Hurricane Katrina’s ‘true legacy’ was to spur disaster risk management – senior UN official
Published Aug 28, 2015 - 11:40:14 AM
The top United Nations disaster resilience official today said on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that the ‘true legacy’ of the costliest United States hurricane disaster, which devastated New Orleans and claimed more than 1,800 lives, was to raise the bar for disaster risk management worldwide.
IFRC launches emergency appeal to support flood-affected communities in coastal Bangladesh
Published Aug 25, 2015 - 7:34:05 AM
Today, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched an 857,000 Swiss Franc (USD 911,000) emergency appeal to provide relief and recovery support to 32,500 people in coastal districts of Bangladesh who have been hard hit by widespread monsoon flooding and the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Komen.
Syria: MSF treats patients with symptoms of exposure to chemical agents
Published Aug 25, 2015 - 6:53:22 AM
Four patients exhibiting symptoms of exposure to chemical agents were treated at a hospital run by international medical organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in northern Syria’s Aleppo governorate on August 21.
New Research Shows Forests Will Disappear Faster Than We Thought
Published Aug 25, 2015 - 6:28:58 AM
The Center for Global Development (CGD) released a working paper today showing that tropical forests – whose preservation is thought to be one of the quickest, most affordable way to mitigate climate change – will disappear faster than we thought.
Killer facts: The scale of the global arms trade
Published Aug 25, 2015 - 6:28:00 AM
Globally, armed violence kills around 508,000 people every year, most in non-conflict settings.
High homicide rates have been estimated to cost the global economy just under US$2 trillion between 2000 and 2010 – 2.64% of the global output in 2010.
Migrant crisis: “Let’s not pretend Europe’s response is working” – UN rights expert warns
Published Aug 25, 2015 - 6:24:47 AM
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, today called on the European Union to establish a human rights-based, coherent and comprehensive migration policy* which makes mobility its central asset. “It is the only way in which the EU can reclaim its border, effectively combat smuggling and empower migrants,” he said.
Director-General Irina Bokova condemns destruction of Palmyra's ancient temple as a war crime
Published Aug 24, 2015 - 12:36:27 PM
“The systematic destruction of cultural symbols embodying Syrian cultural diversity reveals the true intent of such attacks, which is to deprive the Syrian people of its knowledge, its identity and history. One week after the killing of Professor Khaled al-Assaad, the archaeologist who had looked after Palmyra's ruins for four decades, this destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity,” said the Director-General.
Israel: Surge in Unlawful Palestinian Home Demolitions
Published Aug 24, 2015 - 12:35:35 PM
The Israeli military unlawfully demolished at least 39 structures in Bedouin Palestinian communities in the West Bank on August 17 and 18, 2015. The demolitions left 126 people homeless, 80 of them children. Four of the communities where the demolitions took place are targeted by an Israeli government plan to forcibly “relocate” 7,000 Bedouin.
In A Historic First, U.N. Security Council Convenes to Discuss LGBT Rights
Published Aug 24, 2015 - 9:24:24 AM
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed the leadership of U.S Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and her Chilean counterpart Ambassador Cristian Barros Melet for holding the first ever U.N. Security Council meeting on LGBT rights later today. Open to all U.N. member states, the gathering will focus on the appalling abuse and violence being perpetrated against LGBT people in areas in which ISIS exerts control.
Mexico becoming a ‘no-go zone’ for migrants as gruesome massacre remains unresolved five years on
Published Aug 21, 2015 - 1:17:00 PM
The disgraceful lack of effective investigations into the mass killings of 72 migrants in Mexico five years ago is giving a green light to criminal groups who terrorize and murder people crossing the country to seek safety and a better life, said Amnesty International.
UNHCR welcomes the joint Franco-British declaration to address the situation in Calais
Published Aug 20, 2015 - 4:33:15 AM
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, welcomes the joint Franco-British declaration on the situation in Calais and the associated action plan announced today.
UK government opens up huge swathes of Northern England for fracking blitz
Published Aug 20, 2015 - 3:54:38 AM
Responding to the Government’s announcement of the companies which have been offered licences to frack under the first tranche of the 14th licensing round for onshore oil and gas, Andrew Pendleton, Friends of the Earth head of campaigns, said:
Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF
Published Aug 20, 2015 - 3:36:18 AM
An average of eight children are killed or maimed every day in Yemen as a direct result of the conflict that has gripping the country since April, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Nearly 7 million women each year treated for complications from unsafe abortion in developing countries
Published Aug 20, 2015 - 3:34:22 AM
In 2012, an estimated 6.9 million women in developing regions were treated for complications resulting from unsafe abortion, according to new research by Susheela Singh and Isaac Maddow-Zimet of the Guttmacher Institute. Their article, “Facility-based treatment for medical complications resulting from unsafe pregnancy termination in the developing world, 2012,” published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, highlights two alarming realities: the very large number of women who experience complications from unsafe abortions and the significant costs that women, their households and governments incur as a result of treating these complications.
The 'End of the high seas,' or we watch the seas die
Published Aug 17, 2015 - 11:14:29 AM
Even optimistic estimates for what might be achieved at December's Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris will not be enough to save the world's coral reefs, according to a Plenary session analysis presented at the Goldschmidt conference in Prague.
UN appeals for Guarani in Brazil as gunmen ‘prepare to attack’
Published Aug 17, 2015 - 9:58:00 AM
The United Nations has appealed to the Brazilian government to take urgent action as gunmen have surrounded several Guarani communities, threatening the Indians with imminent attack.
UNHCR concern about return of Nigerians, shrinking humanitarian space
Published Aug 14, 2015 - 10:32:14 AM
The UN refugee agency is concerned about the escalating violence in and around Nigeria and its impact on the situation of Nigerian refugees in surrounding host countries, including a shrinking humanitarian space in which they can seek asylum.
WFP Executive Director Implores Global Community To Continue Support For Syrian Refugees
Published Aug 13, 2015 - 12:36:35 PM
The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Ertharin Cousin concluded a visit to Jordan and Lebanon on Thursday by calling upon the international community to continue support Syrian refugees displaced in neighbouring countries and appealing to the world not to forget this crisis.
New UN agency report shows ‘unprecedented’ rise in infant mortality in Gaza
Published Aug 13, 2015 - 12:35:56 PM
A new study carried out by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has revealed that the infant mortality rate in the Gaza Strip has risen for the first time in 50 years, with the agency’s health director citing the ongoing blockade as possibly contributing to the trend.
UN rights expert urges Brazil not to evict Guarani and Kaiowá indigenous peoples from their traditional lands
Published Aug 11, 2015 - 4:10:12 PM
United Nations independent expert Victoria Tauli-Corpuz has urged the Government of Brazil “to ensure that the human rights of the Guarani and Kaiowá indigenous people are fully respected, in strict compliance with international standards protecting the rights of indigenous peoples.”
Greenpeace warns Sendai nuclear restart will not end nuclear crisis facing Abe government
Published Aug 11, 2015 - 7:46:23 AM
The restart of the Sendai nuclear reactor today will not reverse the terminal decline of Japan's nuclear industry, given all nine Japanese nuclear utilities are faced with insurmountable safety issues at their nuclear power plants together with mounting political, public and legal challenges, warns Greenpeace Japan.
Yemen spiraling into major food crisis – UN expert warns against deliberate starvation of civilians
Published Aug 11, 2015 - 7:45:00 AM
As Yemen plunges deeper into conflict, the country is now in the midst of a major food crisis, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, has warned today.
Israeli settlement expansion 'root cause' of growing violence in Occupied Palestinian Territories - UN experts
Published Aug 10, 2015 - 9:20:26 AM
A United Nations human rights committee has completed its annual evaluation of the situation affecting millions of people living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and has cited Israel's policy of settlement expansion as a primary driver of the escalating violence in the area.
Yemen: UN official calls for scaling up efforts to meet 'staggering' humanitarian needs
Published Aug 10, 2015 - 9:12:03 AM
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen is appealing for significant contributions to scale up efforts to meet the “staggering” needs across the country, where some 21 million people, or 80 per cent of the population, require live-saving assistance.
No Water, Plenty of Trash - Ten Years of Unfulfilled Promises in East Jerusalem
Published Aug 10, 2015 - 9:08:34 AM
Ten years after the government pledged in the High Court that it would take care of the Jerusalem residents on ‘wrong’ side of the separation barrier following its construction, the situation has deteriorated dramatically. Garbage lies uncollected on the streets, infrastructure has collapsed and the neglect and isolation has turned these neighborhoods into a no-mans land. Today, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel sent an urgent plea to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding that the government fulfill its obligations and stave off the neighborhoods’ continued degradation.
Bangladesh: UN experts condemn killing of blogger Niloy Neel, a strong critic of extremism
Published Aug 7, 2015 - 9:43:06 AM
The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression, David Kaye, and on extrajudicial executions, Christof Heyns, have condemned today’s killing in Bangladesh of the blogger Niloy Neel, a supporter of free expression and opponent of fundamentalism of all kinds. Mr. Neel is the fourth Bangladeshi blogger hacked to death so far this year.
World Bank: Dangerous Rollback in Environmental, Social Protections
Published Aug 5, 2015 - 12:52:48 PM
The World Bank has released new draft safeguard policies that will vastly weaken protections for affected communities and the environment at the same time as the bank intends to finance more high-risk projects, 19 organizations said today. The proposed new Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework pointedly contradicts World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s commitment to ensure that the bank’s new rules will not weaken or “dilute” existing mandatory environmental and social protection measures and calls into question the extent to which the bank has responded to public input.
UN child rights committee and UN Special Representative on Violence against Children condemn Shafqat Hussein execution
Published Aug 5, 2015 - 12:01:39 PM
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children have condemned the execution in Pakistan of Shafqat Hussein, who was reportedly 14 years old when he was convicted of murder.
Feeding people on our stressed planet will require a "revolution" say renowned scientists
Published Aug 5, 2015 - 11:25:30 AM
How do you make sure billions of people around the world have access to food?
You start a revolution.
At least that’s what two leading U.S. scientists argue in a new report. Feeding people will require cleaner energy, smarter farming and women’s rights, but also a “fundamental cultural change,” according to Paul Ehrlich, president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University, and University of California, Berkeley, professor and researcher John Harte.
First UN Resolution on Wildlife Trafficking ‘Historic Step Forward’, Chief of UN Environment Programme Says
Published Aug 3, 2015 - 8:42:49 AM
United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner released the following statement after the UN General Assembly adopted its first-ever resolution on wildlife trafficking:
“This General Assembly resolution is an historic step forward, and one I believe will spark the firm and concerted international action needed to combat poaching and those who profit from it.