UN

US changes vote on UN resolution against Cuba embargo

Holiday shopping, the city's marathon, and the US voting against the rest of the world at the UN over Washington's Cuba embargo.

On Wednesday, however, the US took the small but significant step of changing its vote to an abstention on the annual UN General Assembly resolution calling for an end to the US economic embargo of the island nation.

Syria conflict: UN says water and power cuts threaten two million

The United Nations says an immediate pause in fighting is needed to allow the water and electricity networks to be fixed.

Some two million people are without vital supplies, the UN says.

Fighting between government forces and rebels has intensified in recent weeks.

At least 250,000 people are believed to have been trapped in rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo since a key route into the area was closed by government forces in early July.

On Sunday, rebels cut off the government's key access route into western Aleppo.

Turnbull to make captain's call on Rudd's bid to be UN boss

In a Cabinet meeting that went well over time on Thursday, Mr Rudd's case was pushed by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and supported by Attorney-General George Brandis.

The backing of some other ministers who spoke in favour has been described as lukewarm.

But many spoke against nominating Mr Rudd, including Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who argued he was unfit for the role.

In the end it was left to the Prime Minister to make the call with the undertaking the leadership will support his decision.

Shameful rise in Afghan child deaths and injuries, UN says

The report's authors said the toll was "alarming and shameful", and that history would judge leaders on all sides on their response.

A total of 1,601 civilians deaths were recorded among all ages between January and June, of which 388 were children.

In the latest attack, 80 people died in a huge bomb blast in Kabul on Saturday.

UN says refugee numbers at record level

It estimates that 65.3m people were either refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced at the end of 2015, an increase of 5m in a year.

This represents one in every 113 people on the planet, it adds.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee chief says a worrying "climate of xenophobia" has taken hold in Europe as it struggles to cope with the migrant crisis.

The influx of people, the biggest since World War Two, has led to greater support to far-right groups and controversial anti-immigration policies.

UN accepts and registers PIDF Charter

The Charter was signed in Suva on 04 September 2015 at the conclusion of the historical Third PIDF Leaders Summit.

There are currently ten signatories of the PIDF Charter. They are Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Pacific Island Association and Non-Governmental Organisation (PIANGO), Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO).

UN leader asks Australia to reconsider asylum seeker policies

The secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, met Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Malaysia on Sunday.

Ban also raised concerns about conditions in Australia's detention centres in Nauru and on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

No country has yet achieved equality between men and women – UN human rights chief

“Very frequently, we see a preponderance of women experts on panels that discuss issues specific to women and children – as if such issues could not be of deep concern to men,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in his opening remarks to a panel discussion on gender equality held by the Council in Geneva.

“Conversely, discussions on situations of armed conflict, on counter-terrorism, on sanctions regimes, and on the death penalty almost seem as though they are reserved for men,” he noted.

UN attends Tuvalu high level dialogue on TC Pam recovery

"The actions shown by government shows that the plans are not solely about recovery, but recovery that strengthens resilience of families, communities, islands, and the nation.”

The UN acknowledged the government of Tuvalu for recognising it as one of the important partners in the implementation of the vulnerability reduction plan and its commitment to strengthening disaster response and resilience for its people. The UN agencies responded to governments request and provided support in various technical roles also recognising the different partnerships involved in the process.

UN releases ‘streamlined’ negotiating text for Paris climate deal

The 83-page text will be used by governments as they prepare for the final two sets of negotiations on a plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming.

“The document provides for the first time clarity on what could be contained within the emerging legal agreement in Paris,” the UN said in a statement.

“It also clarifies what decisions with immediate effect could be taken at the moment the agreement is adopted.”