UN agencies renew call for end to Syria conflict as tragic anniversary approaches
UN agencies continue to call for peace in Syria as the country’s conflict enters its eighth year.
The World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday urged all sides to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access to deliver food and other life-saving aid to those in need.
It said some 6.5 million people in Syria are food insecure, while another four million are at risk of joining them.
WFP Representative and Country Director in Syria Jakob Kern stated that “every day that goes by without a resolution to this crisis is another day where we have failed the people of Syria.”
Meanwhile, sister agency WHO is lamenting “seven years of Syria’s health tragedy.”
WHO has renewed its call for the protection of health workers, noting that the conflict has “devastated” the healthcare system, with more than half of all public hospitals and health centres closed or partially functioning.
Cybersquatting cases hit all-time high in 2017, UN agency reports
The number of cases of disputed internet domain names reached a record high of 3,074 last year, the UN’s intellectual property agency, WIPO, reported on Wednesday.
It said three industries—banking and finance; fashion, and internet and information technology (IT)—accounted for nearly one-third of these so-called “cybersquatting” cases.
WIPO chief Francis Gurry said the practice undermines legitimate commerce and harms consumers.
“This is true especially where squatters use domain names to offer counterfeit goods or for phishing, as is seen in numerous WIPO cases,” he added.
While parties from 112 countries were involved in case filings, most cases originated in the United States, followed by France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland.
WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center, based in Geneva, works to resolve cybersquatting disputes without the need for court litigation.
It has processed nearly 40,000 cases since 1999.
Secretary-General, UN science agency mourn death of Stephen Hawking
“The United Nations has lost a friend and the world a strong advocate of science for the common good.”
That was the message tweeted by Secretary-General António Guterres about British scientist and author Stephen Hawking who died on Wednesday.
The UN chief described him as “a cosmic force and an inspiration” who “taught us the mysteries of outer space and the potential of our inner selves.”
The UN’s educational, scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) also paid tribute to Mr Hawking.
The agency published a message on Twitter which described him as a friend of UNESCO, interpreter of the universe and advocate for information and communications technologies (ICTs) for people with disabilities.
Mr. Hawking, 76, was known for his work on black holes and relativity, and was the author of international bestseller ‘A Brief History of Time.’
He was paralyzed by motor neurone disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in his early 20s and was given only a few years to live.
Confined to a wheelchair, he spoke by using a voice synthesizer.
“Professor Hawking embodied the values of UNESCO to share knowledge & empower people,” the UN agency said.
“His star will forever shine brightly in the Universe.”
Dianne Penn, UN News.