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Children’s lives in Mediterranean Sea must take priority over politics, says UNICEF

The fate of 130 children on board two rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea should not be put at risk by political point-scoring, the UN said on Thursday, amid ongoing uncertainty about whether the vessels will be allowed to dock in Italy.

The appeal by UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, to European Governments to prevent EU-bound migrants and refugees from being stranded at sea, follows the signing of a second Italian decree banning humanitarian vessels from entering the country.

‘Palpable reduction’ in violence following Eid truce says Libya Mission, as UN investigates deadly bombing which left 3 staff dead

A UN call for a humanitarian truce over this week’s Eid al-Adha religious holiday led to a “palpable reduction” of violence around the embattled capital of Tripoli, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Following the UN’s plea last Thursday, both the forces loyal to the UN-recognized Government and the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) of commander Khalifa Haftar, announced that they would respect a truce.

Gender equality, education and the environment at the forefront of new SDG Advocate campaigns

Back in May, six innovative public figures joined the battle to push the world towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Each of the new official SDG Advocates committed themselves to pursue the 17 goals on behalf of “peace, prosperity, people, planet, and partnerships.”

As we inch closer to the SDG Summit in September, UN News caught up with some of them.

Amidst new challenges, Geneva Conventions mark 70 years of ‘limiting brutality’ during war

In commemorating the 70th anniversary of the landmark Geneva Conventions, the president of the United Nations Security Council hailed the “significant body of law”, describing it as playing “a vital role in limiting brutality of armed conflicts”.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the treaty, comprised of four Conventions and three Additional Protocols, established the modern, international legal standards for humanitarian treatment during times of war. They were agreed on 12 August 1949, and with some exceptions, ratified by 196 countries around the world.

‘We are facing a learning crisis’, UN chief warns on International Youth Day

Schools are “not equipping young people with the skills they need to navigate the technological revolution”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned, in a message released to mark the UN’s International Youth Day.

Transforming Education is the theme for this year, which comes at a time when the world is facing a “learning crisis”, says Mr Guterres, and students need not only to learn, “but to learn how to learn”.

Three UN workers killed following Benghazi car bomb attack, as Security Council meets in emergency session, honours their ‘ultimate sacrifice’

Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday condemned a car bomb attack in front of a shopping mall in the Libyan city of Benghazi, which left three UN workers dead, and three others injured, with dozens of civilians also wounded. 

The Security Council convened an emergency session in New York later in the day,to discuss the latest developments impacting the war-torn north African nation.  

UN Security Council ‘utterly failed’ Syrian detainees; a victim voices her plea to ‘end impunity and stop this horror’

The Security Council has “utterly failed Syrian detainees and their families”, Amina Khoulani, Co-founder of Families for Freedom, told the Security Council on Wednesday, during a meeting focussed on those who have been jailed or gone missing across Syria, during years of brutal conflict. 

In a rare opportunity for the Council to hear directly from family members of people forcibly disappeared, Ms. Khoulani spelled out: “It is your responsibility to protect Syrians from a system that kills, tortures and illegally detains its own citizens”.