New UN office to help strengthen political stability in Haiti
A new UN political mission began work in Haiti on Wednesday, following the end of 15 years of peacekeeping in the country.
During that period, the UN helped the Haitian authorities to build up the national police force, strengthen the judicial system and improve the protection of human rights.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, head of UN peacekeeping, explained why the situation in Haiti now requires a different approach from the international community.
“Today’s problems in Haiti are political but they also have to do with the development and the humanitarian situation in that country, and this is exactly what the UN is aiming to do with the new Integrated Office .”
The new office, known by the French acronym BINUH, will work to strengthen political stability and good governance in Haiti through support of an inclusive national dialogue.
Global cancer cases to reach 29 million by 2040
The global cancer burden is expected to spiral from just over 18 million cases last year to 29 million by 2040, according to the latest edition of The Cancer Atlas, launched on Wednesday by a UN-backed agency that researches the disease.
The atlas is an illustrated guide to the diversity of cancer which is a leading cause of premature death in every country in the world.
It highlights global variations in the prevalence of key risk factors for the disease, as well as geographical variance in cancer occurrence, and how countries are taking action.
For example: Although tobacco use remains the main cause of cancer in most high-income countries, legislation such as bans on smoking in public places are helping to protect around 1.5 billion people worldwide.
Many of the known risk factors for cancer can be prevented, according to the authors.
Besides tobacco use, these include infectious agents such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), unhealthy diet, excess body weight, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption.
The Cancer Atlas is produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is the specialized cancer agency of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), jointly with the American Cancer Society and the Union for International Cancer Control.
Countries urged to break cycle of violence against human rights defenders
Countries must end impunity to break the cycle of violence against human rights defenders, who are subject to killings, enforced disappearances and torture, as well as threats and attacks, both physical and online.
The appeal comes from UN human rights expert Michel Forst who said the ‘overwhelming majority’ of these violations goes unpunished.
Mr. Forst has presented his latest report to the UN General Assembly in New York in which he outlined several principles which should guide countries in tackling impunity.
He said besides implementing ‘zero tolerance’ policies towards attacks, states also must create the conditions for establishing a safe environment that is conducive to defending human rights.