Stories written by an IPS Correspondent

UNICEF Claims Success in Battle Against Polio

The U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said the annual number of polio cases has fallen from 350,000 in 1988, to 416 in 2013, and 243 so far this year – “an extraordinary drop of more than 99 percent.”

U.N. Staff Union Expresses Concern Over Ebola Response

As thousands of U.N. staff volunteer to work in Ebola-stricken countries in Africa, the Staff Union has called for safety measures to protect personnel on the ground.

Locust Plague in Madagascar Halted, But Possible Resurgence Due to Lack of Funds

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said Thursday that a locust plague in Madagascar, that threatened the main staple food crops and pasture in the country, has been successfully contained.

U.N. on Safe Use of Living Modified Organisms

A five day meeting in the Republic of Korea, beginning Monday, will provide an opportunity for the global biodiversity community to make progress on the safe transboundary movement of Living modified organisms (LMOs) in the direction of lessening trade distortions while securing the biosafety of the State Parties.

Film Industry Stereotypes Women, Says New Study

In a new study on women stereotypes, the global film industry has been accused of perpetuating discrimination against women.

Brundtland Receives Mahbub ul Haq Award for Human Development

Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the first woman Prime Minister of Norway and currently Deputy Chair of The Elders, received the Mahbub ul Haq Award for Human Development presented by the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP).

New pledges to Help Children Affected by Crisis in Syria

The U.N. children’s agency UNICEF welcomed the $347 million in new funding commitments to the “No Lost Generation Initiative announced Wednesday, according to a UNICEF press release.

Sexual & Reproductive Rights are Human Rights, Says UNFPA Head

Addressing a special session of the U.N. General Assembly on the 20th anniversary of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the Executive Director o f the U.N.Population Fund (UNFPA) Dr Babatunde Osotimehin said over the past 20 years,” we have seen the rise of hundreds of millions out of poverty, gender parity in primary education, fewer women dying giving life and more women in the workforce.”

Religious Leaders Call for U.N. Action on Sexual & Reproductive Health

On the eve of a major U.N. special session on population and development, a delegation of religious leaders released a statement calling for action on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

Child Mortality Rates Falling Faster Than Ever

Child mortality rates, particularly those under five, have dropped by 49 per cent between 1990 and 2013.

UNIDO celebrates International Day for the Preservation of Ozone Layer

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), along with implementing agencies of the Montreal Protocol, commemorated International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

U.N. to Commemorate 15th Anniversary of Culture of Peace

The President of the General Assembly John Ashe will convene a one-day high-level forum (HLF) on Culture of Peace marking the 15th anniversary of the consensus adoption of the “Declaration and Programme of Action on Culture of Peace.”

Ebola Outbreak Puts Food Harvests at Risk, Warns FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that disruptions in food trade and marketing in the three West African countries most affected by Ebola have made food increasingly expensive and hard to come by, while labour shortages are putting the upcoming harvest season at serious risk.

Water Needs to be a Dedicated Sustainable Development Goal

Addressing delegates at the 24th World Water Week in Stockholm, the Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) Torgny Holmgren said water should be a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) in the UN’s post-205 development agenda.

U.N. Chief Applauds AoC For Building Bridges to Peace

Speaking at the Sixth Global Forum of the U.N. Alliance of Civilization (AoC) in Bali, Indonesia last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded the AoC for expanding its valuable work addressing the sources of conflict and planting new seeds of peace.

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