Newsbriefs

Opinion: 1325 a Groundbreaking Initiative for Women, Peace & Security

2015 is a year of UN anniversaries as the calendar tells us. Of course the big one is the United Nations’ own seventieth birthday. I find two other anniversaries very significant in their relevance to humanity’s quest for peace and development in general and for goals and objectives of the UN’s work in particular.

Africa Week Focuses on Challenges Facing the Continent

The United Nations will be commemorating Africa Week (October 12-16), beginning Monday when strategic international partners will gather in New York to support an ambitious plan aimed at a brighter future for the African continent.

Africa’s Progress in Key Areas Either Stalled or Reversed

(GIN) – The cheap gas boom has not been the best of news for African countries where oil and other raw materials have been the basis of their export economies since colonial times.

War Crimes Charges for Demolishing Ancient Malian Shrines

(GIN) – The International Criminal Court will hear charges of war crimes against Ahmad al Faqi Al Mahdi for the deliberate destruction of religious or historical monuments in Timbuktu, Mali. It is the first prosecution of this type by the court which is based in The Hague. Legal proceedings against the suspected Islamist will begin in January.

U.N. Rejects Bribery as “Business-as-Usual” in World Body

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was shocked and deeply troubled to learn of the allegations against Ambassador John Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda, a former President of the General Assembly.

UK Detains 5 in Pursuit of Nigerian Oil Ministry Laundered Funds

(GIN) – Nearly half a dozen suspects, including the former Minister of Petroleum Resources of Nigeria, were swept up by UK authorities in a crackdown on corruption coordinated with Nigerian President Muhammed Buhari.

Social Media Giant Unveils Internet Plan for Rural Africa

(GIN) – A new satellite could soon be bringing remote parts of Africa onto the internet, according to Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

G77 Ministers Call for UN Agency for South-South Cooperation

The 134-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries at the United Nations, has reaffirmed the overarching objective of eradicating poverty, “which remains the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.”

Religious Leaders, Legislators in Nuclear Abolition Call

Leaders of major religious faiths and interfaith networks, joined forces with parliamentarians and mayors, to call on world leaders to “commit to nuclear abolition and to replace nuclear deterrence with shared security approaches to conflicts.”

Press Freedom in Europe in Peril, Says CPJ

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in a new study released here, says press freedom in Europe is in peril and the European Union has a moral imperative to defend this right and hold its member states accountable.

Five Environmental Leaders Receive Champions of Earth Award

Five “inspirational environmental leaders” have received the UN’s highest environmental accolade, the “Champions of the Earth Award”, at a ceremony Sunday marking the close of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) summit.

A $25 Billion Pledge to End Preventable Deaths by 2030

As the summit meeting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came to a close, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced over $25 billion in initial commitments, spanning five years, to help end preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents, and ensure their health and well-being.

“Protecting Cultural Heritage – an Imperative for Humanity”

Jordan and Italy are leading efforts to protect cultural heritage worldwide – and specifically in war-ravaged Middle East.

Stories of Liberian Women in Time of War to Premiere in New York

While Liberia’s civil war is distant history to some, an African playwright has rescued the tale of five women, captive wives of a rebel commander, whose survival in a treacherous war zone resonates strongly even today.

China Helps Ethiopia to Launch First Urban Computer Train

A gleaming green and white urban commuter train was launched this week in the capital Addis Ababa. It is the first fully electrified train service in sub-Saharan Africa.

ISIL Accused Of War Crimes, Genocide In Iraq

At least 11,600 Iraqi civilians were killed in war and ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant) terrorist attacks in 2014, and ISIL forces may be guilty of war crimes and genocide, according to an alarming United Nations report released Monday.

Ethiopian Schools Programme Receives $1 Million Funding Boost

Ethiopian development programme Seeds Of Africa (SoA) has received its largest ever donation: a $1million grant to fund a major education initiative.

China, India, to Train Asia-Pacific Officials On Disaster Risk Management

China and India will train government officials in the Asia-Pacific region on how to incorporate disaster management into national planning and finance measures.

Superstar Kidjo Wins Grammy for Collaborative Album Showcasing Songs of African Women

(GIN) - African singer, showstopper and activist Angélique Kidjo, won her second Grammy Award for the Best World Music Album which she dedicated to African women.

As Wars Heat Up, Rickety Flotillas Carry Asylum-Seekers to Their Graves

(GIN) - In the Bible it was known as the “Great Sea”. The Romans called it “Mare Nostrum (Our Sea). Of late, the Mediterranean has been called nothing more than a migrants’ graveyard.

Médecins Sans Frontières Calls For Evacuation Of Syrian Casualties

With conflict in Syria showing no sign of abatement, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Thursday demanded the evacuation of those injured in the city of Aleppo.

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