UN in Belarus:

“When I refused to sell my body they sold me to another brothel”. This is the heart rending testimony of a 13 year-old Nepalese girl named Skye trafficked by relatives to India. Skye’s story ends better than most.

In the ongoing effort to improve the overall performance of United Nations peacekeeping missions, the heads of the armed forces of around 100 countries met at UN Headquarters in New York today to discuss issues such as rapid deployment, training, increasing the number of female peacekeepers, and conduct and discipline.

The global nature of aviation puts everyone at the same level of risk from potential terrorism, senior United Nations officials said today, calling for greater information sharing, resources and political will to keep flights safe.

Rising prices of cereals, meat and dairy products have pushed the global food price index up by 1.4 per cent compared to last month and 7.0 per cent compared to last year, the United Nations agriculture agency has said.

In what is set to be a “historic” moment at the United Nations, Member States will adopt on Friday a legally-binding treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

Stating that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the “boldest agenda for humanity” and requires equally bold changes in the United Nations development system, Secretary-General António Guterres today outlined steps to better place the Organization to deliver tangible results in the lives of the people it serves.

Highlighting that the number of people going hungry across the world has increased since 2015, threatening to undo years of progress, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called for translating commitments into action at the national level.

“Hunger will only be defeated if countries translate their pledges into action, especially at national and local levels,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said at the opening of the agency’s biennial conference in Rome. Concerted effort is required in countries affected by conflict and climate change – which collectively house nearly 60 per cent of the world’s population suffering from hunger – he underscored. “Peace is of course the key to ending these crises, but we cannot wait for peace to take action [...] it is extremely important to ensure that these people have the conditions to continue producing their own food.”

FAO has currently identified 19 countries in a “protracted crisis” situation, often facing extreme climatic events, such as droughts and floods. It has also signalled the high risk of famine in north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen with 20 million people severely affected.

These extreme conditions not only disrupt the lives of those affected, they also force many to migrate in search of better lives, compounding the distress. The most vulnerable – especially women – are often the worst impacted.

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