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[10 Oct 2016 | No Comment | ]

Former Portuguese Prime Minister and U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) head Antonio Guterres has been chosen to lead the United Nations after secretary-general Ban Ki-moon from Korea steps down on December 31.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, announced the result on Wednesday after the Security Council’s sixth informal ballot.
The five veto-wielding council members voted unanimously for Guterres and he received 13 “encourage” votes, no “discourage” votes and two no opinion votes, according to the Associated Press.
Guterres led all previous informal ballots.
Guterres, 66, who headed the UNHCR through some of the world’s harshest …

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[8 Feb 2016 | No Comment | ]

The U.N. Security Council on Sunday strongly condemned North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket that world leaders denounced as a banned test of dangerous ballistic missile technology and another “intolerable provocation.” The U.N.‘s most powerful body pledged to quickly adopt a new resolution with “significant” new sanctions.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un went ahead with the launch just two hours after an eight-day window opened early Sunday, and a month after the country’s fourth nuclear test. He ignored an appeal from China, its neighbor and important ally, not to …

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[18 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]

The United Nations is preparing to confront North Korea over its dismal rights record with a key vote this week that could compel Pyongyang to answer to crimes against humanity.
A U.N. General Assembly committee will vote Tuesday on a resolution drafted by the European Union and Japan condemning human rights abuses in North Korea and calling for a war crimes probe.
While North Korea often features on the roster of resolutions targeting pariah states, the latest text has been the focus of intense diplomacy over provisions that could see the Pyongyang …

Money Matters »

[8 Jun 2013 | No Comment | ]

The U.N.‘s food agency on Tuesday said obesity and poor nutrition weigh heavily on the global economy and told governments that investing in food health would bring big economic as well as social returns.
Lost productivity and spiralling health care bills linked to malnutrition “could account for as much as 5% of global gross domestic product (GDP),” equivalent to $3.5 trillion (2.6 trillion euros) a year, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said.
Improving nutrition would boost earnings, “with a benefit-to-cost ratio of almost 13 to 1,” it said.
In its yearly report, …

Money Matters »

[29 Sep 2012 | No Comment | ]

The Taliban raised $400 million last year through taxes, donations, and extorting businessmen and narcotics dealers in Afghanistan, according to a new U.N. report.
The Islamist group has also taken hundreds of millions of dollars from the billions pumped into Afghanistan for development projects, according to the report released this week by U.N. sanctions experts to the Security Council.
The experts estimated that Taliban raised $400 million in the 12 months up to March. About $275 million went to the Taliban leadership while $125 million was spent or misappropriated at the local …

Money Matters »

[30 Jul 2012 | No Comment | ]

The United Nations on Thursday called for a tax on billionaires to help raise more than $400 billion a year for poor countries.
An annual lump sum payment by the super-rich is one of a host of measures including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, currency exchanges or financial transactions proposed in a UN report that accuses wealthy nations of breaking promises to step up aid for the less fortunate.
The annual World Economic and Social Survey says it is critical to find new ways to help the world’s poor as pledged …

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[15 Feb 2012 | No Comment | ]

The U.N. Forum on Forests held a ceremony Thursday for the recipients of its Forest Hero award at U.N. headquarters in New York.
The six people honored included Japan’s fisherman-turned-environmentalist Shigeatsu Hatakeyama, 68, from Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture. Hatakeyama is the founder and chairman of Mori wa Umi no Koibito (Forests are Lovers of the Sea), a nonprofit environmental conservation organization.
Hatakeyama has been planting trees upstream of the Okawa River, which flows into Kesennuma Bay. He also runs oyster and scallop farming businesses in the city.
“Even though I lost nearly everything in …

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[5 Feb 2012 | No Comment | ]

International tourist numbers expanded in 2011 despite the economic crisis, the Arab spring and Japanese disasters, and will hit one billion this year, a U.N. body said.
The number of international tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% to 980 million in 2011, up from 940 million in 2010, the Madrid-based United Nations World Tourism Organization said in an annual survey.
But while the number of visitors to Europe surged as civil conflicts drove many tourists away from sunspots in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, the overall recovery that began in …

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[17 Jun 2011 | No Comment | ]

THE UN Human Rights Council on Friday passed a historic resolution that seeks equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation, marking significant progress for gay rights.
The resolution tabled by South Africa passed with 23 votes in favour, 19 against and three abstentions, despite strong opposition from African and Arab states.
The resolution ‘affirms that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms … without distinction of any kind.’
It also commissions a study on discriminatory laws …

Business News & Advice »

[5 Jun 2011 | No Comment | ]

Panasonic Corp and UNESCO strengthened their partnership Friday with a view to conserving World Heritage sites in a deal that features academic tours for children and the company’s sponsorship of a global TV program on the topic, they said.
Under their two-year deal starting this month, Panasonic will start academic activities using the company’s 3D audiovisual equipment and become the sole sponsor of a TV program titled ‘‘The World Heritage Special,’’ to be aired on the National Geographic Channel in 183 economies. The joint activities will build on the collaboration between …