UN

Afghanistan conflict: US makes new push for UN-led peace process

In a letter to the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Blinken called for a 90-day reduction in violence and a transitional government formed from both sides.

Blinken also said no decision had been made about whether to stick to a planned US troop withdrawal by 1 May.

He called on President Ghani to show "urgent leadership".

Blinken's letter, a copy of which was obtained by the BBC on Sunday, reflected the difficult position the US finds itself in as it reviews whether to withdraw its last 2500 troops.

COVID-19 vaccination ‘wildly uneven and unfair’: UN Secretary-General

Addressing the virtual meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the goal of providing vaccines to all as “the biggest moral test before the global community”, underlining that everyone, everywhere must be included.  

“Defeating COVID19, now that we have begun to have the scientific capacity to do so, is more important than ever”, he said. 

UN urges Fiji to amend Media Decree

In its Universal Periodic Review report published in December, the United Nations' Human Rights Council called on Fiji to amend its Media Industry Development Decree 2010.

The report also calls for Fiji to avoid "abusive interpretations" of any journalistic publications.

They have conveyed to the government their disappointment at aspects of the media laws," according to the general secretary of the Fiji Media Association, Stanley Simpson.

Pacific voices 'need to be reflected in UN language'

That's the view of the University of the South Pacific's director at the Oceania Centre, Frances Koya-Vaka'uta.

The Pacific is the first region to host the series of United Nations consultations aimed at turning around the decline of the oceans.

Dr Koya-Vakauta said the Pacific voice risks being lost among generic UN language when it's combined with contributions from the eight other consultations.

She said Pacific people need to see themselves reflected in official language for it to resonate properly and this includes plans for the coming 'Decade of the Ocean'.

Samoan experience highlighted at ministerial dialogue featuring UN agency heads

The Governor spoke at a ministerial dialogue titled “Harnessing New Technologies for Financing the Sustainable Development Goals” (also known as the SDGs).

The audience for ministerial dialogues includes finance ministers, central bank governors, and other senior officials and diplomats from every UN country and from the UN agencies; speakers and panelists include similarly high-ranking officials.

NZ govt MP calls for West Papua issue to go to UN

Louisa Wall made the comment at the launch of a new book examining New Zealand's position on West Papua.

In her book See No Evil: New Zealand's betrayal of the people of West Papua, author Maire Leadbeater criticises successive governments for failing to support Papuan rights.

Ms Wall said the book offers telling insights on how Papuans had no say in their homeland's incorporation into Indonesia in the 1960s.

North Korea: Urgent need to open channels, UN says after visit

The statement follows a visit to Pyongyang by Jeffrey Feltman, the highest-level trip by a UN official to the isolated nation in six years.

North Korea says it has agreed to regular communication with the UN.

Tensions over the North's weapons programme were raised further after a fresh ballistic missile test last week.

North Korea said it was its most advanced missile yet, capable of reaching the continental US.

The test was the latest in a series of nuclear and missile tests conducted in defiance of UN sanctions.

UN signals 'end' of throwaway plastic

They signed off a document stating that the flow of plastic into the ocean must be stopped.

Scientists welcomed the statement, but were unhappy the agreement was only based in principle, with no firm targets or timetables.

Ministers say it's a milestone because it shows governments, industry and the public that a major change is needed.

Vidar Helgesen, Norway's Environment Minister, has been leading the UN debate on plastic pollution.

SPC updates Pacific nutrition guidelines

This was also a chance for SPC to emphasise the guidelines to attendees on the UN assembly's declaration that 2016 to 2025's is the decade for nutrition action.

NCD advisor for the public health division (of SPC) Karen Fukofuka said the guidelines were drawn up in 2000 and the revision of the principles only started last year.

Ms Fukofuka said it was important that the messages were current and consistent for the Ministry of Health and other non-health partners to distribute to the community.

UN urges Australia to solve Manus Island crisis

About 400 refugees are still refusing to leave the former detention centre on the Papua New Guinea island after it was closed at the end of October when essential services were cut.

The deputy regional representative of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), Nai Jit Lam, said Australia remained responsible for the refugees and should engage them in constructive dialogue.

"This is a man-made and entirely preventable humanitarian crisis. It is a damning indictment of a policy meant to avoid Australia's international obligations," the UNHCR added.