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Top envoy to Yemen praises ‘flexibility’ of chief negotiators as new UN mission chief is named

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen said on Thursday that the main negotiators for the warring sides were continuing to show the “necessary flexibility and good faith” to move forward, despite delays in implementing the agreement marking the first steps towards a lasting peace deal, brokered in Sweden last December.

‘Leaders who sanction hate speech’ encourage citizens to do likewise, UN communications chief tells Holocaust remembrance event

The Holocaust illustrates how easily “people can move from condoning brutality, to committing genocide” and shows that “leaders who sanction hate speech or make anti-Semitic or xenophobic slurs” are encouraging their own citizens “to do the same”, the UN’s head of Global Communications told leading members of the Jewish community at UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday.

Independent UN rights expert calls for compassion, not sanctions on Venezuela

The crisis in Venezuela will not be solved by sanctions that “can lead to starvation”, a UN-appointed rights expert said on Thursday. Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy, who reports to the Human Rights Council, issued the warning against the background of widespread suffering in the South American country, linked to spiralling economic woes and deep political uncertainty.

Palestinian children’s education deeply impacted by ‘interference’ around West Bank schools, UN warns

Alarmed by a high number of reported incidents of interference in or near Palestinian schools in the West Bank since the beginning of the school year in September, the UN called on Wednesday for them to be better-protected from the effects of Israeli occupation.

‘Open, cordial, and frank discussions’ held over future Somalia-UN relationship

Discussions described in a joint statement as “open, cordial and frank”, took place on Wednesday, between Somalia’s top two politicians and the UN political and peacebuilding affairs chief, in the capital Mogadishu.

Security Council unanimously agrees to extend UN Cyprus Mission amid political impasse

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) has been extended for 6 months, as a result of a Security Council Resolution unanimously adopted on Wednesday. The move comes at a time when reunification talks between the two divided halves of the island are at an impasse, following the collapse of talks in July 2017.

UN relief chief urges Security Council to back aid delivery, more funding for millions of Syrians hit by harsh weather

With people in Syria “suffering a cold, hard winter”, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator on Wednesday appealed for international funding, backed by UN Security Council support for safe aid delivery, to alleviate the conditions faced by millions struggling for survival amidst rain, snowfall and freezing temperatures across the still war-torn nation.  

‘World’s deadliest sea crossing’ claimed six lives a day in 2018: UN refugee agency

Six people died every day last year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe – “the world’s deadliest sea crossing” - the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Wednesday, citing ongoing political deadlock over sea rescue and disembarkation.

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows

The latest Global Report On Trafficking In Persons, released on Tuesday by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at UN headquarters in New York, shows a record-high number of cases detected during 2016, but also the largest recorded conviction rate of traffickers.

Palestine refugee crisis ‘expanding’; leaving highest number at risk this century across Gaza

“Alarming and expanding” problems affecting Palestine refugees, risk further destabilizing the Middle East, the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNWRA, said on Tuesday.