid distribution point in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). Photo: OCHA
CAR, 24 August 2015 – A senior United Nations relief official today strongly condemned the attack against humanitarian workers that occurred on August 20 in Bambari, in Central African Republic (CAR), and injured one staff from the Red Cross Movement.
“I condemn the violence and call on all belligerents to respect and protect humanitarian workers who provide assistance to thousands of people affected by the crisis in the country,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative for the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), Aurélien A. Agbénonci, in a press release. Continue reading
Young women and girls carry water in Nigeria. Photo: World Bank
Nigeria, 23 August 2015 – The UN chief travelled over the weekend to Abuja, Nigeria, where today he met the States Governors, who can play a “fundamental role” in shaping the future of their country by implementing the sustainable development agenda Members States will adopt in a month in New York.
“You have the resources and the power to help the people of Nigeria realize the tremendous promise of this great country – on education, on health care, on women’s empowerment, on climate change, on governance, institution-building, security and on rights across the board,” stated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his remarks. Continue reading
UN peacekeepers from the Niger contingent on patrol in Menaka, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino
Mali, 22 August 2015 – The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) today condemned the use of landmines or explosive ordnance, which gravely injured this morning two of its peacekeepers.
“The MINUSMA strongly condemns such acts, aimed at paralyzing its operations in Mali and which indiscriminately affects UN personnel or innocent civilians,” stated a press release issued by the Mission Continue reading
Internally displaced persons uprooted from Xudur and Diinsoor in Somalia due to fear of attacks. Photo: OCHA/Cecilia Attefors
Somalia, 21 August 2015 – Just back from an assessment mission in southern regions of Somalia, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the country has underscored that while relief supplies are reaching the areas “after years of isolation,” much work lay ahead for people to rebuild their lives in the towns of Baardheere and Diinsoor, in the Gedo and Bay regions, respectively.
“I was pleased to meet with people on the ground and see how medical and other humanitarian supplies are now going to these areas, after years of isolation,” said Peter de Clercq press release, noting that he was particularly encouraged by the resilience and determination of the people living in the towns he and his team had visited. Continue reading
Following attacks in January 2015, thousands of people, mostly women and children, fled from different villages and took refuge at a safe zone adjacent to UNAMID’s base in Um Baru, North Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/Hamid Abdulsalam
Darfur, 21 August 2015 – A new United Nations report paints a grim picture of “systemic failure, or outright refusal” by authorities in Darfur to take human rights violations seriously and points to the failure of initiatives taken so far by the Government to combat “endemic impunity.”
“Most victims have not received justice or any remedies for the wrongs that they suffered,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said on the report’s findings.
“The casual manner in which inquiries by UN human rights staff have been dismissed by local police is deeply disturbing and indicates the extent to which State officials feel they are above the law,” he said. “The authorities must bring an end to the endemic impunity in Darfur.” Continue reading
Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) Diane Corner. UN Photo/Dany Balepe
CAR, 20 August 2015 – Condemning all cases of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by its personnel, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) today said that it is determined to “stamp out” this “extremely seriously problem.”
“It is a blight on the Mission and on the extremely good work that the overwhelming majority of MINUSCA personnel are doing. We are determined to solve this problem, and ensure that the UN Mission fulfills its mandate, serves the people of the Central African Republic (CAR), and that includes in particular the victims of these types of abuses,” Deputy Special Representative in CAR, Diane Corner, said today during a videoconference from the capital, Bangui. Continue reading
People demonstrate in Bujumbura against a decision by Burundi’s ruling party to nominate President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term (April 2015). Photo: Desire Nimubona/IRIN
Burundi, 20 August 2015 – Noting the inauguration today of Pierre Nkurunziza for his third term as President of Burundi, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged him to “pursue a path of inclusivity and reconciliation,” and reiterated his call on all Burundian stakeholders to undertake a broad and transparent political dialogue.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York, Mr. Ban took note of President Nkurunziza’s inauguration and reiterated his call for all Burundian stakeholders to undertake an inclusive and transparent political dialogue under the leadership of the East African Community (EAC) Facilitator, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. Continue reading
UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl visiting the Abu Tue’ma school in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, on 14 September 2014, to celebrate the start of the new school year. Photo: UNRWA/Shareef Sarhan
Palestine, 19 August 2015 – The United Nations relief agency dealing with Palestinian refugees has declared the school year open will on time today for the 500,000 boys and girls in the increasingly unstable Middle East, where multiple crises and a major funding shortage nearly forced the delayed of the opening of 685 schools in the region.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is “greatly relieved” that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and stressed that education is a right, “and that rights delayed are rights denied.” Continue reading