UN migration agency welcomes new director

UN migration agency welcomes new director

The UN agency for migration has a new director general, with António Vitorino of Portugal taking the helm this month as former United States diplomat William Lacy Swing steps down after two five-year terms. The 61-year-old Vitorino is a former European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, and was Portugal’s…

Morocco, Western Sahara talks set for December

Morocco, Western Sahara talks set for December

Horst Kohler, the United Nations Special Envoy on Western Sahara, has invited the Polisario Front to a first round of talks with Morocco in December in Geneva, according to Sahara Press Service. The official media outlet aligned with Western Sahara independence said the Polisario Front received its invitation on Friday…

Ghana: State funeral Thursday for ‘guiding star’ Kofi Annan

Ghana: State funeral Thursday for ‘guiding star’ Kofi Annan

Funeral services for Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, are set to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday in the auditorium of the Accra International Conference Center, where visitors have gathered for two days to pay their final respects. The 80-year-old Annan died on August 18 in Switzerland following…

Burundi spokesman calls UN human rights report ‘a bunch of lies’

Burundi has again pushed back at the findings of a United Nations human rights investigation released Wednesday that found grave violations continue in the small African nation, including summary deaths, torture, sexual violence and arbitrary arrest. Government spokesman Willy Nyamitwe, a senior advisor to President Pierre Nkurunziza and member of his…

Former UNSG Kofi Annan has died

Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations and the first black African to lead the UN, has died in Switzerland. The Kofi Annan Foundation announced the 80-year-old Ghanaian died on Saturday after a short illness, with his wife, Nane, and three children by his side. “Kofi Annan…

UN formally appoints Bachelet as new human rights chief

Former president of Chile Michelle Bachelet has officially been appointed as the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, following a vote Friday at the UN General Assembly in New York. The Bachelet announcement was warmly received by UN Secretary General António  Guterres, who called her “a pioneer, a…

Global Compact on Migration moves forward

The much-awaited Global Compact for Migration is one step closer to adoption, as the United Nations finalized the text on Friday. Plans for that adoption are set for December at a conference in Morocco. The Global Compact initiative was approved in 2016 during the Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and…

Report focuses on preventing North African drought

Nations in North Africa need to become more proactive in preventing drought before it happens in what is one of the world’s most water-scarce regions. That’s according to a report released Friday by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), released in conjunction with World Day to Combat Desertification and…

UN chief praises Madagascar government, election decisions

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the news of a new cabinet established late Monday in Madagascar, following a May 25 court order to form a national unity government in hopes of ending the island nation’s political crisis. President Hery Rajaonarimampianina’s picks include Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana, both of…

New attack on C.A.R. aid workers forces patients from hospital

Another attack on aid workers and facilities in the Central African Republic has prompted outrage from the country’s United Nations humanitarian coordinator, who demanded that the armed groups responsible be held accountable for the consequences of violating international humanitarian law. The statement from Najat Rochdi followed an intrusion at the…

2 die in Somalia flooding ahead of tropical storm landfall

Meteorologists tracking Sagar, a relatively rare tropical storm that strengthened as it crossed the entire Gulf of Aden, are expecting landfall on Saturday near the Djibouti-Somalia border. It has potential impacts for Ethiopia too as it reaches the Horn of Africa. Flash floods were reported in the Bari region of…