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UN Interviews

UN News/Daniel Dickinson

New jail ‘symbolizes change’ in Philippines penal system

A jail which has newly opened in the city of Marawi on the Filipino island of Mindanao “symbolizes change” in the Philippines penal system, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The Marawi City Jail, which was built by the Bureau of Jail management and Penology (BJMP) and inaugurated in May 2024, has been established according to the Nelson Mandela Rules.


South Sudan: Force commander vows to boost peacekeeping presence ahead of elections

As December elections loom in South Sudan and humanitarian, economic, social and political crises persist, the UN Mission in the country, UNMISS, continually provides services to maintain a conducive environment.

In an interview with UN News’s Mehboob Khan, Force Commander Lieutenant General Mohan Subramanian has been speaking of previously volatile security situations and peacekeeping challenges in the world’s youngest nation, that took months at a time to control.


Top South African Judge emphasizes crucial role of judiciary in fighting climate change

The 2024 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) is underway in New York, bringing ministers and senior officials together to discuss how to get the world back on track to reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

One of the key concerns is how best to boost climate action to ensure a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future for all - and the legal framework that can make that a reality.


UN aid mission witnesses ‘apocalyptic’ scenes in Gaza city, with most basic supplies non-existent

Aid teams that reached Gaza City on Friday after a week-long military offensive by Israeli forces described apocalyptic scenes with “building after building” flattened.

Some 300,000 people now remain in the north of Gaza, according to latest estimates from the UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, which is working to get basic supplies to the most vulnerable, including hygiene kits for women and girls.


Gaza: School strikes leave children’s futures in balance, warns UN aid agency

In Gaza, the recent spate of schools hit in ongoing Israeli bombardment threatens the futures of a “whole generation” of children in the embattled enclave, the UN agency assisting Palestine refugees, UNRWA, said on Wednesday.

In an interview with UN News, UNRWA Director of Communications Juliette Touma explained that for the 600,000 children in Gaza who’ve been unable to go to school since war erupted on 7 October, the longer they stay out of school, the harder it is for them to catch up on their education.

UN News/Jessica Jiji

Southeast Asia, the ‘ground zero’ for global scamming industry

Southeast Asia has become the “ground zero” for the multi-billion-dollar global internet scamming industry according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Transnational criminal groups working across the region are targeting victims around the world from so-called scam farms which are operating clandestinely - often alongside legal businesses.

Many of the workers are coerced into scamming activities against their will and can be tortured if they do not meet targets for stealing money from victims.

UN Photo/Cia Pak

Top UN envoy warns against rush to end mission in DR Congo

The UN Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has fully withdrawn from South Kivu, ending the first phase of disengagement following the request to pull out altogether from the Government in Kinshasa.

MONUSCO’s operations began winding down in January, but its Head, Bintou Keita, says there should not be a rush to further disengagement since this process has thrown up unexpected challenges.

Given this, phase two for withdrawing from North Kivu will be handled differently, she told UN News’s Jerome Bernard. 

© Unsplash/Raphael Wild

‘Heatwaves will be more frequent because of human-made climate change’

Intense heatwaves like the one that blasted the US Midwest and northeast recently are likely to be increasingly common because of human-induced climate change, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday.

As if that warning wasn’t bad enough, climate scientist Alvaro Silva at the WMO told me that dangerous pollutants like ozone are also common features of extended periods of heat.

UN Photo/Mark Garten

Relief chief pledges UN aid operation will continue across Gaza

Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths told UN News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that UN humanitarians remain deeply committed to delivering aid across war-torn Gaza, despite speculation that operations could be suspended due to safety concerns.

The UN relief chief denied that any “ultimatum” had been given by the Israeli military, telling Daniel Johnson the UN would continue negotiating with all combatants to get aid to those in need, safely and securely.


‘Industrialization’ of cocaine production major factor in drug’s popularity

The Colombian peace process ended decades of conflict with the FARC, but one unintended consequence may have been an increase in cocaine production.

According to the 2024 World Drug Report, a major annual study from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, prices dropped as more groups became involved in the cocaine trade, and the post-war environment helped make it possible to industrialize production.