This is the News in Brief from the United Nations
A ‘strong and united Europe’ never more needed, declares UN chief Guterres
With international institutions under threat, a “strong and united Europe” standing alongside the United Nations, has never been more essential, Secretary-General António Guterres said in Germany on Thursday.
Mr. Guterres spoke from the ancient continental capital of Aachen, close to the French border, where he received the Charlemagne Prize for services towards European unification.
He hailed Europe’s continuing role as a champion of universal values, saying that multilateralism was under fire “precisely when we need it most, and when it has never been so fit to address these challenges”.
The UN chief recalled that he grew up under a dictatorship in Portugal and became of age “politically witnessing the true value of freedom”.
30MAY-SG-NIBclip: “Europe is too meaningful to fail, it is a pioneer but also an advance post of multilateralism and the rule of law. The European Union is a unique experiment in shared sovereignty”.
UN’s women’s health agency's ‘strongly’ condemns gang rape of child in Somalia
The UN Population Fund, commonly known as UNFPA, has issued a statement “strongly” condemning a gang rape of a nine-year-old girl on Wednesday, in the central Somali town of Bulo-Burde, some 425 km west of Mogadishu.
UNFPA said that it stands with the girl’s family and called for a speedy investigation into the “grave crime”.
Calling the violation a “gruesome act”, the Population Fund reaffirmed its commitment to the Government and people of Somalia “to ensure that sexual and gender-based violence is eliminated”.
Moreover, it underscored it stance that girls and women must “experience their fundamental dignity, human rights and equality”.
UNFP urged everyone to work together for “adequate protection measures for girls and women in Somalia”.
A major win for transgender rights
“To reflect critical advances in science and medicine” the World Health Organization, WHO, has removed so-called "gender identity disorder" from its official manual of diagnoses.
The update to the International Classification of Diseases, is being hailed as a major win for transgender rights.
Classified now as “gender incongruence”, Lale Say, the Coordinator of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research, explained that it was reclassified because the UN health agency now had a “better understanding that it was not actually a mental health condition”.
What’s more, WHO says the move will reduce stigma while ensuring “access to necessary health interventions”.
Gender incongruence can be described as a feeling of anguish when an individual’s identity conflicts with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Moving the disorder into WHO’s new chapter for sexual health will also help lift discrimination, a barrier to prevention services, HIV testing and treatment and care.
Liz Scaffidi, UN News.