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Microplastic pollution is everywhere, but not necessarily a risk to human health

Tiny plastic particles known as microplastics are “everywhere – including in our drinking-water”, but they are not necessarily a risk to human health, UN experts said on Thursday.

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Yemen aid programmes closing, Guterres Idlib concern, Somalia insecurity, honouring terror victims

Today’s stories: aid money promised for Yemen fails to materialize, prospects of new Idlib conflict put millions at risk, new Sudanese transitional government welcomed by UN chief, insecurity threatens Somalia progress.

Lack of funds forces UN to close down life-saving aid programmes in Yemen

The United Nations announced on Wednesday that it is being forced to close down several humanitarian programmes in Yemen because money pledged by Member States to pay for them has “failed to materialize”. 

Scars of terrorism ‘run deep’, UN chief says, paying tribute to victims 

The scars of terrorism “run deep”, and while they may fade with time, “they never disappear”, the United Nations chief said on Wednesday, in his message for the second International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism. 

Somalia security remains a concern, head of UN Mission warns Security Council

Despite “encouraging” developments, insecurity across Somalia remains a serious concern, James Swan, head of the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), warned the Security Council, in his first briefing to the world body since taking office.

Urgent need for ‘restraint and genuine dialogue’ in Middle East to avoid major confrontation

Briefing the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, Maria Luiza Viotti, said on Tuesday that “restraint and genuine dialogue are urgently needed”, in order to avoid a major confrontation, which would have disastrous consequences, even well beyond the region. 

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: water quality crisis, Yemen and Libya updates, Venezuelan children appeal, ocean protection

This Tuesday, we cover: new report on water quality worldwide; Yemen envoy briefs the Security Council on Aden; intensifying clashes in southern Libya; UNICEF appeals for increased aid for Venezuela youngsters; and UN negotiations continue over a new ocean protection agreement.  

‘Invisible’ crisis of water quality threatens human and environmental well-being: World Bank report

Deteriorating water quality worldwide is slashing the economic potential of heavily polluted areas, according to a new World Bank report, released on Tuesday. It also warns that the “invisible crisis of water quality” is threatening human and environmental well-being.

Negotiating legally-binding agreement to provide future generations with a ‘healthy, resilient and productive ocean’

While the world’s oceans contain some 200,000 identified living species, the actual numbers could reach the millions ­­– all exposed to the dangers of climate change, pollution and over-exploitation. To stem these threats, the United Nations is meeting to negotiate a treaty that would protect three-quarters of the earth’s surface by 2030.

‘No time to lose’ UN envoy tells Security Council, ‘Yemen cannot wait’

One month ago, the United Nations top Yemen envoy told the Security Council the country was facing “a crucial moment” in the course of its long and bloody conflict, and on Tuesday, he again urged members to acknowledge that recent infighting around the Government stronghold of Aden were “a clear sign” that the conflict must be brought to a swift, peaceful end.