Development Health Advice 

Thursday’s Daily Brief:  Envoy heads for Bolivia, ICC on Myanmar, dignity for sanitation workers, sterilizing mosquitoes

Bolivia crisis: UN chief sends envoy to support peace, amidst renewed clashes

UN chief António Guterres announced on Thursday that he had appointed a Personal Envoy who would be travelling to Bolivia later in the day, to offer support to national leaders, following the departure of former president, Evo Morales. 

“The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about the developments in Bolivia”, his Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters in New York. “He reiterates his appeal to all Bolivians to refrain from violence and exercise utmost restraint”, referring to the rising incidents of violence following weeks of protest which began over disputed presidential election results. 

Read more here.

UN’s highest court set to hear genocide case against Myanmar

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on Thursday that it will take up a case against Myanmar, alleging genocide against the mostly Muslim minority Rohingya.

Gambia filed the case in The Hague on Monday, accusing Myanmar authorities of the murder, rape and destruction of Rohingya communities in the state of Rakhine.

It marks the first time that the top UN court has investigated genocide claims without relying on the findings of other tribunals.

Noting that Member States can bring actions against other States over breaches of international law, the Chamber cited the scale of the alleged crimes and the number of alleged victims involved.

Revealed: danger and squalor for cleaners who remove human waste by hand

The plight of sanitation workers in the developing world should be addressed urgently, the UN said on Thursday, warning that their rights, health and dignity are at risk.

Highlighting the dangers for the millions of people who clean toilets, sewers and septic tanks, ahead of World Toilet Day next Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) insisted that while the workforce performs an essential public service, their own health is compromised and they are often shunned.

Here’s our full coverage.

Guidelines for farmers’ resilience

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published on Thursday new Voluntary Guidelines to conserve critical crop resources.

Today’s food systems are characterized by an “ever-increasing uniformity of crops and varieties on farm”, according to Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General, for agriculture and consumer protection.

“To be sustainable, farmers must grow the most genetically diverse set of crops and varieties that are suited to their agroecologies, production systems and end-users’ preferences”, he said.

The new guidelines aim to assure crop diversity and farmers’ resilience by establishing a systematic approach to on-farm activities.

More in our story here.

UN mosquito sterilization technology set for global testing, in battle against malaria, dengue

With more than half the world now at risk from mosquito-transmitted dengue fever, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN has taken the lead on a global effort to eradicate the disease – and many others – by measuring the impact of releasing millions of sterilized pests across several continents, it announced on Thursday.

Using a process known as Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) – developed decades ago to target crop-eating insects in the United States – UN researchers have spent the last 10 years adapting it to mosquitoes.

Read our story here.

Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 14 November on SoundCloud:     

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