Europe 

COVID-19: from conflict to pandemic, migrants in Bosnia face a new challenge

“We fled from home to save our lives, to escape war, and now we are faced with this new coronavirus”, says Rozhan, Along with her husband, Ibrahim, and her three children, she made a long and arduous journey from Iraq, her home country, to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Europe. The family are hosted at the Borići reception centre in Bihać, managed by UN Migration (IOM) along with 315 other migrants and refugees, who have escaped conflict and violence in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. En route, they have been stopped and…

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Europe 

COVID-19: Czech Roma community steps up to face mask challenge

“They said the face masks were desperately needed, and I did not hesitate, says Klara Pulova, from Tanvald, a small town in the north of the country. I have been a sewing professional in the past, I know the job.” They said the face masks were desperately needed, and I did not hesitate. Klara Pulova, member of Czech Roma community, Tanvald Ms. Pulova is a member of the region’s Roma community, and was responding to a widespread shortage of face masks, sorely needed in the country: as part of its…

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Europe 

UN expert raises alarm over migrant, asylum seeker ‘pushbacks’ at Turkey-Greece border 

“I am very concerned about the reported pushbacks of asylum seekers and migrants, which constitutes a violation of the prohibition of collective expulsions and the principle of non-refoulement,” said Felipe González Morales, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. On 1 March, Greece suspended for 30 days, asylum applications for anyone who crossed the border irregularly, which prompted the Special Rapporteur to urge the country to “immediately reverse its decision”, saying it “has no legal basis in international human rights law”. Migrants who managed to cross into Greece were…

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Europe 

UN agriculture agency staff continue to strive for a better world amid Italy COVID-19 lockdown

FAO leads global efforts to defeat hunger and ensure that everyone has access to high-quality food. The agency is working with WHO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to assist countries and researchers in identifying potential animal hosts of the new coronavirus, though currently spread and development is due to human-to-human transmission.  FAO experts advise on prevention and control measures to support veterinary services; they also are working with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure readiness to rapidly detect the virus in animals as well as to conduct thorough surveillance of its circulation in the environment.  Above all, the UN…

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Europe 

New report from UN Economic Commission for Europe measures progress on global goals

The UN Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) first regional report on SDG progress has singled out Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Canada, Estonia, United States, Norway, Portugal, Ireland and Spain as meeting the WHO standards, noting that others need to step up.   These and other findings aim to sharpen efforts to achieve the SDGs by describing levels and trends of selected indicators and highlighting challenges, which will be used to inform the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, which will be held Thursday online.   Measuring change for most of the 49 indicators across the 17 SDGs, the report found that UNECE countries are mostly fulfilling targets or making good progress, including on eradicating extreme poverty, enhancing social protections and achieving low levels of maternal, infant and…

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Europe 

UN study projects $32 billion loss for UK post no-deal Brexit

Brexit Beyond Tariffs: The role of non-tariff measures and the impact on developing countries maintains that without UK-EU agreements, or non-tariff measures (NTMs), in place, post-Brexit exports could fall by $32 billion. Potential losses under a “no-deal” Brexit from tariffs are estimated at between $11.4 billion and $16 billion of current exports – and the new study says NTMs would double those losses. The study also projects that even if a “standard” free trade agreement were to be signed by the parties, the UK’s exports could still drop by nine…

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Europe 

Hope for ‘long-elusive progress’ in negotiating peace in eastern Ukraine

Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, also recalled that the Secretary-General has consistently expressed the UN’s “strong backing” for the lead role of the Normandy Four, the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), and the OSCE to find a peaceful settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and called for “a revitalization of these efforts”. Making progress Since her last update in mid-July, Ms. DiCarlo offered hope for “long-elusive progress” in implementing the Minsk provisions, including key security and political aspects. “Most notably”, she said, “on 9 December, and after a three-year hiatus, the…

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Europe 

Do not confuse food charity with ‘right to food’, UN expert tells Italians, labelling food system exploitative

Despite an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.84 trillion, world-renowned innovative businesses, a large agriculture sector and modern manufacturing capabilities, smallholder farmers are being exploited in Italy, the expert said. “Italy is very active in promoting human rights internationally, in particular the right to food, but this does not altogether resonate nationally”, said Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food. Following conversations with people who depend on food banks and charities for their next meal, she upheld that people in agriculture “work excessively long hours, under difficult…

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Europe 

Deadly earthquake kills dozens in Turkey, UN stands in solidarity and offers support

On 12 January 2010, a 7.0 magnitude quake struck Haiti, devastating its capital, Port-au-Prince. About 220,000 people were reportedly killed, among them, 102 UN staff who lost their lives when the building housing the stabilization mission there, known as MINUSTAH, collapsed. Some 300,000 people were injured and 1.5 million become homeless during the 35-second-long tremor.  Follow and like us:2 0

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Europe 

UN moves to tackle ‘hidden abuse’ and violence against Europe’s children

And despite the magnitude of this figure, “it is well established that incidents of interpersonal violence are widely underreported”, according to the World Health Organization’s European Region office. Accounting for underreporting, WHO estimates that of the 204 million children under the age of 18 across the region, 9.6 per cent experience sexual exploitation, 22.9 per cent physical abuse and 29.1 per cent emotional harm. Moreover, 700 are murdered every year. High cost of violence “The cost of violence against children adds up”, WHO maintained, highlighting that an estimated $581 billion…

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