Thursday’s Daily Brief: Press Freedom Day, Tuna Day, cultural dialogue, #GlobalGoals awards, updates on Syria, Somalia, Mali

SDG Action Campaign Festival SDG in Action, in Bonn, Germany.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


This Thursday, top stories includes: the celebrations of World Press Freedom Day and World Tuna Day, events for inter-cultural dialogue in Azerbaijan and for Global Goals awards in Germany, and updates from Syria, Somalia and Mali.

A free press is ‘cornerstone’ for accountability and ‘speaking truth to power’: Guterres

At a time when disinformation and mistrust of the news media is growing, a free press is “essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights”, said the UN Secretary-General, in his message for World Press Freedom Day, marked on Friday.

No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information, said António Guterres, describing unfettered journalism as “the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power.”

Read our full story here.

Not faith, ‘but those who manipulate the faithful’ driving wedge between religions, UN-backed forum in Baku told

Following a string of hate-fuelled attacks on places of worship around the world, the High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations (UNOAC), said on Thursday that it was with a “heavy heart” that he was opening the annual UN-backed forum in Baku, Azerbaijan, on the role of cultural dialogue in building human solidarity and countering violence.

Miguel Angel Moratinos said the theme of the 5th World Forum for Intercultural Dialogue, Building Dialogue into action against discrimination, inequality & violent extremism, was very timely as those gathered at the Forum, which wraps up tomorrow, would no doubt reflect on the “horrific terrorist attacks” that had taken place over recent days and months.

Find our full coverage of the high-level opening event here.

Harsh drought conditions in Somalia could trigger major humanitarian crisis, UN warns

A senior UN official has warned that harsh drought conditions currently afflicting South West state in Somalia, are likely to trigger a major humanitarian crisis, if urgent action is not taken. George Conway, acting UN Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, issued the warning while he was assessing the effects of the prolonged drought on vulnerable populations, in Baidoa.

Highlighting the underfunding of this year’s Humanitarian Response Plan – currently only 19 per cent met – Mr. Conway said on Thursday it would require “strong advocacy with donor and financing partners” to avoid a crisis, and stop it increasing “potentially over the edge into more disastrous conditions”.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), drought conditions during the 2018-2019 rainy season have led to an increase in the number of people designated as “food insecure”, since October of last year.

Grave concern over escalating humanitarian crisis, casualties, displacement across northwest Syria

The UN has said it is “gravely concerned” over reports of a worsening humanitarian situation facing civilians across northwest Syria, with rising casualties, and “waves of displacement” due to intensifying conflict.

Briefing reporters at UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, said that over the past 48 hours, “at least seven people have reportedly been killed in south rural Idlib, while two were reportedly killed in Hama governorate yesterday.”

Read our full story here.

Mali: crimes against humanity may have taken place in last month’s Ogossagou attack

The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, released on Thursday the preliminary findings of a special fact-finding mission on serious human rights violations in the Ogossagou region, Mopti, in Mali, this past 23 March.

During the attack that day, at least 157 members of the Fulani (or “Peule”) community were killed, 65 people were wounded, and 220 homes were reduced to ashes, including some in which people had taken refuge.

“Around 5 am, a group of at least a hundred men, identified as ‘traditional hunters’ (dozos) along with a dozen men in military clothing and others in civilian clothing, led an attack… killing indiscriminately men, women and children, and burning down houses with torches,” explained a MINUSMA press release.

The fact-finding mission found three mass graves, containing at least 150 bodies altogether.

“I am profoundly shocked by the cruelty of these abominable acts against the civilian population, especially women and children,” said UN Special Representative for Mali Mahamat Saleh Annadif, calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

These events took place against a backdrop of ongoing inter-communal violence. They could be qualified as crimes against humanity if it is proven that they took place in a context of systematic attacks against civilians, following the Rome Statute.

World Tuna Day highlights importance of sustainably managed fish stocks for the health of the ocean

Thursday is World Tuna Day, which serves to highlight the importance of this valuable food source to the marine ecosystem and the global economy, says the UN.

Established just two years ago, the day raises awareness about the importance of tuna – a staple of the seas – and serves to promote more sustainable fishing practices.

Highlighting that tuna and tuna-like species are very important economically to all countries – and a significant source of food – the UN warns that tuna is threatened by an overwhelming demand, especially for traditional canned tuna, and as sashimi and sushi.

Confirming that approximately 7 million tonnes of tuna are landed yearly, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) emphasizes the whole aquaculture sector’s role in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular, Sustainable Development Goal 14, to conserve the ocean and its resources.

Festival in Bonn to drive action towards meeting SDGs

And sticking with the SDGs, a global festival of action, kicked off in Bonn, Germany, on Thursday aiming to inspire SDGs campaigners to scale up and broaden the global movement, and make the 17 goals a reality.

Organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign, the ground-breaking event runs until Saturday, providing an interactive space to showcase the latest innovations, tools and approaches to SDG advocacy.

Bringing together more than 1,500 political decision-makers, activists, experts, business leaders and creatives from over 130 countries, the festival is expected to motivate not only organizations but also individuals, in the push towards 2030.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

5 creative alternatives to plastic packaging

The road ahead to building a more sustainable world

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “CO2 is not the problem, it is the symptom”, the pilots who crossed the world using solar energy cry out from Davos

Africa’s Sahel: Act now before the crisis ‘becomes unmanageable’, urges Grandi

This is how a smart factory actually works

Failing to agree climate action would ‘not only be immoral’ but ‘suicidal’, UN chief tells COP24

Sustainable development demands a broader vision, says new OECD Development Centre report

Trump blocks US warmongers from bombing Iran

Plastic is a global problem. It’s also a global opportunity

How to unleash the potential of regions like São Paulo

UN expert condemns new sentence for jailed Venezuelan judge as ‘another instance of reprisal’

We need to give voice to ‘We the Peoples’, says UN chief

Capital markets selloff: The financial moguls send messages to monetary authorities

World-famous cultural institutions closed due to coronavirus are welcoming virtual visitors

5 ways you can personally fight the climate crisis

We are witnessing a revolution in genomics – and it’s only just begun

Break taboo around menstruation, act to end ‘disempowering’ discrimination, say UN experts

What are we actually working for?

How to unleash the enormous power of global healthcare data

Yoga as medicined for the mental distress amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: integrative and complementary practices

UN leads bid for cheaper insulin, expanding access for diabetics worldwide

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

UK economy in dire straits: leading banks now officially plan to Brexit too

Here’s what COVID-19 teaches us about ‘social learning’ and the environment

EU27 leaders unite on Brexit Guidelines ahead of “tough negotiations” with Theresa May

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

Gender Equality as a platform to improve Medicine

Parliament endorses landmark EU-Japan free trade agreement

Rude work emails are bad for your health and on the rise – here’s what you need to know

It’s time for the world to stand up behind South Africa

Climate change is exacerbating hunger in some of the world’s poorest countries. And those most at risk are the least to blame

We could be sleepwalking into a new crisis. How should the business world prepare?

Why we need a blockchain bill of rights

We must build resilience to face the future – but will we be fast enough?

Eurozone plans return to growth

Missions of Our Time Shared by China and EU

Siemens-Alstom merger: Can Germany and France lobby to circumvent EC’s rejection, against EU consumers’ interests?

Uzbekistan wins its long fight against malaria, as global rates continue to rise

Less than half of EU travellers are aware of EU Passenger Rights

The results of Finland’s basic income experiment are in. Is it working?

The winds of change: 5 charts on the future of offshore power

Europe, US and Russia haggle over Ukraine’s convulsing body; Russians and Americans press on for an all out civil war

An analysis of the impacts of climate change on human health

Ethiopia will soon introduce visa-free travel for all Africans

Could the pandemic usher in a golden age of cycling?

Human rights breaches in Azerbaijan and Sudan

All sides in Yemen conflict could be guilty of war crimes, UN experts find

UK: Crawley group wins European Citizens’ Prize

Migrants, asylum seekers detained in Hungary ‘deliberately deprived of food’: UN human rights office

ECB should offer more and cheaper liquidity if Eurozone is to avoid recession

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

How to turn a traditional business into a platform-based success

Civil society groups matter for Cambodia’s sustainable development: UN expert

Refugee crisis update: EU seeks now close cooperation with Africa while Schulz is shocked to witness live one single wreck full of immigrants

This 12-year-old built an underwater robot to fight plastic pollution

2019: An unpredictable, confrontational and financially ominous year

The experience economy is booming, but it must benefit everyone

Scientists can lead the fight against fake news

European Business Summit 2015: In search of a vision for the future

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s