South Sudan doctor serving refugees with U.N. Nansen prize

2 hours 25 minutes ago

The United Nations refugee agency on Tuesday awarded the prestigious Nansen award to a South Sudanese doctor who runs an overcrowded hospital with a dimly-lit surgical theatre and no regular supply of general anaesthesia.

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said Evan Atar Adaha’s “profound humanity and selflessness” had saved thousands of lives.

Maban Hospital

Adaha’s Maban hospital in the South Sudanese town of Bunj serves more than 144,000 refugees from Blue Nile state in neighbouring Sudan, UNHCR said.

The hospital’s X-ray machine is broken, but Atar and his team perform nearly 60 surgeries per week in a room with just one light, with staff using “ketamine injections and spinal epidurals” instead of general anaesthesia, the agency said.

Atar had previously run a hospital in Blue Nile but was forced to relocate when a conflict erupted there in 2011 between the Khartoum government and rebel fighters.

Khartoum unilaterally announced a ceasefire in the area in March.

The Nansen prize

The Nansen prize, awarded annually, is named for Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who served as the first high commissioner for refugees during the failed League of Nations.

Last year’s winner was Nigerian Zannah Mustapha, who helped negotiate the release of some of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists from their school in Chibok in 2014.

UNHCR said actor and goodwill ambassador Cate Blanchet will deliver the keynote address at the ceremony in Geneva next week.



Mnangagwa to consider voting rights for Zimbabweans in diaspora

2 hours 56 minutes ago

Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to consider the plea of the country’s diaspora who have consistently asked for the right to vote, the state affiliated Herald reported.

Addressing Zimbabweans in New York, United States ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, Mnangagwa said he agrees with the principle of diasporans voting, even though it could not be implemented in the July 30 election this year.

“I agree with that request, but we were not able, in the time available, to have the logistics put into place to implement that objective. We now have five years where we can work on that objective where we can see whether we can implement it,” President Mnangagwa said.

Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF party won the July 30 elections, the first in the post Robert Mugabe era.

Beyond electioneering

The opposition, led by Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance have disputed the presidential election and continue to question the legitimacy of Mnangagwa’s presidency.

Mnangagwa used the occasion to ask Zimbabweans to unite behind his government to revive the economy and aspirations of the country.

‘‘We truly are one nation, united in our hopes and dreams. We are embarking on a new journey of growth and development. It won’t be easy, but we must traverse it together,’‘ appealed Mnangagawa.

Great to meet members of the Zimbabwean diaspora in New York. We truly are one nation, united in our hopes and dreams. We are embarking on a new journey of growth and development. It won’t be easy, but we must traverse it together.

Together we are stronger!— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) 24 septembre 2018

Zimbabwe’s voting system is polling station-based, allowing people to cast ballots at specific centres in their areas of residence in the country.

However, people on government service abroad can cast postal ballots.


Just Speak Yourself: United Nations tells world's youth

3 hours 52 minutes ago

The United Nations on Monday launched the Generation Unlimited campaign that aims to promote education, training and employment of young people all over the world.

As part of the opening day activities at the United Nations General Assembly, the campaign was launched by a high profile cast that included South Korea’s boy band sensation BTS, the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres and Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame.

“No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, your gender identity, just speak yourself,” BTS group leader Kim Nam-jun told a packed hall at the launch of the UNICEF youth campaign.

Our #Youth2030 message to young people:

“Join us. Sign up. Volunteer. Vote. Be part of the solution. We need you as partners and leaders.”

– AntonioGuterres to UNYouthEnvoy, UNICEF supporters BTS_twt & IISuperwomanII + youth at #UNGA on Monday.— United Nations (UN) 25 septembre 2018

I am honoured to be part of the #GenUnlimited Leaders Group. Thank you unicefchief Henrietta Fore for the great job you and UNICEF are carrying out to benefit the youth. I look forward to working with the youth— Paul Kagame (PaulKagame) September 25, 2018

We do not champion the cause of youth opportunity and hope as a favour, but rather as the necessary, undeniable, embrace of our collective future #Youth2030 #GenUnlimited— Uhuru Kenyatta (@UKenyatta) September 25, 2018

The lead singer of the world’s most popular boy band said there were times when he wanted to quit music but he overcame his insecurities by listening to the “small voice that said, wake up man, and listen to yourself.”

“I have many faults and I have many more fears but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can and I am starting to love myself,” he said.

Among South Korea’s best known and most lucrative musical exports, BTS made music history this year by becoming the first K-Pop group to top the Billboard 200 music charts.

The septet will bring its “Love Yourself” tour to New York for a series of concerts next week including its first-ever stadium performance.

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Corruption blamed for fuelling rampant environmental crimes

5 hours 56 minutes ago

Environmental crimes and corruption emerged as top challenges affecting Africa’s efforts to combat ecosystem degradation at the special session of the African Ministerial Conference of the Environment (AMCEN) in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

Delegates bemoaned lack of political will and indifference in tackling rampant wildlife crimes in Southern and East Africa, where prosecution of such offenders is fraught with numerous challenges.

Other problems include illegal logging mostly in central African forests in Gabon, DRC, C.A.R and Congo where illegal mining and fishing is rife, especially in the Great Lakes region.

Former AMCEN president Khaled FAHMY explained how the AMCEN secretariat is turning the decisions and policies into actions and tangible results.

“AMCEN should be reformed. It should become self-dependent and should have it’s own resources. It should have its own experts and access to international experts as well so that we can get the best knowledge and disseminate the best knowledge to our ministries and to our executing bodies back home,’‘ Khaled said.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said it has already partnered with the Africa Prosecutors Association to create training manuals and curricula on environmental crime prosecution.

They will also help countries integrate environmental crime education in the training curricula of police and prosecutors, in order to enhance their capacity to investigate and prosecute cases.

Such training has already started in Uganda.

46 minutes 21 seconds ago
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