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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.

Syria: ‘Violence, displacement’ and cold kill 11 infants ‘in the past two days’

“Violence, displacement and extremely harsh conditions” in northern and eastern Syria have killed at least 32 children since December – including 11 infants in the past two days, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed on Thursday.

Boom in Artificial Intelligence patents, points to ‘quantum leap’ in tech: UN report

The “upsurge” in patent applications for devices and machines powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the last five years, suggests that it could soon revolutionize all areas of daily life far beyond the tech world, a UN report suggested on Thursday.

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.  

Mass-graves found of at least 535 killed during ‘organized and planned’ inter-communal attacks in western DR Congo

A preliminary UN investigation into a massacre reportedly carried out in western Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last month, reveals that “at least 535 civilians were killed in four attacks”, the UN Mission in the country, MONUSCO, said on Wednesday.