Pacific 

Two years after exodus, Myanmar’s ‘desperate’ Rohingya youth need education, skills: UNICEF

In a report marking two years since the arrival of around 745,000 Rohingya civilians in Bangladesh – after fleeing State-led persecution and violence in Myanmar – Executive Director Fore appealed for urgent investment in education and skills training. “I would love to go to school because I could learn many things.” 12-year-old Mohsina lives in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where she takes care of her father after he was shot and lost his leg. She’s missing out on an education. #AChildIsAChild pic.twitter.com/cBy1BEuWBc — UNICEF (@UNICEF) August 16,…

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Pacific 

‘Act with restraint’ UN urges Hong Kong authorities and protestors, as airport is disrupted for a second day

The High Commissioner is “concerned by the ongoing events in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), and the escalation of violence that has taken place in recent days”, her spokesperson, Rupert Colville, told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday. “She notes the Chief Executive’s commitment to ‘engage as widely as possible’ and to ‘listen to the grievances of the people of Hong Kong’”, said Mr. Colville. “She calls on the authorities and the people of Hong Kong to engage in an open and inclusive dialogue aimed at resolving all issues…

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Pacific 

More than half a million Rohingya in Bangladesh get ID cards for first time: UN refugee agency

Issued to all refugees over the age of 12, in camps in southern Bangladesh, the biometric, fraud-proof card is for many, the first time that they have owned an official document that proves their identity. “Most of these people are stateless and most of these people have not had any form of identification document, so for the vast majority of the Rohingya refugees, this is the first ID, a first proof of identity that they have,” UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told journalists in Geneva. An estimated 900,000…

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Pacific 

Guterres appeals for ‘maximum restraint’ over Jammu and Kashmir, as tensions rise

The BJP party-led Indian Government announced on Monday that it was revoking the special status of the area of Kashmir that it administers, putting the region under tighter central Government control. Pakistan argues that the removal of the territory’s special status, which has a majority-Muslim population, violates international law, according to news reports. The UN has long maintained an institutional presence in the contested area between India and Pakistan. According to the Security Council mandate given in resolution 307 of 1971, the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan…

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Pacific 

‘Cataclysmic events’ in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, began ‘global push’ against nuclear weapons says Guterres, honouring victims

“The reaction to the cataclysmic events of 6 August 1945 was also the beginning of a global push to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again”, Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, speaking at the Hiroshima Annual Peace Ceremony. There is no stronger case for a world free of nuclear weapons than the stories of survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings – some of whom I met last year in Japan. We are indebted to them for their courage in…

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Pacific 

Myanmar companies bankroll ‘brutal operations’ of military, independent UN experts claim in new report  

In a statement, the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar called on the international community to impose targeted sanctions and arms embargoes on the Myanmar military.  The mission members declare that their latest report on Myanmar has established, for the first time, the degree to which the country’s military uses its own businesses, foreign companies and arms deals to support “brutal operations” against ethnic groups that constitute “serious crimes under international law”, bypassing civilian oversight and evading accountability.  According to the mission, the military, known as the Tatmadaw, have carried out “extensive and systematic” human rights violations” against civilians since 2016, including forcibly deporting more than 700,000 ethnic Rohingya…

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Pacific 

‘Answer the call of Afghans’ to reduce impact of conflict, UN urges all parties amid increase in civilian airstrike deaths

The mid-year report from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented  3,812 civilian casualties (1,366 deaths and 2,446 injured) in the first half of 2019.  While the number of civilians killed and injured is 27 per cent down from the same period in 2018 – the year that saw record high numbers of recorded civilian casualties – the UN noted “disturbing patterns”, such as the 27 per cent increase in civilian deaths in the second quarter of 2019 compared with the first.  Aerial operations from January through June killed and injured 519…

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Pacific 

Inclusive peace in Afghanistan means ‘women at the centre’ urges UN deputy chief in Kabul

Amina Mohammed was speaking to reporters in the capital Kabul, after leading an all-women delegation of top UN officials for an intensive two-day “solidarity mission”, focussed on women, peace and security. She was joined by UN Political and Peacebuilding Affairs chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Natalie Kanem, and the head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.  The Deputy Secretary-General said they had come ahead of the key presidential election, due to take place at the end of September, but also to lend their support for a peace process “which…

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Pacific 

UN stands in solidarity with Japan following deadly arson attack at leading animation studio in Kyoto

Japanese police have now identified the man suspected of carrying out the attack on Thursday morning, who reportedly entered the Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) building, carrying cans of flammable liquid, which he poured across different areas of the film and graphic novel media business, before setting it alight.  According to news reports, witnesses to his arrest said he had alleged at the scene, that the company had stolen some of his ideas. Around 70 people were in the building when the fast-moving fire began, and more than 30 were taken to hospital. Many of…

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