Business Development Global News 

10 areas to apply Blockchain in healthcare

Many industry leaders are discussing blockchain — from the President of the United States to the Nigerian government. Despite all the global publicity, the blockchain idea still appears to be hard to get a handle on, which makes it a standout amongst the most misunderstood technological advances of 2017(1). Blockchain technology is a distributed database that allows users to share data globally and eliminate the need for the middleman or a “gatekeeper”. They have proven the robustness of Blockchain technology in its initial application, which was Bitcoin. We have now…

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Human Rights 

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Safeguarding civilians, strengthening Ebola response in DR Congo, marking Fistula Day, updates on CAR and Syria 

Better safeguards to protect civilians amidst deteriorating compliance  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”.    “We are rightly critical when assessing the state of the protection of civilians, for there is great cause of concern”, he said.   The UN chief walked members through 20 years of progress, saying that a “culture of protection” had indeed “taken root” that encompasses a comprehensive framework based…

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Development Health Advice 

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

Marking the International Day on 23 May to end the almost entirely preventable condition, the head of the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, said that sufferers continue to “face devastating social stigma”.   “Shame, isolation and segregation are among the indignities faced by the hundreds of thousands of women and girls worldwide who suffer from obstetric fistula”, said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA’s Executive Director, in a statement issued on Thursday.   Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious injuries that can occur during childbirth, leaving a hole between the…

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Human Rights 

Children of ISIL terrorists likely held in ‘secret detention facilities’, UN human rights office warns

The UN office cited information suggesting that Kurdish authorities are responsible for holding youngsters over 12 years old in al-Hassakeh governorate, in the far north-east of the country. “Reportedly, they are neither allowed to communicate with their families nor have the families been informed about their whereabouts or status”, OHCHR Spokesperson Marta Hurtado said. Children must be treated primarily as victims, not perpetrators – UNICEF In Syria alone – highlighting families of extremists who came to be part of the now militarily defeated so-called Caliphate – the UN Children’s Fund…

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Human Rights 

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

Risk of ‘catastrophic humanitarian fallout’ grows in Syria’s Idlib The UN’s Political and Humanitarian Affairs chiefs on Friday called on the Security Council to unite in support of an immediate de-escalation of fighting around Syria’s Idlib province, and work towards an enduring political solution on behalf of the Syrian people. The UN’s head of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo told members that “we have been here before: in Aleppo, Eastern Ghouta and Raqqa” where civilian casualties mounted along with an all-out offensive by the Syrian Government and its allies.…

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Human Rights 

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

Remarking that the humanitarian initiative taken by Kazakhstan “safeguards the rights of vulnerable children and their mothers”, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, called on other States in the region to follow suit. Highlighting the pivotal role of Kazakhstan, the UN rights expert said in the statement that the country “has illustrated that it is practical and realistic to bring out women and children, and that the remaining responsibility to do so lies with multiple States”. The UN rights expert…

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Development Health Advice 

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Ebola in DR Congo, malnutrition in Laos, baby health, support for Sahel force, #ClimateAction

‘Time for action is now’ senior UN peacekeeping official says, urging more support for Sahel force The five-year-old force working to stabilize Africa’s Sahel has shown great potential, but needs more support from the international community to reach full operational capacity, a top UN peacekeeping official said on Thursday, calling for enhanced political and economic solutions to help tackle the strife-torn region’s myriad challenges. Dubbed the ‘G-5 Sahel’ after the group of countries that comprise it (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) the Joint Force, proposed by the African…

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Human Rights 

Sudan: UN chief calls for ‘positive momentum’ as civilian rule talks stall between military and opposition

On Tuesday, the Transitional Military Council and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces, announced they had agreed a three-year transition period, but on Wednesday, the military reportedly announced that talks were being suspended for three days, demanding that protesters remove road blocks from a designated area of the capital Khartoum.   According to news reports, some demonstrators were shot as soldiers tried to clear the barricades, following similar violence on Monday which left at least six dead.  In a statement issued by his spokesperson, António Guterres urged negotiators on both sides “to maintain the positive momentum and reach agreement…

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Development Health Advice 

Countries must up their game to reduce low birth weights, warns UN-backed report

Around one-in-seven babies worldwide weighed less than 5.5 pounds, or 2.5 kilogrammes at birth, according to latest data from 2015. The Lancet Global Health research paper was developed by experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which not only reveals that more than 20 million babies that year were born with a low birthweight, but that 80 per cent of the world’s 2.5 million low weight newborns die every year, because they are either pre-term and/or small…

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Development Health Advice 

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: hate speech, dementia, Libya and Yemen, human rights in Brazil and Lebanon

In Christchurch, UN chief calls for tolerance, solidarity to extinguish ‘wildfire’ of hate speech  On a three-day visit to New Zealand, UN Secretary-General António Guterres paid his respects to the victims of the horrific mosque attacks in Christchurch, where dozens of Muslims were gunned down in two separate incidents during Friday prayers on 15 March.  Calling for solidarity to  counter the recent upsurge in hate speech, the UN chief visited both Linwood Mosque, where he laid a wreath, and Al Noor mosque. On 15 March, a lone gunman killed 51 people at the two places of…

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