Monday’s Daily Brief: US-DPRK relationship reset, ‘Horrific’ Kabul bombing, Anti-conscription plan in Syria, Climate change heat stress, Security Council in Iraq

© UNHCR/José Ventura Portugal. Resettled refugees arrive in Lisbon

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


This Monday, we cover: Guterres welcomes possible US-DPRK diplomatic upgrade; Taliban attack hits schools; UN-Syria action plan on child soldiers; Climate change heat stress impacts economy; and first-ever Security Council visit to Iraq.

UN chief welcomes possibility of resumed talks between US and North Korea

As cameras captured on Sunday the first sitting United States President to set foot inside the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, Secretary-General António Guterres offered his full support to a potentially reset relationship that may render a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

The UN chief “welcomes the meetings in Panmunjom involving the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and the United States”, his spokesperson said in a statement, adding “particularly the announcement that the DPRK and the United States will resume working-level dialogue”.

Red the full story here.

UN Children’s Fund chief condemns ‘horrific’ Kabul bomb attack

Scores of children were among the casualties following a Government building bomb attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Monday that hit nearby schools.

Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, described the bombing as “horrific”, saying: “The deadly blast that hit the Afghan capital Kabul during rush hour today did not spare children during one of their most mundane and important routines, being at school.”

Our full report is here: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/07/1041692

New UN-Syrian Action Plan signals ‘important day’ for child protection, says UN envoy

The top UN official charged with representing the interests of children caught up in armed conflict, has signed a landmark new agreement on child protection with the Force Commander of a main Syrian opposition military alliance, it was announced on Monday, aimed at ending and preventing the recruitment and use of children under the age of 18.

Describing the action plan as “the beginning of a process”,  and “an important day”, Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), explained that the signing “demonstrates a significant commitment by the SDF to ensure that no child is recruited and used by any entity operating under its umbrella”.

Here’s our full report.

Heat stress spike predicted to cost global economy $2,400 billion a year

An increase in heat stress at work linked to climate change is set to have a massive impact on global productivity and economic losses, notably in agriculture and construction, UN labour experts said on Monday.

Highlighting that the world’s poorest countries will be worst affected, particularly in West Africa and South-East Asia, the International Labour Organization (ILO) warned that the lost output will be equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs – or 2.2 per cent of total working hours worldwide – during 2030.

Click here for our story and listen to our interview with ILO’s Catherine Saget below:

Five years on from ISIL ‘caliphate’ proclamation in Iraq, Security Council makes first-ever visit

The Security Council has concluded its first-ever visit to Iraq on Saturday, five years after the ISIL terrorist group proclaimed a “caliphate” in the country.

The visit, which also took in a trip to Kuwait, saw the members meet senior government, UN and humanitarian officials to discuss the development of Iraq, the humanitarian situation, and the ongoing security challenges faced by the Government.

Read more here.

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