Soualiga

The Best bookmaker bet365

Menu

Soualiga (2613)

In Senegal, UN General Assembly President calls for sustainable management of marine resources

INTERNATIONAL, 28 March 2017 – Visiting a traditional fishing community in Senegal, the President of the United Nations General Assembly has called on the countries in the region to prioritize conserving and sustainably managing their marine resources.

“I learned a lot today about how ocean issues like acidification, rising temperatures, overfishing and marine pollution affect the daily lives of fishermen,” said Assembly President Peter Thomson.

Mr. Thomson is currently in Senegal as part of his visit to several African countries to build momentum towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of which specifically deals with the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources.

“Understanding and acting upon the perspectives and expectations of artisanal fishers is an important component of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) that will be covered in The Ocean Conference this June,” added the UN official.

Being held from 5 to 9 June at the UN Headquarters, in New York, the Conference aims to reverse the decline in the health of oceans for the benefit of the people and the planet.

Involving all relevant stakeholders, including Governments, intergovernmental organizations, financial institutions, non-governmental and civil society organizations as well as the academia and scientific communities, the Conference will also contribute to the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda and provide input to the high-level political forum on sustainable development.

Also, while in Senegal, the Assembly President met with the country’s Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy and discussed the country’s response to challenges facing oceans such as overfishing, marine pollution, acidification and ocean warming.

Read more...

Half of all health facilities in war-torn Yemen now closed; medicines urgently needed – UN

INTERNATIONAL, 28 March 2017 – More than 14 million people in Yemen have no access to health services, the United Nations health agency today said, warning that transportation of medical personnel and treatment for the injured is getting increasingly difficult as this week the fighting enters its third year.

At least 7,719 people have been killed and 42,922 injured since 19 March 2015, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported, but the actual numbers are believed to be higher.

“More than half of all health facilities are closed or functioning only partially,” Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesperson, told journalists in Geneva.

Mr. Jasarevic, who was in Yemen in February, said that at least 274 health facilities had been damaged or destroyed as a result of the conflict, and some 44 health workers either killed or injured.

He noted also a shortage of medicines and specialized staff, such as surgeons, many of whom have fled the country.

“For more than six months, health facilities in Yemen had received no financial support to cover operational costs and staff salaries,” the spokesperson said.

As a result, health facilities such as the chemo-dialysis centre in Hudaydah, is on the brink of ceasing operations, as there was no more fuel to run the obsolete chemo-dialysis machines, Mr. Jasarevic noted. Without the facility 600 people with kidney failure would likely die.

The long-term impact of the conflict is also having detrimental effects on the country’s food system and infrastructure.

Malnutrition is on the rise with close to half-a-million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, with one out of every two children under the age of five stunted in their growth.

This is “a 200 per cent increase since 2014 – when that number was at 160,000 – raising the risk of famine,” said Christophe Boulierac, spokesperson for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

UNICEF estimates that every 10 minutes, at least one child dies in Yemen as a result of preventable causes such as malnutrition, diarrhoea or respiratory tract infections.

In addition to malnutrition, children face malaria and dengue fever, both of which have been on the rise in the past two months. An outbreak of cholera has been contained, Mr. Jasarevic said.

WHO, UNICEF and other UN agencies and their partners are providing aid but resources are stretched. For 2017, for example, the health cluster appealed for $322 million.

Pervasive malnutrition, shuttered schools jeopardize Yemen’s future generations

Meanwhile, Humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, denounced a raft of atrocities taking place in Yemen, including reportedly at least 1,540 children killed; 2,450 children injured; and over 1,550 children recruited to fight or to perform military related duties. Moreover, Hundreds of people have been killed in mosques, markets, funeral wakes, schools and hospitals.

“With malnutrition amongst children at an all-time high and at least two million children out of school, the conflict and its consequences is jeopardizing future generations in Yemen,” he said, explaining that more than 11 per cent of Yemen’s entire population has been forced to move from their homes in search of safety and livelihoods. One million of these people have sought to return to their areas of origin only to find destruction and lack of opportunities to re-start their lives.

Stressing that no humanitarian response can meet the increasing needs that the war is causing, Mr. McGoldrick said: “The people of Yemen have suffered long enough […] Only peace can end the suffering and I continue to call on all the parties to return to the negotiating table and to make effective their responsibilities to civilians across Yemen.”

Read more...

Supporting Syrian refugees not only an act 'of generosity' but also of 'enlightened self-interest' – UN chief

INTERNATIONAL, 28 March 2017 – Visiting the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan that is hosting about 80,000 Syrian refugees, the United Nations chief urged the parties to the conflict in Syria and the countries that have influence over them to realize that the crisis is not only a tragedy for Syrian people but also a threat to regional stability and global security.

“This is the moment for all countries that are involved, directly or indirectly in the conflict, to put aside their differences and understand […] the common interest from the fact that they are all threatened by the new risk of global terrorism,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters at a press conference at the camp.

“Solidarity with Syrian refugees is also a way to be able to express our capacity to guarantee global security. It's not only an act of generosity. It's also an act of enlightened self-interest,” he added, noting that by failing to support refugees, groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) and al Qaida could use such inactions as arguments to further their own vested interests and put global security at risk.

In his remarks, Mr. Guterres also hailed the generosity of the Government and the people of Jordan for supporting refugees despite having a vulnerable economy, and appealed for international solidarity with countries such as Jordan that have been hosting Syrian refugees.

“I hope that that if all countries that have an influence on the Syrian situation are able to come together, these refugees, [who have been living here for more than four years,] will be able to restart their lives again, to find jobs, to work, to have a normal life,” he said.

He also underscored the importance of Arab unity and said that when Arab countries are divided, it has allowed others to intervene and to manipulate situations, creating instability, breeding conflict and facilitating activities of terrorist organizations.

The UN Secretary-General further called on to the wider international community to increase their humanitarian support as well as to make sure that more opportunities are given to the refugees and to make sure that the countries that have an influence on the parties to the conflict “come together to put an end to this tragedy”.

 
Read more...

Around 22 million children could soon starve without urgent aid, UNICEF warns

INTERNATIONAL, 28 March 2017 – Millions of children are on the brink of starvation in the worst humanitarian crisis in decades, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today warned, urgently calling for nearly $255 million to respond to immediate needs in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

“Time is running out,” UNICEF said, noting the threat from famine, drought and war.

Some 22 million children are hungry, sick, displaced and out of school in the four countries, according to the UN agency. Nearly 1.4 million are at imminent risk of death this year from severe malnutrition.

“We learned from Somalia in 2011 that by the time famine was announced, untold numbers of children had already died. That can't happen again,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes.

Famine was declared a month ago in South Sudan, and will likely be declared soon in Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen where fighting has pushed people off their farmland and droughts have destroyed their animals and what is left of crops.

“Children can't wait for yet another famine declaration before we take action,” Mr. Fontaine said.

The UN agency is calling for close to $255 million to provide 22 million children with food, water, health, education and protection services for just the next few months, according to a new funding update.

The majority of that funding will go towards nutrition programmes to screen children and provide them with therapeutic food, as well as health services and water and sanitation.

This request is part of a broader appeal for all of 2017 totalling $712 million, up 50 per cent from what was requested for these four countries at the same time last year.

Read more...

Mosul: UN rights chief urges civilian protection as sniper fire, airstrikes kill dozens

INTERNATIONAL, 28 March 2017 – The top United Nations human rights official today deplored the massive loss of civilian lives in the western sections of Iraq’s Mosul city in recent days due to actions by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) terrorists as well as airstrikes by the Government forces.

“ISIL’s strategy of using children, men and women to shield themselves from attack is cowardly and disgraceful. It breaches the most basic standards of human dignity and morality. Under international humanitarian law, the use of human shields amounts to a war crime,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a news release.

“The conduct of airstrikes on ISIL locations in such an environment, particularly given the clear indications that ISIL is using large numbers of civilians as human shields at such locations, may potentially have a lethal and disproportionate impact on civilians,” he added.

According to information verified by the High Commissioner’s Office (OHCHR) and the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), at least 307 people were killed and another 273 wounded between 17 February and 22 March.

Civilians used as ‘human shields;’ others gunned down by sniper fire

The most deadly incident occurred on 17 March, when an airstrike – reportedly targeting ISIL snipers and equipment – hit a house in al-Jadida neighbourhood in western Mosul. Witnesses reported that ISIL had previously forced at least 140 civilians into the house to be used as human shields. They also said that ISIL had booby-trapped the house with improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

So far, official figures indicate at least 61 people were killed in this single incident.

In another serious incident, on 22 March, an airstrike hit a residential building in Rajm Hadid neighbourhood in western Mosul. ISIL reportedly filled the house with people from the surrounding neighbourhood, including children, and then used the house to launch rocket-propelled grenades against the Iraqi Security Forces. The airstrike killed a seven-year-old girl and trapped eight other children under the rubble, seven of whom were later found and taken to hospital.

In addition, between 23 and 26 March, reports were received that at least 95 civilians were killed in Risalah, Nabils, Uruba and Sainaah al-Qadimah neighbourhoods in western Mosul as a result of shelling, vehicle-based and other explosive devices planted by ISIL, as well as by ISIL snipers.

The UN human rights chief also called on the Iraqi Government and its partners “to undertake an urgent review of tactics to ensure that the impact on civilians is reduced to an absolute minimum, in full accordance with international humanitarian law.”

Meanwhile, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 286,020 individuals have been displaced due to the operations in Mosul, including 122,000 over the past month. Cumulatively, more than 350,000 individuals have been displaced since Mosul operations began on 17 October 2016.

Thousands of displaced people are losing their lives while fleeing the fighting in Mosul, said IOM, recounting the story of a young girl shot by an ISIL sniper. “When [she] arrived at the field hospital, she was already dead,” explained the surgeon on call.

Victim after victim, all from Mosul al-Jadida, streamed into the field hospital that morning telling a similar story – that ISIL deliberately shot at them as they tried to escape. They shot to kill, not differentiating between man, woman, child or the elderly.

With ISIL using civilians as human shields, even forcing their way into homes where families have gathered for safety and firing mortars from rooftops of houses with civilians in the lower floors, an increase in the number of innocent people being killed has been reported in recent weeks, said IOM.

Read more...

Possessing nuclear weapons ‘fundamentally incompatible’ with humanity’s aspiration for peace – UN official

INTERNATIONAL, 27 March 2017 – At the start of a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, a senior UN official highlighted that creating a world free of such weapons is a common obligation of all States – both nuclear and non-nuclear – and called for their inclusive engagement.

“Let us all work harder and more creatively, so that we can achieve our common goal of a world, safer and more secure, without nuclear weapons, and better for all,” said Kim Won-soo, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

Speaking on behalf of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, he also expressed hope that the instrument will also strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and advance the world closer to the total elimination of nuclear weapons and that it would make important contribution to nuclear disarmament and to our ultimate objective of general and complete disarmament.

Yet he acknowledged that defeatism and dismissiveness now permeate international deliberations on disarmament, and cautioned that the public at large seems to be losing interest in the issue. Indeed, it is hard to imagine these days a gathering of one million people in the street in support of nuclear disarmament, as the world witnessed in the 1980s.

“We need to find a new way to inspire and motivate the public in support of disarmament, in the same way that they have been energized to respond to the challenge of climate change, an existential threat facing humanity,” he stated.

According to 2016 estimates, more than 15,000 nuclear warheads remain in global stockpiles.

Possession of nuclear weapons, which are linked with the threat of their use, is fundamentally incompatible with humanity’s common aspirations for peace and security

While this is a considerable reduction from the inventories maintained during the Cold War, the pace of the reduction has declined in recent years and concerns are rising over continued reliance on nuclear weapons in security doctrines and continuing programmes to modernize and improve nuclear weapons.

In his remarks, Mr. Kim also stressed that purist of nuclear as well as non-nuclear strategic weapons would not create security but instead can provoke “new and destabilizing” arms races as well as exacerbate regional and global tension.

“The possession of nuclear weapons, which are linked with the threat of their use, is fundamentally incompatible with humanity’s common aspirations for peace and security,” he said.

Read more...

Children suffer grave atrocities in Sudan’s conflict – UN reports

INTERNATIONAL, 27 March 2017 – Fewer children have been recruited to fight in parts of Sudan, but they are still killed and injured, and victims of sexual violence in the country, according to a new report by the United Nations Secretary-General.

“Boys and girls continued to be victims of grave violations committed by all parties to the conflict, including killing and maiming, sexual violence and attacks on schools and hospitals,” said Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

The report, released on Friday, details the impact of the armed conflict on children in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei between March 2011 and December 2016.

During that time period, nearly 1,300 children were either killed or maimed in conflict as a result of hostilities between the Government and the armed groups. The majority of the casualties took place in Darfur, according to the report.

Rape and sexual violence were also a major concern in Darfur, where the UN confirmed at least 372 children were victimized.

“In most cases, children were raped during attacks on their villages or while getting wood or water in the vicinity of camps for displaced people,” the report authors wrote.

Despite these ongoing atrocities, the report notes a positive trend in recruitment and use of children – with fewer being conscripted.

However, there are concerns about cross-border recruitment and use of children by Sudanese and South Sudanese groups, notably the SPLM/N, Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition and Justice (SPLA-iO) and Equality Movement (JEM).

Since 2011, the Government of Sudan has strengthened its national framework to protect children and raised the minimum recruitment age for national forces to 18.

In addition, the UN has signed three Action Plans with national authorities to protect children, as well as separately with SPLM/N and JEM.

The Special Representative has called on the Government and all other parties to conflict to take concrete measures to protect children.

Read more...

UN report explores ways urbanization can be a catalyst for rural development

INTERNATIONAL, 27 March 2017 – One way to encourage mutually beneficial developments for urban and rural areas alike is to develop value chains and food systems more efficient and inclusive, a United Nations-backed report examining the ‘quiet revolution’ towards sustainable urbanization has found.

Meeting the rising urban demand for food can increase the incomes of the rural poor, most of whom derive their livelihoods from small and family farm agriculture, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General, José Graziano da Silva.

“But growing urban demand will not automatically benefit small farmers, so we must look for solutions that can seize on the opportunities, and avoid the downside of increasing urbanization,” he said in a new release on the report presented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and FAO.

Better roads, reliable and extensive electrification, refrigerated transportation and better storage facilities are all key to success, Mr. Graziano da Silva said, noting that such transformation would also lead farmers to grow higher-value and more nutritious produce, which is essential for the proper nutrition of growing urban populations.

The report notes that growing urban populations will be especially visible in Africa, as a majority of the continent’s fast-growing population will be living in cities by 2030. Globally, some 2.5 billion more people will be living in urban areas than do today. Africa and Asia will account for 90 per cent of the increase.

Quality concerns over locally produced food by urban residents in many developing countries often result in greater preference for imported varieties, according to the report. Better vertical integration of the domestic food value chain – requiring improved processing, milling, cleaning, marketing, bagging, branding and possibly even supermarkets – could remedy that.

Such an effort would produce a host of agribusiness jobs and enhance the agricultural sector’s ability to make productivity-boosting investments.

The report also highlights the role of intermediate towns, which can play a catalyzing role in mediating the urban-rural nexus. The vicinity of such towns tends to provide smallholder farmers with greater opportunities to market their products and share in the gains from economic growth.

Smaller towns also offer migration destinations that more likely help the rural poor escape from poverty than big cities do.

“Intermediate cities can be, and most of the time, are, the effective promoter of rural development,” said Mr. Graziano da Silva.

Read more...

Near East and North Africa: Conflicts threaten to erode gains in region’s zero-hunger battle

INTERNATIONAL, 27 March 2017 – Food security and nutrition levels have sharply deteriorated over the last five years in the Near East and North Africa due largely to the spread and magnitude of conflicts and protracted crises, reversing the pre-2010 trend of improvement, a new United Nations report said today.

“A peaceful and stable environment is an absolute pre-condition for farmers to respond to the challenges of water scarcity and climate change,” said Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in a news release.

“Achieving food security is still at hand, provided we take concerted efforts and make the right moves now,” he added.

The FAO 2016 Regional Overview of Food Insecurity in the Near East and North Africa noted that the deterioration is largely driven by conflicts and protracted crises.

The FAO assessment shows that the prevalence of severe food insecurity in the adult population of the Near East and North Africa was close to 9.5 per cent in 2014-2015, representing approximately 30 million people. Before 2010, the prevalence of undernourishment, stunting, anaemia and poverty were decreasing.

“The region is facing unprecedented challenges to its food security due to multiple risks arising from conflicts, water scarcity and climate change. Countries of the region need to implement long-term and comprehensive sustainable water management to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ending hunger by 2030,” said the FAO official said.

The Syria crisis in particular has deepened during the period 2015-2016, leaving more than half of the population in need of food assistance and 4.8 million refugees, mostly in neighboring countries. The numbers of food insecure and the internally displaced are also rising in Iraq and Yemen.

Beyond conflicts and crises, the report argues that water scarcity and climate change are the most fundamental challenges to ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture by 2030. Water scarcity is the binding factor to agricultural production in the Near East and North Africa region and the driver of the region’s dependency on food imports.

The report explores other major options for the adaptation to climate change impacts on water and agriculture, including the need for designing and implementing social protection measures for building resilience of farmers to extreme events, cutting food losses and improving trade policies.

Read more...

UN agency chief urges stronger cooperation to aid refugees' transfer from Greek islands

INTERNATIONAL, 27 March 2017 – The head of the United Nations refugee agency today noted the need for more accommodations on the Greek mainland to help improve conditions at reception centres on the Greek islands.

The effort is one of eight recommendations eight recommendations issued by the UN refugee agency, or UNHCR, to move from an emergency response to longer-term sustainability where asylum-seekers and refugees have access to care and support.

“The situation in Greece can be managed,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “But to achieve this, firm commitment is needed on all sides.”

Mr. Grandi called on European Union Governments to provide strong support for Greece: “More solidarity and responsibility sharing among across Europe is needed.”

The High Commissioner also renewed his call to the Greek Government for clear coordination structures, with well-defined roles and responsibilities for all actors.

As of 20 March, only 10,000 asylum-seekers had left Greece for other European countries.

The UN agency said that is has been working with the Greek Government over the past months to find alternative sites for temporary housing, as well as to help some refugees who were to remain in Greece to more easily integrate to the country's social culture.

Progress in reception conditions will also help prevent and fight sexual and gender based violence, to which many vulnerable asylum-seekers, including women and children, are exposed in the sites.

More attention is needed to the length and quality of the asylum procedures and reception conditions on the islands, said the High Commissioner.

“This will allow for more and faster transfers to the mainland and prevent sites on the islands from falling back into the dire conditions and the overcrowding we have witnessed in the past months,” he added, noting that UNHCR supported some 7,000 of the more than 10,000 transfers organized since June 2016.

The UNHCR recommendations also include accelerating the pace of reuniting people with their families and building self-reliance among refugees.

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Soualiga Radio