News in Brief 5 September 2017 (PM)

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Rohingya refugees trudge through the rain and mud as they arrive at Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh after days on foot. Photo: UNHCR/Vivian Tan

Unity of Security Council “crucial” to addressing North Korea nuclear crisis

The unity of the Security Council is “crucial” to successfully addressing North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons, the UN chief said on Tuesday.

António Guterres was speaking to journalists at UN Headquarters about the country’s underground testing of a nuclear bomb on Sunday.

The Secretary-General said the DPRK had “yet again” broken the global norm against nuclear explosions and ignored its international obligations.

He called on North Korea to fully comply with Security Council resolutions and welcomed Monday’s emergency meeting which unanimously condemned the escalation.

He said unity created an opportunity for diplomatic engagement and decrease tensions, all aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

“Let us promote the dialogue and communication necessary to avoid miscalculation and misunderstanding. Confrontational rhetoric may lead to unintended consequences. The situation must be political. The potential consequences of military action are too horrific.”

Muslims of Rakhine State need protection of legal status: UN chief

To address the root causes of the refugee crisis which has driven thousands of Rohingyas to flee their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, the government needs to offer legal protection.

That’s the view of the UN Secretary-General, speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

He said that Rohingyas’ “grievances and unresolved plight” had been allowed to fester for too long.

News reports indicate that more than 120,000 mainly Muslim Rohingya have fled violence at the hands of security forces, since insurgent attacks sparked the latest displacement crisis at the end of August.

Mr Guterres said that it was crucial for the currently stateless Rohingya to be given either full nationality, or some other legal status guaranteeing them basic rights to live in security.

“The international community must undertake concerted efforts to prevent any further escalation and to seek a holistic solution, and the authorities in Myanmar must take determined action to put an end to this vicious cycle of violence and to provide security and assistance to all those in need.”

Continued aid crucial to avert famine threat in Somalia, says UN official

Despite collective international efforts to tackle famine in Somalia, sustained funding is still needed to prevent the humanitarian situation from getting worse.

That’s according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, speaking at the launch of a flagship food security and nutrition assessment of the Horn of Africa country.

So far $900 million has been raised this year to provide life-saving relief.

“We need to continue this response at a pace of about $100 million per month. That is a lot of money and we hope we’ll indeed be able to get it from donors. But this is absolutely necessary if we’re to avert the risk of famine in some isolated areas and also to maintain the health situation.”

Mr de Clerq made the urgent appeal amid signs of a significant outbreak of both Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) and measles.

Currently, 6.2 million Somalis need food assistance, while 1.1 million have been displaced by the drought, due to poor rainfall and crop failures.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’54”

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