Europe 

FROM THE FIELD: facing up to the extreme mental health pressures of conflict

During much of his 30-year career as a humanitarian with the UN, Fabrizio Hochschild, today a senior UN official reporting directly to the Secretary-General, struggled with mental health issues associated with his work. Mr. Hochschild, who has risen through the ranks to become the Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following a posting in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the time of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, early in his career. In this episode of the award-winning podcast series Awake At Night, produced by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR,…

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Europe 

Tragedy of Mediterranean deaths continues, as seven drown, 57 rescued: UN migration agency

IOM Greece reported that the deaths bring the total this year to 41, on the so-called Eastern Mediterranean route linking Africa and the Middle East to Europe, which is one of the busiest routes for migrants. The agency said that more than half the passengers on the boat had come from three Sub-Saharan African countries: The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Angola. The seven-meter rubber dinghy they were travelling in, is believed to have left the Ayvalık region of the Turkish coast after midnight on Tuesday morning. According…

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Europe 

Macron leads EU-wide minimum wage call as Merkel, Medvedev warn of global injustice 

In a 45-minute speech at the International Labour Organization’s Centenary conference in Geneva, Mr. Macron insisted that the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few from globalization had created a “law of the jungle”, which had opened the door to damaging nationalism, xenophobia and disillusionment with democracy.  “This market economy in which we are living is much less social than we wanted at the end of the Second World War…it’s leading to much more accumulation of income and corporatism,” he said. “This is a crisis that can seem less severe…

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Europe 

UN expert criticizes States for ‘ganging up’ on Wikileaks’ Assange; warns against extradition, fearing ‘serious’ rights violations

“My most urgent concern is that, in the United States, Mr. Assange would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” said Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, in a statement. Mr. Assange’s health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years – UN expert He said he…

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Europe 

A ‘strong and united Europe’ has never been more needed, declares UN chief Guterres

The Secretary-General was in the ancient continental capital of Aachen, close to the French border, where he received the Charlemagne Prize, awarded each year since 1950, for services towards European unification. As a former Portuguese Prime Minister, and one of the architects of the European Union’s efforts in the late 1990s to strengthen social safety nets, solidarity, and cooperation with Africa and India, Mr. Guterres described himself as a “committed European” who understood that, in bestowing the award, Aachen was paying tribute “to the commitment, service, and sacrifice of the women…

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Europe 

Children in crisis-torn eastern Ukraine ‘too terrified to learn’ amid spike in attacks on schools

Since the start of eastern Ukraine’s five-year conflict, more than 750 educational facilities on both sides have been damaged or destroyed, UNICEF said, explaining that there has been a four-fold increase in attacks on schools during the first four months of the year, compared to the same period in 2018. Between January and April, there were 12 attacks on schools, compared to three incidents during the same period last year. The alarming increase is reminiscent of the violence experienced by schoolchildren and teachers in 2017, when there were more than…

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Europe 

Promoting ‘a healthy sustainable future’, the UN health agency engages young and young at heart to ‘Walk the Talk’

In the lead up to Monday’s 72nd annual World Health Assembly (WHA), the World Health Organization (WHO) gathered people of all ages and abilities for a free walk/run event that ranged from three to eight kilometres.   Health advocates and the general public joined Assembly delegates and the UN family in recognizing the value of healthy lifestyles and the importance of all people having access the health services.   “Today is not only about sport”, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “It is about promoting health for all”.  Special guest Margaret…

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Europe 

Chernobyl nuclear disaster-affected areas spring to life, 33 years on

Sixty per cent of Homiel’s produce – comprising meat, dairy products and handicraft – are exported to neighboring regions and countries while the region attracted $17.7 billion worth of domestic and foreign Investment between 2011 and 2017, representing just over 15 percent of the country’s total direct investment during that period. A ceremony marking International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day was held at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday. While the Soviet Government only acknowledged the need for international help to mitigate the disaster in 1990, that same year the…

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Europe 

Security Council: UN calls for ‘spirit and letter’ of Ukraine agreements to be upheld, as Russia issues simplified citizenship decree

Rosemary DiCarlo was addressing the Security Council on Thursday in a meeting requested by Ukraine, and in the wake of Ukrainian presidential elections and the signing of a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin a day earlier, that reportedly aims to allow citizens in parts of eastern Ukraine, to apply for Russian passports, under a simplified procedure. Conflict in Ukraine between Government forces and largely pro-Russian separatists in the east during the past five years, have resulted in the deaths of more than 3,300 civilians, up to 9,000 injured, with…

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Europe 

UNESCO experts ready to assist reconstruction of iconic Notre Dame, following devastating blaze

That’s what UNESCO World Heritage Centre Director Mechtild Rössler told UN News after visiting the site on Tuesday. “Horrified by the pictures coming from Paris with the fire engulfing Notre Dame Cathedral – a unique example of world heritage that has stood tall since the 14th century. My thoughts are with the people and government of France” @UN Chief @AntonioGuterres. Photo: K. Dallinger pic.twitter.com/YeSjrt0kv0 — UN News (@UN_News_Centre) April 15, 2019 She described seeing people praying outside the stricken symbol of the city and the nation, still trying to take…

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