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UN Radio Klein Calls for Bold Solutions to Liberia

UN Radio: Klein Calls for Bold Solutions to Liberia's Problems

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  • Special Report: UN Envoy seeks Council approval to Establish UN Peacekeeping Force in Liberia
  • Klein Calls for Bold Solutions to Liberia's Problems

    The UN's top envoy in Liberia says the country's massive humanitarian and political crisis calls for immediate intervention. Special Representative Jacques Klein says thousands of Liberians do not have access to life's basic necessities of shelter, water, food or even rudimentary medical care. He says the UN has an obligation to assist in putting an end to the cycle of brutality, violence, corruption and instability that has destroyed Liberian society and affected the region:

    "This effort will require dramatic, engaged and bold solutions. Liberia and the region need to be stabilized and brought into a larger African framework where it can be given the political support, the encouragement and mentoring required to help it become a stable and self-sustaining member of Africa and the international community."

    UNHCR concerned about Toll in Human Trafficking in the Horn of Africa

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    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR), reports that more than 25 people from Ethiopia and Somalia drowned when they were forced to jump overboard off the coast of Yemen.
    UNHCR spokesman, Rupert Colville, says the crew of the boat that had sailed from Bossasso in northern Somalia, forced the more than 150 passengers overboard with iron rods, wooden clubs and threats of armed violence:

    "This was the second incident in three weeks in which ruthless people smugglers from Bossasso area have forced their hapless passengers, including women and children, overboard. In the first episode, at least 12 people are believed to have drowned and many more remain unaccounted for."

    UNHCR says rescue workers are still searching for as many as 29 people still unaccounted for.

    War-Torn Palestinian Economy needs Relief and Development: UNCTAD

    A new report says protracted occupation and conflict have effectively transformed the occupied Palestinian territory into a "war-torn economy", with serious implications for Palestinian development prospects. The report, by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), details the adverse impact of prolonged occupation on Palestinian economic growth, employment, poverty, trade and finance which it says has intensified in the past three years. Special Consultant for assistance to the Palestinian people, Raja Khalidi, says Palestinian gross domestic product (GDP), is back where it was fifteen years ago:

    "Per capita national income has fallen by about half of what it was two years ago; unemployment is almost into half of the labour force, two-thirds of the population living under the poverty line of $2.00 a day."

    Khalidi says at the household level, basic needs including health and education are being affected. He says the Palestinian Authority has been financially bankrupt with its budget now almost totally dependent on donor aid.

    More than 120 Million Children Worldwide Left Out of School: UNICEF

    The UN children's agency (UNICEF), says more than 120 million children were left out of the world's schools this year and perhaps will never see the inside of a classroom. And the agency says over half of the excluded children are girls.

    UNICEF's Executive Director Carol Bellamy says this a disheartening reality, adding that the more children left out of school today, the more adults left behind few years down the road:

    "Making a strategic investment to get girls into schools is critical to achieving and sustaining important health initiatives. In most parts of the world, girls face the highest barriers to getting an education."

    A UNICEF study found that in sub-Saharan Africa, 46 million school-aged children have never set foot in a school.

    Findings Show Recovery of the Ozone Layer

    The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is being observed today. And in a message marking the occasion, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says that recent findings by atmospheric scientists showed that the level of chlorine in the upper atmosphere is at or near its peak. UN Spokesman, Fred Eckhard, says the Secretary-General notes that as a result we are now seeing the recovery of the ozone layer:

    "However he warns we cannot be complacent. Even greater political commitment and further action is required to ensure full compliance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the ozone layer."

    The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), warned that every year, there are more than 130-thousand new cases of melanoma skin cancer worldwide as a result of ultraviolet radiation from the sun - a consequence of ozone depletion.

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