UN Syria envoy announces resignation | OHCHR wants immunity waiver following journalist's disappearance | UN rights group says Australia has violated international laws
October 19, 2018
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UN envoy warns Gaza situation worsening, urges restraint
Humanitarian and economic conditions on the Gaza Strip are at crisis levels and United Nations Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov is urging Israeli and Hamas leaders to show restraint. "We remain on the brink of another potentially devastating conflict, a conflict that nobody claims to want, but a conflict that needs much more than just words to prevent," Mladenov told the UN Security Council this week.
The Times of Israel/Agence France-Presse (10/18),  The Associated Press (10/19) 
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United Nations
UN Syria envoy announces resignation
United Nations envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced this week he would step down from his post in November after four years of efforts to broker a Syrian peace deal. De Mistura is due to visit the Syrian capital of Damascus next week with the goal of establishing a committee to develop a post-war constitution.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (10/18),  France 24/Agence France-Presse (10/18) 
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Health & Development
WHO: Ebola in DR Congo not yet a global health crisis
The spread of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo is cause for serious concern, but does not yet constitute an international public health emergency, according to a World Health Organization committee that met this week. Health agencies' rapid response to the outbreak has been good and the organization has "some optimism that this outbreak, just like the one in May, will be brought under control within reasonable time," said committee chairman Robert Steffan.
CBC News (Canada)/The Associated Press (10/18),  The New Jersey Herald (Newton)/The Associated Press (10/17),  Voice of America (10/17) 
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Women & Girls
WHO, OHCHR, UN Women: Virginity tests violate human rights
The World Health Organization, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Women are calling on global leaders to ban the practice of testing women to see if they are virgins. The agencies say the practice violates six human rights, including the right to be protected from gender discrimination and the right to be free from torture or degrading treatment.
Daily Nation (Kenya) (10/19),  Jurist (10/18) 
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Climate and Energy
Former UN chief launches int'l commission on global warming
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is teaming up with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva to launch a global commission to study how to adapt to global warming. "We are at the point of no return," Ban said at the commission's launch this week.
Insider (10/16),  New Straits Times (Malaysia)/Agence France-Presse (10/17) 
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Peacekeeping and Security
UN chief presses all parties to respect Afghan electoral process
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging all parties in Afghanistan to respect the electoral process as he encourages the country's citizens to exercise their right to vote, even as security concerns increase. The UN Security Council has condemned several attacks on election-related targets, saying that attempts to disrupt the election process are "unacceptable."
Xinhua News Agency (China) (10/18),  U.S. News & World Report/The Associated Press (10/18) 
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UN Radio
Torture and abuse may be banned, but eradication a long way off - UN rights expert
UN News Centre (10/18) 
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UN Dispatch
"PODCAST: Why the Latest Ebola Outbreak in the DRC Is So Dangerous"
UN Dispatch (10/18) 
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Quote of the Day
Countering #cybercrime can save lives, grow prosperity & build peace. #UNODC is working with Member States around the world to:
• gather and analyse electronic evidence
• confront the use of darknet for criminal & terrorist purposes
#COP9 #UNTOC
@UNODC
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