The people of North Korea are trapped in a "vicious cycle of deprivation, corruption and repression" by the country's leaders and many resort to bribing officials to survive, according to a report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet warns that almost half the population faces food insecurity and "[o]ne in five children under five are stunted."
Members of the United Nations General Assembly this week passed a resolution to observe an International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief each year on Aug. 22. "The establishment of the International Day is being put forward to honor the victims and survivors who often ... remain forgotten," says Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.
The United Nations must elevate the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo to a level three emergency -- a designation held by Yemen, Syria and Mozambique -- merited when agencies on the ground can no longer meet local needs, aid groups say. World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan says efforts to communicate with locals have reduced attacks on Ebola treatment clinics, but another health worker was killed in a clinic attack this week.
The International Labour Organization says progress is being made toward developing a global pact protecting against workplace violence and harassment and it anticipates the pact will be approved next month. Complications with the agreement, which was originally developed amid the #MeToo movement, center on some countries' objections to extending protections to include members of the LGBTI community.
The traditional agriculture practices of small family farms can help protect global biodiversity, support economic development and fight hunger and malnutrition, said United Nations General Assembly president María Fernanda Espinosa ahead of the UN launch of the Decade of Family Farming. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says local cultivation of nutrient-rich crops could help reduce malnutrition and obesity.
Air strikes against the Yemeni city of Taiz killed seven children in a single attack last week, according to UNICEF. Executive director Henrietta Fore voiced alarm over the threat to children as the conflict in Yemen continues unabated.
Today is the International day of @UN Peacekeepers. What has started as an improvisation has now become a crucial tool in the #UN peace and security architecture and should enjoy the continued collective support by all. #ProtectingPeace#PKDay @AmbDoualeh
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