Articles for this Update were compiled by the City Bar's Committee on the United Nations.

Pro-family farming policies key in anti-hunger fight, UN officials tell Budapest expo

As 2014 is being celebrated as the International year of Family Farming, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged governments to prioritize financial and infrastructural support for small-scale family farmers. Family farms account for over 90 percent of all farm holdings, and family farmers manage most of the world's farm land. At the Global Forum and Expo on Family Farming in Budapest, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that governments can empower family farmers, especially women and youth farmers, by adopting equitable and sustainable rural development policies.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47279

UN anti-narcotics panel urges greater stock in prevention, and treatment of drug abuse

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), an independent UN body that monitors the worldwide production and use of narcotics, reported that investment in prevention and treatment of drug abuse can lead both to significant financial savings and to alleviation of suffering experienced by drug-dependent users and their families. The INCB found that for every dollar ($1) spent on drug prevention, the government realizes ten dollars ($10) savings in later health-care and law enforcement costs. The INCB reports that as of now, only 1 in 6 drug-dependent users receive the treatment they need. The report also expressed concern at the growing use of prescription drugs and psychoactive substances that can be easily obtained over the Internet.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47269

Nuclear safety in Iran and Democratic People's Republic of Korea among pressing issues for UN atomic watchdog

Yukiya Armano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency highlighted progress made in implementation of the Agency's Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was endorsed following the accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear station in 2011. Mr. Armano noted the high operational safety of the world's nuclear power plants and Iran's timely implementation of six practical measures developed by the agency. Mr. Armano called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to fully comply with its obligations as per Security Council resolutions and to cooperate promptly with the Agency.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47265

Democratic Republic of Congo: with attack helicopters deployed, UN envoy urges rebels to lay down arms

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) in a joint operation with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) defense forces, fired on a base of an armed group known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). MONUSCO called the "highly precise operation" a step toward realization of MONUSCO's objective to end recurring attacks by ADF against civilian populations. Last March, the Security Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade to MONUSCO to carry out targeted offensive operations against armed groups in eastern DRC. The MONUSCO Secretary-General affirmed that similar operations would be carried out and would not be deterred by attacks on UN personnel.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47267

Amid ongoing crisis, Ban dispatches deputy UN chief Jan Eliasson to Ukraine

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson traveled to Ukraine to be apprised of the situation on the ground. Mr. Eliasson's visit follows two days of urgent Security Council meetings on the growing crisis in the Ukraine. After his visit to the country, Mr. Eliasson will brief the Secretary-General on the facts on the ground and advise as to next steps that the UN could take to support de-escalating the conflict.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47257

UN chief strongly condemns attack at Chinese railway station

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke out about an act of violence committed in a train station in China. Several men wielding knives killed at least 28 people and injured at least 100. Mr. Ban expressed his condolences to the families of the people killed and gave his well wishes for the recovery of the people injured in the attack. Mr. Ban also noted that there is no justification for the killing of innocent civilians and called on the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47255

Venezuela: UN human rights chief urges halt to violence, and inflammatory rhetoric

Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned the violence accompanying the protests in Venezuela over the past month. At least 579 people have been arrested, 140 people have been injured, and 13 have died since the beginning of the protests and unrest. Ms. Pillay urged all parties to cease using inflammatory rhetoric and to move instead toward meaningful dialogue. Ms. Pillay also expressed concern at the reports of excessive use of force by authorities against the protesters, and called on all parties to respect the right to peaceful assembly.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47246

Prospects for climate agreement boosted by survey of national laws

A recent UN-supported study finds that 64 of the 66 countries responsible for 88% of the world's carbon emissions "have progressed or are progressing" on climate change. The UN Framework Committee on Climate Change (UNFCCC) cites domestic clean energy legislation as the key to this progress. The study is released in advance of the global legal climate accord to be signed in 2015. The two countries that were not progressing are Australia and Japan.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp/html/story.asp?NewsID=47248

UN expert urges Mauritania to take more vigorous efforts to eliminate slavery

The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery urged the Mauritanian government to vigorously implement laws and policies aimed at eliminating slavery. Slavery was criminalized in 2007; since then, several legal reforms, including the establishment of a special tribunal to try the crime of slavery, have been adopted. The Special Rapporteur established a road map for the Mauritanian government's implementation of her recommendations for eradicating slavery and the vestiges of slavery. The government is due to adopt the road map on March 6, 2014.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47243

UN warns against inciting hatred after Ugandan newspaper publishes names of gays

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spoke out against the publication in a Ugandan tabloid of the names of Uganda's "200 top homosexuals," calling the publication a violation of the rights to privacy and dignity. The report comes on the heels of the passage of the country's new anti-homosexuality law, championed by President Yoweri Museveni. The OHCHR also condemned publication for its potential to fuel hatred and violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47237

Topic In Focus

Inaugural World Wildlife Day

March 3, 2014 marked the inaugural annual World Wildlife Day. Last December, the General assembly decided to proclaim March 3 as World Wildlife Day, with the goal of celebrating the world's wild fauna and flora and raising awareness of threats to species' survival. The General Assembly selected March 3 to commemorate March 3, 1973, the day on which the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted. One-hundred and eighty States are party to CITES, a treaty whose goal is to ensure that international trade and development does not threaten the survival of wild species. CITES protects over 35,000 species against over-exploitation through international trade.

In its resolution adopting World Wildlife Day, the General Assembly recognized the intrinsic value of wildlife and its contributions to human well-being and sustainable development. The UN also focused its attention on the growing crisis of wildlife poaching, illegal wildlife trading, and climate change. Various UN agencies drew to the escalation in poaching, the illegal ivory trade, and trafficking in endangered species and the connection between such illicit activities and the exploitation of vulnerable communities, human rights abuses, and the prevention of sustainable development.

Sources: http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2764&ArticleID=10729&l=en

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