Global

From violence to dialogue: as land conflicts intensify, UN boosts efforts to resolve disputes through mediation

The town of Kitchanga, in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), hosts the highest concentration of internally displaced people in the country, and has been one of the regions most affected by clashes between local communities, made up of Tutsis and Hutus, especially in terms of accessing land. Today, however, thanks to a UN initiative, many disputes over land in Kitchanga are resolved through dialogue instead of violence, and families can cultivate, rent and make a profit from their land.

‘Huge’ stakes, ‘daunting’ job to tackle gender-based violence, UNICEF chief tells ground-breaking conference

One-in-three girls or women will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime, and “the risk multiplies” during a conflict or natural disaster, the Executive Director of UNICEF told delegates attending the first-ever “Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Humanitarian Crises Conference” on Friday, in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

UN honours peacekeepers who ‘paid the ultimate price’, for the sake of others

Ever since the UN deployed the first of its 72 peacekeeping missions back in 1948, more than 3,800 peacekeepers have lost their lives, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday, at a wreath laying ceremony in honour of those “brave men and women” who serve.

‘Great cause of concern’ UN chief tells Security Council, surveying 'bleak' state of civilian protection

Marking 20 years since the UN Security Council added the protection of civilians to its agenda, Secretary-General António Guterres told the chamber on Thursday that while safeguards were stronger, “compliance has deteriorated”.  

End ‘shame, isolation and segregation’ of fistula sufferers, urges UN reproductive health chief

Although obstetric fistula has largely been eliminated in developed countries, more than two million women and girls still live with the painful and disfiguring condition, according to UN data.

Preserving biodiversity vital to reverse tide of climate change, UN stresses on International Day 

The food people eat around the world is becoming “alarmingly homogenous” according to UN data, even though access to a wide variety of nutritious food has never been greater. That warning comes as the world marks the International Day for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, which this year highlights the impact of environmental neglect on food security and public health. 

Amidst high trade tensions and policy uncertainty, UN cuts economic growth forecast

Against a backdrop of unresolved trade tensions, high international policy uncertainty and softening business confidence, the UN on Tuesday announced a broad-based slowdown in the global economy and cut its growth predictions. 

Friday’s Daily Brief: Syria, Yemen airstrikes, Anti-torture panel, Gay rights, Climate change, #Vesak Day

On Friday, we cover: Fighting in Syria’s Idlib province; UN condemnation of airstrikes in Yemen; UK’s forced-return policy; LGBTI rights; the UN chief’s climate action trip to Tuvalu; and Vesak Day.

Repatriation of extremist fighters and families to Kazakhstan, welcomed by UN rights expert

Stressing the need for some Governments to reform their laws and policies on fighting terrorism and extremism, an independent UN human rights expert welcomed on Friday Kazakhstan’s repatriation of 231 of its citizens from conflict sites in Syria and Iraq, earlier this month.

Are robots sexist? UN report shows gender bias in talking digital tech

Why do most voice assistants have female names, and why do they have submissive personalities? The answer, says a new report released on Friday by UNESCO, the UN’s Education, Science and Culture agency, is that there are hardly any women working in the technical teams that develop these services and other cutting-edge digital tools.