News in Brief 19 December 2017 (PM)

19 December 2017

Six aid workers missing in South Sudan after reports of armed clashes

Six relief workers in South Sudan, one international and five national, have been reported by the UN as missing since Sunday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said there had been reports of armed clashes on the road between Wau and Raja in South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal region where the aid workers were travelling.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Alain Noudéhou, urged all combatants to respect the neutrality of on-going humanitarian operations.

He also called for safe and unhindered access for aid workers providing lifesaving assistance to vulnerable people throughout the country.

The missing humanitarians work for three agencies focusing on food security, livelihoods, health and nutrition interventions.

The region has some of the highest malnutrition rates in the country.

New satellite tracking of in-flight aircraft to improve safety

New surveillance techniques to track aircraft in flight will improve safety and could save lives according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The UN agency says that at any given time, there are approximately 59,000 aircraft in flight worldwide.

It added that to effectively track, monitor and report these aircraft is key to ensuring the safety of passengers and crew, as well other people on the ground.

The UN agency which adopted the technical guidelines on Tuesday said that the surveillance is automatic and does not need interventions from the pilot or ground stations and collects data from onboard systems.

The information is then transmitted to air traffic controllers and airline operators who can track the flight, identify any anomalies and initiate emergency procedures, when needed.

The ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said that since the disappearance and loss of passengers on flight MH370 in 2014 over the South China Sea, the organization has sought to improve the tracking of in-flight aircraft.

He said enhanced aircraft surveillance via satellite will contribute to saving lives.

UN labour agency announces winners of its global competition on labour migration

The winners of an annual global competition to encourage media coverage on the work of and challenges confronting migrant workers have been announced by the UN’s labour organization, the ILO.

The competition focused on labour migration and fair recruitment practices and prizes were awarded to five individuals from over 350 submissions across 73 countries.

The 2017 Global Media Competition on Labour Migration coincided with International Migrants Day marked on 18 December.

The idea behind the competition is to encourage media coverage on migrant workers and the difficulties they face.

Vibhu Mishra, United Nations.

Duration:  2'39"